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That unmistakable film look...

Discussion in 'Film Forum' started by Removed User 2, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. I really dislike transforming color images/files in B&W with a program. It's as if a pic wasn't good enough and desaturating it would make it better or make me an "artist". Sometimes it's a given, but usually, it's nothing more then transvestising.

    If there was a DSLR with a B&W sensor uniquely (not a BW mode!), I beleive there would be a niche market.

    Anyways, enough ranting. Here's a pure film image, pure look, pure everything. No trickie tricks. No garbage-salvaging-photoshop-art-make-believe Photoshop action. Just pure film. I hope you like it.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  2. I like how the pattern of the drops is suggested by the print on the umbrella.

    I keep thinking a monochrome camera will happen, but it never does. Seems to me the sensor required already exists, say those used in 3 CCD video cameras. Or how hard would it be to make all of the pixel color filters the same color?

    I think they could build a great monochrome camera, and that enough would sell to justify it.
  3. Love the shot, the image would definitely not have the same appeal if it was shot on digital, this is something that i'm beginning to notice lately, that these kind of 'capture the moment' shots simply don't look right on digi like they do on film.

    If they make a full frame monochrome DSLR i'd get one in a right now, make it a small manual SLR, but with a nice grip on it. I don't even care about pixel count as long as it covers the 24x36 frame, my lenses just work so much better on full frame.
  4. this is another totally cool photo. did you shoot this thru the windshield, or side window?
  5. I think there was at least one - as seen in this article on Luminous Landscape. I've a feeling that one of the very early Nikon dSLRs was mono only, but I could have misremembered, as I can't find a citation on that.

    Beautiful shot Ned.
  6. Nice pic Ned.

    Now, what would a mono digital camera do that what we have now wouldn't?

    It's still NOT film with all the attendent grain, processing artifacts, dust, etc.. You'd have to PS it in order to get the "charm" of bw film.

    What am I missing here?

    ps: I've got a digital camera that'll deliver BW straight off... If I cared to have it do that...
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2007
  7. biggstr6


    Apr 26, 2005
    Cool shot Ned.
  8. lowlight_junkie


    Nov 28, 2005
    With the right curves and settings my D2X produces very film like qualities IMO. The D1X was better still! With regards to the picture posted all I see is a slightly soft, heavily grained and high contrast image. I think I could get the same or very very similar results out of camera with my D2X. I don't want to get into the whole film vs Digital thing. You shoot what you feel best suits you and thats the best way.
    Your interperatation of art may differ greatly from mine, but isn't that what photography is all about? Your tools get you results that please you, mine do the same for me!
  9. lowlight_junkie


    Nov 28, 2005
    In an attempt to justify my statement here is a copy of an image I just took straight from the camera:

    100% Crop:


    Its film like enough for me, your mileage may vary greatly however.
  10. Stephen,

    The point of a monochrome camera would obviously be its output only if it would be different then what we have now. I'm not an engineer but I guess a dedicated BW sensor would capture greater depth and tonalities. Besides, it would serve a genuine purpose.
    I believe such a camera would give unique results...

  11. TechPan


    Oct 5, 2006
    Los Angeles
    That's a really nice image...I like the feeling of "rain"

    I do believe that film does have a certain look that digital does not quite have. I personally like the way film feels, both in my hand and in my eyes. But I do belive that a few digital cameras have a different take on digital that make them unique, like the Leica M8 and Ricoh GR.

    As for the PS trickery...I am guilty of that. I shoot color negs and convert in PP. But I find that this still looks better then straight digital. I see nothing wrong in a little PP work to bring out the tonal range. I did it with high contrast paper, dodging and burning in a dark room, now I sit in front of a computer and do it with a mouse. I do plan to start developing my own B&W again, but even with that the negs will be scanned and adjusted in PP.

    But I still like color film for the freedom it gives me. I carry my camera with me every where I go. I can shoot something that deserves to be in color and some things that will look better in B&W. I like that freedom.

    For me as long as you start with film it's all good.
  12. Well... we're in a film forum, so I don't see what's the point of discussing a D2X BW image, really. I agree converted images can sometimes look great, but they are never enough when compared to film. My problem with digital BW is it's never really "it". It just isn't for many reasons.

    My main problem with converting digital is depth. And then there is the Transvestising issue: Shooting in color and deciding which would look better in BW is just false. And the idea of shooting with "the right curves and settings" also takes away enormously from the whole genuine experience.

    Anyway, this is all subjective except one thing: if you haven't processed conventional film from developing to printing, you'll just never know, no matter how you think your D2X image is "filmlike".
  13. lowlight_junkie


    Nov 28, 2005
    Surely a colour image has a great range of tonalities in the form of the many colours it captures? Desaturated either in camera or in PP these colours would manifest themselves as different shades of gray. Playing with colour channels means that we can alter hues before PP to give pop to the parts of the image we want. With regards to the "charm" as quoted earlier, we could always flick dust onto our sensors if the need arose, maybe even a sensor clean with a scouring pad on the end to really spice things up!
    I love the look of high ISO BW film in certain places, I really do. But I much prefer colour as an impact. I CAN shoot B+W with almost as much "charm" as Ilford FP4 out of camera. I have yet to see a good colour image from a B+W film however! Versatility is sometimes the key to good photography!
    B+W to colour is a button press away, I don't have to finish a roll first or carry a second body! With regards to discussing Digital in here you were the one who brought up a B+W DSLR not me, I just followed on from your topic.
    PS, I started with film and HAVE processed my own! If you have never owned a D2X then you have no idea either ;) 
  14. Lowlightjunky, this is extremely boring.
    Please post your film shots here or you can always praise your camera gear and possibilities at dpreview or in the camera gear forum.

  15. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Now now - Chris Lowlight has a point to make that is indeed a counterpoint to your original statement Ned. There is a point of contact between film and digital manipulated to look like film. But the key word in Chris's defense of digital is "almost". I could see the difference between his digital photo and a film image by the time I had scrolled half an inch into it.

    But I do not think there is anywhere but the film forum where a comparison between digital B&W and true film imaging can be discussed except here in the film forum. There is no 'film side' elsewhere.

    Since this is a thread about your (very nice imo) photograph, I would suggest that Chris (Lowlight Junky) start his own thread to discuss mimicking film with digital. And as I said, if that thread is in this forum, film will be well represented. In another forum, the conclusion will be foregone.
  16. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Digital SLR cameras are designed to capture color images. Data from a digital color image is thrown away to get a monochrome image, while a monochrome to begin with image keeps it all. In film, the grains of silver halide react to all the light according to a chemically predetermined response. In a regular digital sensor, one quarter of the pixel react to blue filtered light, one quarter to red light and half to green. To get a monochrome image, the responses of all the adjacent pixels are averaged to arrive at a monochrome image. This leads to the tonal smoothing that is part and parcel of converted digital images.
  17. Chris101...always the voice of reason. :rolleyes:  :biggrin:
  18. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    I can be unreasonable! (Stomping feet!)
  19. Hey, at least "film like" is considered a compliment!

    I haven't shot nearly enough Velvia as yet, but I am fairly certain I don't see how I could reproduce that very well using my D2X or 5D or D200. The differences are what make them all interesting. This is why I have so many cameras.

    At least with film, I can try different sensors without having to spend a few grand. :biggrin: :cool: 
  20. lowlight_junkie


    Nov 28, 2005
    With my F90x I too can try those same sensors at £5 a shot :) 

    Now a half decent drum scanner!!!

    That's a whole new ball game! ;) 
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