Kodak on digital and film future

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by Michael Scarpitti, Dec 28, 2003.

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  1. Michael Scarpitti

    Norman Worth Guest

    Thanks. There is a lot of information here. The main point is that there
    has been a culture change involving computers. Ordinary people use them
    routinely for communications and other purposes. This has changed the way
    we live and do things. It is not entirely clear how computer use will
    finally affect imaging and photography, but the change will be great an will
    affect many aspects of the craft. Industry is going through a thrashing out
    process to discover how the markets really work, how things _can_ be done,
    what is useful, and what people will accept. I don't expect it to calm down
    for at least 10 years. A secondary message is that silver photography is
    expected to remain viable for the foreseeable future. Although it is
    certainly a mature field, the author seems to expect significant (though
    unspecified) advances.

    The paper mentions people beginnng to share images by e-mail. This has been
    even more of a boon in industry, where you can now instantly give someone
    anywhere an image of whatever you're discussing - a very powerful service
    tool, marketing tool, and decision making tool. The speed of digital
    photography is important here. The image goes from camera to recipient
    directly. No processing, no fuss, little bother. The biggest victim may be
    Polaroid. Kodak seems intent on making this easier and more versatile
    still, with some emphasis on easy print making from digital images. They
    also seem to feel that digital printing of traditional photographic images
    is a way of the future. It may be, but there are certainly still a lot of
    problems to solve. In any case, making the priniting process versatile and
    available to the ordinary consumer should be viewed as a plus.

    (An interesting aside: my local camera shop has a one-hour lab that uses
    ordinary chemical processing to produce a negative, then scans the negative
    and prints it (using lasers) on more-or-less ordinary chromogenic paper,
    which is processed chemically. The quality is good and the cost is

    Norman Worth, Dec 28, 2003
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  2. The next step is to take your digital camera to the drugstore and have
    the store hand you back a strip of negatives -- for archival storage,
    of course.

    Pro shops could hand back a strip of real b&w (silver) negative
    r-g-b separations for even better archiving.

    The future of digital photography is film!



    for full-color archival photos from turn of the century Russia --
    they would never have survived if they weren't B&W!
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Dec 28, 2003
  3. This is the way it's done where I have my color processing done (the
    drugstore, in this case, Longs Drugs). They use a Fuji Frontier to scan and
    print negatives. I suspect this is the canonical way its done all over nowadays.

    Yes, quality is good: but lately, I've been paying more attention to the
    prints I've been getting, and while they look very good, I'm a little bothered
    by the digital artifacts you can see if you look closely; especially areas of
    fine, regular detail (e.g., screens, grilles, etc.) or areas of solid color.

    I wonder if I can even get "regular" (i.e., projected from the negative)
    prints made anymore for comparison.
    David Nebenzahl, Dec 28, 2003
  4. Michael Scarpitti

    Jazztptman Guest

    I wonder if I can even get "regular" (i.e., projected from the negative)
    prints made anymore for comparison.>

    Yes, you just have to find one of the shrinking number of minilabs who hasn't
    updated their equipment to digital printing. The Fuji Frontier and Noritsu
    27-31 series digital printers are becoming very common.

    It may be interesting to have the same image printed at competing labs using
    Fuji and Noritsu equipment to see if you find one brand does a better job of
    scanning the negative and making the print with fewer artifacts.

    Jazztptman, Dec 29, 2003
  5. Michael Scarpitti

    Dana Myers Guest

    Do you really think so? It's highly questionable to me
    that even modern color emulsions are truly more stable
    than modern CD-R media. In fact, most of the concern I
    see over digital archival isn't based on stability of
    media, it's based on obsolescence of media, and the 9-track
    data tape as well as 8-track audio tape are cited as
    examples of the danger. However, let us not forget the
    ordinary audio cassette tape is as old as 8-track,
    and, in a slightly different context, broadcast television
    signals are based on standards developed in the 1940s.

    I might argue that 35mm film and facilities to handle it
    are in more danger of becoming obsolete than ISO9660-format
    CD-Rs. So why would a strip of negs be a good archival
    I suppose that's true, but it still doesn't avoid the
    inherent issues with the accuracy of the color separations
    and putting the separation back together again later on.
    I really doubt it film is the future of digital,
    though I really suspect the maturity and proliferation
    of photographic *output* will maintain it as a standard
    for high-quality output.
    Of course, technology has advanced considerably since then,
    wouldn't you say?

    Dana Myers, Dec 29, 2003
  6. Very good point. *Some* old formats become obsolete; others don't. CD-R is
    so widely used that it will never die out entirely.

    8-track died a painless death because nothing irreplaceable was recorded on
    it in the first place! People didn't do home recording; 8-track cartridges
    were copies of record albums. Cassettes survive because lots of relatively
    irreplaceable material is recorded on them.

    Many kinds of computer tapes are obsolescent because there was never a
    widespread agreement to use a particular format. That is, it was hard to
    find equipment to read them even in their heyday.

    CD-Rs may have a limited lifetime (this seems to be a matter of debate) but
    color negatives aren't permanent either.

    And there is a strong possibility that a technology will be developed to
    read deteriorating CD-Rs that have become out-of-spec. Since it's digital,
    it's entirely recoverable even if they dyes fade, so long as they don't
    become totally undetectable.

    Modern CD drives are already more tolerant than early ones.
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 29, 2003
  7. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Because film is 10,000 times more preservable than flash in the pan
    technology, that's why. Film *is* an image. An image on CD-R is 100%
    dependent on the technology that produced it being around in 200 years
    to also extract it. Not going to happen even if current CD-R media could
    last that long, which it can't.
    And you think an industry driven by economics cares about that? As soon
    as they find something to replace it that will make more money, they
    will. Vis-a-vis, the format doesn't have to become obsolete, just the technology.
    That CD-Rs have a limited life span isn't a matter of debate at all. Go
    ask the manufacturers (if they're honest.) Last time I queried,
    companies like 3M and Verbatim gave their media an honest maximum life
    of about 30 years. That's when the stamped CD-R layers iterally may
    start to come apart, if their dyes don't fade first.

    Color film, negative or transparency, can be *permanantly* preserved and
    the layers don't come apart. That's a fact.
    Nonsense and speculation. Obviously you've been fortunate (extremely, I
    would say) to have never suffered a data loss on digital media.
    Speculation and wishful thinking aside, the reality is most people I
    know -- including myself -- haven't been so lucky. Digital media data
    loss is as common as spit on a sidewalk. And once gone it's mostly
    unrecoverable and what is recoverable is only usually recoverable at
    large expense.
    I have a burner I paid some $600 for just a few years ago. It won't read
    or write the current crop of new CD-Rs. The whole point of a profit
    driven industry is to get you to buy and invest in "new and improved"
    products through continual upgrades and advancing technology.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 29, 2003
  8. Michael Scarpitti

    Harry Liston Guest

    The next step is to take your digital camera
    to the drugstore and have
    I really doubt if this will become the norm. And
    I really doubt that film and digital can
    peacefully co-exist over the next five years, much
    less ten.

    What will probably happen is this: As digital
    takes hold and supplants 35mm as the de facto
    standard, the cost for processing film will start
    to climb. Prices for chemistries and processing
    equipment will also become exorbitant, resulting
    in a quick and merciful end to traditional
    photography for 90% of the population.

    The argument of archival stability does not have a
    compelling aspect about it. If you look at the
    history of amateur photography, longevity never
    was much of an influence in what caught on and
    what didn't. Look how popular color print film
    became in the 1960's despite very poor archival
    characteristics! Even back in the chrome wars of
    the 1980's, Ektachrome and Fujichrome outsold
    Kodachrome 10 to 1, mainly because of the
    convenience of getting the results back faster.

    You may think that pro photography will be
    excluded from the squeeze, but I doubt very much
    if this will be the case. There is no difference
    between pro and amateur once the added
    inconvenience and costs become too much of a barrier.

    I believe the end is much nearer than you
    estimate, despite my feelings to the contrary.

    Harry Liston
    Harry Liston, Dec 29, 2003
  9. Black-and-white film is archival. Somehow I thought what was being proposed
    was color negatives.

    There are people who still play Edison phonograph cylinders -- and they
    sound better now than in Edison's time.

    Regarding digital data, remember that it can be preserved *perfectly* by
    copying. Film can't.
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 29, 2003
  10. Michael Scarpitti

    John Guest

    Many thought the same thing about the venerable floppy
    diskette. I'm putting my money on mini-DVD's.

    Also, I hope the manufacturers get some kind of stability
    rating. The current crop of CD's degenerate as fast as stabilization
    prints. We just experienced a hard drive failure and found that 2 of
    the name-brand CD's of digital images I had created as a backup would
    not read. That really complicated my life for a few days. It's safe to
    say that _all_ future events in our family will be shot on film.


    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.darkroompro.com
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    John, Dec 29, 2003
  11. Michael Scarpitti

    Dana Myers Guest

    What makes you think think film isn't a flash-in-the-pan
    It's quite probable that fewer than 1% of all color negatives and
    fewer than 10% of all color transparencies will even be remotely
    usable in 200 years. Believe it or not, as popular as it has been,
    color film is most likely a "flash-in-the-pan" technology. I'll bet
    more CD-Rs last longer than color negs when our descendents in 2
    centuries look back.

    So, talk to me about your 30-year-old color negatives...
    See above. Kodak certainly doesn't claim "*permanent*"
    preservation of color negs.


    Wow. How many roll-film formats were obsoleted in the first 2 decades
    of consumer film camera use?

    I'm film-bigot, BTW, but at least I'm not in denial.

    Dana Myers, Dec 29, 2003
  12. Michael Scarpitti

    Dana Myers Guest

    Are we talking about 5.25" or, the still ubiquitous 3.5" ?
    Or perhaps you're talking about the truly floppy 8" disks?


    People *still* buy new cassette recorders today.
    That's not my experience.
    I had the same problem a few years back, turns out the CD-Recorder
    *drive* I'd written them with was flakey. Media from the same package
    written with a different drive - one that didn't fail a short time later -
    is still perfectly readable.

    Make sure you're blaming the correct weak link.

    Dana Myers, Dec 29, 2003
  13. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    You're joking, right? 120 years and counting...
    An unqualified and unsubstantiated assertion. While some methods of
    color film dye incorporation produce more stable permanance under
    average conditions than others, proper storage perserves all color film
    dyes equally permanently.
    Color film has been around and in steady use for many, many decades. It
    has a proven track record. The basic method of color image making hasn't
    changed significantly in 100 years. Autochromes are 100 years old and
    counting. Modern color dye technology is improving every few years.

    Color film technology is not "flash in the pan" by any definition.
    They're in the refrigerator. I have older film than that....
    Kodak has long recommended proper storage for long term dye stability of
    it's color films, based on the Arrhenius model.
    I don't follow this at all. Your basic roll film formats (120 and 35mm)
    have remained unchanged for decades.
    But you appear misled. Digital storage is not more permanant than than
    film. It's less permanant.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 29, 2003
  14. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    With color film the issue is dye stability. Dark cold storage
    permanantly preserves color dyes. If properly stored, color film is just
    as archival. You should in fact always store any film under cool, dark conditions.
    A fallacy. Redundancy is, in fact, *required* so you don't lose data.
    Anyone who's ever lost data on a hard drive (guilty...) knows this. But
    the fact that you back up doesn't ensure data preservation, since the
    media itself -- while relatively stable in the short term -- is not
    archival in any sense of the word. Film can not only be permanantly
    preserved through proper storage conditions, but it's also easy to make
    a back up copy. I always make at least two exposures when photographing,
    since if I send one out for reproduction or other use I then have a
    "back up."

    The good thing about digital technology is it does allow one to send out
    a temporary copy for most anticipated usages, ensuring the original
    remains well preserved. A friend of mine is a writer. Since today's
    publishing industry requires all manuscripts be submitted on digital
    media, he uses a word processor. But he *always* makes a tangible hard
    copy to ensure his manuscripts are truly backed up.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 29, 2003
  15. Michael Scarpitti

    John Guest

    The current 3.5 variety. With the advent of cheap USB memory
    keys, FDD's are going the way of the dodo pretty quickly. Most OEM's
    now have the drives available as options.
    Sure. We're creatures of habit after all.
    This might catch your interest.


    "PC Active tested data disks from 30 manufacturers that were
    recorded 20 months ago. Several data CDs developed serious errors, or
    became virtually unreadable. "
    Yep. Probably like yourself I believe in the
    "Belt-&-Suspenders" approach to computers. Backups on my backups on my
    backups. My primary drive's a Plextor 40/12/40A which is to say it's
    less than a year old and has no problems reading nearly any scratched
    up media I've had to throw at it. Plextor's good that way. Best ECC on
    the market for the common user. Of course I also have a Pacific
    Digital CD/RW in the same system which also will not read the disks.


    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.darkroompro.com
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    John, Dec 29, 2003
  16. Michael Scarpitti

    John Guest

    I have some CN-2 negs that are printable. Not perfect but then
    they were stored in a suitcase in the basement of my FIL's house for
    over 20 years.

    BTW, found a roll of C-41 in a chair that was exposed but not
    developed for 8 years. Took it to the lab fully expecting pink, low
    contrast images. Surprised but the entire roll prints fine.


    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.darkroompro.com
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    John, Dec 29, 2003
  17. Michael Scarpitti

    John Guest

    And dry.


    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.darkroompro.com
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    John, Dec 29, 2003
  18. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    The experts say you don't want it too dry, as in 0% humidity. Course few
    of us live in the Sahara, so I assume you mean more or less damp, wet
    conditions. Moisture barriers are a geneally good idea in storage. If
    controlled humidity is possible, 20 to 40 percent relative is generally
    recommended. Where I live it's usually drier than that most of the time.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 29, 2003
  19. I have made this comment (in detail) before, so I will give the Readers
    Digest version here: There are only two data storage media that have been
    proven to last for centuries...
    Baked clay tablets with cuneiform writing - good for thousands of years...
    And, oil paint on either wood (a thousand years) or linen canvas (~400
    There are a few examples of organic pigments on granite (caves) that have
    lasted up to 5,000 years, but the amount of encoded data has been hoplessly
    sparse and the container rather large...

    "Dana Myers" <> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    Dennis O'Connor, Dec 29, 2003
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