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Photography Question 
Stan Kwasniowski
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/30/2003

Digital vs Medium Format Slide Film

I'm torn between digital and slide photography, and am thinking of selling my Hasselblad system and my Pentax system and going to digital. Should I? And if I do what type of digital camera should I purchase? I still have a Nikon system (n8000S, and my favorite Nikon F, yes F which I love to shoot with and the lens to go with this camera) any suggestions would be appreciated.

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2/13/2004 1:17:56 PM

Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2004
  Hi Stan,

Does your hasselblad have a interchangable back which might be compatible with one of the digital backs available? I'm assuming the hasselblad you have is medium format.(see

Depending on what kinds of pics you want to shoot and what kind of lens/equipment you want to use, the choice is far ranging.

Hasselblad's H1 is a nice medium format digital camera body which will work great with the Kodak DCS Pro Back and the Phase One digital backs. So is the Mamiya 645.

Take a look at,, and to get an idea of which cameras can do what in relation to your needs.

Good luck!

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2/14/2004 10:25:30 AM

Stan Kwasniowski
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/30/2003
  Thank you Wing for your kind thoughts, I will look into the sights you suggest. And it is a medium format, Its a 500ELM a moon camera that came out in 1979 and their were 1500 only manufactured, my number is 0174 of the 1500 that were made. I still have the orginal box it came in, the Hasselblad pencil, key chain and gold slide.
Again, thank you for your opinion, never thought of that.

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2/14/2004 10:44:24 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  If you want to go digital. You should check out Nikon's D-100. You can use the same lenses as you currently use on your other Nikon bodies... (assuming that they are not pre-AI models).

I'd definately hang on to that vintage Hassy!

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2/14/2004 12:55:49 PM

Stan Kwasniowski
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/30/2003
  Bob, thank you for your comments, you know I had just looked into the freezer and seen all that slide film Velveta etc. for my Blad and stared to think maybe I will keep the Blad, Its expensive to operate using slide film which is all I use that for, I think I will hold on to it and use up all that film first, and maybe now think to sell my pentex system and go from there, again thank you.

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2/14/2004 1:24:47 PM

Terry L. Long   Why not keep both the Hassy and the Pentax and STILL go digital. You could get a nice dedicated film scanner for less than the price of the digital back. Look at the latest Nikons for MF. I ended up going with a Canon FS 4000US for 35mm and the Epson 3200 for MF and LF (slides). They're ok but, the Nikon would probably be much better... espically for the MF transpencies.

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2/14/2004 4:13:05 PM

Stan Kwasniowski
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/30/2003
  Thank you Terry, I think I may go this way as you suggest, I think I will sell my pentex system and buy what you suggested. Or else buy a small digital camera for fooling around and have the best of both worlds. Well at least for now.

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2/14/2004 8:05:50 PM


BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  I too was a little interested in digital, but had a lot invested in film equipment. So, I wound up purchasing a high grade consumer model digital camera, the Canon Digital Rebel. It has some draw backs from the pro model, but I saved some cash, and it is good enough for experimentation.

I am glad I did that because I am not too impressed by digital. One thing was I thought I could use it to check exposure settings, especailly when using studio strobes, but it seems to read light differently from film, so it's a waste of time for that.

It's a good medium for some things. I could see myself taking it on a trip while travelling. It would be a strong advantage not to have to fumble around with film.

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2/15/2004 3:11:26 AM

Stan Kwasniowski
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/30/2003
  Thanks Jerry, as getting all these comments and evaluating them, thinking of what I could get for my Blad etc, I am going to do as you did, buy myself a Canon A80 and try it out, for my personal use and go from there. Over the last few years I have been photographing at the Calgary Stampede each July, both rodeo, and people. This year I thought I would try digital and see how it goes. Nice thing about digital is that I will try it out the first few days and if it is not to my expectations, then back to the Nikon with slide film. As you say, fumbling with film just as a great ride is in progress, and nice thing is you can see it, but can't load fast enough to catch it on film.

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2/16/2004 9:16:51 AM

Robert Bridges   If you are primarily shooting action shots then you need a camera with alot of capture space....its expensive I know but look at the Nikon D2h or D1h - they are expressly made for sports shooters. As for moving from hassleblad to digital....
first you gotta remember you are going from 6x6 to a much smaller frame. 2)
If your hassy is in mint condition you would be nuts to sell it. With those lenses
and body......I don't know. Your choice but god I'd hate to part with it if it was me especially for a plastic canon.

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2/17/2004 4:02:58 PM

Stan Kwasniowski
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/30/2003
  Robert, thank you for your intrest. I have reconsidered my decision from your comments and others that I received. I am going to hold on to my Hasselblad. I guess its too hard to let go, after all these years that I have had it. May I say that I looked over your websight adn so enjoyed your photographs, these are the type that I like to take,
In fact all the people that had websights I looked at, gosh there are some lovely photographs, they are like magic when I opened up your sight.

Thank You All for your comments, I really appreciated them. I will still buy a digital, have been reading up on them, they sound marvelous, but like Jerry F. said, good for traveling and holidays.

Again to all "Thank You"

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2/18/2004 7:31:46 PM

Robert Bridges   Stan,

Thanks for your kind comments! I can use a plug now and then. I doubt that you will regret holding on to your hasselblad. I've got an old Canon F1n that is at least 20 yrs old that I still use now and then. I also have a 4x5 that I would not consider dumping inspite of how expensive film is for it and how much of a pain it is to lug around. Digital is here to stay and no doubt the camera's will get better and cheaper
as the bugs are worked out. Even given that, however, I think it will be a long long
time before it becomes economically feasible for the vast majority of us to have
medium format much less large format digital camera's. Photoshop et al aside there is something magical about looking at a 6x6 or 4x5 chrome that just can't be beat! Good luck with your work and by all means have a blast with what ever digital camera you end up with! Thanks again for your comments and I will keep my eye out for your work.

Rob Bridges

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2/18/2004 10:21:51 PM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2001
  Hi Stan. I agree with Rob. You'll need the extra space -- but more importantly, I think you'll need the speed of a higher-end DSLR for any sort of sports/action shooting. Consumer digital compacts are poster children for shutter lag. I would definitely look at the D2H in the Nikon line-up. Supposed to be the fastest gun in the west... or so I've been told. I shoot with the D100 and I've had no real problem shooting action yet. I shoot a lot of marathons and sports events and have not had to curse at my baby just yet. One more thing, you should consider purchasing the largest memory card with the fastest write speed you can swing. Lexar and SanDisk make excellent CF cards -- I've also used the Ritek/Ridata 512mb cards with no problems. I still can't force myself to spend $200+ for a 1gig card, so I carry 2 512mb cards and shoot conservatively.

I've also had a hard time giving up film shooting. I still have my N90s, but I haven't used once it in almost a year. If I did, I'm sure the film would just sit around until I forgot about it--never getting processed. It's hard to let go, but we must be strong and move on! :) Ha.
Hope this helps some. Good luck with your decision.

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3/25/2004 3:58:10 PM

Stan Kwasniowski
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/30/2003
  Hi Piper, sorry for not replying sooner, and I agree with you, I have been looking at the D70 which just came out, the problem is that this is so popular and demand so great not many around. I have an F90 and thought of using these lens on D70 for my shooting. I usually shoot the Calgary Sampede every July and was thinking if I do get a D70 to go for 256 for a start, again, dont know much about digital, going high definition. I only want to get a few good shots. I dont shoot rodeo any more sick of that, but have been shooting people,other events at the Stampede. And as you say, that slide film in freeze has to be used up,
thank you Piper for your comments and your website very nice, Congratulations

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3/30/2004 9:22:21 PM

Derek Holyhead   Hi Stan,
Just one thing I would like to add from my own experience, I don't know how the D70 compares with the D100 but I was in a simular position except I already had a range of Canon lenses and a EOS600 film camera so I purchased a Digital Rebel just to 'try' digital and Piper is right I have not used my EOS600 since! The point I am trying to make is I now wish I had bought a EOS10D because it does have more Pro features than the Rebel and I feel like I have spent $1000.00 that I could have used towards the 10D. Don't get me wrong the Rebel is a superb camera and the main thing I miss over my EOS600 (and EOS10D) is the ability to choose the focusing method rather than the camera deciding for me. So check out the features of both the D70 and D100 and buy the best you can afford because trying digital will mean the end of of film (35mm anyhow - maybe not your medium format stuff)and you will be better off with decent camera now than have to upgrade later. Just my two pennies worth. Good luck and enjoy.

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3/31/2004 6:58:03 AM


BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  I agree with Del. I did exactly the same thing. I like my digital rebel, but wish I had forked over the cash for a pro digital camera. One of the features that I thought I was getting, but didn't get, was the ability to use studio lighting. I need that and really wanted that. Also, my rebel doesn;t handle flash well. I use Metz. Unless you use the Canon EX550, the rebel doesn't handle flash well from a TTL point of view.

But, I use my film cameras about 90% of the time. I can't tell if it's because my camera doesn't have the features I need, or if I just don't care much for digital. There are so many things about my current equipment I like that switching just makes no sense to me now.

But, had I purchased a pro digital, who knows?


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3/31/2004 8:35:45 AM

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