Film is back, says NYT

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Colin Corneau, May 31, 2012.

  1. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,862
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Brandon, MB
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    14,996
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'll take any good news at this stage, but am slightly annoyed by the focus on 'imperfections', and quality problems they talk about as permeating the craft of film photography, while in fact pictures with comparable precision to digital can also be achieved, depending on equipment and, most of all, skill.
    I'm glad they wrote the article, however, and it's nice that people (a lot of them) who read the NY Times can see that there is a fun alternative to smart phone cameras and digital SLRs.
     
  3. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

    Messages:
    605
    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Regina Canad
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I agree with Thomas, the focus on the "imperfections" of film is overblown - if there is a spot on the lens, it doesn't matter what medium you are using, it will end up in the picture. What I don't get is the idea that using film is a completely novel method, almost like it is a new product used by Japanese street kids which is slowly trickling into the NY underworld. The average age of a reader of the New York Times is probably much higher than 25 and probably remembers using film very well, both the excitement of opening the prints and seeing what you captured as well as the disappointment for not getting it exactly right (often). Most of the difficulties they describe were more from user error than from film usage. Still, it is nice to be noticed once in a while.
     
  4. Stephen Schoof

    Stephen Schoof Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    Asheville, N
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Agreed. They should mention that for <$100 you can go to KEH or equivalent and get a good '90s-era film body and lens that won't result in "a sprawling white smear blotting out the scenic vista you were hoping to capture."
     
  5. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

    Messages:
    421
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Hartford, Co
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Maybe not the online version of the paper. It really was amusing -- and rather appalling -- to read about the difficulties of dealing with loading film and working with a film camera. The things you take for granted.... But come to think of it, the shoe is on the other foot anytime I speak with a computer tech support person.
     
  6. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

    Messages:
    605
    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Regina Canad
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have found very few people 25 and under who read any newspaper, except for sports scores, concert listings and news that directly affects them. I am an information junkie, and daily read/subscribe to 6-7 newspapers electronically but realize that puts me in the minority. Still, I don't see a lot of younger people reading papers (even electronically) as they tend to like the 140-character Twitter feed to get in-depth coverage of news (I prefer something with a bit more depth).
     
  7. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Subscriber

    Messages:
    568
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Durban, Sout
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I applaud every use of film, since that helps to keep the film that I use in production.

    I must admit I'm a bit tired of the light leaks, vignetting and blurry approach to film. It's as though popular culture is creating a false memory of what film was like. Or was it really like that for most people?

    (Of course I shot plenty of bad photos in my old film days. But as far as I can remember these were due to focus or exposure errors, not light leaks or rubbish lenses. Then again, I shot with a Nikon FM.)

    [edit: ahh - I had the post up in a tab for a while before I responded. I see several others have said much the same in the meantime!]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2012
  8. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,862
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Brandon, MB
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It's an aesthetic hook, a cute form of shorthand to give people a quick reference to the subject.

    Almost any newspaper does this - they need a central idea or 'hook' to base a story around. Of course, with film there's 100 or 1000 different paths they could write about, including the much more representative fact that film quality approaches or exceeds digital, in many cases.

    Anyway, it was good to read this and I think it's entirely valid that someone who may not have thought about film could read this, and serve as an entry into exploring more.
     
  9. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

    Messages:
    495
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Imperfections in film? I thought it was digital that has the imperfections, what with all of those squares...

    Anyways, with columnists clamoring about Lomo, Holga and Diana cameras, is it any wonder they write about the light leaks and film spilling all over? It can be tricky loading a "toy" camera with 120, but it's quite easy with my Fuji GA645zi.
     
  10. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

    Messages:
    694
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can certainly appreciate a "lomo" approach to photography, but the article does give the mistaken impression that film itself is to blame for "imperfections," as if getting a clean, coherent image on film is wildly unpredictable and subject to any number of uncontrollable factors.
     
  11. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,486
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Other than a few times when I forgot to reverse a darkslide and ended up with a double exposure,
    I doubt that I've made an exposure error even .001% of the time in the past half century, regardless
    of format. Heck, I dropped my light meter in a snowmelt creek a couple summers back, and even the
    chromes I took on that trip were spot on, based simply on memory of analogous exposure situations.
    But given the fact that most the texting generation will probably be unable to spell any word over
    three letters long or be able to comprehend 10% of the Readers Digest Condensed Dictionary, the
    disposable cardboard film camera will probably be impossible to comprehend. Nothing works anymore
    unless you have 379 programs you have to learn to turn off before you can take a picture.
     
  12. David Brown

    David Brown Member

    Messages:
    3,552
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In my not so humble opinion, this was a poor article and did the film community no favors. YMMV
     
  13. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,206
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dang... all those light streaks and such I never wrestled with in the 20 years I used film.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  16. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

    Messages:
    1,890
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Location:
    Blue Ridge,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    My first thought was, "film is back? I didn't know it had left." After reading the article I agree with David. It is poorly written. Lots of "hip" jargon: "part with a few bills," "invest a significant amount of time — and coin —..." Journalism isn't what it used to be.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2012
  17. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,153
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm not defending it, but to give it some context, this is a regular weekly column devoted to new "tech" things....ie desktop speakers, internet radios, stuff like that.
     
  18. DBP

    DBP Member

    Messages:
    1,896
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    Alexandria,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Incompetent jorurnalism plain and simple. A decent 110 camera can beat any camera phone made, and 35mm is so far ahead it isn't worth comparing. As for usability, things don't get much easier to use than the Stylus Epic, which was also pretty cheap at $79 when discontinued. So the only valid complaints on the list were the limited number of shots and the inconvenience of having to get processing. The latter seemed an odd coupling with the amount of space devoted to instant film.
     
  19. rthomas

    rthomas Member

    Messages:
    1,179
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC, USA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I guess I'm cool again. Is it okay if I don't have any light leaks?
     
  20. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,055
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    ɹǝpunuʍop.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Film is back?
    Oh wooooow. I think the imperfections are in the writing craft of journalism.
     
  21. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

    Messages:
    2,294
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Shooter:
    35mm
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,265
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Finally after all these years, now that the NYT approve the use of film, I will finally be able to sleep at night with a clear conscience!
     
  23. kevs

    kevs Member

    Messages:
    544
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The author's readers seem to be ham-fisted, camera-dropping nincompoops. And as everyone knows, if you drop film on the "sidewalk", it breaks and all the pictures will fall out!

    Cheers,
    kevs
     
  24. Moopheus

    Moopheus Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Except, of course, that the majority of 110 cameras were not "decent". They were in fact "crap". I remember this facet of using them clearly. Even as a kid I could not be fooled. As soon as I could get my hands on something better, the 110 was history.

    Yes, it's kind of a dumb article--a young tech writer writing about some lomo stuff for for her audience. Yes, film was finicky and difficult, which is why it's hard to believe that billions of people used it.
     
  25. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,898
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Vir
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Any article that mentions film, without "is dead" attached, is a good thing, regardless of whether it is poorly written, or focused on a small subset of film use.
     
  26. Alan Davenport

    Alan Davenport Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Portland - O
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    "Techno junkies" should be outlawed from writing articles dealing with any form of art. They have no clue and no feel for the medium. I have seen this kind of thing in the local paper here and I’m surprised I have any hair left! I love my "seemingly archaic art …" since it requires craft and vision which these kinds of people know nothing about.