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Film vs Digital.


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#1 Atropa belladonna

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 09:08 AM

Film vs Digital

Film: As many de-bunkers have explained.
The processing can cause strange images to appear, as well as light getting into the camera from either a defective door or perhaps accidental opening.

Other issues can be, incorrect loading of film, old and or defective film (I assume this could also apply to Polaroid film) and camera malfunctions causing double exposures.

Both film and digital are subject to lens flare.


Digital: Some explanations I have read were.
The proximity of flash to lens, causing "orbs".
Unsteady hand.
Lack of circular polarizing lens. (true not everyone thinks to use one with digital.)
The extreme sensitivity of digital, allowing more light than even the human eye of the operator is able to detect.
Bugs and water vapor causing orbs, streaking and fog like ghost images.

Who's to say that a digital can't become subject to double exposure, say a defective spot on the memory card.
Every 730th image, there's aunt Mabel, an orb or strange fog.


With so many ways to explain how an image can show up, how can any photographs even be considered "real"?

What do you use?
Do you find it reliable?
and finely
Why?

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#2 Seņor Hugo

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 12:32 PM

Honestly it is a very good question. when it comes down to it, film seems to be the more reliable so long as you know how to use the cameras properly.

Good article on Digital vs Film photography from wikipedia.

The biggest benefit of film cameras when it comes to paranormal phenomenon is the negative. If a negative shows something that really shouldn't be there, it doesn't matter if a print of the photo developed badly. you can send the negative in to film experts to see if whatever is on the negative was caused by damage to the film, early exposure etc.

and while it is possible to mess with and edit a negative, it takes too much time and trouble for it to actually be worth the effort.

With digital however you do lack the negative, with photoshop it's easy to slap a photo in there and fiddle with the image and in a matter of minutes add a ghost or a mist or several missiles being launched from Iran when there was really only 1 actual missile originally in the photograph.

While digital is very easy and quick for ghost hunters to use, it also has a lot more drawbacks it seems, the biggest of which being easy to manipulate.
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#3 CaveRat2

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 01:56 PM

Digital is becoming better in quality. A couple years ago I would not even consider it. Of course back then if you had 4 megapixel you had a good camera. now even cheap cameras get that, and 8 -10 mpix is affordable, so I will accept them based on quality.

However the hoax issue is another problem. Digital is easy to fake, any idiot with Photoshop can learn enough in about an hour to manipulate a picture the experts can't debunk. So the credibility is out the window. Even the presence of EXIF data is no definite proof it wasn't hoaxed; thete are programs available that allow you to manipulate that too.

So film is still the best bet for evidence. Whle it too can be faked, it requires some skill and an investment in editting equipment most hoaxers won't make. So while a photo is good only as supporting evidence ( I never would claim anything paranormal based only on a photograph,), film with a negative is still the most reliable form of image to consider.

#4 Atropa belladonna

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 04:20 PM

CaveRat and Seņor Hugo,

Thank you both for answering. Your responses were very helpful.
Good article BTW Seņor Hugo

My first love has always been film. There is something about the quality of film image vs digital.
Unfortunately the cost of developing and the lack of care I've seen given to film is very discouraging.
I hope one day to have my own dark room, so I can develop the film myself.
In the mean time I will probably continue using my digital, primarily due to the over all savings.


As you both pointed out, allot more "evidence" is needed than just a photograph. Be it film or digital.

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Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead.*-- Scottish Proverb


#5 Seņor Hugo

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 12:03 AM

Well the quality in film is better than what digital can currently produce.

The same with tape/record vs digital audio or movie film vs digital film.

The problem with digital is all the data boils down to 1's and 0's.

You take a picture of pretty flowers, but the red flower is interpreted as a 2.5 bit of data, the digital camera reverts it down into a 1.

Any data that comes in as a 0.5 or a 0.25 drops down to a 0

So with digital media something is lost with every recording, every image etc.

Which is a bad thing, especially when you need to pick up those differences. The same with what CaveRat was saying in his thread about getting better EVP's.

Sometimes we will need to get those subtle differences, those higher or lower wavelengths to pick up something that we would have missed otherwise.

A evp saying "hey, whats up, my name is Bob, I've been dead since 1993" may come in at 0.000023 but the data just ends up being converted to 0. So we may just hear a muffled noise if anything at all.

Which is why with some music it sounds better, you can pick out instruments better, or hear subtle changes when played in vinyl than what you would hear with an mp3.

Edited by Seņor Hugo, 28 August 2008 - 12:05 AM.

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#6 WoodScraper

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:59 AM

"Some explanations I have read were.
The proximity of flash to lens, causing "orbs"."

I purchased a Nikon D40x 8 months ago, and i have never taken a photo where there are orbs. So I.M.O.the statement must be true.

But i see nothing special with the location of the flash to the lens, other then the size of the lens will determine how much farther back the flash is.
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#7 CaveRat2

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 02:37 PM

"Some explanations I have read were.
The proximity of flash to lens, causing "orbs"."

I purchased a Nikon D40x 8 months ago, and i have never taken a photo where there are orbs. So I.M.O.the statement must be true.

But i see nothing special with the location of the flash to the lens, other then the size of the lens will determine how much farther back the flash is.


The camera body is a factor as well as the length of the lens. Orbs didn't really become an issue until the point and shoot disposable cameras came along. These place the flash near a small lens which allows the point where the flash can illuminate anything in the field to be very near the camera. Thus the problem with orbs became commonplace. Before that, cameras were physicly larger, some even used external flash attachments, which minimized orbs. The SLR cameras still often place the flash on a hotshoe and the length of multielement lenses serve to make these much less susceptable to dust orbs.

(edit to fix a couple typos.)

Edited by CaveRat, 28 August 2008 - 02:38 PM.


#8 Caesar

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 12:12 AM

I stick with the old polaroid

#9 WoodScraper

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 01:00 PM

I stick with the old polaroid

Hey...
Does polaroid still make "instant" cameras? Do you know the availability of film for the older cameras?.

I allways see them on different for sail boards, but rarely see the film available.

I recall years ago i had one (60s) and even then the film was expensive.

Have you ever scanned any polaroid photos?

Sorry for so many ques. ive been thinking about picking a polaroid up.


Thx
Rick
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#10 WoodScraper

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 01:05 PM

I stick with the old polaroid

Hey...
Does polaroid still make "instant" cameras? Do you know the availability of film for the older cameras?.

I allways see them on different for sale boards, but rarely see the film available.

I recall years ago i had one (60s) and even then the film was expensive.

Have you ever scanned any polaroid photos?

Sorry for so many ques. ive been thinking about picking a polaroid up.


Thx
Rick


Couldnt find the edit button to fix sail to sale. lol
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#11 Caesar

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 05:04 AM

I have one of the old ones so I haven't been in the market looking for one. they cost more but I think they are much more reliable I think they stopped making them this year though planned on remaking them. I think skanning them shouldn't be a problem. you see, if you make a scan a closeup with a scanned actual sized image less people can make the clain that it was photoshopped, matrixing ect. so in a way it would be more reliable.

#12 CaveRat2

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 10:00 AM

I had heard or read somewhere Polaroid was going to or has discontinued making the film packs fo those cameras. Too bad. I have one of those dinosaurs laying around here myself. Haven,t used it in years though.

#13 WoodScraper

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 01:38 PM

I had heard or read somewhere Polaroid was going to or has discontinued making the film packs fo those cameras. Too bad. I have one of those dinosaurs laying around here myself. Haven,t used it in years though.


That could be a problem getting film. And if ya may find it i bet the price would be high. Does anyone know the shelf life on that film?

Does anyone have any old photos say 60's-70's that are still in primo condition?


thx
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#14 CaveRat2

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 09:38 AM

I have pictures taken back then with mine which are still about the same as they were then. Of course a lot will have to do with how the prints are maintained, same as any photograph even today. They must be kept on a room temperature environment or cooler, away from light and humidity. (Not stored in an attic somewhere or stuffed in the basement.) If properly handled one may expect 40 -50 years out of a picture before fading or color may statrt to breakdown. Of course processing and quality of materials also become a factor as well, so a definitive number is impossible to come up with.

As far as a shelf life on unexposed film though, I was told that about 10 years is about the limit, again if kept cool it may go longer. Generally film will outlast its expiration date by a factor of three, however that can't be assurred. That is why it would do no good to buy a lifetime supply now and expect it to last.

Plus, Polaroid film (most types) also include a battery inside the film pack. This also will deteriorate within about 5 years even if the film remains good. The battery runs the camera operation so is needed. The idea here is to insure a fresh battery with each new film pack.

#15 Invest I. G8

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 07:05 PM

Thought I'd put out my first post here as an avid amateur photog. And how excited was I to see a skeptics forum! Anyway, I have a picture in my therapy room (massage therapy, so closely controlled temps and low lighting) taken about five years ago with a newer Polaroid instant. The picture has already badly faded. I was shocked. That old adage, they don't make 'em like they used to, I suppose.

As for film versus digital. I have never used digital in an investigation. I have seen several digital shots from investigations and found them to be messy at best. Any sort of dust, dirt or insect within around seven feet turn into the dreaded orb. I think digital would be a better tool if, in addition to the improvements in technology mentioned above, people would just learn how to use the @%!# things properly. It's my greatest frustration when teaching intro photog classes. I pull my camera's instruction manual out of my bag and ask how many people have even read the book for their camera, much less carry it around. Rarely does a hand go up. Learn how to turn off your flash and use some manual settings. :Wall:

As I said, I'm a dinosaur and only use film. I also don't use a flash unless it's absolutely necessary. Yes, that means a tripod has to be involved also because shutter times approach the area of one or more seconds. I also use fast film. ISO800 at minimum. What does that mean? Grain. Yes, the pictures can be very grainy, but the trade for being able to shut off my flash and therefore not risk "orbs" is worth it to me. Besides, the grain only really becomes evident if you try to enlarge.

Development is becoming a larger and larger pain in the rear. It's actually to the point that if I have a roll of film that I think I might have actually captured something on (usually from an especially active investigation) I'll take it to a specialty shop here in town and they develop it in-house for me. I know those guys and they know what my hobby is. I figure it's the next best thing to me developing them myself.

All that having been said, I've never captured anything on film. To be frank, I've never seen anything captured on film that convinced me it was paranormal. The problem with photography in paranormal investigations is that there are too many variables. Too many possibilities for manipulation. Film (or the 1s and 0s of digital) is not truly a witness. Only the photographer is the witness. And why would you want to believe me? ;)

Of course, I still bring my camera along on investigations :blush:
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