Kodak on digital and film future

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

  1. Michael Scarpitti

    jjs Guest

    jjs, Dec 31, 2003
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  2. It is not a color emulsion. It is a black-and-white emulsion with a filter
    layer made of alternating red, green, and blue globules of dyed starch,
    rather in the manner of a color TV screen.

    It produces remarkably true color because the same dyes are used for
    producing the picture and for viewing it.

    I have no idea how stable the dyes are.
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 31, 2003
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  3. Michael Scarpitti

    Dana Myers Guest

    Ever hear of an autochrome? To my knowledge some examples
    still exist, was the first color emulsion, in the late 1800's
    early 1900's. Anybody else know more?[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, I'd heard of Autochrome. It's not a modern
    color emulsion, hasn't been made since the 1930s,
    and I really don't know how stable the starch globules
    + dyes are. But it's not really relevant to the
    mainstream discussion of film vs. digital, since
    autochrome has not seen consumer use since the
    1930s. One might equate it to the Exatron
    stringy floppy or Kansas City standard data

    Dana K6JQ
    Dana Myers, Dec 31, 2003
  4. Michael Scarpitti

    John Guest

    Botched up inkjet prints, inkjet cartridges, printers and
    computers. Oh, and we shouldn't forget about the digicams which needs
    to be replaced about every 2~3 years.


    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.darkroompro.com
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    John, Dec 31, 2003
  5. Michael Scarpitti

    John Guest


    That's good !


    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.darkroompro.com
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    John, Dec 31, 2003
  6. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    I can only read what you write. Sorry, reading between the lines and
    making assumptions about what you write is extra :)

    But given you restate to mean color only, I have one word: Kodachrome,
    1933. At room temperture Arrhenius model shows excellent stability over
    a 100 year period. It's the most stable color dye film ever produced,
    and I think it was the first. Color film has in fact de-evolved from
    there in stability, though again with proper storage there is no dye
    fading or dye fading is stopped in all color films. But of course
    Kodachrom is a unique process where the film itself contains no color
    couplers, but is more inconvenient to process.

    Well it doesn't break of course, but I'm not aware of any comparisons
    with glass. The advantage of polyester over acetate is it's chemical
    stability. But I think it's safe to say nothing is more chemically inert
    than glass.
    it's still an issue to a degree, but with color film dye fading is the
    major issue but is easily prevented.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 31, 2003
  7. Michael Scarpitti

    John Guest

    Sure there is ! Scarpitti's brain !


    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.darkroompro.com
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    John, Dec 31, 2003
  8. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Actually I think it was used to some extent into the 1950s. As to it's
    being archival, it's just as archival as any other film as _long_ as
    it's properly stored. Not being chemically inert, it was the storage in
    tightly sealed, hot, dank canisters and vaults a profit-conscious movie
    industry tossed the reels into that caused spontaneous decomposition
    (burst into flames.)
    Tom Phillips, Dec 31, 2003
  9. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Yeah, I'd heard of Autochrome. It's not a modern
    color emulsion, hasn't been made since the 1930s,
    and I really don't know how stable the starch globules
    + dyes are. But it's not really relevant to the
    mainstream discussion of film vs. digital, since
    autochrome has not seen consumer use since the
    1930s. One might equate it to the Exatron
    stringy floppy or Kansas City standard data

    It's relevant. Just because the "cheaper, faster, not-so-better" crowd
    at Kodak or other companies discontinue a better, more stable, archival
    product or method (like dye transfer or Kodachrome or even Autochrome)
    doesn't lessen it's relevance. It's what *can* be achieved, not what's
    mass produced for the sake of profit.

    Such mass production for the sake of profit is likely one reason digital
    storage media is so poor. Manufacturers are more concerned with
    maximizing short term profits and marketing new technology than in
    providing consumers with the best possible product. That's the history
    of most color films as well. And that is relevant to issues of archvial media.

    Autochromes, BTW, are by all estimates extremely stable since they've
    been in existence for 100 years yet their color subtlties are still well
    preserved. Iford put out an Autochrome calendar for 2003. Quite beautiful.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 31, 2003
  10. Michael Scarpitti

    Dana Myers Guest

    What makes you think that the mainstream future of digital
    is entirely tied up in consumer-produced inkjet prints?

    What makes you think there's one iota of difference between
    a consumer-produced inkjet print and a consumer-produced
    B&W print?

    What makes you think that home darkroom printing waste
    isn't 1000x more toxic than home inkjet printing waste?

    The surprisingly rapid deployment of Frontier and Noritsu
    digital printing machines is making it much more cost-effective
    to get prints done at a lab, whether they're from color negs
    or digital files.
    Why? I have a digicam pushing 6 years old that is
    still in frequent use. It's not much different than
    a 35mm point-and-shoot, really.

    Dana Myers, Dec 31, 2003
  11. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    profit margin.
    A recent thread here on "archival inksets."
    it's not.
    Cost effective for the lab, not the consumer. Frontiers are not
    C-print's equal. Light Jets maybe, but they're more expensive than c prints.
    That's what I do to ensure permanant images. point and shoot.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 31, 2003
  12. Michael Scarpitti

    Dana Myers Guest

    Tom Phillips wrote:

    I believe Kodachrome reversal and Agfa color-negative film were
    both developed around 1935-1936, I'm not really certain which
    one was invented and/or commercially realized first. It is clear
    that Agfa's color-negative technology was a World War II spoil
    given to Kodak.

    The original Kodachromes were not terribly permanent, it took
    some development to achieve this, I believe it wasn't until
    after WW II that Kodachrome had become as good.
    Color negative film did not regress, it's progressed, too. Kodachrome,
    of course, does not incorporate color dyes, they're introduced during
    processing. Color negative film was the beginning of chromogenic
    emulsions, those which contain their own dyes, and this technology
    has also been applied to reversal films. But it's important to
    remember that Kodachrome and color negative films are quite different
    and were originally developed in parallel.

    Imagine, in 1948, having a debate about the permanence of Kodachrome.
    It's not that different than today debating the permanence of recordable
    digital media. The problem was solved with film, it'll be solved with
    digital media.

    Dana Myers, Dec 31, 2003
  13. Michael Scarpitti

    Dana Myers Guest

    But, you've been telling me that color films, negative and reversal,
    are essentially permanent, so I'm not quite sure what to make of
    this statement. Despite being profit-motivated, manufacturers
    still managed to make decent products. It's easy to carp about
    Kodachrome's disappearance, but to do so is to ignore the reality.
    It turned into a niche product that didn't sell well enough.
    It would go bad, past expiration date, on the retailers shelves.
    No one could make money selling it.

    That's reality, for better or worse.

    At the same time, to open another can of worms, manufacturers,
    driven by profit motive, developed alternative reversal films
    that better suited what consumers wanted, and now we have a
    series of excellent chrome films, that you repeatedly insist
    are essentially permanent. So what's been lost? Nothing.

    So, it's not faith on my part that compells me to believe
    that those greedy, short-sighted manufacturers will also
    develop similarly permanent means to store images on digital
    media. If the market wants it and will pay for it, it will
    be developed. The technologies just aren't that different -
    dyes, chemicals, emulsions, layers, process control, you name
    it. The technology to make CD-Rs is not that far from the
    technology to make film. The technology to make integrated
    circuits isn't that far afield, either.

    While you've tried to differentiate digital as an "invented"
    technology and silver halide photography as a "discovered"
    technology, this distinction does not exist in reality. In
    both cases, digital and silver halide are grounded in the
    laws of physics. In both cases, modern realization of
    these technologies doesn't just happen by accident. No
    one just discovered Kodachrome - it was invented all the same
    as digital, just on a lower order of sophistication. It's
    easy to ridicule digital as being based on "imaginary"
    1s and 0s, but electrons really aren't different that photons
    in this case.

    I love film, I love working with film, but film does
    not make an image. Film is a way to capture an image,
    the same way digital technology is a way to capture
    an image. Fixation on the artifact of the capture
    (the film itself) is fixation on the means rather than
    the end.

    Dana Myers, Dec 31, 2003
  14. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    maybe, maybe not. if you measure the advancement of digital media by the
    advancement of film, it'll be quite a while...
    Tom Phillips, Dec 31, 2003
  15. Michael Scarpitti

    Dana Myers Guest

    I do not believe it even remotely makes sense to measure the
    two in similar terms. CD-R was first commercially produced in
    1989; that would put us in approximately 1915 in terms of
    photographic history. Digital storage media is advancing at
    a considerably greater rate, which makes sense given that
    the basic technologies and processes are relatively
    similar. Given the importance of making sure that the
    reflective layer doesn't fall off of a CD-R, it's a certainty
    we'll figure out how to achieve it.

    Dana Myers, Dec 31, 2003
  16. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    No. That proper storage preserves them permanantly.
    I shoot professionally, and because of that I have to shoot ektachrome.
    If Kodak had offered kodachrome in 4x5, I'd have shot it. Just as I did
    thousands and thousands of rolls of it in 35mm.
    Kodak doesn't seem to discontinue products based on niche markets, but
    based on either favoring the introduction of new products or cutting
    less profitable products out to save red ink caused by overall bad
    management decisions. And Kodak has made some bad business decisions.
    But film is Kodak's bread and butter even today.
    A more stable color film. The point is they introduce and market
    products they think they will make the most money on, not those that are "better."

    Yeah and we could all be driving cars that run on water or electricity
    and require virtually no parts and service! So why aren't we?
    Sure it does. Digital is 100% dependent on technology and sophisticated
    industrial manufacturing. OTOH, one can make a photograph with just some
    basic chemistry, some paper or other substrate, and a light tight box
    with a pinhole. And if digital takes over the world, and Kodak
    shortsightedly discontinues all film products, that's what I'll be doing
    :) -- espeically when the lights go out and hard drives fail and a
    zillion computers are sitting in trash dumps leaking mercury into the environment.
    Sure, one is photochemical and one is photoelectric. But the difference
    is silicon requires extensive industrial processing and doping to even
    be sensitive enough to light to capture the photons necessary to
    generate a voltage representing an image. If they were both the same and
    the same physics applied, we'd have had digital 180 years ago instead of
    photochemical photography.

    Digital is a child of late 20th century technological manufacturing --
    semi-conductors. Photography is a child of 18th century chemistry. You
    don't need a power grid and refined technology to make a photograph. But
    you do to digitize. Big difference.
    Again, digital is a completely different medium. What you get is a
    voltage that's converted to digital signals that's stored as binary
    code. That's not an image, it's an electronic representation of the
    image formed by the lens. Even the ISO says so. A digital image is a
    representational image, at least until output in some tangible form --
    onto a negative or print. That's not ridicule, it the fact. It only
    becomes ridicule when digital geeks try to pass it off as being the same
    as real photography

    With silver halide imaging, photons are literally transcribed into
    silver through photolysis-- a permanant physical image through chemical
    decomposition on the film. That's literally what the word photography
    means, "phos-graphos" or writing with light. That's what scientists and
    researchers in the 19th century coined the term to mean. It doesn't mean
    "photoelectric." Digital doesn't write with light, it regenerates
    signals through a purely technological process. It's an imaging process,
    but it's not photography.
    technically, the optical image is formed by the lens. But film
    transcribes that optical image into a latent image. Film does create an
    image, not just pass along a signal for further regeneration and output.
    Film is an end product, and especially in the case of transparencies the
    final product. The same optical image is formed with digital camera
    lenses, but rather than creating a mirror optical image, silicon creates
    a voltage -- the electronic conversion of photon energy. No actual image
    is created until that voltage is converted, digitally processed, and
    then output to a printer of some kind. That's the difference.

    Digital produces no image. Film is an image and end product.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 31, 2003
  17. Michael Scarpitti

    Tom Phillips Guest

    I believe you're the one who chose those terms...

    maybe, maybe not.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 31, 2003
  18. Michael Scarpitti

    Dana Myers Guest

    Tom, it's been an interesting discussion, but if you really believe
    that the above comparison is even remotely valid, there's no
    point in further exchange on this topic. You seem to be purposely
    looking past the *fact* that any modern color film today is 100%
    dependent on technology, sophisticated industrial manufacturing
    and strict process control. The layers in a chrome film
    might as well be 1s and 0s for all you can see.

    I can take a handful of LEDs and photo-resistors and
    create a digital image of a small number of pixels in that
    same pinhole camera. While you might cry "foul!" that I'm
    using sophisticated technology, you're overlooking the fact
    that the "basic chemistry" you speak of is the result of,
    you guessed it, sophisticated industrial manufacturing.
    Even those century-old Autochromes are the result of what
    was quite sophisticated manufacturing for the day.

    In any practical sense, digital and film are both 100%
    dependent on technology, sophisticated industrial
    manufacturing and precise process control. Any
    statement to the contrary is patently false at
    worst, or quaintly romantic at best.

    Dana Myers, Dec 31, 2003
    Paul Repacholi, Dec 31, 2003
  20. Michael Scarpitti

    John Guest

    Entirely ? Nope. But the marketing stratagem for the companies
    making these materials is aimed at the home user. Which would you
    rather sell ;

    150,000 photographers X $100 annual profit = $15,000,000

    25,000,000 home users X $10 = $250,000,000

    Do the math.
    ? I was speaking about the ease of which the average Joe will
    be able to make fast-fading, off color screwups. The average Joe is
    not buying an enlarger and making B&W prints. The commonality is $$$.
    The manufacturers are robbing the profits from film to invest in the
    future of digital. Not a good idea as film still has a lot of life
    left in it.
    Please. You know what it takes to build computers, components
    and peripherals.

    Also the toxicity of darkroom chemistry is for the most part
    grossly over-stated.
    Yep. And I love the fact that now a monkey can operate one !
    You mean you don't have the latest 6 MP digi-whiz-bang
    thing-a-ma-jig ? I see there's hope for you yet ;>) Quick get out an
    RB67 or better yet a 5X7 view camera and make a real photograph !


    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.darkroompro.com
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
    John, Dec 31, 2003
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