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Old 04-27-2014   #41
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digital still hasn't caught up in the highlights and when the image breaks down in the shadows. its all about the shoulder ... also dynamic range of films like hp5 and tmax400 is exceptional
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Old 04-27-2014   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slidesandthecity View Post
In a word: No. Just look at the numbers.

There are lots of reasons to shoot film. Image quality isn't among them and probably hasn't been for the last three years or so*. At least not from a technical point of view if you compare apples to apples - and not smartphone snaps to drumscanned 8x10 slides.

* Interestingly, this is also the period in which increasing film sales have been reported ...
I'd say image quality is one of them. I've got a print of a 4x5 negative on my wall. I could get roughly 4x5 quality in digital, but what's it going to cost?

Also, if we say that compact digital cameras are limited to a FF image sensor, compact film cameras are not. I can get a 6x7 camera smaller than a FF DSLR. So if we're comparing film and digital, why should film have to compete within digital's limitations?

Here is what matters to me:

1) Can I afford the camera?
2) Can I be bothered to carry it about?
3) Is it pleasant to use?

If say a GF670 ticks all those boxes, and someone wants to compare image quality to a FF DSLR, the fact that the DSLR has a tiny image sensor by comparison is it's problem, not mine.

Apologies for the rant, but it reminds me of the old computer debates between PowerPC and Intel, there is always someone saying that you can't compare one or the other, because it's a 'server' chip, or it's 'last year's model', or 'Altivec wasnt' enabled on the benchmarks'.

Only thing that matters is the real world, and in the real world, film can go big for little cost, digital cannot.
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Old 04-27-2014   #43
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I'm definitely shooting film for the image quality. I shoot 5x7 and 8x10 mostly. The tonal range, resolution, and joy of shooting it trumps spray and pray digital. Each tool has it's plusses and minuses. I shot a LOT of formats in both film and digital.
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Old 04-27-2014   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Here is only two major camera stores in Toronto left with film supplies. I never seen anybody else buying where, just me and only. Always.
I've experienced exactly the contrary thing last time I've went to the Fotoimpex store here in Berlin. It was so full of people buying film I had to wait several minutes in line to get served.
Also when I walk past film labs there's always customers in there. I've often seen sold out film shelves in drugstores and it seems there are increasingly more and more people with film cameras around in this city.

To me film nowadays seems really alive.
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Old 04-27-2014   #45
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Never left film.

The problem is that you cannot tell trends from a few old farts like myself. I'm 'stuck' camera wise, in the 1970's. To me, 35mm SLR's such as the Nikon F2, Minolta SRT series, Pentax Spotmatic series, Olympus OM-1, Konica T3, Topcon D, Canon F1 (original) etc, etc were the pinnicle of camera development. It's been downhill from there.

* DISCLAIMER* (This is one mans opinion, worth only what you paid for it and is not bound by logic, reason, or facts.)

For myself, I only shoot B&W now and, as I have done for the last 40 years, do my own developing. In the last 2 to 3 years C-41 has gone away locally. I would have to pay at least $10 or more for develop and scan and wait 3 weeks. I do not know if you get your negatives back. So yeah, looks like color negative film is still in decline. Never was a slide shooter myself but from all reports it looks like prices have skyrocketed. That sounds like a death spiral, price goes up due to low volume, more folks stop buying, volume declines more causing prices to rise more etc, down to unsupportable numbers at any price.



As to B&W, looks like it is fairly healthy. Prices continue to rise but not to the point that will kill the medium.

I'm would not be surprised by a rise in prices of desirable film cameras. A fixed quanity were made and there is a certain amount of attrition among those remaining and also a loss of knowledgeable repairmen to keep them running.

By the way, I actually have a digital SLR, a very old (2007) Olympus E-410. It is starting to have some problems and when it goes belly up I'll toss it in the garbage and look for something else, won't know what that will be until that time comes.

Another thought; For quite a few years all my B&W film has had to be ordered online. In fact I doubt I'd fine a single roll of 35mm film at any retail outlet in a radius of 30 miles. I live in Olympia, the capital of Washington state.
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Old 04-27-2014   #46
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These aren't the droids you're looking for.
Move along.

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Old 04-27-2014   #47
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Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
For quite a few years all my B&W film has had to be ordered online. In fact I doubt I'd fine a single roll of 35mm film at any retail outlet in a radius of 30 miles. I live in Olympia, the capital of Washington state.
I buy most of my film from Freestyle and have found a few deals on eBay.

Arlington Camera still stocks and sells film in 35mm, 120, and 4x5. They are a 25 minute drive from me...but I can still get my film cheaper from Freestyle..
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Old 04-27-2014   #48
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FP peel apart films. One of my favorite genre beside the Portras.. Is the one that is truly dying. With fp3000b dead, there is only fp100c left now
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Old 04-27-2014   #49
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Originally Posted by goamules View Post
Film is becoming a niche hobby.
Cameras itself are becoming niche. Lots of people around me don't even have dedicated camera anymore even if they could afford anything from Fuji X-world or comparable. They even don't use their digital cameras bought several years ago because they have smartphones.
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Old 04-27-2014   #50
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Just sit down and relax. I try to quit three or more times but can't do this step. Every time when my film stocks comes to end i say myself what that roll will be my last. I take my digi cam, try it for 2-3 weeks, get bored and buying another 100 rolls of Kodak Gold 200 per dollar or bulk of b&w for my M4 or P&S.

For me film will never dead because i try find opportunities to shoot, not reasons to stop. In my small town (less than 70k population) we have a lab that still support cheapest C-41 develop (about .50cents) and have full line amateur's color film. Time freeze here
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Old 04-27-2014   #51
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Film has that special charm in it. I will use it till I die, hopefully.
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Old 04-27-2014   #52
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I bought 4 rolls of film (fuji velvia 50, provia 100, acros 100 and pro400) for 45 USD!!! For me the film is not dying but suffering from a serious illness, digital photo-cheuma
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Old 04-27-2014   #53
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Ultramax 400 is $11.99 for three rolls. It's good.
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Old 04-28-2014   #54
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As others have mentioned, film never died. It just lost some popularity, but never went away, and it's not going to go away completely for a very long time. I suspect black and white film in particular will still be easily available the day I die, and I'm pretty young yet. The fact is that most economic battles such as digital v. film don't end with the elimination of the losing product, so characterizing the situation like only one option may remain in the end is wrong.

The question if film is going through a distinct second decline in popularity is somewhat more interesting. I'm skeptical that its market would be in for a second dip that is truly different from some continuation of the previous decline, but I am not really informed about the market.
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Old 04-28-2014   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuzano View Post
Film is not a problem. I get my film from high count Feedback sellers on eBay, with at least 99% positive feedback and high sales. Often expired but refrigerated and excellent experience with the film I am receiving.
I realize that people always want to get bargains and save money, that's totally understandable. And I'm not at all picking on you personally. But just as a reminder to everybody: if we don't buy fresh film from the manufacturers then film will go away faster and/or get more expensive even more quickly. Part of supporting film use is buying it from the current manufacturers who are selling it. Maybe it should be seen as the 'cost of commitment' or something like that.

I sold several bricks of 35mm E-6 film here last week and felt a little bad about it. And yes, the buyers got a good deal. However, I did take that money and bought a bunch of 4x5 film from my local shop (I'm not using 35mm right now and am concentrating on sheet film.)
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Old 04-28-2014   #56
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Some of the comments here crack me up.

Don't confuse the film arm of Kodak with the rest of the sh*t. Ilford's profits are up, they run their business sensibly.

Yes actual shop sales are falling but thats the same for every type of purchase. The internet is taking so much business from the high street.

Fuji and Kodak are discontinuing some films but when your business wants to invest its time and efforts in printers and X range that's what happens. Nothing to do with poor ROI.
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Old 04-28-2014   #57
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Everything is dying, you just need to look ahead far enough.

Film is cheaper than it ever has been, you just have to take inflation into account, same as we do for every other product we buy.

Yes, retail film is expensive, but so was the last smartphone I bought, I went online and got it for $200 AUD less.

Right now, I only shoot film, no digital except for my phone for eBay sales. I can get film easily and have it developed easily. There are only two types of people who think film is dying:

1) Passive aggressive types, trolls, etc.
2) Those who have genuine concerns about the future of their passion/hobby.

Type 1 can safely be ignored. Type 2 need to be encouraged just to continue what they do.
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Old 04-28-2014   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegman View Post
Everything is dying, you just need to look ahead far enough.

Film is cheaper than it ever has been, you just have to take inflation into account, same as we do for every other product we buy.

Yes, retail film is expensive, but so was the last smartphone I bought, I went online and got it for $200 AUD less.

Right now, I only shoot film, no digital except for my phone for eBay sales. I can get film easily and have it developed easily. There are only two types of people who think film is dying:

1) Passive aggressive types, trolls, etc.
2) Those who have genuine concerns about the future of their passion/hobby.

Type 1 can safely be ignored. Type 2 need to be encouraged just to continue what they do.
... there is a third type, the pedant who goes about highlighting little grammatical errors, like pointing out that 'dying again' is actually a logical absurdity ... either film died the first time and therefore is in fact dead, or it recovered and therefor was not in fact dying just a bit poorly
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Old 04-28-2014   #59
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No one can accurately predict where film will go IMO ... and how viable it's future will be in the long term. My crystal ball tells me it's doomed to a fringe existence .. but will probably survive in limited varieties for those that can pay the price as it logically rises as all niche products tend to.
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Old 04-28-2014   #60
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I'm pretty sure it'll never be mainstream again, but I cannot see it dying completely any time soon... It's still in use too much to claim a death at all.
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Old 04-28-2014   #61
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That's a good point. In 1967, 36 exposure black & white cassettes were seven shillings and five pence, roughly 37p in decimal Sterling. Inflation equates that to £6.06. Amazon sells 5 rolls of FP4 for £21.49, or £4.30 per cassette. In other words, the price of film has dropped by 30%.

It's still more expensive than digital, if you make a lot of pictures, but one of the differences I've noticed in my own photography is that I use digital, when I want to hold my finger down on the shutter release and film, when I want to take my time over each shot.
Film will always be more expensive than digital, I accept that. I think even with digital's depreciation, I think film works out more if you shoot more than a few rolls a month.

But then, Lagavulin costs more than Smirnoff. *

*Passive aggressive, trollish behaviour, all intentional.
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Old 04-28-2014   #62
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That's a good point. In 1967, 36 exposure black & white cassettes were seven shillings and five pence, roughly 37p in decimal Sterling. Inflation equates that to £6.06. Amazon sells 5 rolls of FP4 for £21.49, or £4.30 per cassette. In other words, the price of film has dropped by 30%.

It's still more expensive than digital, if you make a lot of pictures, but one of the differences I've noticed in my own photography is that I use digital, when I want to hold my finger down on the shutter release and film, when I want to take my time over each shot.
Not my experience in the US. When I first started shooting and developing my own B&W c1971, I could walk into Altmans in Chicago and buy 100 ft. bulk of Tri-X and a box of 10 Kodak snap caps for about $10

Now TX is $70 and metal cartridges are $1 each. So that is $80 today, an 8X jump. Normal inflation would only bring that to $60 so there has been a real price increase of about 33% for that example. Back then I never bought my B&W in anything but bulk 100 ft rolls because of the savings. Nowdays there is no difference in price between bulk and preloads, or not much at any rate.
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Old 04-28-2014   #63
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I'm pretty sure it'll never be mainstream again, but I cannot see it dying completely any time soon... It's still in use too much to claim a death at all.
I agree .... it will enjoy a marginal existence for many years yet.
Just how many years and how expensive it will become is any ones guess .
Those film manufactures still in business who keep exhorting us to use it more are at the same time hiking up the costs of both purchase and development.

I can`t help thinking that they`re just raking it it whilst they can but that`s me being cynical.
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Old 04-28-2014   #64
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Perhaps the first shouts of "film is dead" were akin to a criminal being sentenced to death: the end was announced but was nowhere near.

Now the appeals are all over and the Governor has declined a pardon.

OK, that's going a bit too far.

Until a few months ago people would ask me "Can you still buy film?" and I would say "I can buy it at the supermarket and get it processed next door." Now neither of those is true.

Consumer use of film is dead.

Enthusiast use continues.

Film is dead ... long live film.
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Old 04-28-2014   #65
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Nobody wants my fully working IIf here and on-ebay for $175! Dead for sure!

Here is only two major camera stores in Toronto left with film supplies. I never seen anybody else buying where, just me and only. Always.
One store has some film and only few supplies left, second one has different papers, chemicals and stuff, but only consumer color film.


Picture taking on hobby level is shifting to Instagram and paid photography is mostly digital by now.

More and more people can't cook their own food, can't hand write, multiply and divide without calculators and even walk.
Film is something which is very difficult to them now.
Few and fewer of us left every day who isn't blind and willing to do analog b/w including wet prints.
Mass production, consumerism and globalization makes general public "simple minded" and incapable of many different skills more and more.
Film photography is more like one of those craft arts, now. Which used to be just common jobs. Haven't seen new doors made with carpentry and blacksmith for long time.
Film is dead?
I guess I didn't get the memo.
You can still buy film at Henry's, Vistek and Downtown Camera.
I get my slide film developed at Black's, although Toronto Image Works, and Downtown Camera are still also processing.
You don't see me buying film because I have a freezer full donated by my photobuds.
It's alive and well in my world.
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Old 04-28-2014   #66
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Film is dead?
I guess I didn't get the memo.
You can still buy film at Henry's, Vistek and Downtown Camera.
I get my slide film developed at Black's, although Toronto Image Works, and Downtown Camera are still also processing.
You don't see me buying film because I have a freezer full donated by my photobuds.
It's alive and well in my world.
Slide films are the reason why I started shooting in film but it is getting so expensive and rare (especially at this part of the world). Some of the legendary slide films are disappearing too. When I was in Canada, I also didnt have troubles in getting and developing the slides.

When here not many people shooting in slides, you are also not sure about the freshness of the chemicals used even if you find a place to develop.
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Old 04-28-2014   #67
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Old 04-28-2014   #68
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No digital is pretty much dead at my house. I bought my wife a digital camera but never uses it, thus digital is dead. OTOH I shoot film & it's very much alive.
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Old 04-28-2014   #69
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Film started to die when Kodak began to license Kodachrome processing to outside vendors. It's been a slippery slope since.
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Old 04-28-2014   #70
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I attended a talk this week by Michael Bain, Ilford Photo's North American rep. It was a fascinating and inspiring talk about Ilford's path through the changing photographic landscape over the years. The black and white film market is a fraction of what it was, but they have restructured the company around the new realities. Interestingly, 35mm film sales are flat, but Ilford is seeing steady growth in medium and large format film. In printing paper, RC paper sales are flat, but there is growth in fiber papers, which is where they've launched new products.

He emphasized over and over that Ilford Photo is financially healthy and fully committed to black and white film photography. They are a small company facing a changing market, so they are very conservative in their operations. With sound financial management, they hope to preserve their existing product line, even the smaller-volume products, while finding new ways to grow.
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Old 04-28-2014   #71
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apologies if I'v offended or smacked a hornets' nest
Mr. Rosen:

It seems a diligent search on your part or if nothing else, a look at some of the better film based photographs digitized for display on this forum would have likely informed your decision to perhaps forgo the catchy headline and thread altogether.

That is...unless you were just trying to draw attention to your self which you have. I mean, congrats, you have even caused a spin-off thread that calls out how "confirmation bias refers to the tendency to selectively search for and consider information that confirms one's beliefs."

Black and white film is alive and well, strong as an ox & highly visible in the professional fine art world (see Vince's post above). It's digital in current form that you need to worry about...it's designed to self obsolete at a blistering, profit mongering pace...
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Old 04-28-2014   #72
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As long as there is a market for film and the producers can make enough profit film will live on or not. Who knows?

Ilford Photo will committed to film as long as they make enough money, when that stops their commitment will also stop.
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Old 04-28-2014   #73
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I enjoy using both and very much hope and (dare I actually admit) expect film to be around for a very very long time yet.

I use digital a lot more than film now simply to keep my costs down, however I love going out and taking some landscapes or doing a project with my FM2, followed by some experimentation in the "darkroom" (read bathroom, changing bag and scanner for me these days.)

I see no reason for it ever to become mainstream again but then whats so bad about it being a niche area of photography? From what I can make out its also allowing us, if you think in this way, the opportunity to play around with some new emulsions; a chance to continue the experiment. It's sad when you're favourite old film stock is no longer made but this happens in all areas of life, film (and digital) are both alive and offering us great opportunities.

I hope it continues.
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Old 04-28-2014   #74
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I was just in Trader Joe's. The young man, probably 22 or 23, working in the wine section asked what kind of camera I had over my shoulder. His eyes lit up when I told him a Leica M2. He said he started out shooting digital (obviously, I thought!), but in high school he was given his Dad's Nikon slr and really fell in love with film, especially b&w. He said he now has an Olympus XA that he uses a lot, and is saving up for a medium format camera.

Of course what he didn't know was that I'd spent all morning leading up to our conversation trying to convince myself that I should part with one of my M's--the aforementioned M2--to fund the purchase of my first "real" digital camera, probably a Fuji ex-1. But this is a tough sell for me. Early this morning I went out with a roll of Ektar 100 with the intention of going on a nice walk about the length of, oh, say, 37 or 38 frames. The pace of knowing I was going to shoot just those frames and nothing more was very rhythmic and relaxing--and challenging in its limitation.

There is so much more to film than image quality. If it was purely IQ, I am not sure I would struggle with this decision so much. But I enjoy everything about the film process (ok, except scanning, blah) and I truly have an emotional attachment to my M2. It's been all over the place with me, and it's beautiful to hold and make pictures with.
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Old 04-28-2014   #75
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I was just in Trader Joe's. The young man, probably 22 or 23, working in the wine section asked what kind of camera I had over my shoulder. His eyes lit up when I told him a Leica M2. He said he started out shooting digital (obviously, I thought!), but in high school he was given his Dad's Nikon slr and really fell in love with film, especially b&w. He said he now has an Olympus XA that he uses a lot, and is saving up for a medium format camera.

Of course what he didn't know was that I'd spent all morning leading up to our conversation trying to convince myself that I should part with one of my M's--the aforementioned M2--to fund the purchase of my first "real" digital camera, probably a Fuji ex-1. But this is a tough sell for me. Early this morning I went out with a roll of Ektar 100 with the intention of going on a nice walk about the length of, oh, say, 37 or 38 frames. The pace of knowing I was going to shoot just those frames and nothing more was very rhythmic and relaxing--and challenging in its limitation.

There is so much more to film than image quality. If it was purely IQ, I am not sure I would struggle with this decision so much. But I enjoy everything about the film process (ok, except scanning, blah) and I truly have an emotional attachment to my M2. It's been all over the place with me, and it's beautiful to hold and make pictures with.
I get out and about often for my job (life) as a photographer and I always meet lots of people, including women. Sometimes, I experience that "zing" or "Zap" of mutual attraction, it's nice. But then I quickly remember my gorgeous and brilliant wife and picture us in my mind growing wonderfully old together and all that we have...and I easily quell the electricity and make sure my wedding band is highly visible.

This is what film photography is to me, a life partnership that feels right to the very core of my being. It will never matter what digital becomes because to me, film is the only life that matters.

In my opinion and in 20+ years of using it, digital often incites the excitement of what will come next from a technological standpoint, forgoing long term partnerships. Film simply extends a warm familiar hand and offers a life long partnership...making it really easy to see what actually matters, living for today, in the moment...
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Old 04-28-2014   #76
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What matters is not film or digital, but the images you create by whichever process you choose. One is not better then the other. Each is a means to a similar end. Whatever road you travel, whatever makes you feel comfortable, and jives with your vision, so be it.

I for one would love to see these film versus digital, digital versus film threads self destruct.
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Old 04-28-2014   #77
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Look, is film dead yet or not? I need to know before I load my 35SP.
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Old 04-28-2014   #78
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What matters is not film or digital, but the images you create by whichever process you choose. One is not better then the other. Each is a means to a similar end. Whatever road you travel, whatever makes you feel comfortable, and jives with your vision, so be it.

I for one would love to see these film versus digital, digital versus film threads self destruct.
Yes, this. Well said.
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Old 04-28-2014   #79
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Look, is film dead yet or not? I need to know before I load my 35SP.
"Film isn't just merely dead, it's really really really dead!"

-- at least in the Land of Oz.
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Old 04-28-2014   #80
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Keith , the intention I had in starting this thread was NOT to rehash film vs digital. It was to get a sense from people here if they thought that the ebb and flow of film use and equipment sales was similar to what I personally felt

Some people have derided this as trolling or yet another film is dead or film vs digital thread. That was not my intention.

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What matters is not film or digital, but the images you create by whichever process you choose. One is not better then the other. Each is a means to a similar end. Whatever road you travel, whatever makes you feel comfortable, and jives with your vision, so be it.

I for one would love to see these film versus digital, digital versus film threads self destruct.
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