Is there really a strong interest in film photography?

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Sirius Glass

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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?

You forgot the Hasselblad haters, the Kodak haters, the Fuji haters, and the Ilford haters.
 
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faberryman

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Photography is a hobby. Some people like film photography; some people like digital photography. Is collecting coins or collecting stamps better? I haven't been over to any coin collecting or stamp collecting forums so I don't know if they are dissing each other like you see in film and digital photography forums. It seems pretty weird to me. And infantile. I think it would better if everyone around here got back to arguing about something important, like whether water or stop bath is better.
 
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Sirius Glass

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I took a photograph the other day of my granddaughter and she asked to see the photograph. I showed her the back of the camera and she was confused.
 

Sirius Glass

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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'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.

CDs were around for almost ten years before I bought my first one. Talk about being a basic technology dinosaur and I am an electrical engineer. Go figure!
 

Sirius Glass

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About ten years ago I was off roading in Moab and taking photographs with my Hasselblad and a younger old fart came up to me and told me that his son's new camera could beat the pants off my camera. I looked at him and said "You must be so proud to yourself that your son can spend so much money to get so little." He just stormed off. He wanted to rain on my parade and I just peed on him. Oh well.
 

faberryman

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About ten years ago I was off roading in Moab and taking photographs with my Hasselblad and a younger old fart came up to me and told me that his son's new camera could beat the pants off my camera. I looked at him and said "You must be so proud to yourself that your son can spend so much money to get so little." He just stormed off. He wanted to rain on my parade and I just peed on him. Oh well.

Well, I guess you really showed him.
 

faberryman

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nvert 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.

Don't you have a mechanical camera you can give her. Something without electronics and autofocus. You know, a real camera. Maybe a Hasselblad.
 
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Helge

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

I peiced it together from chats and talks I have had with many an old geezers over the last few years.
Had one just this Saturday in fact.
You can feel classic signs of envy and an urge to take down what they believe is eliteism and sectarianism that they don’t quite understand, would have to admit they were wrong in joining or think they would not be welcomed in.
Also of course for some of them the pension is what makes them make a virtue out of a necessity.
 

jtk

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About ten years ago I was off roading in Moab and taking photographs with my Hasselblad and a younger old fart came up to me and told me that his son's new camera could beat the pants off my camera. I looked at him and said "You must be so proud to yourself that your son can spend so much money to get so little." He just stormed off. He wanted to rain on my parade and I just peed on him. Oh well.

Off roading in Moab, eh? How much did the resulting absolutely necessary Hass CLA cost?
 
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faberryman

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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.

I think there are a lot of great photographs I have seen that are are grainy. I notice that they are great and grainy at the same time. I guess I am multitasking or something. Sometimes grain can make a good photograph great, sort of like synergy. Ice cream is good. Chocolate sauce is good. An ice cream sundae is great, unless you don't like ice cream and chocolate sauce. Of course, the worst thing is fake chocolate sauce.
 
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logan2z

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I think there are a lot of great photographs I have seen that are are grainy.
Or blurry. Or both, as in this famous photograph by Robert Frank. Of course many early critics of The Americans thought the photographs were failures in technical terms, but that clearly missed the point

frank-5a061c67335fa11d69958685e4c84ce6f2c30e8d-s1600-c85.webp
 

faberryman

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Or blurry. Or both, as in this famous photograph by Robert Frank. Of course many early critics of The Americans thought the photographs were failures in technical terms, but that clearly missed the point

There is another photography forum I frequent and they have a dedicated thread where people post their blurry photos and quote HCB that sharpness is a bourgeois concept. Most of the photographs are mediocre and blurry because the people posting them have lousy technique. Blurriness needs to bring something to image. The Robert Frank photograph you posted does. Michael McKenna's Holga photographs do too. There are are lots of other examples.
 
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Don Heisz

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There is not much screwing around once you have a good setup for camera scanning.

It's called an enlarger. You blow light through the negative and put the positive on paper. That's the end.

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

So do I - at least in my opinion. That doesn't change the fact that, sooner rather than later, anything that can be done with film will be easily mimicked by software manipulation of a digital image. Digital imagery will only get better - where "better" actually means "more able to produce the image I want".

The photo for me is in the negative, not in a print.

Then the photo for you is a scan.
I think there are a lot of great photographs I have seen that are are grainy.

And was the grain the first or last thing to note about the photos, if they were truly great?

When you look at a print, you see where there was no grain.
 

Agulliver

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I am into wire recordings.

If I had the space, I'd consider it just for the fun of it. I do have a "Recordon" magnetic audio disc dictation recorder from 1953. And a Grundig Stenorette which was a weird reel to reel format dictation machine from the 50s. Just as curios rather than for any practical use. The best dictation device yet devised was the microcassette.

CDs were around for almost ten years before I bought my first one. Talk about being a basic technology dinosaur and I am an electrical engineer. Go figure!

I think it took me 7 years, because by 1988/89 it was becoming difficult to get new releases on vinyl. I was having a whale of a time exploring the music of the 60s and 70s but I did want to buy some contemporary music. But my flirtation with the CD lasted two years. Having spent a small fortune of my parents money on a top line CD player, I found that my modest turntable sounded better. In every occasion where I had the same material on CD and LP, I ended up giving the CD away.

But with film, it's somewhat different for me. I don't necessarily feel that film is objectively better, other than in dynamic range. For colour images especially, digital photography has some advantages. But I find I enjoy film more. I like the process of taking photos, developing the film, and not spending hours on the computer editing them.
 

faberryman

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And was the grain the first or last thing to note about the photos, if they were truly great?
I notice a lot of stuff simultaneously. I am sure you do too.

When you look at a print, you see where there was no grain.
Sure. I evaluate photographs on both aesthetic and technical levels.
 
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Ko.Fe.

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Whilst on eBay, I put in "Nikon camera" in the "cameras and photography" category and came up w/ over 120,000 hits. When I changed the category to "film photography", I got 10,000. Hmmmm.

Many years in market research tells me that this means something.

Research? Like understanding instead of speculation and wishful "thinking"?

From my understanding digital cameras have much higher turnover and shorter ownership time.
While film cameras are not switched as often and here is hording trend on them, which shrinks the market.
Also, during my time of buying, fixing, selling film cameras, I realized they are less robust by now comparing to digital cameras.
It means less and less are available.

Also, research is only valid, if it is done with accurate data mining.

Here is how it is done:
Entry: eBay "Nikon digital camera" in "Digital Cameras" Return: 13,000+ results for nikon camera
Entry: eBay "Nikon film camera" in "Film photography" Return: 11,000+ results for nikon film camera.

If I choose Cameras and Photo for digital or film:

26000+ for nikon digital camera
16000+ for nikon film camera.

I was not in the marketing, but in sales. The one phrase which describes sales is "the truth has changed".
 

faberryman

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If I had the space, I'd consider it just for the fun of it. I do have a "Recordon" magnetic audio disc dictation recorder from 1953. And a Grundig Stenorette which was a weird reel to reel format dictation machine from the 50s. Just as curios rather than for any practical use. The best dictation device yet devised was the microcassette.

My comment was tongue in cheek. Some people think they are being authentic by adopting yesterday's technology, and go on and on about it, but forget there was technology from the day before yesterday, and the day before that, so all those claims of authenticity sort of ring hollow to me.

I think it took me 7 years, because by 1988/89 it was becoming difficult to get new releases on vinyl. I was having a whale of a time exploring the music of the 60s and 70s but I did want to buy some contemporary music. But my flirtation with the CD lasted two years. Having spent a small fortune of my parents money on a top line CD player, I found that my modest turntable sounded better. In every occasion where I had the same material on CD and LP, I ended up giving the CD away.

I ran a ultra high-end audio website for many years. I went to trade shows and reviewed equipment, and listened to many million dollar systems, some of which were centered around vinyl. I heard more than my fill of arguments about whether vinyl or CD (or SACD or DVD-A or hi-res digital or etc.) was better. Then there were the reel-to-reel guys. I am not sure which is worse: the film vs. digital debate or the vinyl vs. digital debate. I do know that some people are passionate about their choice.

But with film, it's somewhat different for me. I don't necessarily feel that film is objectively better, other than in dynamic range. For colour images especially, digital photography has some advantages. But I find I enjoy film more. I like the process of taking photos, developing the film, and not spending hours on the computer editing them.

People enjoy doing different things. I say do whatever way you want, and then show me your photographs. Telling me film is better than digital (or vice versa) and then showing me a bunch of crappy photos is not very convincing.
 
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Sirius Glass

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Off roading in Moab, eh? How much did the resulting absolutely necessary Hass CLA cost?

Much less than your digital camera. Actually their was not CLA cost because I know how use my equipment and pack it properly.
 
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Brendan Quirk

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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.

Maybe not advancing the discussion here, but this is very sweet. This is why we get old...
 

Brendan Quirk

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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.

As someone who promotes printing, I would say that scanning is not an issue for me. I just like a hardcopy to display! I myself am afraid that digital editing and printing is more than I want to tackle just now, but whatever gets the print on the wall is good!
 

Photowithfries

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After just barely making it thru the "Grock basic photography" group, precious as it's always been, and having specialized in photo illustration, mainly on a tabletop as well as all types of conventional and other lab work, I would go with you guys who do film, hybrid, alternative process, as you to me are the welcome future of this medium. My wife/artist( neanderthal artist type) have done very well at this commercially for many years. Your conscious approach to photography shows a great sensitivity to light that is such an important element to the shape and form that designs good photographs.
The images you create are only photographed as an afterthought once they are conceptualized. Your collaborations harken back to the artists of the last century who had this wonderful exchange of ideas. Just observe the surrealists for historical reference. Being a geaser, but not a DSLR Geaser and if I make it through next week I would love to hear how far you folks can take this avocation! Thanks so much for your new ideas!
 

Photowithfries

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She says I usually am mean! Hating to say it but one day I fired her, and then I quit. So then we took the day off and got back to work the next day...and as well, we dumped one exceptionally demanding client and moved on. So to say, it's an enlightening avocation but sometimes sucks as a vocation! I had no idea it would be like this back when we were in college!
 
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