Instax hack: Wide/Square adapter

Keigo Moriyama on Emulsive explains How to shoot Instax Square in an Instax Wide camera:

One of the characteristics of these [instant film] cameras is that we can choose only one format for one camera.

[…]

The adapter design is a really simple one. Just a few rectangular shapes extruded here and there to fit in both wide and square format.

Keigo then demonstrate the prototype in a video:

It’s interesting to see all the hacks around Instax cameras.

The future of film

The future of film doesn’t look bright.

First, James Cater write Film is Alive!… But it May Have a Terminal Illness, where the author expands on how the tech satellite to film is backwards: minilab and cameras, neither of these are being developed or even manufactured.

Second, the industry is in turnmoil.

The spun-off company that still make Kodak film, Kodak Alaris, is looking to sell its film and paper unit, for a meager $34M, and this shortly after announcing that the just revived Ektachrome 100 slide film would be made available in sheet and 120 format in April, in addition to the currently available 35mm.

Meanwhile, Tetenal, the European film chemistry manufacturer face closure after 172 years of activity. And this is bad news, even after CineStill new chemistry announcement.

PetaPixel has a closer look at Tetenal:

Without Tetenal’s chemistry branch, a lot of photographers, photofinishers, labs, printing companies and even the once so mighty Kodak itself might be left out in the rain, as Tetenal reportedly produces not only chemistry for EU distribution under license from Kodak but directly produces source chemicals for Kodak’s U.S. manufacturing.

and

Another immediate effect of Tetenal’s demise might be a supply glitch for RA-4 paper chemistry that many labs, finishers, and printing companies rely on.

This does not look good at all.

Where mirrorless is headed in 2019

Thom from Sans Mirror speculate on the mirrorless market in 2019. He gives us a manufacturer by manufacturer play:

Clearly, all the camera makers—other than Pentax, who’s still wandering around in the woods somewhere seeing if trees make noises when they fall—are going to be executing significantly in the mirrorless realm in the future. We’re now clearly into the DSLR-to-mirrorless transition period. How long that transition will take depends upon how fast the camera makers move.

This is what I’m predicting too: DSLR is down, mirrorless is up. It is a technological move and while it will not fundamentally change the way we use cameras, it will definitely shape its evolution.

The DLSR will probably die

The Computational Photographer wrote The DSLR will probably die. Are mirrorless the future of large standalone cameras?.

Let’s see why I think the reflex design is doomed, even though it has dominated serious photography for decades.

[…]

The DSLR has to die because the mirror is too high a cost for its diminishing benefits. The mirror adds to the complexity of the camera and its manufacturing, it makes the camera bigger, and it introduces challenges for lens design. And its advantages don’t extend to video, which is an increasingly important usage case.

[…]

Furthermore, the mirror in DSLR severely constrains the design of lenses, by preventing lens elements to be placed near the sensor.

This goes in the same way as what I wrote in September in The future is mirrorless. The reflex design was addressing a constraint to be able provide a through-the-lens view which is now provided using the current sensor technology.

Zink archival quality

In today’s Instant photography there are two different technologies. The old instant film pioneered by Polaroid and now dominated by Fujifilm Instax, and the new digital printer, usually ink based, the later being pushed by the Polaroid brand (as opposed to Polaroid Originals), with Zink that uses thermal printing technology.

From All About Images, Zink Twice about Polaroid (their pun):

Polaroid and Zink have chosen not to provide any stability information on their products. One can only assume that the expected lifetime for this product must be poor, since if it were not, they would have every reason to publicize it.

Lifetime of prints is an important matter. I’m convinced that the majority of the digital photography archives will be lost to obsolete and failing technology, destructive services, etc. and that printing is one of the limited ways to preserve them. But prints have to be long lasting. Photographic paper like the Fujicolor Crystal Archive is rated for 70 years and this is way longer than Zink.

Flickr new account policy – the “Flickrpocalypse” is coming

This year, Flickr was bought from AOL, er, I mean OAth by SmugMug.

The new Flickr is changing their account policy for free accounts to a limit of 1000 photos/videos. The original Flickr was at 200. No problem, they want us, the users, to be the customers and not the product. They also need to operate in a way that is sustainable, and by do so they are giving an incentive to get a paid account (they call it “Pro”).

But there is one important detail, hidden in the fine print of another page:

Free members with more than 1,000 photos or videos uploaded to Flickr have until Tuesday, January 8, 2019, to upgrade to Pro or download content over the limit. After January 8, 2019, members over the limit will no longer be able to upload new photos to Flickr. After February 5, 2019, free accounts that contain over 1,000 photos or videos will have content actively deleted — starting from oldest to newest date uploaded — to meet the new limit.

After February 5 they will delete content, just based on date. What about these projects of the commons? What about these accounts of people that left us? They will be erasing a large cultural heritage, just like that, not taking the responsibility of stewarding the content they acquired. I think this is a bad move for them. It feels like a breach of trust ; it is perfectly ok to prevent upload on any unpaid account over 1000, but deleting it, it is not. Also they are voluntarily crippling something they need: inertia that the traffic drives, making the service more popular.

Just as a side note, my Flickr account is still under the threshold, there is currently no risk, until Flickr decide to change the limits later.

Creative Commons are working with them to mitigate the loss of some much Creative Commons material:

Flickr is one of the most important platforms to host and share CC licensed works on the web, and over 400 million of the photos there are CC licensed – representing over a quarter of all CC licensed works on the web.

And I know the Internet Archive team will be working hard on trying to mitigate the disaster.

Please, please, Flickr, don’t delete the content.

Update: it seems that there is a program to exempt institutions from this. Don MacAskill, SmugMug CEO donated 100-years of Flickr Pro to the Internet Archive, even though it is covered by the program. Also Cory Doctorow agrees with my suggestion. This is not a reversion of the delete policy, just a mitigation for the Commons.

Nikon Z7 teardown

LensRental, after doing it for the EOS R, tore down a Nikon Z7 to show what’s inside:

This is not marketing department weather resistance. This is engineering department weather resistance. Anything that can be sealed has been sealed. I’m impressed, and I will say for future cut-and-paste blurbs: this is as robustly weather sealed a camera as we’ve ever disassembled.

Remember this is a ~USD$3,500 camera body, which the build quality impressed.