Thanks Michael. I might just check the site you mention.
Thanks Michael. I might just check the site you mention.
My concern/ complaint with the current surge of digital things is that unlike any time in the past, we the consumers are the test bed that is finding the "bugs" and causing the next/ better generation (usually about 3 months) to come and take the previous ones place making the one we paid way too much for already obsolete.
The only way a magazine could be objective would be to talk to a group of consumers that had been struggling with the newest/ greatest and find out what the truth really is. Unfortunately with press times etc. by the time something had been in consumer hands and an actual objective report calculated, the "thing" would have been replaced by the next whhiz banggy better one. Magazines don't have much else to go on than manufacturers claims.........a really scary thought.
That is why real time forums like this and others are in fact so useful. A discussion about an Epson 2450 is boring as all get out until I notice Costco has them for $229 or whatever, and then the information from real time users is solid gold.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949
but I think it would be better if it had a stronger editor>>>>
Can you be more specific and constructive?
It's nice to see how digital is advancing, and it's obvious that silver-based photography is in retreat for commercial/industrial applications. I'm a cinematographer, and video has eaten my lunch too.
In my opinion, these days, if you're setting up a view camera, you're not doing it to make money. It's an avocation, maybe a passion. I shoot tape as well as film to make a living, and budget constaints force us to shoot more tape, less film. Not just tape, but DV instead of Betacam, then not just DV but miniDV!
I just finished a job shot with a handicam miniDV and a fine time and much money was had by all. My response to this experience was to rush out and get a 7x17 camera... 5x7 wasn't big enough! Call me a Luddite, I guess.
As a publisher Steve Simmons has a business to run. But if it develops that digital is where View Camera is going, hopefully classic large-format will find another magazine venue. Maybe seven bucks an issue won't be enough...
I don't understand your statement that you "think the problem here is not about objectivity; the problem is about the lack of any balanced accounting of experience."
Then later you say, "The published articles gave no sense of the actual experience, but read more like company propaganda."
Both of your statements seem to underscore the exact "lack of objectivity" that I was referring to. When a magazine publishes an article, they are primarily concerned about two things: 1. Will it increase readership (subscription and/or newsstand), and 2. Will it increase advertising revenue.
It is usually the case in magazines (I don't mean to single out "View Camera"), that as soon as an article is commissioned for future inclusion in an issue, the advertising sales department immediately contacts vendors associated with the subject of that article to encourage them to advertise. In the case of digital technology, there are lots of advertising dollars out there, and it would counterproductive for a magazine article about digital photography to overly criticize the digital industry that they are trying to coax new and lucrative advertiser dollars from.
I just looked at the July/August issue of ?View Camera? and noticed that neither Kodak nor Ilford bought any advertisements in that issue (which contained an article about digital printing). One company selling digital backs bought a full-page color ad inside the front cover. And of course, the company who produces the digital printing technology discussed in the article also bought an ad. Magazine publishers don?t bite the hand that feeds them. And these days, there is not much "food" going around.
Lets look at a few facts.
Neither Kodak or Ilford bought an ad in the Nov/Dec 2001 issue. Yet, there are two pages devoted to listing all of the sheet films that are standard stock items so my readers will know that film is still available.
I frequently show samples of my work. I have never done a digital capture in my life. I have shown work from 4x5, 8x10, and recently 5x7.
In the Sept/Oct issue there was a lot of info about using Polaroid films and holders. Show me the Polaroid ad.
In the Sept/Oct issue there was an article called Seeing in Silver by Gordon Hutchings. Which film and paper company placed an ad in that issue other than a small Bergger ad
It is easy to be an armchair critic and select small pieces of the magazine to justify your theories. It is more balanced and accurate to look at the entire issue, and the history of the magazine over the last 13 years to see what we have done. Are we doing more digital now than in 1989. Yes of course. There is more digital now than in 1989. Have we stopped doing silver based film. If you look at the magazine as a whole you will see that the answer is no.
I think you are being a little bit defensive, nobody here is saying your magazine is not good, or that it is not involved any longer with the issues that interest LF photographers/readers. I think the biggest surprised people had, was the inclusion of so much digital coverage in the last issues, specially since we NEVER see pt/pd printing articles in a digital photography magazine. I think what has not been expressed is that there is a plethora of magazines now a days extholing the virtues and wonderfulness of digital that people really wonder "Do we need another article on digital backs in one of the few magazines left for "traditional" photographers?"
Is digital here to stay, as you said? you bet!! is digital in LF common place and something I would be able to easily pick? At $35,000 a pop I seriuosly doubt it! So I think all of us wondered why so much interest in your magazine about these back, if not due to advertising and/or benefits to the magazine from digital back producers? And if so, we were also wondering if View Camera was "going digital" because of the advertising dollars. Lets be honest, did your articles cover these backs better than any of the many digital phtography magazines? I don't know and people in this forum who read the article can better answer this, but I don't think they did, and I believe that is the root of Michael's disappointment with this issue, too much praise and gushing about this backs and how wonderful they are, without any mention of the problems associated with them. OTH was this an article about the backs? or about the work these photographers are doing, regardless of back? ONCE THIS QUESTION IS ANSWERED (caps for emphasis, not yelling) I think all this disucussion will go away.
So, bottom line, relax! I know this magazine is your child, but nobody here has said, "that's it I am not reading View Camera anymore because it has gone digital!" I think all will agree your magazine is a considered to be a valuable asset to the LF community and it is precisely because most feel this way that they were surpised to see such an emphasis in Digital backs and digital work.
You have more than adequately responded, it is obvious View Camera magazine is not going "completely" digital any time soon. I am sure eveybody here is glad to know this. Was it a mistake to include so much digital in the last issue? who knows? I certainly don't know and I am sure with your reader mail you will be able to judge this better than us, so if it was a mistake then let us know in the future, if it was not, let us know too...I think right now everybody is arguing a moot point since...
1.- you vehemently have talked about the "other" articles
2.- there are only at max what? 20 guys who have participated in this discussion, once you get a better "feel" as to the response to these articles let us know, right now I think you are wasting your time. On the other hand if you come back and say "people I had 2000 letters telling me they loved the LF digital backs issue" then I guess you would have shut everybody's mouth here...no?
I really think that what you are trying to say is that as Editor you chose these articles for variety and interest, and everybody else is so worried their last magazine will go digital that they made a mountain out of a molehill.
I also think that people see some disturbing trends in your magazine and that is why they are worried, for example, the inclusion of John Paul Caponigro as one of your contribuiting writers, who is definetly digital biased, if I had a choice I would rather read what his father has to say, but then what do I know?
ok, enough from me....good luck to you and continued success...
I look foreward to every issue of View Camera becasue it is a tremendous resource for people like me. To produce really good LF photographs is a challenge, from both an artistic as well as a technical stand. As a hobbyist who doesn't have a lot of money to spend on equiptment[most of my gear is older than I am]I find that the article View Camera runs on photographers who produce really fine portfolios with very basic equiptment inspiring. It is very rare that any other photography magazine will print such articles. I found Gordon Hutchings recent articles on Weston light meters and repairing wooden DCFH's especially valuable. While a digital back for my Deardorff is not on my Christmas list, I find that I learn something from those articles too. I won't be shooting food or vodka bottles or sex goddesses for a Madison Avenue agency anytime soon, but I do know that cutting edge technology won't help me become a better photographer. More time in the field and the darkroom will. As for the innuendo that View Camera has become a digital only magazine,and has been bought off by big business, I think my little article on repairing Elwoods in the July/August issue proves that just isn't so. Elwood has been out of business for about fifty years! Keep up the good work Mr. Simmons!
I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.