National Geographic and Leica

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by robovet, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. If you browse through the images on National geographic's archive
    page, clicking on the images listed on the lefthand side of the
    screen brings up the photog's settings (camera; film; exposure).
    Many of the images were shot with m6's and m7's. Most shots are
    chrome. Leicas must be rugged !! Link:

    http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/archives.html

    Marc
     
  2. Note that "many" does not translate to "most," and I have no idea how you can infer that "Leicas must be rugged." More interesting for the gearheads IMO would be the increasing appearance of Nikon and Canon dSLRs in the information boxes you mention.
    NG's new editor-in-chief (and veteran photographer) Chris Johns said in a recent interview with the Poynter Institute that "We are jumping into digital imaging with enthusiasm. As the technology continues to improve, we feel it can help us become an even more relevant and timely publication."
    The writing is on the wall, and it doesn't care what stage of denial you're in...
     
  3. True oh toothsome one the finger writes. What I don't get is the guy;s statement ". . . we feel it can help us become an even more relevant and timely publication." How? Does it change the images? Do they currently have deadline problems? Does NG want to put out a daily now? Sounds like pure crap to me more intended to blow smoke at investor's or trustees etc. but has NO relevance to the images in NG.
     
  4. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    natinal Geographic goes back to the late 1880's I have all issues from 1914 to present and I can tell you there were way more photo's taken with 4X5 Graphic's and the like then any DSLR. and onlyt since WWII have any but a couple been taken with 35mm cameras. They wanted much higher quality then 35mm film could produce. The war changed that snce some of the war reporting was done with US made 35mm cameras Kodaks mostly. But the main camera for war time work was a 4X5.

    The 35mm really only became popular with the Nikon F in the early 60's.

    The last few year mean very little when you compare it to the zillions of photo's taken before M6 M7 or Digitals showed up.
     
  5. Mr. Fang,

    I own a canon mark 2 and 6 lenses. It performs great but I sure love shooting my M7. I spent 25 days in Indonesia last November lugging that big DSLR and lenses around (laptop,cards batteries etc.). Only the leica will go on my next trip. The rangefinder gives balance to my photography (even though I'm not that good with it yet)--- I'm not sure that would be called "denial"--

    marc
     
  6. Yawn..The writing is on the wall, and it doesn't care what stage of denial you're in...Yawn
     
  7. I dont really need the photographers settings to identify the digital images,
    they are the flat looking ones with the limited dynamic range, no just kidding,
    digital imaging is cool but merely a pimpled adolescent in the history of
    photography. It has a bright future but there are many bugs to work out.
     
  8. la

    la

    Al Fang it seems Marc just made an observation. He never infers that MANY translates to
    MOST. It's his opinion that Leicas are rugged and your opinion that they are not. What
    does going digital have anything to do with the post too?
     
  9. "What does going digital have anything to do with the post too?"

    Absolutely nothing. Don't expect logic or common sense from Fang. He is a provocatuer who has nothing to say and comes on this website only to bash Leica. And of course he hides behind a silly pseudonym because he is afraid to sign his real name to his "drive by" Leica bashing posts.
     
  10. Nope digital is clearly the way. If Leica want to stay in the game they'll have to get that digital M7d out, or NG will just have to put up with Canon and Nikon digital images. My guess is there won't be a film based image in the magazine 5 years from now. Kodachrome will be dead by then anyway so there won't be any point in using film. Between now and then you'll be able to tell the digital images. They'll be the ones which aren't full of grain.
     
  11. I've shot with Leica for a few years now having used Nikons for many years before that. My son introduced me to Leica. This last year he was the photographic intern at the Nat. Geographic. I can tell you that they are interested in the image more than the camera, film or digital and the technique or feeling and interpretation that the photographer brings to his work. Slide film is always appreciated for the unique tonal qualities it can have. One editor stated that it's an "art form" , no post processing just the image and its light quality. They were encouraging in image taking and digital was done expertly as you might expect. I an interview David Harvey stated that he is used to the "flow of shooting with Leica" and I believe that is the element we all strive to acheive. The ability to become part of whatever camera we have so the focus is on the imagery and importance of recording our impression of the reality in front of us.

    His impression of the magazine and the people there was incredible. very dedicated, intellecually honest and very thoughtful, quite an endorsement from him.
     
  12. I can't resist, so here goes. Had fun watching all the digi shooters at the snowmobile races last week where the temperature was around 10F. Their jackets stuck out like full sets of "Hooters". My old film stuff was "cold soaked" outside and fully operational. Maybe digi is for "fair weather" shooters. Which wall is the handwriting on?

    PS: Picked up some more Kodachrome last week. Clerk said he was selling more recently. Received some processed slides this week as quickly as in the old days. Hope they last as long as my earlier slides (50 plus years and counting).
     
  13. Though I prefer Leica cameras and film images, I think there may be an upside to NG using digital: since current digital sensors have trouble with wide angle lenses, perhaps we shall see a return to the "normal" looking photographs of the older Geos, rather than the up-close-and-wide-angle look that, in my opinion, the magazine overuses today.

    For a page-size image or double-page spread at normal reading distance, give me an image taken with a 35 or a 50 anytime, an image that shows me what the subject really looked like. I think wider lenses are great for bigger enlargements, or for "art" shots. But for traditional here's-what-it-looked-like shots, I prefer a combination of lens and enlargement ratio that preserves the natural perspective of the viewer and thus the natural appearance of the subject.

    Of course, once the sensors can handle wide-angle lenses with ease, as they will probably be able to do in the not too distant future, we may end up back with the current aesthetic, which simply isn't my cup of tea.
     
  14. Bob: All trade reports suggest only a very small percentage of professional photographers have gone completely digital. Most still use film one way or the other, with ATHENTICITY and AESTHETCS among the most important reasons for using film. There are a lot of people who don't like the look of digital as it is, grainless or not. And in case you haven't noticed, new films and film-based cameras are still being released (F6, VC R2A/R3A, Zeiss Ikon), including even consumer-grade point and shoots (Fuji Natura, for example, which is a big hit in Japan). So perhaps you're the one who's delusional?
     
  15. so ng is using digital now, so what? it matters only to you if you are shooting for them.
    anybody in this thread shooting for them now? el fang?
     
  16. Delusional me? I'm not the one paying $2000 for an obsolete film based camera. Film's dead. Get used to it. Magazines want it fast and digital delivers.
     
  17. There was abit of a ruckus when NG started to use full page front cover PHOTOS on the covers of NG; before that time the white ornate trim; and a token drawing or small photo was deemed "OK". In the 1950's; NG used Exakra VX's; and Exakta even had regular ads for macr settups; nature photography. This was before the Nikon F or Canon R came out in 1959.
     
  18. For over the last two years I have been asked to provide digital files to the magazines and Picture Agency that I send images to, No one has requested film excusively. A digital file with the minimum adjustments to it is the usual requirement and emailed JPEG is also often the requested format, around 9 megs is the average file size. I have offered uncompressed files by CD and have not had one picture editor require that. Sorry boys, get your heads out of the sand, time has passed you by! As for Leicas being rugged, how is it that members of the forum are always asking who is the best Lecia repair person for mundane things like a bent rewind knob etc?
     
  19. Quoting from the National Geographic web site (FAQ photography):
    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/qanda/index.html

    "What types of film do National Geographic photographers use?"
    Ans:
    "Nearly all use 35mm transparency film, such as Fuji Provia 100, Fuji Velvia 50, Kodachrome 64, and Kodachrome 200. Brand and type are up to the photographer, but most use three or four different emulsions, depending on the situation. They also use small amounts of other 35mm transparency emulsions as well as some 35mm color negative and larger format films. In 1995 they shot 32,000 rolls of film on magazine assignments."

    "What types of cameras do they use?"

    "It?s up to the photographers, and their most popular choices are Canon and Nikon 35mm SLRs and the Leica M6 range finder."
     
  20. I guess you can drag a luddite to the truth and smash some sense into his head with a Nikon DIX, ( the rewind knob would get bent on a Leica, thus rendering it useless) but you don't have to convert him! HERE is a link to the first full Digital shoot plus cover for "The National Geographic" in 2002. The info in the post above refers to a 1995 time frame.
     
  21. El Fang ,you are over active, you seems like the anti-leica missiles aiming at every question relating to leica. Please be patient. Leica cameras are tools for taking photos. Let those people like it and don't angry with it.
     
  22. i still don't get it your argument bob. so NG is shooting digital. so what? does it affect your
    photography? yes they want it fast, they want it digital, but are YOU personally affected by
    the deadline? i don't. should i just toss my $2,000 film based camera because NG is
    shooting digital? if going digital will do NG good, then good for them.

    Why should i accept that film is dead? Because NG is shooting digital? because every tom,
    bob and harry are shooting digital? two weeks ago you admonished people bout coming
    into this "FILM-BASED" forum just in order to have tossing session, but for this week
    alone, you've been jumping at every digital versus leica thread like el fang.

    the question is, if you are so certain that film is dead, why do you still hate us bob?
     
  23. It will be many many more years before film is completely replaced by digital, if ever at all. As of last year, professionals who shoot film exclusively outnumber those who shoot digital exclusively 10 to 1. And that's in the United States where digital has a great presence. Film gives the impression that it's in trouble mainly because the sales of new film cameras have been poor. That's mostly due to the relatively low price of film cameras on the used market as well as (perceived) uncertainty. The sales of 35mm films, on the hand, have been healthy and prove the viability of this market. The drop (roughly 25%) was very much anticipated. What is now known is that eventually an equilibrium will be reached where both film and and digital will coexist. What is not known is the equilibrium split (40:60 or 30:70).

    Despite having several advantages digital is not yet a mature technolgy. The digital of today is not a perfect substitute for film. Until senors, storage, archiving, color reproduction, moire filtering and so on are standardized, digital cameras in their current form will remain transient and become superceded by more mature offerings eventually. Those who are not in a hurry (especially amateurs) can save a whole ton shooting film in the mean time.
     
  24. I've shot for hours at a time in the cold, with a battery grip that holds two batteries. Fair
    weather my ass!
     
  25. Bob is being a little confusing lately.

    He stands up and supports Tony in tightening up discussion on this forum (which includes tolerating no inflammatory film vs digital comments or politics) but then spoils the message by making (what he knows will be provocative) anti film comments, anti Leica comments and even political comments that seem designed to initiate flame wars. (The Qaddaffi stuff a couple of days ago especially)

    I am not immune to this myself BUT I am NOT a moderator on PN! I am not responsible for keeping people to the rules of the forums.

    I don't care for the film vs digital nonsense as I happily use and enjoy both and if film or Leica or Contax or Zeiss or Kodak or even Ilford disappear I will not worry as long as there is something left for me to enjoy photography with.

    However I think people should be concerned (Tony?) if moderators are fuelling digi VS film, political, Canon DSLR vs Leica M arguments in the very same forum they have helped to try & moderate such behaviour out of.
     
  26. "Quoting from the National Geographic web site (FAQ photography): http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/qanda/index.html"
    ... which is all fine and good until you realize:
    "In 1995 they shot 32,000 rolls of film on magazine assignments."
    1995 is ten years ago, which is a pretty good indication as to when that FAQ was last updated. Details, people, details.
     
  27. "Al Fang it seems Marc just made an observation. He never infers that MANY translates to MOST."
    I never said he did, but he did infer "Leicas must be rugged."
    "It's his opinion that Leicas are rugged and your opinion that they are not."
    You're right though, in my opinion, having gone through a half dozen constantly breaking Leica M and R bodies, "Leicas" and "rugged" don't belong on the same page, let alone sentence.
    "What does going digital have anything to do with the post too?"
    I decided to throw it in for good measure. You know, since I'm always the one responding to "Leica photographers" bashing digital, let's see how you like it... LOL! Sorry, you guys are just too easy to wind up.
     
  28. el fang, why do you insist on trying to convert FILM-BASED people to go digital. some
    people are happy with films. why can't you accept that? so u shoot d70. big deal. it's fast.
    convenient. blah blah blah. but for all your pomposity, you haven't substantiated your
    claims with your own picture, not a single bloody one. so what gives?
     
  29. "I spent 25 days in Indonesia last November lugging that big DSLR and lenses around (laptop,cards batteries etc.). Only the leica will go on my next trip."
    Well, make sure to bring a backup body (or two) and process your film along the way... back home is the worst place to find out that your stupid shutter was sticking, turning your precious M7 into a half-frame camera. If that happens, though, you can always delude yourself into thinking, "Who cares? The resolution of my Leitz lenses is so high, I've got a miniature 6x6!" Speaking of film, don't forget to bring enough of your favorite, and try not to pass it through too many xray machines!
    "I can't resist, so here goes. Had fun watching all the digi shooters at the snowmobile races last week where the temperature was around 10F. Their jackets stuck out like full sets of "Hooters". My old film stuff was "cold soaked" outside and fully operational. Maybe digi is for "fair weather" shooters. Which wall is the handwriting on?"
    I suppose the other wall, for the "shooters" who are dumb enough to be outdoors at 10F. Seriously, the real shooters in such a situation would have a battery pack in the pocket, wired to the body. Such an accessory is available for the pro digital bodies, available from camera companies that consider the demands of real-world users. Hmmm... a system that gets the job done, or the "a la carte" program... pffft! Hard choice!
    "PS: Picked up some more Kodachrome last week. Clerk said he was selling more recently. Received some processed slides this week as quickly as in the old days."
    You gotta let me in on this one. Since A&I folded their Kodachrome service months ago, I would have to send it out, and I live in the middle of Los Angeles. "This week"? "Quickly"? Wow. And I thought next day at my old pro E6 lab was numbingly slow.
     
  30. What is a FILM-BASED person? Silly notion.

    El, precisely who is wound up by you? (Get a sense of proportion mate, this is a bunch of people chatting about PHOTOGRAPHY on a little forum in a vast universe, nothing that any of us says is as important or as influential as you obviously believe it is.)

    To actually upset people, El, you need the power and influence to matter to people. You are in the wrong place. Get a more influential platform. (At least get a more influential style.)
     
  31. "el fang, why do you insist on trying to convert FILM-BASED people to go digital."
    For the record: I'm not trying to convert ANYONE. Otherwise, stories like this will begin to happen, and after a while there won't be anyone left to make fun of. So please stay, OK?
     
  32. "El, precisely who is wound up by you?"
    Apparently, Trevor, you scrolled to the bottom a little too quickly :) That's it for the night, tho.... sweet film dreams!
     
  33. "Film's dead. Get used to it. Magazines want it fast and digital delivers." <p>
    Bob, do you have any idea at all what you're talking about?
    <p>
    Of course digital is making huge inroads, particularly in medium format, where
    it's even becoming popular for fashion shoots. NG too are using more digital,
    because they have to pay out huge amounts for film costs. Sports Illustrated is
    all digital. <p>
    Yet only the other week, on this forum, a photographer on one of Europe's
    biggest magazine launches told of how he was being commissioned for
    shoots using, yes film. It's a weekly, btw, where they 'need it fast'. (Of course,
    their pap stuff is all-digital). And, btw, in Europe the magazine market is far
    more competitive, and cost-cutting far more ruthless, than in the US. For most
    magazines, savings in using digital over film are minimal, so no reason to
    change there. And, for most monthlies, time savings are minimal, too, so no
    reason to change there. I doubt that ANY major magazine would force a
    photographer to 'go digital'. IN the main, they'll choose a photographer, and
    allow them to use their preference, whether for film or digital. <p>
    No-one here, I suspect, doubts that Leica occupies anything but the narrowest
    of niches, and that niche is getting narrower every day. I'm excited by digital,
    and can't wait to replace my crappy, out-dated, 19-month old Minolta DImage.
    But i can't stand reading the ill-informed crap spouted about magazines such
    as the one you've just made. If you're going to cite specific examples, do so,
    but don't make ignorant generalisations that turn this debate into a bun-fight.
     
  34. Al, thanks for referencing that absolutely brilliant thread of over-excited blokes
    dropping $8k on a camera to make dull photos of their kids! Thank goodness
    we never see anything like that on this forum!
     
  35. Yes, his behaviour is odd. Bob has suddenly become very active on the Leica Forum, mostly posting anti Leica comments, although he admits "I don't use any Leicas.... I do however own a small black zippered leather pouch which has the "Leica" emblem on it. I belive that qualifies me to post as the owner of an official piece of Leica gear."

    I have not seen any post by Tony for some time. I wonder if he is still around or has he jumped from the wagon because of all the attacks he was subjected to after his unfortunate "Administrative Warning" (this topic has been deleted) and the later "Guidelines for Adhering to Topic".
     
  36. Let's ban El Fang! :)
     
  37. Ok. Here we go again. FVD thread but this time our responsible moderators leading the way.<P>When film is no longer manufactured or sold in any stores THEN film will be dead. <p>Everyone can see the trends of digital cammeras gaining a crushing momentum in the photographic market but that does not mean that film is dead. Let's have Monty Python exclaim: "I'm Not Dead Yet!"<p> If someone proclaimed 10 years ago MEDIUM FORMAT is dead, only because the majority of the cameras were 35mm for the masses or for the magazines that that would be pretty idiotic. <p>Why do you people constantly have to have the assurance to belong in the club? If you use only digital then film is dead. If you don't use Leica then you need to attack Leica users to asure yourself? If you NG uses Leica then you're assuring yourself of your purchase/choice? <p>The minute this thing turned to Film vs Digital the moderator should have deleted this and not come here and fuel the debate on a topic that is not allowed here.
     
  38. EL FANG, for a surgeon, you talk way too much!
     
  39. Everybody here is talking way too much. Let it die.........
     
  40. Doris, Please don't discourage them. That's why I visit this forum. It's always good for a laugh or two. Let em argue!
     
  41. Jim, that was also my motivation, but it's not funny anymore, it's just a little bit sad.
     
  42. I have a simple question ...

    Can you see an NG photographer going into the wilds of the jungle, a hundred miles from the nearest electrical outlet, with a truckload of battery packs? Is that the plan?
     
  43. A simple reply. A truckload of batteries (one per camera per day) actually takes up less
    space than a truckload of film (around 20 rolls a day). People are working in the most
    inhospitable of places with battery dependant digital cameras.
     
  44. Doris, you HAD to bite that bait, didn't you? And I thought you were more
    chilled than your brother. <p>
    Actually I was surprised Nat Geo's first cover was so recent - December 2003.
    I was also surprised at the amount of hardware required, altho they seem to
    go for mammoth productions, whether digital or film-based. <p>One thing I
    wonder about is that, if you put in a huge film bill, you normally get the mag to
    pick up the tab (perhaps even with a modest mark-up). If you shoot digital, can
    you raise your prices accordingly? What's industry practice in the US?
     
  45. "Film's dead. Get used to it. Magazines want it fast and digital delivers."

    Bob, I can't agree or disagree with your assertion but I disagree with your reasoning. Newspapers want it fast. Magazines have more time to process and scan film in most cases. The reason digital is taking over in magazines is pure economics. Unlike us hobbyists who shoot a few rolls a month, a magazine like NG has staggering film and lab expenses which are swept right over into the profit column by switching to digital. The cost of replacing an $8000 DSLR every 18 months (and that's even assuming they too are seduced by the marketing) is chicken feed compared to the cost of film and processing for the perhaps hundred thousand shots that DSLR will produce in that timespan. In addition, digital files don't need someone to scan them, which requires additional payroll expense.
     
  46. Does Nat Geo do all its repro in-house, then? Otherwise there will be no cost
    savings. Repro houses don't tend to give a discount for digital input.
     
  47. Paul, I'm way more chilled than my brother - to be honest Boris can be a bit of a twat.

    You raise an interesting point about billing. For a commercial photographer knocking out
    product shots then digital automatically means a higher profit margin, but, if you're
    used to charging on your film/processing (as my brother is) your profits take a fairly
    substantial hit. Magazines like Time have a fixed (and very low) digital capture rate that
    they allow you to tack on to your invoice - it's good for them, but bad for the
    photographer. The really telling thing is that photographers who are good enough to
    dictate to the magazines what medium they're gonna use on a particular assignment are
    still (and increasingly so) often prepared to take the hit and use digital. On any long
    assignment away from a photographers home base working with digital is a lot more
    manageable than working with film - even allowing for the "truckload" of batteries,
    chargers, powerbook, backup drives, discs, readers, cables, and everything else. Travelling
    with 500 plus rolls of film is not a barrel of laughs.

    As a sidenote, nobody's gonna notice any difference to the pictures in NatGeo because
    they were always photoshopped to within an inch of their lives anyway - check out those
    sharpening artefacts.

    Anyway, I have to go now and help Boris charge his batteries.........
     
  48. I doubt National Geographic is saving much money on digital shoots. Their location costs, equipment costs, personnel costs, insurance, etc... must vastly exceed any costs due to film, processing, and digital post-processing. And, of course, they still (so far) have to pay for all the film support infrastructure since they're still doing a majority of their stories on film.

    Their attitude seems very sensible to me (much more sensible than most of the usual argument here, btw); they choose outstanding photographers for their assignments and then let those photographers make the rest of the image-capture decisions, including capture medium.

    I had the opportunity to hear Joe McNally talk about his digital cover shoot for NG (their first) in person. The shoot didn't require lots of equipment because it was digital; it required lots of equipment because it took all that equipment to get the image Joe wanted. His shooting style on film is not that different from his style on digital, and he gets outstanding results in both media. My impression is that he does most of his work digitally these days. He's a Nikon shooter.
     
  49. You Leicanuts are a hoot. I mean, it's fine to like your cameras, to like film, whatever. You can keep using those technologies as long as you want (or as long as film is available, whichever comes last). But stop trying to convince yourselves that film will be anything but a boutique item in another decade, and stop trying to convince yourselves that your Leicas, and most other film cameras, will be considered anything other than quaint antiques.
     
  50. Wow Bob. You ARE delusional. My Leica for which I paid $1700 five years ago is still worth $1400 on the used market today. Would you like to guess how much value your Canon will lose every year going forward? In 5 years a fullframe Rebel with 20mp at 16-bit color depth will cost no more than $600 or so. What do you think your cutting edge Canon of today will be worth then? Unless the situation really calls for digital immediately, spending $8000 on a DSLR now is no offense the quickest way to throw away money. Ones with more sense know to wait.
     
  51. "Does Nat Geo do all its repro in-house, then? Otherwise there will be no cost savings."

    Huh? Lets say a photog shoots 10 rolls of film per day for 10 days every month. That's 2400 films in 2 years. Let's say NG gets their film at near wholesale for $2 a 36-exp roll of pro slide film, that's $4800 in film alone over 2 years. Now lets say it costs them $2 a roll to develop it, either in-house or through a contract with a lab. That's another $4800, total of $9600. A Canon IDS-MK2 with a spare battery and a couple 2GB cards would run around $9000, and have a sell-off value of lets say $4000 after 2 years, so their total outlay would be $5000. That's a saving of $2300/year _per_ photographer. And I've purposely underestimated the amount of film their photogs probably shoot, as well as what they pay for film and processing.
     
  52. Like I give a crap about the economics. Let's see, I paid $100 for my used button rewind M2 body in 1972, a few years earlier I'd bought my then brand new M2-R with a 50mm D.R. Summicron for $375.00 ~ I could go on through the rest of my gear piece by piece, but it should be obvious that essentially those cameras that bought a house, a number of autos and trucks and boats, put people through college, paid all the bills, were free, zero cost, and a pleasure to use over the years. All the obsolete B&W negatives from the past 40+ years are still in fine printable condition, and print sales from them produce more money than I make from new photo shoots. I've no doubt that my grandchildren will be getting some income from those files of mostly Leica shot negatives.
     
  53. Al, you have the autonomy and luxury of deciding what emphasis to put on economics. The people running corporate entities like major magazine publishers, do not. Their fiduciary responsibility is to uphold the bottom line. I am not saying that narrowmindedness of purpose doesn't ever make for some awful decisions, it clearly does. But as Walter Cronkite used to say "that's the way it is".
     
  54. One Tooth, silence is not agreement. Will discuss later when I have some more time. Regards.
     
  55. "But stop trying to convince yourselves that film will be anything but a boutique item in another decade, and stop trying to convince yourselves that your Leicas, and most other film cameras, will be considered anything other than quaint antiques."

    You really do seem agitated and ridiculously opinionated.

    Why won't a Leica and film make the excellent photographic combination in ten years time that it does today?

    I just don't get your bile and anger.
     
  56. "In 5 years a fullframe Rebel with 20mp at 16-bit color depth will cost no more than $600 or so. What do you think your cutting edge Canon of today will be worth then?'

    And what do you think your Leica M will be worth then? If it has any market value, it will be as an antique.
     
  57. In 5 years film will still be around. At worst it will be only Black and White but I would bet a lot that color film will still be available. The Leica will still be worth more than the Rebel which by then will be somewhere in a landfill.
     
  58. "Why won't a Leica and film make the excellent photographic combination in ten years time that it does today?

    I just don't get your bile and anger."

    You confuse realism with "bile and anger." A Leica will still make excellent photographs in ten years, in the right hands. By the same token, a Speed Graphic still makes excellent photos in the right hands. I'm only stating that in ten years, or slightly longer, they'll BOTH be considered anachronistic. That's not anger, it's technological change.
     
  59. Don't really want to wade into this, but while we're on the subject of wading, I saw a recent presentation by underwater photographer Brian Skerry, who regularly shoots for "National Geographic." When asked about his equipment, he said he's still using the Nikon film bodies with underwater housing and the slide film he's been using for a number of years.
    Now this man is underwater -- sometimes waaaay under. He fires the shutter 36 times and then has to change bodies because he cannot change film. Pretty strong circumstantial case for digital capture, don't you think? He sort of laughed at himself when he said he'd be giving the digital equipment a more thorough try "one of these days."
    I suspect pro photogs get comfortable with certain equipment because they *know* what it will produce under given circumstances.
    If you like beautiful underwater photography, some of Skerry's recent work is here
    .
     
  60. Douglas: Even if my Leica loses all of its current value in 5 years (which it won't, since in the worst case it becomes antique as you say), my loss will be limited to $1400. (Honestly I don't expect it to lose more than a few hundred dollars.) But can you say the same about an $8000 DSLR? I can assure you the depreciation of it in 5 years will greatly exceed $1400. So I don't understand your reasoning at all. Why is it so bad if people decide to wait until the dust settles before entering digital?
     
  61. And what do you think your Leica M will be worth then? If it has any market value, it will be as an antique.

    We have a parallel. Alpa Refelex Cameras have very good market value 15 years after production stopped and Pingons SA, the maker of Alpa, went bankrup. They are still being used because of their excellent lenses and the ruggedness and precision build of the bodies.
     
  62. Well if my Canonet QL17 bites the dust tomorrow, I've only lost $30. So while you're $6600 better off than the Canon owner, I'm $7970 better off than him and $1370 better off then you. Does that make me smarter?

    I don't think photographers buy cameras in order to save or preserve money. Collectors might, photographers don't. They buy the tools to do the job they need to do.

    A working photographer could easily make back the $8000 in a year in terms of savings in film and processing costs, nevermind scanning costs and costs of his time. If a roll of film costs $10 to buy and process, it's only about 2 rolls of film per day. Say 3 rolls a day if you want to add in the cost of a few large memory cards and a computer!
     
  63. ...and that's why we all make choices that make sense for us and we shouldn't be criticising other people's choices because we know nothing about their style. I shoot on average 4 rolls per month and 2 digi hockey games per month. $8000 DSLR camera makes no sense for my needs but $1500 upgrade to a used full frame DSLR in a few might be a good idea.

    All in all I would sell all my Canon equipment in a heartbeat for a Full Frame Digital M.
     
  64. Digital? Film? BOTH have value, surely.

    HOWEVER, as a professional in the area of data storage, I'm concerned about longterm survivability of the digital image. I can still lay my hand on negatives for favorite shots taken DECADES ago.

    What's your data protection plan to save your favorite digital shots for DECADES? (Heck, museum curators can still make prints from original Mathew Brady glass slides of Lincoln's portrait, etc.)
     
  65. Archival digital storage takes some work. Luckily digital copying causes no degradation of the data, so you can refresh and reformat your stored data as often as you want. You just have to remember to do it.

    Storing it is no problem. Write to DVDs and store them in hermetically sealed packages in a freezer in the dark and they'll probably last for centuries. In liquid nitrogen they'll probbaly last for millenia. Whether the software and hardware will be around to read them is another matter. I can still read 5.25" floppies and 100MB zip disks, but I'm afraid my 8" floppy drives were junked long ago and my punch card and tape reader and have been melted down for scrap. I still have a QIC80 tape drive around somewhere along with several other obsolete format tape drives. They're destined for the recycling pile though.

    As a last resort, punch them onto paper tape. It will last forever and you can always sit there and decode it by hand if you have to...

    All this presupposes that you have any work worth archiving. In my case I'm not too worried!
     
  66. "Maestro," perhaps you should actually read my posts. I am not criticizing your choices. I don't care what kind of camera you choose. And since you fail to understand my reasoning, here it is in a nutshell: Digital photography is becoming more popular, and this will diminish the value of film cameras. That's all. If you think that's incorrect, then you're nuts. People are practically giving away enlargers that cost thousands of dollars just ten years ago. Used camera prices are already falling. Leicas are not immune. Again, keep using your Leica, I DON'T CARE and am not making a judgment about your choice.

    Peter Werner, your logic is fatally flawed. Now that digital is taking over, the value of those Alpas will fall, unless the demand for them is based on their rarity rather than their ability to make photos. Leicas ain't that rare.
     
  67. Bob: "A working photographer could easily make back the $8000 in a year in terms of
    savings in film and processing......."

    It really depends on the kind of work the photographer does, for many they'd be more
    likely to be $8000 down. At the bottom end of the market, if all you do is product shots
    then digital is a no brainer, but if you're an editorial photographer (used to a healthy mark
    up on film/processing) then you actually take a big financial hit - digital capture fees in
    the US are unrealistically low, even at the top end of the market. The savings are generally
    going into the pockets of big corporations rather than into the pockets of photographers.
     
  68. Doris - you're probably correct. My knowledge of the "top end of the market" isn't very extensive!
     
  69. Hi everyone. I actually have a question for the DSLR users among you all. I'm not sure who
    posted it, but somewhere along the line in this thread, someone posted an article about
    NG photographer Joe McNally and his 2002 project on airplanes, jets, the air force...etc.
    (Great Article BTW, i enjoyed reading the actual article in NG a few years ago, so reading
    the background on it was great). My question: How, using a D1x did Mcnally get such
    great results? They mention that he enlarges the prints to 30 X 40 (or some huge scale).
    How is that possible? Among my camera's, I have a D100, and I use all prime lenses. That
    being the case, I great results up until about 16X 20 (which varies), and that is shooting in
    the RAW or TIFF format. As to the film v digital argument, I use both, I don't understand
    why you guys argue over each others preferences.... not to fuel the fire or anything.
    Thanks everyone -Evan
     
  70. As Doris points out, the economic argument is a complex one. <p>
    My girlfriend art-directs a beauty magazine. Around a year ago she brought
    back a set of prints from her first successful digital beauty shoot. It was really
    impressive - skin tones bang-on, lovely photos that had a look of their own. <
    p>
    The next shoot with the same photog, the digital back crashed, or some other
    fault. He cried. He told her how much the back cost, I can't remember how
    much - UKP 10,000 or 12,000? How much extra was he getting paid cos he'd
    paid out that cash? Nothing. Like Doris says, he couldn't even mark up his film
    costs any more. <p>
    Really, that UKP 10,000 doesn't deliver a cost saving now. It just means he'll
    be ahead of the curve when they come down to UKP 2,000. Meanwhile, it's
    the clients who save money on film, not him.
     
  71. I own and use 2 digital cameras and admire their convenience. That said, I'd shudder at the thought of being a week's trek into a rainforest with a battery dependant digital camera. That is the sort of place that a NG photographer might find himself! I'll keep my Leica, thanks! Best regards, Bill
     
  72. William, why the shudder? EOS cameras, film and digital, are the camera of choice for
    harsh environments. How do you imagine you get to see pictures from places like
    Afghanistan and Aceh so quickly? There are difficulties, but digital cameras are delivering
    on a daily basis in the dustiest, wettest, most unpleasant places - they're way more
    reliable/maintenance free than any mechanical camera.
     
  73. <p>the driving force for digital in the commercial photography field is cost
    savings...not for the photographer, for the client. that and the fact that they want to
    see it right now. as a commercial photographer sometimes i shoot film, sometimes
    digital...
    but shooting digitally i make less, period. this is due to very high equipment
    costs(not only the cameras but the peripherals needed for a digital photo shoot), no
    film markup, low digital capture fees and the fact that my day rate hasn't gone up to
    compensate. all in all i'd rather shoot film for financial reasons.
    <p>when i ask an art buyer why they specifically want digital capture, it's not
    aesthetics, it's cost. i myself have no great dislike for digital as a medium (i do love
    film) but in the commercial world it's almost always money that makes the decisions.
    digital doesn't always win though, i still shoot many jobs with 4x5 and E6 or grainy
    b+w with a leica.
     
  74. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Wow Bob. You ARE delusional. My Leica for which I paid $1700 five years ago is still worth $1400 on the used market today. Would you like to guess how much value your Canon will lose every year going forward?
    Someone tell me, please tell me, what the value of a camera after some years has to any photographer. Really, I'd like to know.
     
  75. <p> almost forgot...
    <p> it's amusing to see the cheerleaders for digital in the commercial/editorial
    world....
    <p>"shoot more, spend more, work more....make less" is usually how it works out
    shooting digitally.
     
  76. Regarding camera value, it's also a total myth that Leicas hold theirs. I recently tried to
    offload some heavily
    used Leica gear (M6s, 28, 35, 50 lenses, all mid-eighties vintage) and couldn't get a dealer
    to buy it at any price -
    "our customers don't like marks". It's currently on free loan to a film fundamentalist
    friend.
     
  77. Hey Doris, if you are trying to sell some of that gear, I might be willing to buy it from you.
    I have been having a lot of trouble finding a user condition M6. Email me at
    Evan.litvin@colorado.edu.
     
  78. Evan, I'm not going to try and pry it from the hands of my film Taliban friend - he might
    reach for his AK47. If you want
    to find a well used, well priced M6 I'd suggest putting a wanted notice up on the Rob
    Galbraith forum, there's an awful lot of heavily used (and currently unused) Leica gear
    sitting around in the homes of photographers. You're unlikely to find a really marked M6
    on a dealers shelf because for some reason (I guess they know their market) they just
    won't touch them.
     
  79. In the past few years I've sold a couple of Leicaflex SL's, a really beat to hell M3 DS converted to SS, and a bunch of heavily used R and M lenses on Ebay. I can't say that I got absolute top dollar but I did get a lot more than I would have expected to get for them, certainly a lot more than I would have been willing to pay for them based on the way they looked. They worked fine! Maybe dealers only want to handle "pretty" Leicas but there's a market for beaters too.
     
  80. "Wow Bob. You ARE delusional. My Leica for which I paid $1700 five years ago is still worth $1400 on the used market today. Would you like to guess how much value your Canon will lose every year going forward? In 5 years a fullframe Rebel with 20mp at 16-bit color depth will cost no more than $600 or so. What do you think your cutting edge Canon of today will be worth then? Unless the situation really calls for digital immediately, spending $8000 on a DSLR now is no offense the quickest way to throw away money."
    From the point of view of an equipment masturbator or collector, this makes perfect sense. Photographers who actually use their equipment to take pictures, on the other hand, look at the film lab bill and all of a sudden digital is almost too good to be true.
    Ones with more sense know to wait."
    Actually, the ones with more sense know to get the equipment TODAY that enables them to do what they need to do TODAY. It's the idiots that will be standing around waiting forever.
     
  81. Bob wrote: "Delusional me? I'm not the one paying $2000 for an obsolete film based camera. Film's dead. Get used to it."
    Then are you paying $2000 for an obsolete DSLR? These things come out so fast that they're obsolete in about 6-12 months. What are the average lifespans of DSLR's on the market anyway? Six months or so? The 300D obsolete, the 10D obsolete, the D30, D60, obsolete, obsolete. The D70 and 20D almost obsolete.
     
  82. "Photographers who actually use their equipment to take pictures, on the other hand, look at the film lab bill and all of a sudden digital is almost too good to be true."

    Whatever pal. So by your logic anyone who takes pictures must have $8000 in lab bills? At which thirdrate place were you trained anyhow? And suppose that's how much lab bills I have. Tell you what, I still wouldn't care less for 35mm digital even if it was given to me. Not when the quality is that poor and appalling to look at. Too bad for you if you can't tell.

    "Actually, the ones with more sense know to get the equipment TODAY that enables them to do what they need to do TODAY."

    Yeah go on and tell yourself that. I'm sure you need lots of it.
     
  83. Jay Ott those cameras may be out of production, but they are still capable of producing good results, just like your beloved obsolete Lecias. Many photographers that could not afford to buy one of them new can now pick them up S/H at very reasonable prices and the consumers that can afford to buy them new and must have the latest and greatest drive the competition that sees new prices on a steep decline as well
     
  84. "Tell you what, I still wouldn't care less for 35mm digital even if it was given to me. Not when the quality is that poor and appalling to look at. Too bad for you if you can't tell."
    Bam... next!
     
  85. El Fang, why do you give us these arguments and justification from the successful professional photographer point of view? These don't work for the majority of people on photo.net or the real world.
     
  86. I have yet to see a digital image that has the quality of an Ilfochrome made
    from Velvia or the tonality of Tri-X or HP-5. What irritates me about all of this is
    that camera manufacturers are making a fortune on people with current
    models becoming obsolete in 6 months and the next wave of higher
    megapixel cameras replacing current models sometimes in less time. In the
    end, digital images, whether shot with a point and shoot or a DSLR, look flat
    and simply can't achieve a depth film can. It may only be my imagination, but
    everything I see posted on the Magnum site lately looks flat, colorless...
    digital. You don't need to afford Leicas to make images that have the quality
    of some Leica images, but on the other hand, unless you've got a high-end
    DSLR, you can't really produce publishable digital images. I see a lot of
    promotion happening when digital companies hire big-name pros to hawk
    their work and show how they shoot stories with tiny 5 MP cameras, but this is
    a lot of hype to me. As someone said in another forum, digital is at the
    Polaroid stage at this time. I'm not giving up my film camera until I see that
    Fuji and Kodak no longer make film of any sort--and that doesn't seem likely,
    given the new Velvia 100 hitting the market and given the fact that Ilford will
    continue to produce monochrome emulsions.
     
  87. Erin,

    I did not say that those obsolete DSLR's were not capable. I was merely pointing out the inconsistancy of Bob's thinking. The choice is to spend $2000 or whatever on obsolete DSLR's or spend it on obsolete film based cameras. It's simply a matter of preference and obsolescence should not be a major factor in their choice of equipment if it suits their needs.<p>

    To beat the learning curve each time I switch cameras, the best time for me to get a DSLR is when Canon or Nikon can sell one that can remain in production say as long as the EOS-3 or the F3.<p>

    I am a nobody and don't have the right to tell other people what they should prefer to buy and use. There are more important things to consider besides obsolescence such as tiny viewfinders, short throw focus rings making manual focussing a PITA and the wide angle problem.
     
  88. Film isn't freakin' dead and digital isn't freakin' alive...some just are stuck in a moment that they can't get out of...
     
  89. Dino: Couldn't agree with you more. The amount of marketing hype currently surrounding digital is just insane. Most ridiculous are the for-digital lenses for APS-sized sensors. Talk about built for obsolescence! These manufacturers ought to be whipped for their shamelessness in willing to sell any crap to turn a buck.

    Whenever I read comments about how digital has equaled or surpassed film, I wonder what kind of poor quality these blokes are acustomed to. Have these people ever seen a professionally produced film image?? (Also the way that they compare digital to SCANNED film is very idiotic.) Where I'm I have easy access to the highest end digital stuff, not just the 35mm vaporware but also the truly cutting edge larger format backs, and I can confidently say there is no way that digital has caught up with film in terms of image quality. The only aspect where digital outdoes film is in the lack of grain. (But had I found grain irritating I would have shot medium format in the first place. Not that much larger than the elephant size DSLRs that N and C are selling.) In everything else, especially color gamut and dynamic range, film wipes the floor with the very best digital. The most irritating thing about 35mm digital is the unnatural images produced by moire filtering + sharpening. The closest analogy I can think of is fake breasts.

    While digital has the potential to replace film entirely we're just not there yet, both in terms of the capture device itself as well as the peripheral technologies. Until we can have sub-$2000 DSLRs producing images at quality as stunning as projected slides, there will continue to be a market for film.
     
  90. And btw, Kodak and Fuji will continue to produce film for a very long time. The margins for film are very fat (about 60%), where as the margins for digital are going down the toilet in a very crowded market. The motion pictures industry as well as the TV commercials are all about film. Where people are more informed, they don't get delusional about digital as gadget lovers do.
     
  91. "Where I'm I have easy access to the highest end digital stuff, not just the 35mm vaporware but also the truly cutting edge larger format backs, and I can confidently say there is no way that digital has caught up with film in terms of image quality."

    Maestro, I looked at your posted photos, and a couple of them show such hideous post-processing manipulation that I am not surprised at your attitude toward digital. For a person who knows how to handle the technology, though, it is now capable perfectly wonderful results. But there's no point trying to convince some people of that, because they have a religious (meaning faith-based, not fact-based) attachment to film.

    By the way, I still shoot film exclusively, though I am not kidding myself about digital's capabilities.
     
  92. Faith has to be based on facts, Douglas, ;).
     
  93. Douglas: Hideous or not, those images have no bearing on my opinion of digital. Look at the dates. Those images were shot and digitized way before the arrival of modern DSLRs.

    The weak image quality of digital is refuted only by amateurs or gadget lovers. Those in the know have no trouble believing or accepting that fact. I happen to work in an environment where people here design algorithms for digital imaging or do special effects modeling for blockbuster movies. I can assure you within this group or anyone who has access to the most cutting edge of digital would tell you the same. Digital has many strengths but image quality is not one of them. Speak to anyone in the motion picture or highend graphics industry and the claims that the likes of current Nikon and Canon DSLRs can match film will be considered nuts.
     
  94. All trade reports suggest only a very small percentage of professional photographers have gone completely digital. Most still use film one way or the other, with ATHENTICITY and AESTHETCS among the most important reasons for using film.​

    All trade reports, eh?
    Name three.
     
  95. It's currently on free loan to a film fundamentalist friend.​

    B/Doris, can I be your friend?
     
  96. Maestro: "Speak to anyone in the motion picture or highend graphics industry and the
    claims that the......DSLRs can match film will be considered nuts"

    I'd suggest you speak to a photographer rather than a graphics geek. You'll probably get a
    sober answer pointing out the ways in which digital is better than film (and it isn't just in
    terms of convenience) and the ways in which it's inferior (this will be the short part of the
    conversation, relating mainly to dynamic range compared to color neg). I'm not sure why
    someone in the motion picture industry would even have an opinion on digital stills
    cameras, though it wouldn't be difficult to find credible film makers excited by the
    potential of digital for their own work - you could try chatting to Steven Sodebergh or (at
    the other end of the spectrum) Eric Rohmer.

    ps Z, I'm everybody's friend, I'm like Michael Jackson "I love you all......."
     
  97. "All trade reports, eh?

    Name three."

    Assuming you are geniunely interested, one happens to be available here:
    http://www.digitalcamerawebsites.com/node/127

    If you want anymore, especially those with detailed statistics you have to get an account (may have to pay) at:

    www.firstcall.com

    There you will find very detailed reports from both the industry as well as wallstreet research analysts. These reports have everything you can imagine, technical data, surveys, patents, margins etc. Even Leica's underwriting report when they went public is up there.
     
  98. let me quote a few lines:

    "Film Still Preferred Medium By Photographers"

    "While photographers are continuing to look to digital technology to capture at least some of their images, a majority - 52 percent - continue to shoot images only with film,"

    "Forty-three percent of the survey's respondents use both film and digital and only five percent use just digital."

    "Fifty-three percent cited overall image quality as film's single greatest benefit, followed by its authenticity, at 18 percent, "

    If anyone is actually surprised by these numbers... wow I don't know what to day... I've read a ton of reports of this type, many within the last few weeks (which you can find at firstcall) and they ALL say the same things.

    A few die-hard digital adopters lurking on photo.net doesn't make them the whole population.
     
  99. Maestro, you've won me over. I'm starting to believe that digital is just a passing fad - no
    serious photographer would consider using it because, as you so rightly say, the quality
    just sucks. It wouldn't surprise me if it digital peaked, withered and died within the next
    eighteen months.
     
  100. <p>"....though it wouldn't be difficult to find credible film makers excited by the
    potential of digital for their own work - you could try chatting to Steven Sodebergh or
    (at the other end of the spectrum) Eric Rohmer. "
    <p> i think you'll find the excitement over digital filmaking almost entirely due to
    cost/time savings and nothing to do with it's aesthetics. the comparison of digital
    filmaking and stills is a valid one, all the imaging shortcomings are basically the
    same. not to say the digital versions of motion pictures and still work don't offer
    advantages but it's not the end all/be all solution that many here paint it as.
     
  101. <p>i can recall reading in pdn, communication arts, graphis etc. of many commercial
    photographers still shooting film...
    <p> remember the term "pro" photographer includes more than photojournalism and
    sports photography(both are indeed almost entirely digital), two areas which people
    seem fond of referring to when arguing the predominance of "pro" photographers
    shooting digital.
     
  102. Yes, seems it's not just Leicanuts justifying their choices by what they think pros shoot. And poor Marc, the original poster, only said Leica Ms were rugged. He didn't even say they were any good, or better than digital, though no one seems to have noticed.

    Me? I don't give a toss about all the digital gearheads and my-camera's-better-than-yours malarkey and film-is-dead/digital-sucks childishness.

    I shoot film because it's readily available, because it's cheaper the way I use it, because I like it, and because digital would only improve the *technical* quality of some of my photos in certain circumstances, and that's not important to me. Digital *would* improve colour correction in night shots for me, but the latest Leica aspheric would improve the corners, and I just don't care for the oneupmanship.

    If Marc had posted a link to NG pictures shot with Zenits or compacts, people would be falling over themselves to say it's not the camera etc. etc. Digital wouldn't come into it. Ah, the power of the L word.
     
  103. Doris: You can believe in whatever but please don't put words in my mouth. I never suggested digital will die. In fact, I mentioned several times and will repeat again that it has great potential and will surely become the dominant medium. However, it is also true that as it is digital (especially 35mm digital) still suffers from significant artifacts, discrete truncation that can often become very intolerable. Digital will surely surpass film one day but not yet. To claim that "film is dead" is just ludicrous. Any poll will show you (as those numbers I cited also suggest) in terms of professional use film still is more popular by a landslide.

    Regarding your comments about why the motion picture industry is relavant in this context: because that industry has access to the best digital technologies, be it capture, scanning or output devices. If not the concensus there is that digital is not yet ready quality-wise, you can rest assured that it isn't.
     
  104. Discrete truncation is indeed utterly intolerable, it's become the bane of my life.
     
  105. Now don't go gettin your tits in too much of a tangle there
    Maestro Logos, can't see where anyone actually said "Film is dead" in this thread, you wouldn't be putting words in peoples mouths would you? Film is just fast becoming an anachronism in many areas where once it was the only medium of choice.
     
  106. Try using Find on your browser, Erin. Bob Atkins, above: "Film's dead. Get used to it."
     
  107. Bravo Maestro!
     
  108. Doris if you can't see the superiority of film over digital in terms of image quality then
    more power to you. But let me put it this way. The artifacts that I claim are still so
    apparent with today's digital may be such that once you see tomorrow's digital, they will
    become so rudely apparent.

    A similar debate of analog versus digital also ensued in the (music) recording industry in
    the early 80s. The digital camp believed in measurements and tests, claiming that digital
    was superior to analog in everyway. (Indeed digital "measured" better.) The analog camp
    however felt digital sounded brittle and thin, and lacking the richness, dimensionality, and
    liquid-ness of analog, which by that time was a very mature technology. But of course the
    studios having accepted the hype all leaned towards digital.

    Fast forward to the new millenium, and it is now very clear that the analog camp was right.
    When compared to today's digital recordings, the shortcomings of early 80s' digital are
    so utterly apparent. And more importantly, we now know that to get the best out of 80s'
    recordings, we're better off using the ANALOG BACKUPS rather than the DIGITAL
    ORIGINALs in remastering CDs. (Many digital recording sessions had a parallel analog
    recording for emergency backups.) With the advent of todays' DIGITAL signal processing
    technologies, CDs remastered using these analog sources have such richness and texture
    that you can never get using the thin and brittle digital originals from the early day's of the
    technology. Many of the CD re-issues that you can now buy are remastered from analog
    backups.

    The moral of the story is: (1) The virtues of analog capture will become more appreciable
    when you have a new generation of digital to compare to. (2) If quality is the utmost
    concern, for now one is better of to use analog capture---that way you have the best
    source that can be fully extracted when the signal processing technology mature. (3)
    Digital will eventually kick ass of analog (just like it is now undisputably the case
    for music recording), but that day will not come in several more years. Today's digital
    especially on the algorithm (signal processing) side is so naive and simplistic that you can
    expect huge strides in the future.
     
  109. ...felt digital sounded brittle and thin, and lacking the richness, dimensionality, and liquid-ness of analog...
    Damn straight... Last night I had a few hours of quiet time so I put on some classic Abba on CD and settled into the BarcaLounger, expecting an audio experience rich with evocations of pinenuts and vanilla, subtly balanced with overtones of oak - like I've come to expect. And instead, my senses get assaulted with those digitally-induced auditory infarctions reminiscent of CDX plywood. Don't get me started on this subject or I'll get even more steamed.
     
  110. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    My view: I look at photographs for a consistent vision and style that touches me somewhere. When I look at Brad's photos, for example, I see that. When I look at Maestro's photos, for example, it's missing. It doesn't matter that Brad used digital and Maestro used film, it matters what the results are. The results come from a mastery of the tools, whatever they are, an ability to translate what one sees into what one will finally realize as a print, and the ability to use the tools of the craft to realize that print.

    Similarly, I don't see the outside world, outside of here, caring all that much. I just scored a cover of a tabloid-size weekly. They didn't ask what I used, they just sent me an email that it is the best cover they ever had. The result was there regardless of medium.

    To go back to the original post, it doesn't matter what NG photographers use, it matters whether or not the results work in the context they are presented.
     
  111. Funny, last month Maestro claimed only around 5% of pros used digital. Now the figures
    are changing, "every" reports says something, but the one quoted report he found says
    something else.... Confusing.
     
  112. Maybe you should re-read what I wrote. I claimed only 5% of pros use digital EXCLUSIVELY, which is exactly what that report says...
     
  113. Despite the fact that digital has a "look" (just like different emulsions have different looks),
    that look is not so overwhelming that it isn't overcome by the individual style of a
    photographer. Recently I was looking at a photographers edit from a story that was made
    on a combination of Kodachrome, Fuji 800 neg, and digital - you really couldn't say with
    any certainty what the origin of any particular image was, you had to ask. I see plenty of
    digital images that, if I didn't know better, would convince me that digital was not up to
    scratch - but when you see images like that it's a fair bet that the photographers film
    images look just as bad/ugly.
     
  114. Interesting; before digital still image capture there was the old Sony and US Navy analog still electronic image capture cameras. These are the distant grandparents of todays digital cameras; they were not film; or digital; but analog electronic still cameras. Film is film; a 100 year old term; why play into the lame spineless marketers hand and call film "analog"? It is also the term used for real analog still image cameras of decades ago; that recorded on tape; floppy; etc a still image. Having worked with some of these "real analog" cameras; I want to puke when folks use analog for film; movie film; slides; negatives; etc. Once there was computer mass storage project that used film; to store digital info on more or less high contrast lith type films. Here there was a digital recording on photo based film. I suppose the "analog name callers" would call this project "analog"' when to was really a digital storage device.
     
  115. Which report, Maestro? You reference so many, but never bothered to actually cite more
    than one which marginally supports your many otherwise unsubstantiated claims.
     
  116. Folks, just for the hell of it: I wrote to David Alan Harvey through
    digitaltruth.org, where he did a test of the Epson RD-1. He wrote back to me
    and said that nobody at National Geographic or at Magnum is pushing any of
    the photogs toward digital, and that some of the younger Magnum guys like
    the Olympus C-7070 because it's small and versatile. He said he likes what
    digital can do in the dark, and that when he's in the middle of a good shoot
    digital is great because you don't have to change film; and that they've gotten
    some great prints from digital. FYI.
     
  117. "When I look at Brad's photos, for example, I see that. When I look at Maestro's
    photos, for example, it's missing." Jeff, where are Brad's photos to look at?
    Do enlighten us, please.
     
  118. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Click on NW posts, in the S&D Forum, and some of the older ones here. He's been posting for years here, his photos are not that hard to find.
     
  119. Thanks, Jeff.
     
  120. Just saw... real nice stuff. I think it reflects a photographic voice that has
    developed over time. Digital or film, this is what you have to work for if you're
    serious--the media is irrelevant.
     
  121. all gear forums are irrelevant.In fact the camera is irrelevant.
     
  122. Z: Here is a survey by Kodak

    http://www.digitalcamerawebsites.com/node/127

    of professional photographers (portrait/wedding, commercial, government and advanced-amateur segments) which says , I repeat:

    "ONLY FIVE PERCENT USE JUST DIGITAL".

    And this is exactly the same as what I cited. (Are you trying to act silly?)
     
  123. Jeff: I have nothing to object if you don't like my photographs. Nevertheless I'll just say that those 4 photos in my portfolio were all shot between 5-7 years ago (check the date if you will), when I was still a college student trying to identify a photographic style. "Consistency" was never an objective---in fact, it would be quite the opposite.
     
  124. A survey by a seller of film, done a year ago (during a perioud in which we have seen
    double-digit percentage declines for 5 years running) might say something to Maestro,
    but not me. Moreover, Maestro misread the poll -- it wasn't even exclusively to pros.

    Jeez.
     
  125. Mm. So now Kodak is lying too. Whatever...

    Why don;t just acknowledge that the figure of 5% took you by surprise? You're going around in circle.
     
  126. Maestro, I asked you earlier for three sources to substantiate your 'all surveys' claim.
    You failed to do so.

    Now you claimed that a survey of pros found that only around 5% use digital exclusively
    -- yet when someone looks at thelink they see that (a) it's not a survey only of pros, (b)
    it's not from an unbiased source, and (c) there's no explanation of how people were
    chosen for the survey.

    In other words, you make claims and either can't support them, or use flimsy evidence
    and tapdance away from the rest.
     
  127. This is getting lame...
     
  128. Did you even check firstcall.com?

    Asahi Camera, January 2005 issue, has interviews with the CEOs of Kodak, Fuji, and Konica Minolta on the future of film (pp 113-120). Have a good look at it.
     
  129. To summarize the interviews, all three CEOs say film continues to have a healthy market. (Kodak has made it clear in their 2004 annual report that film profit will not be matched by digital until 2007. This is because film is higher margin despite that digital is generating equal revenues as of 2005). The companies will continue to roll out new film products going forward. (Fuji Fortia slide film is a good example). Film still offers significant advantages especially in terms of image quality, and unlike the lower end of the market, in the professional market film is holding up well. (Why else do you think Nikon introduced the F6?) The article names "consistency of quality" as a virtue of film, and uses photos submitted to their monthly competition as an example. (Essentially, whereas film images have uniformly high image quality, digital images are all over the place.) Within the highend of the market film will remain an important medium, and "in my opinion digital has not surpassed film", stated Fuji's CEO.

    The article ends with a summary, opening with the statement that "film is here to stay". This is January of this year.
     
  130. Maestro confuses usage with sales, sales with profits ... all the time shifting the
    goalposts, and shuffling away from his unsupported allegations.

    Noted, with amusement.
     

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