The best digital cameras, notably the top-of-the-line full-frame Canon
digital SLRs and digital backs for medium- and large-format cameras,
are generally better quality than film. Why use film then? Film is
inherently archival. You don't have to become an expert computer
system administrator to make sure that your original image is
preserved; you just have to put it in an acid-free folder in a filing
cabinet. Film cameras are ridiculously cheap; you can get a complete
4x5" view camera outfit for $500 that will make negatives large enough
to support a wall-size enlargement. If you're only going to take a
handful of pictures every month, a film camera might be a lot cheaper
and easier than a state-of-the-art digital camera plus the computer
systems necessary to support it.
photo.net was started in 1993 and consequently we have a full range of
articles relating to film photography.
Thirty-five millimeter, the most popular film size, was derived from
movie film around 1900. The frame size of 24x36mm was standardized by
Leica. With advances in chemistry and lens design, 35mm became good
enough for magazine photojournalism by the end of the 20th Century,
but it was still never that good and the best digital cameras offer
considerably higher image quality than 35mm film.
Medium format cameras use 120 and 220 film ("rollfilm") and produce a
negative approximately four times the size of a 35mm negative. A
common medium format camera is the Hasselblad, which creates square
negatives 6x6cm in size. If you're interested in a film camera that
can seriously challenge the best digitals, this is where to start.
Medium Format - for 645, 6x6, 6x7, 6x8,
6x9, 6x12, 6x17 and similar medium format roll film cameras and equipment.
Large Format (View Cameras)
View cameras come in three primary sizes: 4x5", 5x7", and 8x10". The
latter is what Edward Weston used for many of his most famous
photographs, resulting in negatives nearly the size of a standard
sheet of paper and in Weston saying "If it is more than 500 feet from
the car, it is not photogenic".