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Thread: How much longer can photographic film hold on?

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    How much longer can photographic film hold on?

    "We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, false!"

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    Film will live forever. Did people stop using paintbrushes, or stop making etchings when photography came along? There is your answer: there will always be film. But it will be a very small niche. Hell, it already is.
    Tony

    Edit and critique at will. Tokina 10-17 fish, Canon 10-22, 24-105, 100-400, TS-E 24, 35/1.4, 60 macro, 100L macro, 500/4, Wimberley, MT-24EX, 580EX-II, 1D IV, 7D, 5D II, 50D.

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    I hope it never fully dies out. There will always be a place for it.
    Cheers, Paul.
    Canon 50D w BG l Nifty Fifty l Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 l Sigma 24-70 f2.8 l EF 100mm f2.8 USM Macro l EF 300 f4L IS USM l EF 1.4X ll TC l 430EXII l Vanguard Alto Pro 263 w BH100 l Manfrotto 680B w 234RC l Lowepro Bags.l Sigma EM-140 Ring Flash.

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    It's all about the Light!
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    My 2.2 cents worth inc GST...

    Film is strong as a movie medium and will probably remain so for some time.

    Film in still photography has become niche/enthusiast and will no doubt continue forever.
    The tipping point was around 2004 ish when 6mp sensors started becoming pervasive and thus the quality of digital prints were better than film.

    Digital advantages surpass film in the vast majority of photographic applications, and for the 99.999% of the consumer market digital is a complete win.
    Note: The two formats are both analogue until the A/D conversion of the sensor data, so optics etc are common to both.
    This does not mean there are not a few film niche applications and, of course the film enthusiast.

    In the end it is not how you capture an image, but the end result that counts.

    BTW: The primary digital advantages are:
    • Immediacy
    • Convenience
    • Low unit cost per image
    • High volume
    • Easy publishing / sharing
    • Must easier and more powerful post processing options than a darkroom

    The number of images captured has increased vastly since digital technologies have become pervasive.

    Digital has enabled many more people to enjoy photography,
    and as a consequence the business/professional part of photography is going through a painful adjustment.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
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    I think that film that is easily self-processed (ie B&W) will continue for a long time. It seems for many shooting film the enjoyment is in the 'process' not just the results. If there are enough customers still willing to pay for film, someone, somewhere, will make it. Although it is likely that prices will rise as ( /if ?) the market recedes. There appears to me to be a slight swing back to film by enthusiast photographers who are now able to pick up formerly expensive film bodies relatively cheaply (particularly in the MF range).

    I'm less confident about the long-term future of colour film.



    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Quote Originally Posted by fillum View Post
    I'm less confident about the long-term future of colour film.
    I think demand from the movie industry will keep colour film stocks being produced,
    at least until digital cinema large screen projection advances to mainstream, which is still at least 10 years off (IMO)

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    Amor fati! ving's Avatar
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    digital medium format really isnt within reach of the typical user. 35mm will dwindle but not die for some time i think.

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    film is like the cockroach... people will find no use for their existence but even if a meteor would to hit earth tomorrow... the cockroach will probably be the only thing that survives...

    PS: just a thought... doesn't have to make any sense!

    Nikon D700 in all it's glory!

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    you have to be careful when saying 'film' as it's a bit vague. usually when people don't understand the difference, they simply mean 35mm...but it differs greatly to 120, sheet film etc....using both negatives and positives.
    even as late as the 90s, 35mm was still considered as being a bit ordinary but ideal for journalists/amateurs. 35mm was convenient to carry around but not often used commercially.

    digital surpassed 35mm negs many moons ago. I consider my 5dmkii to be on par (or marginally better) than my 645 loaded with 120 - but it's nowhere near the quality of 4x5 sheet film.
    this is why much commercial work is still being done with large format cameras - albeit with digital backs for convenient processing.
    I've yet to use digital medium format which may be what kills off large format in a commercial environment.

    as previously mentioned, all film will have a niche market. amateurs and fine artists most likely as they don't have deadlines. time and cost is what's killing film - not image quality.
    I was a darkroom technician during the 90s for the Guardian (UK). it took me a couple of hours per image ...suffice to say they switched to digital cameras in 1999. after that, editor submissions had to be digital.
    hundreds of nearby commercial darkrooms died over the next few years. commercially, film is already dead. you missed the funeral

    digital still has its problems though. my personal hate is how it clips to pure white so immediately. film doesn't do this. sure, you can blow out the highlights but you get this graduation that digital sensor are yet to replicate.
    i'm not too fussed about mandatory sharpening either. also...is canon/nikon writing this stuff down? get rid of video on slr's. stop bumping up the price of still cameras for the sake of inferior video. or are slr's the new point & shoot since the cameraphones improved?
    okay...now I'm just ranting. you can be certain that the next upgrade will fail to resolve any of these issues but it'll probably have some crappy special effects function

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    A nice post, Tony. Just one nit-pick: adding video doesn't really make much difference to the price at all. It's a bit like adding the fax function to a modem used to be back in dial-up days: the chip had to be able to do pretty much everything you needed for faxing anyway, so why not include that function? Same deal with video on an SLR: the incremental manufacturing cost is probably less than $1.00.

    Nut I don't like it either. In fact, I have so little interest in it that I haven't even bothered to learn which of my various cameras have the feature and which don't. I've never had the faintest interest in using it. If I wanted to make movies I'd get some hair oil, a a gold chain and a movie camera.

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    My Zenit (and I) says Thank You, Tony
    Treat my comment not as a critique but more like another point of view and please, share yours on my photos

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    Hi
    I still only use film, as photography is my passion not my job, I have my own little dark room that has a Durst 138 Labarator, and love developing my own B&W film, I still shoot colour film mainly Velvia on the 35mm, and the 120, and on the 4x5 and 5x7 I shoot Velvia and Provia and Ilford, I bought my wife a kx for her birthday, and had a go with it, but to me, there was no real excitment in using the digital, I would rather still have the curiousity of waiting to develop the film, and see our they turned out, and then holding a 5x7 neg up after your developed it, digital just cannot give you that amazement.

    I just wonder how many people now, have actually taken a picture with film, or developed their own film?

    Regards
    David

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    digital still has its problems though. my personal hate is how it clips to pure white so immediately. film doesn't do this. sure, you can blow out the highlights but you get this graduation that digital sensor are yet to replicate.
    very good point that I have raised a few times in the past Tony.

    Many ppl when switching over to digital found that their images were not as good originally, this being one of the problems - it is still easy to overblow whites on jpegs, but much harder to do with film - simply because film served as a safety net where one doesnt need to be spot on with their exposure to get good results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Woods View Post
    I just wonder how many people now, have actually taken a picture with film, or developed their own film?
    Last time I shot with film (slide) was around 2001. Last time I got wet with film circa 1981.

    I'm totally amazed at what I can do with Digital, but then I'm an IT geek I'm also am immediate person, I want to see it now.

    I LOVE my Digital cameras

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Woods View Post

    I just wonder how many people now, have actually taken a picture with film, or developed their own film?
    Shoe boxes and a few photo albums full of 35mm photos shared between SWMBO and I in this household.
    As for developing it, no, I have never done the full process but helping a friend of my fathers to develop B&W prints in his under house darkroom when I was a very young lad ( many many years ago ) was probably the point when I "discovered" photography.

    The man who I assisted was one of the founding members of a camera club that is still going today and a current AP member is on the committee of that club.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Shoe boxes and a few photo albums full of 35mm photos shared between SWMBO and I in this household.
    As for developing it, no, I have never done the full process but helping a friend of my fathers to develop B&W prints in his under house darkroom when I was a very young lad ( many many years ago ) was probably the point when I "discovered" photography.

    The man who I assisted was one of the founding members of a camera club that is still going today and a current AP member is on the committee of that club.
    Just curious, does that person that was a founding member of a club, does he still use film, and would you have got involved in photography, if he hadn't shown you the workings of a dark room?

    Regards
    David

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    David, re the founding member of the club, he was an older friend of my father ( my father passed away last year aged 87 ) so I highly doubt that he is still using film unless they have a Fuji quick print kiosk up there or down there.

    As for becoming involved in photography and whether the dark room process started it or not I don't really know the answer.
    I had seen and marvelled at his photos before I saw the development process but I think it was his images more than the darkroom that started my interest.
    Certainly I was impressed by seeing images appear as if by magic on bits of paper sloshing around in smelly plastic trays and not so long after my first exposure to that ( pardon the pun ) I ended up with a camera, the rest is history but digital has basically over run film here since 2005.

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    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Woods View Post
    I just wonder how many people now, have actually taken a picture with film, or developed their own film?
    I've been toying with the idea of shooting some b&w but haven't really summoned up the necessary enthusiasm. I was sorting through some stuff at the weekend and found a couple of exposed rolls of HP5+ so it looks like I need to go and dig the old tank out after all. Don't remember shooting them so no idea how old. Also found a couple of rolls of the Kodak b&w film that uses C-41 (colour) processing (one of them was still in the camera) so I'll need to take those to the chemist.



    Cheers.

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    interestingly, I heard today that Canon's 5D series will be split into 2 in time for the mk3...a video camera and a stills camera. no idea if there's any truth to it (you know how reliable these rumours can be).

    digital is amazing. how fast could I have learned photography with digital? ...and I don't miss having to jot down the details on the slide (glory to the exif data, I say).

    the amateur photographer is the happiest photographer. they get to shoot whatver they want, however they want

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Woods View Post
    Hi
    I just wonder how many people now, have actually taken a picture with film, or developed their own film?
    made this last week. enlargement made from 7 8x10's

    1DIII, 5DII, 15mm fish, 24mm ts-e, 35L,135L,200L,400L,mpe-65mm
    Film: eos 300, pentax 6x7

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