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  1. #1
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Jan 2007

    Kodak Survey Shows that Professional Photographers Remain Ardent Users of Film

    More Than Three-Quarters of Photographers Surveyed Will Continue to Use Film, Even as Some Embrace Digital Technology, “It’s An ‘And’ World Where Digital and Film Co-exist and Complement Each Other”

    ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 19 -- A survey of more than 9,000 professional photographers in the U.S. shows that film continues to have an avidfollowing, with 75 percent of photographers saying they will continue to use film, even as some embrace digital imaging technology. The results of the U.S. survey, conducted by the Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK), mirror the results of a similar survey the company recently conducted in Europe, where more than two-thirds of professional photographers surveyed plan to continue using film.

    According to the U.S. survey results, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of professional photographers prefer the results of film to those of digital for certain applications including:

    * film’s superiority in capturing more information on medium and large format films (48 percent);
    * creating a traditional photographic look (48 percent);
    * capturing shadow and highlighting details (45 percent);
    * the wide exposure latitude of film (42 percent); and
    * archival storage (38 percent).

    “I find film invaluable because the details and look of the photographs are crucial in re-telling the events playing out in front of me,” said Pep Bonet, international award winning photojournalist and a founding member of NOOR, a new photo agency committed to documenting social issues worldwide. “I do very little research or preparation prior to traveling to location. Instead, I arrive, I observe and ultimately, I trust that my camera and my film will capture the story at hand. The stories may be stunning, disturbing or inspiring. But above all, they are real. There’s nothing like film to capture those realities, particularly Tri-X black-and-white film.”

    Many of the survey respondents share Bonet’s passion for black-and-white photography and film. Although professional photographers acknowledge that digital cameras offer certain benefits, they said that film better captures certain images, particularly black-and-white photos. The majority (90 percent) of photographers produce black-and-white images, with 47 percent saying black-and-white photography allows them to create a certain look and feel and differentiate themselves. More than half of them (57 percent) prefer using film to achieve this desired effect.

    “First and foremost, photographers are artists, supported by the science of the tools that help them do their job,” said Mary Jane Hellyar, President, Film Products Group and Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. “This survey indicates that film remains an important tool on which professional photographers rely to effectively create their work, so providing choice is of utmost importance. It’s an ‘and’ world where digital and film co-exist and complement each other.”

    Kodak strives to provide this choice through ongoing innovation in its film offering. This year alone, Kodak introduced five new versions of its KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA Films, which have received a strong response from the industry. The new PORTRA film family, comprising 160VC, 160NC, 400VC, 400NC and 800, helps professional photographers create stunning images with finer grain, spectacular skin tones, and improved scanning performance for greater enlargement capability.

    In the past year, Kodak has received four industry awards for its PORTRA films, including the American Photo “Editor’s Choice” award, just released last month. Each year, American Photo creates its list of the industry’s best new products and this year, named PORTRA in its “Imaging Essentials” category. Other awards include:

    Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) – Best Film in Europe 2007: The award, voted for by TIPA members, recognizes the fine grain, excellent resolving power and superb color precision offered to professional photographers by Kodak’s four color negative professional films: Portra160VC, 160NC, 400VC and 400NC.

    Professional Photographer’s 2007 Hot One Award - Color Negative Films: The Professional Photographer Hot One Awards, chosen by a panel of 15 practicing professional photographers, honor the photography industry’s best new products for professional application.

    Studio Photography - “2006 Readers’ Choice Awards”: Readers and web site visitors of Studio Photography gave PORTRA Film top honors in the 2006 Studio Photography “Readers’ Choice Awards.” In the first-ever survey, readers overwhelmingly voted for PORTRA as their favorite film.
    About Eastman Kodak Company

    Kodak is the world’s foremost imaging innovator. With sales of $10.7 billion in 2006, the company is committed to a digitally oriented growth strategy focused on helping people better use meaningful images and information in their life and work. Consumers use Kodak’s system of digital and traditional products and services to take, print and share their pictures anytime, anywhere; Businesses effectively communicate with customers worldwide using Kodak solutions for prepress, conventional and digital printing and document imaging; and Creative Professionals rely on Kodak technology to uniquely tell their story through moving or still images.

    More information about Kodak (NYSE: EK) is available at


    Editor’s Note: Kodak corporate news releases are now offered via RSS feeds. Many RSS aggregators or readers, including, NewsGator, and Google Reader, can be used to view these feeds. To subscribe, visit and look for the RSS symbol. In addition, Kodak podcasts are viewable at Podcasts may be downloaded for viewing on iTunes, Quicktime, or other PC-based media players. Users may also subscribe to Kodak podcasts via the iTunes store by typing “Kodak Close Up” in the search field at the top of the iTunes Store window.
    Kodak and PORTRA are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company.
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  2. #2
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    Mar 2004
    McCordsville, IN

    Re: Kodak Survey Shows that Professional Photographers Remain Ardent Users of Film

    Obviously they didn't do a very good survey that included media photographers or the survey would have been a complete reversal, sounds to me like they only considered those using medium and large format which puts a serious bias on the results.

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  3. #3
    Not-so-recent Nikon Convert livin4lax09's Avatar
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    Dec 2004

    Re: Kodak Survey Shows that Professional Photographers Remain Ardent Users of Film

    completely understandable. it's almost impossible to truly digitally replicate the tones and values you can get with black and white film.

  4. #4
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    Re: Kodak Survey Shows that Professional Photographers Remain Ardent Users of Film

    You ask biased questions, you get the right answers
    You bias the sample, you get the right answers

    I don't think that's how regular polls work, but marketing is like that

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Denver, Colorado, America

    Re: Kodak Survey Shows that Professional Photographers Remain Ardent Users of Film

    Typical marketing BS, 35mm film is dead, it is an alternative process now. I only have point and shoot digital cameras, but I find that their capture of highlights is superior than film. Film, in my opinion, is far superior in capturing shadows, which is why I think it produces better B&W images, I could be wrong of course, as I have not spent alot of time with a dslr yet. The really interesting thing about the digital cameras I have shot with is that they capture the infrared spectrum. I was shocked by this fact and decided it was time I got a more serious digital camera because of it.

  6. #6
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Paris, France


    Black and white film? They're talking about Tri-X. Introduced more than 50 years ago, generations of photographers have grown to love the look it gives (combination of grain and tonal compression).

    Kodak tried to kill off Tri-X about 25 years ago with TMax (less grain, softer tones) but most people preferred Tri-X and they had to keep it.

    I was shocked recently when I looked (on-screen) through my collection. Scanned colour film looks pretty bad compared with what I produce now on digital. But the black and white holds up. You have to mess around a whole lot with a digital image to make it look even vaguely right in black and white. Plus there are some surprises - the D70 looks better than the D200 so far.

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  7. #7
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Austin, Texas

    Re: Kodak Survey Shows that Professional Photographers Remain Ardent Users of Film

    Quote Originally Posted by JSPhoto
    Obviously they didn't do a very good survey that included media photographers or the survey would have been a complete reversal, sounds to me like they only considered those using medium and large format which puts a serious bias on the results.

    Why is that obvious? The first person they quote, Pep Bonet, is a photojournalist. They are just saying it is a world where film and digital coexist and complement one another. Is that so hard to believe? No one is saying film is better, which would be as stupid as saying digital is better. You have to consider the usage and the criteria for such a decision, and that is going to be different for everyone.


  8. #8
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Sep 2002

    Re: Kodak Survey Shows that Professional Photographers Remain Ardent Users of Film

    Regardless of your take on this, let's hope that Kodak takes notices and does something like Ilford is doing..
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  9. #9
    GB1 is offline
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    Feb 2004
    San Diego CA

    Re: Kodak Survey Shows that Professional Photographers Remain Ardent Users of Film

    Interesting article, but you have to ask yourself

    1) how many new professionals are or would use film?

    2) how much bias the (older) professional photographers have based on their

    - currently-owned equipment (35mm, etc)
    - past results (they trust what they know)
    - nostalgia
    - laziness in learning a new domain
    - perhaps the feeling that digital is too 'easy', hence making it easier for a beginner to shoot 1000 pix and keep that one good shot they got by mistake

    I also feel that film is still superior to what I'm seeing on my new Nikon D200. But, digital just has so many advantages: no film costs, immediate results and feedback, no requirement to print out bad shots to see what you have, transferability (email, etc), adjustable ISO speeds, etc.

    Note that I still use both systems.

    I see digital growing and growing till film is indeed an 'old' art, where people look at a photographer still using it and scratch their heads. I will probably be one of those photographers
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