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35mm - One Step Closer to the End

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the remember-film dept.

Technology 627

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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627 comments

Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451149)

So the "Nothing to see, please move along" actually meant something today :P

no porn middleman (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451151)

point shoot and post your porn, who needs film>?

I hope I can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451159)

I hope I can still find film for my cereal box 35mm camera then.

A sign of change (4, Insightful)

jigjigga (903943) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:A sign of change (5, Insightful)

karvind (833059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451188)

[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 (3, Interesting)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451233)

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.

Re:A sign of change (5, Insightful)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:A sign of change (4, Funny)

(negative video) (792072) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (1, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451205)

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.

Re:A sign of change (1, Insightful)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451303)

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...

Re:A sign of change (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451315)

Which camera are you describing?

I'm finding it hard to get a decent macro camera at that price, especially with that resolution.

Re:A sign of change (3, Informative)

syousef (465911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451225)

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.

Re:A sign of change (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451268)

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 expire, they replaced it with a brand new model. The extended warranty on the stereo equipment includes free uninstalls if I change cars.

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.

That's odd. Do you have a relationship with the store you bought from? One of my rules in life is to meet and know the managers (or owners) of every store I am a regular at. Yes, I even know the GMs of the local Best Buy and Target. If I have a problem, they fix it. No questions asked, ever.

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).

I just gave away 2 Olympus P&S to kids I know a few weeks ago (I don't recall the model numbers). I paid around US$350 each for them and they were crap. My D50 blows all 10 digital cameras I've had over the years (never paid less than US$250 for one). Most P&Ss were thrown in the closet after a few weeks, my D50 is getting ripped on every day.

The dSLR is only a few hundred more. The cheap lens that came with my D50 is actually VERY nice -- I'm really happy with the base quality (although I have 3 other lenses, 2 that are always in my kit). I'm no pro, I just love photography as I travel a LOT and see some crazy things every day. To pay an extra US$500 for that pleasure (and a few extra years of use) if I shoot an extra 2000 shots is 25 cents per shot -- I'm more than happy to pay for it and so should even the cheapest chisler!

Prostitute Schedule for January 11 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451246)

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I kid you not.

So Long (1)

mikejz84 (771717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451164)

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.

Re:So Long (1)

MadEE (784327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451249)

Huh?

T-Max films are made by Kodak

but the point is... (1)

ecalkin (468811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451326)

that tmax was (mostly) a 35mm film. and while you may have a 35mm camera now, after a while it will not be cost effective to make/process film except as a specialty item. and that will make it expensive.

e

35mm film users, take note (3, Interesting)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451167)

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.

Re:35mm film users, take note (5, Informative)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451185)

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.

Re:35mm film users, take note (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451201)

Barring the repetive cost of the film.. I find that its much easier to whip out a standard 35mm camera and take a fast snapshot then a digital. I dont think that you will eveer be able to replace that. They are two mediums. kinda like Cdsand records.. why cant there be both ? Why is it one or the other ?

Re:35mm film users, take note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451361)

I find exactly the opposite - my film cameras ussually sat in a drawer and got pulled out for special occasions and vacations. I guess due to the cost per shot and long feedback loop. On the other hand, the digital camera always sits on the counter next to the phone - I use it at least once or twice a week at minimum. And I've gotten some great impromptu shots that I never would have bothered with on a film camera. It's completely changed the way I use a camera.

Re:35mm film users, take note (1)

boobox (673856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451215)

Medium format may take a bit longer, but it may follow its smaller cousin... digital backs are available but a bit expensive right now to the average, non-pro photographer (let's see.. new car or digital back for my Mamiya?). I confess, I haven't picked up my 35mm or medium format film camera since I purchased my digital SLR a couple of years ago.. instead I'm looking at the latest digital SLRs and drooling over those. I've never shot large format but as that comprises a small segment of the photo-shooting public, even before the digital revolution, I imagine that will remain the same for a while yet. Probably the same with medium format, but if the prices start to decline, I'll look into it.

Re:35mm film users, take note (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451279)

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.

Re:35mm film users, take note (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451359)

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 N80 and Canon Elan 7N have two separate control dials. On my Canon Elan 7NE I can adjust both aperture and shutter speed in manual, exposure compensation and the non-auto parameter in Av/Tv, and exposure compensation and program shift in Program. The N80 and Elan 7N bodies go for around $300 to $350. Step up to the N100 or EOS 3, and you get even more precise parameter adjustment (from 1/2 stop to 1/3 stop IIRC)


- No depth-of-focus preview button in the lower-priced digital SLR bodies. Depth of focus lets you see the focused and unfocused zones of the picture before you take it. On a decent 35mm body (N80/Elan 7 and up), there's a button that will stop down the aperture to its set value so you can look through the viewfinder and see where the defocused zones start. The best bodies will have one button dedicated to the function. On cheaper bodies, it's either not there, or buried under some strange option. On my Elan 7NE, depth-of-focus is on a button down and to the left of the lens, so the photographer's left thumb can hit it at any time. This is where it is on my older manual Canon AE-1, so it's familiar to me. Nikon puts it to the right of the lens, so the photographer's right finger can press it.


Bottom line, you have to pay for professional-esque functions. Your average "semipro" film SLR body goes for $350 to $400, while the equivalent in the DSLR market is in the $1500 to $2000 range (Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D100, etc.). Of course you have to be serious enough to want those features.

Re:35mm film users, take note (1)

dbucowboy (891058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451282)

I'd pay 4 times as much for a digital camera if that's what it took... As a former user of film, I must say that digital camera's have SO many more advantages especially in the internet media realm. The time from the shot to photoshop is so little that in effect it becomes the instant camera of our generation... with unlimited potential. Not to mention the $ you save.

FM10 eh? (2, Interesting)

helioquake (841463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451176)

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? (4, Insightful)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451192)

It's a tough choice: bring along extra batteries, or bring along extra rolls of film.

Re:FM10 eh? (1)

helioquake (841463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451198)

Films are lighter in general. And I like my pack to be ligher.

Re:FM10 eh? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451257)

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]

Re:FM10 eh? (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451379)

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.

Re:FM10 eh? (1)

LameJokeGuy (943407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451207)

If you're thinking of getting a new manual camera, get the FM3a instead. Better camera all around.

Sure, it uses batteries, but since the shutter is mechanical, it only loses metering once the batteries die. Everything else will continue working just fine.

Re:FM10 eh? (1)

tycheung (635707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451239)

Fm3a is the better camera....although some would say the Nikon SP is the best Nikon 35mm ever made, or the F5 has its adherents too.... But for my money, I'd shoot for a Leica MP with the summilux f1.4 asph lenses

Re:FM10 eh? (2, Insightful)

Lusa (153265) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451254)

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, camels and husky teams. It just won't be for the masses and large companies out to make profit.

Re:FM10 eh? (1)

pnot (96038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451255)

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.

Re:FM10 eh? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451316)

I'm surprised they aren't continuing the FM3a as well as, or instead of, the FM10.

Re:FM10 eh? (1)

pnot (96038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451363)

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).

FM3a (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451399)

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.

So what? (2, Insightful)

LameJokeGuy (943407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451181)

If you were really serious about photography, you wouldn't be using 35mm in the first place. It's meant for beginners who don't need serious resolution and fine detail which is only available in larger formats. For those beginners, digital surpasses 35mm in every way (resolution, color rendition (infinitely malleable), convenience, and you can bring hundreds of pictures for printing to the photo stand on a single card).

So are we going to mourn the loss of this dead technology forever? Give me a break.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451218)

well. there are schools that use it, mostly those who use leica, like to shoot fast and wide open on the street, don't like to use additional lighting setup or flash, and like to play around with darkroom film effects, or just like the quirky images that kodachrome or provia can provide or who don't want to spend hours in photoshop post production...there is imaging, there is high quality studio photography...and there is something else....

Ahem (1, Insightful)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451240)

Apparently I should let my employer (a very well known and published photographer) know that 35mm isn't any good (we have switched to digital but he shot for decades with it) I suppose I should also let a number of my Professors in photo school know that also. I also suppose I should inform press photographers who before digital shot mostly with 35mm equipment. I also suppose I should inform Kodak and Fuji and tell them to stop making their lines of professional 35mm reversal and negative films, which are available in a much wider selection than they have consumer films available. I also suppose I should tell police photographers who've shot with 35mm for decades (and many still do).

Sure, for paid jobs it isn't ideal most of the times, but sometimes, when portability or processing costs must be kept low 35mm is much more attractive than medium or large format. Sure, digital is far better, and 35 is dead now, but in the days of film 35mm was just as professional as anything else if the situation demanded it.

Re:So what? (1)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451280)

Hey dumbass - i am going to bet you weren't even born when Nikon came out with it's first production digicam. So please take your half-assed knowledge somewhere else. It's the photographer, not the medium, which defines quality. And as for your ridiculously stupid statement that 35mm has less resolution, the 35mm beats digital camera resolution by a huge factor. Don't trust me? Read KenRockwell [kenrockwell.com] . Your statement that beginners and 35mm (and you mean film here) shows how much you know about photography.

Ken Rockwell... And I'M the LameJokeGuy? (1)

LameJokeGuy (943407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451312)

Linking to Ken Rockwell to prove a point about photography is like arguing for Intelligent Design. We know you don't have a clue what you're talking about it and bringing in fake "experts" is not helping your case.

Yes, 35mm has less resolution. Period. End of story. To argue otherwise shows not only that you are ignorant of current technologies, but also that you aren't interested in actually comparing apples to apples. As such, it's worthless to debate this with you.

But linking to Ken Rockwell? I laughed out loud when I saw that. YOU should be the one called LameJokeGuy.

Re:Ken Rockwell... And I'M the LameJokeGuy? (1)

RichDiesal (655968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451371)

I'm sorry, but he's right - you're an idiot. This is very simple, and I'll only say it once. Digital cameras encode pictures by recording color information as pixels and organizing those pixels in a grid to display later (yes, it's more complicated than that, but this is the general idea). 35mm cameras record the impact of light onto film. That's all. No encoding, no translation, no pixels. No resolution, either, as light isn't made of pixels - it's LIGHT. Talking about 35mm cameras having "resolution" only reveals that you have no idea how a 35mm camera functions. If you get fuzzy photos when you use one, that's only because you don't know how to set aperature, focus, and exposure time to get a decent shot.

Re:Ken Rockwell... And I'M the LameJokeGuy? (1)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451378)

Your statement about beginners using 35mm tells me all i need to know about your "knowledge". You also know more than Ken Rockwell - oh you are one smart guy.

The Wonderful Smell of Elitism (1)

Gryle (933382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451332)

By your logic, we should consider training wheels for bicycles "dead technology" because only beginners use them.

Re:So what? (1)

GoodOmens (904827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451376)

It depends on what your shooting. 35mm was the top dog in Sports/wildlife where you needed a quick snapping picture coupled with a decent telephoto lens.

Sure Medium and Large formats have no comparison to the studio or still photography, but when you start shooting things that move 35mm was way better in any aspect.

However a good friend of mine who is a sports photographer for the AP hailed the switch to digital as it meant he didnt have to bring his portable studio with him to the games.

i say good day sir (3, Interesting)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451190)

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.

Re:i say good day sir (1)

blakestah (91866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451235)

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.

Re:i say good day sir (1)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451347)

> 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.

Re:i say good day sir (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451271)

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 it's common. If it becomes a specialty item costs will soar and thus begins a cost spiral: Less people use it because it's getting more expensive and it gets more expensive as less people use it.

hmmmm (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451323)

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?

i'm gonna guess.... (1)

ecalkin (468811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451390)

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 have done a fair amount of event photography where my limit was how much film i wanted to carry. i got a 2gb cf card and in a canon digital rebel, that's about 650 photos. about 18 rolls. almost a brick of film.

    i suspect that the 'good' ($1500 and over) have more robust shutters.

eric

For me, it was the other way... (3, Insightful)

csmacd (221163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451307)

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!

Re:i say good day sir (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451321)

You hit the nail on the head: This "thinking" thing, people don't like to do that much anymore. Especially technophilic, lazy Americans. They want whatever the latest shiny shit is off the USS Walmart, berthing now after another run to the labor camps in China.

Re:i say good day sir (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451404)

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.

I TOTALLY agree with you. It is for the precise reason i have neither disposed of Minolta 550 bought 6 years ago, nor have i bought any digital cameras.

It is the difference between learning how to program using VB and using Assembly/Assembler.
The former will give you a quick high, but you end up being deformed mentally for life. The latter will force you to think before you press ENTER since one bad line can potentially take away your root disk.

Not to mention the High resolution in a film versus crappy resolution in today's digi's.

It gives a thrill to wait for an hour or so to see what we clicked has come out.

SLR will last a generation (2, Insightful)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451197)

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 (3, Interesting)

Shimmer (3036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451212)

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.

Re:Resolution (1)

ecalkin (468811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451400)

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

I can see why (1)

Mike Keester (911612) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451214)

I finally broke down and bought my wife a digital SLR for Christmas this year. Now that good quality DSLRs have broken the $1000 barrier, it just makes sense. She already had an assortment of lenses and other accessories from her 5 year old 35mm SLR. The new camera has many more features such as auto stabilizer while keeping all of the settings flexibility of her old 35mm.

Honestly, I'm not sure how we got along with it for so long.

Re:I can see why (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451283)

Don't go too snap happy with the new DSLR. Shutters on consumer models tend to last 20,000-50,000 shots on average depending on brand and model. Google for: SLR shutter life. Some cameras last much longer and some die more quickly, just realise that there is a cost associated with each shot.

No money in quality (1)

ThatGeek (874983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451216)

The average Joe is looking for convenience. Color gradation and ultra-high quality are not as important as being able to download images to his computer and email em across the country the same day.

The average Joe spends all the dollars, so the average Joe is going to be the one to which companies cater.

Set theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451222)

They are ALL\{ending production of their 35mm film}. Since {designing a FTL rocket engine} is in ALL, Nikon UK is designing a FTL rocket engine.

dSLR (2, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451224)

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.

Re:dSLR (1)

kabz (770151) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451284)

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 caved and got a used AF-D 80-200/2.8 for $400 off of ebay and I'm much happier. The results from this camera so far seem as good as from slide film and my Nikon Coolscan, but with vastly less hassle.

Re:dSLR (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451295)

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!

But oh so it's tainted with emotion (4, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451232)

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...

Re:But oh so it's tainted with emotion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451355)

Nice post.

I went back to film (4, Interesting)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:I went back to film (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451357)

It's kind of hard to Scheimpflug (from memory...) Principle without a good large format camera and this is required for most hi-end commercial stuff. I wonder if anyone knows (or cares, for that matter) what that is and what it's used for (an abvious troll :-)).
Digital is like the current string of music production - superficially good and shiny, but lacking in 'content'. I still haven't seen a digital camera that can replace a Leica M-(n) with a Summicron 50mm-f2 lens and using Kodachrome 25 film (and I won't for a while...).
I have a Nikon 8700, which is very nice - but it cannot compare to a good (Leica, Voightlander, Contax) 35mm film camera.

Why I Like film (2, Interesting)

cyberjessy (444290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451253)

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.

Digital can't compare to LF (4, Insightful)

mrm677 (456727) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Digital can't compare to LF (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451350)

I think the digital challenger to medium format would be scanning backs; no problem getting huge megapixels there. Or does somebody use MF for action shots?

This doesn't suprise me, but (1)

moabsoftware (903141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451270)

This doesn't suprise me, but I really do not agree with choices like this one. Film cameras and full-manual are the only thing some photographers will use, as I know. As the others have posted, some people really like real photography. Sure, digital is convenient, and can be the way of the future, but I do not see that as what Nikon is after. This seems not to be about the future of photography, but just the future of the company. They want to convert every one, so users can purchase more. I've got a Nikon FE from 20 years ago, and it works wonderfully, with film. Your digital Nikon from a few years back probably is not cutting edge. Digital is still growing and evolving. It is not perfected. Like CD-ROM reading speeds, the number of mega pixels will eventually slow. That would be the best time to discontinue film products, because there wouldn't be short times between upgrades.

It'll still be around (4, Insightful)

NorbrookC (674063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451273)

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 (4, Interesting)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:I'm surprised (1)

tycheung (635707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451300)

kodak? i sincerely hope not, I can't live without Tri-X....could use Ilford Delta I guess but that's not as forgiving for someone not as experienced with eyeballing exposures as I. I think Nikon is losing out on the digicam market to Canon big time...maybe it doesn't have the financial health to support all these things, but everything I hear is rumor or hearsay anyway.

nikon... (1)

tycheung (635707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451276)

old cameras are fun, i have a soft spot for the minolta MD mount line especially the XD-11 not to mention all of pentax's quirky products...K1000 forever... and the Leica MP....

sigh - slashdot at its finest (2, Insightful)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451294)

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 photographs from a film shot have much higher resolution than a digicam shot. Sure a digicam is more convenient but photography isn't meant to be a convenience thing at all times. Sure a point and shoot is awesome at your baby's birthday party but not everything is a birthday party. Photography for me is light falling on film :).

Re:sigh - slashdot at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451372)

uhh, arent all the lenses and bodies made in japan ?

wouldnt this mean all 35mm nikons will be phased out, not just the UK

i expect to see this same press release on the other Nikon sites within a few days

Digital rules (0, Troll)

jone_stone (124040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451308)

I, for one, welcome our new digital overlords.

I'm happy to leave the archaic medium of film behind me.

continued production... (1)

tycheung (635707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451322)

the flagship cammy, the F6 will still be made, and the FM10...what's sad really is that they'll stop making primes (bad for flash-less available light/shallow DOF shooting) and the FM3a (the real camera, the FM10 is made of plastic...) not dropping out of the film field entirely as the orig article states. bummed about minolta stopping their film cameras a few years back...their MD mount cameras were awesome

digg is a fag hangout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451343)

nothing there but spammers and teenage idiots, the trolls are even lacking in originality.
I think I'm going to add those homos to my hosts file.

Film isnt dead, but 35mm Film is dead (3, Insightful)

synx (29979) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

100 line pairs per mm or bust (1, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451394)

A top-notch lens and top-notch film can give you 100 line-pairs per millimeter, give or take. This means you can put 2400 evenly-spaced lines, each 1/200th of a millimeter wide, top-to-bottom on a 35mm image and you can see them all.

To do that with digital you need 9600 x 14,400 pixels, or 138 megapixels.

On top of that there's dynamic range. Most color negative film has about 10-16 stops give or take (a dynamic range of 3.0-4.8). This means 6 bytes per pixel minimum. I don't think MS-Paint is up to the task.

Today's top-line "pro" digital cameras such as Nikon's D200 are in the 10 megapixel range. Assuming this doubles every 18 months, they'll be "better than film resolution" by mid-2011.

As for equaling 6x9cm medium-format, look for late 2013, but perhaps at the same time as 35 if they can get a larger-surface area imaging surface with the same per-square-inch resolution.

Now running a digital camera without electricity, that will be a neat trick indeed.

It's not only 35mm - Large Format is fading fast (2, Interesting)

PoconoPCDoctor (912001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451402)

Here is a story from a large format photographer who used to use Hasselblads [robgalbraith.com] - he went digital as well. You would have thought that large format would never go, since it offered the huge negative for great detail and elargements with no grain. Digital seems to be ruling...

Short Sighted (4, Insightful)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (2, Informative)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451406)


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.
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