Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-31-2011, 12:27 PM   #1
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,233
How Long Will Film Hold Out?

I know this is a common topic on APUG and elsewhere, but figured no harm posting a link to this article from the AP via Yahoo!:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_film_s_fade_out


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 05-31-2011 at 02:00 PM.
05-31-2011, 12:53 PM   #2
Veteran Member
Nesster's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13,047
Steve, your link didn't work for me, who knows, here's two more for the same article, if it turns out this linking thing is tricky
How much longer can photographic film hold on? - Yahoo! Finance
A decade-long nose-dive in photographic film sales signals a technology icon's fade-out | StarTribune.com

It is sad & a bit scary. Should I have a windfall, I'm not sure I'd invest... erm spend... on a very expensive film camera - unless I planned to sell it again within 5 years, say. I would spend some on a few vintage cameras that I'd like to try.

But then, would you invest... erm, spend... on a very expensive digital camera either? In 5 years how much of its value would be left? But at least, assuming you could get batteries, there would be memory cards, assuming there would be memory cards still made

At the camera show I go to, the old timers reminisce about the Leica Crash, for example, where people lost thousands of dollars in the value of their equipment, due to digital. Now of course, at least the lenses have bounced back some, but not to the levels of the film era.

I'm also thinking of analogies to the stereo/music business: when CDs came along, the record labels were pretty wilful in forcing us to adapt: they simply didn't release the LP. The stereo makers had to jump on the CD player wagon, and offered 6 month 'improvement' cycles to get the populace excited. Of course, the turntable makers by and large did not stop making turntables, in fact, they found a better paying though smaller market. Eventually the LP came back, though not nearly to where it used to be. In cameras, let's talk just 35mm-ish SLR and RF, who kept producing pro quality film cameras? Leica and Nikon are just about the only ones that come to mind. At least Kodak and Fuji haven't stopped selling us film, unlike those rat bastard record companies...

The thing is, we need to keep buying new film, and supporting the photo finishing places that still do a good job for us.
05-31-2011, 01:55 PM   #3
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,233
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
In cameras, let's talk just 35mm-ish SLR and RF, who kept producing pro quality film cameras? Leica and Nikon are just about the only ones that come to mind. At least Kodak and Fuji haven't stopped selling us film, unlike those rat bastard record companies...
+ Cosina/Voigtlander
+ Cosina/Zeiss

I suspect that much of 35mm film photography will grind to a halt as the stock of serviceable legacy bodies dwindles. We are very lucky at present that well-preserved 70s/80s and older bodies are easy to find and repair. When the current generation of technicians retires, who will there to take their place? Ditto for the current inventory of NOS parts and parts cameras. With no cameras, how will we sustain the demand for film?

Much as I love it (everyone see as Steve shoots himself in the foot), I have seriously been considering liquidating most of my film stuff, including scanners, after another year or so. My recent experience with Nikon has been the writing on the wall regarding ongoing scanner support and the ability to both create and share my work.


Steve

P.S. Fixed the link...apparently there is a bug in the BB software...

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-31-2011 at 02:01 PM.
05-31-2011, 02:21 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Nesster's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13,047
The Cosinas I see as someone seeing a new niche opportunity - sort of like a new turntable manufacturer starting up AFTER the digital deluge. I can't think of any major camera maker save Leica and Nikon who kept at least one quality film camera in their line.

But it is scary, to think we have 10 years left.

But this is more the reason to be a vintage devotee - there's less to break and at least some repairs can be done by yourself. With SLRs the situation may be different. But then, I predict 120 film will be in the grave before 135.


Oh grumble grumble, I see Canon does have an expensive EOS still for sale. L-N-C. I guess it's nice to be top o the market and/or beholden to pros.


Last edited by Nesster; 05-31-2011 at 02:37 PM.
05-31-2011, 02:44 PM   #5
Veteran Member
Nesster's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13,047
*sigh* I need that windfall before they outlaw 120 film, I keep forgetting about the Fujifilm GF670 - about the only new camera I have lust in my heart for...
05-31-2011, 04:26 PM   #6
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,166
:dead:



j/k


05-31-2011, 05:29 PM   #7
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 202
By the time film fades, the cmos sensor will have advanced so much that buying a full-frame one and connecting it to the body via the fp flash contact will probably be a simple hobbyist mod.

I mean, we're almost there now. I wouldn't worry too much.
05-31-2011, 07:07 PM - 1 Like   #8
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,233
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by asaru Quote
By the time film fades, the cmos sensor will have advanced so much that buying a full-frame one and connecting it to the body via the fp flash contact will probably be a simple hobbyist mod.

I mean, we're almost there now. I wouldn't worry too much.
'cept I sort of like film!


Steve

05-31-2011, 08:53 PM   #9
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 202
^I think the person who made the comparison to the gramophone records got it exactly right.

It'll become a niche item. It's basically a niche item now.

I live in a city of 1 million. Commercial development choices are two full-blown professional labs, one el-cheapo drugstore chain, which will probably drop it soon (for the time being), and one regional prosumer-photographic chain that does a very good job but is limited to c-41 process -- otherwise they ship to the pro labs, etc.

I guess that's typical, right?

At the same time, record players have made it into the el-cheapo drugstore chain's electronic section in the last couple of years, after an absence of, oh, at least 20 years.

Something similar will happen. And there will be huge arguments about the relative quality of digital image vs analogue negative -- right, just like the disgital vs analogue sound argument -- but with some more development in sensor technology it'll come down to aesthetics.

As for me, one of these days I'll figure out how the CMOS censor works (there are a couple of manufacturers that make development kits easily and fairly cheaply available) and build a digital film insert for my MX.
05-31-2011, 09:24 PM   #10
Veteran Member
Steve Beswick's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ontario, California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,484
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
+ Cosina/Voigtlander
+ Cosina/Zeiss

I suspect that much of 35mm film photography will grind to a halt as the stock of serviceable legacy bodies dwindles. We are very lucky at present that well-preserved 70s/80s and older bodies are easy to find and repair. When the current generation of technicians retires, who will there to take their place? Ditto for the current inventory of NOS parts and parts cameras. With no cameras, how will we sustain the demand for film?

Much as I love it (everyone see as Steve shoots himself in the foot), I have seriously been considering liquidating most of my film stuff, including scanners, after another year or so. My recent experience with Nikon has been the writing on the wall regarding ongoing scanner support and the ability to both create and share my work.


Steve

P.S. Fixed the link...apparently there is a bug in the BB software...
In the last 6 months, the photo lab at my school (I'm the tech) has acquired 3 Vivitar 3800n SLRs, two of them brand new. It is a K mount SLR that is pretty solid, and can be purchased brand new with a mostly metal construction 50mm f1.7 lens for $210.

Things are not as bad as they seem.
05-31-2011, 10:08 PM   #11
Veteran Member
hcarvalhoalves's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Posts: 836
Just wait for the next generation of hip kids.

They go crawl on thrift stores to come back with weird clothes, typewriters and cameras. The least you expect... bam! Someone is producing a batch of 35mm film again because there's a demand for it.

I mean... come on, just look at Polaroid. Everything goes from brand new, to boring, to old, to forgotten and then hip back again.
06-01-2011, 12:56 AM   #12
Veteran Member
Wombat's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 901
Where the LP/turntable analogy breaks down, I think, is that with film there's also the chemicals and paper. Once film starts to fade the manufacturers of developers, fixers, stop bath etc. will also have to diversify or die out. Once they're gone it'll be hard to bring the whole industry back even if there's a resurgence of interest in film cameras. As Nesster said, the longer we keep buying film the longer it'll hang on. But yes, it's all a bit sad.
06-01-2011, 05:13 AM   #13
New Member




Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Film today is a paradox; reading the original article really talks, to me, about the demise of film as a mainstream, on every corner thing. If you're Kodak and going from a billion units to x million units of film then film is on a downward trajectory to being dead. Ditto if you're a Kodak user used to the marketplace supported by a billion units a year. But if you're a Foma or Efke or 'xyz' B&W film maker (or user) then film is probably a good business to be in / a safe bet to use into the future.

Over the past decade I've seen cheap, suburban film processing disappear as a phenomena in my parts of Australia. In the past decade I've gone digital, renewed an interest in photography and processing at home and developed 1000's of frames (and scanned 100's :-) of B&W film. Love it! So film has 'died' for me and started happening for me - paradoxically at the same time

Last summer. Pentax SV + Elicar 135/2.8

06-01-2011, 06:46 AM   #14
Inactive Account




Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Posts: 3,262
It annoys me that film is classed as "worse" not "different."
06-01-2011, 07:46 AM   #15
Forum Member




Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Gwynedd
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 93
I viisted a railway event last month, and the amount of film cameras flying about was unbelieveable, all hobbyists though. As soon as the Just for photographers non public bit came round, all the film cameras had disappeared and a raft of tank sized DSLRs sprung up, except for me with my Super A looking a bit out of place.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Long exposure-film vs digital lavascript Photographic Technique 3 01-05-2011 04:01 PM
Misc Long live film! Taking a Super Program out for a spin ismaelg Post Your Photos! 2 01-03-2011 01:37 PM
How long will you hold on to your K7? Tony3d Pentax DSLR Discussion 114 11-12-2010 06:26 PM
Macro Hold on! Iris Post Your Photos! 18 05-24-2010 11:09 AM
How long does shot film last? MJB DIGITAL Pentax Film SLR Discussion 13 03-13-2008 12:20 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:44 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, 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?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top