WHY I LOVE FILM OR:
HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND HATE DIGITAL
getting personal in the analog vs. digital debate by Peter Mertens

Comparison digital vs analog by Peter Mertens

My mother getting married again at 70.
Shot with my Lomo LCA, held together with tape. A point and shoot camera without zoom, autofocus or flash.
I did a 10 second photoshop job on this photo, the A4 print they were so happy with took me about 10 minutes.
The moment is as it happened, without posing or waiting for the camera.
The same picture from a digital camera would have been significantly 'better':
sharper, more depth of field, 'true' colors...

Comparison digital vs analog by Peter Mertens

Now, on which side would you want to lie down and let the filtered green-yellow Spring light play on your eyelids?
Would that be on the 'true' digital side or in the Lomo crossprocessed Fuji Sensia side?

I am a child from the '70s, conditioned by a tradition of VistaVision and CinemaScope, (three strip) dyed Technicolor and Metrocolor.
So I don't fall for clinical sharpness, uncontrollable dept of field,
undersaturated colors or fake black & white with clipping highlights, ugly video noise.

I prefer stretching blowing highlights with grain begging for an enlarged print,
coming from a 250 EUR Nikon-Kiron configuration. (suffering here somewhat from the scan)

Isolde Lasoen by Peter Mertens

I prefer a Zeiss 50mm on a Contax as below -even with its harsh bokey at this aperture,
another 250 EUR configuration.

 by Peter Mertens

I prefer a wide open 50 EUR Yashica Electro.

by Peter Mertens

THE CHEAP ARGUMENT
So, assuming you get your film bought, developed and scanned for 8 EUR / 36 shots, or 0.22 EUR per shot;
assuming you still have a camera or can get one from someone -there are countless '70s and '80s Pentax, Yashica, Canon and Nikon cameras waiting to be used;
assuming your new digital pride wouldn't be hopelessly outdated before 3 years
and assuming you shoot at least 1 picture every bloody day during three years,
and on top of that every bloody year 10 extra rolls on your holidays,
then, purely financially,
you could consider buying a 500 EUR digital wonder that makes your entire life look like a TV soap.

And as for the 'digital makes me experiment and learn more' argument,
if you're serious, do some reading and watching on the internet,
and snatch a cheap digital from someone,
it can serve well as a light meter & previewer.

 by Peter MertensFAIR ENOUGH
some acceptable things come out of a 500 EUR digital camera, now and then:
because you can switch to macro in no time, which makes your camera forget its absurd dept of field.
Acceptable, until you scroll back to the Yashica or Zeiss picture.

And if there is plenty of light, the digital crispness might connect with the surreal,
so I should be truly satisfied with the landscape below.
If only I could stop wondering what it would have looked like on film.

Andalucia by Peter Mertens

IN THE END
I like digital because it helped me to shoot many pictures.
I despise digital because it kept me from shooting those same pictures on film.
So now I will buy myself a 28mm Zeiss and devour many rolls of Fuji Sensia and Provia.
Because life will look more beautiful.

Don't watch television, it makes life (look) poor.

Brussels 25/05/2005

photo Peter Mertens

© peter mertens