Who we are? I mean film fotographers.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by kozma_prutkoff, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Actually this inspired by the posting regarding a magazine targeting specifically film photography. Obviously we are not main stream photography people. Sooner or latter we going to be same type of hobbyists like plastic model tank assemblers or American Civil War impersonnators. What it would mean for us in the nearest future? Special film order? Specialty stores and mail-order catalogues? Would price for film be as high as the price for the WWII replica uniform? Jus suggestions....
  2. As for who we are? Just folks who appreciate the look of film and maybe enjoy keeping the faith.
    I think if the the big film companies can no longer make a go of it somebody in China or the Czech Republic will still make the stuff. Color film never made B&W film go way. Digital won't make film go away either.
    Matter of fact outside of the labs and specialized pro printers B&W film photography has always been the realm of hobbyists and enthusiasts. It was never a mainstream pastime. I'm 55 years of age and am the only one I know (or have ever known) that that has a darkroom and makes sliver prints.
  3. Start a membership club where you can buy large amounts of film in bulk and pay for storage, then everyone gets a share and whoever doesn't want their film size or type can trade it with other members. In that case whether or not film becomes rarer you can get film for cheaper. If there's a big enough order you could even get specialty batches of rarer formats or films. From there start your own film brand.
    That's all you gotta do.. ;)
  4. "We, film photographers" Who are we?
    We are all gentlemen and scholars, a judge of fine whiskey, very handsome, can eyeball exposure (or at least bracket like crazy), can work out reproduction ratios for macro photos in our head, and can reload our SLR's on a dead run.
    Anything else you wanted to know?
  5. The most interesting people you have ever known. (Just to stick with the theme above).
  6. For me, I'm not a film photographer. Instead, I'm a film camera photographer. I'm interested in the film cameras, not the fact that they happen to require film to produce images. I'll be perfectly happy if the film goes extinct but there's a digital imaging device in the shape of film cassettes or 120 rolls that I can put into my film cameras, like what they attempted to do several years ago. Talking about that, maybe the technology has advance enough for that concept to be practical now.
  7. To follow up to my own post, deep down inside, I'm a mechanic, not a chemist.
  8. Earler this month I traveled on a large cruise ship. I used film cameras. The only other people I saw using film were a guy about 65 with a Pentax K1000 and an guy about 80 using a Leica RF. I collect and use film cameras so I hope film and processing will be available for a while longer. This morning three wild turkeys wandered into my front yard. I grabbed my Pentax K-x and shot with the 18-55. We're in that odd situation where as the price of film and processing goes up, volume goes down and the cycle is going in the wrong direction. I used to think that color print film would be here the longest. Now I think b&w will be here longer. I hope that over time film sales will bottom out and then go up slowly if new hobbyists take an interest.
  9. Yefei, so right! My film cameras have loads of character. They are expressions of camera design art. Not so my DSLR. It's a lump, a black box that puts forth a data stream that must be interpreted by a computer chip to form an image. When that computer goes belly up then it's just a paperweight and being made of light weight plastic it's not even a good paper weight.
  10. I'm a photographer who uses film, which is different from a 'film photographer'. I have no specific allegiance to film, and when the advantages of digital outweigh those of film, I'll use digital.
    There are probably a lot of people here who are like me. I don't do this for a living. I work slow and only make a couple of thousand exposures a year. I have a few good film cameras that I like to use. Paraphrased, there's no reason to change.
  11. We're old farts! :p
    I do it because I enjoy the less automated process, I like the look of film, I admire the mechanics and engineering behind older cameras, with a bit of nostalgia thrown in, including my weird fondness of the smell of the chemicals.
    But I shoot digital more because of convenience, low light capabilities, and the fact that I'm far better in the digital darkroom than I ever was in the analog one (you know, dodging and burning and the like - never really got very good at that).
  12. Who am I? I am Spartacus
  13. I hate when someone predicts an ugly future, com'on, reenactors? I can see me know, hunched over a 500c/m VF, not because it's a waist level finder, it's because I'm all hunched over. And as young kids pass with a nano 4/3 22 meg camera, I can't even hear them snicker...
    I guess I'm with John, but I've left no cheap whiskey unexplored either, kind of like shooting "Beautiful Seagull Film" from Yank Mai Chane, China.
    I think I need an ice cream cone.
  14. Whoever can invent a digital film insert for a camera will be my hero. That way we can use our film cameras forever.
  15. ...I'm honestly not quite sure...but using mechanical cameras and developing prints seems to give me a sense of satisfaction similar to using a fountain pen to lay down an expressive line upon stationery writing longhand letters to friends and family. Or the tactile delight I feel winding a precision mechanical watch to keep time upon my wrist. And the joy I experience gliding silently along the glass-like surface of the water in a cherry ribbed canoe. Or even smoking cigars conversing with friends or playing a game of chess. So while I'm not sure how those things are related, they all bring me joy.
  16. I'm with Dave SIms. Film is good but there is nothing magical in it. Film cameras are good but they can be annoying. Digital is good but there is nothing special about it either. When film goes, it goes. Thanks for the good times, it was fun. There is no point to worry, whine or muse about it. Heck, most of us will disappear before film does. When my eyes start to go and my ideas and inspiration dry up. Then I'll worry. In the mean time, load me a roll, or shove in a CF card and hand me a camera. Life is short and I have pictures to make before I go.
  17. You've got it right, Louis. And I do enjoy your pictures. Hope you make many more before you go.
  18. We are mostly people too cheap to make the financial investments in digital equipment, and too mentally lazy to learn how to do it.
  19. Film photographers come from all walks of life. Different purposes, goals and aspirations. I am just a guy with a camera.
  20. I'm getting a kick out of using a 1959 Brownie Hawkeye and getting more interesting shots than some do with thousands of dollars worth of stuff. I also LOVE the finisse of my new 1937 Voigtlander Bessa.
    Kent in SD
  21. I spent the decade of the 1950s yearning for and never having a good camera. I lost interest in photography out of sheer frustration. Years later when I turned to photography again, I bought all sorts of 1950s cameras in addition to a Minolta XG-7. I mostly shot with the then-new Minolta. The others were salves.
    I can now buy film equipment that I could never have afforded in various decades past, or even now if digital had not come along. It's really interesting to see what top-level equipment is like. The equipment is so good that it will keep me satisfied for the rest of my llife, or as long as film is around.
    I have a Nikon F90x, a Leica M3, a Rolleiflex 3.5F, a MInox ML----you get the idea. What a pleasure to shoot with such machines!
  22. Who I am is someone who sees absolutey no need to change equipment. (I have a good scanner, though, and I think this is critical for my particular purposes, and now the industry is taking this option away for those who don't already have one.) I love the elegance, mechanical design, relative simplicity and longevity of the equipment, and the process; I like a physical "hard copy"; and, I appreciate the variety and incredible results that various modern films reliably produce.
    I see so much "follow the crowd" thinking, in general, along with materialism, and the seeming need for instant gratification. There's so much b.s.: the veneration of sports figures who are often really drug-enhanced fakes; Sarah Palin and simplistic politics; the dangerous popularity of things like pitbulls despite seeing the consequences virtually every day; corporate "leaders" that enrich themselves so outrageously while simultaneously shipping industry and jobs to a nation where exploitation of people and environment is a-ok. Etc.
    With the level of equipment consciousness today, I can't help but think that it's at least somewhat related to the rest, or, maybe a by-product of it... More and more, I think that as we get increasingly technologically sophisticated, somehow we are going in the other direction with our critical thinking... Jmho.
  23. I do consider myself the odd one out most of the time when I see street photographers with their DSLRs. Chance meeting with another film photographer are still rare for me; I was taking a snapshot of some street musicians in Dublin with my Rolleicord, when I stood up my "spider-sense" told me I was being observed. Sure enough, I saw a young fellow (20-ish) wearing a combat jacket with a Polish flag patch on his arm. In his hands was a Eastern European TLR, our eyes locked for a second. We nodded and went our way.
    Oh dear, I'm already a re-enactor. It does bring me in contact with former film users a lot though.
    Why do I do it? I like the look of film, I like classic cameras from the 1940s and older. I can combine them with my Living History hobby. I like the taste of a good whiskey (or cheap one) and I've been known to smoke a cigar from time to time.
  24. I am a photographer who is interested mainly in having a nearly permanent image to work with, not one that may rot away on a hard drive and be unusable later on.
    Yes, I love film, but seriously, that's mostly what it's about for me: permanence.
  25. I have to agree with pretty much everything being presented here! I do think film will outlast me. I love handling the old machines and while to properly use them I should make pictures, but I'm sort of happy snapping the shutter and exercising them from time to time. I Sometimes I get some great pictures, sometimes and then I love showing people the camera I used! But that's hardly anything than showing off.. I like film, I do my own B&W because I like it, I can and it's economical.
    I remember one post here where a colleague mused over the longterm prospects of ilm and realized, that B&W may outlast color...I realized that too when speculating the scene in 20 years! I hate doomsayers, I'll do it as long as I can, and they can pry my (conventional/mechanical) camera from my cold dead.. etc, but when it's over it's over! I suspect someone will eventually market a focal plane sensor thin enough to place across the 25mm FP or 120 plane. The computer storage device will fit in the film chamber. The technology is there, it just has be economically interesting for someone to do it.

    HHMMhh will it ever be???
  26. I use digital and film for different reasons. I like the challenge and sense of connection with the past I get using vintage equipment. I think there will always be film around, at least in our lifetime. The Leica collectors will be a big part of driving that. Jeff Z--all politicians tell you what you want to hear. Remember all the promises Obama made just two years ago? All politicians are basically phoney. Not sure why you made a gratiutous partisan dig at Palin on a photo forum.
    Kent in SD
  27. Thank you Kent, I vote we leave that crap on the Off Topic forum where it belongs.
  28. Whoever can invent a digital film insert for a camera will be my hero. That way we can use our film cameras forever.​
    I intend to use mine forever... at least for the part of forever during which I am still alive.
  29. Kent, Didn't mean my including the sad phenomenon of Ms. Palin to be "partisan" in any way. How an obviously ignorant (relative to the office she sought), inarticulate, unqualified in any realistic sense, individual could even be considered for the most critical job in the land is flabbergasting... And the fact that she still garners attention, telling. This, while someone in the same party, who is just the opposite, Chuck Hagel, was not even in consideration, is highly symptomatic of these times, in my opinion. It fits.
    As for the rest, I think that most intelligent, mature people realize that politics in any large, diverse country is fraught with incredible compromise... It's inherent- the nature of the beast, and not many will be completely happy. Not at all saying that the present leader is perfect in any sense, and again, I am not partisan, but clearly, he inherited a monumental mess. Jmho.
  30. Please, guys, let's take the politics somewhere else.
    Aside from that, it's been an interesting thread. I shoot film for a number of reasons, including the fact that no digital camera can touch the sensory feel of my XD-11 and the satisfaction I get from capturing a nice image without needing to spend hours futzing around in Photoshop. I spend too much time on computers as it is; I'd just as soon minimize the time it takes in my hobbies.
    However, the comment about film scanners caught my eye - is now the time to buy a replacement for my old film scanner?
  31. In a somewhat related note--
    In midst of the iPhone revolution ,the FCC issues 30,411 new ham radio licenses in 2009--
    an increase of 84% over 2005......what's up with that? A few thing.
    Google university--
    You want to learn something ,go online----you don't need to take classes or pay someone to teach you.
    everything you need to know is----on your iPhone.
    The FCC has pretty much moved the whole licencing operation online,making it hassle free.
    One of the things(maybe the main thing) we get from technology is ---time---
    some people have so much friggin time they're bored to death.They need a hobby.
  32. I'm pretty sure it's just a technology thing with me; if I didn't collect old cameras it would probably be model railways, or I might go back to building model aircraft...I just like things that work well, with precision design and manufacture. I like all the paraphernalia of photography, all the silly little gadgets and accessories..I'm exactly the kind of person the Spiratone ads were aimed at, though I never bought any of that stuff at the time. But I'd collect it now....When it comes to producing images, my digital SLR's are magnificent machines, and I like the fact that I can use many of my favourite old lenses, and that I can afford to shoot off countless frames, "getting it right". It's all a progression; I'd be sad to lose the old rituals of film-based photography, but I don't think my imaging would really be any the worse for it. Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy using these old cameras while I can. And, looking at the trends, I suspect film is going to be around for a while yet....
  33. Michael Axel said something that hit home with me today: permanence!
    I was given a CD with JPEGs of my home right after we had renovated it, and before the baby arrived. Now I can't remember where I put that thing! I've been looking, but no avail. If I can't find that disk, those images are lost.
    My negativess and slides all the way back to the 1980s when I first started getting interested in photography are still with me. When I want to use an image from the past again, all I have to do is load up the Nikon Coolscan LS5000 and wait a few minutes for the scan.
  34. Well I have no doubt that film technology is going to outlast everyone of us. Film will be around for a very long time possibly cameras also would last. I believe that FM2n or F3 gently used would be functioning for decades. But sooner or later all mechanical cameras are going to hit the dust. What are we going to do then? Well that is hypothetical speculation but realistically we all are extincting species consuming outdated virtually non existing technology and having fun on this way.
  35. My dentist still uses film X-rays. He just doesn't want to change over. Medium format film still outresolves digital SLRs. Large format film still beats everybody in the playground. Movie film is still the choice of the big film makers, but that might change with the new generation. Film will be around for a while yet, but then again, maybe not. Hope my film scanners keep working, I have a ton of scanning to do yet...
  36. I felt so out of place (not all that much) when I was shooting Bessa 6x9 at a local Mc Donald's museum and there was a field trip with bunch of teens and they were looking at me like I was from the outter space, however noone approched me to ask what the heck I was doing and what was that "thing" in my hand. I love film I think it has soul.
  37. Good question;
    A person who appreciates classic, timeless design, the joy of having restored an abandoned, forgotten camera to its former beauty (I have it done, can't do it myself), the heft, feel, beauty and mechanical excellence of a well-made tool, the unique look of film, the elemental grace of using a hand-held meter. And, if you work at it, you can make a work of art (or, what you consider a work of art) with it. What's not to like?
  38. I concur: b&w film will last (or at least outlast me). Clockwork cameras even when they age or are damaged can be repaired -- not so with electronic marvels that 'malfunction'. I also think that we users of film and film cameras have a different aesthetic sensibility than the mainstream. My answer to the question that was posed: I'm not sure we're more refined, but we are certainly a little iconoclastic.
    And I also agree with Jeff Z and his right to introduce a socio-economic/cultural component to his answer. Surely we're not just gearheads who are simply fetishizing old equipment on this Forum. I for one enjoy hearing the views and experiences of other posters - it's always interesting and sometimes downright poetic. As long as its thoughtful and articulate, all insights should be permitted without summarily being dismissed as off-topic.
  39. I am a young man who loves to do that which isnt considered to be the "in" thing by most people my age. I would much rather use my Leica IIIA and 50mm Summar than the Nikon D3000 my sister and her boy friend use. It takes skill and understanding to make images with film. Film also makes you think before you release the shutter, something that seemingly limitless flash cards have done away with. Personally I love the look of film images more, plus the camera itself is a piece of functional art. I guess I am just an old head on young shoulders. Give me my camera, a classic novel and a glass of Scotch and I am a happy young man.

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