The End Of Film? Or… The End Of Digital?

Click on the audio play button to listen to this 14 minute discussion on the future of photography by Stephen Schaub.

LINKS:

How Much Longer Can Photographic Film Hold On?

Traditional Camera Film Makes A Come Back

Something for the Holidays

The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, Fourth Edition is a must-have for every serious photographer… period.  An earlier edition was a constant resource for me while at RIT and now this newer edition is my Xmas gift to myself this year… it is expensive but well worth it. It is quite thick and full of very useful content on just about every photographic topic imaginable from film to digital and beyond… and if the heat bills get too high this winter I can burn it to stay warm… or my wife could throw it at me to knock some sense into me or perhaps I could learn something about this wonderful medium we all love… either way it will be my constant companion for the dark winter months here in VT. Be sure to add this gem to your holiday wish-list today!

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

LINK to Amazon

Why Shoot Film – Part 1

Click on the link above to listen to a 6:41 minute discussion on Why Shoot Film, Part 1.

Digital Test-Image
Film Test-Image

Please note that the test files are kinda big so if you have a slow internet connection just be patient. Also note that the different composition is due to the different aspect ratio but I tried to get at least the top and bottom about the same.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

The Flip Flop Decade: The Last Ten Years of Photography

Click on the audio blog logo to listen to this 14 minute review of the last 10 years of photography from my perspective as a hybrid artist and where the industry is possibly going in the next decade.

To everyone I wish a safe and happy New Years and stay tuned for a new post in a few days.

Kodak Retires Kodachrome – So What Now?

Kodachrome1935Boxand2009Box
Kodachrome 1935 Box and 2009 Box

We all knew this day would arrive: when the iconic Kodachrome film would be retired. This film that has been with us for 74 years is intertwined with the very fabric of our photographic history, images, and emotions. Last week I was invited to a “secret” meeting at Kodak to hear the news and to discuss the future of film in our industry. There were 3 other industry experts in attendance:

AudioBlog
Kodachrome Interview

After leaving the meeting I do feel convinced as to Kodak’s ongoing support for film photography and the belief that both film and digital should coexist… it’s best for the photographic industry… with a capital letter “P”.

Listen to the audio-blog portion of this post by clicking on the audio logo to hear a 10 minute conversation between Stephen Schaub and Eve Ogden Schaub with further insights on this mission to Kodak and what it all really means.


And what post on Kodachrome would be complete without the required Paul Simon song…

PS- there is even a state park named for Kodachrome:

Kodachrome Basin State Park

Here is a link to the sole processing facility for Kodachrome films… I’m sending some this week!

Dwaynes Photo

Click here for the official Kodachrome retirement press release from Kodak.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

New Kodak Ektar 100 Film – Part 1

I was lucky enough to get a brick plus (35mm) of the new Kodak Ektar film at Photo Expo Plus in NYC… so when I returned to my studio in Vermont I quickly loaded my Leica M7 with a roll and decided to make a few “test” shots around my yard.

Image Results:

The Full Size image is a 20″ x 30″ print- the crop represents a 4″ x 4″ section of the full size.

Testing Specs:

  • Leica M7 with Leica Summilux 50mm 1.4 Lens
  • F 5.6 at 1/125, Hand-held
  • Film was rated at Box Speed (more on this later…)
  • Scan was done on an Imacon with NO sharpening applied, scanned at 6300 dpi.
  • Photoshop work was limited to white point and black point, no color correction, no noise reduction, no sharpening, no curves…

Image Size/ File Size Info:

  • 309 MB file at 300 Optical DPI, 16 Bit
  • 20″ x 30″ Print Size

Initial Thoughts:

This new offering by Kodak has very tight grain (this is 35mm folks!!) with good, bold color but still “neutral/ natural” in feel. My initial feeling is that it is a bit slower than box speed (normal for most negative material). On my next test roll I will rate it around 50-64 which should be perfect (with color negative material its better to be safe than sorry with regards to your exposure!). Box Speed (ASA 100) is usable, but under difficult lighting situations underexposure is just too great a risk. So far… I am very impressed…stay tuned for Part 2 in a few days.

Viva la Revolution!

Rollei Retro 100 Film Processed in Diafine Developer

Yet another Diafine Developer Test! I’ve been wanting to try this film for some time now and was able to fit a test into my schedule this week so here are the results and my thoughts.

First my Thoughts:

Rollei Retro 100 is a nice film with good classic grain structure and good tonality…photographers who like classic grain and film with a bit of punch will love it with Diafine. The film has a usable EI from around 50-200 (in Diafine) but I found that at 100 I got the best shadows and midtone separation and it gave me a bit of margin for meter error. The highlights are clean, bright and open even in the brightest areas.

For photographers who want that classic street photographer look this would be a good choice…however, if you were raised on Fuji Acros for breakfast and TMAX for dinner and love those films this probably won’t be your cup of tea.

The Results:

Both images were made using a Leica M7 with a 50mm Summilux Lens at F5.6 – in camera meter at an  EI of 100. Scans were done on an Imacon Scanner at 3150 dpi, no sharpening or noise reduction was applied to either file. File prep/ workflow in Photoshop CS3 is my standard for all Diafine developed test negatives which is to apply just a bit of an “S” curve and make sure my white and black points are fine.

The sharpness of the film is good but again not like TMAX 100 or the New TMAX 400. But I do like the film alot! It won’t be my first go to film for general shooting but it is something that has a unique look and has found a place in my film bag.

PDF with more Rollei Retro Information.

Processing Technique, Diafine Developer and Rollei Retro Film:

  • 4 Minutes Part A, 75F – 2 inversions every minute.
  • 4 Minutes Part B, 75F – 2 inversions every minute.
  • Wash 30 Seconds
  • Fix 5 Minutes
  • Wash 30 Seconds
  • Perma Wash 1 Minute
  • Wash 10 Minutes
  • LFN
  • Dry

Final note: There has been conversation (gossip) on the web that Rollei Retro 100 is AGFA APX 100 or something very similar…as I don’t have any AGFA APX 100 to test I can neither confirm nor deny this BUT even if it is just a slightly tweaked version of APX – as AFGA is no longer in business- it is nice to have a “similar” film still being made.

Viva la Revolution!!!

___________

UPDATE 9.13.2008:

Link to a conversation on Flickr where information on the maker of Rollei Retro (old AGFA) can be found as well as exciting information on the NEW film release set to replace this film as of Photokina 2008:

LINK TO ARTICLE/ DISCUSSION

End of an Era…The Stinehour Press is Closing!

Stephen Schaub, The Leader!I find this post very disturbing to write and a sad reflection on our current economic situation here in the US, as well as an unfortunate look at the trend in book publishing to find the cheapest and “good enough” printing press for the production of Fine Art  Books. Where are most “fine art” books printed now?…China! That is not to say that good books can not and have not been printed in China, but we all know there is a huge difference between a  book printed on a cookie cutter press and one printed at a true fine art printing press.

I personally have been very fortunate in my career thus far, having my first book printed at the Stinehour Press in Lunenburg, Vermont and my second book at the Salto Press in Belgium. Both of these presses represent the pinnacle of printing quality (which translates into options for the artist) yet now it seems that the Stinehour Press will be no more in just a few months. 

Founded in 1952 and employing over 21 employees the Stinehour Press had won numerous awards for printing excellence and it’s collection of printed books and materials reads like a list of luminaries in the field of Art with a very large capitol A. Stephen Stinehour, who I consider a personal friend, left the press several years ago to pursue other printing projects, yet I know he finds the closing of the Stinehour Press- which was founded by his father- a sad statement on the currect position of the printing industry in the US.

In our quest to get to get the most for our dollar (or Euro or whatever) many people seem to lose sight that in that process of “how low can you go” a lot is lost… and once it is gone it is gone forever. In the “new” industry of Giclee Fine Art Printing I can remember only a few years back where how cheap and how fast you could print was the driving force for marketing products and services. Fade-out/fade-in 5 years and most of the get-rich-quick printing operations are gone, dying, or consolidated because you can only cut costs so far and most of these technologies at the end of the day are still quite expensive to run and upgrade. It seems correct to me that a great print deserves a fair price/competitive price…but you have to compare apples with apples. Also remember that cuts in cost almost always come at the expense of quality and workers pay or health benefits…you know the complaint and I’m sure you hear it everyday on the news or in your own community.  Continue reading “End of an Era…The Stinehour Press is Closing!”

Scanning, Color Mangement and Photoshop…The Diafine and TX Sage…Part 2

As promised here is the next installment in the ongoing exploration of Diafine Developer and TX. In these videos hybrid artist and master printer Stephen Schaub (The Leader) discusses scanning techniques, color management considerations and Photoshop techniques to maximize your Diafine processed TX negatives!! (Please note that due to a time limitation on Youtube the video has been broken into two parts so be sure to watch BOTH videos!!)

Video ONE

Video TWO

Stay tuned for part 3 of the Diafine and TX saga early next week on the Figital Revolution!

Resource Links

Noise Ninja

Pixel Genius (Photo Kit Sharpening Software)

Kami Scanning Supplies

Ergosoft High Fidelity Inkjet RIP Software

Eizo Monitors

Viva la Revolution!!