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  • Is Analog Making a Comeback?

    OK, I know the issue of vinyl records has been talked about here before, and how the sales of vinyl continue to increase. However, this isn't about vinyl records or even music. It is about... film.

    It seems that analog photography is making a come back, both in amateur circles and with professionals as well. So much so that Kodak announced it will be starting up production on the Ektachrome Film line for release in the fourth quarter of 2017. Ektachrome became widely liked by photographers during its heyday, and pictures taken with it were prominent in National Geographic magazine.

    More of the article at http://petapixel.com/2017/01/05/koda...m-coming-back/

    So are we beginning to see where people are realizing that analog and digital can live and work together? That there is something about analog, especially in the "creative arts" (for lack of a better term) that digital just can't match.

    On a side note, I'm kinda glad I still have my two SLR cameras - a Cannon TX that I bought in my sophomore year of high school and a Cannon AE1 that I got after getting married. Still have the flash unit and lenses. The TX went with me to Egypt when I was TDY for Operation Bright Star. Both cameras were great to work with.

    The Mandolin Picker

    "Bless your hearts... and all your vital organs" - John Duffy

    "Got time to breath, got time for music!"- Briscoe Darling, Jr.

  • #2
    Interesting timing. My present to myself this Christmas was an Epson V600 scanner so I could scan my father's slides. I found that no matter what scanner resolution I chose, either there's an inherent limitation in scanning slides (I don't think so, though) or there's a point of diminishing returns that happens past about 600 dpi because it reaches the physical resolution of film...I guess it's what's called "grain."

    I don't know if there's an inherent "quality" to film that digital doesn't have; it seems the resolution of digital cameras goes about as far as film did, although this is NOT my field of expertise...hopefully Ken Lee will weigh in. But what I can say is some slides needed restoration or color correction, and digital processing allows them to attain the potential of what he saw when he looked through the viewfinder.

    I do wish I could tell him, my mother, and brother that I'm preserving his legacy...but at least my daughter will be able to enjoy them, and know a bit more about the grandfather she never met.

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    • davd_indigo
      davd_indigo commented
      Editing a comment
      On another side note...I made 3 audio recordings (about 40-60 minutes each) of my mother maybe about 8 years ago, before mini-strokes and then strokes took her ability to speak. I recorded her memories of childhood in the 1930's and 40's. Her father was a sharecropper in SW Georgia. She died 4 years ago. Some of you might consider doing this with your parents while they are still able.
      Last edited by davd_indigo; 01-09-2017, 07:32 AM.

    • philboking
      philboking commented
      Editing a comment
      The inherent 'dots per inch' of a 35 mm slide is about 5000 dpi. However, the width of the bright/dark gradient is much higher with traditional film than with digital (24 bit color = 8 bits per primary color, limiting it to 256 brightness levels for each primary color).
      Further info:
      http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/film-resolution.htm

  • #3
    Originally posted by Anderton View Post
    I do wish I could tell him, my mother, and brother that I'm preserving his legacy...but at least my daughter will be able to enjoy them, and know a bit more about the grandfather she never met.
    That actually brought a tear to my eye

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    • #4
      Well that wasn't the intention...but it does make one think about how art can be immortal, even though people aren't. One of the beautiful things about technology, whether it's analog and in a race against time to be preserved, or digital and backed up religiously to new storage media periodically, is that we have a record of our civilization.

      If only someone could have recorded Bach's Brandenburgs while they were being played...or I wonder what Beethoven's 1st Symphony sounded like when it made its debut in Vienna, especially given that the "opening act" was a Mozart Symphony, something from Haydn," and for good measure, one of Beethoven's piano concertos. Would love to have THAT as a boxed set!!!

      Sorry for hijacking the thread, but in a way, it's not. We can look into old daguerrotypes, look people in the eyes, and get a very fleeting glimpse of their souls...
      Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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      • #5
        Originally posted by Anderton View Post

        I don't know if there's an inherent "quality" to film that digital doesn't have; it seems the resolution of digital cameras goes about as far as film did, although this is NOT my field of expertise...hopefully Ken Lee will weigh in. But what I can say is some slides needed restoration or color correction, and digital processing allows them to attain the potential of what he saw when he looked through the viewfinder.
        I love film. I don't shoot with it anymore, but there's nothing like it. I love it, and it has some advantages over digital, just as digital has advantages over film.

        35mm slides, which is what you are presumably scanning, do definitely have limitations, and I've hit about 600 dpi as well during scanning, after which it doesn't seem to matter so much any more.

        With medium and large format film, however, there is considerably more resolution. I couldn't tell you how much more, but it's quite a bit more.

        What also surprises people is how much resolution and sharpness film had in the 1920s, 30s, 40s, maybe earlier. You can see some old photos that have been restored or were well preserved, and it's startling to see how much resolution film had going back that far.

        I do wish I could tell him, my mother, and brother that I'm preserving his legacy...but at least my daughter will be able to enjoy them, and know a bit more about the grandfather she never met.
        I don't pretend to know very much about the afterlife or to tell people how it goes, but I can't help but think that you do this out of love, and that has to emanate out into the universe somehow.
        Last edited by UstadKhanAli; 01-08-2017, 10:47 PM.
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