Manic megapixels

20090510-013 Percy Wood

First off a confession – I do have a dslr with lots of megapixels that I use quite a lot. I’ve also got a 35mm film rangefinder that I use quite a lot.

Now a rant:) I’ve just started to read (and quickly stopped) yet another thread on a web forum in the battle between film and digital. This time between medium format film and 35mm digital. I see people all around who apparently can’t decide what to spend their money on and what they need to do their photography. But then it seems that they really need 21 or 24 or 39 or even 60 megapixels to have sufficient resolution, and those pixels must all be clean at previously unheard of isos.  Sorry, but this is arrant nonsense. Yes, it’s nice to have stuff we never dreamed of 10 years ago, never mind 30, but the old stuff can still make moving pictures.

I’ve just printed, using a hybrid film-digital process(!), a 15 by 10 of the above shot that I grabbed whilst walking the og this weekend. It’s on Adox CHS100, which is an old school film, and I used a second hand Voigtlander R2M and 35mm color skopar lens to take it. At 15 by 10 I can see that it has some grain and that I need to clean up the dust spots on the neg, but it works at any sensible viewing distance. Most of my prints don’t end up that big any way – I just printed it because I was irritated, but most are printed on paper that fits into my 13 by 9.5 inch box.

Today’s moral – enjoy what you’ve got. Change it if you have a need, but we have a plethora of riches available to us and it seems that we really don’t appreciate them. Perhaps it’s just another reflection on the irony that is western society – the richest culture ever and one of the most unhappy.



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