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vegan camera film?


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Does anyone know where I can find vegan film for SLR Cameras? I take pictures of lightning (or at least I try, if salt lake city EVER has some) and its hard to near impossible to do that with the cheap digital camera I have.

 

I didnt realize there was gelatin in film until recently. Do any popular film brand companies out there have vegan film?

 

That raises a question though. What about movies? If we go to a theater and watch the reels the movie comes on, isnt that not vegan?

 

If there isnt. That sucks. I much prefer SLR over digital, as I took a lot of classes in college and highschool dealing with SLR. Ive been saddened do to this

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I remember Potter commenting once that...I believe it was Fuji...has been trying to make gelatin-free film for years, but it just doesn't hold up well enough.

 

I never really thought about movie reels. Aren't they switching more and more over to all digital?

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few movie theatres are equiped with digital projector, at least in Canada. That's stupid because they would save lots of money and if the movie's been shot on 35mm, the picture is gonna look the same on a digital transfer.

But they stick to what they're always been used to do, like in everything. Like people continue on eating meat because they've done it for so long.

Like car manufacturers keep building the old oil cars that everybody love instead of new electric cars. People are scared of changes.

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That raises a question though. What about movies? If we go to a theater and watch the reels the movie comes on, isnt that not vegan?

 

I get asked this a lot, and I just say that we don't live in an ideal world, and I guess we all have a limit to how selfish / selfless we are going to be. I don't think it's worth discussing what is or isn't "vegan", just what people think is right or wrong. I can totally understand the idea that it's wrong to support a place which uses animal products; but the sad thing is that pretty much all places do that - stores sell meat even if you're not there buying meat you're still supporting them, people hire non-vegan employees, have leather seats, use animal-tested cleaning products to clean the toilets etc... and so if you make that decision, you're cutting out a lot from your life. I am too selfish to do that, I respect someone who makes that choice though.

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Just don't do film...its easy. You aren't gonna find vegan film anytime soon. They've been working on it for a while and it doesn't seem like its gonna happen. Digital is so much more convenient anyway. As for my local theater...its all digital...the top grossing theater in the country so I'm lucky. As for movie makers...most are now running digital due to processing cost and a complete lack of processing time. There is a different look to film movies though. It takes a keen eye to see it nowadays but if you watch a lot of movies you can tell.

 

Get a digital SLR...it really is the future...and the present really. Almost all photojournalists are using digital. The only mainstay(which is also beginning to change) is large format photography for models and very slow shutter speed landscape photography. Almost every major art school is now 100% digital so its completely pointless to stick to film. Film will be nearly dead in 5 years...it'll be much more expensive due to lower need for supply and a high demand from only a small number of people(relative to digital) still using film.

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This is a big conundrum for me especially as I work in the movie business. I handle massive amounts of film every day I work. Kodak and Fuji are both still investing $ in improving film stocks, but it's less all the time and they certainly won't be trying to change the base to a vegan one. Most feature films are still shot on film, as are almost all the larger budget TV shows and nearly all commercials. This won't change anytime too soon as film is far more versatile to shoot and post than any current digital acquisition systems, especially with the digital intermediate process. Exhibition is one thing that will keep moving toward digital and away from film prints. The quality still can't touch properly projected 35mm film, but audiences don't really notice or care.

 

As for your stills - get a decent digital SLR. My Contax G1 has been gathering dust for a couple years now and it breaks my heart, but film's not vegan. Like Potter said, there's no reason to shoot film unless you're shooting 4x5. I've got a Nikon D200 and the results (prints) are amazing, as good as any film prints I've made. Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony - they all make great SLRs with good lens choices. That's your best bet.

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My friends have digital slr's, and they all said they cost an arm and a leg. I havent used my SLR since finding out, but while I was up in the moutains yesterday with my crappy digital there was some pictures I wanted done that my SLR could of handled that my digital could not (my digital is like 4 years old I think, just a little square one.)

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I fully agree that film allows more artistic possibilities, as an artist I prefer the look of film than the digital one. I also prefer the grain on film and the organic aspect of it, rather than the sometimes too precise look of digital, and in low light, digital is ugly. That's for when shooting films, and artistic films, because cinema is supposed to be a form of art. But when major studios still use film for commercial/blockbusters movies like Are We Done Yet with Ice Cube, and other stupid films with no artistic values at all, I mean they could have shot those movies on digital and the public for these kind of movies don't even care or won't notice a difference if it's been shot on film or digital.

 

Exhibition is one thing that will keep moving toward digital and away from film prints. The quality still can't touch properly projected 35mm film, but audiences don't really notice or care.

I don't fully agree with this though... HD is better quality (if by quality you mean precision) than film. Otherwise, industry wouldn't transfer their 35mm footage to HD transfer on computers for editing, there're would be a lost in precision, but there's not. I've seen movies shown on digital projectors and the image was more preciseand clearer than 35 mm prints because there's no film grains. Too precise, if you want my opinion, but they just need to add some grains as an effect, to give a film-like look. For instance, one of the recent Star Wars, horribly shot in HD, but then exhibitted in both digital and 35mm depending which theatres. I was working in a movie theatre where they presented both versions; colors were the same, same proffessional look, it's just that the HD one had more precision. Also, a problem in contrast with the HD print (the black was too pale) but that must have been just a setting to fix on the digital projector.

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You're talking small format film. Large format film is far more precise than even a 20mp camera. As for grain you can get that with digital if you fake it. And good digital cameras are very good in low light situations...no more of the blur from uber slow shutter speeds or overly dark crisp pics from fast shutters. You can blow up a 4x5 to billboard size...even HD quality doesn't look good at that size unless you stand far away from it.

 

As for it being more artistic thats just tradition...you can do nearly everything in digital...its just that the craft of the process has changed. Other than that I'd say go keep killing cows for what you deem more artistic or just do digital and learn to deal with it...its well worth the hassle since it won't be a hassle after doing it for a few weeks.

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Movie studios have 1 reason for shooting film vs digital - $$$. Film is quicker and easier to shoot and production time is way more expensive than post. Digital entails more fiddling, and if you're shooting slo-mo or ramps for stunts, you have to use film anyway - there is no digital camera yet capable of this at feature film quality. Film cameras (motion picture) are far more reliable. Down time on a film set is excruciating for a producer, even a few minutes. That is why they still shoot film. You won't hear the word 'art' uttered with a straight face on many film sets...

 

Star Wars (new ones obviously) was shot on Sony F900s because George Lucas is pushing digital. It was not an artistic choice, or a practical choice. I just spent 2 months working on a movie where every single shot we did was on a blue screen and was going to be thoroughly CGI'd later. We shot 35mm film. It was the quickest and, according to the VISFX guys, the highest possible quality to start with. We even did a test with the new Red One HD camera and it wasn't even close. They couldn't have used the footage. There are new HD cameras from Arri and Panavision that are getting closer to the quality of film, but they are gigantic, cumbersome, slow to work with and the work flow still confuses producers and directors who are used to working in film.

 

As for exhibition - it's almost entirely unrelated to what the movie's shot on in the first place. Features bound for projection can be shot in HD, and TV shows bound for the small screen can and most often are shot on film. The biggest difference visually between HD/film projection is the 'look'. Film is mechanical and alive-looking because of projector weave, and the shutter effect. Digital doesn't move around at all so it appears more 'precise' and our eyes aren't accustomed to that look in a theatre.

 

As far as editing goes, that depends on what the editor wants to work in. Most edit on computers now, so the film, or HD tape, is transferred to hard drives in a digital format. It isn't high quality because all they're doing is making an edit list, from which either the film negative is cut (very rare these days) or a digital master is made, then a film print from that. In modern post production, they go back and forth between film and digital media so many times that, quality-wise, it doesn't even matter what it was shot on.

 

BTW - digital has grain too - it's just called 'noise'.

 

In digital still photography, grain, or noise, is no longer a concern and there ways to shoot high ISO in digital and reduce the noise in photoshop. You can even emulate the film stocks you used to use. You can pick up an entry-level Nikon D40 w/ the 18-55 kit lens and make fantastic photos - even prints - with it, and it shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg.

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Potter, I agree digital can be very artistic too. In still photography I use both argentic and digital, for movies I have no choice of using digital of course. As for killing cows only to make films, we're still far from there, they're killed for food and then used for a millions other reasons, and none of them are necessary. I'm for digital all the way!

David Lynch made his most recent film, Inland Empire completely in digital and he said he would never want to return to traditionnal filmmaking with 35mm cameras because it's such a waste of money, energy and time. So I don't understand why you say that 35mm film is faster and cheaper way to shoot movies, Trev!?

 

Movie studios have 1 reason for shooting film vs digital - $$$. Film is quicker and easier to shoot and production time is way more expensive than post.

 

How hundreds of thousands feet of film could cost less than a box of digital cassetes at around 100$ each? I'm shooting movies on dv and it costs me almost nothing and no time, while it would cost me a fortune on a 16mm camera with super-16 film, plus all the transfer and everything! So, 35mm film even more. Dogme films made on digital are made for almost nothing and no time.

 

I liked also The Tulse Luper Suitcases , Peter Greenaway shot this digital movie in 2004 in 3 parts. I was present at the exhibition and Peter Greenaway was there to present his movie, he said digital is the future, way easier and faster and far less costly, they can keep the camera rolling all day long if they want to, or without stopping to record between takes. The movie was showed at the Excentris , the only fully digitally equiped movie theatre in Montreal. Opened by Daniel Langlois, who created SoftImage. This theatre could not show movies in 35mm prints and they don't need to, because now (I think?) every movie is then transfered also to digital, for the few theatres that are equipped.

The problem is that Hollywood and the distributors don't help the exhibition theatres in this transition to digital. It's the exhibitors that have to pay for turning to digital equipment.

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Animal by products are a large percentage of the profits from animal agriculture...take away by product money and they may just break even. Its not so simple. As for using film I refuse to do so. I've got a great Minolta SLR thats been rotting in my basement along with my $4000 worth of lenses. I'll eventually get a Minolta Digital but no time soon. Hopefully someday I'll be able to use film again but chances are film will be nearly dead by then so my camera could just as easily be thrown in the trash.

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I'm Your Man - we ended up talking about 2 different kinds of movies here. For indies, HD can make a lot of sense. The films you are talking about can take certain risks with the way they look, and the way that they are shot. The director is more free to experiment with his/her method as there is no studio breathing down his neck. Audience expectation is also different and these films' audiences will be more tolerant of a different or degraded look. I'm all for shooting HD on these types of productions and I have seen great stuff shot on $5000 Panasonic HVX200s. They have their limitations, but on the smaller scale that's part of the challenge.

 

On big budget feature films, there are no limitations except how good the dailies look and if all the $ they're spending on Tom Cruise is getting on the screen. Producers aren't going to risk putting a $5000 camera in front of a $20 million actor. They won't even put a $100k camera there. They're going to want 3 or 4 Panaflexes with Primo lenses that they know will roll when the 1st AC hits the switch, and they want film in there because no matter what happens in post later, they always have the negative. It's the same reason only the best crews work on big movies. Film stock is a relatively minor cost overall. The work flow for large budget movies shot in HD on Panavision's Genesis camera, or Arri's new D20 are still not wholly understood or trusted by the people who finance the movies.

 

I've worked on TV series shot both on film and in HD. With current standards, they end up about equal in cost. The HD show might save a couple hundred grand over the course of a season. For a million-$-per episode show, that's not a huge savings. Going film makes up for much of its added stock cost in speed on set. The show can carry more cameras, because they're cheaper to rent, there's more available. Film cameras are more versatile physically too because all of the support is still built around them. There's also less tweaking time. On most HD shows, the director of photography still spends a lot of time sitting in a tent, after he's lit the set, while a technician turns knobs and plays with the look. It depends on the demands of the particular show.

 

I'm not advocating film. I'm just pointing out that film still has a tenacious grip on many types of productions. I've worked with almost every current HD camera system and every current film camera except one (the brand new Arri 416 - they're still developing new film cameras!). HD can serve the needs of smaller scale productions quite well and there are some intriguing new cameras coming into the fray (Red Cam) - they're just not quite up to big movie demands yet. Even the highest end cameras have their issues (Genesis is heavy, D20's sensor is only ISO 320 at best).

 

Whew! I'm not disagreeing with you - I love to see directors using digital if it works for them. Michael Mann's last two movies were HD - Collateral and Miami Vice. They both looked like crap. Superman returns was shot in HD, but I haven't seen it and can't comment. On the Terry Gilliam movie I just finished, our 3rd camera, which saw a lot of action on this film, was Terry's own Arri BL3 35mm circa late '60's. We put our new Zeiss Ultra Primes on it and shot the newest Kodak Vision2 film stock and you'd never know. The camera was quiet, always turned on and never scratched the film. It was the actual camera that Terry shot Time Bandits, Brazil, and parts of every other movie he's made. The future of all production is entirely digital, no question, as sure as we're rapidly approaching peak oil but it's a slow conversion...

 

Holy crap this turned into another essay.

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I like the posts on this thread too.

I agree Collateral and Miami Vice looked like shit.. because of the DP?

Once was a good movie, the picture quality was OK.

I love Terry Gilliam! He's one of my favorite directors.

 

If film is still in advance in some points, it's because it's an organic "technology". It's reality litterally being reflected on a mirroir. But digital is purely a technology, and it's all about the science of CCD's. The more money they put on the CCD, the best picture you get, with more precision and depth possibilities. They only put really big amounts of money on digital camera for telescopes and satellites sent to space, with huge CCD.

In the future, perhaps it's gonna cost less to build decent CCD, so a good digital camera will cost less than a million dollars.

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One of the biggest obstacles to DPs and operators embracing HD is as simple as the viewfinder. Most HD cameras have electronic finders - little TV screens, whereas film cameras have optical finders that look through the taking lens via a rotating mirror. DP's don't want to light through a TV, and operators don't want to have their eye parked an inch from a monitor for 15 hours a day. There are a few HD cameras with optical finders, but it's fairly complicated to build and increases the bulk of the cameras significantly. On some shows I've done, the operators resort to operating off a 4" monitor mounted on the side of the camera like a flip-out screen on your DV cam. This means completely changing the way they operate, which is a highly specialized skill set (how to operate a gear head without your eye to the cam?) It also affects the look of the film. There are so many things like this, that make developing the cameras a long process. Film cameras have been evolving for 100 years - HD's just getting started.

 

I blame Michael Mann for the shite looks of Collateral and Miami Vice. Collateral was shot on F900s which are converted ENG cameras - not feature film stuff. Miami just sucked - was a crap movie even if it had looked good. M. Mann isn't a real popular guy from what I can tell. Recently on set, Terry wanted to motivate Colin Farrell to be angry and run away from a mob of people chasing him and he yelled out, "You're back on Miami Vice and Michael Mann's chasing you!" It worked quite well.

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Wow I ask a single question and get a wealth of knowledge! Thats what great about this board

 

Okay. This is what I am wondering, digital vs film still life. I know how to do pictures, and know my around a dark room, but dont know all the tech terms so be kind:

 

Im getting into lightning photography. The shutter, during a storm, can sometimes stay open for a very long time (i have a shutter release cord, so I can just sit back and watch) until the lightning hits. Then you close the shutter. Getting your shot.

 

I havent attempted this yet because of the news to me that film isnt vegan.

 

Can digital cameras do this? Should I really spend upwards 500, 1000, or more on a camera that can do this? Its something that I really want to do?

 

Ugh. This was a total downer to me lol!

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Yes...a good digital camera can be fitted with a shutter release button...some are even wireless. You can hold the shutter open until you're battery runs out if you'd like to. I wouldn't be concerned about the money since any good camera is expensive. If this is really something you want to do you want to spend at least $1000 on your camera body(no lenses)...same goes for a non vegan buying a film camera. Also you really want to spend a lot of money on good lenses. Don't just buy lenses that have the zoom range you want...thats a mistake a lot of beginners make. If you don't wanna put in big bucks yet I suggest spending at least $700 on a body...maybe $600 on two lenses...then if you really love it buy a better camera and keep the old one as a backup...most pros always have two cameras with them.

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One of the biggest obstacles to DPs and operators embracing HD is as simple as the viewfinder.

 

The viewfinder and the other problems you mentionned in your previous posts. Why is there so many problems on digital cameras. It's like the companies that build those cameras do this on purpose. The technologies evolve so fast (concerning video games platforms, home discs medium and especially computers, perhaps in a near future there will be nanotechnology computers), but digital cameras don't seem to progress as fast as it could be...

Could it be possible that there is some kind of a conspiracy?

Perhaps Hollywood and the filmmaking business wants to preserve things like they are now (digital still photography has replaced argentic photography, so why is it taking so long for movies?) because they're doing well this way, making lots of money, so why would they want to change and risk making less money?

Samething for car constructors. They deny they have the technology to build a car that would run without gas. That's totally insane. The first car invented was fully electric, no gas. But at that ancient time, oil was cheaper than buying batteries. In the '90's, GM produced and manufactured 300 electric cars, people that tested them said they loved it (silent, fast, cheaper -- no need to buy gas--, reliable -- no need to go to the garage each week to repair or change parts), but after a meeting with the oil industry leaders, GM decided to take back their 300 electric cars and destroy them. Litterally. See the documentay Who Killed the Electric Car?. And now car manufacturers and government are saying they're trying to find alternatives to oil dependancy, losing time with Hybrid, Ethanol, Hydrogen fulled engines... Always trying to push things away, until there will be no more oil and then they're gonna make the change, when there's not any other choice.

 

I find it sad that when I look for a new digital camera it's always small shitty 30mm lens. Of course I could get a 55mm lens on a digital camera but that costs a fortune. The technology for digital cameras with good CCD and good lens exist, it's just that they keep the prices of production so high that it stays unreal. So Hollywood prefer to stay with the traditionnal and academic way of filmmaking, too scared of radical changes that appear too drastic to them or that may be to the public, so they don't put any pression on the camera companies to build digital cameras that would be as good as the film cameras.

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A digital SLR works the same way as a film SLR, only when the shutter opens, it's a CCD or CMOS sensor that's exposed to the light as opposed to film. Most every DSLR should have a 'bulb' setting for the shutter, which is what you'd use for shooting lightening, or other night time exposures. The only downside is the remote will be around $100 extra. $500 could get you into a Nikon D40 with the kit lens, which may not be pro-level, but optically it's surprisingly good. Then, because you can put almost any Nikon lens made from the 1960s on up on any Nikon SLR, you could find a nice used 20mm or 24mm f2.8 AIS manual focus lens (!!! sweet glass as good as any modern AF lens) and use it on your new D40 (metering will have to be done manually I think, but shooting lightening, you're doing that anyway). That's what I would do for starters. Once you've outgrown your D40 (for example), you could move up to a D90 (out soon) or even better, a D300, keep your lenses and any accessories you have and you've got a back-up body - like Potter said. There are also good deals on Canons, but I've always been a Nikon guy, so I'm not up on their lens compatibility and stuff.

 

If you're looking at DSLRs, buy the newest one you can (today's entry level camera blows away pro models from 4 years ago). Don't worry about how many megapixels. 6 MP on a DSLR can make very good 8x10 prints or even larger. 6 MP on a DSLR is still way better quality than even 12 MP on a point-and-shoot (the pixels are a lot bigger). Do a bunch of internet research - there's tons of info out there - and go to a camera shop and play with some cameras, ask questions.

 

Here's a place to start your research:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/

 

Have fun - it's a great time to look for a DSLR - they pretty much all rock!

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I'm Your Man - The viewing system is just one of many stumbling blocks for the development of HD cameras. People have been working one way for several decades now, and to ask all these people, who have a level of expertise and craft at what they do - esp. the camera operators - to suddenly change the way they create is a big deal. When you design an optical finder into a camera, you compromise something else, which the engineers have to overcome, and so on... the level of technology in the highest end HD cameras is actually pretty astounding and they already cost around a million $ a piece for something you can shoot a Hollywood Movie on (nobody buys them - they're rented at around $6 grand a day for a basic package, not including lenses or support).

As I said, the support is all designed around film cameras, which can be configured for certain types of shots. High speed film cameras that are very compact and can be put almost anywhere are also a mainstay for shooting stunts, special effects etc - HD cameras are all big and heavy, they overheat, shut down and need to be booted up etc. Except for the Red cam, but it's not quite good enough to shoot a big movie yet. Any change to the filmmaking system, technically or in the jobs that specific crew do can have big ripple effects. They are trying and getting closer to HD every day. Remember, movies are business - studios are conservative and don't take chances with stuff that could cost them more $. They already have their hands full wrangling big name actors and maniacal directors. Film is dying out, just slowly.

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I think a big holdup on the size of viewfinders is that they waste significant amounts of battery...especially if they're large.

 

When it comes to lenses if you want to be seen as serious then you've gotta spend like you're serious. I'm not sure if they still do this or not but Nikon Digitals(when I was selling them) increase your lens angle 1.6 times(I think thats right if I recall correctly). That would make a 30mm act pretty similarly to a 48mm lens. Anyhow if you want to be a photographer you're gonna need that crappy 30mm lens anyhow...and every other lens you can think of if you want to do more than one or two types of photography. Its not cheap. The photo majors I went to school with had to put in $5000 in camera equipment just to meet the minimum requirements of the program. A few friends of mine spent over $10000 by the time they graduated...thats part of being a photographer...its not a cheap thing to do by any means.

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All the Nikon DSLRs have a 1.5x crop sensor except the $5000 D3 which is full frame. All Canon DSLRs except the full frame 5D & 1DS have a 1.6X crop factor. All the other brands of DSLRs have similarly sized sensors. It doesn't mean that lenses are crappy - it just means that your 24mm wide angle in 35mm film will be a 36mm medium wide on a DSLR. That's why most zooms start at 18mm (which is like a 27mm).

 

I agree that good camera gear isn't cheap - pro lenses are especially expensive, however, you can certainly start smaller and still get great results.

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I've got a mix of Minolta lenses. My cheaper after market Sigma lenses work great with above average light. In extremely bright and very dark environments they aren't optimal so for most things the $300 lenses are fine...just not perfect.

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