Digital or film?
Since March of 2002, I have been shooting digitally. Many people come up to
me and ask me my thoughts on digital photography, and whether or not film is
dead. For me, film is far from dead. I still frequently use 35mm, 645 medium
format, and 4x5 large format film. Since I am a Nikon user, I am currently
shooting with the D1x for digital use and the F5 for 35mm film. Each camera
has its distinct set of advantages and disadvantages, for the type of work I
When I shoot wakeboarding, I normally have both a D1x and an F5 hanging off
of my shoulder. I use the D1x with a 300/2.8 when I need the long reach
(since a 300mm becomes effectively a 420mm). I use the F5 with an 80-200/2.8
for closer up action, and when I need 8 frames per second. No Nikon digital
SLR exists yet that can deliver 8 frames per second.
Update 11/30/2003: The Nikon D2h shoots 8
second at 4 MegaPixels. I am upgrading to this camera shortly.
On occasion, a publication will specify that they want film instead of
digital. When this is the case, if possible, I shoot 6x4.5cm medium format
film to deliver high quality transparencies while still giving me
flexibility in my work. For static subjects and portraits, I also
occasionally use 4x5inch large format equipment to deliver the highest
Some photographers use digital backs such as the Kodak DCS Pro Back
645 on their medium format cameras. I have tried this product, along
with others, and found that it does not meet my needs. The price point does
not match the budget and needs of most of the work I do. Also, consecutive
frame speed limitations as well as battery limitations make it unpractical
at this time.
The bottom line right now is that there is no all-in-one solution. There are
many tools to accomplish many jobs. Until I have a product in my hands that
meets my budget, is compatible with all of my existing equipment, delivers
files large enough for any reasonable purpose, and has the speed and
autofocus of a Nikon F5, I will still keep film around.