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Enough with all this "film will Die stuff"

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by AJUK, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. ncmoody

    ncmoody Well-Known Member

    I think Digital has progressed further down the quality line than your post gives credit to. However, For 'purists' like yourself I suspect Digital has a very long way to go before you would consider it equal (if ever). Me, I am much simpler and in my 'eye' it has made it.

    This is a bit like the HiFi thing about Vinyl & Valves over CDs. I think CD,s are great in fact I am quite happy with MP3, but I am well aware there are thousands of people who would not give CD's houseroom. In all these things there is the common ground and the extreme. I hope the extreme is never lost, as whilst there are people to appreciate it, it has a place in our world.
  2. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Even then, the notion that the end product is all that matters is only one approach to photography, and one that only some people adopt. There are plenty of people out there for whom the process is immensely important.
  3. ncmoody

    ncmoody Well-Known Member

    That may be the case, I am not one of them, so I could not comment on that aspect.
  4. GCW

    GCW Well-Known Member

    I believe that film will be around for as long as there are enough people who want to use it. I understand the arguments about the ease of digital and the truth is that not all photography enthusiasts have the ability to discern the quality differences between the two. For me, the difference screams out. Moreover, I could not envision going out to take pictures for pleasure using a medium that I know to be inferior to the smallest film format — 35mm. Why get a great shot and discover that you can only use it at a certain size — let alone the lack of atmosphere which comes with digital. No, if I took what I thought was a great shot with digital I would be gutted that I had not used film. Still, it is true that the happy snappers, both consumer and enthusiast, will determine the future and so the film people should be making hay while the sun shines. Its never been a better time to buy quality film cameras. I do think that if film disappears it will be a great shame for quality photography. Also, I still believe that some enthusiasts will get bored with the simplicity of digital and the fact that it is not as tactile and personal as film. It is up to those who still perfer the medium to continue and I believe that film photography will be viewed in the future by the art establishment and buying punters, as the bespoke quality product and digital as the throwaway. It will become a craftsman’s art — Garry
  5. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    A part of me hopes you are right Garry..................but equally another part of me hopes that digital will continue to evolve to the point where the quality difference between the two media becomes negligible.

    We have just seen the launch of the Canon EOS5D, a very significant camera I feel in that it is the first "non pro" digital SLR with a 12.5 megapixel full frame sensor. Could this be setting the trend for future "enthusiast" DSLR standards and indicating that we have yet to see the best that digital can offer? This would tend to swing the balance back in favor of digital again if this is the case I believe.

    I think there is still a lot to come from digital and that we are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg as far as development is concerned. If my beliefs are correct then the demise of film is inevitable I think but I would agree that at the present time film still has a lot to offer......................but watch this space!

  6. GCW

    GCW Well-Known Member

    There is no doubt that digital has a long way to go and that it is likely to be the predominant format of the future. Equally, I have no doubt that the quality of digital will continue to improve. However, I think it is unlikely that you will ever be able to capture a digital image that has the same ‘feel’ as a film one. For me it is a little bit like a synthesizer trying to replicate the sound of a vintage guitar through a valve amplifier. It just doesn’t sound right and in that market many musicians have abandoned modern equipment in favour of old. Of course, this is a purist viewpoint and therefore it will be the view of the minority. By the way, the Canon 5D may be aimed at the pro/serious enthusiast, but it is still priced at £2,500 — which is a lot of money when you consider its probable worth in two years time — Garry
  7. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Interesting that you should home in on the price of the 5D Garry as it struck me as a bit of a "strange one" from Canon as it would take a very "enthusiastic" enthusiast to pay that kind of money for a DSLR and yet would a pro really be interested in it with it's build quality issues? I can only think that the pricing bears little relation to the eventual "street price" which as you and I both know often bears little resemblance to the manufacturers recommended retail price once the discount outlets have got a hold of it and the initial "new digital camera euphoria" has worn off. Still a lot of money though I agree....................and don't get me started on "digital deprecaiation"...................now there's another reason why you film guys can smirk! ;)

  8. GCW

    GCW Well-Known Member

    There is no doubt that the amount of money that enthusiasts are prepared to pay for cameras has gone up quite considerably since the first ‘enthusiast’ DSLR came to market. I think the D30 was over £2,000 when it first appeared. When I took over AP, seven years ago, few enthusiasts bought the top of range 35mm models — Nikon’s F5 and Canon’s EOS 1, both around £1,200. Instead they plumped for the next down the scale — the EOS 3 and F100 and below. Now enthsuiasts seem able to more than double their spend. I am sure that the 5D will be available at less than RRP, but how much less? Garry
  9. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Why, thank-you. <smirk><smirk><smirk><smirk> :)

    But seriously, as Garry says, this is a wonderful time to be a film enthusiast - all that superb MF kit, for example, that so many of us yearned for all those years, when all we could afford was a simple manual SLR with an extra lens or two, is now practically being given away. And the quality of a nice big MF transparency is simply breathtaking - even just looking at it on a lightbox is an almost magical experience.

    But I think Garry's right also about the 'craftsman's art' - in broad terms I think it takes a lot more effort to produce really good work on traditional materials, to say nothing of the necessary accumulated years of experience. Digital has, in a sense, undercut that by delivering results that are 'good enough' really quite easily and quickly. But does 'good enough' mean as much today as it did, say, twenty years ago? Sadly I'm not convinced that it does.
  10. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Interesting viewpoint Huw. I'm not convinced that investing in film is such a wise choice though..................longterm. It's a bit like buying up Cadillac cars because you believe that oil prices are going to fall in the future....................well they might, but all the currently available evidence would suggest that the exact opposite is going to happen.

    This is what I find hard to accept about the "film is currently wonderful value" argument. The operative word here is "currently" which I would not argue against........................but longterm? I am of the opinion that film will eventually be as redundant as currency with Saddam Hussein's face on the notes.

    I think it could be argued that not every new innovation has been technically superior to the old model in the photographic world. You only have to look at photographic disasters like disc film/126/110 to realize that they were markedly inferior to what had come before and indeed it could even be argued that the old box brownies and plate cameras of old were capable of producing superior results to some much more modern equivalents.

    This did not however stop the mass photographic market from buying such "inferior" photographic products in their droves. I think we can draw a parallel with the current digital situation in that I believe that we are currently in a "transitional" period with digital development where it can easily be argued that the current product is markedly inferior to the older established product. It is my conviction that with the current pace of digital development that what we will see emerging from the end of this "transitory" period will not only be the "equal to" but markedly "superior" to the established "old" film technology.

    This is where Garry and I fundamentally differ in that he is of the view that film will be the "craftsman's" choice of the future whereas I believe that the "craftsmen" of the future will have to adapt and learn to use new tools and that the "craft" of producing images using film technology will be as redundant as the art of producing goods by hand as opposed to by machine..............an art and a skill undeniably.............but ultimately just as redundant as the do do!

  11. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Absolutely no danger of that whatsoever. As long as there continue to be people who simply like film and traditional photochemical technology then they themselves will constitute the demand for it. And history has shown us over and over again that new technology does not drive out old technology. Equilibria shift - that's all. You can still buy buggy whips today - not on every high street, for sure, but you can buy them, and they won't cost you a fortune. Old technologies continue either because they still have advantages that are of value to some, or even just because people enjoy them! And nowhere is that more true than in the sphere of things like hobbies - amateur photography is about as perfect a candidate for this sort of thing as could possibly exist. Why do you think Large format photography is booming? Did you know that it was? There are probably more new LF cameras being sold nowadays than at any time in history. New manufacturers are springing up all the time. The Chinese are getting in on the act, making clones of existing successful products, just as the Japanese or the Russians did a few decades ago. It's precisely the craft of this sort of thing that attracts people. Some companies have waiting lists as long as your arm. You could probably get yourself a Morgan car quicker than you could get a Gandolfi.

    Never underestimate the popular demand for sheer traditional hand craftsmanship - and in photography, that means film and darkroom.

    Sorry Will, but you're living in a fantasy world there - the laws of physics - the properties of light and matter - fundamentally govern what is possible in this universe with any kind of technology, and film is already about as close to those limits as it is possible to get. And as if that wasn't enough, digital technology is severly handicapped by a couple of things, like the need to actually read the image off the sensor, and its inevitable regimented layout of 'pixels'. You could argue that it might get cheaper, or that it might get faster, or things like that, but as far as image quality is concerned there are real physical limits on what is possible, and the technology is already well into the diminishing returns phase.

    Sorry Will, but that's pure baloney. A craftsman is never obliged to use new technology - he chooses what is right for his craft and for him, regardless of any other consideration. That's the whole point of a craftsman. That's why people still paint on canvases, and sculpt stone with mallet and chisel, or why there's no shortage of people still making hurdles, or laying hedges, or whatever.
  12. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Well I reckon we'll just have to "agree to disagree" on this one Huw..............but while you're around..................you don't happen to know where I could lay my hands on a "buggy whip" do you? It's just that Jeri's into all that kinky stuff! ;) ;)

  13. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Well, I bought one in a small shop on St. Mary's Street in Southampton some twenty-odd years ago - the kind of shop that also sold interesting pipes, josticks, and that sort of thing. It was just a joke, but my girlfriend at the time didn't seem to see the funny side. :)

    But to be more helpful, I think if you Google for something like 'domination', 'leather', and 'restraints', you'll probably find everything you're looking for. :)
  14. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    "I think if you Google for something like 'domination', 'leather', and 'restraints', you'll probably find everything you're looking for. :)"...................tried that but all I got was a link to a neo-nazi site selling one of Adolf Hitlers old trusses! ;)

    Big(I wouldn't mind but it's not my size and every time I put it on my crotch wants to invade Poland!)Will ;)
  15. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Well, I suppose it makes a change from wanting to invade Jeri Ryan's knickers! :)
  16. Salazar

    Salazar In the Stop Bath

    Huw, what has Poland ever done to you.
  17. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Well-Known Member

    I am an archaeologist and we a) shoot one hell of a lot of pictures and b) are expected to produce truly archival results, since excavation is destructive, so our records are the only way future generations can re-evaluate our sites. I regularly use 19th century photos. Earlier this year I was able to change what we had thought was the story of one fairly major site thanks to some old negs taken by a schoolboy volunteer (now in his 80's) on a 1933 dig. We know film, especially B&W can last like that. I just daren't use digital, because I have no idea how long the files will last. After all, had any luck lately reading Wordstar for DOS files on 5 1/4 inch floppies? and they are probably less than 20 years old. The research project I run spent almost 2000 quid on film last year, so I guess I am doing my bit to provide a market.
  18. alexham36

    alexham36 Well-Known Member

    Where can you get Cibacrome paper and chemicals?

    As regards the other points in this long and very interesting thread, perhaps I can express myself better if I use Music as an example. Music has "colour" and it is that ingredient that enables you to tell on which instrument it is played even though it is the same note. Wooden speakers had "colour" depending from which wood they were made and in the early 1980s the major manufacturers started making metal cased speakers to get rid of the equipment "colour" and let you hear the music how it was played originally.

    To a degree the same applies to photography. I think it is an Art but that requires some classification. I don't want to make imaginary scenes in the darkroom. My pleasure is to "capture" a scene and veiw it as it was. Anyone remembers the postcards of the seaside with the sea royal blue and the sky astral blue, without a trace of muddy brown/grey, which one finds when one gets there!

    Photography did kill much of the Painting. It put thousands of lesser artists out of work, when people stopped commissioning portraits. And if I wanted to have my portrait I would not go to Picasso to have it done, because I would want to see what I look like, not the artist's "interpertation"!

    I don't want to sell my equipment for a pitance either and I hope that the film will live on for decades, but we have to face reality. No new film cameras will be made and the demand for film will continue to diminish as we die off. We can argue that having "instant" print is not important and that the instant photography existed for 50 years and it did not kill off conventional film. But that instant photography was hugely expensive, whilst digital photography can cost practically nothing. In contrast, when I want to use my Bronica it costs me £1 per shot!
  19. AJUK

    AJUK Well-Known Member

    Send me your old Exposed film :p

    As as for convenience, thats why I own a Digital Camera :D

    Is it not plausable that the quility of film can/could still rais substantially, Raising the bar?

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