Professional or Amateur Film

a designation which may seem offensive by those defensive users. Although not an absolute measurement, it was used by the main film makers for most of their film century.

The character of the professional user gave us the term. They used more film; stored it for shorter times; frequently altered the processing parameters. This market of film, frequently, included a tech-sheet with more technical information than the amateur ideograms, assuming that the professional would interpret them correctly for their need. The professional worked with controlled, or at least knowable light systems and situations.

The professional was expected to enlarge their film in different situations and to much greater degree than the amateur. Professional films were expected to be reprinted, or otherwise re-sued more often than the amateur.

Amateurs frequently kept film in a camera over many months. At one mass-processor an informal contest ran: the winner would be the roll of film with the greatest number of year-over-year vacation snaps. More Thanksgivings, etc. The ultimate winner was a 12 exposure roll with a wedding, 8 Thanksgivings and a funeral. It was dropped off for processing at a One-Hour finisher. That is the amateur