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DSFlymanJanuary 7th, 2009, 11:48 pm
Posts: 13Now, I have a my digital point and shoot and I've seen some amazing digital photography. I still love taking black and white shots on my 20 year old, beat up, low budget slr. Can anyone tell me if there is a digital camera that can match what black and white film feels like?
DS Flyman
HellgramiteJanuary 8th, 2009, 11:37 am
Southern calif.

Posts: 45
DSFlyman:I spent 30 years in the movie industry lighting sets for film and video.I have shot allot of film both color and black + white.In fact the only film I shoot anymore is black + white with a 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 Hassi.With all that said.Yes you can print black + white with Digital software from a color digital camera.But if you think you well get the same quality print from an electronic format as you would from film you well not.Film sees in two dimension because of the layers of cellulite on the film.You create that third dimension or more depth with lighting.Digital cameras have an electronic image witch sees one dimension and you create that second dimension or depth with lighting.So by all means shoot as much as you can in all kinds of lighting and at some point you well get what you want.Do not give up.Hope this well help.If you have anymore questions please feel free to ask.
DSFlymanJanuary 19th, 2009, 9:06 pm
Posts: 13Hellgramite. it seems we work in the same biz - At least I'm still hustling. I found B/W photography about 7 years ago with a pretty low end SLR. Needless to say, I still love what it does for me. I love what I can do with digital too, the instant gratification is way cool... but the B/W look is why I love film.

Thanks for your reply
DS Flyman
HellgramiteJanuary 20th, 2009, 10:03 pm
Southern calif.

Posts: 45
Hay DSFlyman:I'm glad you enjoy Black+White photography It's in a class of it's own.You said you have an old SLR that's great.I shoot an old Nikon 35mm SLR and it works great.I got the hassi a couple of years ago just for Black+White film.The heart of the camera is the lens,the lens quality well determine the sharpness of the neg.To help you take better photographs shoot in the morning or late afternoon this way the sun is the lowest in the sky and the shadows are longer.The way you get depth or contrast is to include shadows in the seen.Contrast is the difference between light and dark.Your camera should have a light meeter that you use through the lens,a small circle.When you take your readings expose for the shadows and let the rest go.Also bracket the shot by a 1/2 stop both ways.What I do is watch old Black+White movies late at night and see how the old masters lit there movies and try to see witch angle they set there key light.Anyway I'm talking to much,Its just that I love photography almost as much as Fly Fishing.In fact My wife and I are moving to central Oregon this summer One to get out of LA and two the fly fishing is some of the best in the country.So I well be spending allot of time on the water and shooting film.I love to talk about film and fishing so if you need any help or have any questions please feel fee to ask.One more thing shoot the same film until you learn how to expose it then go to another film.and keep a log of each photo,the F-stop,shutter speed and what the light readings are in the bright and shadows.This way you well know how you did it.Happy shooting!
SofthackleJanuary 21st, 2009, 6:50 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Hi Guys,
First, I've got to agree with you both. I've been a B & W buff for years. I use to teach B & W photography. The digitals are nice and give instant gratification, which is what most want.

Two things- First, good photo editing software can help you get better results, of course, with digital work. I use PhotoShop regularly and it gives good results in changing color digitals to black and white.

The paper you print on - whether it be digital prints or film prints will often affect the depth ( good range of white to black to give the illusion of depth) of a print.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders:
DSFlymanFebruary 7th, 2009, 10:09 am
Posts: 13Hellgram.

A friend gave me a bulk roll of tmax 400 that I've been pulling off a bulk loader I store in my freezer for years. I mean this film is like 10 years old, but I've kept it well chilled.

I just dropped by freestyle to try their Arista Premium. I know it's the cheap student film, but I'm curious. Apparently it is like tri-x.

My last roll had a couple of winners, but I'm not dilligent with taking notes and bracketing. I did notice that much of this last batch was underexposed. I was metering for light, faces actually, but still they were under.

On to the next roll.

DS Flyman
HellgramiteFebruary 8th, 2009, 12:32 pm
Southern calif.

Posts: 45
Hay DSFlyman:Glad to hear your getting out and shooting some film.Tmax 400 is a great film stock.I think you said its about 10 years old but you have kept it in the fridge.With respect to B+W film the older the film the grainier it becomes.With that said some people like to shoot old film because of the effect it gives as to fresh film.Bracketing is when you expose the same shot many times.Say you take a reading and in the shadow you read an f4 and your reading in the bright areas is f8 to f16.Take your first exposure at F2.8.This is 1 stop over exposure at f4.Then take an exposure at f3.5 or half way between f2.8 and f4.Next take an exposure at f4,then f4.5,then f5.6.This way you can choose which exposure you like the best.When you have the neg developed tell them you would like a proof sheet.This is when they develop the neg on to a sheet of film and your able to see what you shot with out spending the money to have full size picture printed.Back to film stock,The faster the film which is rated in {ASA}the less light you need to get an exposure.The slower the ASA the more light you need to get an exposure.The faster the film the grainier the photo.The slower the film the finer the grain the sharper the photo.Now for f stops.from f2.8 to f4 you need to double the amount of light to get a normal exposure.f4 to f5.6 you need to double the amount of light again to get a normal exposure and so on.In other words from f2.8 to f5.6 you need to increase the light 4 times.Lets start there because we are just scratching the service.Let me know what you think..Rick.
DSFlymanFebruary 8th, 2009, 10:47 pm
Posts: 13Yeah, about 7-8 years ago I took a basic B/W class at SMC. They have (at least did) and amazing dark room. I learned tons, but the last couple of years I've opted for my little digital point and shoot.

What you said about old film makes sense. I looked at my shots again and realized that I had used tmax 3200 shot at 1600 - I like the bracketing idea, I just am horrible at taking notes.

Have you used the Arista Premium Film per chance?

When I finally develop the roll I'll give some feed back.
DS Flyman
HellgramiteFebruary 9th, 2009, 1:32 pm
Southern calif.

Posts: 45
Hay DSFlyman:No I have not used or herd of Arista film.I have always used name brand film because one time I got some store brand film in color and was not happy.Besides the cost is not that much more for name brand.I shoot Ilford Pro 100 ASA for B+W because it has a very fine grain.Even the Ilford in 400 ASA is quite clean.Plus you can push this film a stop and it looks fine.The reason your photos are under exposed is because it was shot a stop under.If you like the photos you talked about you can have them printed 1 stop over when developed.Just let the person know when you have them printed.3200 ASA has allot of grain and should be used for very low light levels or if you want to shoot a Trout leaping out of the water. It well allow you to shoot at a vary fast shutter speed with a big stop to carry focus.As I tell you these things you are remembering things you learned in film class.When you have the film developed let them know you shot at 1600ASA and it well cost a little more because it well have to be custom developed.Good Luck.Rick..
JZordMarch 4th, 2009, 12:53 pm
New York

Posts: 14
photography is at its peak with 35mm in my mind. I love grainy film. I love it all. Stick with your slr
DelablobboAugust 11th, 2009, 7:27 am
Posts: 21Funny that you mentioned black and white photography... I was a documentary photographer, who worked exclusively in black and white. I do some writing for flyfishing mags, and need a good digital outfit to make more $$$. I came to the photo section to ask for recomendations.

Digital black and white just doesn't get it, in my opinion. The grey scale is far too short, and you'll never achieve the print quality of film.

But here's a tip: I'm unsure if Kodak still makes Tri-X 400. But it's the greatest film they ever made. It's got a much longer scale that T-Max. It has contrast in the dark tones, and doesn't "block up" as easily in the lighter shades. I used to call Tri-X "God's Film."
OregonDougSeptember 23rd, 2009, 5:54 pm
Portland, OR

Posts: 3
Hey all. I'm brand new to fly fishing and to this forum. I'm a long time "hobby" photographer and I shoot the majority of my pics using black & white film.

In terms of film I use Ilford's Delta film. They're a British company that has been in the black & white world for many many years. Kodak, I belive, is slowly divesting itself from the B&W film business.

Lately I've been doing a lot of night photography so I have been using Ilford Delta 400 speed film. If you want sharper grain use the Delta 100, however I find the 400 speed to be fine for prints up to 12x18.

I use an Olympus OM-1 and an old Nikon for 35mm. I bought an old Rollieflex (50 yrs old...) 120 camera to slow me down and think a little more before I shoot. I also use a two plastic cameras for fun. A Holga and a Diana. Both take 120 film and have plastic lenses. You can check my blog to see the results.

Oregon Doug
OregonDougSeptember 23rd, 2009, 5:55 pm
Portland, OR

Posts: 3
Here's the link to my blog:
Oregon Doug
LastchanceSeptember 27th, 2009, 4:20 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Hey Doug, Very cool photos and nice site. I'm a professional photo guy myself. I've always been partial to B & W film, although it's predominantly a digital world now. I gave all of my old and vintage cameras to my niece who graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in photography. I gave her my Yashica 120 and wish I had it back. I may ask to borrow it from her. I used to shoot a lot of artsy stuff, but I ended up with a load of money tied up in photos that just sat around or which I gave away as gifts. It got too expensive and I haven't shot much lately. I used to teach basic photography as an enrichment course, but I resigned when the school eliminated film and pan developing.

Can digital duplicate B & W film?

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