Why Film Triumphs Over Digital

According a vast number of eminent photographers around the world, film triumphs over digital!  How can this be?  Some may ask.  While digital does have several merits, such as fast viewing and general convenience—it also has numerous faults.  Looking around the internet one finds a plethora of modern sites devoted to comparisons between film and digital that reveal exactly how film is the ‘superior’ medium for demanding professionals as well as amateurs.


A report on the SLR Lounge site at: http://www.slrlounge.com/film-still-better-digital/ states that, “Film is the king of natural light photography” because for one thing “film captures details in nature’s highlights” something that digital never can or will.  Besides this, the “texture and character of film is to the eye vastly “more pleasing and natural than digital.”


ISTANBUL BOSPORUS-2 copyright Scott Lynn Riley

6×7 Pentax film image, copyright Scott Lynn Riley ‘Along the Bosporus’ (above)


A post on the famous site WIRED seems to be in strong agreement.  The report  http://www.wired.com/2007/11/five-reasons-fi/, even states ‘Five Reasons Film Cameras are Sill Better than Digital.’  Here the main focus is on the equipment.  WIRED states that film cameras, even old ones are superior to modern digital ones in many ways.  Some of the reasons include the superiority of the viewfinders of film cameras.  Another is the pleasing and lively presence of film grain compared to ugly digital noise.


Everyone at CAMERAFILMPHOTO adores analog film and darkroom products, and use film cameras as our mainstay.  We invite you to post your comments on film and film equipment on this blog.  Let us know what makes you passionate about film photography!  Tell us ‘why’ film is the medium for you personally, rather than digital.  We would love to hear your comments!

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4 replies on “Why Film Triumphs Over Digital

  • Siegfried Bondarenko

    I LOVE FILM because of the grain, the transition between dark and bright areas, the dynamic range, the pure white you can get from natural light, the liveliness and so on… About the film cameras, you miss an important point – they last longer! My Rolleiflex T is 56 years old and still works without any complain. Furthermore the image quality with its Zeiss lens is incredible! It’s almost a shame I got it dirt-cheap. Once again, the liveliness of analogue mediums (be it vinyl records or film) is the most important thing to me!

  • Scott Lynn Riley

    Thank you, Siegfried! Excellent comments! Yes, the dynamic range, and liveliness are so impressive with film! And, yes, the equipment, for example your wonderful Rollei was built to last and last! If you like, please send us a scanned image you took with film, or link to your site, that we can post on this blog for the benefit of all our readers. Scott

  • info

    Film also has an archival permanence which digital simply cannot match.
    I can scan any image from my archive of the last 30 plus years at any size and resolution to digitise them if the situation requires it.

    Despite making more images globally in the 2010-11 year than had ever been made up until that point in time, the amount being archived and pointing to the historical context of the times we live in have reduced exponentially.

    Kodak many years ago told us to re-burn our CD collections every 5 years, and no one knows the length of time a hard drive will last for. I have lost terrabytes of digital files to corrupt data and back up failures. If the images exist on film they can simply be re-scanned.

    Film demands a more thoughtful approach and methodology to working, and was as quick as digital when I shot E6 film commercially.
    In short digital was a solution to a problem that as a professional photographer, I never had.

    In over a decade of working with pixels, I have only had a single job which was delivered more swiftly than it was possible to achieve on sensitised materials. I still shoot film in large format (5″x4″) plate size and medium format size, rarely using 35mm anymore.

    I am grateful there is a site such as this to complement sites such as silverprint in the UK.
    Thank you camera film photo.

    Matt Cooke

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