Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The death of film

My heart sank when Konica Minolta decided that it was time to pull out its camera division because it wasn't going to make money for them in the long run. I'd been a long supporter of all things Minolta, even up to the point where they merged with Konica and everything. Minolta wasn't the most popular of cameras, amateurs and enthusiasts alike opted for the more popular Nikons instead. I liked Minoltas for their ease of use, the feature set, and their excellent optics. That was undeniable.

Even now I still like shooting with film. Give me that anyday, I say, compared to digital. There is a certain magic about shooting with film. Battery is almost never an issue, and I never had to think about shooting in what resolution.

So it saddens me that eventually that will be a thing of past, and film will be a rarity, and my cameras, antique. Of course it did cross my mind to get me a digital SLR since they are getting progressively cheaper anyway, plus with the closure of the photography division I hope that their products will get cheaper as well, although that remains to be seen.

Progress, that's what happened. Its all about instant results, and instant gratification. We really are going to lose our identity amidst all this digital revolution. I am an adopter of technology, no doubt, but technology does not make us who we are, it makes things easier, faster, cheaper.

Some months ago I wanted to set up a darkroom, but the whole process proved to be quite a hassle, from getting equipment to setting up a designated room with all the bells and whistles. It was not the most cost efficient thing to do. Then I thought about setting up a semi-digital photolab, which consisted of film processing and digital scanning of the negatives. Well that would've worked if I had put money into it, but I didn't. Now, you can simply take the photos with your digital SLR and print it with your printer. It was a simple 2-piece of hardware process. But for some reason, I feel that you can't take the word film out of photography. It just doesn't sound right.

But maybe in the near future its not what sounds right or not, it'll be what seems the most practical. Perhaps that would paint a sad picture of my last remaining rolls of film amidst my Miles Davis or John Coltrane recordings, never to be understood by anyone else outside this wonderful, magical world.