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Comparing film to digital - part II
Mar 13, 2021 08:13:28   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
Film can be purchased from a variety of sources. I've used Amazon, local camera stores, KEH and B&H. I've also purchased expired film from members here at UHH, those advertised as being from long-term freezer storage. I've found my preferred films are those types with fine-grain and for color films, those with more saturated colors. Below is a small survey of images from different film types, using a variety of manual and auto focus lenses and camera bodies.

Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent plastic film base coated on one side with a gelatin emulsion containing microscopically small light-sensitive silver halide crystals. The sizes and other characteristics of the crystals determine the sensitivity, contrast and resolution of the film. The emulsion reacts when exposed to light. The very short exposure of the film to the image formed by a camera lens is used to produce only a very slight chemical change, proportional to the amount of light absorbed by each crystal. This creates an invisible latent image in the emulsion, which can be chemically developed into a visible photograph.

For the images below, the development and scanning of the negatives was performed by mail order houses The Darkroom and North Coast Photography Services (NCPS). The Darkroom provides three scanning options for pixel resolution. The NCPS provides a higher resolution scan than available from The Darkroom. The JPEG files were loaded to Adobe Lightroom and processed further, including the addition of EXIF data identifying the camera, lens and exposure information, where available.

US Coast Guard Cutter Eagle
Baltimore, MD
September 2014

Body - Canon EOS 1v
Lens - EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
Film - Kodak Portra 400

USCGC Eagle by Paul Sager, on Flickr

In black-and-white photographic film, there is usually one layer of silver halide crystals. When the exposed silver halide grains are developed, the silver halide crystals are converted to metallic silver, which blocks light and appears as the black part of the film negative. Color film has at least three sensitive layers, incorporating different combinations of sensitizing dyes.

St. Patrick's Day
Chicago, IL
March 2015

Body - Canon F-1 new
Lens - FD 50mm f/1.2L
Film - Kodak Portra 160

St Paddy's on film

Experiments with color photography began almost as early as photography itself, but the three-color principle underlying all practical processes was not set forth until 1855, not demonstrated until 1861, and not generally accepted as "real" color photography until the process became commercially viable in the early 20th century.

Arches National Park
Moab, UT
December 2015

Body - Canon EOS 1v
Lens - EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
Film - Kodak Portra 160VC

Double Arch

"Color film" in the modern sense of a multi-layered emulsion was born with the introduction of Kodachrome for home movies in 1935 and as 35mm film for still cameras in 1936. During the next several decades, color film remained much more expensive than black-and-white and required much more light, factors which combined to delay its widespread adoption. Decreasing cost and increasing sensitivity gradually overcame these impediments. By the 1970s, color film predominated in the consumer market, while the use of black-and-white film was increasingly confined to photojournalism and fine art photography.

Buckingham Fountain
Chicago, IL
June 2014

Body - Canon EOS 1v
Lens - EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
Film - Kodak Ektar 100

Some Gave All

In order to produce a usable image, the film needs to be exposed properly. The amount of exposure variation that a given film can tolerate, while still producing an acceptable level of quality, is called its exposure latitude. Color print film generally has greater exposure latitude than other types of film. Additionally, because print film must be printed to be viewed, after-the-fact corrections for imperfect exposure are possible during the printing process.

Old Car City
White, GA
November 2017

Body - Canon EOS 1v
Lens - EF 135mm f/2L USM
Film - Fuji Superia 100

Old Car City

The images are sized to fill your wide-screen display. Try using <F11> to maximize your browser window for the full effect. If the images overshoot your display, such as a laptop, just click on the image or the URL link and they'll resize to your screen from the host Flickr site. You can click a bit further into the image details on the Flickr page, if desired. EXIF data is available from the host Flickr pages as well. On the Flickr site, use your <L>key for Large and the <F11> for the full-screen.

If the images are not filling your widescreen display due to recent UHH changes, follow this link and update your UHH profile:

Mar 13, 2021 11:30:16   #
kpmac Loc: Ragley, La
Great work and thanks for the accompanying narrative, Paul.

Mar 14, 2021 09:46:51   #
jaymatt Loc: Alexandria, Indiana
Wow! Simply wow!

Mar 15, 2021 07:48:21   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
Thank you Ken, John!

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