Posted in good design, things we like, tools of the trade, what really matters by hemmant jha on July 3, 2009

thinkmore goes digital / thinkmore does digital. Part 1.

Film photography is not without its flaws, but it seems to have fewer flaws than digital. In street photography with compact, high quality cameras like the Leica M6, the Konica Hexar, the Ricoh GR1 and the GR21, film has proven to be a fantastic medium. Like everything else under the sun, all film is not created equal and it does have its limitations, so we’ll just let that [possibly thorny and meandering, with opinions flying furiously] path end right there. There is simply no other photographic medium, combined with the appropriate hardware, that is as flexible, as expressive or as quick.

The joy of no shutter lag and instant feedback has to be felt to be believed, especially by all those who have moved to the digital camp a while ago, and those who are probably used to its limiting effects by now. With no real-time display, one has to anticipate what the camera might see and shoot instinctively, especially when shooting from the hip. Photography becomes intuitive in a way not felt with digital.

While thinkmore is no stranger to digital photography, d.p. has been kept at arm’s length, until now. There are two primary reasons why the film buff might want to make some sort of half hearted switch to digital about now, besides that fact that digital seems to have matured to a point where the quality is acceptable. Reason 1 : Good film, once commonplace, is practically impossible to find, even in establishments which were once the salons of photography. If found, it is practically impossible to have it developed well, if at all. Once developed, it must be scanned to be presented on a canvas such as this blog. Reason 2 : Price. The buying of, the processing of and the scanning of film [done well] has become ridiculously expensive. We have been spending, on average, $16 per roll of 36 exposures.

The primary downside to the switch [or partial switch] to digital? With every departing customer, film will be nudged closer to becoming unobtanium. At Calumet, one of the last bastions of photography in this nation, I was served up these prophetic words [death knell of sorts] by a traveling salesman of Casio cameras – “Young man [he was about 60], film photography is about to become a medium for artists – for the rest, digital is good enough”.

Mere seconds later, 5 rolls of B&W film, one or two per manufacturer, were purchased by this author. Anything to keep the medium from falling solely into the hands of professionals artistically endowed – death knells be damned.

thinkmore ricoh GRD 02Aweb


One Response

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  1. 123 « thinkmore said, on August 25, 2009 at 11:39 am

    […] undoubtedly aware, we prefer film over digital for many reasons, some of which have been presented here, here, and […]

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