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04-13-2009, 11:35 PM   #1
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Film Longevity ?

Hi There,

Went to get some roll film down the local camera shop and they were out of everything bar some 125 ilford b/w. They tells me, "no one makes it anymore except fuji and ilford, no demand, so its not long before it dies out"
(FWIW the camera shop is not a bad one but not real big, just a small specialist shop)
This is disappointing to hear, but is it a reality?
How long is there life in this film size ?

If anything i would have thought 35mm would go faster, seeing it is easily swapped for a digital camera although there are a lot of bodies out there, but medium format seems a little way off considering nothing really comes close in terms quality. Or am i just kidding myself ?

How many people still actively use MF here?

Cheers Neil

04-14-2009, 06:00 AM   #2
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Well, certainly the choice will be more limited in future, but I cannot see, that film will vanish completely. If you go into the web and look for the typical online dealers you still find a vast choice of very different film material, including highly specialised film for IR etc. Brand names apart from Fuji and Ilford include:
- Kodak
- Rollei/Maco
- Efke
- Foma
- Agfa (still a lot of "last production run" films available) etc.

A good place to look for film is freestyle:
Black & White Film 120 & 220 size | Freestyle Photographic Supplies

But, you will also find a lot at B&H etc.:
120 & 220 Print Film | B&H Photo Video

Ben
04-14-2009, 07:22 AM   #3
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i use MF here and there as a treat ... i too think that 120 will probably last longer due to its more commercial applications.

even if the film market is very small, i think it may still be worthwhile for someone to keep producing b&w film as a niche market. e-6 and c-41, i'm not so sure
05-11-2009, 07:07 PM   #4
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Kodak just released it's Ektar 120 emulsion here in the USA. New film entirely. So the death of film as reported by your local shop is premature.

05-11-2009, 09:31 PM   #5
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Neil,
I've been hearing about the death of film for ten years. I'll admit I shot mostly digital for the last 3 years, but now I'm back shooting mostly film. I've fallen back in love with my Pentax 67 gear, and plan to dust off an old 5x7 Linhof technika I picked up cheap a few years ago. If you can't get the film you want at a local shop, buy it online. I bought some Rollei ATP (iso 32) from Germany, and it's great stuff if you like slow, fine-grain B&W.
A photography instructor told me that a lot of students are intersted in film, whereas a lot of the old farts want to learn digital and photoshop. As long as another generation is using film, it will be around at least as long as I am. My advice, find the film(s) you like, buy a bunch, and toss it in the freezer.

Scott
05-14-2009, 02:40 AM   #6
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Original Poster
Hi Scott,
I am the first admit i am NOT a film buff, fanatic or knowledgable, just gettting into it. I did have a 35mm film camera for almost 20yrs but knew (as an electronics person) that film would be taken over by digital eventually.

Having said that, i think there are a couple of things that are sadly lacking in the digital area and they film stills play niche rolls there, and i am not sure when or even if digital will ever compete in these areas.

For example, panoramic film cameras like the 617 (most common), 612 and 624. At the moment film version of this camera can be purchased for around $1000 USD - $8000 USD + LENS. The equivelant in digital at the moment is a scan back Seitz ( i think thats the brand) and that is about $50K and does 150meg pixel, enormous and is very slow in operation. The film camera is actually much better value but film.

Another option here is a 4x5 camera with a digital camera panoramic plate adaptor, which allows flat plane shooting and then you just stitch the images in PP. Quite a good option actually, best of both worlds and you still have two seperate systems that can act independantly or as one but you need two sets of gear too.

Then you have 4x5 and 8x10 sheet cameras. Still relatively cheap and certainly no digital camparison.

Sensors are basically defraction limited at the moment and so to gain anymore megapixels they have to increase the sensor in physical size, and that is where the downfall of digital lies. The can't build large sensors at a reasonable cost at the moment i.e. they can't make -say 4 x apsc sized sensors as one big sensor.
One thing to remember is that film grain allows DOF past F22 and that is another limiting factor with high density apsc sensors which start defraction limiting after F11-16.

So in theory, film really does have it place in these niche areas and i believe there is certainly a while yet if ever, (mainly because of demand) that film should continue, i just hope the makers find it viable and continue to supply.


Do you guys see it another way ?

Cheers Neil

PS, I should point out that the main reason i am interested in film is 617 panos which i think is a stunning format and i also have a 67ii
05-14-2009, 11:28 AM   #7
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Hi Neil,
Are you shooting color or B&W with your film cameras? I think B&W is another area where film has an advantage over digital, especially anything bigger than 35mm.
I agree that the 617 panoramic is a great format, do you have a 617 camera yet, or are you still looking for one?

If you're having trouble finding a selection of B&W film in your area, I'd be happy to send you a couple rolls of what I'm shooting so you could try it out.
There's also a place in Germany called macodirect.de, that sells film and supplies worldwide. It's where I get my Rollei ATP.

Scott
05-15-2009, 06:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfotog Quote
Hi Neil,
Are you shooting color or B&W with your film cameras? I think B&W is another area where film has an advantage over digital, especially anything bigger than 35mm.
I agree that the 617 panoramic is a great format, do you have a 617 camera yet, or are you still looking for one?

If you're having trouble finding a selection of B&W film in your area, I'd be happy to send you a couple rolls of what I'm shooting so you could try it out.
There's also a place in Germany called macodirect.de, that sells film and supplies worldwide. It's where I get my Rollei ATP.

Scott
Hi Scott,
I havent got a 617 yet... The one that i can afford is in China and i want to have a look and see what it is like quality wise. Yesterday i visited a camera centre which had about 100 cameras shops in it and went bought some tripods and monopods to sell and I finally got to look at the DAYI 617. It is actually really well made and has all the accessories and functions of the better cameras including shift, removable back and a dark slide. So i will try to buy one before i go back, just have to convince the wife first. cost is 900USD

Look up gaoersi 617 to see one.

I can get films just need to go to the city rather than the local shop which is less than a mile away.

Me= Lazy

Cheers Neil

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