Shooting on Film is more difficult

 I am often reminded how easy it is to shoot in digital. Just dial in the auto mode and fire away. You can't go wrong especially if you have RAW file mode enabled.

That's why the challenge in photography often lies in using film. These two photos were shot on slide. The first is of Johnny Herbert, F1 driver and the second one Shinichi Ito, Suzuka 8 Hour winner and 500cc MotoGP rider.

Film doesn't have the super sharp pixel density you often see in high resolution digital cameras. The quality is different. I realize this when I was browsing the photos at 500px,com, look carefully and you'd see the sharpening and detail. Not a bad thing but it is almost unreal.

Film has its unique look. The analogue quality is evident the moment you look at it. The dynamic range is different too.

Shooting film is very challenging because you need to know what film to use. Expose it wrongly and you'll find it difficult to recover the detail. Mistakes are often fatal, and there is no turning back.

Film may have a much bigger latitude but that doesn't mean you can underexpose a frame and expect the quality to be the same. It isn't. If you overexpose it too much you lose the detail in high contrast scenes. Zone metering is probably a good way to get a correct exposure. Slide film is more difficult, with a latitude of about 2/3 of a stop. Negatives can still hold an image with a 1.3 stop difference.

I wish Kodachrome was still around. Store it well, these slides will last for ages. It was my preferred choice even when the latitude was very narrow. Kodachrome 64 only has 1/3 stop latitude and shooting high contrast scenes can be very difficult. In zone metering, where you take the darkest and lightest areas of a scene to get an average, the difference can be up to 5 stops. How you select an exposure to capture the best detail is crucial. Metering on a grey card is often the preferred choice.

I love my Nikons. The FM2 and FE2 are my choice favs. I do love my F4 too, but I don't have much time to shoot with it now that I am playing around with smaller cameras like the Pen-f.