Vinyl survived, and so will Film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by albada, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. albada

    albada Member

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    In fact, young people like vinyl nowadays. And some I know love shooting and developing film.

    Shot on Tri-X at a Filipino wedding last week:

    1-25-DiscJockey.jpg

    Mark Overton
     
  2. heterolysis

    heterolysis Member

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    Local stores were short on used stock last month after all of the new fine arts students had bought their SLRs for the term!

    I started with MF when I was 19...only five years ago. I only know a few other young(er) people that shoot film, so I sometimes feel there's a generational gap and no social support with it, but thankfully that's where the internet comes in handy. Thanks apug.
     
  3. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Probably the greatest moot point in the 'film is dead' argument. Music has deeper roots in our culture than photography, and this is the reason vinyl is still around. Every other person over the age of 20 is a music aficionado - not the case with photography unfortunately.
     
  4. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    I'm checking eBay for two turntables, and a microphone !

    Ron
    .
     
  5. paladin1420

    paladin1420 Subscriber

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    I'm thinking there are several reasons why the vinyl analogy, while hopeful, may not apply:
    - It is comparatively easier, by an order of magnitude or two, to produce vinyl records than it is film. The same is true, to a lesser degree for manufacturing turntables vs. cameras.
    - Just about anybody can put a record on a turntable and get a satisfactory result without much effort. Analog photos require much more effort and even for folks who do this often, the results are not always satisfying (I prove this point regularly:smile:.
    - There is no comparable process in vinyl usage to film processing. It's an added, complex step that non-skilled folks are mostly left out of without the processing infrastructure that is rapidly disappearing.

    That said, I enjoy both film and vinyl these days and am happy to see that vinyl is still around, and not just as a remnant. Current music is being released in vinyl and often comes with a certificate to download the digital version as well. Last night in Target, I saw several different turntable models on sale, mostly promoted as a way to convert LPs to MP3s, but usable for listening also. Alas, I saw no film.
     
  6. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Beyond the fact that they're both derived from petrochemicals, I find this comparison specious at best. Considering that the vast majority of lps being pressed today are from digital copies of masters (oftentimes with terrible remastering) perhaps this analogy belongs over at the hybid forum?
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    While digital photography is popular in many countries this is not uniformly true around the globe. In poorer countries people are still using film.

    The main problem with digital phtography is that there are no consumables. The average person seldom makes a digital print. In order for a company to make money they must keep selling newer cameras. This is a very poor economic model for eventually the market becomes saturated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2012
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The strength of this analogy is that vinyl records are an example of products that have retained a viable (although small) market despite the fact that they aren't the latest/most advanced/most exciting product.
     
  9. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    This does not make sense to me. Poorer countries still using film, with digital you don't need to buy film (no consumables). The average person seldom makes a digital print?
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The point is that to make a film of comparable quality to good vinyl is orders of magnitude more complex. And more expensive.

    PE
     
  11. I actually prefer the vacuum tube analogy - tube technology went obsolete in the 60's, when they also reached their peak in design. They are not easy to make, all the old manufacturers departed the industry, and today, the tube amplifier is highly sought after by audiophiles and musicians. There was a period of time when the solid state amplifier was touted as the death of the tube.

    To make a long story short - brand new tube driven Fenders, Marshalls, and Voxes are built every day and in some cases, cost a perspective owner thousands of dollars, and many with the exact same circuits, (albeit, with some models being built with more modern building techniques) as they used 40-60 years ago. Then there is a whole boutique industry of equipment out there used by discriminating guitarists the world over. Much like film, there are tube sniffers out there buying the vintage GE, Sylvania or Mullard, but the new tubes of JJ, Sovtek, and others are quite good.

    My 2 cents - I believe film will survive, if companies like Ilford can stick it out financially. People who enjoy this medium are not about to bail out and over time, discerning folks are going to come into this area. Like the tube world, there's not much need for new R&D, the old stuff works just fine.
     
  12. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Not just guitar amps still use tubes!

    http://caryaudio.com/products/classic.html
     
  13. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    and to think i spent more $ on my turntable than the cost of a new D4.........
     
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  15. Gavin R

    Gavin R Member

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    Very true for the poorer African countries Gerald. Having travelled the Atlantic coast many times from Senegal down to Nigeria it always amazed me how readily film was available, even if near always colour. Developing booths are also readily trading under tin roofs. Just a shame I never went with film because I'd have loved to have been able to show some results, but maybe next time.
     
  16. nexus757

    nexus757 Member

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    I think the comparison is reasonably valid, in that both vinyl records and film are traditional analog mediums, both of which faced rapid declines (vinyl in the 1990's, film in the 2000's) due to new digital technology. My general impression is that it takes about 20 years from the first signs of major decline until the older technology becomes fully embraced again as a niche product. Just as vinyl records were declared "dead" in 1990 by CD enthusiasts (then were suddenly "cool" again by 2010) I fully expect film to be fully "rediscovered" by a younger generation by 2020. I guess time will tell.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The comparison is NOT valid. The level of technology between the two is orders of magnitude apart.

    PE
     
  18. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Oil paint is obsolete because of acrylic. Oil paint is messier than acrylic, contains all sorts of toxins, needs toxic solvent to clean brushes. It also takes much longer to dry. So why do we continue to use. It is available and produces results even with these "problems." The same goes for film.
     
  19. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Digital telephones have more or less replaced analog phones; does this mean that analog phones are coming back in 20 years?
     
  20. nexus757

    nexus757 Member

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    Well, as a longtime printer, I remember when letterpress was declared "dead" in 1980. By 2000 it was very trendy again for certain types of work--particularly wedding invitations--and that trend continues. Just another traditional analog technology that went through a steep decline then was reinvented. There will still be good working film cameras around in 2020 (just as there are still good letterpress printing presses and vintage turntables today). If there is no validity to the comparison the only argument at point would be to predict there will be no more film manufacturing.
    I'm not sure that is something any of us can predict with certainty, but I don't personally choose to believe film will entirely die out in my lifetime. I believe it can survive as a niche product.
     
  21. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Artistic mediums and everyday technologies are not the same. The phone analogy doesn't hold up because it an everyday technology, few care about the way their phone works. Viewers are the same they generally don't care how it was done but the artists do. In the art world technology and mediums are seldom outdated. Anything involving production and graphic design is another matter however. I work for the student newspaper and am also a journalism student. Why would I use a film camera for this when I have digital, it doesn't make sense. But when working on my artwork it makes total sense. They are two different worlds.
     
  22. nexus757

    nexus757 Member

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    Well, has anybody noticed the crazy high prices paid for film cameras on ebay lately? Or rotary phones for that matter? http://www.ebay.com/itm/VTG-Western...lephone-Phone-LIGHTED-1958-PINK-/261106874145 If "nobody" was interested in these things they would be trading for a dime a dozen, but if anything the prices are going through the roof. All of this is admittedly somewhat parenthetical to the central debate of whether film will survive. Perhaps we can all agree that we hope so.
     
  23. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Again, other than MFSL pressings and the massive waves of original pressings and reissues before 1986 that have never stopped trading hands, all these new pressings (the so-called sign that "vinyl is not dead") are from digital sources and make up a very small percentage of the lps on the market. As a collector I can tell you that vinyl never died. It's like saying the book died because the kindle came to the marketplace. Oh look, people are still buying books - must be a comeback...lol. Besides, I hear this lp/film analogy a lot, but mostly from twenty somethings who buy their lps and their lomos at the same time from urban outfitters.
     
  24. fotch

    fotch Member

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    They can ask any price and with eBay free listings, no cost involved. The important comparison would be what they have sold for!
     
  25. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    95% film/vinyl user here. Some times i sin.
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    This thread has replayed itself over and over, like a vinyl record with a crack in it. Nothing is going wrong - tik - going wrong - tik - going wrong - tik - forever and ever and ever.

    GET IT CLEAR! Film is a high tech item, but vinyl and oil paints are low tech in comparison. The best films we can make at home today compare with the era of Edison and 78 rpm! The best comparison with tubes (valves) might be a crystal set or old one tube radio.

    So, if film vanishes, we will be able to make plates and sheet film, 120 roll film and papers in the speed of about 3 - 100 for film and up to current enlarging speeds for paper. Our sizes will run about 11x14 max with a yield of about 80% or so. With advanced equipment, we can equal the work of Jim Browning.

    PE