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Is Film Dead?

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A while back we had a thread discussing whether photography was dead (based on a Newsweek article with the title, "Is Photography Dead?"). I think this article, Is Film Dead?, about the film/digital issue is a lot more thoughtful and eloquent. Personally, I'd like to think film will still be around as long as I have a desire to use it. I know I'll never shoot another assignment with it but I do want to be able to use it for personal work. Eventually, perhaps I'll get over this love affair with the M8 and start using my M7 and M6 again.

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I know that I can't afford a P45+ for my landscape work but in addition to the M8 I still love my Mamiya 7II with either Provia or Velvia. The 6x7's scan beautifully and the large prints reflect the quality of the Mamiya lenses. The 43mm in particular is just sensational.

 

So I expect to be shooting film for the rest of my days and have a freezer full just in case.

 

Woody Spedden

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So I expect to be shooting film for the rest of my days and have a freezer full just in case.

 

Woody Spedden

 

What's the situation in your area for film processing? Around here, we are down to one pro lab for E6, and that one keeps reducing the number of film runs. Most camera stores still process color neg, but not many will do b&w. I'm glad I haven't broken down my darkroom in the basement.

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From the linked article:

 

...the question is not "Is Film Dead" but rather Who Cares, 'Cause I'm Still Using It.

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For me film is pretty much dead.

 

I'm teaching at the moment a high school class in classic photography. It's all B&W film. And I'm also filling in as a substitute teacher at a photography school, but this just for my love of photography and film.

 

But I'm not a pro photographer, nor do I consider myself as a "photographer".

 

Since I bought my M8 I haven't exposed a roll of film. Well actually one test roll to make sure the beat up M2 I got worked.

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Film is not dead. Folks of all walks of life and all talent levels are still using it so really, that is the only way to look at it.

 

As for the future, color film is the tough call. I am pretty sure that in a few years after Kodachrome is no longer made, I will shoot black and white only as far as film goes.

 

But then again, 6x9 Velvia is pretty hard to beat....:-)

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... I know I'll never shoot another assignment with it but I do want to be able to use it for personal work. Eventually, perhaps I'll get over this love affair with the M8 and start using my M7 and M6 again.

 

My last 15 camera clicks were with my favourite medium format rangefinder.

 

I brought it along because last time my M8 was cold, it stopped working. (it was -22c this morning, according to my car's thermometer).

 

I think I've shot about 10 rolls since the beginning of September.

 

That rangefinder, along with a Canon F1n paid my way through University. There is something tactile about using film; maybe it's just me, though. I don't think I'll ever hang it up for good.

 

JohnS.

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For me the last film I shot was about a year ago, I broke out my 4x5 gear and shot some chrome. The issue as someone above asked is the processing options I had say 10 yrs ago are now gone in MY area. I gave the film to two labs in my area to process. In the old days, I would have given it to either lab and not thought twice. None of the film I got back was useable, it was filthy. Both labs have fewer runs and maintain the processors poorly or no longer have the techs to do careful maintenance. Now I could send it out somewhere and wait for it to come back but less and less do I need to shoot film anyway. The few things I could use it for and this is a hobby for me, the bother just does not add up...JMHO....Don

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The question pretty much hangs on whether reasonably-price, quality film processing is still available within your reach (unless you choose to keep a wet darkroom.)

 

Personally, I have some film in the fridge but haven't shot any for the past eight months. (No wet darkroom here either.)

 

-g

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Is film dead? Not for me.

 

I love the convenience of digital, and the economics of really fast workflow. But there's no alternative to film when I'm shooting in bad weather, or working far from a power source, or in dusty environments, or in extreme cold, or when I want minimal risk of equipment failure, or even just when I feel like it, or when I want the pleasure of making a hand print.

 

I'll be going skiing in a few weeks. The thought of using my M8 is laughable - cold weather, freezing rain, risk of impact - any of which could damage camera, SD cards or batteries.

 

I'll be taking my M6, thanks. I could drop it down the mountain, or bury it in snow and I know it will work fine once I find it. :-)

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Film is not dead, it is simply used almost exclusively by people who love it for one reason or another.

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We are going to Venice in March. I think that I might just take my M2, rather than haul the DMR around all week. I have about 50 rolls of Astia in the fridge that need to be run through.

 

Might need to beg, steal or borrow a decent 35 though...

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Nope.

 

In the last year I've burned more film than in the past 3. I've "adopted" an M2, a IIIc and a II (D). I do shoot digital - I have an E-1, an E-400 and an LX-01 and G7 - but the film bodies - and particularly the LTM ones - get first choice. It's about the results, the challenge of DIY (not relying upon electronics) the tactility of the equipment and the sheer luminosity of the results.

 

Digital has a place - film has a place. For me at least.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Like I suspect most here do, I have a soft spot in my heart for film. Always will.

 

But the M8 for me has been a transforming experience. The marriage of top-quality digital imaging with the traditional rangefinder experience has been transcendent for me. Both my M6 and my M7 have the same partially-exposed rolls of film they had in them almost exactly a year ago when I picked up my M8. I feel guilty about that. And I've thought occasionally of picking them up and, at the very least, burning off those remaining frames. But then I think of the M8... and that's what I take.

 

And when I consider that someone like myself - someone who deeply loves film, loves all the arcana of developing B&W, loves the look of a film strip hanging up to dry, loves the mystery of seeing a contact sheet for the first time - has gone an entire year without firing a single frame of film... I fear for it.

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Is film dead?I'll be going skiing in a few weeks. The thought of using my M8 is laughable - cold weather, freezing rain, risk of impact - any of which could damage camera, SD cards or batteries.

 

I shoot a lot of skiing for a living. I often use a gizmo known as a split snowboard to skin up large amounts of vertical and the ride down in order to get primo light before the lifts start or in the back country: Telemark and Splitboard Backcountry

 

Last week, I started up at 5:30 AM under filitered moonlight. It was -3 when I left and -8 when I got to the top, some 3,200 vertical feet later. The whole time, the M8 rode against my chest with the 28 cron on it and the 50 lux in my pocket. I take the lenses off when I ride down just in case I fall.

 

The M8 did flawless in the cold, the batteries did fine where as my previous Mtn. set up, the 5D, well the battery would have went after about 20 minutes of shooting in those temps.

 

All in all, the M8 is a great mountain rig. Now if I were on assignment or going for a few days, I would simply stash my M6 and a few rolls of chrome in the pack as a backup.

 

The other rig I now use is the D300.

 

The M8 might do better than you think...

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Film may not be dead, but it's certainly comatose. Ask Kodak. They tried to ride their film cash cow until it was almost too late, believing that film would always be in demand. Now they're going like mad to catch up in the digital world. Let's face it, we've reached the point where with 21 megapixel 35mm sensors and medium format digital backs, nothing less than about an 8 x 10 view can equal digital. Even then, unless you're in a studio where you can precisely match the lights to the film, digital can beat color film hands down. I guess in a way it's sad, but it's the way the world works. Wet plates are gone too, along with flash powder.

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Guest stnami

a life and death situation is immaterial to film...........

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Picture in the latest National Geographic of Eugene Richards at work with an R6 and another R over the shoulder. There's still a lot of film being shot by high end art and documentary photographers (actually mostly film). Not to mention the fact that there's a reason most movies and ads are still shot on film. It's called the look. If instant turnaround or expense is not a factor then I really don't see the point personally in shooting digital. Alas both of those have snuck up on me (on all of us) and digital has become a modern life necessity.

 

My local small lab is bemoaning the loss of business though, and it's not just film processing but also digital output. Problem is that many photographers have taken output inhouse (guilty myself), but even more than that is that with most amateurs there is NO output period. The images end up languishing on memory cards or computers, merely emailed back and forth. With digital we are slowly but surely losing the concept of photography as a pursuit with a tactile end. Kind of sad.

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