Film vs Digital

Comparing Film to Digital Images

Canon AE-1 (Early 1980’s) vs Canon 5D Mark IV (2017)


So when I had some extra time on my hands over Spring Break, I purchased the Breakout “Everyday Film” from Clickin’ Mom’s.  I read though and honestly had some difficulty understanding all the terminology and what it all meant.  (It’s not her fault, it was all new and totally foreign info to me!)  So I put it down and was like “meh, I guess I’m not really supposed to get all this, I’ve got my digital camera… I’m not really going to work with my clients using film anyway.”

Fast forward to like two weeks later… I woke up one Sunday morning to a message from a photographer friend and it was a post from Mastin Labs about shooting your first roll of film.  Basically the hardest part is just shooting it… just do it, go shoot a whole roll of film all in one go!

So I went into the basement and I pulled out my grandfather’s Canon AE-1 Film camera, probably from the early 80’s.  Now mind you, a few years ago I went though the bag and had no idea really what I was looking at… I mean some of it I knew but it was kind of foreign to me.  (All the film cameras I had ever had, were all point and shoot cameras.)   I started Googling and YouTubing… how to load film, how to meter with the film camera.  BTW, completely different than a digital camera!

It took me like 3 days to actually put the film in the camera but when I did, I started shooting.  And then I thought, well… how will know if the meter in the camera is even close to accurate when I get the scans back??  So I got out my DSLR and I used the film camera to meter for the image, I set the camera according to that and then took the image.  Then, I put the same settings into my DSLR and took an image.  That was closer than I expected actually… a little more underexposed but, okay close!  No art was created but I practiced metering using my limited knowledge of the Zone System, since I was using film and didn’t want to really over expose or underexpose on purpose anyway!

So I sent the film off and I wondered how the scans would look… did the camera even work right?  Are their light leaks? Did I advance the film correctly?

My scans came back and I was SO HAPPY!  SO VERY VERY HAPPY!  Not only does the camera work but the meter works and no light leaks!!!  Super stoked!

So here are some comparisons, that I was really pleased with to share with you.  Again… nothing earth shattering, no art will be found here, but… none the less, it’s pretty interesting.

Images on the Left are from the Canon AE-1 with Fuji Superia 400 Color Film, Processed at The Darkroom (just regular processing-no pushing involved. No extra processing.)

Images on the Right are from the Canon 5D Mark IV, straight out of camera, shot in raw, no processing.  I had the same settings that I put into the AE-1.  ISO 400 for all and then aperture and shutter speed adjusted accordingly as per the film camera.

pineapple plant with new growth

antique camera sitting in pretty light

Image of a blue Ford Tractor

sprinkler head

tulipsdaffodils antique weather vane

This little experiment was so interesting to me and I’m so excited to have this little treasure and use it for personal images.  Don’t worry.. I’m not jumping ship just yet to film!