My mother likes film better than digital

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by hjoseph7, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. I was surprised when my mother who is 80 years old said tha she likes film way better than digital. The reason is she can't stand getting on the computer which is even more technologically challenging for her than her digital camera. With film all she does is take it to Walmart and and a couple of hours later she got her pictures. She has yet to figure out her computer.
  2. My parents are the same way, Harry. As a result, they no longer take any pictures, not that they did that much anyway. I am buying my mom (my dad could care less) a new-used film camera, and a bunch of film, this year for christmas. I will have to do all the developing, but it's a small price to pay for having those precious family photos in their autumn years. I've given up on reprogramming, it don't work :D
  3. Mr. Joseph…
    Your mother, even for such a young gal, still has wisdom. Perhaps she knows that her grandchildren may have some pictures of her parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents. That means that your kids have an important American connection. Will your grandchildren have that connection with their great grandmother, considering the life of digital media?
    You may think of your mother as old, but she probably had not even started school when I left home for the USNA (my college).
    So, perhaps despite your inference, I see her as neither old nor foolish. Could it be that you are simply not old?
    A. T. Burke
    P.S. Without reference to my comment above, thank you for contributing to Photonet to help support that which you use.
  4. Mom's got it right but there's no telling how long Walmart will see it her way and keep its mini-lab open.
  5. SCL


    All said & done, it is nice that people still have the option to choose which they prefer to use. !'m 69 and I use both...unfortunately often the film doesn't get developed and scanned for quite some time after I've shot it, whereas the digital usually gets worked on by the next day. Them's the tradeoffs.
  6. I am relatively sure that film is an OK option for people like your mom for at least the next few years. After that, it will still be an option, but you may have to provide mailers to send the film off to processors after that.
    In fact, that may not be a bad idea even now.
  7. I'm with your mother on this one and I am still (relatively) young. Forty-two is young, right? The new eighteen? Anyway, I used digital for a number of years and switched back to film. I used to get the film scanned and then edit them on my computer. Now I don't even bother to do that. I drop off the film and pick up the prints. My lab man gives me the scans for free but I told him he doesn't have to do that any more. That said, I do organise my photos and film very carefully with a numbering system so I can find them easily.
  8. Oh, um, a question I was going to pose on another forum, but it seems to relate here too, is how is it that everybody knows how to text and operate their cell phones so well but, a few years back, nobody could figure how to program their vcr?
  9. "With film all she does is take it to Walmart and and a couple of hours later she got her pictures."
    My Dad (82) is the same way. Film was simple. All he ever wanted was 4x6 prints. He has only recently (and quite reluctantly) switched to a digital P&S.
  10. I am a film devotee but I really don't think it's right to complain about the computer with digital. If one doesn't want to mess with the computer simply take your camera to walmart give them the memory card and couple hours later getting the prints.
    If Walmart doesn't want to offer that kind of service I will.
  11. She is 80 years old and she can like whatever she wants.
  12. Your mother is a smart woman, you should listen to her. She raised you to be the man that you are, and I am sure that was no easy task. She could just as easily have left you outside with the dog, but she did not.
    Instead, she nurtured you, fed you, clothed you, encouraged you, and despite all your faults, God knows what a chore that was, and what an intelligent woman your mother must have been to get you this far. So listen to your mother. Buy a few bricks of film to show her you love her, and that you listen to her wisdom. Get her a Nikon F6 for Christmas/Hanukkah or whatever reason you have to celebrate this wonderful season and mother. Perhaps you will ask to borrow it, and when she says "no", remember her wisdom.
  13. THE problem is: most do not print the images
    IF they carefully save images on a SD card or a cd/dvd
    after they are gone this media may be overlooked or discarded.
    if it is not and a grandchild attempts to vies it
    it may be unreadable or technology may make that format obsolete.
    a Paper print is recognizable. but when a card holds 500 images few will print more than a few.
    if stored on a pc- well we have had many pc's pass thru our hands in the last few years.,
    friends get the data saved and burned to cd. strangers ? if the pc came from a scap pile, we have no way to return the images.
    this, I think, will be the fate of many digital images.
    At least with film, there will be a print and hopefully a nagative.
    the negative should last 100 years.
  14. It is possible to set the digital camera on Auto, turn off the LCD/Review and just take the card to a local lab for printing, isn't it?
  15. I think film will come back and be a force in the next few years. I think your mother is ahead of the curve.
  16. I would give her whatever she wants. Maybe find an OM MJU-II in great shape, get her a dozen or more rolls and visit to pick them up and deliver prints.
  17. My grandmother is 84, and she uses a Nikon point-and-shoot digital camera. Sort of. She had it for quite a while before she started using it instead of her film camera, because most stores/labs aren't as service oriented as they once were. With colour film, there was essentially no "do it yourself" option, so labs either had to do everything for the customer, or not get the business. Today, most "labs" expect customers to operate a printing kiosk themselves, and often are unskilled at doing the work themselves, assuming they're even willing to try.
    Once we finally convinced her that she can treat the card like film, and just hand it to an employee at a lab with better service, she started using the digital camera more often. She really likes the fact that she can see if people blinked, and take another photo. She was worried about the extra buttons on the camera, and accidentally pressing them. I told her, "Well I'll just put duct tape over them all, if you can't keep from groping the camera." She had a laugh, and it turns out that she only screws the thing up once in a great while. The only issue she has now is remembering to charge the battery, but she seems pretty good about it. I never ended up taping the buttons off.
    She still uses film sometimes. I mean, why not? She has the camera, she likes the camera, and she knows that even if all the labs close, I'll still develop her film for her, even if I need to buy a kit to do it. What's the harm?
    A lot of older people prefer film because they think it is more permanent. The fact is that while black and white negatives last basically forever, colour negatives absolutely do not. If you actually print the digital images, they will last just as long as those colour negs will last, provided you use a good printer and keep them in an album, and not on a sunny wall.
    But then again, a lot of older people prefer film because it's what they know, and what they grew up with. If this is the case, then there is no reason whatsoever to try and change their minds. Let me ask you Harry: do you see the younger generation's music as crap? Do you think kids dress like idiots today?
    Congratulations. You're old now too. It's really not all that different.
  18. I hate these newfangled cars. I miss my horse. Used the manure in the yard, too. I tried emptying out the catalytic converter in the yard once, killed everything in sight.
  19. Ouch, Vince. You mixed that metaphor so well, I would have thought the blender was powered by a 442 ;)
  20. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    With digital you just drop the media card off at the lab and pick up the prints a few hours later. With film you have to set up a darkroom to process the film and an enlarger to edit (filtration, crop, etc), buy and mix chemicals and spend a lot of time standing over a hot enlarger just to make simple 4x6 inch prints. Then you have all the clean up to do. For an older person, I would think that digital would be better.
  21. Since the digital photography age has taken the lead, it seems like people just aren't making as many prints anymore. There are more people out there taking pictures, more photos being made than ever before and yet most of it is being stored or archived on a hard drive, a phone, an ipad, a website, etc. Even myself... I only make prints when a client will request it. My portfolio is no longer something I carry and hold. I guess a good print is a rare thing today and I sort of miss that.
  22. How many more years will we pretend that you can't do the same with a media card?
    A number of places that use to do film now have Kiosk that allow you to pick the images to be printed from your media card. They even have staff personnel to help you.
    I know my local Walgreen will develop my film and give me prints. They will do the same with a media card. I can also upload my digital images from home and they will make prints.
  23. "How many more years will we pretend that you can't do the same with a media card?"
    Of course you can. But many "seniors" don't want to. They dislike computers. They despise "self-serve" kiosks even more. They grew up in an era when customer service actually had a "service" and an actual person associated with it. Now they have to spend their time doing the work that the store used to pay an employee to do (be it photo printing, pumping gas, checking and packing your groceries, etc.). With film, my Dad/Mom could walk up to the photo counter, hand over a roll of film, tell them they wanted n sets of 4x6 prints, and be done with it.
    With digital, now they have to wait in line for a kiosk that they find confusing to use, or wait for an employee to help them work the "self-serve" contraption, sort through the photos on the media card to pick out the ones they want to print from the ones they have already printed (but haven't deleted), then select the print sizes, then select the print options, then select the quantities, then submit the order, then wait for a printout of the order number, etc, etc. Or just say to hell with it and give me the SD card and ask me to get some prints of their photos of the grandkids. The easy convenience and simplicity they enjoyed with film is gone, replaced with the frustration of working with an impersonal machine.
  24. There's not much easier than dropping off a film and picking up prints a day/hour later.
    It's true that you can do the same with a memory card but what's the point when the camera you already have gives the same end result?
    my dad could care less​

    Couldn't, surely!
  25. My father is just shy of 80, shoots digital and is a computer wiz. His age is irrelevant except to even out forum theads
    suggesting older people are disinclined to be into on new things.
  26. Steve, some people get prints straight from cards but let others copy files for further uses such as posting online. So that
    is a "point" in one using cards even if they don't understand post procedures.

    Another ooint is to not have to buy new cartriges each time.
  27. people still don't know how to use/program their phones so well . Their phones have too many options, bells and whistles. it's like operating a digital camera. It is a computer and most people are using phone cameras instead of point and shoot digital cameras because the optics and pictures are better on the phones.
  28. John H. [​IMG][​IMG], Dec 03, 2012; 06:51 p.m.
    My father is just shy of 80, shoots digital and is a computer wiz. His age is irrelevant except to even out forum theads suggesting older people are disinclined to be into on new things.​
    Good point, John. Also, I was about 26 when I got my first iPod, and the man that explained it to me and showed me how to use it was in his late 50s. I had no clue how to operate iTunes, and the only reason why I even had an iPod was because it was given to me as a gift. I didn't know how to use it, and couldn't for the life of me work it out, because quite frankly I didn't care. I didn't think it was useful to me. It was a subconscious mental block to my learning.
    Of course, now I'm obsessed with the thing.
    If someone isn't interested in learning something, it almost doesn't matter how smart they are; they'll have trouble learning how to use it. The reason why seniors often have trouble with computers for instance, isn't usually because they can't understand complicated stuff. Think about how old the people who built the nuclear bomb or put men on the moon are now. I guarantee you that even now, they still are smarter than we are.
    Granted, learning IS harder as you age, but not impossible. The reason why seniors have trouble with digital cameras and new tech is because they didn't grow up thinking that they needed it. If you present the information in a way that makes the product relevant to them, and they feel that using it will add to their quality of life, they'll figure it out. If you just say, "Hey, it's new and cool and better!" they'll probably ignore it. I know I would.
    Keep in mind that your mother, or at least people of her generation, grew up using cameras that would make even advanced photo students go pale at the list of things they had to manually control, and the myriad of ways you could screw up the picture. Trust me when I say that she may say it's a complexity issue, and may even think that, but it's not just a complexity issue.
  29. "She is 80 years old and she can like anything she wants."

    Amazingly, that can be done at any age.
  30. Michael R Freeman,
    Great snark. You had me laughing all the way through your post.
  31. She can like whatever she wants as I like film myself. But the reason that using a digital camera one has to deal with either the computer and kiosk is not correct. One can choose not to deal with those things and get the prints. I am sure there are store out there (more than number stores that still process film) would take your memory card and give you print and may be save your files in a cd or something. If really there is no such places then I would have to open up one.
    I love film but giving the film to the lab means your result depends greatly on them. As much as I love film I must admit that digital gives an average person total control of the photography process as with film few can really set up a darkroom at home.
  32. In Europe, the youth, because they've grown up with digital, are getting tired & bored with it. They are very curious and eager in reguard's to film. So, with that being understood, what would the generation of shooters that sit between them and your Grandmother be called? The Lost Generation?
  33. My grandparents actually don't really use a camera, haha. Ditto my dad. My mum likes digital b/c the LCD is larger and easier to look at then the viewfinder and after a trip she only print a few 6x4s. She doesn't know how to review the photo's though, she just takes photo and look at the immediate review shot. She hasn't figured how to send a TEXT message.
  34. She hasn't figured how to send a TEXT message.​

    Neither have I.
  35. Michael Freeman described my mom's experience as well. Another difficulty caused by shifting the paradigm from customer service to self-service: mom is in a wheelchair and can't reach the DIY kiosks. While she can stand for a few minutes at a time, it typically takes me about 15-30 minutes to complete a DIY kiosk transaction to edit, crop and queue up a batch of 30 or more prints - and I'm familiar with the machines. That essentially makes most of these kiosks inaccessible to disabled folks.
    It's not so much that mom prefers film over digital. She prefers the convenience of the now-vanishing minilab experience, and the ease of getting good quality snapshot sized prints. Even when our local minilabs were still actively handling film, the quality had declined drastically by 2010.
    Add to that the common health challenges that accompany aging - my mom and uncle have both experienced transient ischemic attacks/accidents (mini strokes), and mom has experienced concussions from falls. These health challenges combine to make it difficult to retain knowledge of recently learned skills. For example, mom has no trouble remembering how to load and unload her film camera. She learned that skill when she was young and healthy and has retained that skill. But over the past few years she's experienced difficulties retaining recently learned technical skills. So my favorite digital cameras that seem, to me, easy to operate are incomprehensible riddles to mom.
    On the plus side there are good P&S digicams that work well enough in auto-everything mode. And some stores will assist customers with the DIY kiosks. Our local Walgreen's caters to lots of seniors in the neighborhood and will assist customers with selecting photos to be printed.
    But overall the casual snapshooter experience is significantly more complicated and inconvenient now than it was during the heyday of the film era minilab, including for the store employees.
  36. My aunt and uncle at age 80 won't even attempt to try a computer,cell phone let alone a digital camera.Their rational is at 80 we don't have enough remaining days to waste fiddling with useless to them technology.They get along fine with a hardline phone,hand written letters,and a film point and shoot.Sometimes I must agree with them considering how many years of my life I've 'wasted' on ridiculous technology and software issues.
    Interesting about that post from Europe in regards to the young ones embracing film for the first time.I'm getting a lot of that (questions about film) from the under 30 generation here in the USA when I'm shooting one of my film bodies.Maybe some of them are starting to question why they have burned through 50% of their young life on a computer or smart phone and for what good reason?I work in engineering and many of the young ones coming right out of school really want to know what life was like before the technology transformation of the 70's & 80's.Boredom or just curious,I can't figure them out.My standard answer is "cars sure have come a long way from the so called good old days !".
  37. "Interesting about that post from Europe in regards to the young ones embracing film for the first time.I'm getting a lot of that (questions about film) from the under 30 generation here in the USA when I'm shooting one of my film bodies.Maybe some of them are starting to question why they have burned through 50% of their young life on a computer or smart phone and for what good reason?I work in engineering and many of the young ones coming right out of school really want to know what life was like before the technology transformation of the 70's & 80's.Boredom or just curious,I can't figure them out.My standard answer is "cars sure have come a long way from the so called good old days !".​
    Here in South East Asia, everyone is dumping their film cameras and embracing the latest super duper do it all digital cameras. Nobody, I mean not a single person that carries a camera that I bumped into in my city is with a film camera, be it young or old! This is true for at least the past 2 years! It's scary to think that I'm the only dinosaur living in town... Isn't it ironic that this is happening in a reverse way where people(youngsters) of the 3rd world nations are adopting the latest gadget at a real fast rate whereas (some) youngsters in the developed nations are starting to 'discover' film? I think this is especially true in Japan where so many people are modifying their film cameras(with some digital bodies as well) to take in all sort of fancy/obsolete lenses from totally incompatible systems. Or maybe the "trend" is running too fast that it has gone out steam in the developed nations that it has no other better ways to push forward, causing some momentum inevitably run backwards? :)
  38. Huang! although people in third world countries are poor, they are much more attracted to new technologies than people in richer countries. Most people who are embracing film you can see are more well to do. It seemed strange but if you think long enough it makes sense.
    In a richer country, the kids have way too many high tech things so they get bored. So they want to explore lomo for examples. The older people feel that this is the way I always did and it worked well for me (and it did because they could afford to have stuff that worked right) why do I have to change it now.

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