Lomo Instant Automat Camera Case
Every few years is The Year of The Great Film Renissance.
And film seems to have found a good niche, with the business case for making film rebalanced in the industry.
But itu2019s not ever going back to dominance.
,The only serious SLR film camera still made by a major camera company is the Nikon F6, which sells for about $2,500.
Leica makes a few 35mm rangefinder cameras, at about 3x that price.
,You can still buy a number of 4x5 and 8x10 view cameras (called u201cfield camerasu201d if theyu2019re in any reasonable way transportable).
They take single-image sheet film.
,Lomography is a weird retro-photo movement based around the Russian LOMO cameras, originally fairly cheap 35mm cameras.
The idea of Lomography is that you donu2019t care about quality so much, and you take the camera with you everywhere.
Hmmmu2026 that does sound a bit familiar, eh? Thereu2019s also a company catering to this, Lomographische AG, aka, u201cLomographyu201d.
,But the real boom in chemical photography is Fujifilmu2019s Instax format.
Thatu2019s a tiny instant film format reminiscent of Polaroidu2019s last generation instant films.
Close to a million Instax cameras sell every month.
,Shooting Film and The Resurgance?But as far as other uses, digital photography has advanced so far beyond chemical photography, thereu2019s little demand for chemical photography any more.
Sure, since about 2017, thereu2019s been a resurgance in film.
Some films are becoming available again.
If you want a film camera, you can find thousands of them on the used market, at prices that pretty much prevent the introduction of any new film cameras in the professional or enthusiast markets.
Some companies have tried and failed.
,And even the 2017 resurgance isnu2019t necessarily all that telling.
The film industry has been going through a huge shakeup for the last decade or two, thanks to digital.
Demand fell off far faster than supply, so thereu2019s been a glut of film for some years.
And many of the major film companies fell on bad times.
Kodak went into bankruptcy, Agfa and Polaroid were wiped out (someone did buy the Polaroid name, but itu2019s not the same company), etc.
,Some of these big company film divisions were spun off, like Kodak Alaris in the UK, as far smaller companies.
It took them awhile to get back in production, but as the supply of on-the-shelf film faded, these guys came back.
That helped drive film as a specialty and get a few more photographers interested in using it again, knowing that it wasnu2019t all going away any time soon.
,But thereu2019s absolutely nothing driving most photographers to go back to film.
Iu2019ve shot over 7,000 photos in a weekend on occasionu2026 on thatu2019s 200 rolls of film, at least $700 just in film costs.
On digital, thatu2019s a tiny bit of wear and tear on a camera and on a couple of $25 memory cards.
In reality, no, I wouldnu2019t have shot that many photos on filmu2026.
I couldnu2019t have, since no normal film camera can shoot at 24 frames per second.
But in shooting action at an event, itu2019s unlikely I would have captured many of my best shots.
Film doesnu2019t work as well in low light, and the effective resolution of most film is lower than typical digital these days.
And itu2019s just plain expensive.
,Thatu2019s not to say that you ought to shoot 7,000 photos every weekend.
Digital enable this, enables sports-style shooting at a much lower price point than in the film era.
But it also enables the darker side, u201cspray and pray,u201d the practice of just taking a zillion photos and hoping to get a killer shot at random.
You canu2019t do that with film.
But you also donu2019t have to be any less contemplative with digital.
Take the camera off u201cautomaticu201d, learn to control your own focus.
I actually use a bunch of manual-only lenses in addition to the modern automatic sort.
,The Allure of a Simpler Time?Film was film was film in the days, and the only thing that you could do to really affect that was your choice of emulsion and format.
As a result, people spent a bit less time worrying about things like resolution, more time actually concentrating on getting a good shot.
There was no internet, no means busting each others chops online with pixel count or sensor size as a measuring stick.
You actually had to have the camera to brag about it, not simply read specs for the one you wish you had and the anonymously pretend you do.
,If you got together with other photographers, it was in person, and you all had the same film options.
I do think that itself is some of the allure of chemical photography.
,In the digital era, reinforced by the Internet, itu2019s easy to become a complete nerdu2026 about anything, really.
And nerds nearly always get GAS (gear acquisition syndrome).
And if you think thatu2019s a bit much, you should see my music room! But in the film days, there was no reason to expect any given photography nerd to also be a computer nerd.
You didnu2019t necessaily need all that gearu2026 and honestly, you spent so much on film, you couldnu2019t afford more gear.
,You could look at the career of the great street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who did nearly all of his work with a Leica and a 50mm lens.
u201cI am completely and have always been uninterested in the photographic process.
I like the smallest camera possible, not those huge reflex cameras with all sorts of gadgets.
u201d Isnu2019t that kind of a cool thing to say, particularly in this era of photo-nerdism.
,Particularly for those of us who like Micro Four Thirds cameras, for exactly the same reasons.
Digital also doesnu2019t preclude this approach.
If youu2019re a gearhead, try spending a day in a nearby city with just that normal or normal-wide lens.
If youu2019re really daring, make it a manual lens and only bring one battery and a smaller memory card.
You can get the film taste without needing to actually use film.
Just simplify and slow down.
,Itu2019s great that film can stick around as a specialty thing, a creative choice for anyone who likes it.
There is no way itu2019s coming back into the mainstream.
,Except maybe Instax.
Heck, even Leica makes an Instax these days.
Not my bag, man, but there you have it.
com/alc/what-is-lomographyLomographyInnovation: instax: the instant photograph creates a new culture in the age of social media | Fujifilm Global,The Great Film Renaissance Of 20172017 will be the year that film makes its big returnDont Just Shoot 50mm Because Henri Cartier-Bresson Did So