Buddy Attick Park, Greenbelt Md.

Buddy Attick Park, Greenbelt Md.

[Fui ISO200 color negative film, Nikon N80+ Tamron 28-80 F11-F13 > CVS processing > Epson V300 scanner 4800dpi cae dg 1.8 ael -3 > Gimp > Gaussian blur in the sky]

So I was actually feeling kind of good about this one until I looked at it full-image and saw the effect of trying to clone-out the long developer streak that ran across the sky. Luckily I took at least 10 shots like this. Tried to fix my fix and then I ran a Gaussian blur across the sky to reduce the grain. It looks ok at VGA resolution but at 2MP fullscreen it’s decidedly grainy, still. I can’t quite say that it wouldn’t look good for a summer shot because the green leaves aren’t there but I doubt that it would be a match for a well-processed A200 ISO100 shot like the A200 version.

It’s not bad. Just not "good". Certainly not "great". And definitely not "easy". Looking at dust and crap on the image is quite disheartening, though really most if not all of it can be removed with maybe 10 minutes worth of effort. While that is true it’s still never going to give you skies that are as clean as the shots off a digital camera so for landscape shooting the only real value in shooting film is that you can get shots like this for little more than the cost of a decent scanner, and the V300 cost me $50 on eBay, and sells for about $65 retail. On the other hand the A200 is holding steady at about $350 on eBay for it and the Sony 18-70 which, along with a good UV filter, is all that you’d really need to get this shot off an A200. You might save money with film gear, at least at the start, but the upside potential would be higher with the A200. And for 2MP viewing on a computer display, without any major cropping involved, there’s hardly any difference at all between the shots out of a 6MP camera and higher-resolution gear. So that’s why I went ahead and bought a slightly-damaged D70 that will work with the same Tamron 28-80 that I used to take this with the N80.

…I don’t see buying a fullframe for shots like this, but I can definitely see buying a cheap subframe & lens…as long as it focuses well and works with fullframe lenses. If it doesn’t then you have to buy a whole set of motorized lenses just for that body. Or use manual focus, which is a non-starter in my opinion except maybe for very-short DOF work because the camera AF is just so much more precise. an argument can be made that for wide-angle shooting at high F#s precise focus isn’t necessary…in my experience it is still better to use AF with such shots than to try to focus manually. The difference is obvious at 100% and that extends to full-image.

Just took me 4 years to sort this out LOL
But then 4 years go you couldn’t buy a functional N80, a Tamron 28-80 and a decent 3600dpi scanner for $100 on eBay. And what a nightmare that would have been, learning how to shoot on a film camera. Though in some ways it would have been easier and much more direct. I remember that it took me quite a while to think that there was any value in shooting raw, whatsoever. And with 2GB XD cards selling for $100 retail it wasn’t really a practical idea even with the 5MP SP500 that was my first real raw option. Then I got a 10MP 400D and I just wasn’t going to be screwing around taking raw shots with that, after spending $1500 just for the camera and the Sigma 18-200 DC OS that I got for it.

Boy, those were expensive times. I spent a good $5k on camera gear before I started to shoot raw and figured out what I was missing. And it helped to get cameras that would actually give me true raw, which meant another $2500 wasted on Sony gear…before they came out with the V4.0 bios for the A700. After I’d already bought and sold two of them, and matching Sony 18-250s, trading up for a D300 and then a 5D.

Then I started to shoot raw.

Then I was able to get shots that were just as good out of a 10D, a KM5D and even an A650IS, at least at low ISO. And then photography really became fun. Cheap and fun instead of expensive and frustrating. Good stuff.

And then I got obsessed with color. And then it became frustrating again. Because while raw-shooting is great for fine-detail, it’s kind of a bitch to get great color shooting raw. It’s a Hobsons’ choice. And then I found out about ICC-profiling and all became more or less ok in the world. Not easy, but at least it works. Kinda. You put that together with white-balance adjustments and shooting at low ISO and using a tripod and a few other things and digital cameras can generate fairly decent pics. Not perfect but fairly decent. It’s almost like dentistry to figure it out, though. Film may have its problems, but it makes getting decent color and fine-detail so much easier. And cheap. You do not have to spend $300+ on a new subframe and lens to get this shot. I could have shot it just as easily with a $5 disposable camera, $2 worth of development at CVS and a $50 scanner. Probably there is a whole slew of point & shoots that could take this shot just fine, for under $200 retail. Why do people spend $2500 and up to take shots like this?

I know why. I know why very well.
Because we all want the gear. Some of us can afford it, and having the money in one hand and the camera right in front of them, maybe a click of a mouse away, they just buy it. I know that feeling very well. That is why I don’t have the money to buy an A850 today, and if I did? I’d probably have one. And there would be a 24MP version of this shot posted right here. You might talk me out of a D3X. But you wouldn’t be able to talk me out of an A850.

And then a year later I would have to buy this. Or something very like it. And you know that you would, come on, 40MP in a medium-format camera without a low-pass filter? LOL who wouldn’t buy one of those if they were serious about landscape photography and had the money. That and a $1500 11-35mm lens…come on.

Just think. One day that camera will be on eBay for $2500.
You won’t be able to call yourself a serious photographer if you don’t have one.

After only a short while using the Pentax 645NII as a second body on the Pentax 67ii I found that I was enjoying its use so much that I bought several AF lenses for it. One of them was the Pentax-FA 645 35mm f/3.5 AL [IF] AF Aspheric, which the guy sold online for $1250. Oh but it’s a legendary lens.

This is one reason why I post shots like this. And why I love Flickr. Because honestly if there is one thing that will drive sense into people and by "people" I mean "people like me", it’s seeing other people get great shots out of cheap-ass gear. There are people who go around the world taking pictures of flamingos and rocks for a living, and use $15k cameras and lenses to do it. And then there are people like you and me. I honestly don’t want to spend my life taking pictures for a living. I’d prefer to do it when the mood hits me. And I don’t want to feel like I have to own a $15k camera to get good shots. Knowing that I could get a shot like that out of a 5-year-old $200 6MP CCD KM5D and a $50 Tamron 28-80 is all that I really need to know. Everything beyond that is icing on the cake. That still doesn’t mean that I don’t feel like a junkie when it comes to camera-gear. If it’s good and I’ve got the money, you’re damm right I want to buy it. I want to buy it *all*. The only thing that keeps me from buying it and "adding it to my collection" is constantly proving to myself that it won’t give me anything that I can’t get out of what I already have. Well, actually it’s "not having the money". But if it would be in any way "useful"? I want it. I don’t care if it sucks, I don’t care if I don’t need it, I still want it. As long as I don’t have anything like it already, and I might be able to make good use of it. A camera that is way better and cleaner than anything that I already have but only costs about $2k, and shoots the same lenses that I already have with body-IS on top of that? I definitely have to get one. It’s inevitable that I will spend almost $2k and buy an A850 knowing that I absolutely don’t need one. I will buy one and take a shot of this scene and when I get done post-processing the shot it will look almost exactly like this. And I will buy it anyway.

Then I will get on Flickr and rave about how great the shots are out of it.

And then I will find little, tiny flaws in the image-quality and think that I just have to get a 645D. Or at least a D3X. That’s virtually a given.

And then I will buy two $10 rolls of low-grain ISO100 35mm film and my own film-development tools (or at least find a good developer, maybe one who will scan it properly) and a $100 9600dpi scanner on eBay and shoot it in my 500si and N80 with the same lenses and compare the results. And when they come out about the same I will still say "yes it may cost 1/10th the money to shoot it with film but the digital images are so much easier and quicker to produce…" 🙂

…then what? The new Sigma 15MP Foven DSLR and a Sigma lens? LOL

Seriously aside from getting a life, you have to shoot film now and then to keep a proper perspective on things. It’s just too cheap and too good to ignore.

But in any case, after about an hour of playing around with the "broken" D70 I fixed it, it seems to be working fine, probably needs to be cleaned up, so I’ll be out shooting it tomorrow. Got some nice shots downtown on film and they will be scanned eventually as well.

Posted by touristguy87 on 2011-01-07 00:49:34

Tagged: , Buddy Attick park winter Greenbelt Md Nikon N80 Tamron 28-80 Epson V300 Fuji ISO200 35mm color negative film