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02-14-2017, 10:38 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Interesting article about film in 2017

Really good read about the resurgence of film and the difficulties and opportunities companies are facing.

https://www.zorkiphoto.co.uk/2017/02/2017-the-year-that-film-returned/

02-14-2017, 11:09 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
The only reason Ektachrome is back is because there is still cinema stock being made that can carry the industrial scale process.
I thought most film-based cinema work was being shot on Vision3 color negative stock.


Steve
02-14-2017, 11:10 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
We are never going to see film come back to anything close to the availability, low cost, and diversity that it had a mere 20 years ago, when you could walk into any supermarket (or the hut in the parking lot) and find a mini lab or at the very least a drop-off kiosk for off-site processing.

The only reason Ektachrome is back is because there is still cinema stock being made that can carry the industrial scale process. While we might see a few more films released or recreated in small quantities to cater to students and artists, they will remain few in number and expensive to purchase and develop. What we saw happen to the photo industry is what happened to horse buggies and vinyl records. A massive drop in sales killed off most of the big players, a few businesses managed to shirnk enough to eke on as shells of their former selves, and a few new boutique outfits moved in to cater to the hangers on and neophytes with an interest in an esoteric pastime. Yeah, things have hit bottom, and we are seeing a stabilization and small recovery, but those looking for long-term growth in film are going ot be sorely disappointed.
Exactly. I am glad to see a small resurgence in variety for when i decide to shoot a few rolls on my medium format, but I mostly prefer digital by a long shot now
02-14-2017, 11:19 AM   #4
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My local Walmart pulled out of the film developing game in 2015 and I wish I'd discovered my father in law's P3 sooner; I might have kept them in business here!

No, the good old days will never come again, but my hope is that we will see stability in the form of at least two B&W emulsions from at least two companies that are prepared to share the world market rather than try to destroy each other, plus at least one colour film and one colour slide emulsion from at least two separate sources.

Fujifilm seems to be winding down. I hope Ferrania can sprout and at least survive in its place.

Much will depend, as dcshooter says, on the continuation of the demand for various cinematic film stocks (any surplus from which has the potential to give Lomography a very long day in the sun so long as they don't over-diversify). So long as we have that, we will have volume production of something. I suspect that if film ever does completely fail, B&W will be the last to go... but I also suspect that B&W and its home development at least will be around for the foreseeable future. Human beings are too addicted to the ability to store and recreate images.

02-14-2017, 12:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
My local Walmart pulled out of the film developing game in 2015 and I wish I'd discovered my father in law's P3 sooner; I might have kept them in business here!

No, the good old days will never come again, but my hope is that we will see stability in the form of at least two B&W emulsions from at least two companies that are prepared to share the world market rather than try to destroy each other, plus at least one colour film and one colour slide emulsion from at least two separate sources.

Fujifilm seems to be winding down. I hope Ferrania can sprout and at least survive in its place.

Much will depend, as dcshooter says, on the continuation of the demand for various cinematic film stocks (any surplus from which has the potential to give Lomography a very long day in the sun so long as they don't over-diversify). So long as we have that, we will have volume production of something. I suspect that if film ever does completely fail, B&W will be the last to go... but I also suspect that B&W and its home development at least will be around for the foreseeable future. Human beings are too addicted to the ability to store and recreate images.
Fuji really has limited the pro fil line, just provia and the 2 Velvia in chromes, Pro 400h in neg and neopan 100 in b/w (and 2 consumer level neg films in 35 only) , Kodak is a little better with the portra line (160/400/800) Ektachrome , and 3 b/w including Trix which keeps me happy (and Tmax is very good)

I suspect film will see it's days out as b/w and home developed. afterwards if you invest in plates you could keep it going as long as you want in large format (or shoot pinhole straight to paper)
02-14-2017, 12:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I thought most film-based cinema work was being shot on Vision3 color negative stock.


Steve
So did I!
02-14-2017, 12:21 PM   #7
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Smaller companies are producing new films as it is easier for them to do so on a smaller scale. Its been a couple of years since film hit bottom and although I do not expect it to rebound to its former glory it is actually in much better shape than it was five years ago. That Kodak, Ilford, Fuji and I think Forma have all declared increases in volumes of sale in the past few years is positive as are all the little players jumping in making cameras, chemicals papers and even new emulsions.
02-14-2017, 12:30 PM - 1 Like   #8
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So much pessimism. New film varieties coming available (or rather, revived varieties) isn't just because of expediency and second thought; that isn't why any company, large or small, produces a product. Cinestill. Ferrania. Kodak. Of course we'll never see the affordability and availability of the 'days of yore', but that wouldn't make any sense to expect unless digital imaging was suddenly linked to cancer. If nothing else at least, we needn't yet abandon all hope and wander off into the desert mountains of Tatooine to practice our Force.

02-14-2017, 12:37 PM   #9
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A similar story as with analog music discs. They never died. There always were enthusiasts loving this kind of records. For us a nice opportunity to dive in old times - if we own old cameras.
02-14-2017, 01:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
So much pessimism. New film varieties coming available (or rather, revived varieties) isn't just because of expediency and second thought; that isn't why any company, large or small, produces a product. Cinestill. Ferrania. Kodak. Of course we'll never see the affordability and availability of the 'days of yore', but that wouldn't make any sense to expect unless digital imaging was suddenly linked to cancer. If nothing else at least, we needn't yet abandon all hope and wander off into the desert mountains of Tatooine to practice our Force.
it's on the same resurgence curve as Vinyl. and 50% of that resurgence is driven by fickle hipsters. for both categories. I have a freind who is in the vinyl business (and cassettes because those have become hip for some unknown reason, what's next 8 track resurgence) he has started amassing a collection of CDs because he is predicting a resurgence in those will be here in a couple of years and he wants to buy up stocks at rock bottom. the only flaw i see there is for really noice vintage cd palyers you can't get parts, i have two excellent players (a Nad, and a Rotel with tube output) both need repairs neither has the part available . , matters not the resurgence will come and people will begin producing players again. mine are all ripped as full on wav files (have to love cheap hard drive prices)
I'm glad to see film being kept alive but tbh i expect it will continue to contract slowly.it costs me about $40 for a roll , processing, high res scan for medium format (cheaper with lower res scans) I could save a little scanning myself, but my time is worth the investment to me. the one thing that will get me scanning myself is processing b/w for specific looks different methods bring to the table. colour all goes out
02-14-2017, 01:23 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Cinestill. Ferrania. Kodak
Cinestill = Kodak

Their products are repurposed Vision4.


Steve
02-14-2017, 02:44 PM   #12
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An unfortunate title, for film never did go away. I agree with the sentiment voiced by many above: film's resurgence
is not surprising but nonetheless will never attain it's former availability or diversity. The comparisons to the resurgence
of vinyl records(*) is accurate to a point, with the primary difference being vinyl records are MUCH easier to manufacture
on a small scale. It's a simpler technology and though much of the current industry is working with old presses, new presses
are being made to meet demand. It's hard to imagine a new film manufacturer starting from scratch to meet the current demand
and it's very unlikely demand for film will ever grow large enough for someone outside the existing players to enter the field.
Companies like Lomography are 'simply' repackagers. On the other hand, you or I on any individual with a good credit line
could probably start up a vinyl pressing plant if they really wanted.


(*) I for one continue to be highly amused at the current popularity of vinyl records. Little surprise that there remains continued
interest in the format as there is a huge wealth of existing vinyl available. But the current fad for new vinyl is, IMO, just a that,
a fad. Eventually the college kids and techie hipsters will tire of $30-$40 slabs of music on a pretty, yet inherently impractical
format. Moving a collection of 20 records is no big deal. Moving a collection in the hundreds or thousands will tax your back
and potentially ruin a few friendships. I've been a huge music collector for most of my life, but happily gave up vinyl for CDs in
the 1980s and never looked back. I still buy CDs because I love the physicality of the product but at this point every new
purchase is immediately ripped, because once again, digital is all that much more practical as a format.
02-14-2017, 02:59 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
it's on the same resurgence curve as Vinyl. and 50% of that resurgence is driven by fickle hipsters. for both categories. I have a freind who is in the vinyl business (and cassettes because those have become hip for some unknown reason, what's next 8 track resurgence) he has started amassing a collection of CDs because he is predicting a resurgence in those will be here in a couple of years and he wants to buy up stocks at rock bottom. the only flaw i see there is for really noice vintage cd palyers you can't get parts, i have two excellent players (a Nad, and a Rotel with tube output) both need repairs neither has the part available . , matters not the resurgence will come and people will begin producing players again. mine are all ripped as full on wav files (have to love cheap hard drive prices)
I'm glad to see film being kept alive but tbh i expect it will continue to contract slowly.it costs me about $40 for a roll , processing, high res scan for medium format (cheaper with lower res scans) I could save a little scanning myself, but my time is worth the investment to me. the one thing that will get me scanning myself is processing b/w for specific looks different methods bring to the table. colour all goes out
Only a 50% "hipster" trashing factor? That's mild by regular comparison. It is similar to vinyl but I would sure not lump the current cassette fad in with that. Vinyl, as 35mm film, never actually "died". Cassettes by and large did die and their current "hipness" will fade entirely IMO.

---------- Post added 02-14-17 at 02:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
An unfortunate title, for film never did go away. I agree with the sentiment voiced by many above: film's resurgence
is not surprising but nonetheless will never attain it's former availability or diversity. The comparisons to the resurgence
of vinyl records(*) is accurate to a point, with the primary difference being vinyl records are MUCH easier to manufacture
on a small scale. It's a simpler technology and though much of the current industry is working with old presses, new presses
are being made to meet demand. It's hard to imagine a new film manufacturer starting from scratch to meet the current demand
and it's very unlikely demand for film will ever grow large enough for someone outside the existing players to enter the field.
Companies like Lomography are 'simply' repackagers. On the other hand, you or I on any individual with a good credit line
could probably start up a vinyl pressing plant if they really wanted.


(*) I for one continue to be highly amused at the current popularity of vinyl records. Little surprise that there remains continued
interest in the format as there is a huge wealth of existing vinyl available. But the current fad for new vinyl is, IMO, just a that,
a fad. Eventually the college kids and techie hipsters will tire of $30-$40 slabs of music on a pretty, yet inherently impractical
format. Moving a collection of 20 records is no big deal. Moving a collection in the hundreds or thousands will tax your back
and potentially ruin a few friendships. I've been a huge music collector for most of my life, but happily gave up vinyl for CDs in
the 1980s and never looked back. I still buy CDs because I love the physicality of the product but at this point every new
purchase is immediately ripped, because once again, digital is all that much more practical as a format.
I never stopped buying vinyl. I certainly slowed, but now, today, in this age of digital impermanence, vinyl fills a void. The albums I truly love and want to keep, look at and touch I purchase on LP and will continue to do so. It's hugely linked, both practically and sentimentally, to my love of film. There is little that is "fascinating" about a RAW or JPG or FLAC file.

---------- Post added 02-14-17 at 02:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Cinestill = Kodak

Their products are repurposed Vision4.


Steve
In a sense, yes, but Cinestil has different characteristic in look and use and is certainly more practical for a casual shooter in terms of processing. Kodak didn't make that happen.
02-14-2017, 03:17 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Only a 50% "hipster" trashing factor? That's mild by regular comparison. It is similar to vinyl but I would sure not lump the current cassette fad in with that. Vinyl, as 35mm film, never actually "died". Cassettes by and large did die and their current "hipness" will fade entirely IMO.

---------- Post added 02-14-17 at 02:03 PM ----------





I never stopped buying vinyl. I certainly slowed, but now, today, in this age of digital impermanence, vinyl fills a void. The albums I truly love and want to keep, look at and touch I purchase on LP and will continue to do so. It's hugely linked, both practically and sentimentally, to my love of film. There is little that is "fascinating" about a RAW or JPG or FLAC file.

---------- Post added 02-14-17 at 02:04 PM ----------





In a sense, yes, but Cinestil has different characteristic in look and use and is certainly more practical for a casual shooter in terms of processing. Kodak didn't make that happen.


Well speaking as someone who was in the audio and the phot industry for a quarter century I'd say vinyl di virtually die, I kept buying it but only a small number of releases actually came out on vinyl for most of 95-2005. Film isn't dead but it is far more marginalized than vinyl already the number of films available are a good indicator. The hipster factor has helped (lomo included) but I don't see long term viability for colour just too hard to manufacture requiring massive runs. The day Hollywood abandons film is the final nail in the colour coffin b/w otoh I think will hang around, it can be produced in small batches, it can be processed almost anywhere (just ask old war zone togs) and it definitely brings a look to the table moreso e than colour I think. But it will be very marginal. Vinyl will die off for many reasons but the big one will be hipsters moving on. Right now lots of things are released on vinyl because it's hip to do so. When the sales decline again the mainstream will once again stop using the format.
02-14-2017, 03:45 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
he has started amassing a collection of CDs because he is predicting a resurgence in those will be here in a couple of years and he wants to buy up stocks at rock bottom.
That is an interesting observation. I'm certainly enjoying the cheap prices ATM. I live in a music mecca where record stores never
completely went away, so have always been able to feed my obsession. Lately though it is an odd experience to go to my favorite
shop and be the only one looking at CDs, with dozens of kids flipping the vinyl. On the plus side, CDs are incredibly cheap nowadays,
with most common titles selling for $3-5 and hard to find stuff rarely more than $10-15. It is a time to acquire music on CD. I used
to purge my collection regularly but haven't done so for a few years for the same reasons as above; I simply can't get much for
my CDs. I do expect CDs will someday have a resurgence, (everything is cyclical), and >then< it will be time to offload the rare
stuff I don't listen to anymore.

To keep it topical: anyone want to predict if and when the Sony Mavica will have a resurgence?
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