Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-30-2012, 05:45 AM   #1
Veteran Member

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NE, USA
Posts: 1,302
What is the future of 120 film?

Will it settle out with a couple of companies making a BW or 2 and a color option?

Will 120 go extinct? Or what?

I think 220 is already extinct. (But not sure)


07-30-2012, 08:20 AM   #2
Giveaway winner!
MysteryOnion's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: beantown
Photos: Albums
Posts: 944
QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
Will it settle out with a couple of companies making a BW or 2 and a color option?
Will 120 go extinct? Or what?
I think 220 is already extinct. (But not sure)...
It is sad that fresh 220 B&W is gone, I can still find color 220 listed... online. Locally is a hike.

120 is still out there and it is most likely still going to be for a long while, but more that a couple companies...

Adox, Efke, Foma, Fuji, Ilford, Kentmere, Kodak, Legacy Pro, Rollie...etc.

Have you looked at, B&H photo, digitaltruth, etc?
07-30-2012, 08:23 AM   #3
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
blackcloudbrew's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cotati, California USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,304
I have no idea what may or may not be planned for 120/220 film but it's very alive from my perspective. You have, for example the Lomo cameras which shoot these films and the MF film market while not mainstream anymore, has moved in to a niche market. 220 b&w is gone AFAIK but you can get 220 color film. 120 is not going away. I can buy it right off the shelf in my two local photo stores and get it developed locally as well.
07-30-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
Veteran Member

Join Date: Feb 2011
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 573
120 has a good chance of being around for a long time. 220 was a specialize roll length as only a fraction of the medium-format cameras could use it and most photographers preferred 120 over it even with the choice. The fact 220 was discontinued in many emulsions is not really a shock .

07-30-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
Senior Member

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 150
120 B&W will be around on this planet as long as I will (I'm 52). Plenty of choices too. At some point I wouldn't be surprised to see some "garage made" B&W film, kind of like a microbrewery for film!. 220 B&W is already gone.
I would guess that C-41 color will be around longer than E-6.
07-30-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
Veteran Member

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: santa monica
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 446
I dont care what the future of film availability is. The labs in my hometown already doubled their prices , slashed their operating hours, and dont care when they mess up. Not being a home developer, i have abandoned film due to the breakdown of the laboratory system........... Had I seen this coming i would not have kept one 67ll with 45mm in new condition.......
08-02-2012, 03:19 AM   #7
Silent Street's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Alice Springs/NT AUS
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,016
Given the variety of B&W film in the 120 format, I think it might be around for quite some time yet, though Kodak and Fuji (the former in ever increasing shades of grey) will no doubt chip away at what they offer to the point where the offerings are very limited indeed. When those films are no longer appealing to the masses, the plug will be pulled on 120 and, doubtless, 35mm. Reflect on how many films we have lost from both Kodak and Fuji in recent years. Further, I think E6 will be the first of the two processes to go, with C41 available where I am in a limited number of stores, and E6 in a very, very limited number of labs and at inconvenient operating times. I have long suspected that large format sizes will be the first to go, and this prophecy actually has come back to haunt me. I had intentions of buying a Wista and moving into LF, but not now. It's a case of make do with what you have, while you have it.

Coming as I do from traditional skilled photography and arts discipline, I will not be moving to digital crap and its nefarious built-in obsolescence. When film is gone, I will toss the cameras. I will happily cross-skill to painting and 3D art construction and other things that crossed my path in training 20+ years ago.
08-02-2012, 06:52 AM   #8
Veteran Member

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NE, USA
Posts: 1,302
Original Poster
Wow SS, you giving up cams once your out of film? You wont move on to dig? That is very hard core.

How can you give it all up? If your a real tog, which you sound like, it is your life.

I said I would give up cams if I was forced back into the wet darkroom, but that is a little different. Digital simplifies. Film complicates. (And dig has the bonus of not having to pour all that crap down our drains as well!) I would not go back to film, I'd hate it. Although, I do love the look film gives you. Now if I had a butler to process and print OK, film would be doable.

I'm not a slacker in the wet darkroom either. I used to do it all back in the day All aspects of BW / E-6 / nitrogen burst processing / C-41 / Type C / Type R / Dye Transfer / Litho / Halftones. But doesn't mean I like doing it.

You don't have to go obsolete with dig. I just bot some Epson RD-1's. They are only 6mp and years old. But they are beautiful rangefinder throwbacks to the old days. Check them out.

They should satisfy you if you like rangefinder style shots. They do have some obsolence built in though. Can't go above 2 gig cards. So have to stock a supply as one still has to be aware of disc products.

Just how it is in our world.

1) we keep advancing

2) got to keep the new engineers fresh out of school working. First thing they do is redesign and discontinue.

08-02-2012, 07:10 AM   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
gofour3's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 6,866
I’m in the same boat; I’d give up photography if all film vanished. I never have nor will I ever shoot digital. Not to worry 120 & 135 film will be around long after I’m gone. The variety of film choices may go down, but there always will be some type of film available.

Film prices and lab developing costs are getting higher, so is everything else. Nothing unordinary here. (Look at gas prices)

Vinyl never disappeared when CDs came out. It went through decades of rough times, but now is selling very well and CD sales are way down.

08-02-2012, 07:12 AM   #10
Veteran Member

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NE, USA
Posts: 1,302
Original Poster
Your hardcore Phil!
08-02-2012, 08:06 AM   #11
eddie1960's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,875
I agree 120 will be around a long time. Particularly in B/W. the B/W film business rationalised itself to smaller production runs a long time back . Colour is another story it's more complex to manufacture and is almost entirely Kodak and Fuji product. The lines are designed for very large emulsion runs. Right now part of that is absorbed by the film industry but that is rapidly changing. Perhaps someone will begin making more small batch colour but at this point there isn't much out there (and most that is not Kodak and Fuji is actually from old stocks)
220 as said died as it was more specialist and not all cameras could take it (most more modern cameras ie post 1960 could though) the biggest consumers of 220 were the wedding guys and it is a pretty rare guy shooting weddings on film now days
Personally i don't worry about b/w film lasting as long as i do, E6 and C41 are different stories but the big guys keep rationalising the offerings to be able to keep offering it. A lot depends of course on what happens with Kodak
08-02-2012, 08:08 PM   #12
Silent Street's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Alice Springs/NT AUS
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,016
@Slackercruster Look at it philosophically; photography is just photography. I have other hobbies e.g. I trained in EFI and ECU management in the early 1990s. Just that I have been involved in photography for 34 years now and am confident and able to step away from it to other interests. I would never ever go back to professional photography where it occupied every second and every minute of existence to the point of being all-consuming and then some — a hobby became a profession, and the profession became a grind that was mentally, physically, financially resourcefully taxing. I do enjoy the quality of imaging we are provided with by film, especially in the big ol' troopers that are the 67s.

For everyday grab shots I have a mint Olympus XA (my first was in 1980: saved up enough money back then when in Rehab. (supposedly teaching me how to improve communication because of deafness, but I rejected sign language) by secretely growing pot in the vegie garden, blind Head Gardener never saw it but it thrived...for a while...).

The Fuji digi camera is in the bin in the garage.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, medium format
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mailing 120 film adelorenzo Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 3 07-11-2012 11:05 AM
Fuji 120 film development - where in Toronto Clarkey Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 11 05-30-2012 07:13 AM
120 film question noquarter15 Pentax Medium Format 10 11-18-2010 12:01 AM
120 fast film? lbenac Pentax Medium Format 21 08-11-2010 05:30 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:30 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]