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Re: filmscanners: open and control

In <7a.15c8574a.284aa359@aol.com>, Bob Croxford wrote:

> In the earliest days of photography these two ideas fought it out. Daguerre 
> was paid a pension by the French government to make his invention free to 
> everyone, (except the Brits). Fox Talbot on the other hand controlled 
> everything through his rigid patents. The result was that no one tried to 
> circumvent the daguerreotype while lots of inventors tried, and succeeded, in 
> circumventing Talbot's patents. The result was a huge boost to neg/pos 
> photography while Daguerre's ideas stayed in a cul-de-sac.  The history of 
> photography seems to be against your hypothesis. 
But Daquerre's process was a technological dead-end that really had no future 
and so there was little call to get round it. It was expensive (it used a plate 
coated in metallic silver), it could only be looked at in certain viewing 
conditions, and there was no way to produce copies. Talbot's process negative 
was the one with a future. Anyway the big improvements in photographic 
happened _after_ Talbot's patents expired in the 1860s; the wet plate process, 
dry plates and finally film.

> Sticking with photography it was Agfa who gave us colour film we could 
> process ourselves while Kodak believed emphatically in the idea of a hugely 
> expensive factory owned Kodachrome line. Which idea is winning now? Kodak 
> also launched the PhotoCD and hasn't yet learnt the value of the home scanner 
> market.
Agfa's original colour films also needed to be sent back to the lab for 
processing. I think it was Ferania who first produced a home-developing colour 
film, and it was Kodak's 'E process' films that first made it popular. Anyway 
the great majority of film users still don't do their own processing; they take 
it to a lab. It is only enthusiasts and some professionals who do their own 
processing. The general public are just not interested in mucking about with 
dark rooms and messy chemicals; they just want to point and shoot.

Brian Rumary, England



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