Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/02/11

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Subject: [Leica] Foveon March on
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 20:08:43 EST

>> Stunning barely begins to describe it. Granted, we are looking at these
>> images on our monitors, but the fine detail is really pretty amazing.
>> Obviously there are those on this list who will pooh-pooh anything 
>> digital,
>> and those who will continue to tell us that digital development has 
>> hit a
>> brick wall and it will be a decade before digital equals film. 
>> BUT...for the
>> rest of us in the real world this does indeed give one pause in terms of
>> making any further investment in film-based equipment at this time.
>> B. D.
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Dear Colleagues,

I think we may be missing the point. I have no doubt that digital technology 
will be impressive and every bit as good as film to most folks. Even BF 
(before Foveon) the quality of the $1000 Nikon, Canon, and Olmpus cameras 
could turn out a splendid print. 

To me quality of digital cameras and even digital printing isn't the issue. 
The issue is the evidence we have for the original exposure -- its time, 
place, subject(s) and lighting. Digital can't sustain that documentation over 
the long term. I've been using my Leicas for over three decades. I have every 
one of their negatives filed and accessible in a few minutes. Those negatives 
are immutable. They'll be that way until they crumble into dust, which can 
take well over a century. The photography I want to save falls into the film 
category. Other uses of photography match digital technology perfectly; and 
I'll use digital for those purposes.

As time goes on I believe that digital cameras will look very much like their 
film counterparts. For all I know, perhaps we'll be able to routinely click a 
digital module into a film camera body in the field. Interchangeable lenses 
at one end and interchangeable sensors at the other. A Leica M will remain a 
Leica M, even with this modification. And if we want a new dedicated film 
Leica M, we'll be able to buy that as well. 

But we all know how to make a contact print file of our negatives and read 
them against light. Digital thumbnails previewed on a computer monitor is on 
the other side. 

Ladies and Gentlemen: Start your engines!

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