[Everyone in unison] Hello Lee!
Originally Posted by Lee Shively
Rant away baby, rant away.
I need to get a digi-gizmo as well for my secondary and tertiary job and I need to ask the resident digital guy at work (I work with computers) what to look for. I have no clue besides "can my old Nikon ai's work with it".
For the price of getting one, I can get a: Shen-Hao 4x5 or decent used 8x10 or Hassy SWC (bargain grade) or a fotoman pano. And these cameras will probably hold their value a lot longer.
On the flip side, photo.net has decided that darkroom printing is sufficiently arcane as to remove their B+W darkroom forum from the drop-down list of forums on their home page. (The forum is still there but now you have to go dig for it.) Sic transit gloria mundi.
The least expensive Nikon digital SLR that will meter with AI lenses is the D200. You may be able to use them on other Nikon digital SLR's like the D80 and D70, but the meter will be disabled. A D40 won't work as it only works with G-type (no aperture ring) Nikkors.
Originally Posted by eric
Well, I suppose I am too.
Originally Posted by Jim Noel
But the point is that this problem is not limited to photography. Young folks coming into my profession no longer take the time to learn the basics. They prevailing attitude appears to be that since everything is now in the computer, all that one needs to know is how to drive a PC (or a Mac). And I suspect that description applies to a lot more professions than just mine.
A few years ago, we bought a new washing machine. It didn't work. Called the repair dude - his solution was to order a replacement drive train (motor and transmission) and a replacement control panel. In other words, rather than trying to understand what was wrong with it, his solution was simply to replace everything except the outside box.
That might be the right solution in terms of economics, but I grew up with a fundamental curiosity about how things worked, and that led me to want to take things apart, fix things, etc. And that probably why I am still a fan of traditional, analog photography. Can you imagine a life without curiosity?
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I don't know that this is necessarily a digital phenomenon.
Originally Posted by Lee Shively
I think that ever since automatic exposure cameras came into the mainstream there has been a large percentage of people who take pictures but don't really have a desire to understand how things work.
Even before automatic exposure cameras, there were a vast number of people who were happiest with fixed focus cameras that worked best in average lighting conditions.
There has also always been a significant number of picture takers who buy the newest, most expensive offering, and then set it to "Auto", and expect it to work without thought or judgement from the operator.
I bet there are a fair number of people here who know at least one person with a high end film SLR that is never taken off "Program Auto" and autofocus, because the owner doesn't really know how to use the camera otherwise.
While we are certainly not immune from the effects of GAS here on APUG, most of the people here have more of an attachment to the process and the results than the gadgetry we use.
I think the biggest change brought in by the "digital revolution" is that digital cameras have a different "cool" factor than film cameras have had for a while. People who used to be happy with an instamatic or pocket camera, now want something fancier, because the immediate gratification of that digital screen provides a new form of entertainment.
It is the novelty of the digital cameras, and their appeal to those who love the latest in gadgetry that motivate many of the new digital "photographers".
All the technological doodads do is increase the percentage of pictures that come out reasonably well even if the operator doesn't have much knowledge. Accordingly they are important to the large number of people who seek them out.
Some of those people may be blessed with good photographic judgment and taste. It is hoped that they are able to move past the fascination with gadgetry.
I don't know who but someone said recently; "Isn't it amazing how photography has advanced without improving!"
How true, I'll keep the film cameras.
Digital is just a different process. instead of fiddling with combinations of fixers and developers, you fiddle with color-space and gamut. Instead of printing with fine-grain developer or lith for extra grain, you use photoshop filters.
With digital you get more immediate feedback and things like color balance, contrast, saturation, etc are easier to work with and doesnt cost you paper and chemestry to experiment with adding an extra 1% red. However there are steep learning curves to get everything color matched and get consistantly good output.
People who do not take the time to learn the art of photography will still take the same drab snapshots. But i think more people in general are learning about photography and some of those newcomers are still interested in learning darkroom techniques. be patient with them because they will keep our film supply flowing =]
Well if all equals Winogrand the teacher is right. But it doesn't.
Originally Posted by schroeg
On the other hand I think part of the value of digital can be the practice of seeing. It is possible that repetition can help lead to knowledge. The experimentation can help the student learn what is and is not good. The other possibility is that the repetition leads to nothing but more repetition. In that case, the effort may have been wasted.
Aye yes -- charming rant, actually. (As the one who started the 130+ post thread on the "death of scientific curiosity," I better be careful here. )
I think there are three elements:
1) Lust for instant results - instant being more important than results
2) Lack of curiosity about how things work -- "where's the pushbutton?"
3) Low expectations in general (related to #1)
Re: #3, I once had someone fawning all over me about a stack of vacation shots -- "wonderful pictures -- so clear -- and such good color -- what kind of camera do you have?" In truth they were little more than snapshots -- although I tend to be pretty attentive to composition -- taken with a Canon Elph Jr -- yes folks, an all automatic APS camera. But I do always get my color films processed at places that do pro quality work. And indeed, that little camera does a damn nice job within its limitations. But I've seen people passing around stuff they got processed at the corner supermarket that I would have tossed 90% of just for cruddy printing -- but they were happy. What can you do. (My own mother used to be one of the offenders!)
I often wonder what will happen if some global cataclysm leaves us isolated -- could we get back to the level of manufacturing and practical maufacturing engineering that we used to have in time to avoid grinding to a complete and irrecoverable halt? (Rhetorical)