The "Digital Revival of film"

In the latest edition of Digital Photographer Magazine there is a article entitled "The Digital revival of film" 

"A rise in vintage and retro trends across all industries, particularly within fashion, has seen a new emerging demand from photographic generations both young and old. What used to be avoided by camera designers is now being embraced, as 'old-fashioned' just got fashionable. The retro cameras and film style photos from the past are back, aesthetically at least." 

They cite as an example the Chanel No.5 ad at the top of the page with the cameo appearance of a Leica M8.

The article goes on to talk about, retro designs in cameras such as the Olympus Pens and Fuji X100, the resurgence of Leica and the increasingly popular editions of vintage/retro and nostalgic processing now available in cameras. 

Thus proving that those of us who go weak at the knees at the sight of some chrome and leather are not alone!!

None of this implies that those who use digital cameras are about to go back to using film, but there is some evidence that images that look like they might have shot on film are becoming more popular.

As an early adopter of digital, when I started putting those images onto picture library websites they were very much in the minority. They did look different, cleaner, less contrast etc. and proved very popular. After a few years virtually everything looked like that and I suddenly found that my film scans became my best sellers. By then I'd worked out how to make my digital shots look like they might have been taken on film. I've lost count of the number of times I've been asked "Do you still shoot film?" and I get comments all the time saying, "Thats a film look." 

So is there a difference between a "film look" and a "digital look" ?


Pentax *ist D 77mm f1.8 limited lens. Multi Image Panoramic Stitch

lake district


Here are three versions of a recent picture I took.

Far left is the raw file "developed" in Rawker. This is the closest to what the original file would be with no processing whatsoever. The middle version is with auto processing in Photoshop ACR and with auto contrast applied in Photoshop. Its also very similar to the out of camera jpg. The version on the right is after I've done some work in Photoshop and is closest to what it looked like in reality.

I know which one I prefer.

Words - David
Images - David and Ann