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fotografr

Is Film Dead?

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film dead? when? ups just brought me 50 rolls of xp super.

i hope it continues to breathe, at least till i do, since i discovered it only in june 2007.

 

having a fun time with it. it is not only the image but the whole process that i find exhilarating. the changing of film rolls, the handling of my film cam, the strange look

from my children, the exposure settings, the time to think before i press the trigger,

the wait from the processing shop...oh the genteel times are back for me.

 

is film better, easier, quicker, more artistic, hype, waste of money/time etc, will it last etc.? who the s**t cares, i am having real fun NOW!

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Because it it. Yes I know that sounds like a cop out, but if you'd heard a truly great vinyl system you wouldn't ask the question. It's that simple

As for MP3, that's just convenience beating quality. I wouldn't be without my iPod, and rip my CDs at 256 kbs, but there's no way the quality is as good as an uncompressed CD or vinyl front end. Complex high frequency sounds - say cymbals as an example - seem to catch MP3s out.

After saying all of that, rather like Mark I have a Roxsan Xerses turntable that I haven't used for a couple of years. Can't bear to sell it though, I'm something of a horder <grin>.

 

My most cherished audio item is a Schröder model II turntable arm.

If you thought Leica is slow on deliveries and repairs... I ordered the arm on December 2005 and got it on May 2007... Herr Schröder is a busy one-man job,

Oh, and as for the convenience of cra-pods,( sorry I-pods,

) portable crap is crap all the same..

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Random thoughts.

 

My brother - an audiophile - noted recently that the marketplace is adopting better and better video quality (digital transmission, high definition) at the same time that it is adopting worse and worse audio quality (vinyl to CD to MP3).

 

Perhaps there will be a 'bounce' in the future to "high-definition MP3s".

 

Does anyone know of a reliable source for long-term (say, every year since 1900) production figures for photographic film? Preferably in unit sales rather than dollar sales.

 

After all, George Eastman introduced "film" when there was NO existing film market (plates, yes, not film) and managed to make a profit at sales levels that were probably (but I don't know - thus the request for information) substantially below even today's shrivelled market.

 

(Someone has estimated that there are more horses alive today than there were in 1910 when they were still the prime means of personal transport - also a figure I can't confirm). In a world of 7 billion people, even a niche within a niche can be a substantial market.

 

Are platinum prints "dead"? I'm sure somewhere someone is still making them. And some photographers still make tintypes (see recent Nat. Geo. story on cowboys).

 

I think the TREND for film (or more generally, chemical silver) photography is continually down - but how far away the bottom is is another question. According to Zeno's paradox, we can edge downward forever without actually reaching a bottom - even a clearly defined, finite bottom.

 

125 years ago the leading camera technology was the view camera. In 1920 the leading camera technology was roll-film (120, 616, 828). By 1970 35mm had clearly "killed" both those formats in terms of raw rolls purchased and images exposed worldwide - yet both have remained is use and eventually quasi-stabilized at a viable level.

 

I like digital. It has opened up creative venues that would have been prohibitively complex, time-consuming or expensive to do MYSELF with chemical means - color, 16x20 prints, etc. etc. Not impossible - just far more expensive than even my 2 M8 bodies.

 

I doubt I will shoot more than 1% of my exposures on film from here on out (but might change my mind).

 

But you other 6,999,999,999 folks can do as you prefer - and I expect that will be enough to keep film around for quite a while.

 

(P.S. When the original LIFE magazine folded, its subscriptions were near an all-time high - 10,000,000 or so. But advertising revenue had been trending down for a decade. The instant it fell below break-even, management pulled the plug - because as a business there was no point whatever in continuing the operation once it was obvious it would never be more than a cash drain from that point on. At 10,000,000 copies a week, each losing 1 cent per copy, you can lose a lot of money very fast.

 

As someone who works for a newspaper, where Ebay is having the same effect on classified ad revenue that TV had on LIFE's display ad revenue - I take that lesson to heart!)

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My brother - an audiophile - noted recently that the marketplace is adopting better and better video quality (digital transmission, high definition) at the same time that it is adopting worse and worse audio quality (vinyl to CD to MP3).

 

Errr, you mean like SACD <grin>

 

Then again there a big push for video over IP, which again offers convenience over quality. Also the rise of Youtube.

 

I don't think this is a simple issue.

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Film is not dead, for the simply fact that it's still available, and many people like to use it... but it's definitely becoming a niche market, expecially for amateurs and pro photographers... after all, film serves to be used in cameras and tha facts are:

- In 35 mm, no one vendor show signs of investing in new film cameras

- In MF, about the same... I think Mamiya 7 was the last real new design on film MF cameras... the 4,5x6 Hassy was built with Digital version in mind.

- In Large format, no problem for you simply use a Digital back instead of Film plate.

 

So, I think it's going to be a longtime agony... someday Nikon and Canon (and Leica...) shall arrive at a point in which they shall have no reason to keep film cameras in their pricelist, and some years after they'll declare they won't support them anymore, film production shall switch definitely to specialty brands... but anyway I think it will be a VERY long process: ok there is the "generation issue"... teenagers of today that NEVER have used film, but I think that, just to make a number, 50 years from now some sign of film photo shall be still alive.

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Random thoughts.

As someone who works for a newspaper, where Ebay is having the same effect on classified ad revenue that TV had on LIFE's display ad revenue - I take that lesson to heart!)

 

On the other hand, you still make a killing on the Obituaries

 

Yes, people are still dong cyanotype, etc. and perhaps some are even mixing up egg whites and putting their own silver down on assorted surfaces. I agree, it's unlikely with the current world population that any technology will disappear, just more niche players providing the service/product (the local village near my cottage still puts out a hand typeset paper every week

). I heard they still use shortwave and undersea copper wire cables for telecom bandwith, in addition to ALL the other technologies invented that blow them away in bandwidth.

 

 

robert

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Ok - just substitute Brequet or IWC.

 

maybe some of the higher end breguets could take that claim? with iwc... unless you're talking about destriero i doubt your claim could be taken seriously by those who care and know.

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AMEN to that!!!!!

What are you doing over here on the Internet then?

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Not for me. While I have finally surpassed 1K clicks with my M8, I still regularly shoot my M3 with both color slide and bw and will continue to do so as long as there are labs for development. My only real concern is having to lay out $2k for a Nikon 9000 if my Minolta 5400 ever croaks.

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