STEP BACK, TAKE A LOOK, FILTER IT
I was here for the birth of modern digital cameras and I have used a lot of the brands that are out in the market place today. They are all great. They are all very capable and are truly technological miracles doing what they do and that is to allow photographers to create outstanding images.
My life in photography goes back many years. I started as a young child in my father’s darkroom and my journey has been non stop ever since.
In its early stages, based on my experiences, digital images could not hold a candle to film images. They were lacking in dynamic range and could not record as good as film in shadows and highlights. But if we move forward to now that is a mute point. Digital has in many ways surpassed film in its ability to produce images that are near perfect if not perfect almost all of the time in pretty much every shooting condition.
And there is the rub, at least for me but also for a lot of other still photographers.
Lens designs have radically changed and through the technology of computers in lenses and in cameras lenses have all but eliminated lens defects, the same defects that actually added character to an image. In the same direction camera sensors have evolved to a level of virtual perfection along with in camera computers to provide razor sharp images.
For years now we have delighted in these crystal sharp, near perfect representations of the world around us in but is it really the world around us. It seems to me that when digital sensors reached about 12 megapixels we had already gone beyond what film could give us in regards to exposure range but still maintained a certain granularity, texture that film always provided. At 16 megapixels we were right on the edge of digital film looks and clinical disaster.
And here we are today. We, for all practical purposes have left the magic of film and old lens designed with all of their supposed imperfections and now with megapixels exceeding 24, 36, 50, and higher levels combined with computer controlled lens optics have attained the hard clinical look that seems to give us images beyond reality.
Feature movie makers must know something we do not know because they still use film for the most part for the big productions and actually seek out older lenses just for their aesthetic look. But they also want to give their viewers a truer to life experience.
For years and years movie makers and now video shooters are using a proven method of give it us just that. There are many variations and makes for these devices but the one I am using now for still photography is called the TIFFEN BLACK PRO MIST FILTERS. They come in several strengths and give us back some of the inherent qualities that older optics and film gave us.
This is the Tiffen web site that explains these filters a lot better than I can.