It has been released today that within Germany's largest federal state a number of smaller and, due to their outstanding program, already subsidized theaters will get public money as subsidizing for changing projecting equipment to digital in order "not to miss the boat".
Many inventions coexist with their previous models and even today you might see an occasional horse and rider in the country but for pleasure and not a dependent transportation mode. How long will we see film photography coexist with digital photography, that's a question that can't be answered, it depends on too many complex variables, technology, peoples desire to change, economic factors and time plus many more.
Who wants a horse when they can't ride, who will want a roll of film when they can't develop it?
The one thing that consistently bothers me from the digital/film divide is that most people talk of photography in terms of technology, not in terms of art or pleasure. Certainly, photography relies both on technilogical advances and art. Not everyone out there has fallen under the spell of advancing technology. I drive a car, but even if I can't afford a horse, if I want to learn to ride one, I can certainly find someone to teach me. Likewise, most people who complain about the lack of ease of developing film are talking about having others do it. If it's really important to you, you'll find a way to make it happen. Unless a lot of chemicals get banned in the near future, I think film photographers will always have some options, especially if they are willing to do it themselves. Unfortunately, colour film seems to be the most vulnerable to these changes. Even though I support all three major film manufacturers, I rarely, if ever, shoot negative film, although I was addicted to slide film until I discovered black and white, when it went on the backburner. During that time however, slide films that I liked became more expensive to buy (if not to develop), and as I have become more interested in the monochrome side of things, colour becomes less of an option every day. If, someday soon, colour ceases to be a viable option in any way, I'd probably just rely on my iphone for colour shots, and shoot everything else in black and white. That being said, I hope it doesn't happen, and the fact that there is a lab two blocks away from me that will develop my slide film (any size) within two hours has me reaching for it more often once again. How long that will last is anyone's guess, but I'm trying to make the most of it while i can.
In terms of digital projection -- if the projectors are so expensive, won't most theatres just rely on one or two and still keep film projectors for their other screens? I mean, how many digital 3D movies will they be showing at once? I know that it's already happening in large theaters, but it seems like it would take a while for most theatres to become 100% digital. Just my own uneducated opinion (although this thread has been very enlightning!).
Last edited by mooseontheloose; 09-09-2010 at 07:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus
At a time when most goverments are trying to save money, that seems about as stupid as the "Car Scrappage" subsidies in the US and UK! All that did was to pull in imports, and destroy a lot of perfectly servicable vehicles (and some valuable classic vehicles too). (And, I'm reliable told, a lot of older vehicles were not scrapped, but exported to "less developed" countries, so the supposed "green" benefits were a total sham!)
Originally Posted by AgX
I think the main problem here is that the mainstream media has told us that digital=better, always and for all things. The fact of the matter is, the only thing that absolute is that digital=high profit margins for manufacturers.
Think of it this way: When one builds a good, high-quality film camera, you need several skilled workers in order to machine the parts, grind the lens, build the shutter and winding mechanism, and accurately calibrate said mechanism. That's not even mentioning the highly technical work involved in film production. With the vast majority of digicams, the body is injection-molded plastic (no skill needed there), the glass is made on the order of thousands by a machine (no skill needed there), and the shutter is electronically controlled. Granted, you do need skilled workers to design those systems, as well as all the electronics, but when they're done, you can fire them and move on.
Honestly, I am afraid that this will not end well, because there's no limit to human stupidity.
I recall having read somewhere--just where, I cannot now recall--that when the first colour film, the original Kodachrome was introduced in 1935, it was predicted that it would "kill" black and white film. Until the digital revolution came about, I have no doubt that manufacturers were selling more B&W film than in the 1930s, even adjusted for population. If anyone has actual statistics on this, please post them. If I'm wrong, feel free to flame away!
Originally Posted by Curt
We have all had to adapt--I earn my living as a photographer. My work photography is 100% digital, and we can do things that would have been heretofore either extremely difficult or downright impossible. For one example, location shoots, while not exactly a breeze, are no longer dependent on rushing test sheets to the lab, and hoping that there won't be a shift before the shoot is completed.
FWIW, I have seen digital prints made from scans from Kodachrome transparencies, made by the Canadian photographer Fred Herzog in the 1950s and 1960s, and they are absolutely breathtaking. While I have never been able to make a true comparison of colour prints made via scanning the transparency versus making a internegative, I can say, after making literally thousands of internegatives over the course of my career, that the control offered by digital beats the pants off of anything that I could have done with internegative film.
So digital has displaced an awful lot of products, but there seems to be a "hard core" of film users, both colour and black and white, which will, hopefully, give the manufacturers enough profit to be able to afford to keep the product available. What effect the current economic situation will have on the future production of convention products is anybody's guess. Speaking for myself, I can say truthfully that I have "done without" in the past, and intend to do so in the future, if necessary, to be able to buy what I need to keep my conventional photography alive.
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I agree to a certain extent.
Originally Posted by Curt
What scares me is the fact that rolls production require very complicated (and i guess expensive) industrial processes.
As far as i know they (rolls) cannot be done artigianally (unlike painting canvases).
My guess (i'm not a photography industry expert) is that when the demand for rolls will make the production non-profitable the big-companies (kodak/fuji) will simply cease the production (ok, This may not happen overnight ).
The same story does not apply to horses. The industrial process for their production is owned by someone who cares very little about profit .
This said when colour rolls will disappear (Reala is disappearing in these days. I'm relying on Ektar/Portra) i will shoot BW only (i hope they'll stay around for a while).
Should also BW rolls disappear i'll finally learn to play guitar.....
Any reply/advice iswelcome (especially from industry specialist)
Looks like I did it the wrong way round then!
Originally Posted by faustotesta
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
What will you do when there will be only digital guitars around ?
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
I recently purchased a new cable release and a miniature spirit level for the camera hotshoe (for architectural shots).
Originally Posted by nickrapak
Both packets said, in huge letters...... "DIGITAL" !
Kodak and Fuji will both reach a point where their film production becomes, for all practical purposes, unsustainable due to low volume. IDK when that will take place, but it will be related to cost, demand and number of trained workers. At that point, film from both companies will become uneconomical. I would think that it might take place in the next 10 years.
At that point, Kodak will have to decide on whether to use their existing small machines for production instead of trial coating. This may or may not work due to the amount of defects on the small prototyping machines.
In any event, there is a point at which all of the big companies cannot produce film. It requires high volume to yield good products. At that point we will be buying only B&W and probably Ilford will be at the top of the list. I hope that they can ramp up the production when this happens and if it happens.
So, there will come a point at which color film becomes a rare item and B&W will probably be our best and nearly only choice. Hand coating of film, plates and paper will become a viable option. Quality manufactured film and paper will not vanish but will become a luxury item or a boutique item. Hand coating may become popular again.