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Saturday, 07 January 2017


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So true, Mike!

As for personal taste: I did like Ektachrome, but loved Ilford (both the FP-4 and the HP-5), which I developed and enlarged myself. But you (and Carl Weese) are also right about colour - digital just trumps it IMHO. Well at least when it's about getting clean results, which are also easier to manipulate than film is.

Never tried much of Tri-X, but I have one in my OM-2n right now, and a couple more rolls as well.

Photography is an artist medium, full of options and variation. Arguing film vs digital is like arguing oils vs pastels. Neither is better objectively. You choose your medium because of how it works for you.

I wonder ... did anyone ever complain to Paul Simon that he hadn't written a song called, "Ektachrome?"

Well said. I've never understood the corporate product fan, "true believer" thing. I'm not the kind of guy who will ever have a Nike swoosh or Chevy bowtie on my shirt or in the rear window of my truck but it doesn't make me angry to see someone who does. Variety is the spice of life.

When it comes to photography, we can all expect some good natured ribbing from other photographers on our current brand of choice. I for example own and love one of the blandest, most vanilla cameras on the market and wouldn't be surprised to hear or read that. As a matter of fact, I believe the frame of my 6D is literally made of pressed vanilla bean sweepings (vanillium alloy). All ya need is a sense of humor about these corporate money things.

Maybe we just need to chose our words more carefully when discussing the sainted memories of others photographic past . We can be rather protective of our past when it a good memory. If you search this page for the word "love" it comes up quite often. Never mess with another's past love. :-)

I also love the phrase "nourishes our enthusiasm". Not sure how I missed that up to now, thanks.

It is axiomatic that on the Internet, even on the parts of the Internet, like this site, which are mostly populated by mostly intelligent people, you cannot avoid the nerd/enthusiast tendency to overvalue his preferences and undervalue the preferences of others. This is the main reason why the mass-populated and largely unmoderated social media sites are such cesspools of unmitigated horror and unsolicited opinion and "mansplaining".

Thanks for doing the good work of keeping those forces at bay.

Ektachrome was good but it wasn't the best. However, I used it almost exclusively for years in the early to mid-seventies because it was the cheapest way to do photography. Way cheaper than printing B&W. Even cheaper than B&W slides.

Buying 100 foot rolls, reusable cassettes, and processing in the tallest can I could find with (some brand) of roller so the agitation was consistent then mounting into paper mounts (or aluminum and glass for the really good ones) and projecting, was the only way I (a student) could shoot as much as I wanted.

It was great that Ektachrome was available in a couple of speeds and color temps.

I used a humble Nikormat and Nikon lenses I bought in Tokyo on my 20th birthday (my father worked for Pan Am). I miss the simplicity of those days but I certainly don't want to go back.

The film/digital debate perplexes me. I don't fully understand why it stirs emotions as much as it does. Does the return of Ektachrome pose some manner of threat to the digital world? Hardly. And yet, while reading some of the responses at places like DPR, you'd think that some of the pro-digital crowd thought that their entire world was about to collapse.

I wonder if it's a matter of identity. Each faction has aligned themselves with their preferred medium and opposite choices are a sign of disapproval of the individual because of the choices he or she has made. That seems utterly ridiculous to me (granted, I shoot both film and digital) but it seems to be how it goes.

I'm particularly curious why the digital crowd cares so much, though. The best postulation I've come up with is that because film photography has become some a niche, there's an elitism that's inherent to it and its practitioners. When confronted with that, the rabidly pro-digital crowd feels the need to defend their decision as a "worthy" artistic outlet. I suppose that's an echo of the larger photography vs all visual art discussion that has raged since the days of daguerreotypes.

Michael Reichmann used the phrase "horses for courses" a lot on the Luminous Landscape. That's really how I find myself approaching film and digital photography. I really love the results I get when I shoot film. I shoot more slowly and thoughtfully because of the inherent costs associated with it. And my keeper rate is astoundingly higher than it is with my digital gear. But there are situations where film is not ideal for me. I volunteer as a photographer at a local zoo. Much of the work I do there requires high ISOs and a high frame rate. It's the type of stuff that just wouldn't work well with film. So I don't use it.

The Saint Ansel quote sums things up quite eloquently. Would that more photographers would heed it!

I'm being helpful.

Interesting to see this. I suspect most or all of those who think E-6 is still viable live in Southern California, where film and film labs and E-6 processing are still readily available.

A number of years ago, the most prominent, most money-making film directors in Hollywood formed a kind of ad hoc consortium for the purpose of ensuring the continued production of film. They did so because they were in agreement that, for filmmaking, digital was simply not up to the aesthetic qualities of film, that in fact it was so inferior in its present form it meant the death of true filmmaking. Those directors used their collective influence with the studios, which in turn used their economic might to get Kodak to guarantee to continued production of film stock for a good number of years. All these directors and their co-thinkers are also avid photographers in their spare time. And as the result of all this you have in Southern California a culture of film that still thrives, or at least exists, including film, film cameras, and film labs.

Outside the insular world of SoCal it's an entirely different story, as most of us who live outside SoCal know. In our world negative film still exists, but just barely, E-6 is more or less a dead letter, and fully equipped darkrooms can't be given away.

As has always been the case, Hollywood is not the world, and the world is not Hollywood. But I do appreciate that these influential filmmakers insist on the ineluctable qualities of film, and I appreciate also the economy this has given rise to. It's powerful in LA, but it starts getting faint as soon as you leave the city limits. By the time you get to where most of us live, it hardly exists at all.

It's all good right? I caught the photography bug with digital cameras back around the turn of the century. But of course film was still strong then and I kept reading with fascination the craft of shooting and developing B&W film. I got hooked. Last 5 years or so I've even developed C41 and E6 at home.

I never understood the early arguing that would go on about film vs digital. Why would anyone care what anyone else is shooting?

People get divorces all the time, some people will even go through half-a-dozen Significant Others during a life-time. But no-one wants to admit they bought the wrong camera, car or computer 8-) We live in a strange world.

Hollywood is a company town. There are a plethora of non-production companies, like florists, caterers and dry-cleaners who owe their existence to the studios. Others like model builders and machine shops have gone out of existence because of CGI and digi-cine cameras. Time marches on.

Me, I can't imagine how I could live anyplace except SoCal.

As long as you use a Wratten 81A warming filter,
And that old tilt-shift
To keep her form akilter.

"And, at least for home and enthusiast use, digital color surpasses anything the film era had to offer, with the possible exception of projected Kodachrome."

I still can't find a palette to match Fujichrome 50. Subtle and beautifully gentle transitions in quiet colors. Printed so well on Cibachrome/Ilfochrome.

I have switched to almost 100% Portra and occasionally Ektar now, for all personal work (4x5, medium format, XPan...). I still look at the Provia/Sensia slides fondly though and I have close to a hundred rolls of donated way expired Ektachrome... May need to fire up the E-6 chemical again...

The only opinions I care about are those of my doctor, my accountant and my girlfriend.

And I never argue with any of them.

I am surprised how many people seem to feel their opinions are important, but are willing to give them away for free. If I worked like that, I'd be broke.

Photography is such a broad church. I welcome back Ektachrome to the flock. As a slide shooter (though non too recently) I will say hello again to this film.

I love the diversity in photography, don't think any one technique/technology has the right to impose.

I might do a bit of flag waving for my personal preferences and working style, but I'm not insecure enough to really care if anyone agrees or not.

But I am genuinely interested in other people's interests if it's given in a spirit of sharing and learning. I find the alpha male stuff tedious.

Look's like they are considering Kodachrome too... https://petapixel.com/2017/01/09/kodak-investigating-take-bring-back-kodachrome/

I have several exposed rolls of Kodachrome (yeah, I know). It would be super to actually get them processed in color, instead of B&W, as at least one lab (last time I investigated) offered to do.

I have no idea what's on them. They could just be trash, but the expectation that they could contain my 'masterpiece' leaves me hoping that Kodachrome processing will come back some day.

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