Monday, April 30, 2012

Our Secret's Out

Cameras used to be simple. A major technological advance in film camera design may have been the new shutter that enabled 1/4000 second shutter speeds (a massive two stop improvement from 1/1000 second). Back in the 1980s, it wasn't uncommon for photographers and photo enthusiasts to use the same camera for over a decade. Once the initial investment in the camera body and lenses was made, the recurring costs for film and processing were very affordable and reasonable.

All that changed with digital cameras. The big advances in digital photography is largely in sensor design. Each generation of camera sensors brings higher resolutions, increased dynamic range, and reduced noise at high ISO. Digital cameras are expensive, but each new generation tempts buyers to upgrade to the latest version. In my opinion, we're reaching the point of diminishing returns. The incremental improvements are getting smaller and smaller as we move from one generation to the next. That's why I've been holding onto my Nikon D80 digital camera, while the rest of the digital photographers are spending their hard earned paychecks upgrading their gear.

I and a lot of other photographers have been quietly shooting film instead of digital. With the market chasing the "latest greatest" digital gear, we've been secretly taking advantage of the low prices for film bodies and manual focus lenses. Unfortunately, that's all changing now. My local camera shop raised their prices for film development and scanning by 75% recently. Furthermore, Fuji just announced they will be increasing their film prices in May -- potentially double digit increases. Someone let the cat out of the bag! Despite our best efforts to keep our little secret to ourselves, the industry figured us out.

My recommendation is to buy your film gear now while it's still affordable and before the speculators drive the prices up. I quickly ran out and ordered a load of my favorite Fuji Pro400H color negative film. I'll have to keep an eye on the Kodak BN400CW and Ilford XP2 Super black and white film prices, so I can stock up on it before its prices increase too.

Disclaimer: this is intended to be humorous. Purely tongue in cheek. Do not take this too seriously.

Here are a few photos captured in Alaska a few weeks ago. I was in the Anchorage area for business and had some time to take a few photos of the lovely landscape with my Nikon FM2 film camera. I'm so glad I purchased it before someone let the secret out...

Along the Alaska Railroad Tracks

Pond Closed

View from Seward Highway

No comments:

Post a Comment