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Is there a future for film...
Old 11-13-2011   #1
Simon Bruxelles
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Is there a future for film...

...besides keeping our beautiful Leica machines fed?
I am not asking wheteher people will still use film, I am sure they will as long as it is available, but whether film has any aesthetic/practical/artistic advantage over digital now there is software to emulate the appearance of almost any film stock.
I am wondering whether film photography has run out of ideas and material, leaving it open to new technologies to take photography forward, like, for example, the cameras that record an image BEFORE you press the shutter (Nikon 1) or allow you to select your plane of focus after you have taken the picture.
I am hoping the answer is yes, but if so I would like to know why.
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Old 11-13-2011   #2
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Aren't there enough threads on this? I know I'm being negative (boom-tish!) but...
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Old 11-13-2011   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bruxelles View Post
whether film has any aesthetic/practical/artistic advantage over digital now there is software to emulate the appearance of almost any film stock.
It all depends on what is you are after. Is there any reason to eat shortdated icecream from milk and berries if product from vegetable oils and aromatisers tastes close enough to real icecream, costs way less and keeps fresh for much longer?
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Old 11-13-2011   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btgc View Post
It all depends on what is you are after. Is there any reason to eat shortdated icecream from milk and berries if product from vegetable oils and aromatisers tastes close enough to real icecream, costs way less and keeps fresh for much longer?
Yes, unless you actually want heart disease and other health problems. But that's a whole other issue!

No matter what I do, I can't get a truly 'film look' from my digital files. Therefore, I really hope film sticks around, because I LOVE the film look (and I've been a digital only shooter for a while now)
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Old 11-13-2011   #5
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This is going well then?

Two postes to get off topic ... I think it says something about how we feel about this subject!
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Old 11-13-2011   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btgc View Post
It all depends on what is you are after. Is there any reason to eat shortdated icecream from milk and berries if product from vegetable oils and aromatisers tastes close enough to real icecream, costs way less and keeps fresh for much longer?
Yes, I'm just thinking of lunch myself ... bacon and egg perhaps, but then that has its own issues.

I thought we'd settled the death of film thing in a thread the other week ... maybe, just maybe, it is a zombie film thread and simply won't die
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Old 11-13-2011   #7
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Dear Simon,

Yes.

A good imitation is not the same as the real thing.

And, a good different thing is still not the same thing.

But a lot depends on how much effort you want to put in. Scanning is one thing. Wet printing is quite another.

Cheers,

R.
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Last edited by Roger Hicks : 11-13-2011 at 07:37. Reason: typos
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Old 11-13-2011   #8
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I personally will not be buying a Nikon 1.
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Old 11-13-2011   #9
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For music, you can play your old vinyl on a turntable, but you can download and play an mp3 aswel.
Why are people still buying vinyl and turntables?
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Old 11-13-2011   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulevardi View Post
For music, you can play your old vinyl on a turntable, but you can download and play an mp3 aswel.
Why are people still buying vinyl and turntables?
I actually think this is really the big point. I buy vinyl even though I don't own a turntable. I will buy one in the future - just can't afford it right now. This is despite me having a 20-30,000 song library on my computer of music, and despite iTunes downloads being so extremely cheap and easy. The problem is that my mp3's are worthless to me. They're not physical things that I can treasure. If my hard drive goes, so do the files. No big loss either - I can just download them again.

Most of my friends use vinyls as well. It's nice to actually hold a physical copy of your music, and to get it off the shelf and put it into a player. I'm sick of computers. I'm sick of social networking, I'm sick of doing everything on a computer. I'm only 24 years old. I know a lot of people my age who feel the same. This is films area of expertise - it's real, it's physical, unlike digital photography which is pixels and non existent (until it's printed).
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Old 11-13-2011   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bruxelles View Post
... but whether film has any aesthetic/practical/artistic advantage over digital now there is software to emulate the appearance of almost any film stock.
I am wondering whether film photography has run out of ideas and material, leaving it open to new technologies to take photography forward, like, for example,
there might still be advantages but they will be smaller and smaller.

Film photography has run out of investors, and with it invention and ideas.

So let's enjoy it now, who knows what happens tomorrow
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Old 11-13-2011   #12
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Quote:
Is there a future for film.
Considering that there are only a few manufacturers still making film cameras ... and making them in pretty small quantities I would have to say:

Probably not!

Though I sincerely hope like hell I'm wrong.
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Old 11-13-2011   #13
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Film has future as long as there is a demand for it. Who will make it and how that is another story.
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Old 11-13-2011   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bruxelles View Post
Is there a future for film...
Absolute!

Painting pictures after the nature (edit: or realistic paintings) isn't died after the introduction of the photography.
The migration of the amateurs/private users and the most commercial photographers (edit: to digital) is a chance to bring analog phtography back to his roots or "The art get transferred back a media, which is been abused by trivia in the past" .
Yes, the prices of material will increase, some beloved materials will become no longer available or the most professional labs will close, but hey, I'm looking full of interest in the future of film photography...
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Old 11-13-2011   #15
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Being the last manufacturer of film in the world will certainly be a very profitable position, so no, film will never cease to be produced I think. There'll just be a lack of choice.
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Old 11-13-2011   #16
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Film will be around for decades. Someone will fill the niche and produce it. Limited choice, yes, but I'd venture a guess that there will always be a good 400 iso and 100 iso film produced by someone, somewhere.
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Old 11-13-2011   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdigital View Post
I actually think this is really the big point. I buy vinyl even though I don't own a turntable. I will buy one in the future - just can't afford it right now. This is despite me having a 20-30,000 song library on my computer of music, and despite iTunes downloads being so extremely cheap and easy. The problem is that my mp3's are worthless to me. They're not physical things that I can treasure. If my hard drive goes, so do the files. No big loss either - I can just download them again.

Most of my friends use vinyls as well. It's nice to actually hold a physical copy of your music, and to get it off the shelf and put it into a player. I'm sick of computers. I'm sick of social networking, I'm sick of doing everything on a computer. I'm only 24 years old. I know a lot of people my age who feel the same. This is films area of expertise - it's real, it's physical, unlike digital photography which is pixels and non existent (until it's printed).
Exactly.
I own an old 1960's turntable from my grandfather who died long time ago. It still plays very good. (Fun fact: in the local store in Brussels, at this moment, I can even buy vinyls from Megadeth and JudasPriest, plays fine on an old turntable here )

As for photography, I shoot both digital and film. Both for different reasons.
But for film, because I can use nice old cameras. I like the journey aswel as the destination in photography. With my digital camera, I only feel the destination, with my film camera I undergo the whole journey too.
I scan the film afterwards to get it on my computer, as I'm an internet-man who likes to share this way. I'm not really a printer-man.

Last edited by bulevardi : 11-13-2011 at 05:19.
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Old 11-13-2011   #18
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I find it difficult to decide because I find it easier to produce correctly exposed images with a DSLR than a film rangefinder, and for me that is half the battle. Still, as I'm sure others will agree, the dynamic range of black and white film is still superior than that of most digital sensors.
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Old 11-13-2011   #19
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You, know, I keep reading threads like this, and it's all total BS. Film is film, digital is digital. Digital can NOT duplicate the results of film (B&W here folks). It may be able to "emulate" it, or it may be able to fake it is more like it, but a darkroom print from a negative is NOT like a digital inkjet print made from a digital camera. Anyone that thinks differently, well, it's beyond me. They're living in a fairy tale world.... and a lot of people are, trust me.

It's a sign of the times. Everything these days is, as Philip Dick would have said, ersatz. Fake, phony, virtual. Worse than it used to be simply because people buy into the lies that corporations want them to believe (so they can skin them out of as much money as possible). People want to sell you cameras and digital crap, and make it obsolete (or THINK it's obsolete) every year. Not all of us are that stupid. To work in photography to make exceptional images, requires a lot of hard work and knowledge. Most people want a magic bullet. Point it, shoot, and print it. There is is... Ansel Adams! No, it isn't Ansel Adams, it's the new, dumbed down Ansel Adams, and if that's good enough for 99% of people, it sure ain't good enough for me.
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Old 11-13-2011   #20
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I got the new B&H catalog last week and there were two full pages of avaible film, a page or two of paper and a couple of pages of darkroom equipment. Cameras for sell, MP, M7, Zeiss Ikon, Holga, Vivitar, Poloroid, a horizon camera ect.
So yes film has some life left in it.
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Old 11-13-2011   #21
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Quote:
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Still, as I'm sure others will agree, the dynamic range of black and white film is still superior than that of most digital sensors.
Well this is just the very reverse, recent large size digital sensors have a very wider dynamic range than what any B&W film can produce.

I'm afraid you are globally confusing greys scales range, dynamic range, curves and curves feet.

B&W film just has this more pleasant rendition to the human eye because, as a matter of fact, it has less dynamic range, with dark shadows and the like, plus that "material" issued by the film grain etc.

Yet it's fully possible to get the very same result off a DLSR if you accept to spend several hours per photo in front of your screen post-processing your RAW files. Do you ?

As for myself, I don't, and here the actual reasons why I still shoot B&W film :

- I like feeding my manual cameras with film
- I like cocking my manual cameras shutters
- I like depressing my manual cameras mechanical shutter releases
- I like processing my own films at home in my steel reels and tanks
- I like enlarging my photos on FB paper in my wet darkroom while listening to the radio

As I can't do all of this with a digital camera, I still continue to shoot film.

Softwares emulating film rendition are a joke for newbies/nostalgics. No need to use those to get nice B&W pics off a RAW file.

As for film market : as per the economy rules, there just cannot remain a lone film manufacturer. The free market rules obey to competition. Would you still shoot film if the lone remaining film manufacturer were, say, Lucky ? Go figure.

So there is just one sane behaviour there : shoot film if you like it. Regularly buy good quality films from actually existing manufacturers (Kodak, Ilford, Foma) as per your needs. Don't hoard film stocks, as it's fooling the market, and will speed the films manufacturers death.
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Old 11-13-2011   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdigital View Post
I LOVE the film look (and I've been a digital only shooter for a while now)
Now that's a contradiction I didn't meet so far...
You use exclusively digital, but still the survival of film is important to you
why??
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Old 11-13-2011   #23
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I know that film has an aesthetic/practical/artistic difference compared to digital; whether it's an advantage to a photographer is a personal thing. I know it is for me.
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Old 11-13-2011   #24
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Now that's a contradiction I didn't meet so far...
You use exclusively digital, but still the survival of film is important to you
why??
Well, I've used film up until very recently, and I plan to continue at some point in the future. 35mm film can interchange with 35mm (full frame) digital, but it's not the 35mm stuff that keeps me interested in film. It's the 120 stuff that keeps 35mm digital cameras honest. I'd love a mamiya 7 setup at some point to complement my 5d and x100.
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Old 11-13-2011   #25
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I would think that there is a future for film in a niche market and it will not disappear completely. It offers a different way of working to digital and having choices is always good. I have been shooting a DSLR exclusively the past several years but have absolutely no interest in seeing film disappear altogether. I cannot understand why someone would automatically presume that a digital shooter would want film to disappear.

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