A sign of the times...

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I received an information packet from Kodak Germany/Europe today in the mail. Inside is a high glossy folder full of current press releases concerning Kodaks presence at the Photokina in Cologne, Germany. With anticipation, I prepared myself for exciting new information regarding, atleast to some extent, analog photo products.There were a total of 12 press releases, each comprised of between 3 and 8 pages of information regarding a particular subject. EVERY ONE OF THE PRESS RELEASES WAS CONCERNED WITH DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY! Sure, it's the unavoidable future, but during the premiere photo-trade show in europe, or for that matter, world-wide, "big yellow" left those of us who are still passionatly involved in the world of paper and film high and dry. How depressing.

-- William Levitt (light-zone@operamail.com), October 12, 2000


Well hold on there... one of Kodak's major Photokina's announcements was the newly redesigned single sheet ReadyLoad packets, and availability of both color transparency and negative films. Yes, T- Max was not on the initial list, but still, after years of requests Kodak responded with a product directly aimed at LF analog photographers.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), October 12, 2000.

When I was at Fotokina, I tried to see a sample of the new Readyload system - but I was unable to find a single representative in the whole Kodak hall who could tell me where to find the Readyload system in the colorful Kodak labyrinth. After about 15 minutes, I gave up and tried Fuji - where I was told that yes, they knew the product (i.e. Quickload), but no, there wasn't a sample holder/film package available at the booth...

At the Sinar booth, I asked for a demonstration of the Zoom rollfilm holder - they managed to find a sample, but the guy who tried to show it to me had no idea how it worked.
To do both of us a favour, I gave up on the Zoom and asked him about the resolution of shots taken with the new 3m x 2m pixel back: he insisted the digital shots would have more resolution than anything 4x5 film could do nowadays.
When I showed some sceptiscim about this claim, he tried to prove it to me by refering to the demo prints decorating the booth (about 0.9m x 1.2m). Now, these prints really looked fine - but they consisted quite obviously of much more than 6 megapixels.
I pointed him to the fact that 1m/2000 pixels would result to 2 pixels per mm

-- Stefan Dalibor (dalibor@cs.fau.de), October 12, 2000.

[ urgs, late nite posting ]... to end the story, he turned red and asked a collegue. This guy found out (after some paper searching) that the prints had been done using a scanner back at some unknown resolution (I'd estimate about 5 to 10px/mm).
Maybe that going digital is unavoidable, but what is really depressing for me is that the consumer electronics marketing hype attitude that brought marvels like APS to us seems to take over the professionel photo gear market...

-- Stefan Dalibor (dalibor@cs.fau.de), October 12, 2000.


Sounds like a trying time. I partially agree with the digital scepticism. From my experience printing to a Lightjet, 5 pixels/mm is a reasonable minimum to duplicate film quality. On the other hand, I have been surprised at some images that look good with 1/2 that. Interpolation algorithms can do wonders when no fine detail is present.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), October 12, 2000.

I agree, guys. I can't understand why A) Kodak seems to be deliberately trying to kill off film. B) Why "professional" photo reps make patently absurd and untrue claims about digital's abilities. .even in the face of evidence C) All the reputable photo people seem to have disappeared and been replaced by digiphile know-nothings who will tell you, at any cost and against all reason, that anything digital is better than anything film. The whole thing is really starting to turn my stomach.

P.S. I've had people tell me that the D1 is better than medium format. Also, in the past two years. . .the hype has gone from "digital beats 35mm" (not even 6 megapixels can do that, sorry. . i've seen the results) to "3-6 megapixel cameras have better image quality than 4x5 film." Amazing-these people are actually describing the "graininess" and resolution limits of 4x5 film! I'm not joking.

-- Josh Slocum (jayslc@yahoo.com), October 16, 2000.

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