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12-06-2010, 12:02 PM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
How about that Kodachrome, eh?


I was scanning the first of my final two rolls last night and it struck me again how similar the results are to what I get with Ektar. Kodak may well have killed Kodachrome (and probably rightly so), but at least they gave us a comparable product at about half the price. Yes, film is dead! That is why Kodak is releasing new product and even releasing it in large and medium format!


Steve
Yeah, part of that 'Film is Dead' idea is seeing it through the, err, lens, of consumer marketing.

There's no doubt that Kodachrome is a wonderful product, but it also always depended on some pretty expensive, energy-intensive machinery to process: only even economical in big quantity, and even before digital, the improvements in negative film (Which has advantages of latitude for snapshooters, if nothing else: generally they just wanted the vivid colors) ...as well as home slide shows having been out of style for some decades, really just reduced the big *consumer* market that was needed to keep all that infrastructure and supply running.

No, film photography is no longer the mass-market-dominating social appliance it was for a while. But it didn't start out as accessible and affordable as automation and Fotomats made it for that interval, either.

Digital, apart from the little problem of storage and actually making prints and originals to last in family drawers and stuff, is pretty much better for snapshooters, but doesn't make it the superior way to learn the photographic craft itself. The computers involve a whole other skillset.

I like to say, 'No, film's *not* dead. It just went home.'

12-06-2010, 12:24 PM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Yeah, part of that 'Film is Dead' idea is seeing it through the, err, lens, of consumer marketing.

There's no doubt that Kodachrome is a wonderful product, but it also always depended on some pretty expensive, energy-intensive machinery to process: only even economical in big quantity, and even before digital, the improvements in negative film (Which has advantages of latitude for snapshooters, if nothing else: generally they just wanted the vivid colors) ...as well as home slide shows having been out of style for some decades, really just reduced the big *consumer* market that was needed to keep all that infrastructure and supply running.

No, film photography is no longer the mass-market-dominating social appliance it was for a while. But it didn't start out as accessible and affordable as automation and Fotomats made it for that interval, either.

Digital, apart from the little problem of storage and actually making prints and originals to last in family drawers and stuff, is pretty much better for snapshooters, but doesn't make it the superior way to learn the photographic craft itself. The computers involve a whole other skillset.

I like to say, 'No, film's *not* dead. It just went home.'
Fortunately there seems to be a big group of kids coming up getting into it and it seems to be keeping it alive for guys like me, and small eastern european film companies keeping interesting b/w films available.
If Colour film disappeared I likely wouldn't miss it completely (though I do like to shoot it when i want a fast turn around to digital I can get a roll of 36 develop scan for $3 to let me see how that junk store camera FSU camera is working before i do any serious shooting)
when films like Tri-X go though I will be sad
12-06-2010, 12:28 PM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Exactly (though a K5 does address a lot of this but is hardly a student camera)
not to mention that a well produced Silver Gelatin Print (or even better Palladium Print) looks far better than anything I've seen done Digitally (and if you are selling them they also command a premium from collectors even though they cost about the same to produce)
I got back to film specifically for the b/w but the slides are a nice side benefit (Even with all the plugins nothing seems to match a Velvia Slide printed as a Cibachrome - boy I'm starting to sound like an audiophile talking about Vinyl)
I've printed a lot of Ciba, and it is lovely. I'm not in any hurry to go back there. That was when I had half a garage built out as a darkroom.
12-06-2010, 12:33 PM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I've printed a lot of Ciba, and it is lovely. I'm not in any hurry to go back there. That was when I had half a garage built out as a darkroom.
I never printed Ciba myself (at least not after I left School)

But we still have one pro lab left that will do it (not called Ciba anymore but that's what it is)

I am looking at some darkroom gear that would let me do it myself though so never say never (more for the b/w the kit i'm looking at has 2 enlargers with it and does all formats up to 4x5 - I'm not likely to ever shoot 8x10)

12-06-2010, 07:50 PM   #110
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So, back to the original topic, as a result of some of the earlier posts on this thread, I bought a P5 on the Bay for a princely investment of $24. The camera arrived in pristine condition--not a mark on the black paint. Other than the film wind lever, this thing does not feel cheap. It has the heft of a metal frame. The top LCD is a nice touch, as is having two programs. If this thing works properly (I haven't finished the roll yet) this will be one heck of a deal. Other than the Dx only coding, its exposure modes are quite an improvement over my Superprograms, as is the LED, rather than LCD, in the viewfinder.

On the other hand, the shutter and mirror do make an inelegant sound. Pentax also dropped TTL flash for the P series, and using the AF540 is not as seamless as with the TTL bodies before and after this one. This camera with the DA40 attached, loaded with some Fuji 400H would be a prime candidate to take the place of my deceased Oly XA as a street camera for travel if it weren't for that noise. Time and a bit more use will tell.

Last edited by GeneV; 12-09-2010 at 06:34 AM.
12-09-2010, 07:01 AM   #111
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Now that I've spent some time with the P5, I would say that the P series cameras could be decent, cheap student cameras if used with a lens from the period of their manufacture. However, the series is quite deficient for anyone who uses it in tandem with a DSLR.

The problem is that many of my recent Pentax lenses lack aperture rings, even though they are quite capable on film. I've taken very nice shots with a SuperProgram or ZX-L and a number of DA lenses. With a SuperProgram, I can use shutter priority automation to be in some control of the aperture. With the P series, an A lens setting puts the camera in Program mode--period. This is not acceptable to me.

The ZX-L is cheap and near perfect in its exposure modes for these lenses, but reputedly lacks reliability and in practice lacks the bright manual focus viewfinder for manual lenses.

The Superprogram has a quality viewfinder and can be used well with lenses in the A mode, but has displays that are hard to see indoors and an exposure mode selector that is prone to jam. It is also not one of the dirt-cheap models.

I'm thinking that my Superprograms will stay my film backup bodies to accompany a DSLR, though the P5 may have a place in the film-only stable. For $24, it was worth it.
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