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Seeing Film Everywhere
Old 01-22-2017   #1
JChrome
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Seeing Film Everywhere

Just got back from a trip to Palm Springs, CA. What I saw was very encouraging for film users.

First we started at the Ace Hotel. There was a motorcycle party (people brought their bikes and showed them off and sold clothing and other motorcycle wares). A fellow was setup with an ancient looking 8x10 camera and soft boxes and shooting tin type portraits.

I spotted a few others walking around with film cameras (just passers by); Leica M3 and a Canon AE-1.

Then we went to Joshua tree. Much less of a hipster crowd than the Ace Hotel. As we congregated at some of the grand vistas, I saw as many film SLRs as I did digital cameras (not counting phones). Canons, Nikons, Pentax, Oly's. This is really where I was startled. I hadn't seen this many film cameras in a tourist spot... ever.

Next up was San Jacinto. We took a tram car up the mountainside with 50 people. Another Canon AE-1.

Have other people had this experience? I'm sure being in a spot frequented by youngsters from LA and San Diego introduced bias into the sample. But I was really surprised at how many film cameras I was seeing.


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Old 01-22-2017   #2
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Here in Montreal film seems to be seeing quite a bit of a resurgence as well. This seems to be the case especially amongst the younger photographer crowd; those ones who cut their teeth shooting with their mobile phones, then graduated to DSLRs and mirrorless digital cameras. Now they are looking for the next thing, and that happens to be film.

The culture of instagram seems, IMO, to be playing a factor in this resurgence as well. Instagram is riddled with photos of 135 and medium format cameras, who's precision machined, retro aesthetic paints them in a very attractive light compared to the plastic disposable ugliness of digital cameras that the young generation of photogs has grown up with. Anything retro, but especially analog storage mediums and the tech that is needed to operate them is alluring to this gen. It's cool to be seen using this stuff. Look at what has happened with vinyl over the last decade or so. Artists press vinyl now, often foregoing cds. It's a 12" release with a digital download inside the sleeve.

In a culture where high value is placed upon individuality, the photographer who shoots film stands apart from the rest of the flock.
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Old 01-22-2017   #3
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In NYC I'm seeing quite a few younger folks with film cameras around. They never really went away here, but the numbers seem to be up lately.

It's encouraging.
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Old 01-22-2017   #4
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There are other forces driving this resurgence as well. Digital = disposable. And for a generation facing the very real possibility of induced global catastrophe, one might argue that it is a sort of protest to be reusing a robust product that already exists in the ecosystem instead of buying a new product that requires a much larger draw of resources and manufacturing to produce, only to have it stop working or become outdated tech in a few months time. Not to mention that photography is a ridiculously expensive hobby and if you are not monetizing it for personal gain then generally one cannot afford to be upgrading constantly. For the young generation of photogs this is particularly true, as millenials have less money than any gen before them and they exist in a precipitous economic climate. Film gear is an attractively low priced "upgrade" or entry point into their chosen hobby.
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Old 01-22-2017   #5
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Seriously doubt shooters are making a film choice for political reasons.
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Old 01-22-2017   #6
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Fashion seems to be doing its part too:

https://www.businessoffashion.com/ar...dgson-ghertner
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Old 01-22-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Seriously doubt shooters are making a film choice for political reasons.
Here is an interesting article that explores both cost and carbon:

http://www.japancamerahunter.com/201...s-really-free/
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Old 01-22-2017   #8
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Yeah, I doubt it's political. Just another cool thing for urban young people to congregate around. Nearest place to drop off a roll of film to be processed is 60 miles away. I never see film cameras, only cell phones around here.
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Old 01-22-2017   #9
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Well, talking about money, I would say film photography is expensive. Yeah, if you want to take pictures on film you don't need to expend a fortune, you can get good equipment that will last you a long time really cheap, but you need to keep paying for film and developing and those cost you. Not saying it isn't possible, but I think is not likely.

I think film is attracting people because is interesting, challenging and you can really make a picture personal. Also, IMHO, having a camera that will last you a while, kinda give you a sense of stability, something that depends on you, not on the market preferences and a quick changing fashion.


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P.S.- And no, here on Tijuana, MX don't really see many people with film cameras, but I don't really get out that much so maybe I'm missing them
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Old 01-22-2017   #10
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I got back from a trip from Indonesia last week and I saw a Leica M-A (35mm Summicron APO), Canon A1 (50mm 1.4), a group using disposable cameras as well as a guy using a Polaroid 195.
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Old 01-22-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JChrome View Post
Just got back from a trip to Palm Springs, CA. What I saw was very encouraging for film users.

First we started at the Ace Hotel. There was a motorcycle party (people brought their bikes and showed them off and sold clothing and other motorcycle wares). A fellow was setup with an ancient looking 8x10 camera and soft boxes and shooting tin type portraits.

I spotted a few others walking around with film cameras (just passers by); Leica M3 and a Canon AE-1.

Then we went to Joshua tree. Much less of a hipster crowd than the Ace Hotel. As we congregated at some of the grand vistas, I saw as many film SLRs as I did digital cameras (not counting phones). Canons, Nikons, Pentax, Oly's. This is really where I was startled. I hadn't seen this many film cameras in a tourist spot... ever.

Next up was San Jacinto. We took a tram car up the mountainside with 50 people. Another Canon AE-1.

Have other people had this experience? I'm sure being in a spot frequented by youngsters from LA and San Diego introduced bias into the sample. But I was really surprised at how many film cameras I was seeing.


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I am glad you saw that in Palm Spring, you did not see me with my Leica M5. It was raining like crazy. I understand president Obama flight into Palms Spring on Friday was re-routed to March AF Base in Riverside. I was along the main drag (111) taking shots at the cloud formations, they were unbelievable. Regarding the switch to film by many, it produces a bad feeling every time a "new and better" computer (read it DSLR or Digital RF) comes out and you want to upgrade. It creates a good second hand market for those cameras, but it feels like you are always behind. But with a Canon P RF, you do not notice the changes, and you can take as many shots as you want without feeling left behind.
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Old 01-22-2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JChrome View Post
Have other people had this experience? I'm sure being in a spot frequented by youngsters from LA and San Diego introduced bias into the sample. But I was really surprised at how many film cameras I was seeing.
I studied in Barcelona (not living) but saw a fair share of film cameras. Must confess that didn't see (or notice) many in a row, but there are plenty.

IG has quite a weight to it and your note about the LA-SD crowd is well observed. There is a group of Nikonos Surfers around that area that spread the word for film, among others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovely_sausages View Post
And for a generation facing the very real possibility of induced global catastrophe, one might argue that it is a sort of protest to be reusing a robust product that already exists in the ecosystem instead of buying a new product that requires a much larger draw of resources and manufacturing to produce, only to have it stop working or become outdated tech in a few months time.
No need to tell me! We youngsters don't have such a privileged status in wages and conditions, washed slowly by the recession which hasn't left, at least here -- resource limits.

But digital aren't that disposable nowadays, the race has slowed and the months gave away to a few years. Yesterday had a long coffee table discussion with a friend about which (digital) camera he should get, and 2013 models are perfectly fine. Any camera model you can get now is excellent!

I'd not argue for a political or anti-system reason, rather the uniqueness, aesthetic and settled media that it is. The DSLR and mirrorless medium can felt squeezed with cellphones being more convenient and rather decent.

Labs are mostly send out and dev+scan. Look at the success of, say Carmencita in Spain. In some interview they explained the hard times they had in 2013, but once it caught clientele, nowadays it's a 20 person team working in the lab... Wedding and lifestyle has a heavy heft here in quantities processed. Then take a look at select camera prices (specifically MF) and they rose in the last 2-3 years.
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Old 01-22-2017   #13
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Went to the women's march in DC yesterday and saw a lot of young women with AE-1s.
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Old 01-22-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepeguitarra View Post
I was along the main drag (111) taking shots at the cloud formations, they were unbelievable.
You know that it didn't happen unless you show us some pictures!
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Old 01-22-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Seriously doubt shooters are making a film choice for political reasons.
it's one of the primary reasons i continue to incorporate film in my work. i have seen, with my own eyes, the impact of digital mass consumption in places like the eastern DRC and it isn't pretty. not a blanket statement... just my own reasoning.
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Old 01-22-2017   #16
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I saw a Minolta X something yesterday at the Montpelier march. Only film camera I saw, and it looked very well used. Most of the actual cameras I saw were Nikon DSLR's, a few Sony P&S, a Panasonic All-weather, and one Fuji XPro. I carried the Monochrom and an M9, left all the film equipment home, though my shooting is still 50% film at minimum.
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Old 01-22-2017   #17
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People have stopped asking me with surprise is that a film camera. Maybe there are more around.
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Old 01-22-2017   #18
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Young people who tire of digital grab their dad or mom's old film camera to try film. The Film Photography Project Podcast has a huge following of film shooters. It's now very easy to home process C-41 & E-6 to get fantastic results, not to mention b&w.

High schools are starting film photography courses & the FPP has shipped many as 40 cameras to a classroom that people have donated. It's awesome what is happening. There are several high schools now teaching film photography because of the FPP.

http://filmphotographyproject.com/fp...m-cameras-kids
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Old 01-22-2017   #19
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I walked into a natural foods store yesterday and a young gal behind the counter (probably in her mid- 20’s) took a real interest in my old Canon III-A rangefinder. She had just discovered film and asked me many questions about the camera and processing B&W film. I was both surprised and encouraged by her interest in film photography.

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Old 01-22-2017   #20
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Womxn's March in Seattle yesterday---saw several folks with film gear:

Four with Black M's of some sort (three with short lenses, one with a 90 of some sort)
A Minolta (or Mamiya?) big chunky SLR of some sort
A couple of Pentax? Canon? chrome 70s looking gear
A guy with a digital M (not film but cool)
A medium format Makina

and me with the Canon L2 and the Leotax Elite...

Demo was mostly middle aged to older white dudes like me

My students are interested in film more in the last few years and I don't generally encourage them because of cost
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Old 01-22-2017   #21
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Even my 21-year-old daughter has begun to show signs of interest...

Chris
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Old 01-22-2017   #22
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Young people always try to be different, if mass goes digital maybe they try to express themselves with a different media therefore try film. And possibly some discover to like it, other to love it, other don't...
robert
PS: I do not see many film shooters in Italy
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Old 01-22-2017   #23
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I'm waiting for the thread that mentions how pleasantly surprised they are that they are seeing more and more digital photographers out there.
It's gonna happen...
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Old 01-22-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
I was talking to a young photographer at a camera store specializing in used film cameras. He has several 35mm camera bodies and lots of lenses, and a medium format setup as well. He shoots film, but has never made a print. He has his film developed and scanned and posts his images on the web. I wonder how prevalent that is? It's hard to for me to get my head around it.
I've prepared a batch of files to get printed but have a few uncovered months indeed.

In a way it bridges both media, getting the aestethic of film (and using classic cameras among other variables) into a digital file but without using emulation on a completely digital site, as audio guys would describe the steps: ADD.
May be somewhat similar to drawing on paper and scanning vs drawing on software directly.

The matter of, if you end up with a digital file you may as well shoot digital I have seen discussed. Pleaded guilty.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by emraphoto View Post
it's one of the primary reasons i continue to incorporate film in my work. i have seen, with my own eyes, the impact of digital mass consumption in places like the eastern DRC and it isn't pretty. not a blanket statement... just my own reasoning.
Early on people complained about the toxicity of film and processes (which to a justified extent decades ago was significant) was just so really bad. Infact, digital has a lot of "shadow" environmental effects. Outsourcing and the social impact may be argued, as the later era had outsourcing to Thailand, China, etc.

Nowadays film manufacturing has the foundation in Developed Countries (what a pun isn't it?). Kodak, US; Fuji, Japan; Ilford, UK. Adox; Switzerland & Germany. The volumes of toxic chemistry must be tightly regulated.
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Old 01-22-2017   #25
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The camera store I frequent currently has a larger variety of film than a year ago. I now have to call ahead to be sure they have Ektar 100 in stock as it can sell out quickly. That's my anecdotal evidence of a resurgence in film usage.
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Old 01-22-2017   #26
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Haven't been out and about much this year. Last time in public attraction was at Boeing Museum of Flight. Lots of cell phones and a few digital but didn't see any film cameras except my Olympus Pen F. Problem here in Olympia is that there is no local processing at all so it is DIY or send it off through the mails and that doubles the price for color. I've always done my own B&W but miss those in house one hour C-41 labs. Costco was the last and they stopped around 2012. Don't know about Seattle, 50 miles north, but I'd rather take a beating than drive anywhere on the I-5 horror show.
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Old 01-22-2017   #27
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My fifteen year old grand daughter is about to start a high school photography course. She asked if she could borrow a 35mm manual camera. I handed her a 43 year old SRT101 I purchased before her mom was born. She asked "why is it so heavy?" I explained the difference between a precision long lasting quality instrument built of steel vs. a short lived device made from "high quailty polycarbonate." "Wow, this feels good, I like this" she said.
My wife and I took a recent cruise on the Rhine River. Most of the cameras were of the smart phone variety. I admit to taking a D90 but in my bag there was an M3 and many rolls of Delta100. The D90 stayed in the bag most of the trip. Another passenger was using an F3. We bacame photog buddies. He is a retired newspaper photographer from a major midwestern news paper. He ditched digital as soon as he retired from the paper and now only shoots film for himself. Like many of us who grew up on film and went digital, he never became comfortable with the medium because, "when the camera is smarter than the operator, the operator soon forgets how to be a real photographer." That is why I am glad my grand daughter is learning with a manual SLR, TRI-X and not a computer that takes pictures.

Last edited by thawkins : 01-22-2017 at 14:05. Reason: wording
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Old 01-22-2017   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thawkins View Post
My fifteen year old grand daughter is about to start a high school photography course. She asked if she could borrow a 35mm manual camera. I handed her a 43 year old SRT101 I purchased before her mom was born. She asked "why is it so heavy?" I explained the difference between a precision long lasting quality instrument built of steel vs. a short lived device made from "high quailty polycarbonate." "Wow, this feels good, I like this" she said.
My wife and I took a recent cruise on the Rhine River. Most of the cameras were of the smart phone variety. I admit to taking a D90 but in my bag there was an M3 and many rolls of Delta100. The D90 stayed in the bag most of the trip. Another passenger was using an F3. We bacame photog buddies. He is a retired newspaper photographer from a major midwestern news paper. He ditched digital as soon as he retired from the paper and now only shoots film for himself. Like many of us who grew up on film and went digital, he never became comfortable with the medium because, "when the camera is smarter than the operator, the operator soon forgets how to be a real photographer." That is why I am glad my grand daughter is learning with a manual SLR, TRI-X and not a computer that takes pictures.


I have a niece that's now 8 years old and only recently shows interest in my film cameras. I put my F3 on auto mode, tell her to focus the camera and let her have at it. She really liked it. I hope to get her hooked.




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Old 01-22-2017   #29
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I find it strange in that I neither see a film camera when I'm out, but just as well I never see those masses of phones used as cameras. Around here dslr's of all types are what you see with the occasional phone. Film is a very rare thing.
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Old 01-23-2017   #30
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I could count the times I've seen people on the streets w/ a film camera in the last five years on one hand, and medium format, folders or TLRs on one finger.
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Old 01-23-2017   #31
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I do see film cameras every now and then, but never "in the wild" (that is never just people walking around downtown) usually at events, like car shows, concerts etc. It's not a common occurrence, but it's regular enough I guess.

Film photography is "expensive" but the expense occurs over time, the initial cost is relatively low making it easier to get into if you want serious equipment but don't have money for the latest digital gear.
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Old 01-23-2017   #32
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Glad I kept one M6, purchased 2 Nikon F2, EF2, & a Nikormat.

Prices may start going up.

My darkroom is still in place
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Old 01-23-2017   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepeguitarra View Post
I am glad you saw that in Palm Spring, you did not see me with my Leica M5. It was raining like crazy. I understand president Obama flight into Palms Spring on Friday was re-routed to March AF Base in Riverside. I was along the main drag (111) taking shots at the cloud formations, they were unbelievable. Regarding the switch to film by many, it produces a bad feeling every time a "new and better" computer (read it DSLR or Digital RF) comes out and you want to upgrade. It creates a good second hand market for those cameras, but it feels like you are always behind. But with a Canon P RF, you do not notice the changes, and you can take as many shots as you want without feeling left behind.


Very cool. I think I wasn't there during that time. I was there over MLK weekend and a few days after. No rain nor thunder. The night we left (Wednesday evening) it started to rain. We were there for the perfect stretch of weather.

Palm Springs is really fun. I hope to return and go camping in Joshua Tree.


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Old 01-23-2017   #34
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I'll often times peruse antique malls and lately I've been noticing several Argus "bricks" at times. Some have the note "works" on the tag.
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Old 01-23-2017   #35
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Hi,

Camera prices are very low if you know what to look for in charity shops etc. Since swearing I'd never buy another and start unloading stuff I've seen no end of really nice cameras for pennies or thereabouts.

I just broke my promise once when I saw a Pentax K1000 outfit in a bag for ten pounds and a µ-I, case etc for two pounds.
otherwise I've been very good. I gave one of the lenses away, btw, it makes me feel good about breaking my promise.

This time of year is good for hunting, the new Christmas presents mean the old ones go to charity shops and then in February it will be spring cleaning time.

Now work out the depreciation on a digital SLR and tell me they are cheaper, if you bracket everything 5 times and never print...

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Old 01-23-2017   #36
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My 13-year-old granddaughter is very much into the "retro," whether that be typewriters, fountain pens, or cameras. She love's my "museum" (her word for my bedroom where I stash all my out-of-date oddities and ephemera.)

She particularly likes my cameras. I gave her a working Zenit SLR with a moldy prism just to be able to hold and operate it. I told her if she has a real interest in going out and taking some photos that I would also give her a pristine Canon AE-1 Program and a brick of Tri-X. I'm thinking she just might take me up on the offer!
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Old 01-23-2017   #37
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Quote:
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My 13-year-old granddaughter is very much into the "retro," whether that be typewriters, fountain pens, or cameras. She love's my "museum" (her word for my bedroom where I stash all my out-of-date oddities and ephemera.)

She particularly likes my cameras. I gave her a working Zenit SLR with a moldy prism just to be able to hold and operate it. I told her if she has a real interest in going out and taking some photos that I would also give her a pristine Canon AE-1 Program and a brick of Tri-X. I'm thinking she just might take me up on the offer!
I hope she takes you up on the offer. It will be a good time for both of you.
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Old 01-23-2017   #38
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Film is on the up and up. Apparently it flies off the shelves of the store I buy from. I know, anecdotal. But Kodak is bringing back Ektachrome. The motion picture industry is committed to film. After a long time, good news all around. I too have the impression I see a few more young people carrying film camerss. A few years ago some of them would be embarrassed to carry them. The image of manual was converted/reclaimed from old-man-uncool to something like young-'n'-authentic.

.

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Old 01-23-2017   #39
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Quote:
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In NYC I'm seeing quite a few younger folks with film cameras around. They never really went away here, but the numbers seem to be up lately.

It's encouraging.
I'd say a few years ago it was a lot more (a lot more). I was going to say it appears to be on a decline here. Your experience is different though.
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Old 01-23-2017   #40
dmr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence Sheperd View Post
My 13-year-old granddaughter is very much into the "retro," whether that be typewriters, fountain pens, or cameras.
Please, encourage her to follow through with her interest in photography!
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