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Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Colin Corneau, May 31, 2012.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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).
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!]
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.
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.
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.
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.
In my not so humble opinion, this was a poor article and did the film community no favors. YMMV
Dang... all those light streaks and such I never wrestled with in the 20 years I used film.
Too many people around the NYT know film--and know better--to have let this goofy piece get published. Bizarre, especially when compared to this CNN piece from last year:
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.
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.
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.
I guess I'm cool again. Is it okay if I don't have any light leaks?
Film is back?
Oh wooooow. I think the imperfections are in the writing craft of journalism.
This person needs to be clued in. Go to
and write her an email. My newer film bodies are older then her.
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!
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!
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.
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.
"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 Im 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.