© Mark LaMonica. All Rights Reserved.
Film User Report - December 2010
The digital age has pushed the film camera
into a smaller market, that seems to be
shrinking more and more each year.

SLR photography, as I knew it came after
using medium format gear. 35mm seemed to
be the standard for press work, which was
one of my first assignments as a freelance
photographer after high school.

The 35mm format was the camera of choice
for a lot of people I knew back then, so of
course I had to get one too :). My medium and
large format film days were reduced to
situations where large prints were needed.
During my film days that began as child in the 70's, I has several brands of gear and enjoyed using all of them,
since they all used "film", and no matter which camera a roll of film was in, they all produced the same results.
I had been using Nikon film cameras exclusively and transitioned
to their digital cameras. I eventually switched to Canon using the
1Ds full frame (2002 era) for architectural work. Being from the
film days, I wanted true color reproduction and Canon cameras
gave me better true to life color with less post production hassle.

For those of us who know the core basics of photography, we
can load up a film camera and produce wonderful images.
There's a beauty with film that really shines. When you put a
page of transparencies on a light table, you can see every detail
and color, that sometimes is missing from early digital cameras
(Pre-2002 8-bit). There are so many advanced features and
improvements in digital cameras today, that it's now possible to
capture images like these on this page. Everything here was
photographed with a color reversal film. I get a blank stare from
the new schoolers who never used film, when I ask what kind of
film did they use before digital?

So where is all of this film talk taking us? It's a lesson in
photography, you still need to know the core basics to be a great
digital photographer. Get out of "Auto" mode and go manual, set
your own white balance, use manual settings and learn
photography. There's no excuse today when you can instantly
check what your picture looks like. The more you educate
yourself about "modern film" aka Digital the better off you'll be.
I photographed this Ski Jumper who was traveling over 55
MPH. I used my 600mm and took 1 shot while the news
reporter next to me did a 10 shot burst with a digital camera.
He then looked at the monitor and kept the best shot. I did
this for the following jumpers and he finally said to me, How
do you know you're actually getting any keepers? I replied I
know my gear, I know my film and I have over 20 years of
experience. The insert shows the slide as captured
approximately 1.50 inches wide (see small picture). I scanned
it as a 4" x 6" 300dpi image and cropped the face from that
scan without sharpening for the image at the bottom. Not bad
for film eh? A vertical cropped version of this image was used
for a book titled 52 Weekends in Connecticut.
Approximate Original Size
24mm x 36mm