Sunday, January 15, 2006

Film vs Digital

in 1971, or so, i bought a canon ft slr 35 mm camera. it came with a 50mm lens. i soon added a 135 mm lens. i cobbled together a dark room, using an ancient enlarger that someone gave me. i got a bulk film loader and and shot 3 rolls a day of B&W. every evening i developed the day's film and made contact prints. i calculated that i spent a penny per image to get contacts. that's film, chemicals, and paper. i would often scratch my head in puzzlement looking at my contact prints with a magnifying glass. what a jumble of stuff. what was the subject of this picture? after a while i caught on a bit about lighting and composition and depth of field. i used the 135 mm lens for portraits or head shots quite a bit. i'd fool with the camera while sitting with friends and family and after a while i'd be ignored. it was quite satisfying to show my work to someone who swore they never "took" a good picture, and have them like their own image. i have taken thousands of pictures with the camera, pictured below. i took the picture of my old camera with our new digital camera.

i happened to pick up my old camera to find something else and noticed that the camera had an almost full cartridge of film in it. i decided to shoot it up in a comparison with our new digital camera. when i finish the roll i'll compare the film images to the digital images of the same scenes.

the picture below was taken with the film camera long before we had a digital. most likely with the 50 mm lens that came with it. it was shot with color negative film and a print made. i scanned the 3 by 5 print on an older scanner at 1200 dpi for this post on our blog.

Posted by Hello

enlarging the scanned image, i found the people in the picture. i somehow doubt that our new digital camera would provide such detail. we'll find out.

Posted by Hello

update: i should have told you that our digital camera is a panasonic DMC-FZ20PP. it has 5 megapixels. also a 12x zoom telephoto. (and 4x digital) it says "35 mm equiv 36-432 mm."


  1. Oh goody. This should be fun. I always thought you took good pictures especially of people.

  2. the best people pics are of former inlaws and i'm shy about posting them. i do have some others of old friends that i can show.