Digital doing serious film users a favour ?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by adrian bastin, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. Reading Trevor's last thread, it seems a lot of improvements are
    going on in film and it occurred to me that manufacturers are
    concentrating not on the mass market but dedicated users who want
    quality above speed and convenience ; and on doing what film is best
    at. So instead of film dissapearing, we are getting spoiled for

    With this should come higher quality processing and services ?

    If this subject has already been done to death: apologies.
  2. If they're putting money into film R&D still, then it maybe that better chemicals could arrive that in themselves could provide a better result. Chemicals are being developed (no pun intended) all the time not just for film but that my have benifits to film processing services. Advancements in technology also help in the R&D labs and making things cheaper (not just for gadgets and digi photography). Who knows, if there's someone out there who can make colour tempreture indipendant dev chems, then they're going to sell a lot of it! That's a market worth having.
  3. I don't see how you came to this conclusion just because Fuji has re-named a film they introduced last year and probably were aleady in development way before digital became so accessible to regular consumers. High quality processing and services? I would be surprised if there were any processing services left. Here in Hong Kong we are down to one full service pro lab and the only choice for large format processing. Regular one hour places have gone digital else disappeared. And if I want to buy b/w chemicals I would have to run up to China for them.
  4. Raymond, I'm drawing no conclusions. Just want your ideas on the heading of this thread, as a trend in the future.

    Ross, wouldn't that be something !
  5. There have been a number of new films recently but not as many as new digital cameras :)

    Within 15 minutes of where I live in the little old backward UK there are 5 processing facilities 2 of which are professional level and I live almost in the sticks.

    I think the major benefit of the rise of digital is the ability to lay ones hands on quality cameras for virtually a song.
  6. Indeed although some pro labs have closed, it may be that they were surplus to requirements prior to digital. The digital revolution has simply trimmed the fat. The four pro-labs I have used are all still going strong. There have been some shake ups, a few services have been dropped, but that's inevitable. I mean, I even have a pro lab around the corner from me in Southampton, and there's nothing good usually in Southampton! In fact the guy there was telling me how all his ergular clients are going back to medium format after trying digital. If you ask me, film has photoshop built in.
  7. Here's how I came to that conclusion; Fuji has re-named only their 400 speed film, the two new 160's are new emulsions, add to that the new 400 slide film that's coming out and the recent Velvia 100. That's not bad considering film is 'dead', regardless of when it was in R&D.

    If film manufacturers stop making film, leaving only a couple left, then that doesn't mean those few business stays the same, the get bigger, not proportionately so, but bigger all the same.

    Also, Fuji are a few years away from their new technology for DSLR's it pays them to keep developing new films until their new technology is out.
  8. In the long term you may be right, Adrian. The downside of film no longer being the
    dominant consumer choice is the loss of local developing and processing options. The
    upside is that those remaining no longer have to cater to the whims of the average consumer
    who values cheap cost and convenience above all else.

    I went shopping for a new turntable recently, and there are more affordable, audiophile
    quality turntables on the market now than there have ever been, you just won't find them at
    your local Best Buys. Perhaps the future of film will follow a similar path.
  9. The record turntable is a good case in point. (and I much prefer a good quality LP to a CD)

    The world is getting to be a very interesting place, not just with room for minorities but composed of them/us.
  10. I used to have two pro E-6 labs offering 2 hour service close by, less than a mile away. One closed about 15 years ago, the other about 10. That reflects the a lot of the "quick & dirty" catalog and trade journal product shots stuff going digital, along with amateurs no longer shooting slides. Within 10 miles I can still find E-6, custom C-41 and B&W services available including silver gelatin prints. The cheap end of that silver gelatin market has gone though.
  11. Kevin,

    I realize this is OT a bit, but since you're looking at turntables consider my favorite, the Linn LP-12. It's an amazing machine. And if you're particularly well-heeled, you might look right in your backyard at one of Basis Audio's models. Fellow P-netter A.J.Conti runs the company and he's in New Hampsire.

  12. Still think film will be difficult to find in the not too distant future. Not enough new users coming in to sustain it.
  13. Ron, I just bought a used Rega Planar 3 off flea-bay; there are tons of aftermarket parts
    and mods for them, and I'm trying to keep to a $500 budget. Origin, Pro-ject, and Music
    Hall all make new tables in that price range, and you'd have to spend multiples of their
    price to get a CD player that might sound as good.

    The fact that you can't find them at your local Circuit City means the manufacturers can
    put their money into making a good sounding deck, rather than the silly features and
    gimmicks that consumers want. If the same holds true for film, I think we might all be
    using mailers rather than driving to the local lab, but then again, we won't have to explain
    the advantages of a dip and dunk developer to an indifferent local lab owner, either. ;-)
  14. Uh-oh, seems I just stumbled into some bizarre reality distortion filed. Pardon me while I try
    and find my way out...
  15. reality distortion field
  16. "Digital doing serious film users a favour?"

    If yes, I am yet to be thanked by the ingrateful bastards.
  17. Do you own, or have you ever heard a decent turntable, Brad, or are you just making a gross
    generalization of some sort?
  18. Thank you, Nels.
  19. Crumbs!..You mean I didn't start this thread talking about turntables ? It started back there in the middle of a sentence: I thought I was reading about an obscure camera and the word 'table' crept in.
  20. Great. See what you did, Brad? Now Al and Nels are here. Can Todd be far behind?
  21. Do you own, or have you ever heard a decent turntable, Brad,
    Yes in the past - driving a Holman preamp. Why? Wasn't commenting on your post, Kevin.
  22. Quite a few years ago I thought I saw the handwriting on the wall. I bought several spare cartridges and lots of extra needles for my turntable. Git 'em while ya can, I figured! I knew that I wanted to keep listening to my collection of classic rock and blues in analog sound. Well, I could still be buying new needles and cartridges today if I didn't have such a stash. My son bought a tube amp for his guitar a couple years ago so I assume you can still buy tubes. Friends in the recording industry tell me that a lot of stuff is still being recorded and mixed analog. So why is it so surprising that that some folks still like shooting film and printing silver?
  23. So Brad: why are you wasting your time here among the deluded When you could be going back to your "filed distortions"?
  24. As long as it doesn't turn into ancient folk craft, like knitting your own inglenook.
  25. So Brad: why are you wasting your time here among the deluded
    Dunno Jack-o. To see you squirm, maybe?
  26. You lost me on reality distortion, Brad... I assumed you were referring to turntables, which I
    only brought up as a potential indicator of the future of film marketing.

    It seems valid to me that once the majority consumer market is out of the equation, whatever
    producers are left will no longer have to cater to their demands.
  27. No Kevin, it was about the original post and a few that followed. Mostly about film not
    dissapearing and "getting spoiled for choice."
  28. I just hope there will be room for both. Why can't we all just get along? I shoot film and
    digital, and I listen to both records and CD's (Music Hall turntable and Cary CD player). And
    yes Al, you can still get tubes. All types, but it is a bit like cameras, people are still paying a
    great deal for certain old tubes, just like they would for an M3 or Nikon F etc.
  29. Digital has driven deathnails into some of the better films and it is just continuing. Find out whatever happened to the likes of Ektar 25 and Techpan from Kodak and we are left with only the likes of T-Max. Have you heard anything about Agfa? They used to make films..
  30. Was'nt talking about the past.
  31. The future is quite bleak in terms of choice and pricing. Whatever few film that are offered, the users are bound to heap praise on them because, a) they are very expensive b) they might scan better.

    Neither of these factors say anything about the current/future quality of films.
  32. You can get all the vacuum tubes you want, made in Russia. They're sold here under the "Svetlana" brand, if I recall correctly.
  33. Now there's a subject for a new thread; what is Russian film and what is it like ? ; there has to be some excellent stuff there. Chemicals?
  34. I thought China was the new source of film. All the Kodacolor Gold I've bought lately was made there. Kodak has been buying up Chinese film companies, or at least controlling interest in them. We may soon be buying Lucky Tri-X...LOL
  35. It is doing us a favour in another respect. If you look at eBay (in particular,) you will find that it is often possible to pick up terrific equipment bargains. Prices have fallen remarkably and I have bought several (pre AI) lenses for Nikons for example that just a few years ago would have cost at least double what I paid. The same applies to a lesser extent to bricks and mortar stores - although these often will not even take film based cameras as trade ins so pickings are harder to find.

    I am not sure if the same can be said of Leica gear, but it is certainly so with other top end stuff. I am content with this situation - if I can get a nice film camera and assortment of lenses to add to my collection of good quality "users" I am not too worried if it costs a little more to develop the images, and if the digital crowd miss out than that is their mistake. I should say that I own and use a digital camera as it is convenient sometimes if I plan to digitise the images - eg for holiday snaps, but I will always have a Leica rangefinder or a Nikon SLR or Pentax Screwmount SLR sitting beside it in my camera bag.
  36. heh...I'll play........PRO-JECT 1.2 Turntable w/Ortofon X3-MC...

    ....and on the digital side.....California Audio Labs DX-1 CD Player far as the post's implied scenario......I see no evidence of it (for one, I believe that throw away cams still sell the largest amount of cheap consumer film...), albiet, it would be nice if it did happen.
  37. Peter - obviously you and I agree ( see my earlier post ) and so do a few million others who buy on fleabay. And yes the little digital I have also does the job I want it to.

    Just off to meet some fellow dinosaurs and bury our heads in the sand ( may just uncover a treasure trove of something called film ).
  38. Thanks everyone. I had a hunch I would not be shot down in flames.

    I'm very aware of the effects when the manufacture and supply of materials is monopolised by a few big companies. The makers of artists' paint had a major negative effect on the art of most of the twentieth century. That's a big claim but a lot of top-line painters will agree with it. Much of the paint was rubbish. Artists let that happen by loosing touch with the craft of painting and familiarity with their materials. That coupled with a growing popularity of amateur painting (and photography, of course). It's changed now with small paint makers being able to get into the market again and improve the quality.
  39. For "monopolised" please read "controlled by a few...." etc.
  40. There will always be a demand and supply for film, not for the people living in mud-huts in the jungles of the Amazon, but for affluent people in the western world who wish to assert their individualism and freedom of choice and to pursue a hobby the way that makes them happy. Whether some holier-than-thou types think that's hogwash and everyone should just accept digital and get on with making photos, that's just not going to happen, any more than everyone buying a Prius, no matter how high a gallon of gas costs, or how far they have to drive or wait in line to fill up.
  41. Vinay. just love that kind of dry humour. Sort of like all those darned cyclists asserting their right to the roads and their right not to use fosil fuels, batteries, plastics, etc.
  42. Well, thanks, but I can't take credit for humour that wasn't intended as such. A sculptor could produce a more technically-perfect bust of a person in a fraction of the time with a fraction of the effort by scanning their photo into a CAD-CAM milling apparatus than by using a hammer and chisel, but not all of them have gone that way.
  43. Vinay, those people can't understand why anybody would want to waste time doing anything by hand where you couldn't make a whole bunch of perfectly identical duplicates. They refuse to understand why the art market cherishes the fact that every handmade thing is unique unto itself, not exactly like any other, and what bugs 'em the most is that people will pay so much more money for the imperfections ;-)
  44. Anybody have any idea at all who Al is talking about?
  45. If the shoe fits, wear it. Dang, you're paranoid! I wasn't even thinking about you, Brad. I have friends right here in Miami that are 100% digital and think I'm nuts. If you ever get down this way I'll make some introductions.
  46. Vinay. Sorry I misread you; I thought you were associating Prius (or Priapus) drivers with Leica users.
  47. No problem. Actually I've driven the hybrid Lexus crossover SUV and if nobody told me it was a hybrid I wouldn't have known. These things are not golf carts in any manner, shape or form!

    BTW please nobody think Al K has accurately paraphrased my analogy to the sculptor, in fact he seems to have perverted it to fit his own agenda. My point was that some people will always diverge from the majority to assert their individuality, and there's a high percentage of them among artist-types. There's also probably some connection between the act, or process of creating art and the art itself. Or so I've been told by more than one artist. I know one very talented painter who always paints in the nude. Fortunately he paints still-lifes, not portraits : )
  48. But you really need to keep your socks on or there's nowhere to keep your brushes.
  49. Vinay, I'm sure you're right. But I don't believe in self expression.
  50. If the shoe fits, wear it. Dang, you're paranoid!
    Anybody have any idea at all what Al is talking about?
  51. Al appears to be distraught over Monkey being away from him in California.
  52. Nope, I'm not getting involved in this one. I'm being a really good boy!

    However, please check out the first edition of "Monkey's Most Excellent Adventure At The Zoo" at this link:
  53. A sculptor could produce a more technically-perfect bust of a person in a fraction of the time with a fraction of the effort by scanning their photo into a CAD-CAM milling apparatus than by using a hammer and chisel, but not all of them have gone that way.You people seem to think that all photographers aspire to create some masterwork of art. In fact, a lot of professional photography is quite perfunctory. We shoot what the client wants and best not to presume we know better tha they what those wants are, if we want repeat and referred business. To that end, the camera is a tool and the process is a cost, nothing more.
  54. Terence, who exactly are "you people"?
  55. I'm hangin' in there, Nels. I'm sure that Monkey is doing just fine with his new girlfriend. Thanks for your concern.
  56. A painting has no purpose other than to decorate a wall. The tools you use to make it have an effect on its appearance. If you paint realistically it doesn't make so much difference, or rather, the tools must be invisible in the finished work; but, then, there's no point in doing that, anyway.

    I choose a type of surface and type of paint brush that will get light and colour working in a certain way which seems right to me. That choice might be either to suit one particular subject or for all subjects, though its always both, in different degrees.

    The key words are "which seems right to me". And that is what stops a thing from being merely mechanical and gives it a chance to be a Titian (if you are Titian).
  57. I agree Peter A. There are so many here who want to force their serious relationship with
    photography down your throat with a verbal plunger ... as if they, and all their "serious" work,
    won't be pixel dust before the ground over them has cooled off.

    : -)
  58. Woops: I do try to paint realistically, but not photographically; a vast difference.
  59. Leica lenses and film pick up more of the aspects that I'm looking for in an image.

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