That all makes so much sense, thanks.An interesting question, particularly as I'm seriously thinking about trying to process some rolls of film in the near future. I really loved using a rangefinder camera and have been getting the feel of just holding my Bessa R once again in recent days. I probably felt happier using my medium format Mamiya Press and like the results I'm getting with recent scans slightly better than 35mm scans, the medium format came into its own with landscape work. What I would have given for a digital darkroom all those years ago. Times have changed when it comes to photographing people, perhaps they're not so tolerant these days and now places like the fish quay in Plymouth dont allow public access. I did like photographing people at work rather than say just walking along a street. With my Mamiya Press I was asked at times if I worked for a newspaper and even though I didn't people seemed to tolerate it, it was big and it was obvious what I was doing.
I'm finding that there's something about a monochrome film negative that I find that bit more satisfying than a monochrome conversion of a digital file, despite the challenges with dust and scratches. I guess the tonal range is that bit better, but I'm finding it hard to decide just what that elusive something is.
Obviously a digital file resolves more detail, but I find it is perhaps just a little too clinical. Also I very much like to set the aperture with a proper aperture ring rather than some dial that is just an input to a computer. Obviously auto focus is a great asset, but I again found that I was happy using a rangefinder. I suffer from astigmatism and found manual focusing of an SLR difficult, I've never owned an auto focus 35mm film camera.
Also with a fully manual camera using film you have to work harder to get decent results, I find with digital there's a temptation to fall back on correcting sloppy technique in software after the event which can lead to a deal of dissatisfaction with the actual process of taking an image, or perhaps that could be better described as a lack of fun. That's obviously a personal opinion and would be different from someone who has never used a fully manual film camera.
My other option is to make more use of my Sigma Merrills, certainly for landscape work. I find the monochrome output using the Sigma software is closer to a decent film monochrome. Again using them handheld on the street would be a greater challenge, I'm hoping to find a suitable LCD loupe I can use with them.
I'm not sure if that's answered your question, indeed I'm not sure that I can at the moment. Those images were obtained some decades ago and maybe my memory paints a rosier picture of the process than it really was. I know I took a lot more time and trouble with my landscape photographs in those days and that was part of the pleasure, again perhaps digital encourages a more rushed approach which is a reflection of a world that operates at a faster pace than it ever used to. Whatever further avenues to explore and keep the brain challenged.