Frank Wylie writes:
>Well Jeff Kreines, look like your worst fears are about to be
>realized... [...] I would recommend that those who deal directly
>with motion picture film begin patronizing Orwo for B&W filmstocks
>and Agfa or Fuji for Color.
The way I read his comments, he was only talking about mass market
still photography when he said that 'film is gone' and that
single-purpose cameras were going.
And in that context, he's right. Walking down to the shop to get
some bread and a bottle of grapefruit juice this morning, I passed
some tourists taking pictures of York Minster. They were doing so
with a mobile 'phone, not a 35mm compact. My PDA has a 1.2mp camera
built in, though I've never used it. It will also play MP3 audio
files and there's another model in the range which has a mobile
'phone built in, too. The only reason I didn't buy it is that I hate
mobile 'phones with a passion and it'll be snowing in Hell before I
ever own one. OK, the camera chip is pretty low resolution - but
it'll only be a short time before these things have 3-4mp camera in
them, which is all your average tourist or family snapshooter will
ever need. If Kodak wants to continue selling imaging technology to
these sorts of people, it makes logical sense for them to look at
making this sort of multifunction device.
In the same way that a few small firms are still making turntables
and pressing new vinyl LPs for a small market of audio geeks, I'd
imagine that as long as 35mm film remains in mainstream use by the
motion picture industry, the extra costs of packaging it in small
lengths for still photographers will be low enough to make it viable
to do so. As someone who still takes my pictures on 35mm, my fear is
that as the conversion to digital hoovers up most of the professional
market as well, film for still photography will become so expensive
that someone like me won't be able to afford to use it, except
possibly at a special occasion every few years.
For the moment, though, I haven't heard any serious commentator
suggest that the 'film is gone' moment for moving picture use is
anywhere near imminent.
Curator, Northern Region Film & Television Archive
School of Arts and Media
University of Teesside
Tel. + 44 (0)1642 384049
Fax + 44 (0)8719 002602