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35mm - One Step Closer to the End 627

Posted by samzenpus
from the remember-film dept.
Anonymous Coward writes "A colleague of mine just pointed out that Nikon UK has posted a press release here indicating that they are all but ending production of their 35mm film cameras, medium- and large-format lenses and enlarging equipment. The F6 35mm SLR will remain in production and be available in Europe and America, and the all-mechanical FM10 will be available outside of Europe. A handful of manual lenses will remain in production as well. Film in general isn't going away any time soon as digital cameras cannot replace medium and large format cameras, but this is clear evidence that the resolution and popularity of the digital medium have surpassed that of the 35mm format. 35mm took another step into the grave."
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35mm - One Step Closer to the End

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  • A sign of change (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jigjigga (903943) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:01PM (#14451160)
    Quite obvious. Digital SLR's are great for everybody. Versus 35mm film SLRs, the digital varients offer comperable performance, quality, backwards compatiblity with VERY EXPENSIVE lenses, and save the purchaser a fortune in film development costs. 35mm isn't dead, it just isn't as profitable as it once was.
    • by karvind (833059) <karvind@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:07PM (#14451188) Journal
      [i]offer comperable performance,[/i]

      Nope, they are not. Comparable has a different meaning for professional photographer than an average joe. And don't trust zillions of reviews which shoes digital vs film comparison. You can't scan a film based picture with mere $1000 scanner nor can print a high megapixel camera picture on $5000 laser printer. They will never be comparable. And if you are photographer who has gallery exhibitions, forget digitals. You will never be able to blow it up the wall size even with 30 mega pixel.

      • Re:A sign of change (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ottothecow (600101) <ottothecow@gma i l . com> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:18PM (#14451233) Homepage
        I'm not sure quite why you shouldnt trust zillions of reviews. If there were that many it woudl mean each person on earth has said more than several times that digital is comparable/better. Or maybe you should trust the professional photographers who have switched. The ones who no-longer have darkrooms in their studios and always sway their clients towards digital (and thats not because its less work for them, when you shoot digital, YOU do all of the post processing in photoshop rather than the pro lab you send it to). The time has come, cameras are outdoing film grain (especially at high speed). You may need a scanner of higher resolution than a camera to get a good scan but that is because the grain does not match up to pixels so you have to go higher resolution. It sounds pretty hard-core for Nikon to drop film this early but it will eventually get to the point where the only people who use 35mm are people who dont need the added features next years body would provide (they can still use new lenses, at least for a while) as they are changing the settings themselves and dont need a computer to do it for them.
        • by Swift Kick (240510) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:40PM (#14451360)
          It seems you don't really know that much about the subject matter.

          maybe you should trust the professional photographers who have switched. The ones who no-longer have darkrooms in their studios and always sway their clients towards digital (and thats not because its less work for them, when you shoot digital, YOU do all of the post processing in photoshop rather than the pro lab you send it to).

          The 'professionals' that have switched to digital are those that only do shots that don't require extremely high resolutions; i.e. newspapers and other print publications, wedding photographers, etc, and it's mostly because of convenience and immediate results. Professional photographers stick to larger formats like 120mm, or 4x5. No 'professional' really uses 35mm, but enthusiasts do.

          The time has come, cameras are outdoing film grain (especially at high speed). You may need a scanner of higher resolution than a camera to get a good scan but that is because the grain does not match up to pixels so you have to go higher resolution.> [

          Wrong again. The average 35mm SLR camera with an average roll of film still comes out with a resolution equivalent to a 25 megapixel digital shot, which you can't find anywhere. However, you can't see what the shot looks like immediately after you take it with a film SLR camera, but you can with a digital one. That's what's making people move away from them, not 'the grain being outdone'.
          I can guarantee you that if you take a shot with a 8 or 10 megapixel DSLR and I take the same exact shot with my 35mm N90s and scan the film, my shot will be 10x better-looking than yours, without even touching Photoshop.
          I can also guarantee you that anyone with a 20 or 30 year old Rolleiflex TLR taking the same shot will make yours look like pure shit, and mine look like crap.

          It sounds pretty hard-core for Nikon to drop film this early but it will eventually get to the point where the only people who use 35mm are people who dont need the added features next years body would provide (they can still use new lenses, at least for a while) as they are changing the settings themselves and dont need a computer to do it for them.

          No, wrong yet again.
          Nikon is dropping film bodies because Joe Shmoe reads the average photo mag and decides that digital is the next best thing since sliced bread (kinda like you), which is an incredibly ignorant thing to think. Since the average joe wants to take pictures and see what they look like now, they go all out for digital cameras, and Nikon is more than happy to accomodate them.
          Why do you think they're keeping the F6 in production? Because it's (to put it simply) quite possibly the best SLR camera ever made, loved by pros. You won't buy it because you can't afford it, and very few people will, compared to the general market.

          The bottom line is that this was a decision made to increase proffits, not because digital is better than film or any such nonsense.
          • by NixLuver (693391) <stwhite@kchere t i c .com> on Thursday January 12, 2006 @12:09AM (#14451477) Homepage Journal
            There are a few factual errors here.

            There are, and have been, many professional photographers who use/used 35mm cameras and film. Photojournalists come to mind - in droves. You used to be able to go through Photographer's Market and find gazillions of clients that would accept 35mm film "professionally". Go back an dlook at a few of the "Swimsuit edition" videos and tell me what kind of cameras they are using...

            Second, it's 6cm, or 60mm film, not 120mm film (Hasselblads shoot 6x6cm, and lots of the Japanese medium format manufacturers do "645", or 6x4.5cm, which enlarges to 8x10 without cropping. These cameras are popular with portrait photographers and many advertising photographers who work with people.

            Large format cameras are the purview of art photographers (who claim and use everything from old throwaway polaroid cameras to 11x14 Linhofs) and commercial photographers. The biggest commercial application of the large formats used to be images that would be re-touched ( a big enough primary image to work with - think playboy centerfolds ) and ads for high-gloss magazines where the tonal range would be at least partially represented. There isn't much work for a commercial photog that requires resolution higher than 6cm film will provide, but there is a little. A 4x5 image will, certainly, make your 35mm look like crap, but mostly because of tonal range, not resolution; if you display them at the same perceptual size, with detail representation below your liminal threshold, the 4x5 image will look subjectively 'better', because it has a longer tonal range and better contrast without washout.

            In the end, the camera to use is the one that fits your purposes. An 8 mpixel camera will make a happy 5x7 image - better than most ISO 400 images, probably simliar to ISO100 films, and not quite as nice as, say, an ISO 32 or 25 film. For snapshots, they'll work fine all the way out to 11x14. For display, I would never take a 35mm image higher than 5x7; for snapshots, they'll go to 11x14. I would print 6x6 images at 6"x6" on 8x10 paper for gallery display. After working with a couple of 8 mp cameras, I would say that they will fulfill the purposes of some 90% of 35mm photographers, particularly the ones that offer full manual override. The single place that I've not seen a digital come close to my T90 or F1 canons is in FPS.. I can crank 4.5 frames a second through either of those machines, while an 8MP camera is still downloading third image it recorded.

            The end is in sight. I've seen 32mpixel images, and you're wrong; you can blow those things up till hell freezes over.

            The Rolleiflex TLRs were beautiful machines, and had wonderful lenses, but in the hands of an incompetent photographer, they would produce shit. By the same token, the Diana was a POS camera, but in the hands of the right artist, would create images that would stop you in your tracks. I suggest that the quality of the photography is in the photographer, not the gear. The gear is enabling, not creative.
            • Re:A sign of change (Score:5, Informative)

              by shmlco (594907) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @12:57AM (#14451698) Homepage
              "Second, it's 6cm, or 60mm film, not 120mm film..."

              I'd have been happier with your answers --and assumed a pro was answering-- had you caught this one. 6x6 is, as you say, 6 cm x 6 cm. And he did get it wrong by stating it as 120 milimeters. However, 6x6 is also known in professional circles as the 120 format, just as there's a 220 format (6x6 long roll), and a 135 format (also more generally known as 35mm, or 24x36).

              "A 4x5 image will, certainly, make your 35mm look like crap, but mostly because of tonal range, not resolution..."

              Nope, it's the resolution. Most commercial 4x5 was done E-6, and "chrome" tends to have limited exposure latitudes and high contrast. While, say, a Canon 1Ds MII can rival 645 for some subjects, and a 24MP MF back can rival 6x6 or 6x7 for others, a good wall-sized print from 4x5 simply captures more detail. This is especially noticeable in complex, high-detail, "high-frequency" landscape scenes with lots of grass and trees.

              Use a vivid film like Velvia, and the contrast bumps even higher.

              "...is in FPS.. I can crank 4.5 frames a second through either of those machines, while an 8MP camera is still downloading..."

              Sigh. So you've never used a 1D MII either? 8.5 fps max 40 JPEG or 20 RAW.

              (Ex-commercial pro, 20 years experience, Canon Digital, Nikon, Hassie, Mamiya 6x7, Sinar 4x5, Sinar 8x10)

              • Color resolution (Score:3, Interesting)

                by snowwrestler (896305)
                A 4x5 image will, certainly, make your 35mm look like crap, but mostly because of tonal range, not resolution..."

                Nope, it's the resolution.


                In a way you're both right--it's color resolution. Not only are large format films capable of resolving a a greater number of line pairs per mm than 35mm (assuming the same final print size), they are also capable of resolving a greater number of individual colors per mm. This leads directly to an appearance of clearer, cleaner tones.
          • Re:A sign of change (Score:5, Informative)

            by ottothecow (600101) <ottothecow@gma i l . com> on Thursday January 12, 2006 @01:47AM (#14451923) Homepage
            I do happen to know a fair amount about the subject matter as well as knowing a fair amount of professional photographers (my father being one of them). I think that one thing you are missing is that Professional photographer (especially in the realm of advertising) does not equal "Art" photographer. Art photographers, even if they work professionally have a different set of requirements. The vast majority of pro photograper's work is not produced into a large format and often when it is, it is done with much lower than photo-quality printing (think store displays and the such, even if they are nice and glossy, they are not the same as a photo) and compare that to artists who are actually making prints that are that size. The pro's goal is to meet the requirments of thier buyer which can be done with a 1ds mkII almost all of the time. If it cant be (or the buyer really wants film), it wont be done on 35mm film, it will be done on 4x5 film as it is fairly standard in the advertising industry (fashion is different, most shoots are done 35mm for speed and now digital).

            A 25MP scan of 35mm film is NOT equivalent to a 25mp digital photo. The film grain overlaps pixels and makes things messy at 100% so that resolution is needed to clear this up. Also, pros dont shoot with "an 8 or 10 megapixel camera." The 1Ds mkII shoots at 16.7 (and even the mk1 shot at more than 10) and if you truely are a pro, you will have the top end to keep your clients happy (you also wouldnt be using an N90s, you would be using an F5/6 or an EOS-1V or more realistically a medium format view-camera). As to the Rolleiflex, give it up, there have been some advancements in the last 30 years (especially in glass) and there are reasons they arent used for real pro work (I have one, I've used it, it doesnt compare to a view-cam or even lots of photos taken with 35mm or digital...a lot of it is in the hands of who takes the picture).

            For professionals (those taking the pictures and those who are recieving the pictures), digital really IS the best thing since sliced bread. The process gets the customers exactly what they want and streamlines the prepress work. It makes distribution easier and results more accurate and consistant (in a studio, you are capturing directly to computer and can instantly view the image at 100% on a color-calibrated monitor...no more poloroids and bike messengers). It's strange that nikon would stop so suddenly and you are correct that it is because of market forces but those market forces arent because some ill-informed joe shmoe decides he doesnt need film SLRs--it is because he really doesnt need film SLRs.

            Besides, there is always Canon and they make better cameras anyways ;-)

      • by (negative video) (792072) <me@teco-x a c o.com> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:28PM (#14451296)
        And if you are photographer who has gallery exhibitions, forget digitals. You will never be able to blow it up the wall size even with 30 mega pixel.
        Yeah. And if only van Gogh had had a smaller brush, everybody wouldn't hate his paintings so much.
      • Re:A sign of change (Score:5, Informative)

        by thephotoman (791574) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:53PM (#14451410) Journal
        Ah, but wall-sized photos aren't done with 35 millimeter cameras. That negative is too small. Normally, you're lucky to get passable 11x17 frames out of a 35 mm exposure. Normally, if you want to make really huge-ass prints, you use a large format camera, using a 4"x5" or 8"x10" plate film. Even most magazine portraits are made using medium format (120/220) film. About the only major professional uses of 35 mm film are in newspapers, where the printers use a 100 dpi printer (anything more on newsprint looks ugly, trust me) and stock photography (which also has a large amount of medium format use). Sometimes event photographers use 35 mm, especially when light cannot be controlled, as 35 mm allows for more exposure latitude and faster film.

        And I'll tell you something about photojournalism: four years ago, the digital cameras were good enough for that purpose. My 8 megapixel Canon Rebel XT sports too much of a CCD for its intended use (as a newspaper camera).

        But yeah, if you were to make an 8"x10" CCD that has the same pixel density as my camera, you'd have a damn good photo, even blown up to wall size. However, I doubt that most would be able to afford that camera, as big CCDs are expensive to make and deal with.
        • by dmatos (232892) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @01:44AM (#14451911)
          If you were to make an 8"x10" CCD (or CMOS image sensor) that was defect free, I would tip my hat to you. Consider that if you weren't going to but dies (resulting in some dead space), you would need a wafer with a diameter of at least 13 inches.

          Then, at a pixel size of 10um (which is larger than most consumer digital cameras nowadays), you're talking 500 million pixels, defect free. I think there are automotive manufacturers that would appreciate a failure rate like that :)

        • by snowwrestler (896305) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @03:21AM (#14452176)
          National Geographic photographers have shot with 35mm film almost exclusively until very recently, and their prints are regularly shown at up to 6 x 4 feet in the Natl. Geo. display galleries on their first floor. Maybe not quite "wall size" but that is pretty good.

          Properly exposed, low-speed 35mm slide film holds resolution surprisingly well. The tough part is usually printing it, actually, because pretty much every printing process (analog or digital) enhances grain. But as it's possible to tell from a slide show (which de-emphasizes grain), there is a ton of resolving power in the good films.
      • If you're blowing up 35mm film to the size of a wall, then I feel sorry for you. The article was referring to 35mm and not medium or large format. Digital sensors exist that *exceed* the resolution of 35mm, even if the lens rarely does the sensor justice. Yes yes, dynamic range and color reproduction are important too, I know...

        The fact is, digital SLRs *do* offer comparable performance to 35mm film cameras for the majority of users. Not all, but the majority. Camera manufacturers aren't stupid - the

    • by bcrowell (177657)
      Digital SLR's are great for everybody.
      Not for everybody. Personally, I want to be able to control my depth of field manually, do long exposures for scientific and astronomical work, and swap in long and short lenses. I can do that right now with my $60 film camera. The digital equivalent is still way out of my price range.
      • by jrockway (229604) *
        If you're doing real scientific work, you should be getting grants to pay for this kind of equipment.

        I use my camera not-for-real-scientific-work, but somehow I managed to scrape together $300 for one that has great macro functions, a hot shoe, manual exposure and focus (if needed), and 8 megapixels.

        For some reason, I get the feeling that you are just more comfortable with 35mm than digital and want to somehow justify that...
      • Even the price argument falls to digital if you're taking many exposures though.
      • by appleLaserWriter (91994) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @04:19AM (#14452295)
        Not for everybody. Personally, I want to be able to control my depth of field manually, do long exposures for scientific and astronomical work, and swap in long and short lenses. I can do that right now with my $60 film camera. The digital equivalent is still way out of my price range.

        How many rolls of film do you shoot? Assuming you are buying in bulk and doing your own processing, you might be able to pay $10 for a roll of 36 exposures and processing. Expose 80 rolls (2880 frames) and you could have purchased a new Nikon d50.

        DoF is no problem with a dSLR, pick a long or fast lens and you can get razor thin focus. Need something wide? Grab the sigma 10-20mm zoom, effectively the same focal length as a 15-30mm zoom on 35. Need something long for your astrophotography? Your 200mm telephoto lens is effectively a 300mm lens when mounted to a 1.5x (Nikon) dSLR.

        Canon is better at long exposures than Nikon, but neither will go much beyond 30 seconds. That isn't a problem, though, because digital film is free. You can use your PC to schedule an infinite sequence of 10 second frames, and then stack them in any of a number of astrophotography software packages (several of which are free).

        My Lomos and other "cheap" toy film cameras sit on a shelf because they are far more expensive to operate than my d70s.

        Film cameras are a luxury product, not an economy product.
    • Re:A sign of change (Score:4, Informative)

      by syousef (465911) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:14PM (#14451225) Journal
      All true except the expense. Since the actual cameras are still relatively expensive and consumer models have an expected shutter life of around 20,000-50,000 shots you'll find it very expensive to use your digital SLR like you can use a point and shoot. With a point and shoot you can snap 2,000 pics in an outing at the zoo and not worry. Do that 10 times on some consumer SLRs and you'll have a nice expensive repair waiting for you, and a camera you can't use in the meantime.

      I should know. I managed to kill a Nikon D70 under warrant. (The shutter would start to jam after about half an hour of moderate shooting). I had to have it sent back 3 times. In the end the store I bought it from replaced it under warranty after I'd notified them in writing I would take it up with the local consumer body.

      None of the camera manufacturers tend to put a figure on how many shots you can take before they'll refuse to replace the shutter under warranty. I'm told one leading manufacturer quotes 50,000. Most if not all cameras have a counter that tells you how many times the shutter has been triggered. (Nikon ones even imbed this information in NEF or EXIF).

      Also good lenses for SLRs are a lot more expensive than point and shoots. Crappy lenses are a waste of time and produce blurry images that can be outdown by some point and shoots. Point and shoots also can have movie modes so good they almost double as a video camera. (I have an Olympus C-770 that'll do 45 minutes of continuous movie in mpeg 4).

      If you want professional quality photos though, you'll still need the outlay of a good SLR and GOOD glass (lenses). You can't beat the ISO sensitivites and quality that the larger DSLR sensors give you with a point and shoot. You also can't beat the range of depths of field that an SLR will give you. Finally if you were to do anything professional, a DSLR would be expected and you'd be laughed at if you came out with a point and shoot.

      • Since the actual cameras are still relatively expensive and consumer models have an expected shutter life of around 20,000-50,000 shots you'll find it very expensive to use your digital SLR like you can use a point and shoot.

        Extended warranty. I never bought them until about 5 years ago (I hit 26 and everything I bought between 18-25 was broken). I take advantage of ALL of them and have received so many free "current" replacements that it isn't funny. About 10 weeks before my car stereo EW was going to e
      • Re:A sign of change (Score:3, Informative)

        by metamatic (202216)
        I managed to kill a Nikon D70 under warrant. (The shutter would start to jam after about half an hour of moderate shooting). I had to have it sent back 3 times.

        Congratulations, you too have discovered that Nikon Digital's repair and service department is appallingly bad.

        Google for my tales of Nikon Digital and scanner problems...

        • Re:A sign of change (Score:3, Interesting)

          by syousef (465911)
          Yes. I'm torn by that. I like Nikon design and I own 2 Nikon lenses but if my SLR died out of warranty I'd be loath to buy another Nikon thanks to their authorised repairers here.
    • Re:A sign of change (Score:4, Informative)

      by tbuskey (135499) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @10:03AM (#14453597) Journal
      There's alot of advantage to DSLRs vs film:

      More then 36 photos before changing media
      "Free" developing
      White balance
      ISO switching per photo
      No scanning to get photos into photoshop
      No waiting for developing (think news photogs)
      Feedback via the histogram and LCD
      Archiving to CD takes less space then negatives
      Less expensive long term (at the cost of up front)
      Smaller image circle so lens quality at edges less a factor (Digital only lenses excluded)

      Film advantages:
      "Sensor" gets replaced w/ each shot so duct isn't an issue
      Wide angle lenses
      Better resolution (Though Pop Photo showed the Canon 1Ds (?) beating iso 100 film)
      Archiving - those negatives last "forever"
      Better color capture
      Less expensive startup costs
  • Good bye T-Max, just when I finally had the room to set up my own dark-room, you decide to go. Just not fair.
    • I'm not sure that T-Max is being discontinued. It was a Kodak product. And they're crazy if they discontinue the chemistry, as that was such a joy to use, as you bought it in liquid state. I remember having to manage a high school darkroom for three years, and I don't think I could have taken the daily mixing of powdered film developer. Granted, I kept a good amount of mixed Dektol on hand, but I couldn't quite make sense of mixing up more than a jug or two of film developer, simply because we only had
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:02PM (#14451167) Homepage Journal
    Though it still blows me away. I mean you can get a fantastic 35mm film camera for less than 1/2 that of a digital. I don't know, maybe Nikon has a cheap D30 in the works or something, but barring that, the barrier to entry into the realm of SLR's is about to get a good deal more expensive.
    • by lawpoop (604919) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:06PM (#14451185) Homepage Journal
      AND you will still have a working camera after 3 years, if you buy a film camera.

      The digital cameras they are coming out with cost an arm and a leg, and they only have a one-year warranty. I call them disposable cameras.
    • Now that they don't have to support the manufacturing of the 35mm cameras, they can focus on lowering the costs of the dSLRs. Considering Wolf Camera has a D50 kit for $699 (I saw the commercial the other day), there isn't much of an excuse even if you shoot photos only a few times a month. Take 1000 pictures a year for 3 years, and you're only looking at a quarter a shot -- not bad.
      • Considering Wolf Camera has a D50 kit for $699 (I saw the commercial the other day), there isn't much of an excuse even if you shoot photos only a few times a month.

        I have a few excuses:

        - The Nikon D50 and Canon 350D don't have separate shutter and aperture control dials (i.e.: you have to hold down a modifier key to adjust the other parameter). Sure, you can avoid having to do this by staying in S/Tv or A/Av mode (Nikon/Canon), but what about exposure compensation? In the 35mm film field, the Nikon N8

  • FM10 eh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by helioquake (841463) * on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:04PM (#14451176) Journal
    I guess one of these days I will have to go get one of these.

    All manual cameras are really wonderful. Once you are out there, hiking a desert or marveling the cold of Antarctica, you ain't gonna be charging your batteries for a digital camera for sure...
    • Re:FM10 eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by qbwiz (87077) * <johnNO@SPAMbaumanfamily.com> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:07PM (#14451192) Homepage
      It's a tough choice: bring along extra batteries, or bring along extra rolls of film.
      • Films are lighter in general. And I like my pack to be ligher.
        • Film takes quite a lot of volume compared to the biggest memory sticks/mini drives of various type - and that ratio will go continue tilting in favor of digital as time goes on. I don't see any real savings over digital when you go on a trip and have to take a crapload of pictures.

          As for batteries - perhaps some heavy duty all-terrain cameras can have a hand-crank instead or in addition to batteries - like some flashlights these days or the $100 notebook:

          http://laptop.media.mit.edu/ [mit.edu]
      • With a fully manual camera, you don't need batteries. You can take pictures until your hand falls off from rewinding film.

        You need both film, and power for a digital camera.

        KISS. A digital camera has all the complexities of an analog camera, plus a multitude more. For most situations, digital will be fine. If you want the best flexibility, reliability et cetera ... I'll take the FM10.
      • by phorm (591458)
        A large number of non-digital camera still have batteries. Either for winding the film, powering the flash capacitors, or both...

        Whichever you use, bring extra batteries :-)
    • Re:FM10 eh? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Lusa (153265)
      All manual cameras are really wonderful. Once you are out there, hiking a desert or marveling the cold of Antarctica, you ain't gonna be charging your batteries for a digital camera for sure...

      Personally I would take spare batteries, a backup storage device and a solar battery charger :)

      I also doubt most people would be in those situations and as such the market for manual cameras will continue to dwindle but not die out. Somewhat similar to outdated transportation, there will always be a place for horses,
    • And if you're in the cold of Antarctica (or anywhere below freezing, really), your Li-Ion/Alkaline/NiMH batteries are pretty useless anyway: they die very quickly in cold conditions. A manual camera will usually only need a couple of silver oxide watch cells for the light meter; these are far more cold-tolerant, and in a pinch you can get by without the meter and guesstimate the exposure instead.
    • I'm surprised they aren't continuing the FM3a as well as, or instead of, the FM10.
      • That's what I thought, too. I'm not much of a Nikon geek, but as I understood it, that FM10 is considered to be a relatively shoddy (by Nikon standards) piece of work, whereas everyone bowed down and worshipped the FM3a the minute it appeared (and if it's anything like the FM2 I had the privilege of using once, I can see why).
        • by Tumbleweed (3706) *
          I've briefly handled an FM3a, and it's construction quality is simply brilliant. It's also quite beautiful. I wish they'd make a digital version that looked and handled like that.
  • i say good day sir (Score:3, Interesting)

    by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:07PM (#14451190) Journal
    I beg to differ. While camera manufacturers may stop selling their film SLRs, a lot of pros/semi-pros will stick to film. Here are some reasons, in brief:

    1) Film STILL offers better resolution, although this won't last for long. I believe its close to 22 megapixels, although this is not for sure.
    2) Some photographers just love the grain of B&W developed on Tri-X or T-Max film, which doesn't use the C-41 process used for Walmart shit.

    There are more, but it's been a long day...

    Anyway, I've been using my Canon EOS 10s film camera for years and will continue doing so, mainly because it inculcates a whole new ethic -- you can just snap away and hit the delete button when you find something ugly. Film forces you to think in artistic terms BEFORE you click, and there's a definite cost associated with clicking the shutter release. I believe it makes better photographers.

    Why do people still use vinyl? Don't kid yourself -- 35mm film is not the floppy disk. It's not going to die anytime soon.

    • There is no longer a resolution edge for film. It is about dynamic range and color matching...for some reason digitals all are a little too red and not enough blue...and they cannot match the dynamic range of film...but that is not going to save them. 35 mm film is dead.
      • > little too red and not enough blue

        Umm, this just means your camera's white balance guessed wrong. You can correct this (easily) inside the computer. If you use RAW, you won't even "lose" any data.
    • I disagree about 3 things.

      There's a cost to clicking on a DSLR too. Shutter life is rated at between 20,000-50,000 shots on the consumer models. Sure you can just go snap happy but you'll stop after you kill your first shutter.

      I believe being able to see what you've just done is a great tool, but like all tools it can be misused by the inexperienced or the lazy. That doesn't mean the capability is worthless.

      35mm will die sooner than you think. It's cheap because it's a commodity and it's a commodity because
      • There's a cost to clicking on a DSLR too. Shutter life is rated at between 20,000-50,000 shots on the consumer models.

        Why is this different on manual SLRs? Is it?

        • that the shutter life on consumer digital cameras is about the same as consumer film cameras.

          some numbers: look at 50,000 clicks - that's a touch more than 2000 rolls of 24exp film. if you took one roll of 24exp photos every *week* (52 rolls/year, which i would consider a lot for a non professional), that *40* years to make hit 50k clicks

          if you are not paying for film, processing, printing, etc, i can see how you might burn through that many clicks a lot faster.
    • I became a better photographer with a DSLR, since I can try out all the manual modes, and other fun stuff that SLRs offer, but without the expense of burning several rolls of film learning exactly what aperture and exposure do!
    • by timeOday (582209)
      1) Film STILL offers better resolution
      Nah. [sphoto.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2006 @12:03AM (#14451449)
      I think that digital cameras make better photographers.

      Recently, I wanted to try out taking some different shots of a particularly beautiful sky at night. Not being a camera buff, I tried out a few settings on my Kodak DX490 on the spot and got the right results.

      Another time I was at a Thai boxing show and I wanted to take some pictures of a friend while he was fighting. Because it was a digital camera, I could adjust the settings until I found something that worked in the situation.

      In both situations, with a film camera, I wouldn't have got the desired results because I don't know enough about photography and I would never have been able to have those pictures. Isn't photography about pictures?

      How many times have people left their family snaps in the camera, only to never process the film? How many time has someone thought, no I won't waste that frame of film because it costs $0.30 - I'll save it for something special? With digital cameras you can share the photos without losing the original, you can pass copies to your friends and family without incurring personal cost, or losing the negatives. You can photograph and record the mundane, which might turn out to be the most interesting shot to show your grandkids in 50 years time.

      Have you noticed how some people throw away photographs anyway? Why print them out first?
  • by Douglas Simmons (628988) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:08PM (#14451197) Homepage
    There are quite a lot of people who learned the stickshift form of photography, on their 35mm SLR. Many professionals still use regular film too, if only for the purist or romantic value. Either way, there'll be a market for cameras and equipment for this crowd and the crowds they teach. This same market created the digital SLR, one selling point of which was letting people use their old lenses and have full control over things like depth of field. Proctor and Gamble sells off brands all the time, they move on, but others pick it up and do well and often better. I see this similarly.
  • Resolution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Shimmer (3036) <brianberns@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:12PM (#14451212) Homepage Journal
    The resolution ... of the digital medium have surpassed that of the 35mm format

    This just isn't true. I've switched to digital as well, but the resolution of 35mm film is roughly 24 megapixels. This is still 3x the resolution of the best consumer digicams.

    Moreover, Moore's Law does not apply to the sensors used in digital cameras because they are essentially A/D converters. It will be very difficult to increase their resolution much further without introducing unacceptably high levels of noise.
    • Thank you.

      Last I checked, 35mm was approximately 3500-4000 DPI [danheller.com]. That's significantly more than even the latest digital cameras.
      • Re:Resolution (Score:3, Informative)

        by garyboodhoo (945261)

        When dealing with an analog (chemical!) medium such as film, dpi isn't really a valid metric, as the film uses stochastically arranged groupings of silver halide particles rather than the fixed pixel grid used by an image sensor. The 3500-4000dpi value mentioned in Heller's article [danheller.com] is related more to oversampling in the scanning process than to the inherent resolution of 35mm film. Even medium format film will not resolve detail at such a high frequency, as can be easily verified by shooting a resolution ch

    • what is pro today can become very much consumer tomorrow. canon has a 16mp camera now and i would expect in less than 2 year that they will have 25mp. the $7500 (wiping drool off) camera will be $2500 (an estimate) then and $1000 2 years later. etc.

          and i bet there is plenty of room for sensors to get better.

      eric
    • Re:Resolution (Score:3, Insightful)

      by OneFix (18661)
      This just isn't true. I've switched to digital as well, but the resolution of 35mm film is roughly 24 megapixels. This is still 3x the resolution of the best consumer digicams.

      No it's not, it's actually closer to 16MP (and that's for ISO 50...which limits you pretty much to still subjects), but even assuming your 24MP figure, your argument doesn't hold up. Image quality is not simply a function of resolution...but a combination of resolution and noise.

      For film, this "noise" is grain(still a big problem for
  • dSLR (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:14PM (#14451224) Homepage Journal
    I recently picked up a D50 to replace my previous Nikon SLR (and give all 10 of my junk digital cameras to anyone I know with a kid). I'm blown away -- the quality is THAT good. The camera is just as fast as my film camera, the resolution is spectacular, and I can use all my old lenses and accessories.

    Under US$1000 for everything I need, and I never have to worry about the junk I was getting out of previous generations of digital cameras.

    I feel bad about film -- I really love the analog world. Yet the more I look at it, the more I see the future is in processing digital pictures real time to look and feel like film (or even have its own quality). The most recent batch of prints I made from the dSLR look so much better than my last batch of regular SLR 35mm prints -- everyone noticed. I even had it in JPG mode instead of RAW!

    R.I.P. 35mm, I loved ya even with the "D" grade I got in 7th grade Photography class.
    • by kabz (770151)
      Yeah, I have a D70, see my blog for some great pics taken using it ... but manual focussing on it sucks. It's all but unusable unless you have a bright light and/or a fast (f4 or better) lens.

      I thought I was gonna get some good usage out of my old 80-200/4 but it's pretty unusable really, especially considering you can only shoot totally manual on it. [This lens is still pretty good for macro since you can stop right down and crank the flash up and just focus by moving nearer or farther from the target]

      I ca
      • What is wrong with the manual focus on the D70? I use manual focus about 33% of the time with my D50 and don't have a single problem (even with the stock lens). Maybe I've built a tolerance to it from previous SLRs?

        Can you send me a link to the shop you paid only $400 for that used lens? Or was it a one time deal? I've been eyeing probably the exact lens you picked up, but not for $400!
  • by digitalsushi (137809) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:18PM (#14451232) Journal
    We lament the loss of the camera that captures our memories to film, for these memories define our past, our sense of self and sense of friends and memories, and of better times. And as such feel like we are losing our past, these emotions captured into simple mylar strips. But surely it's more memories being recorded, distributed, shared with friends and family in remote locale, that should make us not rue the evolution of film to digital, but rather see that it's not the technique in which we store our faces, it's the breadth to which we may share them...
  • I went back to film (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:20PM (#14451251)
    I recently sold my (mind buggeringly expensive) Canon 1Ds and went back to all-manual film cameras. Not 35mm, though. In larger formats film still has huge advantages over digital in terms of quality and enlargability. The lack of battery dependence is also incredibly liberating. It is horribly expensive though. With the exception of my Panasonic LX1 digi, I now don't own a camera which isn't completely manual... a Linhof 4x5, a pair of Fuji 6x9 rangefinders, a Rollei SL66, a Noblex 6x12 and a Leica M4-P. The Leica is the only one that doesn't get used on a weekly basis... but the last time we had a huge power outage I was enormously grateful for it.

    Pix here [flickr.com], here [pinkheadedbug.com] and here [johnbrownlow.com] if anyone's interested.
  • Why I Like film (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cyberjessy (444290) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:20PM (#14451253) Homepage
    I like shooting in film, a lot more than using digital cameras. Because _TO ME_, theres a lot more to photography that clicking good pictures. The thrill and the hope that you carry back home, when you click on film simply isn't there with digital.

    There are other reasons too:
    1. Vibrance and Depth (I have always found good color slides to offer better vibrance/depth)
    2. Resolution (Yes, digital is almost there these days at the higher end. But there is a difference.)
    n. Romantic!

    On the downside for films, the biggest problem is that quality film [fujifilm.com] are very expensive, compared to digital. But, the fact that the Fuji sells a lot of film to high-end professionals is testament that there is something about film.

    I hope Canon has no plans to stop film SLRs. I am a exclusive Canon user. But, the scariest thing to come out of this could be that slides and film might get more expensive as demand decreases.
  • by mrm677 (456727) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:22PM (#14451267)
    Yes, 35mm is dying. But no digital camera can outperform my 4x5 large-format camera for the money. I get over 125 megapixels with a 2400dpi scan of a 4x5" peice of film. And this is with a cheap 2400dpi scanner. A 4000dpi drum scan blows everything away.

    Do the math. 6-10 megapixel cameras can't make very large prints at 300dpi output. And some say that 300dpi isn't even good enough.

    Moore's law doesn't apply to Bayer CMOS sensors either. And small sensors found in cheap digicams are diffraction-limited. You can't cheaply make a 4x5" sensor!

    This leads me to believe that there will not be a decent, low-cost replacement for large format film in a LOONNG time.

  • by NorbrookC (674063) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:23PM (#14451273) Journal
    While digital cameras may (and mostly are) replacing film in the consumer market, they still have a long ways to go before replacing film in all markets. Like it or not, digital still is a ways from matching the resolution of film, and there are still things that only film works well for.

    Even beyond the "nostalgia" market, the other side is that film holds up better as a medium than digital. This isn't news. Remember that vinyl records are still around, and in many ways are still preferred as a medium by audiophiles and for long-term storage. I can still play an album from the 1950's, but will a disk with my photos on it still be readable in a decade? As I recall, we just had a nice long post about how long a CD-R or CD-R/W lasts.

    Film isn't dead, it'll still have it's place.
  • I'm surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AFCArchvile (221494) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:23PM (#14451275)
    Nikon's the company that held onto its lens mount for all these years, and Canon seemed to be the more prominent one in the digital field (or at least more prominently marketing in the northeast US, with all the Digital Rebel commercials, and all the press/sports photogs with a Canon EOS 1D and some kind of big L-Glass lens). I would've expected Canon to throw in the towel on film camera production, but Nikon? The company that was (perhaps up to this point) still manufacturing the FM3A manual camera as new?

    Yes, digital is faster, and the wave of the future, etc., etc., but there are some areas where film cameras still have an edge. In particular, range of sensitivity: you can load ISO 50 slide film, or ISO 1600 negative film (but of course it's a bit grainier as you go up in ISO). Battery life is much better, especially if it's a manual-drive camera; IMO there's nothing more annoying than your camera dying after its eighth picture of the day. And each frame uses a brand new area of film, instead of the same CCD sensor over and over again. Once a pixel goes out, it's either time to live with that dead pixel, or an expensive shipment to get it serviced.

    This is a bit of a disappointment, since one of the big two players is deciding to bow out. There's still Canon, Pentax, Leica (at their price, you're better off getting a medium format kit), among others. Olympus backed out of film a while ago. There's still plenty of film being manufactured (though there seems to be rumors of Kodak stopping production soon; I use Fuji, so I don't mind that much), and there's still decent 35mm film scanners that cost less than a digital SLR body alone. And of course there's the search for a decent and inexpensive E-6 film lab in the US (E-6 is the slide film process; the drugstores and chain camera stores almost always handle only C-41, which is negative film).

    My favorite has to be shooting with Velvia slide film. My friends all say "Slides? Didn't those go out in the 70's?" Then I show them the 4000 dpi scan that I took of the slide, and the 20 x 30 print made from the slide. Yes, digital could do it too, but the body alone would've been above $1300; I'd rather spend that on a lens.
  • Oh god - typical slashdot drama!!

    It is a sad thing that Nikon UK has chosen to do what they have decided to do but that doesn't mean Nikon has started that world-wide. If the British need newer lenses, they can buy from the US online sites. Taken another step to the grave my ass: a bad analogy but the FDD isn't totally dead yet and people have been predicting it's death for the last decade. Film photography is an enjoyable experience that requires a decent amount of discipline and knowledge. The photogr
  • ...co-owns http://lossen-fotografie.de/e5/index_ger.html [lossen-fotografie.de]. She is under the impression that the demand for traditional film work is dwindling. Bernie mostly works digitally these days.
  • by synx (29979) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:44PM (#14451382)
    While film isn't dead yet, 35 mm film most certainly is. While nothing can touch the resolution of medium format, or large format, in the 35 mm area, some new cameras really push the edge of 35 mm film resolution.

    Specifically I'm talking about the Canon 5D - which I own. It is such a cool camera, and the pictures BLOW my mind. The camera is a full sized sensor - no more lens multiplication factor - and is 12 mega pixels. The native size is 4368x2912. By up-sampling it in the RAW conversion you can extract even more resolution and detail.

    The big deal about this camera is that most DSLR cameras have a focal length multiplication factor. This means that beautiful "normal" lens becomes a short portrait lens. Good news if you shoot portraits, but bad news if you do scenes or landscape.

    The best thing about the 5D is it has the resolution and sensor size of a Canon 1Ds Mk-II (what a name!), but the camera is much smaller and lighter. The price is also more reasonable for the 5D, while not "cheap", its accessible, and the price will only come down.
  • I was looking for an excuse to buy a 120mm Hasselblad [wikipedia.org]
    The most awesome camera ever made.
    Ah, everyone has to have a little dream..
  • Short Sighted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tiger4 (840741) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:51PM (#14451403)
    As a business decision, going digital can't be beat. The cameras cost a bit more, but you cna make that up in processing a few hundred rolls of film. Enlargements up to 8x10 are nearly indistiguishable. To a working pro, it is an easy move, assuming you get naything close to reasonable pixel count.

    For a manufacturer, it is mor complicated, but much the same. The basic camera costs the same to make, but film camera sales are dropping. Digital is on the rise. Get out while the getting is good and save yourself running a production line at a loss.

    The problem, as any good computer person should know, is Moore's Law as applied to camera sensors. Every 2 years or so they get a lot better. For a pro, it is a business move. Just buy a better camera every 2-3 years. For an amateur, its like buying a Pentium Pro and watching the P4s roll out. Yours works, but you lust after the best. 3MP - 6MP - 12MP+ But upgrading is $1000 ! Not an easy move to make, but doing it will dramatcally effect your picture quality (assuming you care about quality).

    In the film camera world, it was easy to bypass most camera improvements. As long as the basic box was light tight, kept the film flat and the lens in focus, you were OK. Upgrades were at the lens or the film. Both of which were modular upgrades. It is common to see photographers with lenses stretching across decades. And of course film is as good as research can make it today. Not so with digital cameras. You are locked into the tech of the day you bought the camera. Some ROMs are upgradeable, but you won't be changing pixel count or fixing sensitivity issues that way. It is like buying a lifetime supply of film when you buy the camera. Cheaper, but you better love it.

    Overall, the digital wave is a financial hit on the amateur and prosumer. A better medium exists, but it is economically unfeasable for a market that small. Going digital will lock these folks into something that is *almost* good enough, but will never be quite right. They have to ride the planned obsolescense train until Moor's Law takes them back to where they already are, at real film resolution, color, and contrast.

    And This doesn't even address the problems of proprietary formats, memory, processing, etc.
  • Cheap Rebels (Score:3, Informative)

    by pipingguy (566974) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:52PM (#14451406) Homepage

    I was surprised to see a Canon Rebel with lens (non-digital, and I'm not a camera expert) going for about $200 when I was buying a $300 digital compact this past December.

    I almost bought it for my son but then figured that it would be a backwards step, technology-wise, for him.

    What he is missing is the near-instant shutter response, manual zoom and focus and maybe motor drive. What he gains is movie-taking ability, immediate review of shots taken, compact camera size and ease of image transfer. For me, I miss the shutter response time and manual zoom/focus features that are not available in even $1000 "prosumer" digitals.
  • Why the lenses? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sconeu (64226) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @11:52PM (#14451408) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that the lenses should be portable to DSLRs. Why are they dropping the lenses?
    • Re:Why the lenses? (Score:3, Informative)

      by mcdesign (699320)
      It seems to me that the lenses should be portable to DSLRs. Why are they dropping the lenses?

      They aren't dropping all of their lenses only large format/ enlarger and many of manual focus 35mm ones. Some (of the more specialised ) MF ones will still be made and it will be businessas usual for the rest of the auto focus range.

  • Film is dead (Score:3, Informative)

    by alex_guy_CA (748887) <[alex] [at] [schoenfeldt.com]> on Thursday January 12, 2006 @12:47AM (#14451645) Homepage
    FTA "Film in general isn't going away any time soon as digital cameras cannot replace medium and large format cameras,"

    See, that is bull shite. FYI there are digital camera backs out there for large format cameras that are just as good as large formate film. I'm not talking about any of the dSLR's we are talking about say for example "The Hasselblad H2D Digital Camera uses an advanced 22 Megapixel sensor that is more than twice the size of typical 35mm sensors. It provides higher resolution, less noise, seamless integration, and uses the same high performance HC lenses as the rest of the H System. It's $26,000. Or there is the Better Light Super 8K-HS Digital Scanning Back For 4x5 cameras. It cost $18,000 and creates 550 MB files.

  • Bah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheOriginalRevdoc (765542) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @02:07AM (#14451984) Journal
    Who needs film? I have in my possession a copy of the British Photographic Society Yearbook and Almanac from 1877. It contains details instructions on how to make dry glass plates. So even when film vanishes from the world, I'll still be making black-and-white images with my home-made, large-format camera.

    Damn Nikon. Damn Kodak. Damn them all. They can't stop me having fun.
  • 35mm film? (Score:3, Funny)

    by SirBruce (679714) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @03:48AM (#14452231) Homepage
    Bah, you kids and your new-fangled technology. Nothing will ever replace the quality of my daguerreotype! [wikipedia.org]

    Bruce

  • by yeOldeSkeptic (547343) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @06:55AM (#14452755)

    I think for 98% of the people who buy a digital camera, 35mm film is actually cheaper.

    The first camera that I ever bought is an Olympus C-750UZ. Yes, it's a digital camera and yes after the initial expense, each shot is actually free. But after three years of using the C-750UZ and perhaps 50,000 shots I have started to yearn for more.

    What do I miss? How about (a) quick autofocus (b) interchangeable lenses (c) real manual focussing instead of the joke that Olympus has on the C-750 (d) high speed continuous shooting (e) better ISO 400 and above (f) a depth of field preview button?

    After some reasearch, it turns out that the digital camera that would satisfy those requirements for me would be a Canon EOS20D. A digital wonder that costs USD1800.00 in our country. And that's only for the body. For the lens I would have to shell out more.

    Now I'm going to try film. I just bought a very good second hand Canon T90 that has everything that I want (except autofocus) for only USD30, price including a 70-210mm f/4 zoom lens. I was also able to buy a Canon 50mm f/1.8 FD lens for peanuts. Peanuts because the USD20 price I paid for it included a Canon T50 camera.

    Buying a film camera has brought the economics of digital cameras vividly to my attention. Nikon is ceasing production of 35mm cameras because digital cameras are more profitable than film cameras. They are not necessarily cheaper or better than 35mm film SLRs. Let's see why.

    • A digital camera is obsolete after only one year. Joe Schmoe will need to buy another one next year.

    • The lens on the cheap point and shoot digital cameras that Joe Schmo can afford to buy is cheap to manufacture. Joe Schmoe does not know that it isn't megapixels that count but the quality of the lens. The Canon EOS D30 has only 3 megapixels but coupled with an L-quality lens it will blow away Joe Schmoe's 8 megapixel point and shoot.

    • Joe Schmoe can shoot thousands of shots for free but once he decides to print a few of them he will need to spend money on computers, software, inkjet printers and photo paper. Of course Joe Schmo can send his jpeg files to a digital printshop but if he is going to do that anyway why buy the digital camera? Professionals buy a digital camera because they have control over image quality with their array of digital editing software like Photoshop.

      Expect Nikon to introduce a line of printers.

    • Joe Schmo is made to believe that after only 80 rolls of film he will have paid for a new Nikon D70. However, Joe Schmo is not made aware that that price is only for the body and does not include the lens and the various accessories and supporting equipment that the Nikon D70 needs to strut its stuff.

      Joe Schmo is also not aware that those 80 rolls of film calculation already include the processing fees and 4R sized prints for all 2880 shots. Joe Schmo somehow is also made unaware that he probably shoots only 10-15 rolls of film a year.

      With a digital camera Joe Schmoe is convinced to shoot 800 images of his cat rolling on the carpet and 1000 shots of his morning bacon being fried. It makes Joe Schmoe satisfied knowing that he has saved so much money because can you imagine how much those shots would have cost on 35mm film?

    In short, Joe Schmo is probably better off buying a cheap 35mm point and shoot and shooting lots of 35mm film than with his new digital wonder.

    It's a pity that 35mm will soon be obsolete.

  • by mfarah (231411) <miguel AT farah DOT cl> on Thursday January 12, 2006 @08:24AM (#14453058) Homepage
    What's actually happening is that is simply *ceasing* being the primary mass-market product - amateur digital is taking over THAT segment of the global market, and that's that. Granted, it's the biggest chunk, but not the only one.

    Sensors can grow as much as you like, BUT... there's still plenty of stuff where film wins over digital, regardless of film area or sensor size:
    • Low-end digicams perform HORRENDOUSLY in low light situations. Higher-end ones perform better, but any midquality P&S film camera beats those.

    • Slides still rule the universe. A projected Velvia slide is glorious, while a digital image from any camera with less than 15MP looks hideously pixelated at the same size.

    • TONAL RANGE. Digital sensors still capture less than film, and thus film pictures, slides or negatives, look better. My dad whines all the time he can never get all the hues of red from a single rose with his digicam, and that's why. On the other side, even the humble Fuji Superia gets them - not to mention slide film (Provia, Velvia, etc.). Unlike the "megapixels race", this factor isn't improving much...

    • Price. I can get a Canon A-1 plus a 35-105mm lens, and a couple rolls of Velvia for some 600 bucks. To get *similar* results, I'd need to get a higher end SLR, where body alone will cost 2000 bucks, and that's being extremely generous.


    Film isn't dead. Film isn't going to die. Furthermore, 35mm film isn't dead. 35mm film isn't going to die. It's just lost its dominant position in the mass-market. However, dedicated amateurs still use it.

    IMNAAHO.
  • FIlm is dead? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by littlebitsofpaper (945357) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @12:03PM (#14454763)
    Lot of good stuff here but as a fine art and commercial photographer using both I'll let you know its all about the final product. I shoot all formats up to 4x5 and for me it comes down to what's convenient and what is going to work. The digital lets me work faster in the field and usually lets me get proofs to the client faster; it's also great in the studio to set up a shot I'll want to commit to 4x5. Some work simply lends itself to digital - weddings, sports, product stuff some portrait work. For the majority of the fine art work it's simply a choice - what do I feel like shooting today. I've made fine digital prints of 30 x 40 off a 4 megapixel G2 and a 6 megapixel 10D. I often go to 16x20 with 35mm - yeah it gets grainy but sometimes I like it like that. With digital I've shot a lot less 35mm film - but I also do all my own processing either way - film or digital. I love 4x5 prints - I love the tonal range and resolution. By the same I also have shown plenty of digital shots in galleries and seriously most of my buyers can't tell the difference between most film and digital the way I work it. That's the real point here - just a tool - I would be a far worse digital photographer if I didn't have an extensive background in the darkroom. It's the whole "what camera are you shooting" issue - great tools in the hands of an idiot still produce poor work ...

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