Wet photography is really dying

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by David Nebenzahl, May 9, 2008.

  1. Another depressing data point: today I saw an Omega enlarger put out on
    the curb on my way home. (A little 35mm one.) Nearly complete.
    David Nebenzahl, May 9, 2008
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  2. David Nebenzahl

    Ken Hart Guest

    You picked it up, didn't you?
    There's still a few people buying them on eBay.
    Ken Hart, May 9, 2008
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  3. Nah, they're practically worthless. I see them at my favorite
    recycled-goods store in Berkeley (Urban Ore) all the time. Used to think
    of buying them to sell them, but there's really no market there. (As an
    example, speaking of eBay, I got my 5x7 Elwood there--for $9!)
    David Nebenzahl, May 9, 2008
  4. David Nebenzahl

    Pico Guest

    So are we, but live it up! They cannot take it away from us.

    When I take a walk, I am carefull to not to stop for a moment by someone's
    trash for fear that I will be taken.
    Pico, May 9, 2008
  5. David Nebenzahl

    Pico Guest

    And I got the 8x10" Saltzman free. Live it up, David!
    Pico, May 9, 2008
  6. "He not busy being born
    Is busy dying." R. Zimmerman
    Compared to how many computers put out for the

    The purpose of existence is to make garbage.

    The National Lampoon in 1970(?) proposed a
    "Value Subtracted Tax" - A manufacturer would
    be taxed 15% of $999,000,000 for reducing $1B of
    forest to $1M worth of tacky coffee tables;
    Consumers would be taxed 15% of $1,000,000 for
    reducing $1M worth of tacky coffee tables to
    $0 worth of garbage.

    It made a lot of sense to me...
    Nicholas O. Lindan, May 9, 2008
  7. David Nebenzahl

    Pico Guest

    It came true. The Super Fund.
    Pico, May 9, 2008
  8. I suppose it depends on which end of the glass one is trying to drink from...

    Today, I have the best darkroom I have ever had. Finest equipment. Best
    supplies. Easily handles all formats from half-frame 35mm to 8x10. Prints
    possible from reductions to 20x24. All b&w, no color - but that's by
    preference, not lack of market availability. Closed loop exposure and
    developing systems. Computerized tempering water faucet. High quality and
    consistent enlarging papers, both graded and variable contrast. Excellent
    developers, stop baths and fixers. (Homebrew, in my case.) Easily obtainable
    chemicals at reasonable prices, from the most basic to the incredibly
    esoteric. Even a bottle of Rodinal which, if memory serves, has been
    continuously manufactured since well before the end of... not last century...
    but the century before. The list goes on and on. Best ever of everything,
    hands down.

    Today, I have the best film cameras I have ever had. Some vintage. Some
    pristine vintage. Some brand new. All users, and all used. And it's
    possible today to purchase brand new film camera equipment in all formats.
    Small, medium, large, ultra large, panoramic, stereo. View cameras and field
    cameras, 4x5 to 20x24. 35mm rangefinders and SLRs (not many, but there's
    still a few new ones out there). Single and twin lens reflex medium format.
    Fixed lens medium format and full-blown, interchangable lens systems. Both
    mechanical and electronic. Manual focus and autofocus. It's all there.

    Today, I have the best film available in history. Ilford (bless 'em) for
    everything one would ever need in b&w, Fuji (bless 'em) for damn near
    everything else color - and some pretty good b&w of their own. Even Kodak has
    recently been spied lurking again in the shadows of the analog back alley.
    Slow, medium and high speed films. Infrared films. Negative films. Positive
    films. Hell, I recently even purchased some fresh Kodachrome from a small,
    local drug store. So it's all there. Just for the asking. And all the
    finest quality since Niépce started this whole mess in 1827.

    Sometimes, I think it's worth remembering that the heavy end of the glass
    works better on the bottom.

    Ken Nadvornick, May 10, 2008
  9. David Nebenzahl

    Pico Guest

    Whether the glass is half-full or half-empty depends upon whether you are
    serving or drinking. Today we are drinking from the bottle being emptied by
    those moving to digital. It's good.
    Pico, May 10, 2008
  10. Those moving to digital have not enabled Kodak to continue manufacturing
    their Elite Fine Art paper, which IMAO was the best paper I ever used.
    Jean-David Beyer, May 10, 2008
  11. David Nebenzahl

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    Today we have silver gelatin and electronic photography.
    Today we have acoustic and electronic guitars. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, May 11, 2008
  12. Yesterday, a friend of mine could afford a Gibson guitar.
    Today she cannot afford one,
    Jean-David Beyer, May 11, 2008
  13. You know, it's great you have all that stuff; it really is. I don't mean
    to take anything away from that. But how on earth can you propose that
    since *you* have all this great stuff that the state of wet photography
    is OK? It is for you, for the moment, but as others have pointed out,
    what happens when manufacturers inevitably start not producing film and
    paper? What will we do then?

    In fact, the very fact that it is now so easy to equip such a darkroom
    as you have is further evidence on my side. The stuff is so cheap
    because it's being pitched overboard because of digital.

    I don't think film and paper will ever go completely out of production,
    but it will probably soon be relegated to boutique status, and will be
    much more expensive, much less widely available, and with much less
    variety. (Perhaps much like vinyl records today.)

    Enjoy the ride while it lasts, I suppose.
    David Nebenzahl, May 11, 2008
  14. David Nebenzahl

    Rob Morley Guest

    Wet plates. :)
    Rob Morley, May 11, 2008
  15. And dry plates, and homemade paper. But there are too many film cameras
    in use for film to disappear anytime soon, if ever. Even rollfilm sizes
    like 620 and 127 are still available.

    Charles Hohenstein (to reply, remove Gene Robinson)

    "The sad huddle of affluent bedwetters, thumbsuckers,
    treehuggers, social climbers, homophiles, quavery ladies,
    and chronic petition signers that makes up the current
    Episcopal Church . . ." ---Thomas Lipscomb
    Charles Hohenstein, May 12, 2008
  16. David Nebenzahl

    Pico Guest

    I believe there will always be film and paper, however I am afraid it will
    be terribly expensive.

    One thing that really bothers me is the Rollei film marketing - overpriced
    and it comes in its own cute little wooden coffin.
    Pico, May 12, 2008
  17. Yes, but read what I said about that: It won't disappear, but it will be
    expensive, hard to find and restricted in variety.
    David Nebenzahl, May 12, 2008
  18. I'm always curious what people are doing with the Rollei stuff. I've
    never felt the urge to try it (largely because of the price), but I'd
    like to know what people are doing with it and why they like it.

    Charles Hohenstein (to reply, remove Gene Robinson)

    "The sad huddle of affluent bedwetters, thumbsuckers,
    treehuggers, social climbers, homophiles, quavery ladies,
    and chronic petition signers that makes up the current
    Episcopal Church . . ." -‹Thomas Lipscomb
    Charles Hohenstein, May 12, 2008
  19. David Nebenzahl

    Rob Morley Guest

    @newsclstr02.news.prodigy.com>, Charles Hohenstein
    620 is just respooled 120, you can slit and respool 120 to make 127, so
    those formats can continue as long as rollfilm is available and people
    can be bothered to mess around with it. I was surprised to note that
    apparently even 110 and 126 are still commercially available - these
    aren't so easy to DIY because of the registration holes.
    Rob Morley, May 12, 2008
  20. David Nebenzahl

    Pico Guest

    Ain't it just rebranded stuff made in Croatia and the Czech Republic?
    Anyway, the only people I know who have used it are guys who shoot maybe 20
    rolls of film a year. Everything's a one-shot experiment to them. They never
    settle down, never get right with a film and developer combo, then they
    write a "review" of the film so that their ignorance spreads like a viral
    Pico, May 12, 2008
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