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Photos of film's demise

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crasher8:
Ilford is doing it's part to keep film alive and available. I don't need Kodak any longer. Delta 100, HP5, RC and Fiber papers, etc etc.

NOTHING like a properly crafted darkroom enlargement. I actually have a perverse satisfaction that it's a dying art. I still do it and feel it produces my best work. Caveat: for B&W only. My 5d3 and L lenses are pretty sweet lol.

V8Beast:
I'm glad I started out shooting color slides, which served as an excellent learning tool. In fact, to this day I still try to emulate the look of Kodak E100VS with my digital files in post production. A big reason why I switched from film Nikon bodies to Canon digital bodies is because I felt they more closely produced files that looked like film.

That said, I don't miss spending $5 per roll, the $15 it cost to process that roll, and the 2-3 turnaround time for processing one bit. All that for 24 exposures! I love the flexibility in post processing that digital files allow.

Good riddance, film :)

dr croubie:
I suppose there's a bit of a distinction to be made between 'film is dead' and 'kodak is dead', and also between 'film is dead' and 'film for the masses is dead'.

The demise of Kodak is more a lesson in kodak compltely cocking up almost everything they've done in the last 20 years, as a company they could be thriving, even in a purely digital world. They killed off kodachrome a few years ago, ektachrome just went this year, all that's left is TMax and BW400CN. They also used to make good Digital Sensors, and their paper and printing was really nice too. But they managed to cock that all up too. Ilford may have gone bust a few years ago but they're back and not doing too bad, and fuji is just mopping up all of kodak's old customers too.

But yes, 'film for the masses' is dead, no doubt about that. But as niche and as collectible it's thriving. I saw an ebay auction end yesterday, for an Exacta 66, the 'ultimate upgrade' to a Pentacon Six, fully mechanical with coupled light-meter, it was always the 6x6 of choice for those who couldn't afford Hasselblad. $500 for the body, $500 for the lightmeter seperately. $600, $700, $800 for three lenses. I see it all the time, film camera prices are actually up a bit on a few years ago. Maybe for collectors? I don't know. There's gotta be a lot of users out there too. The two 6x6, the 6x45, and the two 35mm film bodies i've puchased in the last year are all getting used.
I just shot my first roll of Velvia the other day, on 6x45. All I can say is wow. Being able to look at the images, the colours especially, I'm wondering why I never shot it before. They're about the size of my 7D's LCD screen, but they look so much better. And I scan them to 40MP, and they still look great. All on a camera/lens that cost $300. It may cost $1 per photo for the roll and processing, but I reckon it's making me a better photographer because of it, I only use 'spray and pray' for birds on my 7D, I used to use it even for landscapes but not anymore.
I don't think I'll mount slides into a projector, I doubt i'll ever mix my own chemicals in my own darkroom, or create an 'optical print' with an enlarger, once scanned it's all GIMP. Some things you just can't beat in a digital workflow, like contrast/colour curves and unsharp mask (yes I know unsharp mask was a film invention but it's so much easier on digital). And the best part is, I don't need to backup and worry about hardware failures. Worst case, I have to store the negatives somewhere safe, if I lose the whole lot I just re-scan.

gmrza:

--- Quote from: distant.star on November 12, 2012, 11:01:00 AM ---
My fear with digital is longevity. I've communicated with several restorers, archivists, etc. who universally say the only genuinely reliable long-term storage medium we have is paper. All digital storage formats degrade far more quickly than paper.

Maybe it's just me. I think most people don't care about the longevity. For me, there are few things more fascinating than looking at pictures from 80 or 100 years ago. A while back I resurrected my old prints and negatives from 40-50 years ago and was amazed. This raggedy old man was once a quite handsome young man in a military uniform! Without that picture, I would not have known. Will young people be able to look back 50 years from now at digital images s they make today?

--- End quote ---

You've hit on a point which isn't considered very often.  It is very interesting to see how few people actually consider the longevity of digital media. - For files stored on a hard drive, you essentially bargain on copying everything to a new hard drive every 5 years or so.  Good papers, depending on how they are stored, can have an archival life of up to 200 years.  - Try explaining that to a client who only keen on a digital package.


--- Quote from: dr croubie on November 12, 2012, 03:59:31 PM ---I suppose there's a bit of a distinction to be made between 'film is dead' and 'kodak is dead', and also between 'film is dead' and 'film for the masses is dead'.

The demise of Kodak is more a lesson in kodak completely cocking up almost everything they've done in the last 20 years, as a company they could be thriving, even in a purely digital world. They killed off kodachrome a few years ago, ektachrome just went this year, all that's left is TMax and BW400CN. They also used to make good Digital Sensors, and their paper and printing was really nice too. But they managed to cock that all up too. Ilford may have gone bust a few years ago but they're back and not doing too bad, and fuji is just mopping up all of kodak's old customers too.

But yes, 'film for the masses' is dead...

--- End quote ---
It is unfortunately true that Kodak has messed up almost everything in the last 20 years.  I will miss Endura papers, although, as you say, Fuji has done a pretty good job of mopping up Kodak's customers.  I think actually Fuji already started mopping up Kodak's customer base in the 1980s, well before the advent of mass market digital.

Film manufacturers will need to learn to live on in a much smaller scale - the mass market heyday of film is over.  The future is more niche - like the "Impossible Project".

I also certainly don't miss film.  I think digital has made photographers of all walks more productive and helped them to be more creative.  While one of my father's friends, who was a commercial photographer in Frankfurt decided that he could not make the leap to a digital workflow in his business, and rather retired - he could afford to, for my wife, starting up a studio from home, digital has been a major enabler.  With film we would have had to have dedicated another room to photography work for a darkroom.

Digital also reduces the cost (especially in terms of time spent) when you use an external lab for printing. - Now you only need to make one visit to the lab - to collect your products.

Aside from the specific technology involved, this is a great narrative about how important it is for (especially large) organisations to change in order to stay relevant.  Those who don't change with the times get consigned to the junk pile of history.  Fujifilm was one of the earlier adopters of digital, and benefited handsomely from that.  AGFA and Kodak stuffed it up.  I would say Canon and Nikon have benefited from Digital more by luck than design, purely because the move to digital has favoured camera manufacturers against producers of photographic consumables.

As much as I do hate the process of getting film developed, I am itching to go down the road and get another spool or two of Tmax or Tri-X, and see how the EOS 650 fares with the 24-70 f/2.8 II. ;-)

distant.star:

.
I never made the link, but now that you say it I see it for certain.

That's one of the reasons I like you images so much -- they have that same color reversal look I always got and loved in slides!




--- Quote from: V8Beast on November 12, 2012, 01:32:35 PM ---I'm glad I started out shooting color slides, which served as an excellent learning tool. In fact, to this day I still try to emulate the look of Kodak E100VS with my digital files in post production. A big reason why I switched from film Nikon bodies to Canon digital bodies is because I felt they more closely produced files that looked like film.

That said, I don't miss spending $5 per roll, the $15 it cost to process that roll, and the 2-3 turnaround time for processing one bit. All that for 24 exposures! I love the flexibility in post processing that digital files allow.

Good riddance, film :)

--- End quote ---

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