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Posted: 1/20/2006 1:50:07 PM EDT
Given the recent anoucements from Nikon (dropping all but two of their film cameras) and Konica/Minolta (Selling their camera business to Sony and focusing on medical imagining and printers)....what do you all think is the future of 35mm film photography?

Obviously its popularity is declining as digital photography gains in popularity, but I don't think it'll ever go away completely.

What do ya'll think?
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 2:21:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 11:04:51 AM EDT by ProfessorEvil]
I wouldn't be sinking a lot of money into film cameras right now, other than that, think you pretty much covered it.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 5:35:24 PM EDT
I never thought it would end. I still shoot a FM2n and a F100. But, nothing beats instant gratification.

I still think the developed photos are hard to beat.

Joe
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 6:44:11 AM EDT
35mm film will be around for a while yet as far as I'm concerned. Color film was supposed to be the death knell of black and white film, but you can still get B&W film easily enough because there are still enough people who like the results they get from it to keep using it. It's the same with slide film, its still available because it gives certain results which some people find highly desirable.

The one question I'd have is where the market for film cameras is going to be, in the compacts you can fit in a pocket but are just "point and click" or in SLR's where you have the controls to do more with the film than just "point and click". Personally I would have thought in the SLR market, but Nikon's announcement seems to indicate differently.

As for Konica-Minolta, they're not getting out of the camera business entirely. Their camera development people and facilities are going to Sony but KM is hanging onto their camera manufacturing plants and for the near term at least will continue to build bodies and lenses that use the KM mount system, but they'll have Sony's name printed on them.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:50:33 AM EDT
If you will take picture of something really important to you, use film. You can always scan film if you want to convert it to digital.

Hard Drives break. PC's get hacked, and they get all sorts of junk from online. Eventually, the PC dies. The most troubling is losing a hard drive with all your pics in it. Forever gone.

If you got a lot of digital pics, print out the ones you like to keep forever. Make backups on CD's and on another hard drive. CD's are delicate also. Overtime, they will crack and chip. So there's still data loss.

I'm not saying film is a total bye bye also. Eventually there will be better ways to store / backup digital pics and many will move on. I just want everyone to be aware the risks of going digital.

I would suggest for:
Weddings - use film
1st Bdays, or special anniversaries - use film
Selling on Ebay or AR15 - digital
Sharing / Emailing pics online - digital
Travel - film (you will eventually run out of batteries and disk space, and most places you can buy extra film and fresh batteries). Of course, you can always carry a backup digital camera so you can easily post those pics online.

There's many reasons why to move to digital or stick with film. I wish I could give a concrete answer. I have 2 manual film SLR, 1 digital point & shoot, 1 digital SLR. I also still have a manual film Pentax K1000.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:21:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 11:22:01 AM EDT by DukeSnookems]
My thoughts on film:

Nice knowing you, bye!!
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:46:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kuneho:
Travel - film (you will eventually run out of batteries and disk space, and most places you can buy extra film and fresh batteries). Of course, you can always carry a backup digital camera so you can easily post those pics online.



Hm. At a loss on your thinking on this one. Memory cards take up less space than film. I can probably fit about 30 Compact flash cards in where ten rolls of film would go. They generally handle travel better too. AA batteries are readily available in most parts of the world vs say, CR123's (which my film SLR takes). Or I can recharge my AA's off of 110 or 220v power (or 12v). You did buy a digicam that takes AA batteries right? And good memory cards? Then there's that time factor...how many pictures are you going to take, or are you going to take a vacation? Cuz I'm pretty sure most folks want to capture some beauty, and then bask in the rest. But you can change rolls during that time.

The last couple of weddings I went to were shot on all digital. Well, some guests brought film cams.

Other than that, negatives, of course, never suffer any problems over time.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:58:40 PM EDT
35mm is just about dead for all but the advanced hobbiest.

Black and white negatives last a very long time. Color negatives do not. Digital has the ability to last forever.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 5:31:29 PM EDT
Good points there. Grab a camera that accepts readily available batteries. Also, keep in mind that not all countries use 110volts, so you'll need a transformer for those rechargables.

It's hard to generalize I guess. Most folks find disks, compact flash, etc to be expensive. To get a 6 megapixel resolution takes up a lot of disk space. Also for fast , split second shots, you can't beat film unless the digital SLR someone bought cost like $600 or more. Also most point & shoot film cameras are instant "on". Most digital cameras take 3-5 seconds to actually turn on, and the shutters are slow as well, then you have to aim, compose, shoot, and you might just miss a very nice photo opportunity within 10 seconds!

Film never last forever over time. Some get eaten by mouse, get fried by the sun, get soaked in water, etc. Most die hard professionals into color photography prefer using color slides than negatives for color.

Someday, we'll find the holy grail. To me it would be pictures with no grain/ noise on digital. It shall be super fast, no delays, cheap costing interchangeable lenses, very high quality lenses, lightweight lenses and cameras, and of course, undeleteable unless of couse you told it to.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 6:03:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2006 7:31:33 PM EDT by ProfessorEvil]

Originally Posted By kuneho:
Good points there. Grab a camera that accepts readily available batteries. Also, keep in mind that not all countries use 110volts, so you'll need a transformer for those rechargables.

It's hard to generalize I guess. Most folks find disks, compact flash, etc to be expensive. To get a 6 megapixel resolution takes up a lot of disk space. Also for fast , split second shots, you can't beat film unless the digital SLR someone bought cost like $600 or more. Also most point & shoot film cameras are instant "on". Most digital cameras take 3-5 seconds to actually turn on, and the shutters are slow as well, then you have to aim, compose, shoot, and you might just miss a very nice photo opportunity within 10 seconds!

Film never last forever over time. Some get eaten by mouse, get fried by the sun, get soaked in water, etc. Most die hard professionals into color photography prefer using color slides than negatives for color.

Someday, we'll find the holy grail. To me it would be pictures with no grain/ noise on digital. It shall be super fast, no delays, cheap costing interchangeable lenses, very high quality lenses, lightweight lenses and cameras, and of course, undeleteable unless of couse you told it to.



Storage space is relatively cheap...speedy storage is what costs. I bought a pair of 2gb CF cards for about $220 shipped the other day--that's about 320 pics on a 20d. They are 50x cards, so not 80x plus super mega cards, but I rarely shoot burst mode anyways. The biggest thing is that they are a fixed expense--if I shot 20 rolls of film a year and developed them, that's 20 * $2 (assuming cheap film at wallyworld) + 20 * $4 (cheap developing at wally world) = $120. That's versus one 2gb card, which will last me a few years for just under the cost of 20 rolls of film (240 shots). Last year I was over 5,000 shots--digital. In film I'd be broke off my ass and selling guns to support that on top of gear purchases. No thanks. As for prints, I can choose which ones I'm willing to actually print. The keep rate for shots is pretty low, even on film, but with Digital I get the choice of which ones I'm willing to pay for to print. The ones I like, I print. Either at home on my 4x6 printer or at target/wallyworld/shutterfly for $.22. Not to mention lag time between processing and potential editing I can do at my pc.

To sum up, 5,000 shots is about $1200 in film and processing--I spent that money for a better gear instead. (24-70 f2.8! Macro ring light! New 2gb cards! woohooo!!)

As for the rest, well, technology improves over time and so will the bodies. Heck I bought a Digital Rebel (300d) for $350 the other day. Had a small crack in the housing. It still works great! Film bodies just aren't getting the engineering eyeballs anymore, though. Once digital bodies start getting better dynamic range in them, you'll see an even wider move towards digital in places not already going. Will they ever completely replace film? No! There's not any popular B&W sensors for digital as far as I know--that would be an interesting project for a manuf. to take up. Imagine the quality of shots you could do with that.
(eta)
As for startup/shutter lag, on a good DSLR, it's minimal or not practically there. 20d/350d (i don't know nikon's times, but I'd guess similar) I can grab from the bag, turn on, and be focusing in about the same amount of time as it takes for me to grab the film body, get the right mode, and focus. Yes I've tried that one--I still have a Rebel 2000 that gets used on occasion.

Granted I am probably not as typical as most recretational shooters, but for hobby-type folks, and pros who have deadlines, I think digital is going to fill their needs and wants 95% or more of the time anymore. Low-end hobbiest who waste their time with a digital SLR and crappy lenses would be better served with a cheaper point-n-shoot unit in many cases. Heck I wouldn't mind having one for some things, but I appreciate the shots I do get when I can use the slr, because I know that many of them wouldn't be the same quality or near as 'good' without. Folks who shoot a couple hundred shots a year could go digital or film and probably not be too far off the cost either way.
(/eta)
Still film, like B&W, 8mm film (not still film), vinyl, cassette tapes, and many other things, will be relegated to an enthusiast/high-end/specialized role. Not today or next year...but in 5 years you'll probably be more suprised to see a pro shooting film anymore. There will always be ahderents who will rankle about the thought that digital could possibly replace film. I'm ok with that. I'd rather go shoot more shots and refine my skills than buy more film and wait for it to develop.
(eta2)
I see Buy.com has 1gb 12x CF cards for $35. So storage prices are coming down even more.
(/eta2)
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