I'm pretty sure Nikon still makes the F6! I hope I'm not just out-of-date on this...
Originally Posted by glockman99
The sheep use what the herders tell them to eat. You're dealing with non-photographers who want happy-snap bullshit that will rot away on a phone until it's chucked into a trashcan where it will eventually end up as lead dust in China.
Originally Posted by glockman99
Me cynical? Nah.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
Time to don the flame suit.....
First things first, the my personal opinion is that there is only a resurgence for Film at a high end amateur level only.
In my area, to have a Pro shoot film is very rare now. I only know of one and funny enough, he actually ended up selling his Nikon D3 to buy more film gear! For the rest, there is a perceived thought that working in Photoshop is far more efficient then doing it the old way. Also interesting to note, that the guy I know who still shoots film at a pro level does it Because its easier. His arguement is that with the right film choice he can achieve 95% of what he wants in camera. He sends his films away to a pro lab, they develop and provides proof. For anything else that requires a level of creativeness (selective colouring etc (YUKKK)), he scans and does it in PS. I know of other pros who call him crazy. He just thinks its the smart way of doing things.
OK, now to the bit that requires some flame proof clothing.
For the main resurgence into film at the high end amateur level, you can thank the sudden craze of the affordable Digital SLR camera.
When I began my photography hobby 20 years ago, I learnt a few things by reading a couple books and doing a course at a community college. And that's about it. I understood the relation between shutter, apertuer and film speed and not much else. And that is how it stayed for around 15 years.
About 4 years ago, I bought my first digital SLR....this quickly relegated the film cameras to a zip lock bag and a packet of silicon (why sell them, they were worth nothing). The beauty of a DSLR was that it was far easier to get the results online, share with one of the many communities online. I learnt 5 times more about exposure, composition and general photography within 6 months of owning a DSLR then I had in the previous 15 years. Instead of becoming a SLR owner, I became what I would call a photographer. AND I LOVED IT!!
But with most things, you need to try different things. Out of interest, I got the film cameras out and the rest is history. Last month I didn't shoot a single digital frame. The month before, the only time I shot digital was for a sports event that I was commissioned to do. (I won't talk about this month....the digital is getting a bit more of a workout)
OK, this is my story alone, hardly a resurgence. BUT, I am not the only one. I know of at least half a dozen photography friends (I.E., in my local area) who are doing exactly the same thing. I also know of a few online communities where there are constantly new threads about "Which film camera", "Thinking about getting into film", etc (I know there are a few members from Dyxum here who know what I am on about).
Film will never be mainstream. Its impossible to think that it will.
Yes, I can see the lack of new hardware becoming a problem (I second the thought above. I really wish someone like Sony would make a Film SLR, that is manual focus but took Minolta AF lenses), but as long as companies such as Ilford still make materials, there will always be an interest at the high amateur level.
I shot a wedding last weekend (Nikon FM2), my grandmother had her film P&S, I saw two oldish digi P&S cameras and loads and loads of camera phones.
Originally Posted by glockman99
A guy came up to me and asked 'why film', I said there was no quantitative difference at 5"x7" and besides look how small and simple this camera is.
I really believe digital P&S cameras are what is hurting the non pro film market,most.They're cheaper than their dslr counterparts,make decent snapshots to 8x10's and you get instant viewing.Plus,they're easily transportable. This,to me, is the main reason film selection and ISO choices have dropped considerably at traditional outlets.
Originally Posted by glockman99
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How do we create a resurgence?
So, where do we go from here?
I believe that the root driver toward digital is the general lack of quality expected or needed in the end use of most images; most shots simply don't justify a lot of work (or the end user simply will or can not pay).
I believe this is the same driver that helped photography unseat painting many years ago. The masses may want quality stuff but they don't need lots of quality when they just want something to share and don't think they can afford better.
Tacky is okay when it's your baby you are showing off.
I believe the second driver is peer pressure. Nobody wants to be left behind or left out of the conversation.
The big topics at the camera club I'm in all end up in PS. Fix it in PS is the norm and camera work is reduced to a wild and loose 9-frames-per-second in auto bracket with matrix metering shot in raw so it's fixable spray and pray style.
Nothing wrong with being social around a common interest but most of these people came to the club to get better at photography.
My question is are we focused around photography or looking for magic bullets?
I don't think people in general understand how much easier it is to get better quality from disposable box cameras or $20 P&S 35's; than it is from cheap P&S digitals.
My local Wal-Mart does a fine job for day-to-day snaps this way.
Send that same disposable camera to somebody like Richard Photo lab for processing and you have effectively used a 40mp camera and you get truly professional quality work with exposure and color corrected frame-by-frame.
Invest in a used Olympus, Nikon or Canon and you really have something.
My thought is that we can encourage a resurgence in film use simply by using film ourselves and educating our buddies and acquaintances when they ask.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Well I haven't left film because what I mainly use a 35mm camera for, haven't found a reason to go digital.
But I do have an old 5mp Sony digital P&S which can be handier than a bulky slr at times, and is far superior to a film zoom P&S, and s/h doesn't cost much more.
Digital for the consumer is good enough. It gives them instant gratification, and lord knows we're all about instant gratification today. There's no patience or desire to wait an hour or a day to see your photos.
And with mobile phones, the Web and handheld devices and electronic picture frames, quality is secondary. Just getting a photo -- any photo -- is sufficient.
I don't think any newspaper today shoots film. Well, maybe a few here and there or for a special project.
Here's some irony:
A few years back, I was the pack mule for a Sports Illustrated photographer at a football game. They had four or five guys around the stadium, and each photographer shot every play. In all, each photographer probably shot 400 to 500 photos -- RAW + JPG.
At the end of the game, it was faster to have some guy drive from Pittsburgh to New York City with all of the memory cards than to try to transmit 2,500+ photos (RAW+JPG ... roughly 5,000 images) via FTP or whatever.
Getting back to the original argument, I think there has been some natural curiousity about film among younger photographers. Whether curiousity turns into a longer passion or commitment isn't known.
Film is a different experience. And we all know that there are strong positions on both sides of the film-digital fence.
I am shooting more and more film, but I do not believe in the Great Film Resurgence many dream of.
When you look at things objectively, digital photography just offers too much convenience for the masses to give up now that they've tasted it. Argue all you want about film's tangible and intangible advantages, but the simple fact is that all those little conveniences matter and people are willing to give up considerable amounts of other qualities for them. Ordinary folks don't want to fumble around with loading film, carrying film, rewinding film, running out of film, buying enough film and handling negatives. To be fair, why should they want to deal with all that? Most aren't aiming to be artists. They just want some memories, and often don't particularly care of they last a few years, much less beyond their lifetime.
While digital mania has ebbed and digital reality set in, the reality is that digital did not become unseated or even lose ground. It's just that now, you're no longer as ripe a target for ridicule if you admit you shoot film. People are nearly all unfailingly polite to me when they find out I'm "still" using film, even when it's clear they're baffled. I had an amusing moment a couple weeks ago when a 28-year-old asked if she could see the picture I just shot -- with my Mamiya 645 Super. I flipped the camera around and explained that no, I was shooting film. She was obviously a bit disoriented, slightly embarrassed and made no further comment or inquiry.
Roughly half the time I'm politely asked why I choose to shoot film and I get polite attention for whatever explanation I give, but that's been the extent of it. I don't think a single person I've had that conversation with has decided they're going to pick up a film camera, whether for the first time or again, if they weren't already shooting film.
All that said, I don't believe in film doom. The way I look at it, no medium that offers a genuinely unique outlet for artistic expression ever dies. As long as we as a culture are interested in art, artists will always look for the widest array of tools to practice their crafts. Any film resurgence is, and will be, in that realm.