Ken Rockwell and the popularity of film photography

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by kb3lms, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Like Ken Rockwell or hate him, I happen to like Ken's blog from time to time. On his "Today's Updates" page posted today is this gem of a passage in the section entitled "How to Shoot Film:"

    Ken is certainly more in touch with the wide world of photography than I am but does anyone really believe there is any validity to this? Or, is it just sarcasm? It would be great if it were true. I'd love to know how he came to this conclusion but so far he hasn't filled me in.

    You can read the whole posting here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/00-new-today.htm

    * (The emphasis is mine)
     
  2. omaha

    omaha Member

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    KR is my guilty pleasure. I think he is a genius.
     
  3. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    "...there are kids today who've never even taken a real photograph."

    :smile: or :sad:

    I can't really decide...

    Ken
     
  4. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    I don't think he is being sarcastic....but I am suprised as I always thought that Ken was a gear head (mind you, I haven't read his blog for probably 5 or 6 years now)
     
  5. rwreich

    rwreich Subscriber

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    I confess that I sometimes judge people who quote KR as THE authority on all things photographic. It's not personal, but I don't take him too seriously and I don't think he takes himself too seriously either.
     
  6. omaha

    omaha Member

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    The central truth of KR is that he understands that gear doesn't matter.
     
  7. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    I like him most of the time. Which is to say I read and use the info on his site often. And occasionally I strongly disagree. However he still uses film and writes about it which is rare these days.

    He is the reason I own an F5.
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Another central truth of KR is that he writes equipment reviews.... often the day the said equipment is announced and way before anyone (including him) has the gear. He's also quite a binary kind of guy. Either the gear is the best thing ever or a piece of garbage no one should buy...

    Somewhere on his site, he clearly says (at least did at one point) his site is a joke, and it is for his amusement. He says no one should take it seriously.

    I don't.... and he's funny in a strange way.
     
  9. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Actually, he's said quite a few positive things about film and film cameras lately and I like his occasional equipment reviews of vintage gear.
     
  10. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    Thanks to Him, I have a N75 and a N80, which are my favorite cameras for shooting, ever.
     
  11. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    Ken likes a little hyperbole to add punch to his articles. Film use "exploding" sounds more exciting than "it seems like film sales are continuing to increase", and sounding like an accountant.
    I've read his blog regularly for years and have learned a lot. He is quite ready to call something a piece of junk if he thinks that's what it is.
    I don't always agree with him, but that's fine.
     
  12. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Nice blog, a little hard to read because of the formatting. Thank goodness the "blink" tag was taken away so we don't have to endure THAT.

    But great article.
     
  13. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Member

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    I don't like KR... although i used to read his site all the time as well, haven't in months, and only for a glance. i thought he was all about photography, but his end goal is money (as is everyones, but as a photography site, i'd think there should be more than just getting as many readers to click on his links), which is the reason he moved to NY, when amazon was gonna be forced to pay taxes (something along those lines).

    As a newbie, he wasn't very helpful, and with a lack of hands on reviews, why even read the articles (on digital)...

    when i stopped reading was when he was 'about' to announce the new Full Frame winner, i don't know how but i ended up reading he said the d800 was the winner, on an article he had backtracked on and edited, meanwhile on his front page, he continued to hook in readers, by saying he was having trouble deciding between C or N... all i was thinking was, he's probably not even reading any of the cameras, which is REALLY MESSED UP, because some people will go on to purchase a camera based on his Non-reviews...

    Most importantly, have you seen his photos?
    i don't want to read/take any advice from KR...
     
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  15. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Really, the topic here was the "exploding" popularity of film!

    I did think the articles about the 36MP DSLRs and not needing longer lenses since you could just crop was kind of dumb. Maybe it works for him, but it doesn't matter how many megapigsells you have, the lens has got to keep up with it!

    Are film sales really increasing? Or maybe stopped falling?
     
  16. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Hopefully film use is exploding!

    As for KR he seems to get extreme reactions from many people one way or the other. I take him with a grain of salt and haven't really looked at his site in the past few years.

    But. I blame him for my drooling GAS around the 28mm F/2.8 AIS, which I don't really need since I've got 24, 35 and 55mm; but... but... well it's right in the "sweet" range for me and I know I'd love 28mm, and KEH is one click away and it's not very expensive and .... argh!
    I've restrained myself for over a year but I doubt I'll hold out much longer.:blink:
     
  17. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Film sales may possibly be exploding compared to say 2009 levels, but compared to, say 1989 levels, its probably no more then a minor minor blip.
     
  18. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    "Film just goes, while the shuttle program was cancelled back in 2011. So much for digital."

    What a freaking riot, he always cracks me up with something, LOL!
     
  19. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I think he's an awful photographer that has a really strange sense of humor.

    I read the blog from time to time if I have -nothing- else to do...maybe once a month or so.

    Him and Huff are better known for their writing than their sense of lighting...not admirable traits in a photographer, IMO.

    I file them under "internet experts"
     
  20. AndreasT

    AndreasT Member

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    Never heard of him?
     
  21. Jonno888

    Jonno888 Member

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    I agree somewhat with KR. Personally I don't feel that film use is "exploding" but I do get the sense that there is a renewed interest in traditional black and white photography. My journey into photography only started out about 5 years ago when I was in Japan and purchased a Nikon DSLR. Then one day I inherited a whole box of darkroom equipment and I've been hooked on black and white film ever since. I now also own a Hassy and some 35mm cameras. I don't know whether it is by accident or not but I've noticed a lot of younger people taking up film. I like to think of film like vinyl records.... not the most convenient thing but has a uniqueness that cannot be truly replicated in the digital world and therefore there will always be a market for it. Another reason I love using film is because I can make photographs without any computer or electronic device taking part (ok ok except for light meter and enlarger). I think this is making film quite a lot of fun for younger generation since we spend so much time at work on computers. I cannot see my interest in photography continuing without film playing a large part. I'd love to see some sort black and white starter kits being sold to build some more momentum though.... something with everything you need to get up and running eg, 35mm camera, film developing equipment and enlarger..... I think a kit like this would sell well these days as younger people start to realise that you can actually do it all yourself at home! Anywayz... I'm rambling.... my 3 cents :smile:
     
  22. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    Frankly I have to thank him as he is the reason why I ended shooting film.
    Back in 2008 he did many film articles and I ended convinced that it was easier to use my dad's old nikon for a family event then buying a new DSLR. The results stunned me, even being cheap C41.
    The slippery slope brought me to even shoot kodachrome, as the first ever slide film I shot. It brought me experiences many other young shooters haven't got.

    As a newbie he can suck you in; I used to be a daily follower but when I saw that much of his goal is money and he has a bit of opulence around I dropped. However, I continue to read from time to time and he does a few good articles every once in a while. With some BS filtering it's alright.

    Another great article was published a while ago, called "Disposable photos" and sadly true.
     
  23. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    Yes film use is exploding. So is the building down the block they are demolishing. Exploding isn't always a good thing.
     
  24. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Actually there's a lot of truth in that. I have one of those 36MP DSLRs, and it is liberating to crop and still get a high quality image out. But the same has been true for years with film. I have heavily cropped medium and large format film when I wanted to use a longer lens than I had with me (or owned). With a quality lens and fine grained film you can get decent results even with a large crop (which is effectively just a big enlargement). Certainly using the ideal lens for each shot would be nice, but it's not always realistic.
     
  25. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    Something's going on - My son has just come back from NY, having stayed out there for a couple of weeks with his GF (her parents presently live there). He went with my little panasonic digi which I virtually never use, and came back with zero digi pix and 4 x disposable cameras. I asked him why and he said disposables are more fun. Now he's just gone out to France, and he's taken my olympus trip. I certainly haven't been force-feeding him film and most of the time he just uses the ubiquitous iphone, but, something's definitely going on with film. Exploding? maybe not, but it ain't dying just yet. I wonder if any of the mainstream camera companies might just re-introduce a film camera. With all this retro-looking digi stuff, and the whole "vintage" movement out there, I wouldn't be surprised. Fuji X100 for film anyone? Even the cases are retro http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fujifilm-Le...76150661&sr=1-5&keywords=fujifilm+x100+camera. I probably look really up to date now with my brown leather ever-ready's LOL
     
  26. omaha

    omaha Member

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    I truly believe "the kids these days" are longing for something, anything authentic in their lives. For many of them, proper film photography can fill that roll.

    KR is something of a provocateur. He loves to tweak his audience, most of whom don't even suspect they are being had.

    But its all right there if you look for it. He openly discusses his views eg "Bad rich amateurs think fuzzy B/W images of poor people are art." - How can you not love that?

    I've bought some film and chemistry from Adorama recently. I used KR's referral button, just to toss him a bone. I truly do appreciate his efforts.