I have avoided writing here because I feel that there is a difference of minds polarizing into a position where whatever is said by one side is instantly refuted by the other as if a matter of principle.
Okay, since Iīm here, what do I find?
Remember Iīm retired after a long career as a photographer. By definition, all of that was spent with film, both b/w and colour tran and neg, with much experience of printing from all, including trannies. Thatīs my point of departure.
Since I retired I have shot very little film and, were it not for digital, might well have given up photography altogether. However, I have come to the conclusion that the best part of digital lies in the printing of film originals, and that Kodachrome has magically turned into as close to being a perfect colour/b and w material as ever existed. I am repeatedly informed that you canīt scan Kodachrome: surprising, to say the least; most everything I have printed has started as big K! Can only CanoScan scan K?
So what do I get out of my digital camera? So far, and it might only be limited by opportunity, a few b/w landscapes that I like - some skies that seem to be quite nice for grafting onto existing film shots and some pleasing (to me) shots of paint. I have not shot any people in a serious way and canīt say that I have been impressed with the casual shots that I have made. There seems to be something phoney-looking about skin.
How has it affected my technique? Very seriuosly. With film, there was never a time I guessed exposure: I always hand metered. Now, with film, faced with tricky outdoor lighting, Iīd probably be quite unsure about how to use my meter. I have become so damn dependent on the histogram that it has destroyed the confidence I had with a meter and film. In other words, itīs right where an earlier posted said it was: you become stuck on what the camera says or MIGHT be saying. Take the case of incident light metering with transparency. You took a reading which told you exactly where you could go to avoid getting clear film, the other colours/tones falling into place behind that highlight point.
Is the histogram the same? The hell it is. I cite my paint pics as an example. If one has a lot of white in it, then the histogram tells me one thing as I try to ETTR. In the same light, if I were to paint over that white with another colour already in the picture, why should that force a different setting on the digital camera, as it would? With transparency film in the same light, the same exposure would be correct in both cases. Digital is an improvement? It takes me a darn sight longer to expose correctly than film ever did. The digital cameraīs metering system is defeated by the ETTR ethic. I follow ETTR because I think it might be correct, but with film I KNEW that the meter called the answer correctly. Looking at the meter reading in the camera, it goes all over the place when trying to use ETTR - it becomes as good as useless. And I used to think that Nikonīs Matrix was really accurate when all I did with the camera was street scenes or other open, general shots with all the tones and colour in the world. I suppose that thatīs what the camera metering systems are designed to handle: "average" scenes.
So, I think that digital photography (capture) has created a far more complicated and awkward way of doing things; I think that many of the wonder toys that are being introduced into MF digital are, in reality, nothing more than efforts to compensate for failures that film did not have. It has become a new wild west with the biggest and strongest running the others right out of town. The population didnīt do very well out of that scenario then, I doubt today will show a different result.
So, in my own case, and this is all it is, I find it a very mixed bag of pretty expensive tricks. When I wanted to shoot some slides, I didnīt need to buy a computer to do it! Nor to store them nor edit them. But then, perhaps thatīs where some find the photographic pleasure today, as in the other posterīs reference to photo magazines. It ainīt about the pics so much, more about the talking about the pics and the tools used to make them, perhaps?