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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Are any of you still shooting "film"?
Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 5:53 PM on 08.09.21
->> In the same way that some very serious people prefer vinyl to CD's for music, are any of you still shooting film? Is there any relevance for film in today's fast paced world?

I got the itch several months ago, dusted off my Leica M3, and ordered a few rolls of B&W Ilford film. I found a processing lab near me, and I've had one roll developed (and then I scanned the images I liked) and I'm part way through another. The M3 has a better viewfinder than my M10, and everything just fits me the same as it did 50 years ago.

I don't expect to start shooting film on a routine basis, but it did bring back lots of memories, along with being much more careful before I pressed the shutter release.

I suspect the reply to this thread is going to be "Film? What's that?", but I'm serious about this. I'm not sure anyone can replicate the results of Ansel Adams with today's digital cameras. Something about a large format camera, with all the adjustments possible for the lens, and the type of editing that Ansel did.... But sports usually means fast action, and I think film might be too slow to keep up.

It's probably just me, but with digital, I want to take the photo NOW. With film, I have all the time in the world to be sure I'm ready, before I take an image. Sports Photography is more than just the action scenes as I see it.

So, anyone else using film?
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Nashville | TN | USA | Posted: 11:29 PM on 08.10.21
->> I still shoot lots of film, and have a darkroom in my home. I rarely use it for my day job, but I shoot a lot of personal stuff on film. I just enjoy it as a break from digital. It's fun, I've always liked tinkering with chemicals, processing techniques, etc. I feel like the unforgiving qualities of it keep my skills up too.

I've got a Leica M6TTL that I'll never part with, I've had another camera that I've connected with as well as that one. I frequently use a variety of medium format cameras as well, Pentax 6x7, a Fuji 6x9 rangefinder, and a Mamyia C3. I occasionally use these at my job for portraits if I'm not on tight deadlines.
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Jason Burfield, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 7:13 AM on 08.11.21
->> I have a fridge full of 4x5 and 120 film that I shoot constantly. Something about the process of doing it that I really enjoy.

Film, coupled with the large format, puts a smile on my face every time. Sneaking a peak at what is on the film as I'm washing it reminds me of late Friday nights working at the paper when I was way younger.

Every so often I'll shoot a roll of 35mm. The look is just so much different than digital. Maybe a bit more 'pure' if you will. I love it.
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Chris Machian, Photographer, Assistant
omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 8:48 PM on 08.11.21
->> I really want a speed graphic with a graflok black to shoot on film.
Every now and then I would shoot 35mm and it made me more choosey with how I shot things, you get complacent with digital.
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Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 10:41 PM on 08.11.21
->> It may or may not work out, but I'm leaving on a short trip to NYC and Massachusetts, and I'm leaving all my digital gear at home. Instead I'm taking my old Leica M3, with a Leicameter MR on top, along with a Sekonic meter to make sure my old Leicameter is behaving.

Not sure how all this will work out - since my darkroom gear is long since gone, I'll have the film developed by a local lab. I'll scan it myself into my computer workflow. It's all B&W too.

Chris Machian is spot on - shooting film I need to make sure everything is perfect for each shot, as I usually take only one image, two at most.

Jason, I have noticed that "the look" is very different, but I never found the right words to explain it. I'm using Ilford ASA 100 film, so there won't be much grain, but while I used to think film was more forgiving about exposure, I think I was wrong.

I have never shot a more modern film Leica. The M6TTL that Andrew Nelles mentioned I suspect is far more advanced than my M3 and M2. One of these days I'll get to try something newer.

People have told me I'm wrong, and I've got it backwards, but the viewfinder on my M3 I find to be better than on any rangefinder camera I've ever used. It's huge, and bright. Unfortunately, no frame lines for 35mm, but when I was growing up, for the longest time, the only lens I had was a 50, first on my Contax II, then on my Nikon SP. I did finally buy more lenses for the SP. I still have it, but it needs a good clean and lube.

I don't have any schedule for this trip; I'll just look for interesting photos, like I did when I was younger. The single most important thing for me to remember is to always remove the lens cover. I hate it when I realize I forgot.

When I did try sports photography with my SP, it seemed very, very difficult. No auto-focus, just the split image rangefinder, no instant playback, just a prayer. I remember being amazed at what professionals did back then with these simple film cameras. I guess it just proves the saying "the camera doesn't matter, it's the photographer that counts!"
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Jason Burfield, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 9:01 AM on 08.12.21
->> Process the B&W yourself! I have no darkroom at home but I process all of my B&W stuff here in my basement. I have a changing bag for loading 4x5 so I use that to load the film for development.

B&W film is a little less touchy about temp but it's not too hard to keep things at 68-70 degrees.

I actually run a Jobo tank for 120 that I hand-built a small rotator device for.

For 4x5 I use a Stearman Press tank:
https://shop.stearmanpress.com/products/rev-4-sp-445-compact-4x5-film-proce... that I like a lot.

Just adds to the fun of the process of shooting film.
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Michael Myers, Photographer
Miami | Florida | USA | Posted: 10:26 PM on 08.18.21
->> Thanks, Jason. Since I plan to scan my images, all I really need to do is develop the film. I have acquired an old Nikkor stainless steel developing tank. If I can ever find it, I've got a changing bag here somewhere. I just need to buy the chemicals, and find a way to hold the film for drying in my shower. I certainly agree with you that this will add to the fun of shooting film. I'm sure my kitchen will serve well for doing the developing.

Question for all of you - once the negatives are scanned into a computer, do 35mm film scans compare nicely to the results of shooting digital? I don't have any large format gear any more, so I'll be comparing my 35mm negatives with images from my Nikon or Leica cameras.

I have no confidence in my ability to capture sports images in my film cameras. I have far more confidence in my Nikon D750 or Df. I used to use a D3, but it got too heavy for me. When I finished shooting, I usually *knew* that I got good results. With film, there was always some doubt.....
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Billy Suratt, Photographer, Photo Editor
Owensboro | KY | United States of America | Posted: 2:57 AM on 09.16.21
->> The clothes hangers with two clips on them are great for hanging up film (I used to carry several in my mobile darkroom kit). Just hang on the shower curtain rod to dry and use plastic clothespins or similar clips to weight down the other end of the film.
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Thread Title: Are any of you still shooting "film"?
Thread Started By: Michael Myers
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