Recommendation for Kodak

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by Tony Whitaker, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. I recently did a personal comparison between my 5 megapixel Nikon 5000 and
    Fuji Velvia ISO 50 slide film, Kodachrome 64 slide film, Kodak Portra NC
    160 negative film, and Kodak Gold 200 negative film:

    I also recently won an Ebay auction for a Yashica Mat 124G twin lens reflex
    medium format camera, and I've run some rolls through the 124G.

    I'll be honest. My goal in doing the comparison test was to "prove" that
    digital technology has equalled film.

    Continuing with honesty, my own results have confused me. All the 35mm
    films definitely have more resolution - both slide and negative - but the
    negative films definitely have more grain. The slow slide films look best
    on my monitor, but, when printed, the negative films look best at 8"x10".

    I don't know what to think. It's a neck-and-neck contest when comparing
    35mm films to 5 megapixels.

    However, I don't think there's any contest between format slides (haven't
    done many negatives yet, and haven't gotten any medium format scans) and 5
    megapixels. My meidum format slides are things of beauty.

    Wouldn't it be ironic if, after decades of trying to sell the customer the
    smallest possible slides and negatives (110 film and disc film), film's
    salvation lay in selling the customer the BIGGEST possible slides and

    Is it possible that, to compete with digital technology, Kodak needs to
    introduce an affordable medium format camera? Imagine a $200 medium format
    camera that could use almost any lens with a cheap adapter, coupled with an
    array of services that allowed customers to buy very big enlargements of
    their pictures at an affordable cost. I think this scenario could keep film
    alive for quite a long time.
    Tony Whitaker, Sep 7, 2003
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  2. Tony Whitaker

    EskWIRED Guest

    Sounds good to me.
    EskWIRED, Sep 7, 2003
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  3. Tony Whitaker

    Ron Andrews Guest

    Kodak made many of these cameras in the 20's, 30's, and 40's. What we
    now refer to as medium format used to be a consumer format. There were many
    box style Brownie and folding bellows cameras that shot images anywhere from
    2.25x3.25 up to 3.5x5. A few of these cameras had decent lenses. (They are
    still available on eBay.) There are several problems with this format for
    Loading 120 format film is beyond consumers today. You would need to
    use the 70mm format that looks like a 35mm cassette on steroids.
    A larger format requires a longer focal length lens which has less
    depth of field which requires focusing which casual amateurs can't do so you
    need autofocus.
    Longer focal length lenses are also slower.
    Lenses made for 35mm cameras wont cover the larger image area. You need
    lenses designed for this purpose. The tend to be more expensive.
    You have to ask what purpose this larger format serves. Enlargements
    look great, but it is difficult to see the quality in a 4x6 print.

    None of these problems are insurmountable, but each adds to the cost or
    limits the usefulness. I agree that medium format is a great option for pros
    and advanced amateurs. I can't see it for casual amateurs. Most amateurs in
    the future will use digital or single use film cameras. The popularity of
    single use cameras means that develop and print services for 35mm will
    continue to be available for film SLR holdouts (like me).
    Ron Andrews, Sep 7, 2003
  4. Personally, I don't think anything is going to keep film alive for a long
    time, at least as a consumer imaging product. There is no way, no matter how
    cheap the cameras, that the average consumer is going to continue to bear
    all the significant expense and relative inconvenience of film when they can
    just hook up their $300 digital camera to their computer or their TV. And if
    they want prints, they can go plug it in at WalMart and print away. That's
    if they decided they couldn't afford a $69 inkjet photo printer.

    And all of the hardware AND software computer makers are going crazy trying
    to facilitate the shift. Both XP and OSX are heavily into digital photo
    transfer, storage and manipulation, all with built-in hooks to online photo
    printing (they'll even make a VERY nice hard-bound album for you for $35 --
    all as part of the OS).

    Doubt it? I'm old enough to remember Super 8 movie film cameras. When is the
    last time ANYONE has seen a film-based movie camera.

    No, I think the consumer has spoken, and he has said "We don't care HOW
    beautiful slide or print film is, we want the convenience and low cost of
    digital". The consumer is into snapshots, you see, and using them as
    memories. The consumer won't be moved to tears by the technical perfection
    and artistic beauty of a photo, they only want to look through their album
    and say "Remember our trip to Disneyland? That was fun!"

    Commercial photography going to keep film alive? Maybe for awhile, but
    probably more like just prolonging the death of film. Lucasfilms shot the
    last Star Wars in all digital -- how long before other studios follow suit?
    Do you know very many professional photographers that don't own at least one
    digital SLR? Currently, we're at 6 megapixels for a $2000 dSLR with top
    quality lenses. In a year, 12 megapixels will be common where's THAT going
    to stop? Look at all the galleries of digital photos on the web or prints of
    digital photos in your local gallery, look at the cover of Sports
    Illustrated, for pete's sake.

    Nope, film is dying. It will be a rare specialty product in 10 years IMHO.

    Howard McCollister, Sep 7, 2003
  5. That was the main idea. A 2 megapixel digicam has plenty of resolution for
    4"x6" prints, and it's many times less expensive than film and more
    convenient. The only place where film still has a big advantage is in the
    realm of big prints from big negatives or slides. So, to keep film alive a
    while longer, it might be worthwile to at least try to get average
    consumers interested in this realm. Maybe, for example, instead of selling
    people 24 4"x6" prints for $7.00, people might be willing to pay $15 for 24
    8"x10" prints. You could couple this with strong advertising and lower
    prices for poster size enlargements. Your marketing slogan might be "Film -
    It's What You Want to Use for the BIG Picture".
    Tony Whitaker, Sep 8, 2003
  6. I was thinking that 35mm lenses could be used if mounted farther away from
    the focal plane. Could this possibly produce acceptable results?
    Tony Whitaker, Sep 8, 2003
  7. Tony Whitaker

    Rafe B. Guest

    You guys have got to be kidding.

    I mean, I don't quite understand why MF died out and was
    replaced by 35 mm... but it's history now, and it's pretty
    much a fact.

    Of course, MF lives still - but decidedly not for typical
    consumers. MF will continue to live on, but in its own
    niche of professionals and advanced amateurs.
    I suspect overall, 35 mm gear outsells MF by about
    twenty to one, at least.

    I don't think it's so much the film loading as the sheer
    bulk and weight of the gear. There are lots of excellent
    little 35 mm P&S cameras that fit into a shirt pocket and
    weigh maybe three or four ounces. That simply can't
    happen with 120/220 film. And that portability is
    exactly what *most* consumers want.

    rafe b.
    Rafe B., Sep 8, 2003
  8. Well THAT'S the part that will prevent your predictions from coming true.
    It's all too expensive.

    No, the only reason I got the MF camera is because it was available for
    such a cheap price - $70 on Ebay!!! I'm still firmly pro-digital, and I
    think 5 megapixels is anyone's best option for enlargements up to 8"x10",
    maybe a bit bigger.

    But I enjoy shooting film, too, and with MF I might get the urge to have
    some big posters made now and then.
    Tony Whitaker, Sep 8, 2003
  9. Tony Whitaker

    Ron Andrews Guest

    I should have added that it is hard for the typical amateur to see the
    difference. I can seen the difference too if I put on my reading glasses and
    look closely.
    Ron Andrews, Sep 8, 2003
  10. Tony Whitaker

    Ron Andrews Guest

    Again, I'm talking about the typical consumer, not the enthusiast. Old
    fashioned 35mm cameras were difficult for the average amateur. I was in a
    camera store in 1994 when an older gentleman came in with a WW2 vintage Zeus
    Icon. He asked the clerk to unload and reload it for him. When I asked the
    clerk later, she said this happened all the time. I'm told that this issue
    was a major factor in the design of 126, 110, and APS formats. (Remember
    that two of these formats were big winners.) Newer easy load features have
    helped modern 135 cameras.
    Clock springing of 120 rolls in daylight is another problem. I've seen
    a lot of edge fog on 120 rolls coming through a lab where I once worked.
    Ron Andrews, Sep 8, 2003
  11. Tony Whitaker

    GCW Guest

    Yes, but how many people WANT 24 8x10 inch prints of their trip to
    Disneyland or their kid's birthday party or the family unwrapping the
    Christmas presents? Large prints are wonderful -- but usually you're lucky
    if one image is worth enlarging in a roll of 36 -- especially to 8x10.

    Just my two cents...
    GCW, Sep 8, 2003
  12. I generally agree with what you're saying. I'm not suggesting that there's
    any way for film to remain a major competitor for digicams. I'm just
    suggesting what Kodak might do to maximize the market for film, and the
    only way to do that is to market film's last remaining strength - high
    quality big prints from big slides and negatives.

    I think that's film's last chance.
    Tony Whitaker, Sep 8, 2003
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