Sunday, October 28, 2012

Film may finally be dead

I've been trying to keep it on life support, but it after today's experience, it may just be too expensive.

I threw a roll of Kodak 800 in the M3 last night to take some fun photos at the Halloween party. The surprise came when I attempted to drop it off at CVS this afternoon. The guy in the photo lab said, "Sorry, we don't develop film anymore." I drove down the road to Walgreens. Thankfully they do still develop film, but since CVS and Wal-Mart have scrapped their film business, Walgreens has doubled the price. It was almost $15 for one set of prints and a photo CD. When you add the cost of the film itself, it's almost $20 to shoot 24 exposures of color film.

Of course, then you post the photos you've taken, and everyone thinks you were just using Instagram on your phone.

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But there's still something warm and magical in the texture and grain of film. I spent the afternoon finishing the roll, and I was shooting digital at the same time. I just couldn't duplicate shots like this with the digital camera.

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The digital camera has its own advantages. It's sharper. It's more clinical. The color balance is more realistic. You can easily tell the difference.

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Thankfully I can still develop black and white film at home, but I don't think it's worth investing in a C41 lab kit. I think I'll finish shooting the color film I've got and then kiss it goodbye.

So when was the last time you used film?
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