What will Save Film?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Annika1980, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. Annika1980

    Annika1980 Guest

    In case you film luddites haven't noticed, film is fading fast.
    Digital has taken over even more quickly than we digital users
    predicted. No use denying it or arguing about it any more, thems the
    facts!

    However, there is one thing that may save film or at least stretch out
    it's usefulness, and that is as a storage medium for digital files.
    "Digital-to-Film, isn't that backwards?" you ask.
    No, not really. Digitals greatest weakness is the bleak prospects for
    long-term storage. You can make superior pics from digital files, but
    they are still just files. The question is, "How will we read these
    files 20-30 years from now?" The computer I used 25 years ago used 8"
    floppies. Of course it also featured a mammoth 64MB hard drive and
    weighed about as much as a modern refrigerator ..... but I digress. No
    modern computer would be able to read files made on that machine.

    Hard drives crash, photos fade, and CDs and DVDs get corrupted. And
    who knows what new formats and problems will present themselves in the
    future?

    Enter the film recorder.

    Doctors and salesmen have been using these for years to make slides for
    demonstrations. I don't know why they haven't become more popular as a
    means of digital storage. Simply record your great digital pics onto
    film and you now have either slides or negatives that will become much
    more permanent than a file on someone's computer or disk.

    Yessir, the one area where film has it over digital is in storage.
    Put those slides and negatives in a sleeve or a box, and store them in
    a proper place and they should last for years and years.
    At the very least, it's a great way to backup your photos.

    This year, I'm putting a film recorder at the top of my Christmas wish
    list. And I always get what I want.

    WHO RULES?
    Digital, of course!
     
    Annika1980, Oct 4, 2005
    #1
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  2. Annika1980

    Bill DeWitt Guest

    I still have images I created pixel by pixel almost 20 years ago. Now I
    save everything on two computers, on the internet, and on CD. I will be able
    to download from one computer to the next, from the internet to new
    computers, and from my disks to new computers or the internet. No
    degradation.

    Film is lossy.
     
    Bill DeWitt, Oct 4, 2005
    #2
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  3. Annika1980

    Celcius Guest

    Bill,
    Right you are.
    There is also another thing we don't think about: once the photos are set in
    an album, who looks at it?
    However, I have backed up all my photos on CD'S and also on my second hard
    drive. When I shave (electric shaver of course) in the morning, I do so in
    front of my computer. Thus, I get to see our souvenirs on a daily basis. I'm
    even thinking of scanning all my albums ;-)))
    Cheers,
    Marcel
     
    Celcius, Oct 4, 2005
    #3
  4. Annika1980

    Lee Guest

    Annika 1980

    My personal opinion is as follows:
    1) You have drunk too much
    2) You have an impersonator (who is doing a very bad job!)

    An easy question to answer. Most software is backward compatible. You are
    not taking a jump from Sinclair Spectrum to the latest PC now are you? It
    is a gradual process.

    Adobe have DNG for those that want long term compatibility.

    In realistic terms, no matter what file you have stored them as, there will
    always be software to convert them if such a situation should arise.

    I don't believe this post come from 'Annika 1980', therefore, you are either
    very young and have a lot to learn, or you are from a third world country
    like 'scamming' Nigeria. Yeah, FO!
     
    Lee, Oct 4, 2005
    #4
  5. Annika1980

    Dirty Harry Guest

    No
    What are you talking about...I'm pretty sure you could take any file created
    with DOS in the 80's and read it on a windows xp system without a problem...
     
    Dirty Harry, Oct 4, 2005
    #5
  6. Annika1980

    Annika1980 Guest

    What are you talking about...I'm pretty sure you could take any file created
    How many Windows XP systems have you seen that have 8" floppy drive
    readers?
    You'll hardly find any these days even with the more modern 5.25"
    floppy drives.
     
    Annika1980, Oct 5, 2005
    #6
  7. Annika1980

    Annika1980 Guest

    In realistic terms, no matter what file you have stored them as, there will
    Yeah, assuming that whatever disc you have it stored on doesn't go bad.
    CD-ROMs aren't permanent.
    Nope, it's me, Buttmunch.
     
    Annika1980, Oct 5, 2005
    #7
  8. Annika1980

    ASAAR Guest

    Want to try some of my 8" DSDD MSDOS floppies? Should be
    relatively easy, as I didn't use hard sectored disks/drives. :)
     
    ASAAR, Oct 5, 2005
    #8
  9. Yessir, the one area where film has it over digital is in storage.
    Nobody sees the irony here... all the work being done to digitally preserve
    artwork so that it's not lost forever in the event something happens to the
    original, either due to deterioration from enviornmental effects or
    fire/theft/whatever.

    Digital backups, in multiple locations, are the best way to preserve photos.
    One can argue forever about how you won't be able to read CDs & DVDs in the
    future, but I doubt that holds water. As long as the demand (for looking at
    old CDs & DVDs) is there, the technology will exist. The only thing that
    might imperil digitally-stored media would be a collapse of civilization,
    and if that were to occur, methinks that film would probably be equally
    lost.

    --Mike Jacoubowsky
    Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReaction.com
    Redwood City & Los Altos, CA USA
     
    Mike Jacoubowsky, Oct 5, 2005
    #9
  10. Annika1980

    ASAAR Guest

    You beat me to it. I've got plenty of those 8" floppies left, but
    no remaining hardware to read them. Maybe a few S-100 boards to
    handle floppies, I/O and some memory boards, but the computers
    they'd plug into are long gone.
     
    ASAAR, Oct 5, 2005
    #10
  11. Can you look at a negative and tell if it's worth printing? I can't.

    For all intents and purposes, a box of negatives is as black a box as an
    unreadable floppy.

    And negatives, like CD-Rs, do die of their own. Mildew, fires, floods, and
    parents on a cleaning rampage destroy negatives in great numbers every year.

    If you want your images to last, the only way is to print them on a pigment
    ink inkjet. Whether you took them on film or digital.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Oct 5, 2005
    #11
  12. Annika1980

    kctan Guest

    Don't worry too much. You can always tranfers the images to the newer
    storage medium before the old one "dies" slowly. We still can get prints
    from digital storage after 20-30 years from now but not film.
     
    kctan, Oct 5, 2005
    #12
  13. Annika1980

    kayaker Guest

    This year, I'm putting a film recorder at the top of my Christmas >wish list. And I always get what I want.

    Have you priced a film recorder? They were about $100,000 the last
    time I looked, which I'll admit was about 10 years ago.

    I use CDR's and a removable hard drive. If CD's are replaced by
    something, there should be a generation of PC's that would have a CD
    drive and the new whatever.
    Lynn
     
    kayaker, Oct 5, 2005
    #13
  14. Annika1980

    wilt Guest

    Does anyone 'get it'?...Microsoft Word v. 1 files were written in the
    mid 80's, scarcely 20 years ago. Microsoft Word 2003 (and even earlier
    versions, too) *cannot read* those Word v. 1 files today! So do you
    really assume that those Nikon NEF RAW files will be readable by the
    2025 version of Nikon file reader (even if Nikon continues to
    exist)?!?!?
     
    wilt, Oct 5, 2005
    #14
  15. Annika1980

    Bill Funk Guest

    It's been said many times: redunancy.
    One CD may well fail. Two or three won't. Offsite storage is a good
    thing.
    Film is also subject to failure; ask Katrina survivors who have lost
    all their film.
    What's that? "Proper storage"? That works for digital media, too.
     
    Bill Funk, Oct 5, 2005
    #15
  16. Annika1980

    Bill Funk Guest

    I seem to remember a time when 8" floppies co-existed with other
    floppy sizes, and even hard drives.
    If ther owner of files on 8" floppies doesn't consider them worthy of
    migration, why should we? The files are yours; the responsibility is
    yours.
     
    Bill Funk, Oct 5, 2005
    #16
  17. Annika1980

    Ryan Guest

    files 20-30 years from now?" The computer I used 25 years ago used 8"

    I'm tired of people making the comparison this way. This is the
    _medium_ of storage not the file format.
    5.25" floppy discs, 8 track tapes, yadda yadda.

    We don't sit around and stew over the fact that in-camera memory is by
    the wayside, or Smart Media, or the fact that Compact Flash won't always
    be used; likewise that MFM is gone, or SATA may overtake IDE, or that
    SCSI has 31 flavors.

    Can you name a file format that you simply cannot read anymore? I
    imagine somebody can name some, and I'm curious to hear about how
    standard or open these formats were in their day.

    I can still read txt documents and formatted text docs I wrote ten years
    ago with an editor you'd never find today. I can still read the bmps
    and gifs from back then too, and play the not-as-ancient .mod .xm and
    ..s3m files too. Had any of my file formats been falling into
    obsolescence, it was foreseeable and the conversion could have been
    done. Of course there are going to be some exceptions (Could I convert
    an s3m into a wave now? I doubt the software exists, but it was not a
    widespread format). How about the format you came up with? Was it
    bound to a proprietary program, or was it an open standard? I'm sure I
    could give even more profound examples in my favor if I were older.

    I was still able to get developed some unknown film style from the
    1940's even though it is a long since dead format. There was still a
    "machine" that could read it.

    Similarly, I imagine that a "machine" will be able to read our digital
    files a long way into the future. Perhaps I will have to eat my words
    some day, but in spite of the fact that some new format will inevitably
    emerge and become mainstream and thus mark the end of JPG and its
    everyday use, I foresee that average Joe will still be able to
    read/edit/convert JPG/TIFF/PNG images for a pretty long time. If the
    demand is there, the plug-in will exist. As for dozens of CRW, NEF,
    RAW, iterations and others, I don't share the same confidence.

    A worthy consideration, although this isn't at the heart of the matter
    you raise, which I believe to be long term portability/readability.

    I cannot imagine reverting back to an analog format & medium and
    throwing away my digital information this way. Above all else, what am
    I to do when I catastrophe hits and I want my image back? Now I need a
    good quality film scanner, and I don't mean a flatbed with an adapter.

    Film is not without its own problems, as we already know.

    It's all based on perspective. From my point of view, film doesn't hold
    a candle to digital strictly because the film negative is never the same
    twice. Tomorrow it will differ from today, and ten years from now it
    will be more different. A digital file format is separate from the
    medium on which it is stored. Deal with the problems of media
    accordingly and your file is safe. With film the two are the same.


    Adhere to the right system of archiving your image files and they will
    last for years and years. Deal accordingly with formats becoming
    unsupported and you should be ok too. Put it away and forget about it
    and you may get in trouble.


    I'll agree to this, however for lack of familiarity I don't know how
    easy/cheap it is to take an extra copy of the whole set and store it
    with a relative 90 miles away.
     
    Ryan, Oct 5, 2005
    #17
  18. Annika1980

    Bill Funk Guest

    Can't they be converted?
     
    Bill Funk, Oct 5, 2005
    #18
  19. Annika1980

    none Guest

    True, but those formats were introduced long before the expansion of the
    copyright and patent monopoly privileges. Encrypted or otherwise DRMed
    file formats are becoming more common, and some of these formats even
    use secret encryption algorithms. It seems very unlikely that you will
    be able to legally read a DRMed Microsoft reader text (.lit) 20 years
    from now.

    In the not-so-distant future, DRM will likely be required and it will be
    very difficult to work with old, non-DRMed stuff.

    -Mike
     
    none, Oct 5, 2005
    #19
  20. Maybe, maybe not. But jpeg and tiff are so well established, that it's
    inconceivable that they could become unreadable. If 'something' happens such
    that there are so few jpeg files on CD-R around that it's not worth anyone's
    time to make a decoder, then it's unlikely that society as we know it still
    exists. We'll be too busy starving to death to worry about photographs.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Oct 5, 2005
    #20
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