Film vs. Digital reminds me of the Tube vs. Solid State debate in audio circles

Discussion in 'Photography' started by richardsfault, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. richardsfault

    Mike Kohary Guest

    I think this perception is very subjective and depends highly on the person
    doing the viewing. For example, I don't consider sitting in front of my
    computer being "tied" to it. :)
    The thing is you get to pick and choose what you want to print. You could
    do that with your negatives, too, but that's not the standard behavior -
    most people just print it all. And then you have to buy more film. :)
    I think the whole media resilience argument is moot, for all the kinds of
    media, whether it be disc or film. All media is subject to wear and tear,
    and all of it will fail at some point - that much is guaranteed. The
    underlying issue here is how easily is that media preserved? You can copy
    negatives, but they will be second-generation and will lose something in the
    process. Digital copies are perfect, and that's the key difference.
    This is a legitimate issue, but again, it's just as much an issue with film
    as it is with digital. Further, the issue is becoming less important (with
    both digital and film), since media types are lasting longer and longer and
    becoming more standardized. As it stands, CD and DVD have no foreseeable
    "use by" date, since new disc formats are tending to be backwards
    compatible. That may not last forever, but it seems we have plenty of time
    to figure that out if it changes.
    Not if current trends continue. Film will always have a place, but the
    recent figures show that film is losing its grip on the mainstream market
    with increasing rapidity, and there's nothing to indicate that's going to
    change. I suspect that in another 5-7 years, maybe even sooner, the market
    is going to look very different than it does right now, just as it looks
    very different than it did 5 years ago, when digital photography was in its
    infancy. Now it's reached adolescence, and we all know what happens with
    those damned teenagers. ;) But seriously, as the technology continues to
    improve and prices keep coming down, the trend will probably increase.
    Mike Kohary, Sep 22, 2004
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  2. richardsfault

    Mike Kohary Guest

    He didn't say consumers would always choose the best quality. Sometimes
    they choose what's easy, cheap, and yummy. ;)
    Interesting tidbits. I'll bet that 5 years ago, your digital business
    wasn't anything close to this. Look at how far it's come in such a short
    amount of time, and imagine where it'll be 5 years from now.
    Mike Kohary, Sep 22, 2004
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  3. richardsfault

    Chris Down Guest


    All I can say is, how much good did the fight do the Ilford Film business?

    Once the masses move to digital.. and they are doing.. then the film
    business loses its economies of scale and the process accelerates.

    The smart film companies are movig as fast as they can to cover the bases of
    digital cameras (Kodak) and high quality printers for printing digital files
    (Fuji & Agfa)
    Chris Down, Sep 22, 2004
  4. richardsfault

    Carl Guest

    And everyone's point is what? That film users will keep using film for
    as long as they believe the quality is better than digital, and digital
    users will advocate the use of digital either because they believe it
    has advantages over film or because they must argue to the edge of open
    warfare that their chosen medium is better than the film users.

    It's all irrelevant and pointless to argue - better to talk about
    pictures and crushing the spammers that seem to be gaining ground again
    lately in this newsgroup. The truth is that, no matter how hard anyone
    tries to resist, eventually digital will take the lead - that's called
    progress. some people may not think that kind of progress is really an
    advance when it comes to quality - and their point is? there are people
    who believe that vinyl LP's still produce better quality sound than CD's
    - Good for them. There are people who swear by old valve amplifiers over
    transistorised or microchip versions - good for them too.

    whatever will happen will have more to do with market forces than
    quality. what is certain is that those people who are primarily
    interested in point and shoot photography, who traditionally bought
    compact cameras and took their film to high street processors to be
    developed will jump ship at the earliest opportunity, but there will be
    those who will carry on using film and darkrooms for a number of
    personal reasons for years to come and manufacturers being business
    people will cater for that element for as long as it is viable and
    profitable. good for them too.
    Carl, Sep 22, 2004
  5. richardsfault

    Mike Kohary Guest

    It's become an advocacy argument, which means it's become a religious
    argument, for all intents and purposes. By definition, then, it has no
    point. ;)
    Mike Kohary, Sep 23, 2004

  6. You see resistence while I see a simple reality. Again, it's a matter of

    Good enough.

    Now, where did you get that idea? I've never even suggested, anywhere,
    anything like that about digital. In fact, I've said quite the opposite
    several times.

    I didn't start this thread, therefore I didn't start this discussion. In
    fact, I didn't start any of the discussions I've participated in about film.
    Instead, I've simply added another prespective to what others had already

    Nonsense. I've only been involved in three or four discussions about film
    in this newsgroup. Regardless, why would you see any defense, as you call
    it, of film as annoying? Does it really bother you that much that others
    might not totally agree with you? No answer to any of these questions is
    required. We've went from a discussion about film to something far
    different. Since I have no desire to exchange insults, or spend days
    defending my perfectly ligitimate discussions in this newsgroup, I'll move
    on. Take care.

    Dwight Stewart, Sep 23, 2004

  7. Sales of b&w film has been declining for decades. As a result, Ilford's
    sales had been declining for almost as long. Therefore, digital cameras,
    especially since few digital users shoot b&w, had little impact on Ilford's
    financial problems.

    Dwight Stewart, Sep 23, 2004
  8. richardsfault

    Mike Kohary Guest

    Ok, I'll take your word for it. Fresh slate, then - I'll be interested to
    see how it goes from here on out.
    Mike Kohary, Sep 23, 2004
  9. richardsfault

    roger Guest

    OK, i'll try something new. Now, i will be the first person in the
    world to admit that Herbert Kepler can be a crotchety old fart (but
    then so is my dad, and i still love him). but did anyone read his SLR
    column in the new (oct 04) pop photo? He puts the digital debate
    aside and concentrates on 4 great photos- a Weston, an Adams, a Smith
    and a Capa image. The article is titled The Image is the Main Thing.
    good ol' Herb makes a strong point on some things once in a while.
    Digital or Film , the image is what it all boils down to. we all are
    in to photography because we all love images of some sort. Does
    anyone out there have a favorite photographer who is using both
    mediums to serve their image making? I don't want to start a new
    group, but i think that if people are able to see that the image is
    the final product, whether digital or film, this ties in with the
    theme of the group and can be healthy. just a thought
    roger, Sep 24, 2004

  10. And a great thought, Roger. However, I'll have to opt out of this and most
    other discussions here. I'm finally setting up my new web sites, which will
    probably eat up most of my free time for the next week or so. If this
    discussion is still going on after that, perhaps I'll have more time to
    participate. Take care all.

    Dwight Stewart, Sep 24, 2004
  11. richardsfault

    Mike Kohary Guest

    I agree 100%. Arguing over the tools used to achieve the art is silly.
    Mike Kohary, Sep 25, 2004
  12. richardsfault

    Myself Guest

    You know what, I've been into photography since 1989, my Nikon FE is sitting
    on the desk here next to me. Upstairs, I'm putting the finishing touches to
    my first home darkroom. Why I'm reading a camera technology forum I'm not
    sure because usually I ignore the business/marketing/technology/gadget geek
    side of photography. Have this new breed coming to photography(the digital
    generation) never heard of the AE-1/FM2/LX and how these cameas still sell
    to photographers twenty years on?

    I note that Nikon has just bought out a new film F line body, the F6. At
    least one company is brave to put a foot down in the face of the tech
    industry's tidal wave of computerisation of everything and short sighted
    plans to stick their microchips into the pies of every industry on the face
    of the planet.

    I fell for the digital manipulation fad once and did a multimedia degree,
    been using PhotoShop since 1996 and now I couldn't give a monkey's arse if
    the next digital camera is 'equivelent' to a 6metre X 6metre frame. I'm sick
    of staring at a monitor. Technology isn't fun, it isn't interesting, it
    isn't sexy. It hasn't got staying power. It hasn't got that X factor.

    1 billion megapixels? Show me your work.
    Myself, Sep 26, 2004
  13. In Message-ID:<S9w5d.10$> posted on Sun, 26
    I thought that the Nikonos V was their last film camera when they
    discontinued it a couple years ago. I figured that every time a diver
    went down with one and came up without it, mine just got a little bit
    more valuable. <g>
    Justín Käse, Sep 26, 2004
  14. richardsfault

    McLeod Guest

    Go shoot me some film on your Super 8 camera. Or better yet go try
    and find a VHS camcorder.
    The advantages to digital are immediately apparent to anyone who has
    ever worked in a photo lab. Processing film is inconvenient on so
    many levels. The chemicals are bad for the individual and the
    environment. They are extremely maintenance intensive, requiring
    hours of quality control procedures per week. I only know a few
    professionals who still continue to shoot film, and they are generally
    the ones that already had their own in house lab built.
    McLeod, Sep 27, 2004

  15. A search of the internet found both almost immediately. The S8 film can be
    ordered directly from Kodak (1-800-621-3456), or from a number of photo
    catalog stores (Adorama, Focus, Cambridge, and others). And there were so
    many links for VHS camcorders (including Sears, B&H Photo, and many more), I
    wouldn't even know where to start beyond that.

    Since so many nasty chemicals are used in the manufacture of computers,
    monitors, storage disks, printers, inks, laser toner, and similar items, the
    environment is hardly digital's high ground.

    And my experience is entirely different.

    Dwight Stewart, Sep 27, 2004

  16. After slightly more than two decades of computers, doing just about
    everything one can do with a computer, I've lost just about all interest in
    the technology as well. As such, I retired early a few years ago and now
    enjoy a profitable hobby in photography (it's hard to call anything this
    enjoyable something other than a hobby).

    Dwight Stewart, Sep 27, 2004
  17. I should also clarify that I'm not a die-hard-pro-digital fan
    or a film-photography hater -- in fact, I was *very* reluctant
    to jump to the digital photography bandwagon; for quite a
    while, I associated digital photography with "toys for the
    ignorant masses" -- you know, convenient point-n-shoot toys
    that give mediocre-quality images that can be printed with
    mediocre-quality color ink printers. And that was true for
    a while.

    At some point, my view changed slightly, and I became a bit
    more receptive to the idea that *one day* digital photography
    might become good enough (as in, "digital photographies are
    mediocre right now, but there's no reason to believe that
    can not change in the near future").

    Then, I started seeing more and more good-quality images
    taken with digital cameras, some of them three years ago,
    when my cousin showed me some of the images he had taken
    with his Nikon D1H (or D1X, I don't remember right now).

    So, the idea of a digital SLR became the obvious choice
    in my mind.

    I mean, the thing is, I'm not a fan of chemistry, and I'm
    not a fan of electronics -- I'm a fan of the art of taking
    pictures; that art includes selecting the subject, the
    angle, the lighting, the settings; it includes the choice
    and the flexibility of selecting lenses and filters to
    achieve the effect I'm looking for; it includes admiring
    the images one took, or self-criticizing them and learn
    from the mistakes; it includes showing those images to
    your friends and relatives, and fellow photography-hobbyists.

    So, why would I care that the process of taking the photons
    and "recording" them is a chemical process or an electronic
    process? If they both give me good quality, I couldn't
    care less. If the digital camera (my D70) looks and feels
    about the same as a film camera (my F80), and I get to use
    the same lenses and same filters, etc., why would I care?

    But then, when you throw convenience in the mix, and you
    throw the huge advantage of having instant feedback about
    all of the above-mentioned things (selecting the angle,
    the settings, the lighting, etc.), that's when digital
    photography most definitely wins. And notice that I'm
    even neglecting to mention the fact that, concerning the
    flexibility in the settings, the D70 beats the crap out
    of the F80: I can take one picture at ISO-200 and the
    next one at ISO-1600, and then immediately switch back
    to ISO-200. I get all the information about the date
    and time of the image (without ruining the picture, as
    some annoying point-n-shoot toys do by putting the date
    and time on top of the image near one corner), as well
    as what lens were you using, at what exact focal length,
    the exact aperture and exposure that you used for that
    shot, etc etc.

    And the amazing thing is, digital photography, being in
    its infancy, already beats a technology that has been
    evolving and improving over many many decades. Well,
    that should not be a surprise -- *photography* as a
    technology is improving/evolving, it's making a leap
    forward by replacing a messy chemical process with an
    electronic process.

    You point out several details that surely indicate that
    things are not truly black-or-white -- i.e., it's not
    "photography is all digital" or "photography is all film",
    but still, that doesn't contradict the original claim
    that film photography would be, very soon, a niche
    market at best. And even then, as I mentioned, digital
    photography is still in its infancy -- I can picture
    better and more-convenient software, services, printers,
    etc. being available in the near future that would make
    digital photography even more convenient and less
    expensive than it already is. That would attenuate
    your arguments even more.

    Carlos Moreno, Sep 28, 2004
  18. richardsfault

    BillB Guest

    You made several excellent points, Carlos, but where Dwight is
    concerned, his true beliefs seem to lie on one of the black or white
    extremes, and not somewhere in the gray middle that he tries to
    portray above where he claims not have an anti-digital bias. Note
    the following that he posted yesterday in this thread, nearly a week
    after he posted what you quoted:
    Message-ID: <klR5d.3879$>
    BillB, Sep 28, 2004

  19. Okay, you mischaracterize my views in several regards. First, of course I
    favor film. I've said that on several occasions and it should be bloody
    obvious from my messages. But it is a huge stretch to say favoring one
    technology makes one opposed to another. As I've also said, I've been
    involved in digital imaging since perhaps the very beginning. I scanned my
    first digital photo in 1984 or 1985 using a crude optical scanner replacing
    the print head of an old dot matrix printer. And my photography today has
    full digital capabilities, integrated with my film and overall studio

    Second, you will not find a single message from me where it is said there
    must only be one or the other - the black or white extreme you falsely claim
    above. Instead, I've simply tried to attenuate, or put into perspective, the
    comments of those who insist film will be virtually or utterly extinct
    within just a few years. In my opinion, it is those people who hold the
    extreme views.

    Finally, you took the quote above from a discussion about technology
    careers. That was made clear by his comment about a "multimedia degree" and
    my comment about retiring early to "now enjoy a profitable hobby in
    photography." Of course, you had to take it out of that context, and slyly
    cut the words about my photography today, to even attempt to use it to
    suggest an anti-digital bias on my part, didn't you?

    Regardless, it is true, as was made clear in the discussion you took the
    quote from, that my years working with computers has impacted my enjoyment
    of computer-based technologies today. Most obviously, I'm not as easily
    impressed with the latest gadgets as some of the pro-digital members of this
    newsgroup clearly seem to be. Further, I have far less desire today to be
    sitting in front of a computer when I could be out enjoying the world, and
    perhaps taking more pictures, instead. But having less desire certainly
    doesn't mean I flatly reject computers or computer-based technologies,
    especially when that less desire is based on many (20+) years of wide
    experience directly with those technologies.

    Dwight Stewart, Sep 29, 2004

  20. Well, I've made my arguments, which you're obviously free to disagree
    with. Regardless, given the number of existing film users, and the many
    millions in the USA and around the world without even a computer to this
    day, I still suspect film is going to be around a lot longer than you
    imagine. But I guess we'll just have to wait a few years down the road to
    see. Take care.

    Dwight Stewart, Sep 29, 2004
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