Canon vs. Contax 645 | Ashley Goodwin Blog

Nearly every time that I pop the back of my Contax 645 open and unhinge a roll of film in front of people who've never seen me shooting before I'm almost always met with wonderment "WOW. Real, legit"  sometimes proceeded with "haven't seen that in a while...". It makes me giggle and often times has me answering a slew of questions like "now tell me why FILM?". Trust me, this girl could go on for hours (and sometimes have!) about how beautiful it is, how it may be significantly more expensive but ultimately saves me time, how the end result of colors just can't be touched, how the bokeh (a.k.a background bubbles of blur) are just out of this world, how the framing and crop of a medium format camera is how my eyeballs see the world, and mainly how it slows me down -- keeps me from shootingshootingshooting -- resulting in getting THE shot not just a shot. But truthfully, it's just simply beautiful, you can't deny it. I'd never hate on digital because it does incredible things and in low-lit ceremonies it has saved my behind once or twice, but man, when it comes to film it has utterly stolen my heart. Sure, I still loop my Canon Mark3 (yes, I begrudging added it to my collection) around my neck for the in-between moments and darker times in the evening when digital is beneficial, snapping away in film but taking one or two in digital for good measure but I always always get my film scans back and swoon. I'm so happy that after years of watching from the sidelines I finally made the leap, not so much for my business or the defining factors, but really for my all things pretty loving soul. For a better visual of film vs. digital, here are a few comparisons. I always give clients all the great shots from their wedding day, both film and digital (after all I've found an artist's favorite is rarely the same as the couple's!) but if I have an exact or nearly exact image in both digital and film I usually give preference to the film. Bonus points for hardly having to edit them. ;) All photos straight out of the camera with no (or very very little, like cropping) edits. Yes, the digital versions seen below could be edited to look more like their film counterparts (and some were in the client's final gallery) but I wanted to showcase how the digital WOULD need to be edited (which takes for-ever) and frankly can never compare to the film shot, which takes very little edits, if any at all.

Wonder why I adore it so much? See for yourself!

Left: Canon 6D SOOC w/ 35mm lens |  Right:  Contax 645 + Fuji 400h w/ 80mm lens

Left: Canon 6D  SOOC w/ 100mm macro lens |  Right:  Contax 645 + Fuji 400h w/ 80mm lens + Hoya +4 macro filter

Left:   Contax 645 + Fuji 400h w/ 80mm lens, trying to not fall into the fountain behind me |  Right: Canon 6D SOOC w/ 35mm lens.

In this scene there was pink almost everywhere, resulting in a really muted but more magenta digital image. I edited the digital to closely match the film for the client, but much prefer the warmth of the film shot here .

Left: Canon 6D SOOC w/ 35mm lens |  Right:  Contax 645 + Fuji 400h w/ 80mm lens 

Left: Canon 6D SOOC w/ 35mm lens |  Right:  Contax 645 +Portra 800 w/ 80mm lens

With the digital it's tough to expose properly for their skin without "blowing out" or not getting the detail of the ocean. Typically you have to make a choice, but not with the film shot! Bright, pretty skin AND details in the waves. WIN.

  Left:  Contax 645 + Fuji 400h w/ 80mm lens | Right:  Canon 6D SOOC w/ 35mm lens

Shooting ceremonies in bright sun are what photographers wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night over. Good news is, film rocks out in harsh light.

Left: Canon 5D Mark 3 SOOC w/ sigma 70-200mm lens |  Right:  Contax 645 + Fuji 400h w/ 80mm lens

My digital image could have stood an additional stop of exposure, something in the emotion of the moment I had to leave to post processing. But then when I saw the film? No need!  Plus, I like how the format of the Contax adds that little bit extra in the blanket + additional viewpoint.