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06-01-2011, 09:12 AM   #16
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^Well, this is the thing, that the pros seem to have switched whole-hog.

I want to address the objection that the film/vinyl analogy supposedly breaks down over the highly sophisticated chemistry and materials required for printing and development.

I'm sorry, I just don't see that as a valid point of failure. In fact the more I think about it, the more perfect the film/vinyl analogy becomes, except that film is actually more "accessible" than vinyl. Consider this:

Film photography requires (1) the manufacture of film (highly complex chemistry and materials) and (2) its development and printing (highly complex chemistry and materials, but a simple enough piece of handiwork with them.) In between is the creative step of capturing the image, which is accessible to just about everybody.

Vinyl recordings require (1) the manufacture of the vinyl blanks (highly complex chemistry and materials) and (2) its pressing (which requires some sort of specialized equipment to create the master die and to impress it upon the blanks -- not sold for home use). In between is the creative step of making the recording is accessible to just about everybody.

From the above the steps of creating a vinyl record are clearly more industrial in nature than the steps of film.

Yet vinyl has survived. It seems film should survive as well.

Lastly, consider that nineteenth-century photography was about do-it-yourself chemistry. The photographer was expected to mix the emulsions, apply them to the plates, mix the developer/fixer, apply to the plates, mix the photo-coating for the paper, apply it, expose it, etc., mostly by himself.

Photography antedates Kodak and will post-date it.

06-01-2011, 09:39 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by tyrone.s Quote
Last summer. Pentax SV + Elicar 135/2.8
Nice shot.
06-01-2011, 10:35 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by asaru Quote
^Well, this is the thing, that the pros seem to have switched whole-hog.

I want to address the objection that the film/vinyl analogy supposedly breaks down over the highly sophisticated chemistry and materials required for printing and development.

I'm sorry, I just don't see that as a valid point of failure. In fact the more I think about it, the more perfect the film/vinyl analogy becomes, except that film is actually more "accessible" than vinyl.
I can use a 17th century mandolin in a digital or analog recording studio. But if there is no analog studio, them my analog input is limited to a digital ear.

Point? Unlike music, the supply chain for analog photography is dependent on more than just film emulsions. It requires wholesale manufacturing of lab equipment, chemicals, lighting, optics, etc.

For analog film to survive that whole ecosystem must be replicated. Not quite the same for the mandolin which can be heard analog in a pub or transcribed digitally, skipping analog reproduction if the economics don't agree. That's where the analogy breaks down.
06-01-2011, 11:55 AM   #19
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There is of course a difference between vinyl records and film: film is a 'consumable' with a limited unexposed life. A vinlyl LP will last a life time or more if stored properly. An LP is a form of passive consumption, whereas film is a medium for active expression.

More correctly, an LP ~= exposed film, where as long as the technology to 'read' the info is available, the artifact is usable.

However, my original analogy had to do with marketing and so on: with the LP, what seems to have happened is that the majors hastened its demise - while it is true LP sales were in decline, the process was helped by simply not making them available. There's an economic incentive to this - the record labels found that customers bought up back catalogs on CD.

With film this isn't the case - there's no 'back catalog' of film to sell. However, as the article hints at, at some point sales will be low enough that Fuji and Kodak will pull back or even sell their businesses. We've already seen specific films being pulled from production, or merged into one (e.g. Kodak Portra).

06-01-2011, 04:35 PM - 1 Like   #20
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I doubt that film will ever fully disappear. The brands/types of film will change or consolidate, but someone will continue to manufacture film in some format.

Kodak film seems to be on the same course as Pentax, a downward spiral. Fuji still looks like they are continuing with most films. The biggest increase in brands/types of film seems to be coming from Europe.

Pentax will bite the dust before film does.

Phil.
06-01-2011, 05:00 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I doubt that film will ever fully disappear. The brands/types of film will change or consolidate, but someone will continue to manufacture film in some format.

Kodak film seems to be on the same course as Pentax, a downward spiral. Fuji still looks like they are continuing with most films. The biggest increase in brands/types of film seems to be coming from Europe.

Pentax will bite the dust before film does.

Phil.

someone at a Wolfe's Camera told me that Pentax was going to bite the dust back in 1989. Wonder where Minolta and Konica went.
06-01-2011, 08:10 PM   #22
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I think that B&W will far outlast color, due to the greater simplicity of processing. Tri-X is likely to be around for a very long time.
06-01-2011, 09:19 PM   #23
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There are a few 35mm SLR camera's for sale out there. Now I mean some decent quality stuff. Nikon and one called Promaster that looks almost identical to my K1000. I am sure there is more out there but these two have appeared to me lately.
I would love a new Nikon but not for the money asked. I guess I am just looking at a name on a camera and nothing else. I think Film will always have a place but it will be hard to find someone to do the developing. I may have to think in terms of turning to b&W and doing my own developing. This is just my opinion and not worth alot but I did get to give it.

06-01-2011, 09:51 PM   #24
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I dropped by the prosumer camera chain I talked about in my previous post (McBain Camera, if anyone knows or cares) and asked them how long THEY think film will hold out.

They said something rather interesting. Apparently three years ago the Fuji person they deal with for their supply committed to five more years of film availability, but would not offer any promises beyond then. They believe Fuji will pull out of the film business by then. That is, in about two to three years.

Take the reliability of this with a grain of salt, maybe, I'm not sure. But still.

Of course that says nothing about Kodak, Ilford, or anyone else. I tend to agree with the point made that the "specialty" makers might actually see their sales go up in the near term if the two remaining biggies pull out.

----

Also, as regards Nikon, it's my understanding that their film-camera line has been shut don by the earthquake and that the future of the film line is in deep question. But that information is probably a month old and could be wrong anyway.
06-01-2011, 10:31 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Tri-X is likely to be around for a very long time.
Mostly because guys like you and me will be out in Rochester with torches and pitchforks if Kodak ever threatens to stop making it. Again. .
06-01-2011, 11:38 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Mostly because guys like you and me will be out in Rochester with torches and pitchforks if Kodak ever threatens to stop making it. Again. .
Well, I'm not 100% certain that it will always have the big red K on the box, but I'm pretty sure that if Kodak stops making it they will sell the formula to someone that will.
06-02-2011, 02:47 AM   #27
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When AGFA PHOTO died, in Europe, the vacuum got filled up by a bunch of little companies making a small but very interesting range of different emulsions.
In the last 15 years we never had that large offerings of different (B&W) films in even more exotic sizes, and they are surviving!
A little more and we have 'l'embarras du choix'...
06-02-2011, 03:06 AM   #28
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I'll second that!

Hopefully film will manage to hang on just about as long as I do LOL!

Kim

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
'cept I sort of like film!


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06-02-2011, 07:37 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Mostly because guys like you and me will be out in Rochester with torches and pitchforks if Kodak ever threatens to stop making it. Again. .
Thought you'd have a bite at that one, Lith. So you're back in Brissy?
06-02-2011, 08:18 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
There is of course a difference between vinyl records and film: film is a 'consumable' with a limited unexposed life. A vinlyl LP will last a life time or more if stored properly. An LP is a form of passive consumption, whereas film is a medium for active expression.
There are two distinct things: the production of the art-piece, and its consumption. Storage is a separate issue and not one I wanted to get into.

Consumption is simple for both vinyl records and photo prints: you put the record on a gramophone; you look at the print, period. (Consumption of the print is even simpler, obviously).

What I was concentrating on in the post you objected to is the stages of production, for both a vinyl record and a film photograph.

As my comparison makes clear, there is a remarkable parallel between them, except that the production of a photograph is more accessible to everybody than the creation of a record.

Therefore, since from the point of view of both production and consumption, film is more accessible than vinyl, and vinyl records have survived, the reasonable conclusion is that film will survive. The factors that drive consumption are the same. (1) a core opinion that analog reproductions are better -- warmer, more human, however you want to put it. (2) A matter of trend, fashion, coolness, hipness, or whatever.

As regards your active/passive distinction: The way I look at it, the major driving force in photography is the capturing of the moment and of the scene (I agree with what you said). Likewise, the major driving force in recording is to preserve the performance. More people look and listen than photograoh and record, and there is some money to be made for the producers. Again the analogy holds, except that photography is more accessible than recording. (Or is it? Perhaps no longer. Won't insist, there.)

That's all I wanted to say.

Last edited by asaru; 06-02-2011 at 08:25 AM.
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