Resurgence?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by winjeel, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. winjeel

    winjeel Member

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    For the last few years, here in Japan I've seen more and more digital cameras, mobile phone cameras, and more digital point and shoots. However, in the last two weeks, I've seen a few film SLR's about, and all, so far, are Nikons.
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    On a grand scale my digital infatuation (not digitography but computers themselves) started almost exactly 30 years ago. Back then computers were interesting in their own right, not just because of what they could do, but "how in the world did they work?"

    Cars had a similar fascination for me just starting 10-15 years before that and following a similar 30 year curve.

    "In the beginning" both required constant thought and maintenance, today not so much.

    Over the last few years I've seen sales people, webmasters, and programmers going back to paper calendars and address books, because "paper and pens; don't crash, don't distract you with incoming messages, and don't need to boot in the client's office".

    Prints have similar attributes, the cactus flowers one of my work buddies showed me a snap of on his cell phone yesterday were, how shall I put this, a bit small. They looked fine to him be cause he saw the original scene and the snap was just a memory trigger.

    I'm starting to here people ask for simple cell phones that do nothing but make calls and last ten years. (I believe that right now Mattel or Hasbro might be able to build a better phone than Motorola or Nokia because it would be simple and it would be designed to survive dropping it or dunking it in milk without ruining it.)

    Personally I think that the world is starting to find the limits of digital stuff in general, much like I've found the limits of autos. I won't give up electronic ignition to go back to points & condensers, but I don't drive just to drive anymore either.

    As digitography's shine wears off and people find it's limits I think film photography has the opportunity to find it's feet. That does depend on "us analog geeks" some too, educating our local camera club buddies and the like.
     
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  3. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Mark, that was an excellent observation.

    I particularly agree with the comment about paper calendars and address books. They're fast, simple and you can slip them into a pocket without fear of destroying several hundred dollars because you sat down. You can jot down a quick note without having to tab through fields, erase things or scratch out a note.

    Technology certainly is here to stay, but that doesn't mean that all things can or should become digitized.

    It's also interesting to note the resurgence of vinyl (records/albums). I spoke with the clerk at a Barnes & Noble, and he said that the buyers are mostly younger folks.

    Us older geezers (40's and 50's) moved to CDs en masse because the CDs are smaller, somewhat more durable and cleaner. However, there's always been a debate whether the sound of a CD is too antiseptic. And for those who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, album covers were an art genre to themselves. CD covers pale in comparison, and my eyesight simply isn't up to reading the tiny text on some of the CD inserts.
     
  4. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Mark great observations. I can definitely identify as my interests are somewhat similar to yours (with another obvious similar interest as we're both on this site).

    Earlier today I had a bit of agro session spurred by the NPZ discontinuance that I posted some related thoughts on technology in general, as flickr comments.

    Warning it's a rant in nature, but I don't think my observations are completely unfounded or ridiculous.


    "Well, I'll deal with it. You won't see me buying a D700 or anything of that nature anytime soon.

    It's actually sad to be part of a generation seeing something special and unique going away in some sense (don't worry it'll still be here for quite some time) - while a newer, younger generation brought up on disposable technology and raised by the semiconductor embraces the idea that it's "old bullshit no one would want to use."

    I hate what the major camera manufacturers have become and I'm not going to be forced into the electronic obsolescence game that digital cameras represent these days. There will always be more megapixels, more features, and more technological bullshit that contributes more to sales figures and upgrade mentality rather than photography itself.

    I'll take Tri-X and my METAL film cameras to the grave.

    I tend to think there was a point of change, in the way manufacturers approached their products and customers, in the 80s and beyond.

    Things went from reliable, reusable, and serviceable to plastic, disposable, and planned obsolescence as the norm. It's been like that almost ever since.

    About the only thing that remains serviceable these days are cars, bicycles, and anything inherently mechanized. With the age of the modern semiconductor, many many things changed - and not all for the better.

    There's no free lunch to non-serviceable products and the march of technology also means a gross dependence on it in the long run, not to mention the huge amount of waste things directly and indirectly create from point of manufacture to the when the customers throws it in the dump and "upgrades."

    I'm not saying there haven't been good technologies put forth, but for all of the song and dance things receive, a lot of natural requirements haven't really been changing that much.

    It seems for all the upgrading of everything under the sun we've done in recent decades, societal relations and the concept of community itself has actually declined! Guess they can't fix that with technology, right? But boy can they sure sell me a product!"


    Original reference:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycdrinkup/3695955603/
     
  5. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    I see none. I was at a festival today and though another APUG member was there, I was the only one I saw shooting film. Everyone else was holding Nikon and Canon DLSR cameras with huge lenses, shooting portraits from afar. A lady in one of the tents said "Is that a real camera!" when she saw me shooting with my AE-1 and told me how pleased she was to see somebody shooting film. It made her day and mine.
     
  6. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Last event I was at in SF (Carnaval) I must have seen atleast 10 film cameras (not counting our own), half of which were TLRs. Even had one of our acquaintances shooting street hand-held with a 4x5.
     
  7. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I don't see many people with cameras at all - I live in a small rural village. But what I have noticed is people are far more interested in film photography and far less nasty. Last week a guy came up to me as I was loading my camera and started talking to me about how much his wife loves the film 'look'. I told him I like the simplicity of the cameras a lot. It was a nice discussion and he seemed genuinely interested.

    When I lived in Sweden I saw a lot of film cameras on the streets mostly being handled by people under 30. Before that, around 2006-7 in the UK, I had a few people approach me who were quite nasty about film, questioning my reasoning for using it and telling me how their digi camera was 'better' - they were all over 50 or so.
     
  8. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    I too get the negatives from older people.
     
  9. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Ahh, the virtues of the baby boomers. For how positive their contribute has been...
     
  10. elekm

    elekm Member

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    There was this feeling that if you didn't "go digital," then you were a loser. I'm glad to hear that this has subsided.

    I was chatting yesterday with my work colleague. She just bought a Canon G10. I was thinking that if you had bought every version of that camera, which many have done, then you would have spent about $7,000 -- on what is basically an advanced P&S. It seems to be a well-built camera. But I think that I'll finish work on this little Olympus 35 ED.
     
  11. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    That's how I started to like vinyls, even though I know how the thing works, it's amazing to see it turning. I can stay 15 mins just looking at the thing turning, it's amazing!
    Also, the old slides that my Father shot back in the late 70's were wonderful. They had somekind of 3D look, specially at the reds. I still have to try slide.

    It's ironic to see how old farts become "digitalibans" and we, the young "peeps", defend the film medium.
    I believe it's curiosity, the medium is different. Digital images aren't on a slide. Film can be. That attracts our attention.
     
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  12. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I think you're right. I should add that I'm 36 started shooting with film and flirted a little with digital in 2007.

    I also think that as digital is so popular, film becomes the 'cool' and 'alternative' option. I know plenty of people in their late teens who think like this; Drop the film off; get the CD; done. Photoshop is for nerds etc.

    I have a friend who's started making music mixes on C60 tapes - he sells everything he makes.
     
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  13. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Great stuff!
     
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  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Hee, hee :D
     
  16. cknapp1961

    cknapp1961 Member

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    I am stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC. Have not seen anyone shooting film in years. But on the 4th of July, Julianne Hough (Country Music performer and 2x Winner of Dancing with the Stars) was performing and one of the "guys allowed near the outdoor stage" was shooting a Canon FT, he was probably close to my age, late 40s.

    After the concert I tracked him down to talk. I told him that I had not seen anyone shooting film in years, and that I bet he thought he had the oldest camera at the event. Then I pulled out my 1951 Franka Rolfix, needless to say we had a great conversation about the good old days.

    Craig Knapp
     
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  17. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I keep hearing about the great film comeback; all I can say is, it better get a move on before all the interesting emulsions get discontinued.


    I like to think that I value a lot of the traditional ways of doing things; film, vinyl etc, but cassette tapes are one thing I don't miss. I was a teenager in the late 70s & must have made hundreds of mix tapes over the years. I'd much rather make one for CD or download, cassettes take too long & are way too fragile.
     
  18. elekm

    elekm Member

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    It's ironic that you bring up cassettes. I recently bought a boombox so that I could play the cassettes that I made in the 1980s.

    I've rediscovered "The Wall," by Pink Floyd (never bought it on CD). But I've also listened to some of my mix tapes: "I listened to THAT and liked it?!"
     
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  19. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Film might make a minor comeback, but that'll be all.

    Jeff
     
  20. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    I gotta agree with Jeff.

    It's more likely that dedicated digital cameras (i.e. digital devices that are nothing more than a camera) will disappear than film cameras will make any sort of comeback.

    Film cameras will always have their enthusiasts as long as film is around but I doubt digital converts will come back in large numbers.
     
  21. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    That's right. Most of what you say is why I follow film.
    Film has got grain and it's different, it's like magic. I'm tired of those flat digi images.
    Also, the DSLR I was looking at was an Oly (I followed the history and ended with an OM :D) and didn't like the cheaper nikons and canons because everyone had them...

    Film was better for my use. It comes out good, no need for photoshop; I don't want to stay all the time editing the heck of the image for HDR the whatever. Negs are HDR. I wanted a durable camera (a DSLR becomes obsolete in a year or two, a film camera still goes well, and IQ is still outstanding.

    "And for those who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, album covers were an art genre to themselves" (can't find the original post, so did this for quote).
    I do agree with the album covers of the good 'ol vynils. So big, and most are amazing.
    That's what I thought when I took the album Hotel california. Nice grainy image. The interior had many surprises, too.
     
  22. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Technology will always move forward. Sometimes it's better. Sometimes it's just to get a new product on the shelf.
     
  23. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I agree, and we have our work cut out for us.

    There are a fair amount of people in our camera club that are trying to sell 24x30's in galleries. Most are using 10-12mp cameras and crop significantly.

    This provides a great opportunity to talk about why somebody might want to use film and even large film and maybe even an enlarger.

    So I'm putting together a presentation to talk about the decisions we make to get to a truly great and fairly large print from a scene where you want 9-stops of detail, from choosing the best lens through choosing the enlarging process.

    I'm going to be fair to digital but I don't think that most of our members really even get how "DPI" really works.

    What I mean by that is most people don't get that a 10mp file cropped to 5mp won't have enough pixels to print a 300dpi 40x60 print.

    They don't get it because PS says it's at 300dpi at any size they view it and they don't get that when PS up sizes that 5mp file to 216mp for a 40x60 print that PS has to make 211,000,000 "educated" guesses to fill in the missing pixels/dots to get there.
     
  24. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Amen.

    That is what our buddies need to know.

    My $80 N90s with some 400nc can compete nicely with any digicam.
     
  25. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    One of the best/broadest ways to look for decline or resurgence is in market prices and their trends. I watch these things to try to divine what's a good deal and when to buy/sell.

    Regarding film gear, I have not seen much movement in gear prices, just perhaps a few percent decline across the board. The deals on premium used film gear are still pretty good, though I suppose we have reached the stage that most of the people exiting film have already done so, hence prices have stabilized somewhat. Overall, the amount of used inventory seems to be a bit lower than it previously was (based on my casual browsing at KEH, adorama, B&H). That might be good news for someone looking to sell film gear, once people are spending again. But right now it's clearly a buyer's market.

    My guess is that the whole photo industry, from new & used camera sales to prints, is in very steep decline or at the bottom of the barrel at the moment. EK hasn't budged since the March slump; bucking the trend, FUJI is up quite a bit since then, but probably that growth is all coming from several other sectors e.g. archival storage, pharma and whatnot, and proximity to the Chinese market might well provide a further boost. Overall, the whole photo industry, being part of the consumer cyclical block, is down substantially and not showing much sign of life.

    One photo-related stock doing well is Shutterfly (SFLY), which is basically a social picture sharing and printing service. I think this tells us something. Obviously, when the cost of printers and ink and lab printing becomes excessive to the consumer, they look to put stuff on the web, and that has to be taking a huge chunk out of the print market. My guess is that a lot of photos simply aren't getting printed right now, especially digital. Must be a very tough time in the print industry right now.
     
  26. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    I agree with you, Keith.
    The "trouble" for the industry is now that people are so used to make photo's for free that they expect prints for unrealistic prices aswell.
    If you just want photo's to put onto the internet then a compact or cell-phone will do.
    It is like in the day's of 110, Disk and 126: the quality does not matter as long as we have something to remember.....
    It is like a sine-wave: the upcomming and demise of a format; some formats like 35mm, 120/220 and 4x5/8x10 seem to be unaffected by it.

    For serious photography I believe analogue will be here to stay: digital can not handle everything.

    Just the other day an 18 year old showed his new self made 8x10 camera on the Large Format Forum: hart-warming and beautifull made.
    Getting our youngsters interested in analogue and it's posibilities will be the greatest chalenge for us.

    Peter