Scanning, Safety, Leica M8

I’d rather go to the dentist than spend hours scanning negatives. This evening I remembered why I got interested in digital SLRs 5 years ago. I hate scanning. After watching volume 1 of Contacts, I decided to shoot a roll of Tri-X over the Thanksgiving holiday. Even though I own a bunch of fancy SLR gear, I would way rather shoot with a Leica rangefinder. I’m not going to wax poetic about how the Leica M6 is the most perfectly pleasing 35mm camera I’ve ever used, or how the 35mm f/2 ASPH lens has microcontrast and bokeh to die for, I promise. But it’s true.

What I’m going to say is one $4 roll of film, a $12.50 develop and contact sheet, two trips to the lab, and hour and a half of scanning my favorite images later, I remember why I gave this process up. What a pain. Not to mention the cost per shot is about 45 cents (Hey, I’m too lazy to soup my own negs anymore).

I’ve been following the trials and tribulations of the Leica M8 release and subsequent recall quite closely. It’s just good practice not to buy the first iteration of any electronic product, and especially not to be the guinea pig that gets it first. If there was a full frame Leica rangefinder with a CMOS chip that could do night photography and had the high ISO performance of a Canon 5D, I would sell my SLR equipment in a heartbeat and get one. Luckily for my credit card, that day is not upon us yet.

4 thoughts on “Scanning, Safety, Leica M8”

  1. You made a good point about how scanning negatives is such a big influence to switch to digital. For me, it was the time spent driving to the lab to drop off the film, plus the time spent driving to the lab to pick up. My favorite lab, Calypso Color in Santa Clara, had after-hours drop-off for film. But not pick up. They’re only open business hours. During one of the many times that I had to spend my lunch break driving up there to pick up my slides, I was sitting at a stop light thinking, I’m wasting time, wasting gas, polluting the air, and clogging up the roads. “Hello, B&H???”

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