Digital vs. Film

This is just for fun, but one of these images was taken with a Sigma SD Quattro H digital camera, and the other with a Yashica MAT 124G, using Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100 ASA film. The slight variations in angle of view are to do with the way the different cameras sit on the tripod, and I think the light changed a little between taking the pictures. I used the digital camera to expose for the silvery fallen log in both cases. They are obviously quite different, but then they have different lenses, different, and differently sized imaging sensors, and were built almost 40 years apart. I'm having a hard time deciding which one I prefer: the one contrasty and hard, the other velvety and soft. They were taken in Rydal Woods, in the Lake District, early one morning. Click to see them larger.

Of Fuji Reala and Bluebells

Last week I posted the following picture to Twitter, saying that it was the last frame of my last roll of Fuji Reala film, and that the thought of that made me sad. I liked Reala for the way it handled blues and greens. While it was good for portraits I found it worked very well for landscapes and woodland pictures. Reala tended to give things a slightly cold blue-ish tint which made it perfect for scenes like this, where Kodak Portra is a little too warm. I have to look for a Reala replacement now.

I don't profess to have used enough film to develop a real understanding of how one or another of them works, or what might be possible with them, but what I have found is that the limitation of having to use the film that is in the camera, or in your pocket, rather than choosing a setting on the spur of the moment, is actually helpful. It makes you slow down and make decisions consciously, often hours or, if travelling, days before you take a shot. I like the discipline imposed by these limitations.

So I'm sad about Reala. My return to film is quite recent, so I never got to know it well, but I was enjoying having a range of film around, picking out a roll according to my mood, or the weather, or where I might be going. It felt a bit like choosing wine or beer according to the occasion. There are still plenty of different films around, and companies like Lomography are actually making quirky new ones, but I had work for Reala to do, and now it's gone.