No George, I don't believe that. But, with the "ancient" technology, I can make a film emulsion for 4x5 and larger film sizes in my own home and thus keep the art alive and use camera systems I already have. Like you said in your other post, before Eastman enabled mass production of film photo paper, photography was practiced only by highly skilled professionals because they had to individually make their sensitized materials. Producing any kind of roll film in a smaller size takes some very specialized technology and equipment which is beyond the means of the individual.
Originally Posted by copake_ham
I'll give you another analogous example. I used to do quite a bit of hunting until very recent years. I have the knowledge and skill to make a modern bolt-action rifle and have done so. But I cannot make two components. I cannot, without some very specialized technology, adequately rifle the barrel. And its completely beyond my ability and means to make the high-quality steel necessary for a 50,000 psi firearm.
There is another local guy who makes custom archery equipment in his home shop. Even if we did not have steel to make the arrow points from, he could still make sophisticated archery hunting equipment that is better than that used in more primitive times. Just have to be able to obtain the right wood. Thus, he is able to preserve both the ability to hunt and if necessary, feed the family. He is preserving the art and craft of bowmaking, which has been around for several thousand years (hasn't died yet). But these bows being made today are far better than those made in previous eras because individual makers have vastly improved the basic design and shared the knowledge. And bowhunting is extremely popular these days, far more than two or three generations ago. If I restrict myself to hunting only with a firearm, and steel becomes unavailable, no more firearm, no more hunting, and I'm eating only what can be grown in the garden.
This probably makes no sense to city-folks whatsoever. However, I could make archery equipment in a New York City apartment. Who here can make a digital camera anywhere, or 35mm film? The technology required is far beyond the means of the individual and will remain so. But, the technology necessary for making emulsions and hand-coating film/paper enables the NYC resident, confined to a small dwelling space, to do it. I believe our Mr. Goldfarb and others have already proven it.
If massed-produced photo material does go extinct in my lifetime, I'm already working on a plan to carry on without it. Like Bowhunting, analog photography can be preserved and in fact blossom. It will be different in some respects, but it will still be alive.
Thanks for the comment about the paper. Want more?
I am going out on a limb posting this…I think....but here goes.
I am no where near as experienced in photography as those of you responding to this thread. I am a guy who flat out Loves film, and working hard to become better exposing it, developing it and printing it.
However, I do have experience instituting change in large organizations and leading large groups of people. It's with much hope that I can ramble a bit here and make a contribution.
I'd first recommend reading the book "Who Moved My Cheese"
The reason I say this is that all 18,313 people who are members of this site are facing an industry that is in the middle of major change.
I like to think that moving the cheese is healthy. But sometimes, if allowed, it can be deadly. I believe that the change we are witnessing will ultimately do more for film users than no change. A few months ago I wasn't so sure.
When I became interested again in photography almost 18 months ago, I had some intense adrenaline flowing until I realized that what I remembered photography being in 1982 appeared to be almost gone. I freaked a bit...no actually a lot. But, I still went out and invested in an old Minolta camera, bought some film and got with it.
Then, I searched and searched the Internet for any site where there was a mass of people still dedicated to film. For some odd reason it took a while, but ultimately APUG appeared in my browser and I joined within 20 minutes of visiting the site.
I think that this how many have arrived at this place called APUG.
I have told everyone I know about this place. I show them my cameras, I show them many of your beautiful photos, I educate the hell out of everyone I can. Has it made a difference? A little, because an old friend sold his D camera recently to purchase a nice Mamiya 645. One step at a time right?
I have witnessed single contributors, small teams and large organizations do amazing things because they embraced change and set out to leverage it. APUG, being 18K strong surely could alter the course of film.
Sean brought to the Internet an amazing site. Each of you individually bring truly beautiful and spectacular photographs to the eyes of people everywhere. Everyone together, in my opinion, can capitalize on this changing industry.
It won't happen unless every person, rather than thinking of all of the reasons why film will disappear, instead think of all the reasons why film will stay put.
The other night I was cleaning out a closet full of old books to be placed in some new book shelves. I came across my collection of "A Day in the Life of...." books. I spent the next 6 hours pouring through them. The next day I thought.....”A Day in the Life of APUG? Could this ever happen?
If there is serious intent from this community to ensure film has a future, then we should all gather face to face. I am a huge fan of forums, email and the like. But nothing really starts until people are all in the same room, eye to eye, with ears wide open, and hungry to make things happen.
I would love see PE get the information he needs to coat up some film. Let’s help him and anyone else who can do this. Let’s solve the problem everyone is fearing.
My sincere regards to all on APUG.
Not only possible, but done, for the Contax back in 1936.
Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
The problem is coating defects in 35mm along with grain and sharpness.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
It's not a question of whether it can be done - it's one of who will do it.
Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
If you really believe that the the salvation of film photography is for a few craftsfolk like yourself to "coat their own" than I am convinced it's time to re-consider that D-200!
The OP posit was how to convince future generations to preserve film-based photography. It's not going to be by convincing a few of them to "coat your own". More to the point, they sure aren't going to coat film. Glass? Maybe, after all, that would be a preservation art. Provided, of course, that those future generation can find the chemicals and formulae and have the interest in doing so.
Perhaps the real issue exposed in this thread is that non-35mm shooters here are now prepared to toss us off the lifeboat to "save the rest". Once you do so, who's next?
Remember, pro-MF has now gone digi and there are all those scanning backs being developed for larger formats....
While I appreciate morse code, (learned it when I was about 11 and promptly forgot it), I don't appreciate how you plan to make acceptable 35mm hand coated film. I would be happy to give you free access to my lab for a full week for you to demonstrate it to me. I will, in return, show you why you are wrong.
The bottom line is that hand coated 35mm with any degree of quality, with a home darkroom is virtually impossible.
Best of luck.
Is the marketing paradigm the problem?
I've been musing about this and a number of other related threads over the last couple of days, and in particular wondering if the approach we are considering is, somehow, backwards.
It seems to me that the "modern" film industry didn't spring from the inventive minds of George Eastman and others. It sprung first from the groundswell of interest in the public's mind in photography and, in particular, in there being an easily accessible version of same available to the masses. George Eastman saw the interest, and developed the technology and marketing to meet it.
Well, we already have the technology, but the marketing method has just about disappeared. The film we use and love, and the cameras for it, were best seen in an old fashioned camera store. There are very few of those left. Where once you could go to your camera retailer and review with the staff there the catalogues listing the various models and accessories available, and gain from their knowledgable staff important information about what you required, nowadays you have to guess, based on a vague description and an even more unclear website photo whether part number 123456 meets your need.
In order to save film, it may be that we need to find a new way to make it available.
There would most likely have to be fewer outlets, but like archery (another example from above) maybe better outlets.
Prices would no doubt be higher, and selection more limited, but if the prices are stable, and the selection is reasonable, and stable, I think we could all live with it.
For better or worse, all but the youngest of us have become used to film and cameras as being high volume mass market items, with lower volume, specialized market subsets. If a new marketing mix can be achieved, it may support a medium volume, moderately specialized product that can be manufactured to fulfil that market's needs.
Whatever, it is certainly necessary to "think outside the box ".
Outside the box is the reason I started this thread.
What you all forget is that China is getting into the game of film making now and they don’t get into something if there is no future as they are all about turning profits. As I read these thread I tell you to be honest, it seems that they are designed to make every scared that film is dead to force people to buy hand coating devices.
I think this is really the wrong mentality. America is not the only place in the world that offers products. China is up and coming and with a population of 2,000,000,000 people they will make a mint selling film based products to their own countrymen not to mention to the rest of the world that wants to continue to use it. Look at the sales coming from China in the LF sector, Do some research and you will see that their NEW MIDDLE class is thriving and rapidly getting into FILM based photography not DIGITAL.
What about EFKE paper and film? As far as I know they are doing well and producing, what about the new Russian paper? FOMA Film? Ilford Film? Etc.. Instead of sitting here moaning and complaining get off your backside and buy the products and use them to makes sure you help secure the future of the craft you say you love. Talk is cheap people. Either step up to the plate or deal with the after effects.
I do not know why certain people in this thread want everyone to think film and paper is dead and that we must hurry and buy self coating devices. If you do this YOU WILL BE THE REASON for the demise of the craft as we know it.
You want photography to be around for our generation and the next then buy what is available and use it. Stop chatting and start using the materials.
It is that simple.
Sorry but I am really getting sick of this type of propaganda. I realize that with Forte gone is took a massive hit, but at the same time companies out there are still producing and new companies are appearing replacing what is being lost.
If you think APUG represent all the user of film photographer you are dead wrong. The market is bigger than most want you to believe. There are a lot more people using film that will never touch an internet forum or a computer for that matter. Not everyone is rich like the western world that can afford the digital toys and computers. Many still use film but most Americans cannot see outside their own borders.
The bottom line is ,if you do not use and buy what is on the market they you deserve to see it gone.