Is there really a strong interest in film photography?

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Minolta93

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I think you miss my point. In the days when it was common for people to take photographs with cameras rather than phones, people took cameras of all descriptions to the beach. And nobody objected. Because it was understood that people wanted to take snapshots. I do not indiscriminately photograph other people's children or people in bathing suits. And that's the point. I've been accused of such in the 2010s before I even lifted the camera to my eye...on multiple occasions. Because literally nobody else had a camera, even though scores of people were snapping wide angle photos on their phones and no doubt including everyone else's children and people in bathing suits. Now, cameras are a more common sight and it's actually possible to take one to the beach again without being accused of all sorts of things.


The chap in the pub didn't seem to take any photos there, but the pub was quite dimly lit. As I recall he had a zoom of some description but probably the usual 35-70mm.



PT Panggung of Indonesia made the Panarec brand as well as OEMing tape for other better known names, including Maxell after Maxell stopped making their own.

Are they any good? The last time I bought a brick of Maxell UR tapes at a pharmacy the recordings sounded terrible, but I have a supply of older TDK D tapes which are great.
 

Pieter12

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I am not worried about saving water. Living in the US Southwest I know how to do that. I am much more concerned about chemicals leaching out of landfills and contaminating the land and water.

A fair amount of water goes into the production of film and paper, as well as what might be considered questionable chemicals. It is the kind of industry that is easy to target by environmental groups as it is a niche market that no-one cares too much about, very few would miss it.
 

Sirius Glass

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A fair amount of water goes into the production of film and paper, as well as what might be considered questionable chemicals. It is the kind of industry that is easy to target by environmental groups as it is a niche market that no-one cares too much about, very few would miss it.

But even the environmentalist have already admitted that discarded electronic cameras is a much bigger problem. The anti film train sailed out of the harbor and sank on the first curve after the airport.
 

RalphLambrecht

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I use a Ford Explorer and a Jeep Grand Cherokee as my drivers. Both have steel drive shafts, front and rear. I do not think that Hickory or even Old Hickory would do the job.

true
 

Cholentpot

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You can't waste water...it'll come back in one form or another.

Anyhow, the place where film is made in the USA will never run out of water.
 

Kodachromeguy

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The best and strongest correlation is in a situation when you can have a segment begin to criticize and stealth envy-hate the consumers and/or fans of a given product or idea for being elitist and snobs, all the while they deep down wish to be part of the group themselves.
But they imagine the bar of entry to be too high.

I see two examples of this:

1. Leica haters. Look at the infamous D review site and even here sometimes for the hate talk relating to anything Leica. "I don't own a Leica but xxxxxx." "I'm not interested in Leica but xxxxx."

2. Film haters among old geezer DSLR crowd, especially at the D site, The Online Photographer, and others. This is no longer 2005, film is no longer dead, why do these guys care any more? Jealous perhaps of the energetic young photographers running with a technology that the geezers thought was their discarded domain?
 

mtnbkr

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Just a couple anecdotes from my current vacation in the US SW (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada by the end of it).

First, I"m shooting a mix of film and digital. Film is Fuji Across II B&W in a vintage Canon SLR and Lomo Purple 110 in a Rollei A110. The digital is an Olympus M10.

Second, I saw a young guy (20s or so) with a K1000 at the Painted Desert visitor center. That's the 3rd film user I've spotted in public in the last few months.

Third, before today, nobody seemed to notice or care that I was shooting film. Today, after my family's excursion on the Durango-Silverton steam train, I was grabbing a pic of a nearby diesel-electric locomotive with the Rollei when one of the railroad workers, a guy in his 20s or 30s, asked if I was shooting film. I told him I was and what I was using and we chatted about it a bit. He was curious, but obviously not a film user himself. He seemed more curious that people were still using it than looking to get into it himself. Unfortunately, I was in a bit of a hurry, so I couldn't linger for long.

Chris
 

Agulliver

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Are they any good? The last time I bought a brick of Maxell UR tapes at a pharmacy the recordings sounded terrible, but I have a supply of older TDK D tapes which are great.

Possibly getting a little technical but the last lot of Maxell UR available outside of Japan was made by PT Panggung, had been since about 2010. It's decent but you cannot record above 0dB as that's it's saturation point and you do need fine bias adjust. It needs a good deal of negative bias to get the best out of it. So put it in a machine without fine bias adjust and it will sound mediocre for sure. The new stuff is now on the Japanese market as Maxell UR but hasn't been released outside Japan. It's decent again, but not the UR of 1990.

2. Film haters among old geezer DSLR crowd, especially at the D site, The Online Photographer, and others. This is no longer 2005, film is no longer dead, why do these guys care any more? Jealous perhaps of the energetic young photographers running with a technology that the geezers thought was their discarded domain?

I've seen the thing with old geezers who went for new technology getting jealous of those who stuck it out with older tech (or tried and retained both). I have it in the world of vinyl records where I never dumped any of my vinyl nor turntables....so today I am in the enviable position of having my record collection, having snapped up bargains in the early 90s when everyone was offloading what are now valuable records to "upgrade" to CD....and having kept my and my dad's previous turntables. Thus I have a lovely Systemdek at home, a moderate Sansui in my office and spare copies of many a lovely record acquired for peanuts. And the people who ditched records only to try and return a couple of decades later are sometimes jealous, even angry.

I can well see film being similar. Oh...another anecdote, I was taking a stroll around Wrest Park a few weeks ago with a Lubitel TLR while my partner had a Voigtlander Brilliant. A chap stopped us for a long talk about TLRs and about how he gave his to a museum 20 years ago and now regrets it because he can't afford to buy another Rolleiflex. He wanted to know how good the Lubitels are as he wanted to get back into it.
 

Minolta93

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Possibly getting a little technical but the last lot of Maxell UR available outside of Japan was made by PT Panggung, had been since about 2010. It's decent but you cannot record above 0dB as that's it's saturation point and you do need fine bias adjust. It needs a good deal of negative bias to get the best out of it. So put it in a machine without fine bias adjust and it will sound mediocre for sure. The new stuff is now on the Japanese market as Maxell UR but hasn't been released outside Japan. It's decent again, but not the UR of 1990.

I'd tried various levels and always had a weird cyclical hiss that didn't happen on any other tapes, so I blamed the tape. I think I just got a bad batch and I would probably be willing to try them again.
 

BMbikerider

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I use film and digital and in roughly 2/3rds - 1/3rd proportions and the last time my grandchildren were here, the oldest - aged 13 wanted to see what I had taken by looking at the camera back thinking it was digital. (she has known nothing else) Her remark was something like - "Grandad it's broken" when she could not see a picture.

I showed her a cassette of unexposed film and explained as simply as I could and when the roll in use needed rewinding I showed her what I had to do to change it over. Later that evening she helped me to develop the film and it wasn't long before she wanted to do the same with a camera of her own. There wasn't enough time to print anything but that is lined up for the next visit.

Now she is not a convert in the true sense of the word never having had a camera of her own before but hopefully she has caught the bug. She doesn't know it yet but I have a Nikon F601 and a cheap Sigma 28/70 lens which she can have the next time she comes to visit. Her younger sister, who is only 11 has shown little interest, but she usually follows on with what her elder sister does so we may have 2 more film users.
 

Helge

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Don't know if Copenhagen is a special in this regard (doubt it), but I see people, locals and tourists (judging by their language and behaviour) who has film cameras almost every day. Of course they attract my attention because I'm tuned to that frequency, but it's not that I go around with the intent of spotting them.
 
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albireo

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2. Film haters among old geezer DSLR crowd, especially at the D site, The Online Photographer, and others. This is no longer 2005, film is no longer dead, why do these guys care any more? Jealous perhaps of the energetic young photographers running with a technology that the geezers thought was their discarded domain?

I think you nailed it @Kodachromeguy . I might add, not a problem exclusively with the D site though. Strangely enough, even film photography forums appear to be popular with older gents whose only contribution is to let everyone know how dead film is, how absurd it is that anyone would want to shoot film in this day and age, how superior digital photography is, and how crazy it is that anyone might want to shoot film and not print, but rather (oh the horror!) scan. The last one is a personal favourite.

Is it FOMO perhaps? Jealousy you suggest, and I tend to agree. I think it's perhaps due to the feeling of having been in a relatively arcane and exclusive club decades ago, and then all of a sudden loads of younger people are flooding in, having fun -say- fixing old folders or looking at the world via a waist-level finder, doing actually some great stuff by some standards, and pushing the boundaries in a way that is considered heretic/not acceptable by some old standards. It follows that these senior people, instead of providing guidance, suggestions, sharing their experiences and mentoring, are retreating with like-minded peers to bark at this strange mix of novel and old, which I personally find sad. Because it just creates a rift and pushes young people to e.g. Instagram, where they'll perhaps learn by trial and error, or will just 'overexpose Portra 400 2 stops' because some other instagrammer said it'd improve 'the tones'.

Mind you @Kodachromeguy - you are right on your D site DSLR geezer crowd observation. As someone who scans and doesn't print their negatives, I increasingly see evidence of D-site resolution chart zealots jumping back on the film ship only to project their sensor/resolution neuroses onto the relatively virgin hybrid film photography space. This is a new trend: in any discussion on film scanning you will find the boomer who says you really, really need a $5000 DSLR camera and $3000 worth of accompanying gitzmos to truely and uniquely extract all that grain goodness from your Kodak Gold negatives taken with a 60$ Olympus 35RC riddled with lens fungus.

@Helge - Copenhagen is not special in this regard. In Rome, London, Edinburgh and Berlin over the past 2-3 years I've not seen a DSLR/mirrorless in the hands of 20-40s in the street for ages. It's phones or an AE-1, an X700 or an OM1n. Last time I happened to be in Berlin and dropped by FotoImpex to get some Adox Rodinal the queue was about 100m long. Film photography is here to stay :smile:
 
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Helge

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I think you nailed it @Kodachromeguy . I might add, not a problem exclusively with the D site though. Strangely enough, even film photography forums appear to be popular with older gents whose only contribution is to let everyone know how dead film is, how absurd it is that anyone would want to shoot film in this day and age, how superior digital photography is, and how crazy it is that anyone might want to shoot film and not print, but (oh the horror!) scan. The last one is a personal favourite.

Is it FOMO perhaps? Jealousy you suggest, and I tend to agree. I think it's perhaps due to the feeling of having been in a relatively arcane and exclusive club decades ago, and then all of a sudden loads of younger people are flooding in, having fun -say- fixing old folders or looking at the world via a waist-level finder, doing actually some great stuff by some standards, and pushing the boundaries in a way that is considered heretic/not acceptable by some old standards. It follows that these senior people, instead of providing guidance, suggestions, sharing their experiences and mentoring, are retreating with like-minded peers to bark at this strange mix of novel and old, which I personally find sad. Because it just creates a rift and pushes young people to e.g. Instagram, where they'll perhaps learn by trial and error, or will just 'overexpose Portra 400 2 stops' because some other instagrammer said it'd improve 'the tones'.

Mind you @Kodachromeguy - you are right on your D site DSLR geezer crowd observation. As someone who scans and doesn't print their negatives, I increasingly see evidence of D-site resolution chart zealots who jump back onto the film ship only to project their sensor/resolution neuroses into the relatively virgin hybrid film photography space. This is a new trend: in any discussion on film scanning you will find the boomer who says you really, really need a $5000 DSLR camera and $3000 worth of accompanying gitzmos to truely and uniquely extract all that grain goodness from your Kodak Gold negatives taken with a 60$ Olympus 35RC riddled with lens fungus.

@Helge - Copenhagen is not special in this regard. In Rome, London, Edinburgh and Berlin over the past 2-3 years I've not seen a DSLR/mirrorless in the hands of 20-40s in the street for ages. It's phones or an AE-1, an X700 or an OM1n. Last time I happened to be in Berlin and dropped by FotoImpex to get some Adox Rodinal the queue was about 100m long. Film photography is here to stay :smile:

I think the main thing driving various iterations of "geezer rage" against film, is that they become painfully aware that they where never very good photographers in the first place.
They have used, having the best or at least good gear, as a proxy for doing "good work".
When they see a plethora of mediocre to bad, but perfectly fine technical work done by new folks with digital cameras and even phones on various services and sites, they can always brush it off as "pop", "not really art" or "not what I'm doing" etc.
On the other hand, people doing good work, and better than they ever did, with gear that formed their identity and bedrock of their hobby, that they have given up like old beloved but childish toys, that goes too visceral and to their heart in quite a different way.

Good camera scanning need not cost an arm and a leg. You can get superb results from a cheap used body and a good enlarger or macro lens. For prints and discerning work it is important to learn to macro and stitch.
Bad scanning or less than close to optimal scanning (talking mostly flatbeds and haphazard camera jigs) does two connected things that is harmful:
- It exacerbates grain by a combo of grain aliasing and noise, while at the same time not extracting the full dynamic range of the photo. Not even talking about plain resolution.
- And it misrepresents film to a wider audience and most importantly to the photographer. Even if the photographer is happy with the results now, guess what is going to get down-prioritized the moment a woman/man, a baby or a recession etc. comes along. Also someone on the fence will not be convinced, even if they tried it for a while, they might give up film for positivistic, naive pragmatic rationalist reasons.
 
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guangong

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Why argue against grain? Grain is as much to photography as brush strokes or paper/canvas texture to painting and drawing. Often dramatic impact is heightened by a high level of grain, while others benefit from fine grain. If one prefers the often plasticky look of a lot of digital...go for it!
 

Helge

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Why argue against grain? Grain is as much to photography as brush strokes or paper/canvas texture to painting and drawing. Often dramatic impact is heightened by a high level of grain, while others benefit from fine grain. If one prefers the often plasticky look of a lot of digital...go for it!

Real grain. Not artificially enhanced or even completely manufactured grain.
Grok the graphics technique of Perlin noise to a get a more “intuitive” understanding.
 

albireo

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I think the main thing driving various iterations of "geezer rage" against film, is that they become painfully aware that they where never very good photographers in the first place.
They have used, having the best or at least good gear, as a proxy for doing "good work".
When they see a plethora of mediocre to bad, but perfectly fine technical work done by new folks with digital cameras and even phones on various services and sites, they can always brush it off as "pop", "not really art" or "not what I'm doing" etc.
On the other hand, people doing good work, and better than they ever did, with gear that formed their identity and bedrock of their hobby, that they have given up like old beloved but childish toys, that goes too visceral and to their heart in quite a different way.

Very well put, thanks. On the camera scanning bit we'll have to, as usual, mildly disagree and I won't digress to avoid going OT.
 

Don Heisz

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So much screwing around to get the best possible digital image from your decidedly undigital film seems a bit silly to me. I can see why some people do it, though - especially if they want to make large prints. But ultimately, I'm in the camp that, if I wasn't using an enlarger to print, I wouldn't use film. Given a few years, there is nothing you can get from film that you won't be able to get with a quick filter in software on a purely digital image. To think otherwise is naive.

Anyway, when you have a photo in your hand, the last thing you're looking at is "grain" - or the photo is a failure. A photo should replace your vision, not obscure it.
 

Helge

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So much screwing around to get the best possible digital image from your decidedly undigital film seems a bit silly to me. I can see why some people do it, though - especially if they want to make large prints. But ultimately, I'm in the camp that, if I wasn't using an enlarger to print, I wouldn't use film. Given a few years, there is nothing you can get from film that you won't be able to get with a quick filter in software on a purely digital image. To think otherwise is naive.

Anyway, when you have a photo in your hand, the last thing you're looking at is "grain" - or the photo is a failure. A photo should replace your vision, not obscure it.

No, to think that is uninformed (in lieu of other words I've been told not to use on here ;-).
"Digital" ("" because there is nothing fundamentally more digital about the CMOS sensor than a piece of film), is as far from being able to impinge in the strongholds of film, as a Volvo is able to imping on what makes a Ferrari special.
Until a fundamentally new sensor technology comes along, CMOS sensors has hit a wall for quite a few years. Any "advancements" is due almost purely to software techniques and tweaking variables in the process, trading one aspect for the other.
The semiconductor industry is very locked in to a given vector and is in many ways a very conservative realm. I wouldn't expect anything genuinely new from them unless they are severely pressured to do so.

There is not much screwing around once you have a good setup for camera scanning.
Sure, it would be very nice to have a small convenient readymade package with a monochrome sensor and RGB backlight, but in the interim what we have now with camera scanning is pretty good. And much better on all counts, other than readily available reversal software for C-41, than any other scanning tech ever.
The unintuitive thing, to some people is that you can get better image quality out of a good camera scan, than what the camera used to perform the scanning would ever be able to do on its own on a live (or still) scene.
 
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albireo

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So much screwing around to get the best possible digital image from your decidedly undigital film seems a bit silly to me.

Different strokes for different folks I suppose.

See I'm in another camp all-together. I can get much better digital files (with much less hassle and much less 'screwing around') from traditional film equipment than from modern digital cameras.

I enjoy much more a digital image that was obtained (by me) by properly scanning a well exposed and well developed negative than one obtained (by me) desaturating and screwing around a digital colour image taken with a DSLR.

A scan of a negative has a look that I cannot reproduce in a fully digital workflow (I'm sure other people can). Perhaps I could get there, if I spent hours in Photoshop tampering with a DSLR raw file, but why would I? I don't enjoy using photoshop and I don't enjoy spending time post-processing pictures. I don't like big complicated DSLRs either. Too many displays, buttons, menus that I don't need.

On top of the above, I enjoy the film exposure & development process and using simple mechanical cameras way more than DSLRs.

As for printing - personally, I do not care about prints and I see wet lab printing as an entirely separate art that has nothing to do with photography, intended as the pursuit of light, composition, a pattern, a document of a place or an event. The photo for me is in the negative, not in a print.

I hope that gives an idea of the variety of reasons film users today approach the medium.
 
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faberryman

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2. Film haters among old geezer DSLR crowd, especially at the D site, The Online Photographer, and others. This is no longer 2005, film is no longer dead, why do these guys care any more? Jealous perhaps of the energetic young photographers running with a technology that the geezers thought was their discarded domain?
Why do you care that they care?
 

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I've seen the thing with old geezers who went for new technology getting jealous of those who stuck it out with older tech (or tried and retained both). I have it in the world of vinyl records where I never dumped any of my vinyl nor turntables....so today I am in the enviable position of having my record collection, having snapped up bargains in the early 90s when everyone was offloading what are now valuable records to "upgrade" to CD....and having kept my and my dad's previous turntables. Thus I have a lovely Systemdek at home, a moderate Sansui in my office and spare copies of many a lovely record acquired for peanuts. And the people who ditched records only to try and return a couple of decades later are sometimes jealous, even angry.

I am into wire recordings.
 

faberryman

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I think the main thing driving various iterations of "geezer rage" against film, is that they become painfully aware that they where never very good photographers in the first place.
They have used, having the best or at least good gear, as a proxy for doing "good work".
When they see a plethora of mediocre to bad, but perfectly fine technical work done by new folks with digital cameras and even phones on various services and sites, they can always brush it off as "pop", "not really art" or "not what I'm doing" etc.
On the other hand, people doing good work, and better than they ever did, with gear that formed their identity and bedrock of their hobby, that they have given up like old beloved but childish toys, that goes too visceral and to their heart in quite a different way.

Are you a psychiatrist or a psychologist? I am just wondering how you came up with this explanation.
 
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