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

    DRM likes this.
  2. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    Do you honestly believe that it's going to be challenging to find a used camera for next to nothing?
  3. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Go to estate sales, especially on the last day. You'll be able to get quality 35mm cameras for scrap value.
  4. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    The West
    There's a big difference between materials used to create art and a car. Analog photography is cherished by a lot of people. It's not a matter of digital vs analog, that's a dead argument. It's a matter of being able to choose the materials you want or need. I hope film photography lives forever in some way.

    dan c
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  5. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A Contax Aria? Yeah, a little. If I had any idea what people were still asking for them...

    Let's back up that statement 12 years and ask "Do you honestly believe that it's going to be challenging to find a used *TURNTABLE* for next to nothing?" :whistle:
    DRM likes this.
  6. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    Yeah, I guess, upon reflection, that I was really thinking primarily about art photographers who use the developing process to achieve effects.

    It only makes sense that working photographers who mainly do events and news would transition to the most economical and least complex methods that still produce excellent image quality.

    Not to mention snapshot takers like myself.
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  7. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    My friend who does art photography was actually the first to move to digital, mostly for the greater creative possiblities of Photoshop. His work involves a large number of layers and filters. Here's a gallery of his most recent work:

    Current Work

    I met him when he completely munged his hard drive and I had to do data recovery on it. He is a Mac guy, and had an external hard drive. But he hadn't gone through and reformatted the drive, so it was still partitioned FAT32. And he decided to move System to the external drive to upgrade to internal drive of his Mac. Suddenly everything was gone.

    That was a fun weekend grovelling through the raw data getting his work back. Luckily I know both Windows and Mac.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
    Vidiot likes this.
  8. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    Just to be clear, you've found enough evidence to convince yourself that film camera demand is headed in the same direction that vinyl records (and associated gear) experienced in recent years?

    Have I missed something in this thread? Is there a solid consensus that analog still photography is about to catch fire?

    *I don't care about asking prices on eBay, etc. If the Contax Aria was a limited production camera, then, sure, it only takes a handful of people on the planet to drive up market value. Generally, mass produced film cameras have little or no demand from what I've gathered so far.
  9. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Of course, just because a format is older and has been replaced by the "latest and greatest"...as vinyl was replaced by CD's, doesn't mean that vinyl is inferior or can't make a comeback.

    Even if it's a niche product, like vinyl is today.

    Or...analog cassettes.

    And even if analog photography (or analog music for that matter) isn't about to catch fire...it doesn't mean that certain quality analog cameras, even if they weren't a limited production camera, might not rise in price. Sometimes makers of mass produced goods/large manufacturers...go out of business...or the crowd turns their back on them...or environmental/societal/generational/political/cultural/fashion/business/legal trends make staying in business next to impossible.

    So the supply of well made "older" products starts to become limited...even if they were once mass produced.

    And if 10,000 people want something...they may know something that 3 billion people don't...

    And may pay a premium price to get something they highly value.

    Especially if they don't "make them like they used to"/the supply is limited.

    We have to follow our passions and maintain confidence in our assessments, even if we remain a minority and the crowd has moved on to disco...or swatches...or Nehru jackets...or designer jeans...or reality television...or rap...or Taylor Swift.

    Physical books may even make a comeback...if people get tired of reading e-books.

    People still walk and enjoy walking...even though they could ride in a vehicle that's much faster than walking.
  10. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    VERY luckily for that chap . . . I hope that he treated you to a wonderful dinner, at the very least.
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  11. Dave Garrett

    Dave Garrett Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    Anyone that's really interested in the technical nuts and bolts of how Kodak made film should check out Kodak retiree Robert Shanebrook's book Making Kodak Film. The expanded second edition is the one to have - it's expensive, but I'm not aware of any other resource that comes close to capturing a similar level of detail.

    He self-published both the first and second editions - a while back there was a note on his website indicating that he did not intend to do another printing of the second edition when the inventory on hand sold out, but that comment appears to have been removed now.

    Robert Shanebrook - Kodak Film - Photography - Photographic Film Manufacturing - Rochester - Ny
    Dan C, Vidiot and JohnO like this.
  12. TheVU

    TheVU Forum Resident

    Honestly, any time some uses the benefits of digital to outweigh film, really doesn't get it.
  13. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    At least one word is missing from this post, but I'm not sure if it's a noun, verb or adjective.
  14. TheVU

    TheVU Forum Resident

    Wow, my phone did a number on that one.

    If you just pay attention to the things digital can do over film, and toss aside all of Analog film's qualities, you don't understand the medium.
  15. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    You are doing God's work. Thank you for helping non-technical artists save their work. I encounter awful stories on the web of people losing days or even weeks of work, all because of no backups, hard drive problems, and not having enough knowledge to protect themselves. It's nice to see a success story once in awhile.

    There are pros and cons. It's very hard to argue with the cost and the speed of digital for motion picture production. The cost is not a factor with huge productions, but it is if you have a little indie film for half a million or maybe $1M-$2M. Those guys in general are not going to be able to afford film. (Though there are exceptions, like the $1M indie film Moonlight, which shot on film and won the Oscar for best picture.)

    I don't think it's a straight "X is always better than Y" equation, because there is such a thing as lousy film and great digital. I have seen hundreds of thousands of hours of film in my life, and a good chunk of it was awful. What I do always say (as a 20-year veteran of Technicolor) is when you screw up with film, there's a better chance of saving the image than there is with digital. Film is more forgiving.

    In modern filmmaking, everything is a hybrid, and even huge productions shooting film (like the current Justice League or Spielberg's new drama The Paper) develop the negative, scan it to digital, and deal with it only as digital files from that point on. Only the capture is analogue. There are enormous advantages to editing, VFX, color, and projection from digital. The horror we used to go through when dealing with bad prints in screening rooms and theaters... man, I don't wanna deal with that again.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  16. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    No problem. The experience was a wake-up call for him, and he got religion about backup, with multiple Drobo units, and his new Google Fiber connection allows him a very fast way to archive an additional backup off-site.
  17. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    Eeeeeeh... Drobo! Not a fan here. :sigh:
  18. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    They've worked for him, although I would probably go for Synology these days. The nice thing about Drobo is that you can mix sizes in the same case, so you can upgrade over a long time, swapping 1 tb drives for 4 tb without losing anything or having to buy a bunch of drives at one time.
    Vidiot likes this.
  19. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    Synology is good. I'm a big fan of the G-Tech drives and use a ton of those. The G-Speed XL has been a workhorse for me.
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  20. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Mike likes having one huge drive - it makes a Lightroom catalog easier to deal with.
    Vidiot likes this.
  21. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    I see "Kodak" has introduced a magazine called "Kodachrome"

    Kodachrome Magazine | Kodak Store

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    They can claim they have introduced or re-introduced "Kodachrome" already. They just didn't say it was a magazine.
  22. Derek Gee

    Derek Gee Forum Resident


    Still on track...

    realkilroy and Dan C like this.
  23. ggg71

    ggg71 Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    It'll be interesting if we get a film renaissance with this... Reading the article, it's amazing how the technology to develop this film was basically lost in 4 years. That's pretty amazing. It just shows how fleeting analog (chemical) processes can be. I think that's part of the allure. It certainly makes me want to buy a film camera, and snap some shots!
    Dan C and Rick Bartlett like this.
  24. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    Nostalgia - ain't it grand!
  25. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    New Orleans, LA
    I know this is going to be used as fuel for the "digital good, film -- who cares" crowd, but maybe some of you will see how there's a balance here. I followed a production of the Nutcracker over the last couple of months for a magazine story I'm working on, and I shot a good bit of material backstage and side of stage, where the light was very low. I am keenly aware of how difficult, if not impossible, it would have been for me to shoot this story using film. (I also shot several thousand images over the course of those months, which would have been obscenely expensive with film.)

    This image was shot at 6400 ISO at f2.8 at 1/80 of a second. In black and white, I might have had a chance to get shots like this, but they would have been excessively grainy. Color? Not a chance. I still like film, and even just shot an editorial for an online magazine on 35mm, just for fun. But I recognize that one of the beautiful things about digital is that it's allowing us to create images with fewer technical limitations and tell stories we could never have told before.

    realkilroy, Deesky, ggg71 and 2 others like this.

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