Letter of the Week: Film Wins?

Soooo, let me get this straight...If I'm willing to part with a couple grand for a new digital camera body and lenses I can get images equal to or better than I can with comparable film ISO's or the current crop of digital cameras. But before continuing, I would like to say that I do about 40% of my shooting with digital,..lest you think I'm just another old geezer with a digital axe to grind.

From: Michael Group
Subject: "Digital Wins" (March 2008)

Soooo, let me get this straight...If I'm willing to part with a couple grand for a new digital camera body and lenses I can get images equal to or better than I can with comparable film ISO's or the current crop of digital cameras. The focus here being on ASA'S,....whoops!...that's ISO's of 800 or faster. But before continuing, I would like to say that I do about 40% of my shooting with digital,..lest you think I'm just another old geezer with a digital axe to grind.

In the 39 years I've been involved in the photo trade I've only had the need/desire for ISO's that high twice. First as a combat photographer. Second as a comet photographer/writer during the 1990's,..and then I found Fuji Super G and Kodak T-max,(both shot @ 800 & 1600 ISO), more than sufficient. Mr. McNamara sets next year as a goal for us to have access to new equipment with equivalent image quality at ISO 25,000. The words "Huh & Why" come to mind quickly. The first sentence in his last paragraph..."So the debate over image quality-as well as over camera features and cost per photo is over". Does he not consider equipment purchase cost into his "cost per photo"? (Equipment that by his standards is sure to become obsolete in another 2 years, and what features?) His article has all the hallmarks of yet another digital crusader bent on driving film and everything related to it into oblivion. Without spending too much verbage on this topic I would like to ask Mike,"And what about archival life". A large percentage of my clientele trust my judgment when it comes to the duplication of very old family pics. Without reservation I steer them to photo film negatives or 2x2's.
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