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05-08-2009, 10:18 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
For the OP:

Much as you might like to think that because you still use your 1952 Leica, you might still be wanting to use your K10D decades from now too - that just probably isn't feaible. The question isn't so much whether you'll be *able* to use the K10D in 30 years, but whether you really will still want to. Some things are designed to be built and used "forever"; others are designed to be useful for a years then replaced with something better. Digital cameras are in the latter category. You never repalced your 1952 Leica because you never felt the need - it's not lik the 1962 or 1972 or 1982 models improved that much on it. That's unlikely to be the case with the K10D, regardless of whether you can manage to still get it to work or not.
You could and probably are right. My old Leica is built like a heavily armoured tank...the body is thick gauge and in a complete sort of oval shape. You load film awkwardly...by taking another heavy duty bottom plate off and putting the film in from the bottom...no flimsy camera back on a hinge.

My old Pentaxes, my S1a and my electronic ES ll still work perfectly. I'm surprised that my electronic ES ll works well, electronics and all....35 years after I bought it new. I was kind of hoping my K10D would continue to function is as many years as the old ES ll.

I may have to accept that I need to change bodies every 5-10 years...I'm hoping 10. I do hope that the lenses I have are good for another 25-30 years, but I'm not sure.

When I compare their build quality (55-300, 16-45, 50mm) to the metal barreled 1984 Pentax 35-105 Macro 'A' lens I bought new....I do wonder. BTW, this lens, legendary in some circles ( 'A' 35-105) works perfectly. The focusing ring, the lens setting ring, the aperture ring all move smoothly and /or click into place.


05-08-2009, 11:08 AM   #32
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Digital cameras become obsolete about 10 times faster than film cameras. Which is why someone has to be bonkers to ever fork over $20,000 for the new Mamiya DL33. I doubt it can take any better pictures than a 67II which is a fraction of the cost and will last longer.
05-08-2009, 01:13 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Digital cameras become obsolete about 10 times faster than film cameras. Which is why someone has to be bonkers to ever fork over $20,000 for the new Mamiya DL33. I doubt it can take any better pictures than a 67II which is a fraction of the cost and will last longer.
They are able to charge enough professionally that $20k isn't a big deal.
05-09-2009, 09:57 PM   #34
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That's true, but think of the extra profit if the camera was $2,000 as opposed to $20,000. I'm sure the big companies will throw that kind of money around, though, and just chalk it up in the expense category.

05-09-2009, 11:49 PM   #35
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When I bought my K1000 new in 1976, I never *dreamed* I'd still be using it in 2009, but I am. Back then, I was wondering if I'd be driving some sort of space car by the turn of the century...

I still have my Imsai 8080 computer that I assembled from a kit in that same year - and it still works - but is virtually useless technologically, except as a museum curiosity. Same goes for the Sol 20, the KIM-1, the Osborne, and a handful of Kaypros. I'm surrounded by glaring examples of obsolescence.

There's a drawer in my home office full of old digital P&S cameras - they show the amazing progression of technology over just one decade - from about 1995 to 2005. We went from plastic fixed-focus lenses & 300k pixels @ ISO 50 to 8 million pixels with 12x power zoom and the ability to capture full motion video with sound. And now look where we are, just four short years since...

Mechanical stuff can last forever, if it's built well. Electronic stuff is designed to be disposable. That's simply the nature of the beast. The greedier companies even plan deliberately to make products that will only be useful for a limited time. They want to make sure you won't be happy unless you buy their Next Best Thing. Again and again, year after year.

So, how do we get off the upgrade treadmill without getting left behind? I don't have a good answer. The best I can come up with is to ride the trailing edge. Buy last year's model @ closeout prices instead of paying a premium for state of the art. Stay far enough behind the bleeding edge to let others fund R&D and wrestle with bugs, then reap the benefits a little later.

So, to the OP, don't worry about how long your K10D will last. By the time you need a new camera, you'll be able to buy a K-7 dirt cheap when everybody unloads them for the Next Best Thing.
05-11-2009, 07:18 PM   #36
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digital vs. film

You have to consider that you would have spent far more in film and processing than to replace your digital camera periodically. Storage media for digital is much less expensive than film used to cost. Also, mechanical film cameras required periodic cleaning, lubricating, and adjusting: on average, every few years for mine. The shutters particularly were unpredictable if they weren't kept in adjustment, and periodically you had to replace light seals and other parts. So while you could keep the cameras indefinitely, you had to pay periodically to do so, unless you could repair the camera yourself. With digital you have the annoying but free (except for supplies) do-it-yourself sensor cleaning.

Paul
05-11-2009, 10:07 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
You have to consider that you would have spent far more in film and processing than to replace your digital camera periodically.
I don't think so. Consider that you can buy a 36 exposure roll of film + processing for about $10 - that means you can take about 25 pictures every day for a year for about the same price as a mid-range DSLR. If you replace the camera body, say, every 2 years, you could shoot 12 pictures a day with film for the same price. And that's not even factoring in software upgrades, hard drive storage, backup storage, and printing costs.

So, do you *really* average significantly more than 12 images per day to justify the cost of digital over film?
05-11-2009, 10:27 PM   #38
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My film costs average $0.18 per frame.

My K10D cost about $700.00.

This gives me about 3888 shots to meet the cost of the K10d.

There is also the fact that I could re-sell my K10D. Say, $350.00 (hypothetical, it IS NOT for sale )

That reduces the number of film shots I need to take to 1900.

Now consider the film camera I use costs $100.00 . This reduces the shots required to pay for the K10D to just 1389 frames.

So all I need to shoot with the K10D is 70 frames over 20 sesions, and the cost of the camera is covered. Easy.

05-11-2009, 11:34 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
My film costs average $0.18 per frame.

My K10D cost about $700.00.

This gives me about 3888 shots to meet the cost of the K10d.

There is also the fact that I could re-sell my K10D. Say, $350.00 (hypothetical, it IS NOT for sale )

That reduces the number of film shots I need to take to 1900.

Now consider the film camera I use costs $100.00 . This reduces the shots required to pay for the K10D to just 1389 frames.

So all I need to shoot with the K10D is 70 frames over 20 sesions, and the cost of the camera is covered. Easy.
But will your *next* camera cost $700? And the one after that? I was using the average price of a mid-level DSLR across all manufacturers - to make the film-digital comparison fair. Obviously, Pentax is significantly more economical than other brands - at the moment.

Adding in the price of your film camera skews the numbers, too - unless you also plan to upgrade your film camera as often as a DSLR.

My original point was simply that digital is not quite as cheap (compared to film) as some people seem to believe.
05-12-2009, 07:47 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
But will your *next* camera cost $700? And the one after that? I was using the average price of a mid-level DSLR across all manufacturers - to make the film-digital comparison fair. Obviously, Pentax is significantly more economical than other brands - at the moment.

Adding in the price of your film camera skews the numbers, too - unless you also plan to upgrade your film camera as often as a DSLR.

My original point was simply that digital is not quite as cheap (compared to film) as some people seem to believe.
.18 a shot is a somewhat disingenuous number as well. The cost per shot comparison from film to digital has a lot of assumptions baked into it. I can easily ignore the cost of a digital picture frame and all my existing monitors and call all my digital prints "free", and that's not entirely honest, but neither is pretending I'd develop all my film on two for one day at Costco as a 4x6 on cheap paper. Is that 18 cents a shot assuming you develop it yourself, and retouch the negatives, then print as an 8x10? I somewhat doubt it.

My current most commonly used picture frame is my 24 inch LCD monitor in screen saver mode or my 42 inch television in screen saver mode. I'm pretty sure that 18 cents isn't including prints at THOSE resolutions.

Comparing 4x6 snapshot prices directly to the cost of each file on a digital camera memory card is STILL pretty useless because it places absolutely no value on the benefits you get from the flexibility, ease of use, and instant review process from the LCD screen. With a digital camera, the average consumer isn't just taking a ton more pictures because they are "free", they are much, much, much more confident they are getting the pictures they want, and that's priceless.
05-12-2009, 12:27 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
So, do you *really* average significantly more than 12 images per day to justify the cost of digital over film?
12 a day is basically 4380 images a year.

I haven't shot fewer than 4380 images in any year I've owned a DSLR (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and I've passed that figure already in 2009), and then trend is up and to the right. I've shot over 30,000 images in four years on two camera bodies that cost around just over $1000 between them. That's about 3 cents per images.

If someone were charging me by the roll, of course, I wouldn't shoot nearly so much.

As for how much it costs to replace the camera over time, I wouldn't expect that to go up.

The first computer I ever bought back in the 1984 cost me almost $2000. My next was much more powerful but cost me less. The one after that more powerful and less expensive still, the one after more so again. My current computer is the most powerful and least expensive computer I have ever owned. Of course, the trend is leveling off; I don't expect prices to really keep coming down at the rate they did at first. But I think it pretty safe say that, adjusted for inflation, $500-$1000 will pretty much buy all the computer most people need. And every year, what that same $500-$1000 buys will be more and more powerful. Of course, you can spend as much as you want getting an even more powerful system, but if you just want to more or less stay current, you can do so by spending $500-$1000 every 2-5 years or so, depending on how "current" you need to stay.

Now, what about digital cameras?

The first commercially available DSLR cost was a 1.3 megapixel model that cost $30,000. The first commercially *successful* DSLR was the 6MP, $1000 Canon Digital Rebel. Today, a basic entry level SLR is $500 and runs circles around either of those models. Again, I'd assume that drop has mostly leveled, but $500-$1000 will continue to buy a more and more impressive camera each year. Spending that much to replace a camera body every 2-5 years or so would be more than sufficient for most people who want to stay current, although it would also be unnecessary if you'd rather save money. You can of course choose to spend more, too.

So I'd say "most" people will probably be spending an average of no more than $100-500 per year over the rest of their lives on camera bodies. At the upper end of that scale, that's like shooting 50 rolls of film per year - which is probably extremely low for someone who is sufficiently interested to be spending that much on camera bodies. At the bottom end of the scale, that's like less than one roll of film per month - and that's still allowing for a camera upgrade every few years. Someone who was comfortable using their camera until it *needed* replacement would probably find it paid for itself after the equivalent of just a few rolls of film per year.
05-12-2009, 10:47 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
But will your *next* camera cost $700? And the one after that? I was using the average price of a mid-level DSLR across all manufacturers - to make the film-digital comparison fair. Obviously, Pentax is significantly more economical than other brands - at the moment.

Adding in the price of your film camera skews the numbers, too - unless you also plan to upgrade your film camera as often as a DSLR.

My original point was simply that digital is not quite as cheap (compared to film) as some people seem to believe.
Based on your numbers, 25 shots a day for a year, with the film and dev cost of $10.00 per roll of 36, works out to $2534.72.

With your numbers I could buy 3 K20D's from B&H photo. And have cash left over for film.

Adding the cost of the film camera skews the numbers? A $100.00 camera is cheap. I could have really scewed the numbers with a higher priced camera. Seriously, why not factor in the cost of the camera? You kind of need it to take a photo.

With your film costs, you need to take 2412 photos to pay for the cost of a K20D body. This can EASILY be done in a year. And at the end of the year, you still have a camera.
05-12-2009, 10:57 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mister Guy Quote
.18 a shot is a somewhat disingenuous number as well. The cost per shot comparison from film to digital has a lot of assumptions baked into it. I can easily ignore the cost of a digital picture frame and all my existing monitors and call all my digital prints "free", and that's not entirely honest, but neither is pretending I'd develop all my film on two for one day at Costco as a 4x6 on cheap paper. Is that 18 cents a shot assuming you develop it yourself, and retouch the negatives, then print as an 8x10? I somewhat doubt it.

My current most commonly used picture frame is my 24 inch LCD monitor in screen saver mode or my 42 inch television in screen saver mode. I'm pretty sure that 18 cents isn't including prints at THOSE resolutions.

Comparing 4x6 snapshot prices directly to the cost of each file on a digital camera memory card is STILL pretty useless because it places absolutely no value on the benefits you get from the flexibility, ease of use, and instant review process from the LCD screen. With a digital camera, the average consumer isn't just taking a ton more pictures because they are "free", they are much, much, much more confident they are getting the pictures they want, and that's priceless.
Disingenuous? fancy word to call me a lier. Thanks.

$0.18 is the absolutly dirt cheapest develop myself with cheap chemestry price per shot.

I do not think I can get an image on film for less money. A roll of 36 for $6.00, $0.50 to develope, and I get $0.18.

I scan my own film. Once the image is in the computer, all costs are the same, film or digital.

Ok, if I use better film, and use better developer my costs go up.

The point I was trying to make was that even with the CHEAPEST film cost I can find, my K10D still pays for itself in 3888 shots. Or 108 rolls of 36.

Understand? or are you bedazled by your digital picture frames?
05-13-2009, 02:39 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Digital cameras become obsolete about 10 times faster than film cameras. Which is why someone has to be bonkers to ever fork over $20,000 for the new Mamiya DL33. I doubt it can take any better pictures than a 67II which is a fraction of the cost and will last longer.
You miss the point that the person who can afford to fork out that kind of money is either a rich individual where money is no object, or a working pro who can make the camera pay for itself and produce the kind of images that will stand out and thereby command a higher rate.

In the wedding market where I'm at, any newbie can buy a camera like the Canon 5D Mark II, build up a portfolio and call himself a wedding photographer. The established and renowned pros already use APS-C or FF cameras and in order to set themselves apart, they are willing to invest into digital MF because they can charge more and set themselves apart from the masses of wannabe and unestablished photographers.
05-13-2009, 05:34 PM   #45
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calculations

QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
I don't think so. Consider that you can buy a 36 exposure roll of film + processing for about $10 - that means you can take about 25 pictures every day for a year for about the same price as a mid-range DSLR. If you replace the camera body, say, every 2 years, you could shoot 12 pictures a day with film for the same price. And that's not even factoring in software upgrades, hard drive storage, backup storage, and printing costs.

So, do you *really* average significantly more than 12 images per day to justify the cost of digital over film?
I think upgrade cycles will slow and so most people won't be upgrading every two years. I wouldn't have gotten a K200 as an upgrade to the K100 2 years later if I didn't primarily want a 2nd body. When I bought my film SLRs 25 years ago, I bought both bodies on the same day, because I felt they were exactly what I wanted, and I felt the technology wouldn't be changing that fast. With the K100, it was my first digital experience so I wasn't so sure how it would work out. I don't plan to buy another DSLR again in two years, unless there are some very compelling changes in the technology over that time. But admittedly, I'll probably buy another one well before 25 years.

We had storage costs with film too. Those archival slide pages and notebooks or metal file cabinets weren't free, and took up a lot of space. We had backup costs too. We had to shoot and store at least twice the number of originals we wanted, and of course at least one pair for every bracket.

I think my film bodies averaged 5 years between servicing, so you have to take the original price of each (I think $280-ish each in 1983 dollars), correct for inflation, and add the period servicing cost (again, adjusting for inflation.)

Overall, I think practical break-even is probably closer to half the amount of use you're estimating, and I think a lot of fairly serious amateurs do make those numbers.

Paul
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