Sunday, August 19. 2012
I'm noticing that the "slow" films such as 100 and 200 ASA are becoming harder to find, and I think I know why: the average consumer doesn't see any benefit in shooting slower films. So if there is no cost advantage (increasingly the case), why not "upgrade?" So consumers buy less slow film and it becomes less available.
But caveat emptor! As is often is the case there are tradeoffs! Compare a developed 100 or 200 ASA negative to a 400 or 800 ASA negative on a light box. You will notice the former has greater "density." I.e., the darkest parts of the negative are darker than the darkest parts of the latter. This makes sense since faster emulsions are faster partly because they are thinner in order respond to less light.
Continue reading "Color Depth Advantage of Slow Film"
Nikon's F100 film camera is now going for under $200 used, excellent condition on EBay. I obtained one of these for a friend last year and it is a monster of a camera in terms of design, build quality, and responsiveness.
Combined with a new Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for $125 (also a pretty amazing deal) this is a quick, sharp, accurate, and durable film camera that takes super sharp photos for a total of about $300!
Sunday, September 28. 2008
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
- George Santayana, Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1.
Remember when the music Compact Disc was the ultimate in audio?
Using digital technology to create sound far superior to that of traditional phonograph records, the compact disc, or CD, is rejuvenating the audio business and producing a generation of born-again music lovers.- Manuel Schiffres, Compact discs now the hottest sound in town, U.S. News & World Report, June 17, 1985,
The superiority of CD in sound reproduction...could not be denied....- Patrick Macdonald, Vinyl's Final Days, Seattle Times, January 21, 1990.
As more people discover that classical music sounds superior on CD, it will be easier to find recordings....- Howard Blumenthal, Classical recordings sound superior on Compact Disc, Chicago Sun-Times, December 27, 1987.
Continue reading "Digital Technology and the Consumer"
Monday, January 8. 2007
People reading this 'blog might wonder how it came to be.
I'm a serious amateur photographer.*
By summer 2005, I had for some time been following the digital camera "revolution," wondering if (or when) I'd convert from 35mm to a digicam. The move seemed logical to me. Given the benefits I had experienced through the "digital darkroom" moving to a digital camera seemed to hold great promise.
Continue reading "Why This 'Blog?"
Sunday, January 7. 2007
Billions of pictures are made with the diabolically clever automatic cameras, pictures that satisfy the snap-shooter but do not often reveal evidence of imaginative visualization....
- Ansel Adams, Examples, p. 73.
Explaining his fondness for film over digital photography, Oleg Novikov says, the [photographic] result, of course, is important; however, I would not want it at the cost of missing the process of exploration. In other words the experience of photographic exploration may be as important as the images obtained. But several decades of rapid advances in photographic equipment (of which digital is only the most recent incarnation) have obscured for us this importance of practice (or experience) as opposed to product. As we turn increasingly to the equipment rather than our own talents to accomplish a photograph, we distance ourselves from photographic practice and diminish photography as a source of artistic inspiration.
Continue reading "Slow is Beautiful: Photography as if People Mattered"
Thursday, October 5. 2006
The attitude of the scientists, at any rate, is clear. Technique exists because it is technique. The golden age will be because it will be. Any other answer is superfluous.
- Jacques Ellul, closing words, The Technological Society.
Film cameras are a mature, incrementally advancing technology. However, our market-driven media follow the action and their current darling the ever-changing digital camera gleans much press, overshadowing its stable parent. Combined with an industry which relentlessly touts its latest camera gear as having obsoleted all predecessors, this media bias intimates that digital photography has now replaced film.
There's some truth here: digicams are now put to purposes for which we once relied on film. But while a professional's choice to "go digital" usually stems from financial concerns the photography enthusiast's motivation is mainly aesthetic. Digital photography has its advantages, but if you think it's replaced film there are some things you should know. I've assembled articles here exposing various shortcomings of digital photography in hopes of balancing the current media bias and providing perspective to anyone weighing their options.
Continue reading "Oranges & Apples (Introduction)"
Tuesday, January 17. 2006
Dean M. Chriss put it aptly:
Many would have you believe digital image capture will solve every photographic problem you have ever had, seen, or imagined. There is a fairly good reason for this, and it's called money.
Continue reading "What Drives the "Digital Revolution?""
Wednesday, December 7. 2005
Many commentators claim digicams replace film. However, this implies that the two are interchangeable which I argue elsewhere is an oversimplification. Some examples:
RLROUSE Directory & Essential Information Resources states:
Do you still buy film, take it to the developer, and wait for the photos to be printed? If so, you're wasting valuable time and money....Considering the great advances in digital camera technology coupled with the convenience and relatively low costs of owning and using one, there is really no reason to ever buy another film camera.
Continue reading "Claims that Digicams Replace Film"
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