Will film cameras make a comeback like vinyl?

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

  1. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    One exception, you may find, is motion photography. I'll take a well executed scan of 4K (and subsequent transfer to Ultra HD/HDR) of 35mm over digital photography any day. Very, very few people ever experience "reference quality" panel displays in a proper room, much less projection displays. I'd simply urge people who care a little bit about such things to refrain settling into rigidly held beliefs. I can screen A Few Good Men for anyone who's that interested. Mind. Blowing.
     
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  2. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Only in the same way that some are learning calligraphy or cheesemaking. A kid with a digital camera is going to be able to take a lot more photographs than one with a chemical camera...and taking a lot of photographs is the way to become a good photographer. It's like Malcolm Gladwell said of the Beatles playing hours every night in Hamburg for months made then what they were (you didn't really think this thread could approach ten pages without a Beatles reference, did you?) Ten thousand hours of work, or ten thousand photographs...if you have to buy film and pay for development and printing, all the mistakes and cliches are going to cost so much more chemically than digitally.
     
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  3. Hall Cat

    Hall Cat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    What's wrong with that?
     
  4. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Nothing. But neither would indicate that we'll all abandon computers or store bought cheese. Those ships have not only sailed, they have reached the New World.
     
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  5. Hall Cat

    Hall Cat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    Who's saying that?
     
  6. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    The implication of agreement with the original post is that digital photography would be abandoned to some meaningful degree in the same way that vinyl records are purchased (in lieu of compact discs or digital files). There will always be niche hobbyists, which is unrelated.
     
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  7. Hall Cat

    Hall Cat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    Reading the original post, I don't see that
     
  8. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    The OP:

    As I said, I do work for a woman who handles estate sales, and she has not been able to find buyers for 90% of the still cameras that come her way. Maybe Hassleblad or Leica bodies or Canon or Nikon lenses that can be adapted to current digital bodies will find a home.

    But anything else? Darkroom equipment, enlargers, any brand of equipment other than those four top names? Not a chance.

    You might as well try to find buyers for looms and spinning wheels - loved by a few people with a special interest, but nothing for the general public.
     
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  9. Stratoblaster

    Stratoblaster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    That is exactly why I got out of photography when I was a teenager; I simply couldn't afford the film and developing costs to take thousands of photographs to learn the craft (as deep as I wanted to). I jumped back on many years ago when digital imaging started to hit its stride.

    While digital lets you shoot cheaply and with impunity, I've not developed the 'spray and pray' mindset that many new, digital shooter have (however, I'll do that if/when I see a sasquatch or a UFO lol). I still ask myself "Why am I taking this picture? What is it that I want to capture?" every time I press the shutter, and pay careful attention to framing and removing clutter right at the source.

    I frequently impose limits on myself for a day of shooting, like saying "I only have one roll of 36 exposure film for the day" and force myself to be creative, efficient, and really see.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  10. Hall Cat

    Hall Cat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    Well, i'm glad there's both, and i'm very glad that Kodak's making new Ektachrome for my Canon 512-XL. I to love film in the Humboldt Park formal gardens in the summer
     
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  11. ggg71

    ggg71 Active Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Been thinking about this for the last day or so...

    It's kind of like paintings... We have oil paintings and we have watercolors. Does one really replace the other?

    Plenty of room in the world for both analog and digital.
     
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  12. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    Sure there's room for both, but the painting analogy is flawed because digital really has replaced analog cameras to the point where analog cameras now have niche status (for enthusiasts and historians). I recently heard that cassette tapes are having a 'resurgence' (seriously). It's the same kind of phenomenon at work.
     
  13. ggg71

    ggg71 Active Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Maybe it's not a perfect analogy... But in my mind digital vs film is a question of medium. Just as vinyl vs CD is a question of medium. I'm a big vinyl guy, but unlike a lot of people on this board, I'm not going to tell you it's because it sounds better. I just enjoy it. It's my medium of choice.

    Film vs Digital is much the same. Photography used to be a hobby. 20 years ago, the average "man on the street" did not have a camera on them. Today photography is a commodity - everyone has a camera. But for the hobbyist - film is still an option. Sure - it's probably a smaller market then it used to be, but now it's coming back to some degree. One component of being a great photographer is understanding how to use the film. There will always be people who want to explore that aspect.

    One other point, Capitalism has a tendency to over correct. During the boom it goes to a state of over production. But in the bust it goes to a state of under production.
     
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  14. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    No, I don't think that it's just a question of the recording medium. The change to digital brings many other benefits over analog, which is why it has became dominant. These benefits include: convenience, price, precision, non-degradation of digitally encoded information at playback (for audio), form factor, speed of use, post processing options, transmission of the recorded information electronically, etc. There are many advantages to going digital, it's not just a question of medium.

    I'm not sure how that is at all relevant to the digital vs analog discussion.
     
  15. ggg71

    ggg71 Active Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Sure, there are lots of advantages to digital. There are also disadvantages. An artist chooses his medium based on both.

    It's totally relevant. The argument has been made in this thread that because film has all but died out, it's dead, and never coming back. I think companies have over corrected, and the niche market is now making a comeback.
     
  16. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    There is no 'over-correction', the companies are responding to demand. There is a huge demand for digital, not for analog. A comeback implies that film cameras will somehow (re)achieve parity with digital, or thereabout. I'm sorry, but this is not credible. Of course there is still film out there and some enthusiasts may be seeking it out, but this in no way is a 'comeback' when you consider the global market and global trends.
     
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  17. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    McLover loves his cameras manual, mechanical, and chemical. Analog like his music. McLover does digital, but hates automatic exposure. Spastic me needs cameras I don't have to outwit. And controls which make sense. Automatic= Training wheels. SpazzCam must be rugged and dependable. The top shutter speeds get the action when McLover loads up cameras and finds things to shoot.
     
  18. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I thought I knew a lot about film, and then I went to work for a Kodak division in 2002, and boy, was I shocked to discover how little I knew. The amount of work that goes into making color negative and print film is unbelievable. I seem to recall they make it in gigantic sheets that are like 10-12 feet across, then sucked up in giant rolls and slit to 35mm (and other widths) as required. And all of that has to be done in the dark. Just incredible. Kodak kept a lot of stuff secretive, but they did reveal this for Ektachrome:

    [​IMG]

    The thing that really amazed me was finding out they had adhesive layers inbetween the photosensitive layers, but they were completely clear, holding everything together as a kind of "sandwich." People thought color film was very simple -- it's not. It's very, very complicated and really difficult to make.

    I'm very glad that film survives, because I think it's an important part of history and I think that filmmakers should have the freedom to shoot on anything they want -- digital or film. Choices are good.
     
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  19. Khaki F

    Khaki F Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kenosha, WI. USA
    I wouldn't write Black & White off quite yet, either. When Mike Nichols was preparing to shoot Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? he actually went to combat with the studio to shoot in B&W during a time when color was all the rage. And Norman Seeff is one of my favorite still photographers as well... just about all of his work is B&W. There's a stark intensity to that format which adds an aesthetic worth considering, in and of itself.
     
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  20. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Yeah, I shot B&W-only for years as an amateur photographer. There are now high-res digital cameras that can shoot B&W only, and we also have the ability to "process" color images and pull B&W and grayscale separately from individual color channels, creating vastly different tonal values and looks. It's not just turning the color off -- it's determining where do the highlights and shadows come from. Very complicated stuff.

    I'm a huge fan of well-done B&W photography, which is one reason why I whine so much about how colorization looks like crap. It's a crime to do that to classic feature films. I'm totally against it for something like a sitcom, because that's not quite at the same level, particularly if it was a show that eventually went to color. But if it isn't done well, I'll shut it off.
     
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  21. Khaki F

    Khaki F Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kenosha, WI. USA
    Lots of times I ask myself, is the color necessary. If it isn't, why is it there? All it does is then, is distract from the substance. Like trying to listen to a great album with someone outside blaring the car horn in the distance.
     
  22. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    It's there as an attempt to make really old stuff more favorable for younger audiences, as otherwise they would never give B&W content a chance.

    I'm not convinced that 'color' would win them over, as the content itself is very dated, culturally (eg strict patriarchy, sexism, behavioral norms, etc). I think these things would seem quaint to the younger generations.

    What's more, the colorized stuff never looks natural as only a single greyscale channel is providing the image tonal shape and the color has to be inserted (and guessed) based on that single channel. The result always looks flat, lacking luster and realistic specular highlights. It's possible to do a decent job, but I reckon that requires real skill and effort and probably wouldn't be worth doing for most things.

    Is colorizing still a thing anyway? I thought that 'fad' was over.
     
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  23. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I think color can be beautiful, B&W can be beautiful, mono can be beautiful, stereo can be beautiful, and surround-sound can be beautiful. It's not all one thing and none of the others. I try not to have exclusionary taste: there's good and bad in a lot of stuff. Crappy B&W is not better than great color, and vice-versa. It's just another way of telling a story.

    I know a guy who was a colorization exec in the 1980s, and when the company folded, I asked him why it wasn't a bigger success. He kind of sighed and said, "unfortunately, our audience realized than when you take an old B&W movie and colorize it, it's still old." So the audiences did not flock to watch the new colorized versions, for the simple reason that the characters, the plots, and the style was still very old and dated. I agreed and noted, "there's lots of old color movies that same audience probably won't want to watch, either."

    Hey, imagine the outcry if they take all the I Love Lucys or Twilight Zones and convert them to color and crop them for 16x9 HD... :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
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  24. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Yes to the endless showing of slides to a captive audience via a slide projector onto a screen.

    I recently viewed old slides via a magnifying glass...up close to a light.

    It's amazing how "true to life" and almost three dimensional slides are.

    I compare it to the "true to life" nature of some analog recordings.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
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  25. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

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