It Never Happened - But We Were Absolutely Prepared Anyway
it might seem foolish of me to complain of what might have been in other times. Let's face it, when the photography world rolled round from silvered plates to glass sheets to flexible films to little weeny electric sensors there were a lot of things that could have happened, but didn't.
The two I mourn were the film cassette-shaped digital converter that was promised and the cheap 4" x 5" digital sensor.
The first came out as a mock-up and set of promises at an America photo and electronics show and got into the American photo press at the time. Apparently it was going to allow us to make digital cameras out of our 35mm film cameras. It sank without a trace and none of the lifeboats have yet washed up on shore. Our senior technician has assured me it would never have worked but that is little comfort - I WANTED it to work.
The promise of a cheap digital sensor for the 4" x 5" studio camera was also mooted at the time. We were told that things were set to become cheaper all the time in an exponential curve and that oriental manufacturers would ride in with a $ 25 sensor back for the Linhof and we would get 5000 megabyte files for free...Yeah, that happened big time. Let me show you the unicorn pictures I took with the free plastic prototype that came in the Wheaties packet...
It is no different in the car world. That automatic plastic road that had the jet car with the bubble top in which I was scheduled to zoom to work while playing cards seems to have been mysteriously delayed - I do manage with a Suzuki Swift on Berwick Street and I pass my time dodging cyclists and wandering pedestrians.
I think the debt of gratitude that I owe to the advertisers of future marvels is starting to accumulate interest...