Hi. I am new to this community and a very casual photographer. I have gone through fits of photography now and then. When I was a child I had a Fisher Price 110 camera. I took LOTS of photographs with it. Later I had a few 35 mm point and shoots for basic holiday photography. When I was in high school my father gave me his old Konica 35mm camera from the 70s. It had besides the normal lense a wide fisheye and a telephoto. There were also a few filters. I did a lot of really cool stuff with that, including a lot of experimental stuff like trying to do night photography. I got to know the person at Wolf Camera pretty well and we would often discuss pictures that we had taken. I actually have no idea where that camera is now, but I think that the normal lense went missing when I was in Austria. I also experimented with medium format when I shot a few rolls on a KIEV 60. That cost a small fortune for me to have developed so that didn't go far.
I was resistant to trying digital, but eventually I picked up some little Kodak digital camera and was amazed at what I could do with it. It was very small so I carried it on my belt all of the time. I loved how I could see exactly how the picture would look in the viewfinder before I snapped the picture. Later it mysteriously went missing. I received a Panasonic Lumix for my birthday, and a day later my old Kodak reappeared. I suspect that my brother had taken it without my permission, but I have no solid proof. The Lumix I have is the model DMC-LC40. Overall I find it to be very good to use and I have taken a lot of photographs with it, some that I very much like and will post here soon,
There are two things that I am starting no not like. First, the pictures. The reds are a little weak and I always have to adjust the white balance in Photoshoppe. I try to take one of those cards with the white, black, and grey to help me but that's not always possible. Also when I go into manual mode I tend to get a bit more digital noise then I would like.
The second problem is that I think that I am getting less dedicated to taking good photographs. I get instant gratification (although I find it's always better to judge photographs on the computer then on the little camera screen) and tend to waste shots by shooting a lot casually instead of carefuly composing a shot and waiting until the light is exactly right and things. Sometimes I take shots like that, but I hardly ever use a proper tripod anymore. When I had 35mm I would take careful notes of my camera settings on different shots, be very purposeful, and then discuss my shots with the Wolf person, noticing details like the colour tone of the sky based on my f-stop.
So I am thinking of going back into 35mm SLR. I am discovering, however, that the world of photography is changed. Kodak, Nikon, and Fuji are leaving 35mm, and going straight to digital. I thought of digital SLRs, but those are WAY out of my price range. I found a great system on ebay with multiple lenses, tripods, and filters for $900, which is a good deal, but not something that I could afford right now. Instead I was looking as a Nikon F3 HP that, based on other closed auctions for the same model, I might be able to afford. Also, when my friend heard about my plight, she said that she found an old Nikon F2 in her attic that she might be able to give me for free. :-D
I decided to call Wolf to find out the cost of developing a print, for my calculations to see how many pictures I would have to take so that when I add it to the price of a 35mm camera, would equal the $900 for a digital SLR. When I called them the guy directed me to a section of their site for making prints from digital photographs. I told him that I meant the cost for 35mm, and told him my situation, and he seemed to think I was crazy for wanting to use anything other then digital.
So the question is, is 35mm truly dying? Will it go the way of 110 film, flashbars, and flashcubes, or will I still be able to purchase and develop 35mm film readily in the years (and decades) to come? I found a wounderful book in the library from 1976 about special effect photography with a 35mm SLR, and would like to try some of those techniques, and get back to my film roots in general. Is this a foolish quest?