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02-21-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
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Film is getting popular again?

I really really really hope it's true what I heard from one pro shop I e to process some 35mm slide film.
They only do chemical processing and printing. And their business is getting better and better for the last couple of years. According to the shop owner lots of pros got back to working on film only for fashion and wedding...

There's also this discussion. It's interesting how big companies like Kodak and Fuji still see profit in film industry. Those are hardcore businessman that cannot afford to be romantic in any way about the future of their companies. So, there's still a market there for millions.
That would mean film days are not over, right?

I'm glad this goes this way, but what could be the actual reason seen from people's side?
-Cost v quality is arguable because most people don't see better quality. Actually, digital is more flexible with variable ISO.
-Size is not an argument either.
-Could be people sick of filling up the hard drives with lame phone pics?
-Could be the need to be different?
-...?
I know I'll never give up up digital, I am going through some kind of phases. I enjoy my K-5 low ISO, shutter noise... , but I simply love the ME Super VF size, and operation.

02-22-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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from the people I know there is a bit of a resurgence in retro stuff over the last couple of years, like old fixy bicycles, retro clothes and accessories among other things. And I think there is a bit of that going on with cameras as well.
02-22-2012, 01:55 AM   #3
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I do not know if film is getting very popular again. I do like to shoot B&W film for projects instead of shooting digital.
But what I do know from a shop here in holland, they have alwasy sold photo chemiclas, and they haven't had a decline in it. But they say that more to do with that smaller shops stop selling, and their customers now come to them
02-22-2012, 04:01 AM   #4
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I have always been an irreducible retro-fan, but my choice of film is purely tactics.
I sold 6 months ago my EOS450, I now just have available the wife's F550 point and shoot.
Main reason I just got myself a ME Super is because I thought that it will make me a better user.

but as a side note yes, I am definitely tired of random pictures filling up my hard drive (and they are not phone pictures, hence they are super big), every 10 or so photos there is one worth saving but because of my laziness they all remain there.
I think that film photographs are special because for each of them the photographer has to think about the light, the frame, etc. Plus, they have an actual cost: I don't think I will shoot ever again random stuff.
Finally, cost vs quality is a valid argument for whoever understand a bit of photography: to my eye film pictures taken with a film SLR are much better than the one I could achieve with a camera I could afford (even much more expensive than my £24 ME Super). Because it's easy for some of you compare pictures taken with a 30 years old SLR with pictures taken with the latest Nikon or Canon full frame equivalent: but how many can actually afford a full frame D-SLR?

02-22-2012, 04:31 AM   #5
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its never lost much popularity in asia. a lot of countries throughout southeast and east asia, still use film a lot. Japan probably being the most popular. if you take a look at a lot of the film photos on flickr, the overwhelming majority are asian. also, medium format for use in 6x6 and 6x7 cameras is extremely popular. at least as much as 35mm. I think there is a great resurgence in the use of film, for many reasons in the west, but I don't think its all about 'retro'. I think thats far to simple an explanation. it has a lot to do with the more simple cameras, the different methodology, the medium itself, the connection to the equipment, etc. if this was just a trend because people wanted something 'retro', I think you would have seen the popularity settle, but thats not the case as business continues to rise and profits in turn, year after year. I can't say all the reasons why, but there is more to it than 'retro' and a lot of amateurs and pros alike who are using film (myself included) would I think, likely agree. for example, I use digital for work (journalist for my local paper) but all my personal work is on film. I know a large number of people here in my city who chose film and it has nothing to do with 'retro' as a lot of them use more modern film cameras. when I'm in the philippines, there are a lot of film users, id say just as many as digital users as I have seen. (not counting P&S or phone camera users) film will never likely be the main medium choice again, in the future but nobody should write off the current film use as a trend or fad or anything of the sort, because it isn't, and I for one, welcome its rediscovered popularity.
02-22-2012, 04:47 AM   #6
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Against this trend is that fact that people not interested in photography are often surprised that one can still buy film at all! I have been asked this many times when I have been out and about with my film cameras.

K.
02-22-2012, 05:09 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
its never lost much popularity in asia. a lot of countries throughout southeast and east asia, still use film a lot. Japan probably being the most popular. if you take a look at a lot of the film photos on flickr, the overwhelming majority are asian. also, medium format for use in 6x6 and 6x7 cameras is extremely popular. at least as much as 35mm. I think there is a great resurgence in the use of film, for many reasons in the west, but I don't think its all about 'retro'. I think thats far to simple an explanation. it has a lot to do with the more simple cameras, the different methodology, the medium itself, the connection to the equipment, etc. if this was just a trend because people wanted something 'retro', I think you would have seen the popularity settle, but thats not the case as business continues to rise and profits in turn, year after year. I can't say all the reasons why, but there is more to it than 'retro' and a lot of amateurs and pros alike who are using film (myself included) would I think, likely agree. for example, I use digital for work (journalist for my local paper) but all my personal work is on film. I know a large number of people here in my city who chose film and it has nothing to do with 'retro' as a lot of them use more modern film cameras. when I'm in the philippines, there are a lot of film users, id say just as many as digital users as I have seen. (not counting P&S or phone camera users) film will never likely be the main medium choice again, in the future but nobody should write off the current film use as a trend or fad or anything of the sort, because it isn't, and I for one, welcome its rediscovered popularity.
I +1 this.
02-22-2012, 06:32 AM   #8
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Can't say with pros. I gave up 100% on film a decade ago.

In my area film is pretty dead. Just go into a Walmart and look. Maybe 20 - 30 rolls of Fuji color 35mm...if that. Was told by Walmart they will be phasing out devloping. I think film wil be like L.P.'s. Some pople still like records, but it is a novelty.

02-22-2012, 06:44 AM   #9
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Funny, my long-time photoshop here in The Netherlands just told me analog is picking up again.

In my case it is not logic to switch to digital, so I stick to film. I make a living selling my (fiber)prints. These prints have, in the way they look, my signature and part of that is due to the film I use, the developers I use and the Leitz Focomat 1C and 2C enlargers that I use. These 'technical' parameters have little to do with 'retro'. I do my thing since the end of the 70ties and I am not worried it will ever be impossible. Should that happen, ok so be it.

In many ways today it is easier to find analog products, than it was years ago.

At one point Agfa stopped making their Record Rapid paper and soon after I could not find it anymore. I visited Agfa in Germany and they very kindly gave me a heap of outdated paper, that I still use. They stopped making the paper developer Neutol NE that I used, and also the filmdeveloper Rodinal. So, for some time I was buying up bottles of Rodinal from Ebay and elsewhere . . . and using other paper developers. Then a German company called Adox began making these chemicals and other analog products again.

I suspect one of the major problems is this world's endless search for easier, faster and 'better'. Fiber papers were great. Plastic papers came. Not as beautiful, not as archival. Yes, easier and faster. Then computer printing: beautiful Photoshop, archival papers . . . All ok, I just ask myself: what was wrong with darkroom printing?

To me: nothing. To the contrary!
02-22-2012, 07:29 AM   #10
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Film is more fun and a lot of people are finding this out and switching back.
I never switched to digital, so this does not surprise me.

Phik.
02-22-2012, 07:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
Can't say with pros. I gave up 100% on film a decade ago.

In my area film is pretty dead. Just go into a Walmart and look. Maybe 20 - 30 rolls of Fuji color 35mm...if that. Was told by Walmart they will be phasing out devloping. I think film wil be like L.P.'s. Some pople still like records, but it is a novelty.
a lot of pros still use film. a lot. I live in a city that is saturated beyond belief with pro photographers, as this is a big tourist place especially for weddings, and we have SCAD of course. I know a lot of pros here personally and film is used just as much as digital. I don't think your local wal-mart or drugstore or supermarket is a proper identifier for the popularity of film. these businesses never dabbled with film beyond the 1hour processing and sold consumer grade film. how many wal-marts ever carried pro films? your viewpoint is very narrow and ill-informed I would guess. of course not every part of the country or the world in particular may be a good indicator for the overall rise in film use since digital became mainstream, but to simply call it a 'novelty' is just flat out wrong. vinyls records are the same thing. there is nothing 'novelty' about it when contemporary bands and artists are having their records pressed and available on vinyl along with CD and digital. I respect your opinion, but I think you simply wrong. you could call painting a 'novelty' by your view, and I don't think anyone would agree to that. you are looking at film as an 'outdated' medium, while the rise on use of film is calling it a separate and different medium. thats how we should be looking at it, and when you do, the idea that its a 'novelty' just doesn't make sense.
02-22-2012, 08:10 AM   #12
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Shooting a picture and seeing it pop up in the lcd screen does not even compare to the rewards of shooting film, hoping you got the right exposure, developing it in your house, and seeing a tangible image form in front of you.
02-22-2012, 08:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
a lot of pros still use film. a lot. I live in a city that is saturated beyond belief with pro photographers, as this is a big tourist place especially for weddings, and we have SCAD of course. I know a lot of pros here personally and film is used just as much as digital. I don't think your local wal-mart or drugstore or supermarket is a proper identifier for the popularity of film. these businesses never dabbled with film beyond the 1hour processing and sold consumer grade film. how many wal-marts ever carried pro films? your viewpoint is very narrow and ill-informed I would guess. of course not every part of the country or the world in particular may be a good indicator for the overall rise in film use since digital became mainstream, but to simply call it a 'novelty' is just flat out wrong. vinyls records are the same thing. there is nothing 'novelty' about it when contemporary bands and artists are having their records pressed and available on vinyl along with CD and digital. I respect your opinion, but I think you simply wrong. you could call painting a 'novelty' by your view, and I don't think anyone would agree to that. you are looking at film as an 'outdated' medium, while the rise on use of film is calling it a separate and different medium. thats how we should be looking at it, and when you do, the idea that its a 'novelty' just doesn't make sense.
Film is very popular here in the Pacific North West as well. (Oregon, Washington and B.C.) There are lots of pro labs in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver to choose from.

Phil.
02-22-2012, 08:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElStellino Quote
I have always been an irreducible retro-fan, but my choice of film is purely tactics.
I sold 6 months ago my EOS450, I now just have available the wife's F550 point and shoot.
Main reason I just got myself a ME Super is because I thought that it will make me a better user.

but as a side note yes, I am definitely tired of random pictures filling up my hard drive (and they are not phone pictures, hence they are super big), every 10 or so photos there is one worth saving but because of my laziness they all remain there.
I think that film photographs are special because for each of them the photographer has to think about the light, the frame, etc. Plus, they have an actual cost: I don't think I will shoot ever again random stuff.
Finally, cost vs quality is a valid argument for whoever understand a bit of photography: to my eye film pictures taken with a film SLR are much better than the one I could achieve with a camera I could afford (even much more expensive than my £24 ME Super). Because it's easy for some of you compare pictures taken with a 30 years old SLR with pictures taken with the latest Nikon or Canon full frame equivalent: but how many can actually afford a full frame D-SLR?
I feel the same. Digital looses the quality battle due to affordability. Everybody can take pictures nobody likes.
My friend asked me once: "how many times are you going to see your photos - maybe once or twice?"
Well, not me. I only shoot a roll a week, maybe.

QuoteOriginally posted by womble Quote
Against this trend is that fact that people not interested in photography are often surprised that one can still buy film at all! I have been asked this many times when I have been out and about with my film cameras.

K.
Oh, I had this reaction so often. Still, people look to my metal cameras with great respect.
Could be that these old cameras have the quality touch forged in?

QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
its never lost much popularity in asia. a lot of countries throughout southeast and east asia, still use film a lot. Japan probably being the most popular. if you take a look at a lot of the film photos on flickr, the overwhelming majority are asian. also, medium format for use in 6x6 and 6x7 cameras is extremely popular. at least as much as 35mm. I think there is a great resurgence in the use of film, for many reasons in the west, but I don't think its all about 'retro'. I think thats far to simple an explanation. it has a lot to do with the more simple cameras, the different methodology, the medium itself, the connection to the equipment, etc. if this was just a trend because people wanted something 'retro', I think you would have seen the popularity settle, but thats not the case as business continues to rise and profits in turn, year after year. I can't say all the reasons why, but there is more to it than 'retro' and a lot of amateurs and pros alike who are using film (myself included) would I think, likely agree. for example, I use digital for work (journalist for my local paper) but all my personal work is on film. I know a large number of people here in my city who chose film and it has nothing to do with 'retro' as a lot of them use more modern film cameras. when I'm in the philippines, there are a lot of film users, id say just as many as digital users as I have seen. (not counting P&S or phone camera users) film will never likely be the main medium choice again, in the future but nobody should write off the current film use as a trend or fad or anything of the sort, because it isn't, and I for one, welcome its rediscovered popularity.
I tend to apply the same type of use. It is impractical to use film with off camera lighting, for example. I would not have the guts to cover an event strictly on film. Chimping on the LCD for light balance and having the instant result in front of your eyes is both reassuring and helping me in adjusting the parameters.
I use to say: "Analog for myself, digital for others".


QuoteOriginally posted by Hilo Quote
Funny, my long-time photoshop here in The Netherlands just told me analog is picking up again.

In my case it is not logic to switch to digital, so I stick to film. I make a living selling my (fiber)prints. These prints have, in the way they look, my signature and part of that is due to the film I use, the developers I use and the Leitz Focomat 1C and 2C enlargers that I use. These 'technical' parameters have little to do with 'retro'. I do my thing since the end of the 70ties and I am not worried it will ever be impossible. Should that happen, ok so be it.

In many ways today it is easier to find analog products, than it was years ago.

At one point Agfa stopped making their Record Rapid paper and soon after I could not find it anymore. I visited Agfa in Germany and they very kindly gave me a heap of outdated paper, that I still use. They stopped making the paper developer Neutol NE that I used, and also the filmdeveloper Rodinal. So, for some time I was buying up bottles of Rodinal from Ebay and elsewhere . . . and using other paper developers. Then a German company called Adox began making these chemicals and other analog products again.

I suspect one of the major problems is this world's endless search for easier, faster and 'better'. Fiber papers were great. Plastic papers came. Not as beautiful, not as archival. Yes, easier and faster. Then computer printing: beautiful Photoshop, archival papers . . . All ok, I just ask myself: what was wrong with darkroom printing?

To me: nothing. To the contrary!

This is good news indeed. I really think the chemical process is a much more mature product than digital imaging is. I mean, it's almost 200 years v 30. Would be a huge shame to flush down all this technology that gave us so much.
02-22-2012, 08:43 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ironlionzion Quote
Shooting a picture and seeing it pop up in the lcd screen does not even compare to the rewards of shooting film, hoping you got the right exposure, developing it in your house, and seeing a tangible image form in front of you.
I think I got over that benefit a long time ago. I enjoy waiting, forgetting and rediscovering those moments.
Not everybody has to like what I like.
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