Recommended reading

15 comments on Recommended reading
1 minute
At the cross
Pentax ME, 28mm f/2.8 Pentax-M, Fujifilm Fujicolor 200, 2015

💻 David Schell wrote a fascinating and thought-provoking essay on the nature of Biblical canon and Biblical authority, and how much church tradition can and should influence these things. Read Thoughts About Tradition, Scripture, and Authority

💻 The Vintage Everyday blog shares some interesting photos that give insight into life in Moscow in 1959. This is especially compelling for those of us who lived through the Cold War and remember the USSR as being behind the Iron Curtain. Read Fascinating Black and White Capture Life in Moscow During the Winter of 1959

📷 Kodak Portra is hard to find now, and way expensive. That’s led John Smith to try other stocks. He experimented with CineStill 400D recently. He gives it a quick review. Read Trying CineStill 400D

📷 Mike Eckman reviews the Yashica J-3, an early-1960s 35mm SLR with a built-in, coupled light meter. That was a feature on only a handful of SLRs in those days. Read Yashica J-3 (1963)

📷 One of my photos was used (with permission) in an Analogue Wonderland article about Christmas film photography. Karen Freer shares tips for making pleasing photos this holiday. Read Christmas Film Photography For Beginners

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15 responses to “Recommended reading”

  1. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Can’t say enough about Yashica…I always viewed them as a secondary camera company, like Minolta, but have to say, I bought a few back up bodies during the Contax years, and thought they were quite well built, as well as having a few C/Y lenses that, although they didn’t have the Zeiss “look”, we’re still sharp and contrasty. Of course, the TLRs were right up there…

    My one bug-a boo? I hated that weird “old west” type face they used on early, and even later TLRs, and early 35mm bodies. Ick! Petty, but I have to say it really bugged me…

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve looked at the Yashic C/Y bodies. I’ll buy one someday.

  2. marcusterrypeddle Avatar

    Cinestill is 29,500 Won here and Portra 400 is 22,500 Won. Both are a bit hard to find.
    An interesting selection of links, as always.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I bought some of the CineStill today and it was the same price as the Portra. I think it comes down to what you can find when you’re looking to buy.

  3. P Avatar

    I can’t abide paying $15 for a single roll of film. That’s utterly absurd. Half that is absurd. Even if I could afford such, I would never pay it. There’s really no excuse — a valid one at least; there’s plenty of nonsensical ones that I’m beyond tired of hearing people regurgitate. But people are free to believe and do whatever they please.

    1. Andy Umbo Avatar
      Andy Umbo

      Saw a roll of 35mm Velvia the other day, from a dealer, for 35 dollars! Yeah, not worth it, and I’m a film lover. On top of the insane pricing on some of this stuff, is the fact that I really can’t get “pro” processing services on my color film any where in my area any more. That’s the second part of the equation. No sense buying the film for big money if I can’t depend on and work directly with a pro color lab.

      1. P Avatar

        Very true, Andy. People act like the state of film is in a good place, like the community is healthy and everything is wonderful. It’s not. It’s a disaster. It could have been, and should have been, in a good place — a very good place. The future viability of film should be certain. Prices should be affordable for all. Availability should not be a problem. Competent lab services should be easy to find, anywhere. There’s simply no reason we had to end up where we have. None. The excuses are nonsense. But alas, here we are.

        1. Andy Umbo Avatar
          Andy Umbo

          Minimum of 10 bucks mailing in each direction, no ability to look at a daily chem, color, and density chart (like I used to with my pro lab) from the morning test film, no ability to check to make sure the “kids” aren’t dragging the film through a scanner filmgate and scratching it all up, etc., etc. I’m 90 miles from Chicago and I cant get a recommendation from my pro pals down there, either, if I wanted to drive it down. Modern hipsters that have suddenly gotten into film don’t realize if you wreck the film, there’s no redemption! No rebooting….

        2. P Avatar

          Yep, it’s pathetic, Andy. And, unfortunately, it’s only likely to get worse as the out-of-control, entirely unjustified prices continue to thoroughly gut the community of its truly valuable members (i.e. serious amateurs and older, retired pros who have a wealth of knowledge they would have been willing to pass on) and replaced by more “hipsters,” “influencers” (seriously, the dumbest “occupation” I’ve ever heard of), younger “pros” who seemingly don’t have a clue about anything, and others, who, quite frankly, have nothing of value to contribute to the community whatsoever. Actually, quite the opposite — all they seem to know how to do is foolishly praise ludicrously high prices, tell everyone to keep throwing their money at greedy companies, give permission to manufacturers/labs/etcetera to exploit us more and more every day (which they’re all too happy to do), and expeditiously destroy everything good that once made the film community so wonderful and special. It’s so sad, especially since there’s no excuse for any of it. I tried to warn people about all this for years, but nobody wanted to listen, even though precisely what I said would happen continued to unfold right before their eyes (and continues to as we speak). They chose to believe in nonsense instead. Now, here we are as a result… And, whether they have the common sense to recognize it or not, people who keep buying film at these asinine prices are part of the problem, not the solution. By doing so, they’re trashing the health of the film community and making the industry completely unviable and unsustainable long-term. I honestly don’t know why people are unwilling to vote with their dollars these days. It’s not a difficult concept. It doesn’t help that business and economics courses at colleges/universities have thoroughly brainwashed the last several generations into believing totally bass-ackwards nonsense (I know; I’ve taken these courses myself). Of course, I guess at the end of the day these are all just my opinions, but at this point I think it’s pretty hard for anyone to argue against them unless they’re blind. Unfortunately, after the purge of most of the legitimately valuable members of the film community that’s occurred over the past three to five years, it seems to me the majority that remains is indeed just that — blind and wholly lacking common sense.

        3. Andy Umbo Avatar
          Andy Umbo

          P, having spent a lifetime in advertising related industries, many as an in house manager for creative and photography departments, I’ve seen what I consider to be negative brand management for years. It’s happening again with the skyrocketing food prices (does anyone think their groceries have really gone up, in some of my cases, 300%, or do you think they’re trying to claw back missing profit from the pandemic years). What’s happening to film photography, is the same thing that happened to the cigar industry in the 90s, I.e. the “luxing” of a product, so that people can sell many less units but maintain the same dollar value in profit. I saw a box of 20 of my favorite cigars in the late 90s, go from 33 bux, to 125 bux over a few years time, just to go after a new market of “unknowledgables” that were streaming in. When the smoke cleared, they’re selling much fewer cigars than they were selling in maybe the 70s, but profiting at a much higher rate, with far less work.

          Instead of value pricing film for a push on sales, they’re charging an arm and a leg, and hopefully they’ll make more than enough at the higher rates, and less sales. The big issue here is zero advertising for film. Make a large volume, advertise the joy and interest of film photography, as an art form or whatever, and build a new market. Instead, they’re going to ride new film production down in fits and spurts due to high pricing, until people like me just shake their heads and walk away from it as “not affordable”. After all, for the big manufacturers, the machinery was amortized years ago.

        4. P Avatar

          Indeed, Andy. Indeed… This really should be obvious to everyone, not just those, like yourself, who come from a career in marketing/advertising. Unfortunately, it seems way, way, WAY too many people today are too gullible, too naive, too lazy, and, to be frank, too ignorant to discern reality from fantasy. They just believe whatever garbage propaganda (marketing or otherwise) they’re fed 1hook-line-and-sinker, no matter how laughable or illogical it is. I mean, do people really not understand the sole purpose of corporate marketing departments (at least in these modern days of amoral and dishonest business practices) is, at the core, to deceive customers into paying WAY more for a product than it’s actually worth? It is astonishing to me how few people seem to be able to think for themselves these days. It’s scary.

          Regarding film specifically, I’m disgusted by the business practices that have been adopted by certain film manufacturers. Care to take a guess which ones? The really disgusting thing is that it’s entirely uncalled for. They didn’t even need to “create a new market,” as your said. The old market was actually coming back in a major way, and was going strong. But, exactly like you said, “[i]nstead of value pricing film for a push on sales, they’re charging an arm and a leg[…]” This has and is purging the community of all those that belonged to the old market — like you and me — replacing them instead with those who bring no value to the community whatsoever. For the overwhelming majority of them, it’s just the latest fad. Very few actually care to master the traditional photographic processes, and even those exceedingly few coming to film for the first time who do, due to the cost of film, effectively none of them can afford to shoot enough film to do so.

          It should be obvious what the end result of all this will be. It will ruin (has already ruined) the health of the film community, and, as a result, long-term it will destroy the industry-side of things as well. A healthy film community is dependent upon the knowledge of past generations being passed on (requiring those “old-timers” to remain active), as well as the ability for newcomers to afford to shoot enough film to master it themselves. Due to everything we’ve talked about, all of this has been ruined. As such, the film community/industry is no longer healthy at all. Rather, it’s very sick.

          In my opinion, if things don’t get back on track, quick, the future of film is all but guaranteed to be doomed as a result of all this nonsense. Unfortunately, unless people start voting with their dollars and start putting the aforementioned “certain manufacturers” in check, this will just continue on and on, exactly as it has been, until nothing is left, film becomes unviable/unsustainable as a medium, and ultimately dies/disappears altogether.

          Again, I guess these are all just my opinions, but I don’t know how anyone who’s been paying any attention to things at all can argue against them.

          Take care, Andy.

        5. Andy Umbo Avatar
          Andy Umbo

          BTW, P, what happened to the cigar industry is the same thing that will happen to the current film industry, i.e. those new to the industry, will be low volume “fad” consumers, that after a year or two, will wander away and move on to the next fad, and those long time users that will have been trying to keep their head financially above water buying highly expensive film, will be stuck with those high prices and buying far less film than they would like.

          Interesting to note, after tracking “Big Yellow” for years, they are well known for stopping production on many premium items like high-end, gallery quality printing paper, and films like Verichrome Pan, not because they weren’t making a profit, but because they weren’t doing the volume they wanted as well as making a profit they thought they should have. When films like Verichrome Pan sales rolled off, that would have been a signal to target a few advertising runs, instead of pulling the plug while they were still making profit. Whatever they were teaching at the Rochester School of Business, it was directly responsible for the demise of Big Yellow as we knew them…

        6. P Avatar

          Andy — yep.

  4. Kodachromeguy Avatar

    Early Dec., Houston Camera Exchange had Portra 160 in stock. But they only sell 2 rolls of C-41 film to a customer at one visit. I bought my 2 rolls….

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Another thing I’m seeing is that stores with an online presence are selling color film only to people who walk in.

      I was in Chicago over the weekend and stopped at Central Camera. They had some of the CineStill 400 so I bought two rolls – at $15 each. But they also had Fujicolor 200 single rolls at $13 so it’s not like the CineStill was disproportionate.

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