The Great Film - Digital Debate

Posted on So 16 März 2008 in misc • 2 min read

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    Many of my readers might not remember this but I used to do quite a bit of photography before I got married and started raising a family. Now that things are settling down on my end, I've been thinking of starting to shoot again but this time in digital. I've been kicking around this idea because shooting in digital makes photo manipulation a snap, its instant gratification, no more need to buy film (a recurring expense), and I can delete any "mistakes."

    The downside to going digital is that I'd have to buy a new digital camera body compatible with my Canon lenses and a digital back for my medium format. The new Canon Rebel Xsi is expected to be about $800 USD but the downside is that the digital capture screen isn't as big as 35mm film, which means the focal lengths on my compatible canon lenses will be modified. A digital back for my Mamiya RZ Pro II camera is really expensive ($4000) and I have to shoot tethered (connected to a computer) which is a big pain in the butt when I'm hiking around in the wilderness. I can always get the new RZ Pro IID but that would cost me an additional $3000.

    Going digital is beginning to sound like an expensive endeavor considering that I don't want to sell my old equipment and start all over again, I just love my old camera and lenses too much.

    So what to do?

    I think the answer is do what I did before, shoot with film and then scan in the images I like.

    Before the emergence of digital camera market, I used to shoot transparency film (slide) through my cameras and then scanned the positives. The resolutions from my 35mm slide film still rivals the best digital "35 mm" SLR's out there and the 120 slide scans are out of this world in detail. You won't get any pixelation if you zoom into a scanned image made with film than if you did with an image taken by a digital camera. For high quality images, shooting film still wins hands down.

    So the question I guess I've been trying to answer is not whether or not I should go digital, but how?