Will film cameras make a comeback like vinyl?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Ghostworld, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm seeing it, I think. I see people gobbling up film camera at swap meets and thrift stores. Developing is not that much >$8 and they now just scan the negatives. Prints, however, are still pretty high.
    Alex T likes this.
  2. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    New England
  3. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Detroit, Michigan
    How can the prints be expensive if they are scanning the negatives, then it wouldn't be any different really from having prints made from digital pics at the drug store.
    somnar and Mike from NYC like this.
  4. Exit Flagger

    Exit Flagger Forum Resident

    New York
    I see some teenagers around town with Polaroid-type instant cameras from Japan. Those are kind of a happy medium between digital cameras and traditional film camera I guess - instant printouts.
    goodiesguy, Jrr and Shak Cohen like this.
  5. bluenote

    bluenote Forum Resident

    I think the difference is with film you have to develop prints in order to view them, whereas with digital you can still view your pictures without developing them. The only time I print pictures is if I want something framed.
  6. Raylinds

    Raylinds Forum Resident

    I shoot film with some vintage Nikon equipment (although I shoot mostly digital these days). I like to use film for B & W (love the grain) and some landscape stuff with Fuji Velvia film (very interesting saturated colors). I don't really see it making a comeback and will always remain a very small niche market. But anything is possible!
    Donniej likes this.
  7. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Austin, TX
    I only use film in my Russian toy/medium format cameras and even that's been a while now. My Nikon FE2 hasn't been used in a decade.
  8. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    I know a few professional photographers who use a film camera on occasion, and know that some hipster types have adopted film, but no. There is no reason for it to come back, and digital sensors have exceeded film in every way.
    Jrr and KeninDC like this.
  9. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    nahhhh. old polaroid cameras made a comeback of sorts but finding the film is the issue there I think.
  10. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Berkeley, CA
    They kind of already have. Last time I was in an Urban Outfitters they were selling Polaroid-like cameras.
    somnar likes this.
  11. KeninDC

    KeninDC Forum Resident

    Virginia, USA
    They still teach film (color and B&W) in my daughter's high school photography class. She uses my dad's old bad-ass Canon T-90 kit. My daughter also uses one of those Fuji (Polaroid style) cameras for fun. That instant film is a bit pricey, but I must admit it is cool.

    FWIW, my daughter also uses a turntable.
  12. Donniej

    Donniej Senior Member

    Yeah, I've seen several hipsters with vintage SLRs around their necks.

    That reminds me. I still have a couple rolls of film in the fridge that need developing...
  13. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    The West
    Oh god again with the seething "hispters" hate.

    Analog resurgence isn't a "hipster" thing anymore, it's fairly mainstream among younger people who've grown up digital and are looking for something different and older people who love what they grew up on.

    That holds true for analog photography, which encompasses old-school shooters such as myself who still hold on to some of the skills, processes and equipment we used in the past, advanced digital shooters getting into medium or large format analog, kids in high school dusting off their parent's or grandparent's old Pentax (my high school senior niece and her friends fit this category), and yes the Lomo-snapping hipsters.

    As for cameras, I can see large or maybe even medium format cameras being manufactured again if demand reaches that point. 35mm? No way, never going to happen. For now there are more than enough to fill the need and used prices are going nowhere but up, but to create that kind of manufacturing infrastructure for such a niche product seems impossible.

    dan c
    royzak2000, sberger, drasil and 2 others like this.
  14. Brendan K

    Brendan K Forum Resident

    I'd say it's not going to make a comeback like vinyl but it won't be rendered obsolete. There's always some new director who insists shooting on film.
  15. balzac

    balzac Forum Resident

    I would argue some of these things are at least *partly* very much a hipster thing, hipster really just being a stand-in word for "trendy." I also think in some cases that the apparent or stated reason for something seeming to regain some level of popularity (e.g. vinyl being an "audiophile" thing) is not wholly accurate. In the case of vinyl, I think there are other factors (of varying legitimacy depending on opinion of course) at play including people just digging large-format artwork, etc.

    I also think the vinyl thing is way more prevalent than "old school" film photography. So I've never particularly thought of shooting on film as a "hipster" thing particularly. Vinyl? Yes, a hipster thing in part.
    Nostaljack and Donniej like this.
  16. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    New Orleans, LA
    The Impossible Project, which has been manufacturing film for the Polaroid SX70 and 600 series cameras for several years, has recently released a new camera that uses their film and costs way too much money, compared to what you'd pay for most common point and click Polaroid cameras on the used market. I don't see the market for new cameras exploding because there are so many great used cameras out there that are working just fine. My Minolta XD-11 from the early 80s still shoots like a champ, and my 1969 Hasselblad is the same. There are people out there who still repair analog cameras, too. These things were meant to last.

    I have to shoot digital for commercial and most editorial work because of the expected fast turnaround, but I doubled down on film six or seven years ago and bought my first large format (4x5) camera. Now I shoot Fuji and Polaroid instant film (all expired) with that camera when I can get away with it (like on some magazine jobs), or when I want to shoot something for myself using the effects I get shooting with that camera. The company New55 has been hand-making 4x5 instant film for a couple of years, and I've managed to get some good shots from their product, even if it's not quite as reliable as expired Polaroid 55. Total niche market there, though.

    There's a ton of great 35mm film out there, and there's a small but growing backlash against the perfect sharpness of digital. I think this will remain a minority because cell phones have made taking snapshots so easy, but there will always be hobbyists and artists alike who enjoy the process of shooting, developing and hand-printing in a darkroom. I personally just find it more satisfying than digital.
    SandAndGlass, Ken K, drasil and 2 others like this.
  17. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
    Most photographers I know shoot digital and then spend hours editing and retouching. I'd say anyone using film is likely developing it themselves.
  18. Donniej

    Donniej Senior Member

    100% agree that the "analog resurgence isn't a "hipster" thing anymore". Obvious when you see all the baby-boomers on this site with their new turntables and thousands of records they've bought in the last few years. (No offence intended to them, btw).

    I'm guessing the "hipster hate" comment was directed towards me. I don't see how my post could be seen as "seething". I have ACTUALLY seen several hipsters with film SLRs. Just an observation.
  19. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Not true. There are a handful of established directors who shoot on film, but except for Tarintino, Nolan and Spielberg who can insist, film in Hollywood is over. It's going to be something that is used for an effect, like recording on ProTools, like bouncing drums to an analog 24 track for tape saturation. My wife and I are the sort of people who stay through the credits, and virtually everything is shot on Red, Panavision Digital or Alexa.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    stereoguy, KeninDC and Donniej like this.
  20. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Bexley, Ohio
    imo, hipsters are buying vinyl and playing on Crosley type tt's. Some may step up to better equipment. Audiophiles and "better equipment" music lovers probably make up the bulk of better TT sales. The main question is, will these purchasers continue to upgrade their TTs down the road?
  21. dewey02

    dewey02 Forum Resident

    The mid-South.
    No. To much emphasis on instant gratification these days.
    The ability to immediately see if your photo is what you want is another reason.
    And no development costs and no storage space needed.
    Mike from NYC likes this.
  22. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    yes, no.
  23. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    No. Ain't gonna happen. My observation of human behavior is that people will always go for convenience over everything else.

    I disagree. I think it's all about composition, lighting, lenses, and the skill of the person taking the photograph. An iPhone in the hand of a pro could probably create a better picture than I could with a $20,000 Hasselblad.

    A lot of the work I do in digital mastering revolves around how to tweak the picture to take the "edge" off digital cameras. I hung out during a session over the weekend for a major romantic comedy coming out later on this year with a 40-ish female star who looks good, but they're already budgeted several days of "beauty" fixes to help glamorize her and take care of some facial issues. Many DPs routinely shoot digital movies with Promist filters or Glimmerglass filters to give it kind of a "film-like sheen" (for lack of a better word). We work very hard to maintain kind of a film aesthetic, particularly when working with digital images.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  24. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Nice. My favorite lens ever (more than any Nikon or Canon) was a Takumar on a Spot F. When you three it wide open to the pretty damn good f1.4 it got this vignette -ish softer ethereal quality that rocks. People still love that lens and they fetch good SLR money on ebay (even if they are slightly radioactive) When someone invents a digital imaging device you can use in an old SLR, I will be so happy. Think of all the great lenses out there.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  25. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    It's a aesthetic value thing.

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