Why do I bother still shooting film? It certainly is expensive to develop and scan a roll these days. You don't get feedback right away so how do you know if you messed up the shot or if the camera is faulty. And digital is pretty great these days so whats the point?!
This is a question I ask myself from time to time and sometimes it really does feel a bit of an expensive indulgence. After all a roll of 120 film runs at £6 then processing and scans cost £16 a roll for a professional service. So thats £1.83 per shot - more if your Bronica decides its going to skip a few frames without you knowing! Are the outcomes really worth that?
Here I post some examples from my recent Scotland trip to serve as a reminder that taking my Bronica and also paying for a professional to process and drum scan my negatives (with the £16 per roll price tag) was well worth it. When you travel with a couple of different cameras of different formats you can end up taking the same shot just on different cameras. Whilst these shots were not planned as a test against each other I thought it would be worth showing a comparison of these two images. One is with a Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens and the other a Bronica SQA + 50mm f3.5 (I think?) + Kodak Portra 400 film. The digital image has been processed in Lightroom using a Portra style preset and tweaked a little from there to as best I could.
To be honest I much prefer the film photo of the two. And I'm a little surprised; I visited the Old Man of Storr in the late afternoon and the light for this location is far better in the morning. So I thought both images would be pretty flat and have uninspiring colours but the difference between them is huge. I have not been able to salvage the flat looking digital shot but somehow the negative has produced interesting colours with depth.
So there you have it film is not a pointless process, at least not to me.
I also took a roll of well expired (2013) Velvia 100 slide film and shot this in a Nikon F5. The film's latitude was not kind to me and despite being a high res scan you can see the detail is plenty worse than both the above. Also its my first time using this film with the F5 and clearly I should have used a center weighted or spot meter instead of matrix. Anyway it looks better in a slide projector aimed at my wall!