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How to Change From Film to Digital Photography

Updated on January 28, 2018
agvulpes profile image

Although not a professional, Peter is a very keen photographer who mainly takes wildlife and landscape images.

Ricoh KR-5 35mm Film Camera

My faithful old Ricoh KR-5 35mm Film Camera
My faithful old Ricoh KR-5 35mm Film Camera | Source
Kodachrome Slide film : no longer
Kodachrome Slide film : no longer

Film Different and Difficult

For about 60 years I've been taking photographs, from the Old Kodak Box Brownie Camera, through the other phases of "this and that" always faithful to Mr. Kodak's brand of film.
Struggling through all these years to go and buy the good old Kodachrome Color Slide Film.

Then you had to decide"what if I want to shoot a 'black and white' shot?"

Ok "better stock up on the old ever-reliable Ilford Delta 100", and then you had to decide, "I've only used half of the roll of color film, what do I do, burn half a roll of color film, or not shoot the black and white?"

What's that you say? "Where is your second camera?"

Hey, I've never been a millionaire, I could only afford one Single Lens Reflex camera!

Oh sure I've experimented with other brands, one was Agfa with their Agfacolor HDC. Not bad but in my honest opinion, but not as good as the old Kodak film.

Remember how they told you -

  • Keep unused rolls in the fridge. Let them reach room temperature before you put them in your camera (avoids that nasty condensation)
  • Oh yeah then when you have taken all your snaps, then send them off to the processing lab and wait the mandatory 2-3 weeks to get them back.
  • Only to discover some were good, and some not so good (sometimes you just got back a clear roll of film!!!!!!)

Well, for me, those days have now gone forever.

OK, I've capitulated.

I have now decided to never use a film camera again.
I'm retiring my old Ricoh KR-5 35mm film Camera gear and switching over completely to Digital.

Ilford Delta 100 Black and White film
Ilford Delta 100 Black and White film

Kodachrome: Going... Going... Gone! Forever.

I've decided to do this because, after being produced for many years, Kodak has announced that it is ending production of Kodachrome.

According to Eastman Kodak, sales of Kodachrome represents less than one percent of Kodak's total sales of the still-picture film.

Kodak says that the brand 'Kodachrome' was originally launched in 1935, fast becoming the most popular and successful color films of all time, famous for its long lasting and rich colors.

Many commercial photographers and many amateurs have enthusiastically embraced digital photography.

They believe that its flexibility and lower ongoing costs outweigh its initial price disadvantages.

With the advances in modern technology, this has become almost a nonfactor.

Virtually all of the cost of digital photography is capital outlay, meaning that the cost is for the equipment needed to store and copy the images, and once purchased requires virtually no further expense (unless of course, you intend to print).

Film photography requires a continuous expenditure of funds for supplies and developing, although the equipment itself does not become outdated so quickly and has a longer service life.

More and more commercial photographers have begun moving to digital technology because of the tremendous editing capabilities now available on computers.

With programs such as Photoshop, you are able to do much more (and with more ease and creativity) to enhance photographs than in any old fashioned darkroom.

What a pain in the butt that was, messing with enlargers, test strips, chemicals, hanging prints and such! Yuk!

The digital photographer is able to color-balance and manipulate the image in ways that traditional darkroom techniques cannot offer, although film users can perform the same tasks by using a digital scanner. But to the purist that would be cheating! Ha!

With the correct programs installed on a computer, the photographer is able to print what is actually seen on the screen.

Manufacturers, like Nikon and Canon, now have Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras (DSLR's) capable of taking photographs of sufficient quality for newspaper and magazine reproduction.

I believe that new 16 megapixel DSLR cameras are producing more detailed images than 35mm and the majority of the Medium Format cameras presently available.

A digital image can be modified and manipulated much easier and faster than with traditional negative and print methods. Look for future Hubs on my experiences with this process!

An interesting fact I uncovered was that Digital photography was used in astronomy long before its use by the general public, and by the 1980s had virtually replaced 'traditional' photographic plates.

The reason being was the sensors, called CCD's, are more sensitive to light and are more linear in reception and are more predictable in performance.

Kodak Professional Elite Chrome my film of choice.
Kodak Professional Elite Chrome my film of choice.


If I was to still be using film I would more than likely by using this film from Kodak and getting some great shots no doubt. This is what Kodak say about it:

KODAK PROFESSIONAL ELITE Chrome 100 Film is a 100-speed daylight film that offers photographers outstanding image structure with natural colors.

Elite Chrome 100 film provides excellent reproduction of colors, skin tones, and neutrals.
This film has been designed for exposure with daylight or electronic flash and is the ideal choice for general picture-taking applications.

However here is the old bugbear once again, the warning.


  • Load and unload film in subdued light.
  • Store unexposed film at 21°C (70°F) or lower in the original sealed package.
  • Always store film in a cool, dry place.
  • Process film as soon as possible after exposure.
  • Protect slides from strong light, and store them in a cool, dry place.


Do not use a safelight. Handle unprocessed film in total

Ho Hum some things just never change!

Loading 35mm film into camera

For those lucky people who have never had to load a 35mm film camera , I thought I would present to you a video of how it is done ,

I'm so happy after seeing this video that I will never have to do it again.

Loading a 35mm Camera with Film

Hp Photosmart 320 My First Digital Camera

hp photosmart 320 digital camera a whopping 2.1 MP
hp photosmart 320 digital camera a whopping 2.1 MP

Digital Photography

Have you switched to Digital

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    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      2uesday thanks for your informative comment. I had the same experiences as yourself but I bought an early camera that only had 1.3 mpixels and was very limited with the zooming. However now I'm using a DSLR canon with 15mp it really opens up the horizons further.

    • 2uesday profile image


      9 years ago

      I read this with interest, as I never thought I wanted a digital camera until I was bought one as a present. Instantly it transformed the way that I take photos. With a film in the camera I was always aware of the cost of developing the film. Now I can click away and select the from the photos the ones I like best to use. It would be difficult for me to return to using a camera with a film as I would miss the freedom that a digital camera has given me. I will read more of your pages as they are interesting.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      tim-tim, thanks for dropping by and leaving a nice comment :-)

      I agree you can tell the difference but times and quality does change. And peoples opinion changes as well.

      I love working in black and white it adds atmosphere to photos that color cannot.

      I will check out the photos on your hub for sure :-)

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 

      9 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      Digital is so much better than the films! If you happen to read some of my hubs with old pictures, you can tell the differences! My favorite though is Black and White photos! They are classic:)

    • earnestshub profile image


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Another great informative hub on photography, thanks Peter!

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      Eileen Hughes thanks for your kind comment. I also believe that the people who were the founders of photography must have been very clever. There are so many variables that they would not have known existed.

      Eileen I would love to know which digital camera you use, I'm looking to upgrade some time next year? :-)

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Great hub, the people who made old cameras must have been clever. I do like the digital though for uploading photos onto the net.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      Rochelle thanks so much for dropping by :-)

      You evoke memories for me, seeing those images just magically appearing on the paper. Being my own worst critic I never really felt that I got it 100% mastered but I'm sure most people are the same?

      Thanks again for dropping by :-)

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      9 years ago from California Gold Country

      Yes I have gone over to the other side-- but still have Kodachrome in my memories. I even have the experience of darkroom developing of B&W-- pure magic to see it happen.

      But that was then, this is now.

      Nice memory.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      Sandyspider, thanks for your kind comment.

      It's funny you should say that cos the photos of the Kodachrome and Ilford boxes are from the film I still have stored in my fridge.

      Yes Sandy, digital photography has rekindled my love of taking photos. I'm hoping to share some of my experiences with Hubbers in some future Hubs.

      Thanks again for dropping by :-)

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia


      Yes,is its sad but we cannot live in the past and I'm finding the transition to Digital photography has reignited my passion for taking photographs, so that must be a good thing?

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Great Hub. I still have film laying around but no longer have the cameras for it. I'm so into the digital camera now.

    • aperturering profile image


      9 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      It is always sad when they discontinue a film that you have been using for years.

      Best of luck with your transition over to Digital.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      Christoph thanks for your great comment and I hope that readers get to read your tip on reloading. (Is it ok if I put it up in the article with an acknowledgment to yourself ?).

      I have spoken with some pro's about this method, and there is a down side in that there is a risk in scratching the film pulling it thru the seals so many times. But the consensus seems to be that it is worth it!

      However in my own opinion I would prefer to do it all digitally !

      Chris thanks again for the input. ;-)

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      9 years ago from St. Louis

      Hi Ag! I was once quite involved in photography, doing my own developing, printing and whatnot, not to mention buying my raw film in bulk and loading into cassettes myself. Anything to keep the price down. You are so right. It IS expensive. I bought an inexpensive digital because of the special macro features, taking great close-up shots. I've been very pleased with it.

      For anyone who is using film camera's, I know what you do with the half-roll of unexposed film in your camera. You go as if you are taking out a completed roll of film, rewinding the cartridge normally, but stop as soon as the roll releases from the sprockets. You have rolled the film back into the cartridge but left the leader exposed. You make a notation on a pieced of paper saying you have taken 17 pics or whatever. Then store it in a film cannister with the paper. When you want to resume using it, reload the film as normal, but advance the film--with the lens cap ON--to just past 17 exposures. I usually would go a couple of extra just to be safe. And wah-lah! Your ready to resume shooting.

      Great article, and it's obvious you know what you're talking about. Very well done!

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      Shalini, lol, yes sentiment is one thing that sets we humans apart from other species. I often wonder myself 'would we be better off without it'?

      You have to be careful when you board that Magic Carpet!

      You never know where you will finish up. It has a mind of it's own ;-)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      9 years ago from India

      Hi Ag - I do agree - one has to be practical. But I can't helping feeling a teeny-weeny bit sentimental too.

      Hey Candie - the magic carpet just sort of blew me in here :D

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      G'day Nemingha, I am completely self taught on Photoshop but with the aid of books and a very good library system I have been able to accomplish all the tasks I need to do, albeit a bit slowly.

      So nemingha have patience be persistent and ask questions and most of all 'practice' I'm sure you will get there in the end.

      It's amazing what can be done with digital photos - I did a course a few years ago but have not done anything with the knowledge gained since then.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      Oh now Candie no need to pout. ;-)

      I'm sure Shalini still wants to be your friend, you have not forgotten about the Magic Carpet have you ?


    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      G-Ma , thanks very much for the comment. I'm finding as I get older the buttons seem to be getting smaller . :-)

    • Nemingha profile image


      9 years ago

      It's amazing what can be done with digital photos - I did a course a few years ago but have not done anything with the knowledge gained since then.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      yes I switched about a year ago, but still so enjoy my 35's...Nice hub my dear Man...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia

      G'day TOF,

      Yeah i'm sure I had one of those little 135 cameras. They were supposed to be the bees-knees.

      Hmm that cell phone sounds very interesting, it's really amazing how the Chinese manufacturers can cram so much stuff into the cases these days. And the prices wow, I must talk to you about that?

      I'm hoping to get an SLR camera in the not to distant future so let me know what you find out will you ?

      Peter thanks for dropping by :-)

      Yes its definitely- "Digital Rules, Yaaaay."

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      So this is where Shalini is hanging out now.. she's abandoned me for you..

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia


      Thanks for taking the time to drop in and leave such a nice comment :-)

      Ah, moving with the times, is that another way of saying "planned obsolescence" or "lets look at the bottom line"

      I wonder ?

      I generally subscribe to the old axiom 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'

      Many years ago I felt so strongly that this digital revolution would take place that I advised my sister to sell her successful photo processing shop. She followed my advise. (Quite profitably fortunately for her).

      Shalini although it is sad to see the end of era's, I try not to live in the past , as there is so much living to do in the here and now and the future. :-)

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Australia


      Thanks for your kind words, yes I agree with you about the sentiment values. I do intend to keep the first 35mm SLR camera I ever bought back in the 60's.

      I will be putting some flower pics in my future hubs on the subject of Digital Photography.

      I do so appreciate your kind words. (Hugs)

    • The Old Firm profile image

      The Old Firm 

      9 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

      I'm with you on this , Peter. I started out with a Brownie 135, I think the number was as a boy over 50 years back, moved up the ladder but haven't had a good camera for years.

      I very recently brought in a cellphone from China for under a hundred bucks which as part of its magic has an eight mega-pixel still/video function. This is better than the dedicated still camera that I was previously borrowing from a friend for computer work.

      If I need to get around to buying anything better because of reasons of clarity for macro close-ups or whatever my favourite Chinese will undoubtedly have something with remarkably overkill functions at a satisfyingly under-kill price.

      As the street-kids and the wollopers say- "Digital Rules, Yaaaay."



    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      9 years ago from India

      Ag - I guess one just has to move with the times but there's a certain sadness at the passing away of an era, isn't there? Maybe it's me, growing old - but it's sad to hear that Kodak won't be making any more of Kodachrome. It's a practical decision, yes, but it's been around as part of most of our lives :(

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Hey! Great hub Ag! I'm still fond of my old 35mm camera and, tho I don't use it, holds huge sentimental memories! So off to "digital" we go! I adore the photos of your garden, your pictures of your roses are amazing! Thank you!!


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