The demise of film cameras - I don't like it

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Dick R., Jan 20, 2006.

  1. In that case, publishing the EXIF info is rather silly.

    For distances like that, I would simply get a tripod and a longer lens.

    But for every system there will be the possibily of lucky shots that are
    hard to replicate with another system. With the additional crop you are down
    to a 2 Mpixel image. Nice for a 4x6" or illustration in a book, but not so
    great at 8x10" or larger.
    Philip Homburg, Jan 22, 2006
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  2. Dick R.

    no_name Guest

    I believe Roger Clark's "day job" is astronomer. Gives him access to
    some really big lenses like the rest of us can only dream of.
    no_name, Jan 22, 2006
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  3. Dick R.

    no_name Guest

    Your fallacy is that new is necessarily "better", instead of different.
    No, the piano is a different instrument than the clavichord. A
    discussion on using the piano "to get that clavichord sound" would have
    gotten you laughed out of the conservatory.

    The piano does not replace the clavichord.

    But your argument is that having the piano, the clavichord is no longer
    justified, and that anyone who wants a clavichord must be forced to come
    into the 19th century and adopt these "modern" tools, irregardless that
    what the tool that may best fulfill the artist's vision is the clavichord.

    A tool is just a tool. There are no "best it can be" with tools. A tool
    is either suitable for the work undertaken or it is not.

    You can carve with both a pocket knife and a chainsaw. Which is the
    "best" tool?
    Straw man! Knock him down!

    Certainly not, but by your own argument OTOH, Bach shouldn't be allowed
    to touch his clavichord at all. The clavichord is dead and he's not a
    real musician unless he composes for the new-fangled pianoforte.

    Or to put it in photographic terms, Ansel Adams can no longer use film.
    Were he alive today, he could only use digital for his work to have any
    OTOH, we have BOTH the music of the clavichord and the pianoforte, as
    well as Bach's work for the pipe organ. Have you ever heard Tocotta and
    Fugue in D-minor played on are real pipe organ? I'm not talking CD here,
    I mean IN THE PEWS with the pedal tones vibrating through the floor and
    the the air moving you.

    Yet, it's not a piano piece, so there's no point in it is there?

    But besides Bach and Mozart, we have Beethoven, Beatles, Copland, Berry,
    Greig, Puchinni, Joplin, Stravinski, Domino, ...

    Would you tell any of them the piano had displaced the clavichord, and
    is therefore the only valid tool to express their musical vision?

    By your argument, there is no validity to anything painted since 1835.
    There's nothing of value in Van Gogh, Picasso, Degas, Manet, Monet,
    Gaugin, Munch, Church, Bierstadt, Cropsey, Hopper ...

    After all, once Fox Talbot noticed that silver chloride soaked paper
    would make an image when exposed to light, why would we need painting?

    I personally don't give a shit what's good enough for Lord Lichfield's
    use; I'm not Lord Lichfield.

    Turn it around, you're telling Ansel Adams that film is not good enough.
    To the extent he tells me that I cannot choose the medium I wish to use
    to express my vision, yeah, I'd tell him to piss up a rope.

    I'm not telling you whether or not you can use digital, I'm telling you
    you can't dictate the tools I or any other photographer past present or
    future chooses to express their vision.

    And for you to tell me I'm wrong because I don't choose to use the same
    tools you chose is both arrogant and arrant nonsense.
    no_name, Jan 22, 2006
  4. Dick R.

    no_name Guest

    Scott W wrote:

    But that's the individual photographer's decision to make. It's not your
    or anyone else's place to tell me I should not choose the tool I feel
    best suits my hands to accomplish the work I want to do; which is
    exactly what the "digital replaces film, film is dead" argument tries to do.
    no_name, Jan 22, 2006
  5. Dick R.

    Scott W Guest

    There is a misunderstanding here I see. Whereas I do believe film is
    dying I don't feel everybody should shoot digital. When I argue the
    advantages for digital it is not to try and get people to use digital,
    I really don't care you others want to continue to use film. What I
    am arguing is that for the vast majority of people digital is better
    and this is what is killing off film.

    The photographic industry is not looking to film and film related
    products for long term revenue. Over time you are going to see more
    companies follow Nikon in drop all or most of their film lines.

    There are a few film shoots would like to believe that it is the low
    end photographers that are leaving film and that "real"
    photographers are sticking to film. The evidence would say that this
    is not the case, Nikon is making huge revenues from the sale of DSLRs
    but virtually nothing from the sale of film SLRs.

    Many film photographers dismiss many of the advantages of digital. You
    tell them that you can shoot at high ISO, take a lot of shots without
    needed to change film and they will tell you that you should be
    carefully setting up a tripod to take that one prefect shot for the
    day. Whereas this argument seems to make them very happy it is not the
    best argument for sticking with film and it has not slowed down the
    rate of people switching from film to digital.

    The other thing people should be aware of is that film companies do not
    love film, they love money. They will keep making film as long as they
    can make enough money doing so. The bad news is that the film
    companies don't give a rat's ass about quality just what sells.
    If Kodak is making good money on their ISO 800 print film but not the
    pro films which do you think they will continue to produce.

    Scott W, Jan 22, 2006
  6. Dick R.

    george Guest

    I don't see how they "created" that more or less fell into
    their laps by the actions of their competitors (KM and Nikon). As for
    exotics, first, I don't see where they have that many plus they can do as
    Nikon did and only produce a lot of the lower sellers every couple of years.
    Seems like Nikon has more exotic lenses, 200mm f/2.0, DC lenses, stuff that
    just doesn't exist in the Canon line (not even to mention things Nikon no
    longer makes like all the circular image fisheyes, Canon only made one and
    it was a slow lens, and 13mm and 15mm rectilinear lenses).

    I don't think Canon would LOSE market share by bailing, but I think they'd
    gain by having the most complete line in the business.
    george, Jan 23, 2006
  7. Dick R.

    Jeremy Guest

    Kodak may withdraw from the film business, but there are smaller companies
    that will fill the vacuum left by Kodak's demise. Film has gradually been
    transformed from what was once a high-tech item to more of a commodity. If
    Kodak sold their formulas and expertise to a Chinese company, we'd continue
    seeing good films, perhaps branded under another name.

    It is clear that, to a giant company like Kodak, there will come a point
    where consumer films will not generate enough revenues to make them worth
    continuing. That happens all the time in business. Someone comes along and
    buys out the product line.

    I believe that Tiffen is now making Kodak lens cleaning tissue, under
    license from Kodak and branded with the Kodak name. I presume that sales of
    lens tissue were not important enough for Kodak to expend their resources
    on--but that didn't mean that production halted.

    What I believe WILL disappear are the high-end 35mm film cameras like the
    F6. The low-to-mid level models will be replaced by Chinese-made cameras,
    like those sold under the Vivitar brand, but who will go all out to produce
    top-of-the-line film cameras when so many professionals have ported over to

    As for Leica, I have no idea what the future holds for them. Their stuff is
    already too expensive to justify being subjected to hard use. Much of their
    gear is purchased by collectors and probably rarely comes out of the boxes.

    In all fairness to digital images, the advent of Photoshop has made it
    possible for ordinary people to end up with images that are far superior to
    anything they created back in the days of film and sending print film to
    photofinishers. If I were unable to scan my film and tweak the images in
    editing software, I would have abandoned film a long time ago.

    It seems clear now that consumer applications for film are going to continue
    to slide, to the point that only advanced amateurs continue using film. The
    real cull will take place when retailers begin taking out the minilabs and
    when photofinishers treat film processing as a sideline. Consumers won't be
    shooting film if,

    1: It's availability goes down, because retailers don't want to stock it.

    2: Photofinishing services for film become more difficult to find.

    3: Camera manufacturers cut back on even film P&S cameras. I'm already
    seeing such cameras in blister-packs hung on the walls in stores, not in
    display cases. It reminds me of electronic calculators. I remember when
    Radio Shack sold the first Texas Instruments 4-function calculator for
    $129.99! It was 1971. They were proudly displayed in glass display cases.
    Within a few years they were selling for under $10.00. And today they are
    available anywhere, for under a dollar. Retailers don't put their junk
    merchandise in display cases.

    One day, I believe that ALL consumer camera lines--film and digital--will
    have become commoditized like that. Cameras will be right next to the
    Walkmen, out in the open, on the shelves at Wal-Mart. Already there are
    cheap digital and film cameras displayed in just that way. How long before
    75% of all consumer-grade cameras cost under $50.00?

    It seems inevitable.
    Jeremy, Jan 23, 2006
  8. Dick R.

    Scott W Guest

    But the films that will be bought out and continue to be produced will
    likely be the ones with the highest revenues, which will not be the
    high end films but rather the bottom end ones. Of course this is just a
    guess on my part but it is what seems most likely IMO.
    I would agree with this.

    In 5 to 6 years I would bet that something like 25% to 50% will be
    under $50,
    I am not sure we will see a day that 75% go below $50. For a decent
    image you still need some level of quality in the lens, and that will
    not drop as fast as the electronics in the camera. Still there are a
    lot of P&S 35mm film cameras out there for $10 to $25 so who knows.

    Scott W, Jan 23, 2006
  9. Maybe, but if snapshot photography continues moving to digital as fast
    as it has been, there'll be nothing left for the film market except
    hobbyist and scientific uses. So, sure, it'll be the high-volume
    films (in the new market) that are safest, but those films may not be
    what the common snapshooter likes today.

    Also, it's much easier to keep tri-x in production than to keep
    Kodachrome 25 in production, it's a much simpler to manufacture film
    and it needs much less infrastructure to be useful.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 23, 2006
  10. Dick R.

    Scott W Guest

    are decreasing faster then the consumer film sales. It is a mistake to
    assume that the people who are switching to digital cameras are the
    people who don't care about quality.
    The BW films might well be the last films standing simply because they
    are relatively easy to produce and process.

    Scott W, Jan 23, 2006
  11. Dick R.

    Jeremy Guest

    There is little doubt that the manufacturers will contract their film lines
    down to only the popular ones. Consumers in industrialized countries are
    probably going to be out of film entirely within a decade. I can't think of
    even one advantage that film has for someone that shoots cheap consumer

    Advanced amateurs will keep 35mm film alive for awhile, but even that may
    die off. Advanced amateurs probably got introduced to photography via the
    family camera--whether it was a Brownie, a Polaroid, an Instamatic or a disk
    camera. But they were FILM cameras, and photo enthusiasts had previously
    remained with film.

    Enter digital. Tomorrow's advanced amateur will have started out by using
    the family digital camera. Perhaps his/her upgrade path will be--not buying
    better equipment--but by becoming proficient in using editing software to
    enhance the quality of their images. If that budding photo enthusiast does
    elect to acquire better equipment, are they going to go out and buy a film
    camera, when they haven't been exposed to film previously? I think not.

    It won't happen overnight, but with each passing year there will be less of
    a pool of amateurs that are used to film, from which to draw into the ranks
    of advanced amateurs or pros. And, given the state of affairs in MF, it
    seems only a matter of time before digital imaging produces images that are
    equal to film, making it less likely that there will be any significant film
    activity in that format as well. Someone posted that Hasselblad has ceased
    production of their venerable 500 series and is selling only existing
    stocks, while they push their H1 ($9000.00 ???)

    Bronica is gone. Mamiya is darned expensive. Contax 645 is gone. Pentax
    67II and 645 are hanging in there, but who knows for how long. I'm
    surprised to see the rug being pulled out from under so fast.

    Mystic Lab is gone. I never see Clark photo's mailers in my Sunday paper,
    as they used to always be. Fotomat is long gone. How long before the
    supermarket and the drugstore eliminate their one-hour minilabs and send
    their photofinishing jobs out? My pharmacies all have embraced the Kodak
    photo kiosks, and they are doing a brisk business selling one-time digital
    cameras. Wal-Mart had a $40.00 digital camera in a blister pack, hanging
    from a peg on the wall--just like the old days of Ansco and Keystrone [film]

    Everybody has a computer today. People can upload their print orders to
    Walgreen's Drugs or CVS Pharmacy or Wal-Mart and they can pick the prints up
    in an hour--making only one trip rather than two. And their consumer prints
    are better than the ones they used to take on film--even ones that are
    printed without any editing or tweaking.

    When consumers abandon film, where will new advanced amateur film shooters
    come from?

    The cost of film, plus the time, cost and aggravation of getting it
    processed, make digital imaging a compelling competitor, at least for
    amateur purposes.
    Jeremy, Jan 23, 2006
  12. Dick R.

    Verdoux Guest

    Try finding a power socket in the middle of the desert ;)
    Verdoux, Jan 23, 2006
  13. Dick R.

    Scott W Guest

    For people that shoot with cheap consumer cameras how is this an issue?
    Just how many rolls of film do you think someone who shoot cheap
    consumer cameras take with them in the middle of the desert. Lets face
    it the people who Jeremy is referring to will at best have one spare
    roll of film with them, more likely what is in the camera is what they
    got. Even a cheap point and shoot digital is good for a few hundred
    photos on a charge or set of batteries.

    Scott W, Jan 23, 2006
  14. Dick R.

    Verdoux Guest

    You're thinking about tourists, I'm thinking about the people who
    actually live in places like that. In third world countries, getting
    electricity isn't always that easy.
    Verdoux, Jan 23, 2006
  15. Dick R. Guest

    I am not saying digital is a fad, its not, it is here to stay, but film
    is out of fasion at the moment!

    I was thinking about Nikons announcement, and many may remember my
    questioning its long term effect, after the recent serge of second hand
    gear starts to run out and wear out. If as predicted film does settle
    and become a niche in the future, possibly even having a resurgence at
    some point, then there will be a need for new, non top of the line
    cameras, obviously not in huge quantities but possibly a big enough
    demand to be viable.
    Looking on places like Nikonians and DeviantArt, there seems to be a
    lot of people suddenly buying brand new Nikon Film gear, A few people
    saying they have just purchased new F100's and F80's, and one person on
    DA who has just ordered 2 brand spanking new FM3a's, Now I was
    thinking, if prior to the announcement the sales have increased, maybe
    Nikon are just trying to get rid of the back log!
, Jan 23, 2006
  16. Dick R. Guest

    "For those people who shoot
    the normal print film you find in most stores, say Kodak Gold 400, they
    can get better looking prints using a fairly cheap point and shoot

    No you can't its just that a Digital P&S looks almost as good at 6x4,
    the sensors are so small in those camera a 7x5" print is a 25x
    enlargement, too much by 9x6 Most digital compact images begine to fall
    apart., I did test this theory admitedly using A prime lensed compact
    as most film compacts negate there advantage with Stupidlyu slow zoom

    The differecne became more noticable the Highet the ISO.
, Jan 23, 2006
  17. Dick R.

    Jeremy Guest

    Next time my Uncle Louie heads out for a weekend in the desert, I'll be sure
    to remind him to bring his Leica.
    Jeremy, Jan 24, 2006
  18. Dick R.

    no_name Guest

    If the US Army (or KBR) sends you there, there's gonna' be a generator
    no_name, Jan 24, 2006
  19. The optics will always make the difference between cheapness and quality. I
    can buy a pair of binoculars for $25. - I can also buy a pair for $2500. The
    same will always be true of cameras, whether film or digital........
    William Graham, Jan 24, 2006
  20. Dick R.

    Scott W Guest

    Places like that? just where is that exactly, this desert with people
    living in it who are shooting film? The desert with no power but

    Scott W, Jan 24, 2006
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