Nikon “Film is dead”

Well another fire has been lit under film this year when a real resurgence had been building.

Nikon has been hosting a photographic competition for 34 years. The completion called on people, of any photographic ability to submit entries based for the following categories; Single image, Composite image (a series of images from 2 to 5 pictures), Photographic video (45seconds long) and motion snap shot (using Nikon 1 Motion Snapshot feature)

This year the guidelines for submission have greatly changed with the exclusion of film images. The guidelines state;

Image data files created with digital cameras (including medium- and large-format cameras). Images that have been retouched using software or by other means will be accepted. Both color and monochrome images will be accepted. (Scans of photographs taken with film cameras are not eligible.)”

Nikon has stated on their website for the completion that;

“In the last 10 years, with the wide penetration of digital cameras, the environment surrounding photography and cameras has dramatically changed. And so the contest is changing as well, both in name and in structure.”

This means that the completion will be turning its back on the Nikon F6. The F6 is a $3000 professional film camera that is still in production.

For me their statement makes not much sense. There is a clichéd statement in photography that the best camera you have is the one you have with you. Film or digital it is a camera. Why would Nikon deprive a person of the chance of entering just because their film camera is what they had on them and created an amazing picture?

They are also arguing it is so that the completion moves with the times but if they will still let you use images entered from the Nikon D1, a 2 megapixel  apc size sensor camera, released in 1999. Why not let film images be entered. The quality of a 35mm film image let alone a medium or large format camera would far surpass that of the early digital cameras.

A cynic would say that it is because Nikon are making no money from the film market and so want the completion to force people into their digital market, as the competition is a huge marketing setup anyway.

It is also strange that Nikon won’t allow film images especially since they have a range of negative scanners and scanning software. In the competition there is a category that can only be entered if you use a specific mode on the camera. If there has been such a shift and film photography is a niche market could they not have a category specifically for film.

It is a hard pill to swallow especially in the year that Kodak has made huge announcements. For film users this was balanced with Fuji and Ilford committing to its film stock and the impossible project breathing new life into Polaroid cameras. Lomography has continued to build its user base and film no longer seemed like the mothballed typewriter in the attic. This announcement from Nikon might as well say that film is dead to them.

How do you feel and Nikons decision, will you now not be entering the competition  Let me know using the comment box below.

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