Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/02

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Subject: [Leica] The NYC protest march
From: me at (David Bias)
Date: Thu Sep 2 08:03:02 2004

Hi all,

I?ve decided to quit lurking and chime in on the ongoing film vs. digital

This past Sunday, I stood for about 2 hours on the corner of 5th Ave and
34th St. - where the enormous protest march turned the corner to head back
downtown.  During this time, I would guess that about 20,000 people passed
by ? a little less than half were carrying some sort of photo/video device.
Although I was there as a small sign of support for the march, the parade of
gear was much more interesting to me than the protest.

Being a gear nut/collector/photographer (I was sporting my Yashica Electro35
GSN), I made an informal ?count? of the types of cameras I saw.

- Almost every pro I saw (somewhere around 30) was carrying 2 or 3 Canon
digital bodies.  There were a smattering of Nikon shooters as well.
- I counted about 15 Leicas around the necks of ? 2 or 3 pros, a few people
who looked like artists/students, and a bunch of Europeans (tourists?).
- The non-disposable film cameras I saw could be counted on my two hands,
and were mostly super-cheap Nikon, Olympus or Canon ?student? rigs.
- I saw 4 or 5 ?vintage shooters? like myself.  A couple of old Nikons,  an
old Mamiya 6, and this ancient ?wise-man? type who had a Canonet hanging on
his neck.  Oh, and the ubiquitous ?Graflex-guys? were there as well, hawking
$10 Polaroids to tourists.

Everybody else had a digital point-and-shoot something-or-other.  Many

I?m 36 and basically raised in the digital age ? working on computers since
6th grade ? but old enough to remember when digital wasn?t around.  I?ve
chosen to shoot film exclusively until I reach a point that I can think of
myself as a ?real? photographer.  While I won?t go as far as to say that
film will fade away completely ? like it or not, right or wrong, the
economies of scale are way past the tipping point for film to go the way of
glass plates.

However, if Polaroid ? who has been uniquely and strongly affected by
digital ? can turn itself around, come back from bankruptcy and keep
producing film, then I hold out hope that Ilford, Agfa and the rest will
figure out a similar strategy to keep film around for a long time to come.



Dave Bias
223 1st Avenue #1 - NYC, NY 10003

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