I test-piloted the Optasound ESTEC, a way of making "professional super 8 movies," and from 1970 wrote on the subject each month for Pop Photo, and for Today's Filmmaker, a PTN publication. They dubbed me "Mister Super 8" ("Monsieur Super Huite," in France) until about 1978, when "Betamax" and "VHS video" wiped super huite off the map (except in France).
Kodak was pushing something called "multi-image" that year (3 - 36 or more 35mm carousel-style projectors on huge screens) and I jumped ship.
Discovered digital on an assignment for Pop in 1976 and understood the future perfectly. But it was a long time coming. I went to work in multi-image till 1996. Then "corporate video" wiped multi-image off the map.
That was okay. Kodak had already ushered-in the digital age with "the Photo CD." That was in 1990. By photokina 1996, digicams were beginning to jell. Something new to learn.
Serial connections? The KDC format? Math co-processors? Active SCSI terminators? Loading high? RAM disks? How many things have we learned all about, then learned to forget? CCDs? CMOS? Now there's something called MOS. What's next?
There's been a lot of water under the bridge since 1961, carrying over the dam a score of horses shot midstream. We like to say that the rapid pace of change in photography is new, but no—not quite.
The one thing about this horse, though, the digital one, is this: it's better, by far and in many ways, than 16 millimeter and super 8 and medium format and Betamax, and one of these days, if software programmers ever learn what a slideshow is, it may even surpass multi-image. It's better than all of them put together, because it embraces all of them together.
They were all a warm-up. Good intentions and wishful thinking. They were the prologue, and The Golden Age has finally dawned. I loved those noble old steeds, but this is the thoroughbred we'll all ride evermore.
Develop Film In An Hour, Are You Out Of Your Mind?
By Jerry Lansky
may be celebrating its 70th year but for the first 43 of those years no one had ever heard of, or even dreamed of, on-site equipment that could develop and print a roll of film and return it to a customer in an hour. Along the way someone gave this product the name 'minilab.'
It wasn't until 1979 that Noritsu introduced the concept of one-hour with its first QSS-I installation.
My personal history in the minilab industry began in 1981 when I opened the first of eight Photo To Go locations in New Jersey. The Noritsu QSS-II was my equipment of choice and served me—and most of the industry—very well in those days. I was a newbie to the photo business and was totally intimidated by the need to 'dead-heat' each of the many Noritsu film channels and run test strips of film and paper through chemistry so I could plot red, green and blue lines on special paper charts I bought from Kodak. To this day I can't explain what dead-heating was about and what the colored lines were really communicating to me.
In preparation of opening my business I prepared a business plan for my leasing company. As an MBA-degree holder I thought I knew all the bases to cover. The one expense I missed, however, was what the township charged me for over one million gallons of water that I used and returned to the sewer system (after silver recovery, of course). That was just one store for one year. Almost a budget buster.
Today's lab owners don't have to worry about such problems as Konica solved it for the whole industry when it introduced the washless system in the mid-1980s.