Karl and Art's points are (and should be) well taken. Film is an excellent
archival medium (less so prints). But the thing overlooked is the posibility
of disaster; fire and floods have taken a devastating toll on archives of
all types (and they're not very good for PCs, scanners or cameras, either).
The answer? Multiple redundancy. Copies of negs and slides in another
storage area, for example. Transfer of floppy data to CD-R. Recording negs,
slides and prints to CD-R. Transfer of CD-Rs to DVD, for that matter, when
the technology becomes available at affordable prices. Backup, backup,
But how many of us *do* that? Shoot, I haven't even backed up my HD for over
a week! Aye, there's the rub--so much to do and so little time to do it in.
Just my 2-cents' worth from the Rust Belt, on a serious subject.
>From: Arthur Entlich <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: filmscanners: Digital vs Conventional Chemical Darkroom
>Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 23:41:23 -0700
>Since I was quoted on the bottom of this (I've edited it out), I want
>to make it quite clear that on many occasions I have stated that I find
>the number one problem with digital is the poor archival nature of
>storage, so I am in total agreement with Karl.
>The problem of change of format, no easy way to identify what is on the
>disk/tape without a specialized (and maybe unavailable) reader, loss of
>magnetic or optical data reliability in minimal time often causing a few
>bytes worth of loss to render the total file or disk unreadable, etc,
>all lead to the same problem. Film is much more reliable. All you need
>is light to see it, a scratch is repairable without the full loss of
>As I've said many times: show me a medium 1.5" x 1" x nearly zero, that
>stores a readily accessible, 200 megs of info, which is also almost
>fully archival with minimal care, and costs under 25 cents, and I'll be
>ready to go fully digital.
>Further, tell me of a more upgradable machine than a silver film based
>35mm camera, which only needs a new roll of film (under $10) to take
>advantage of the latest in photographic image taking...
>Sure, I love digital, but no one should be fooled into thinking that
>right now it is a "better" media in the above mentioned areas of cost or
>reliability of storage, archiving and expense in upgrading.
>Karl Schulmeisters wrote:
> > Well this has another 'permanence problem'. I still have in my
> > storage media
> > 2 9track 6250 tapes (from less than 20 yrs ago and now effectively
> > unreadable)
> > 6 8" Floppy disks (now unreadable)
> > 3 IoMega removable disks (from 10 years ago - now unreadable)
> > lots of 3.5" floppies, which are rapidly becoming unreadable on many
> > machines
> > OTOH, I have a cabinet full of negatives from 30+ years ago - and
> > from my grandmother's time, as well as positives, that survived
> > Person's Camps and all sorts of horrible situations. How many CDRoms
> > think would have made it through Forced Labor camps of WWII?
> > ALL of which are 'readable' (ie printable)
> > Data CD-ROMs, exposed to sunlight, have a life expectancy of about
> > before bit-rot becomes uncorrectable (not AS big a deal in image and
> > CDs where it appears as noise)
> > As for Digital having the same quality as film - maybe if you are purely
> > looking at 35mm - but I would disagree here as well. Note also, that as
> > wonderful as an Epson 1280 is, It can't do 16x20 or larger. I can
> > chemical enlarger. Pretty trivially.
> > That said, I'm not an anti-digital luddite. But unless you are going to
> > spring for a Canon D-30 or a Nikon D-1, even point-and-shoot film
> > give you better image quality, and I will take the crispness of a
> > photographic print over a glossy inkjet anyday.
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