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Mikey_Rotten
10-26-2011, 01:49
Hello RF brothers and sisters!

I work as a mediaworker in a culture institute in Finland and today our art photography class had B&W film photography lesson.After the class was over I walked across the room and noticed some notes that the teacher was written on the blackboard:

"Main reasons why film photography is dead:

1. Quality of film is very low compared to digital.
2. Film photography is really expensive
3. Developing film is an enviromental risk
4......"

These notes made me quite pissed off, especially number 1

What do you guys think about this kind of teaching methods?

Roger Hicks
10-26-2011, 01:53
They merely illustrate something I've known for most of my life, both from when I was at school and when I was a teacher: that all too many teachers are (a) not very bright and (b) on a power trip.

Seriously, that's a disgrace. Has the teacher no superior to whom you can complain?

Cheers,

R.

Mikey_Rotten
10-26-2011, 01:57
They merely illustrate something I've known for most of my life, both from when I was at school and when I was a teacher: that all too many teachers are (a) not very bright and (b) on a power trip.

Seriously, that's a disgrace. Has the teacher no superior to whom you can complain?

Cheers,

R.

Yes we have the same superior and Im about to take this subject to a main topic at our next weekmeeting

Roger Hicks
10-26-2011, 02:01
Yes we have the same superior and Im about to take this subject to a main topic at our next weekmeeting

There's a wonderful old Royal Navy technique called "Reasons in Writing". It's not exactly a reprimand, but it works like one. Anyone who does something particularly stupid is required to give their reasons, in writing, for doing so.

Of course, if the reasons are completely indefensible, a reprimand may follow. See if you can get your supervisor to demand "Reasons in Writing".

Cheers,

R.

btgc
10-26-2011, 02:03
1. Quality of film is very low compared to digital.
2. Film photography is really expensive
3. Developing film is an enviromental risk
4......"

These notes made me quite pissed off, especially number 1

What do you guys think about this kind of teaching methods?

He is right on #1, those who start with digital don't see qualities of film image so digital is superior for them.

#2: all my chaps with DSLRs spend way more than me even if I have tons of film gear and shoot as much as I want.

#3: producing and recycling (or wasting) miriads of digital cameras which get replaced quickly - do you think it's for free? leaves no ecological footprint? ha..haha..ha.

Greetings to your teacher!

Teuthida
10-26-2011, 04:37
Your instructor is an idiot.

Ask him to define "quality." that should sufficiently tie him in conceptual knots.

Teuthida
10-26-2011, 04:51
#2: film v digital cost

film: 40 rolls tri-x $110
camera: pentax k1000 on ebay $80
dwvelopment: tanks, reels, chemistry to process $200
total = $390


digital camera: nikon d70 $300
8gb card: $50
photoshop: $500
computer: $500
total = $1350

yup. your instructor is an idiot.

capito
10-26-2011, 04:53
1. Quality of film is very low compared to digital.

Obviously the teacher develops his film as well as he does his research!

btgc
10-26-2011, 05:04
camera: pentax k1000 on ebay $80


I one can live without K1000, there are tons of K-mount cameras with same or better feature set for $8.

sevo
10-26-2011, 05:24
#2: film v digital cost

film: 40 rolls tri-x $110
camera: pentax k1000 on ebay $80
dwvelopment: tanks, reels, chemistry to process $200
total = $390


digital camera: nikon d70 $300
8gb card: $50
photoshop: $500
computer: $500
total = $1350


That is rather a warped calculation, though. Apart from somewhat biased figures, you are comparing the full process to a target medium on the digital side with a incomplete process (negatives straight to drawer) on the film side. Straight to card would be the appropriate digital counterpart, where the cost for computer and photoshop drop off the list - and you end with $390 vs. $350. Or you add either computer+scanner+photoshop or darkroom+1500 sheets of paper+chemistry on the film side - which doesn't make film any cheaper.

pvdhaar
10-26-2011, 06:09
I walked across the room and noticed some notes that the teacher was written on the blackboard:

"Main reasons why film photography is dead:

1. Quality of film is very low compared to digital.
2. Film photography is really expensive
3. Developing film is an enviromental risk
4......"

These notes made me quite pissed off, especially number 1

What do you guys think about this kind of teaching methods?
Depends on what the first thing is that this guy says in the next class:

On the one hand, maybe he postulates it as gospel truth. But on the other, he may try to trigger a discussion about the validity of these arguments..

Leica0Series
10-26-2011, 06:22
As for No. 3, quite apart from the cameras themselves, there are the computers and monitors themselves that need to be replaced every three or four years; landfills are probably groaning with them, and they contain some very nasty stuff.

No. 4 should read "quality of instruction sometimes very low." Actually, I'm surprised an art photography class is dissing film; those are usually one of the few places students learn about film anymore.

Teuthida
10-26-2011, 06:35
That is rather a warped calculation, though. Apart from somewhat biased figures, you are comparing the full process to a target medium on the digital side with a incomplete process (negatives straight to drawer) on the film side. Straight to card would be the appropriate digital counterpart, where the cost for computer and photoshop drop off the list - and you end with $390 vs. $350. Or you add either computer+scanner+photoshop or darkroom+1500 sheets of paper+chemistry on the film side - which doesn't make film any cheaper.


You're forgetting the printer and ink if you want to match output.

Try this then, add an enlarger and paper costs for film. Lets say $250, as you can pick up most for nothing these days. For digtal, figure $1000 for a good printer, inks, RIP software and paper to print it on.

That makes $650 film, $2390 digital.:angel:

btgc
10-26-2011, 06:43
You're forgetting the printer and ink if you want to match output.


Sorry, 95% of people DO NOT care about how do their prints look like. If no one takes cow for a bridge, then print is fine. And it should cost CHEAP! I regularly see people with expensive gear who skimp on prints and order prints at lab which uses cheapest paper, employs kids without skills but price is right. Cheapest in town, that said.

Roger Hicks
10-26-2011, 06:52
Sorry, 95% of people DO NOT care about how do their prints look like. If no one takes cow for a bridge, then print is fine. And it should cost CHEAP! I regularly see people with expensive gear who skimp on prints and order prints at lab which uses cheapest paper, employs kids without skills but price is right. Cheapest in town, that said.

I forget which is your native language, but if I could express myself as forcefully and elegantly in it, as you have in English, I would be very proud.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
10-26-2011, 06:54
As for No. 3, quite apart from the cameras themselves, there are the computers and monitors themselves that need to be replaced every three or four years; landfills are probably groaning with them, and they contain some very nasty stuff.

No. 4 should read "quality of instruction sometimes very low." Actually, I'm surprised an art photography class is dissing film; those are usually one of the few places students learn about film anymore.

Brilliant!

I love the responses in this thread.

Cheers,

R.

jwc57
10-26-2011, 06:55
IRT digital costs, I haven't been able to buy just one printer or computer, but my enlarger is from the 1960's. If my ex-wife hadn't gotten the last one I bought new (she sold it at a garage sale in 1987), I would have only bought one enlarger in 30 years.

(I have to admit though, I own three enlargers. A 70's Russian thing that cost $50.00 and a Bogen 22a I bought at a yard sale for $5.00, with trays and carriers. I bought the 22a, which led me to buying the Russian enlarger, to finally deciding to go back to darkroom.)

Then, there is the need for storage, either at home or online. That isn't cheap either.

HHPhoto
10-26-2011, 07:09
Hello RF brothers and sisters!

I work as a mediaworker in a culture institute in Finland and today our art photography class had B&W film photography lesson.After the class was over I walked across the room and noticed some notes that the teacher was written on the blackboard:

"Main reasons why film photography is dead:

1. Quality of film is very low compared to digital.
2. Film photography is really expensive
3. Developing film is an enviromental risk
4......"

These notes made me quite pissed off, especially number 1

What do you guys think about this kind of teaching methods?

Quite simply:
The guy don't know what he is talking about. He is incompetent.
Incompetent teachers can't do their job.
Period.

Cheers, Jan

Neare
10-26-2011, 07:10
I just don't see why a teacher would end a film lesson on those notes... if that is what they believe then why bother starting a lesson in film in the first place?

Anyhow, they are entitled to their beliefs. Most likely I would think the students would have all though the same as well before class. Those are just the same usual arguments.

Roger Hicks
10-26-2011, 07:28
I just don't see why a teacher would end a film lesson on those notes... if that is what they believe then why bother starting a lesson in film in the first place?

Anyhow, they are entitled to their beliefs. Most likely I would think the students would have all though the same as well before class. Those are just the same usual arguments.

Well, yes, so are fascists, racists, etc.

I do not equate anti-film sentiment with fascism or racism. I've even met the occasional intelligent fascist. I merely point out that "entitled to a belief" is not always a good excuse for trying to propagate that belief, especially for one who is in a position of (albeit modest) authority.

Cheers,

R.

sevo
10-26-2011, 08:31
Try this then, add an enlarger and paper costs for film. Lets say $250, as you can pick up most for nothing these days.


Even if you get a darkroom for free (quite possible these days), what size would be paper that comes at $250 including chemistry for 1400 sheets?


For digtal, figure $1000 for a good printer, inks, RIP software and paper to print it on.

That makes $650 film, $2390 digital.:angel:

Once we get into the area of $1000 printers and RIP software, a equivalent darkroom probably can't be got for free any more either (or will at least be missing the - still expensive - APO lenses). And at the A3+ you need the above for, we're talking $10+ per sheet for materials (regardless whether ink or silver) - which means $15000 printing cost for the 1400 exposures you calculated with...

I absolutely agree that film can still be cheaper for those that already made their initial investment, and in some niches it can still have a better price/performance ratio than digital even if you start from scratch. But for the more pedestrian types of consumer or professional use, it positively is at a disadvantage where cost is concerned. While you cannot state flat out that digital is cheaper than film, the inverse is even less true.

shadowfox
10-26-2011, 11:27
"Main reasons why film photography is dead:

1. Quality of film is very low compared to digital.
2. Film photography is really expensive
3. Developing film is an enviromental risk
4......"

These notes made me quite pissed off, especially number 1

What do you guys think about this kind of teaching methods?

That does not look like 'teaching,' more like 'indoctrination.'

peripatetic
10-26-2011, 11:52
I love film photography more than digital. However I don't do very much of it because colour film is MUCH more expensive than digital, for any significant number of exposures. Even BW is a lot more for a given level of quality if your time isn't free.

Digital gives me very good prints up to any size I want at a much lower cost and at a very small fraction of the time necessary for film.

Maybe when the kids are grown up and I have a bit more time I will be able to shoot more film.

ronnies
10-26-2011, 12:51
I am reminded of a quotation but I can't remember from who. "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." :-)

Ronnie (apologies to any teachers here !)

jedrek
10-27-2011, 08:22
2. Film photography is really expensive

For most people this is very true. A new DSLR with lens costs $500, while a decent used film camera costs $100-150 - but that requires you to know what you're buying, where to buy it. It's really easy to buy a camera that's barely working or one that flat out doesn't work. Not to mention that most people are more than happy to shell out once for something that doesn't have any future incremental costs. I suspect you're they same, preferring to pay $10k for a car in good shape instead of a $5k car that will require $4k in repairs over the next few years.

Also, whoever said $110 for 40 rolls of Tri-X - can I get a link to that? It comes out to $160 at B&H.

Not to mention that most people's end product in 2011 is... the internet. Scanning is relatively expensive and developing your own film is only cheap if your time doesn't have much value.

3. Developing film is an enviromental risk

It's not only development, the whole process is environmentally unfriendly. Sure, digital cameras aren't the cleanest thing in the world to construct, but it's a one-shot deal. With film it's a constant cycle.

I shoot a box of polaroids or shoot+dev a bunch of medium format, I'm left with a little bag of trash, old chemistry. There's the water I used to wash the film and the distilled water I transported home for the developing. You can shoot 100x the frames with digital and have zero trash.

Heck, process the digital pics on a low-power laptop and you'll end up using less electricity as well.

David Hughes
10-27-2011, 10:05
Trouble is, we can prove anything with figures.

I had this superb digital SLR and some very nice lenses. I sold it and lost hundreds and thousands and it cost thousands. Each file I made with it cost me 25p and that's ignoring computer costs, just the cost of each jpg it produced.

I was wandering around the flea market and saw an old dSLR that I used to have years ago. I bought it, the case and two media cards for 13 and really that's cost next to nothing per jpg. (And the LowPro case fitted the M2 and meter etc perfectly.)

I have several old film cameras. Some cost pennies in the flea market. I check them carefully before buying and take the film to the local 1 hour labs (although nowadays I know the best one and go there) and each 5" x 7" print costs me 20p and I get a CD of them I use for cataloguing. (There's a sample in the Rollei WA thread). If I use a smaller cassette of film the prints cost 28p each and I'm paying a couple of pounds for Fuji film in the smaller size (ie 24 or 25 photo's but now and then 27 to a cassette).

And I'm willing to bet that everyone of us could produce some even more confusing costs. Film can be very cheap and digital dear and vice versa.

I expect digital is very cheap for those that take 6,000 photo's at a wedding but film is cheap for us old gits who'd take a couple of dozen shots...

Regards, David

Fricetix
10-29-2011, 06:20
Show him this:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/why-we-love-film.htm
and this:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/film-resolution.htm

rogerzilla
11-03-2011, 12:53
I am amazed by how much some digital converts hate film, and want to see it disappear ASAP. Some of them have had bad experiences with labs, I know, but I've had SD cards crash (same effect if not worse).

Anyway:

1. There's nothing to touch the quality of a proper b/w print
2. Film is much cheaper if you use rangefinders. Do the maths of an M2 (or even a new M7, if you must) compared to an M9 and think how many years' film you can burn for the difference.
3. B/W chemicals are pretty innocuous, and the colour stuff tends to be done by labs who dispose of/recycle chemicals properly.

Chris101
11-03-2011, 23:11
...
1. There's nothing to touch the quality of a proper b/w print
...

So very true.

Ti29er
11-04-2011, 02:07
Yes. And No. There's always the practical side to this dilema.

I already have the photography gear for both formats. No printers and no enlargers.

On a recent trip I twice had to order more film, which also attracted import duties that were 65% of the cost of the film.
I had the film d& scanned as I dumped my dev facilities long ago.
The result was about 2000 for 100 rolls of 120 neg film.

I could have bought a 2nd D700 with a motor grip for that or almost 2 of the new Nikon digital lenses.

Was it worth lugging a MF film kit around with the 35mm digital kit? You try humping my 2 bags around Torres del Paine and then give me the answer!

Were I to have the $, I'd have a MF digital kit instead and be done with it because as nice as the film images are, ultimately no one cares and no one pays extra for the bloody mindedness of the photographer. LR etc can and does replicate the feel of film, so much like the lecturer, he's advocating moving on and embracing the future and not the past with his dismissing and flippant (if technically rubbing us up the wrong way!) remarks.

bulevardi
11-04-2011, 04:59
"Main reasons why film photography is dead:

1. Quality of film is very low compared to digital.
2. Film photography is really expensive
3. Developing film is an enviromental risk
4......"


I can imagine why you're pissed off.

For such statements - which can be discussed - a good approach would be just putting a statement on the board and let the pupils in the classroom discuss if that statement is true or false, and why.
Everyone will have a different opinion and certainly newbies in the classroom.
This way, the lesson will be a very healthy way to learn and get another view on those things.

jsankar
11-04-2011, 18:49
I think that the math works out differently for the pro and the amateur. The way I look at it (just an amateur) is that the end result means very little to anyone. As it is just my hobby, my enjoyment is all about the process. If I'm not liking what I'm doing, why bother? This makes film much more valuable to me, as I like the darkroom and hate Photoshop. On the other hand, if your livelihood depends on the quantity and quality of your output....http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif

Jason

Messsucherkamera
11-07-2011, 20:06
I am amazed by how much some digital converts hate film, and want to see it disappear ASAP. Some of them have had bad experiences with labs, I know, but I've had SD cards crash (same effect if not worse).

Anyway:

1. There's nothing to touch the quality of a proper b/w print
2. Film is much cheaper if you use rangefinders. Do the maths of an M2 (or even a new M7, if you must) compared to an M9 and think how many years' film you can burn for the difference.
3. B/W chemicals are pretty innocuous, and the colour stuff tends to be done by labs who dispose of/recycle chemicals properly.

There are alot of digital supremacist/snobs out there - and alot of myopic, close minded fools, too. Some people simply worship computer technology with abandon.

It sounds as if your "teacher" qualifies on all counts.

Ignorance and blind adherence to dogma are the last refuges of the small minded who have a need to always be right.

Digital has a set of strengths, weaknesses, benefits and problems to be solved. So does film. Pick whichever set of problems you'd rather have to solve - and whichever set of benefits you like best.

In the end, that's what we all do.

_mark__
11-08-2011, 07:05
So if you shoot film at this school your going to get marked down because the tutor has an obvious prejudice against it?

Carlsen Highway
11-13-2011, 18:45
The teacher will be young I suspect. I younger than us anyway. He or she is simply echoing a well established belief in the general population. If it's newer - it's better. Of course digital is better quality. The cameras are bigger, very expensive and have lots of electric features. Stands to reason doesn't it?
The teacher is a product of his times...this is one reason, come to think of it, why film is doomed to a niche artistic market. Most people don't believe it has any virtues at all.

jm51
12-06-2011, 09:47
Hi all, 1st post. I'm just starting over again with film.

imo film and digi go together like a pair of gloves. Sub 100 new digi, CLA'd film compact and workhorse mf. Should come to less than 1k.

10 rolls pa for the compact and 20 pa for the mf is ~ 300pa after processing, 100pa for cheapo digi printing plus another 300pa or so to have a couple of the best shots done by a custom lab for hang on the wall prints. Yearly spend is much less than the depreciation of a top digi and you get much more to show off than the digi only guys.