Could this kill film for good?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Ric Trexell, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Location:
    Berlin Wi.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Here is a link to a new development from Hitachi, the Japanese electronics company. They have developed a glass memory device that is suppose to last a million years. No film can do that nor can any CD. Read about it here...

    http://phys.org/news/2012-09-japan-hitachi.html

    Enjoy, Ric.
     
  2. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

    Messages:
    5,454
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Really archival memory is a great development if it pans out, but of course it won't kill film. Ink jet prints already last longer than chromogenic color ones but color isn't dead. Film is a choice based on aesthetic and process. The until-now archival advantage (for black and white only) and lack of need for a specialized machine to read it are nice, but they are not integral to choosing film over digital, or even very important reasons for most of us.
     
  3. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

    Messages:
    1,366
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    How is it intended to kill film exactly as I can't even use it on any of my film cameras?
    • It requires some device to use it - I can simply look at my film.
    • It's just a method to store digital data - I can simply open my film cases.

    And of course it doesn't fit any of my film cameras!
     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,241
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Do we really produce anything worth keeping for million years?

    Plus, I'm in agreement with Les on visual aspect. Almost all recent technology involve encoding visual image to some kind of form that will require special device to read and an algorithm to decode so we can turn them back into visual images. How are we going to keep those hundreds of different encoding method and reading devices for millions of years? I think we really have a problem here. In few millenniums, future generation won't know much about us, unlike the way we know about our ancestors.
     
  5. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,499
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's not a film killer because it isn't human eye readable. Since it requires special hardware to read, what you have is a WOM (Write only memory) with a million year life. Big deal.
     
  6. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

    Messages:
    262
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Seeing how the entire history of the written word spans mere 10 centuries or so now,
    their claim is a nice example of hypothetical conjecture or as we used to say,

    "God willin' and the creek don't rise..."

    There are many threats to film, the worst to my mind being the rising cost of silver as a commodity...
    remember the Hunt brothers?

    in 20 years, you won't even be able to read a CD-ROM, cause no one will have the antiquated drive/drivers
    needed to read one [forget 5.25" disks, how many still have a floppy reader?]... except a few nerds :smile:
     
  7. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

    Messages:
    5,004
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hey! I do!

    Uh... no I don't...

    Ken
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,241
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I got some VHS tapes.... Now I don't even own a TV.... Who killed VHS, the greatest format ever!?

    On the other hand, I also own lots of books from 1970s. I can still read'em with my own eyes....
     
  9. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,324
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Geelong/Richmond Vic AU
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What is worth keeping for a million years?
    Very especially since we're not likely to exist around that time... :whistling:

    What we should be concerned about is how long our film will keep for in ideal conditions as opposed to the ambitions of digital; I doubt very, very much that any digital photograph produced today will be readable in 20 to 30 years. Whether we will still have film then is a matter of conjecture. Whatever we have in a million years will not concern me.
     
  10. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

    Messages:
    1,366
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Everyone knows Beta was better . . . :whistling:
     
  11. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,954
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ....
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,908
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Glass cannot last that long. It is not that stable! Look it up!

    PE
     
  13. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

    Messages:
    2,393
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Aurora, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I use and love film but longevity isn't the reason because being quite careless I couldn't keep my film clean, not scratch for very long time.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. jcoldslabs

    jcoldslabs Member

    Messages:
    179
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I say flow some collodion on that sucker, sensitize it and....oh, wait. People already do that.

    Jonathan
     
  16. zsas

    zsas Member

    Messages:
    1,957
    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    What does this have to do with film? Sure glass is an analog material, but....
     
  17. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

    Messages:
    1,626
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It hasn't been developed into a marketable device yet. It's just a working prototype.

    What kind of equipment is needed to engrave the data onto the glass slide? What kind of equipment is needed to read it? The article doesn't say. Neither does it discuss the expense. They do say that the system will be first marketed to government agencies and museums, etc. All entities with deep pockets.

    At this point, these glass slides can hold 40 MB of data. That's barely enough to hold one good sized JPEG. I've got CF cards and USB key fobs that hold orders of magnitude more data and at fractions of the cost. I can easily afford to refresh my data onto duplicate devices, giving me multiple backups of my files, still at a fraction of the cost of one of these glass chits.

    Sounds to me like this is a long, long way from becoming reality if it ever happens at all.

    Besides, this sounds like it's just some fancy form of photogravure on glass. I bet there are people here who can already do this with analog images. Properly done, I don't see why photogravure can't perform as well as or better than this "digi-gravure."
     
  18. segedi

    segedi Member

    Messages:
    355
    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Calgary, Alb
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Based on the size and their given specs, one of those couldn't even hold a single hi-res scan of 6x4.5. And since they aren't even a square inch, it appears they would only hold 32MB...

    It would be a good medium for super cool spy stuff.
     
  19. MDR

    MDR Member

    Messages:
    1,410
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Austria
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Glass is a constant flux, so it certainly won't last a 1000 years without corrupting the data.
    The new inks supposedly last longer than a chromogenic print is there real live proof no it's lab research that no archivist really trusts.

    Dominik
     
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    9,066
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    No... And is that a warranty?


    Steve.
     
  21. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,907
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    According to a different article I read, a laser is used to engrave it. An optical microscope is used to read it. It's digital information. So the reading part is going to have to develop.

    It's obviously only a proof of concept at this time. The only threat to film that I can see is storage of movies on film, so it would be one more thing film is no longer used for.
     
  22. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You just answered your own question!

    Historians would kill for the most everyday of records from some time periods. That's why I sometimes photograph very unloved 1960s buildings - they may be considered ugly and old-fashioned now and about to be demolished, but go back to the '60s and the general public felt the same about 1890s buildings. Now we mourn their loss while demolishing what the people of 2060 may well regard in the same way. The more images and written works we as a civilisation produce, the better the chance that some of them will survive. That's also why I sometimes just shoot street scenes which at first glance have little artistic merit - they're still a record of that moment on that day.

    However, expecting any single media to survive for centuries is a bad idea. I still have 5.25 and 3.15 floppy drives but wouldn't like to guess how much of the data on those disks is still readable. Within the last twenty years we've seen formats come and go (Minidisk for example) regardless of their actual utility. The market is now rigged to have people lust after whatever's new and shiny, never mind whether it's an improvement over what they already have, change for change's sake seems to be the order now.
     
  23. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

    Messages:
    861
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    County Durha
    Shooter:
    35mm
    They can claim that it lasts a million years, who's going to prove otherwise? That is a load of old tosh claiming that, when It cannot be conclusively proved.

    Even if they could, at what cost? Certainly it will be more than we are prepared to spend when we will never 'in a million years(':whistling:) see the benefit of it. Its like buying the Saudi oil reserves for your own car, when will you ever use it all?
     
  24. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

    Messages:
    814
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Turn-about is fair play.

    Film, in the form of 2x2 transparencies, killed the popular glass lantern slides.
     
  25. eclarke

    eclarke Member

    Messages:
    1,972
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    New Berlin,
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    The film killer is the point in time when all of us dinosaurs pass on.
     
  26. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

    Messages:
    1,626
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I meant to ask what kind of equipment will the user need when this comes to market?
    Right now, this probably takes a laboratory full of scientific equipment. The consumer, not even a technician for a government agency or a conservator in a museum, is never going to want to use bare lasers and optical microscopes with digicams mounted in the eyepiece. They are not going to like having cables running, haphazardly over their table tops. They are going to want a box that has a power cable and a data cable coming out of the back, a little slot in the front panel and a couple of buttons to control the thing.

    Ideally, they are going to want one box that will read and write the data. I can't imagine anybody buying two devices, one to write data and another to read data.
    I suppose, if it's possible to use an already-existing film scanner, it would be possible to read the data with equipment that the user already owns.

    This all begs the question of software. Who's going to write it? When will it be available for a given operating system?
    What format will this data be written in? Who owns the software that decodes it? Will the user be at the mercy of the manufacturer to read his own data if and when software updates change that format?

    I am often called upon to rescue data that other people have stored using now-defunct software that can't be used anymore.
    I had one guy who was going on a business trip to a trade show and all the information that he needed was saved using Microsoft Works. Current versions of Microsoft Word usually don't support Works files. As I came to find out, neither do many other programs support them. It took me a good chunk of an afternoon to find a program that could read it. (Neo Office, IRRC.) If I didn't find that program and help the guy get his data out of that archaic format and into something that he could use, his business might have been sunk!

    Yes, these little, glass slips will last a gazillion years but will we be able to read the data off them 25 years from now?

    I just can't imagine that some multimillion dollar company betting the farm on some technology that hasn't been proven and that they don't have any guarantees that they will have software that can read back their data after 25 years.