I've a Canon 60D and I'm mainly interested in shooting landscapes. I feel very interested in buying a used canon EOS film camera (since my EF lenses are compatible).
I would like to take pictures from my DSLR and then use the same meter reading on the SLR to take a picture. I'm planning on scanning the negatives myself to the maximum resolution and the assumption is that the picture from the film camera would be lot more colorful and sharper.

Would their be a noticeable difference by using a film camera? considering that my 60D comes with 18 Mega Pixels.

Sharpness and resolution matter to me only because I usually end up cropping my pictures.

Also I'm planning on using using films with ISO of 50 or 100.
The used camera I'm interested in cost around $200.

  • 2
    If all you're doing is going to be taking the settings from the digital to make sure you get the same looking picture on film, get yourself something nice and simple like a Canon 300V (Rebel Ti). It has all the manual settings and costs around $40. A nice simple no frills 35mm to take your EF lenses – Dreamager Sep 29 '11 at 18:38
  • 1
    I apologize if I'm repeating something you already know, but: only your EF lenses would be compatible with an EOS film camera; EF-S lenses would not work with it. – drewbenn Sep 29 '11 at 19:58
  • Why do you "usually" end up cropping pictures? Do all your photos need cropping for some strange reason? – Nick Bedford Sep 30 '11 at 4:01
  • I end up cropping my pictures so that I can get the composition right. – Viv Sep 30 '11 at 12:57

It certainly is not worth investing in a 35mm film camera for the perceived higher resolution, additional color, or sharpness.

To get results you will likely have to either invest in, or at least have access to a drum scanner that gives you the highest resolution possible right now. Otherwise you will likely be scanning on a flatbed that almost certainly does not produce resolution even near the Canon 60D.

Are you trying to print 24x30inch prints at 360dpi? Sure, grab a 35mm camera, a $20,000 drum scanner, and you may be able to achieve high resolution that would benefit images of this size. You also might not achieve that.

It sounds like the main issue is that you usually end up cropping your images. If this is the case, it sounds like you either need to frame up the subject better before you take the image, or invest in further reaching lenses.


Having recently started to shoot some film myself, I'd say that

  • yes, there will be a noticeable difference - you will have a full-frame camera, all your lenses will capture wider angle on the film (no crop factor). Captured area is 2.56 times bigger than with your crop sensor at same focal length, so your digital meter reading might be invalid for the larger frame. With negative film, it won't matter much, but if you spend so much on an EOS body, why not trust its light meter?

  • digital has passed film in terms of sharpness

  • with selected films, your images will be more colorful out of camera, but you can adjust color saturation on your digital images in post processing with more control over the result

  • to get an 18MP image, you must scan your film at 3700ppi resolution; but since your 60D has a Bayer sensor, there's lots of interpolation going on to calculate pixels, so 2800ppi (giving 10MP) should suffice for a comparable image. Compare with numbers of your scanner to see if you'd gain or lose in resolution. Also, to get optimal color transmission and reduced film grain, be prepared to try out wet mounting.

With negative films, there will be some tweaking and guesswork to get colors right. A slide film might be easier to scan; Fujifilm Velvia is a classic film used for landscapes.

  • 1
    I would guess some if not all of his lenses are EF-S lenses if he has a 60D. – dpollitt Sep 29 '11 at 19:11
  • @dpollitt according to statement in question, they are EF. – Imre Sep 29 '11 at 19:36
  • 1
    @lmre I saw that, too, but not everyone realizes that makes a difference. Also: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/15119/ef-s-lens-focal-length – drewbenn Sep 29 '11 at 19:56
  • Ah yes, I missed that in the original post. You are correct in assuming that then! – dpollitt Sep 29 '11 at 20:20

I'm really interested in the answers to your question, and I'm glad you asked it! But based on some of the things you said and some of the answers so far, I wanted to suggest something else: buying a long, very sharp (prime) lens and using your current camera.

You are clearly willing to put a lot of effort into post-processing your photos: currently you spend time cropping them; and you're planning to spend a lot of time waiting for film photos to be processed and then take the time to scan them and process the scanned image. So, perhaps you should buy a long lens and take many pictures of your subject and stitch them together in post-processing. You could also plan on using HDR techniques to get better results. Since you primarily take pictures of landscapes, this could work very well for you.

I imagine something like the 135/2 or 200/2.8 (around 4 times as much as you're planning on spending now, but that would probably even out after you add in film and development costs, plus you'd get a great sports lens in your bag), along with a good tripod, and some practice at post-processing, would give you really great pictures.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.