Lying myself out of a medium-format film-camera obsession 😉
Sometimes, sharpness and transparency are too much of a good thing, with modern digital cameras. Sometimes, the soul craves a little snap, crackle and pop from the turntable, a little halation on Ingrid Bergman’s distressed face (“Oh, Dev!”) in a movie, and slightly gentler manners from a photo camera.
Ok, maybe that’s just me 😉
But here’s the latest instalment in my mad rush to achieve a medium format film look without doing the logical thing of … using a medium format film camera. My current recipe. I’ll let you decide whether it’s one for disaster. Below are pairs of before (digital, on the left) and after (simulated film, using said recipe, on the right). All images are clickable to display a larger one.
Here’s the recipe :
My fave is the last pair, below. That’s why I kept if for last. The middle pair is my least fave, and I feel the film presets do not work well for me. But the result is still interesting. Now, to explain the stars :
(*) Film has internal reflections that diffuses the light a bit. On top of this, many film photographers use a diffusion filter in front of very sharp lenses, to get the edge off. The gaussian filter is probably too clean to correctly simulate the film difusion, but comes quite close to a diffusion filter.
(**) That’s PITA. Lightroom doesn’t have any “softening” options, which is so indicative of the market’s state of mind and obsession with ugly sharpness that makes super expensive medium format cameras look like smartphones. Ugh. So, to simulate film, we have to go into Photoshop and deal with huuuuge TIFF files. Ugh again.
Is it worth it?
Anything is worth not scanning negatives/slides. Even 400Mb Tiff files are worth it. The real question is whether this looks like film. Well, partly. As mentioned previously, the film-looks is a layer cake implying the use of a film-era lens. This wasn’t the case in those examples, but I will try again with one, and report.
So, no, you’re not quite done with my obssession, yet 😉
Never miss a post
Like what you are reading? Subscribe below and receive all posts in your inbox as they are published. Join the conversation with thousands of other creative photographers.
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.