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12-31-2008, 09:58 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
II hear the Amish still drive horse and buggies around New England. This doesn't man that it is a viable option for everyone, it just means that there are some stubborn holdouts who don't want to enter the 20th century.
They probably have to make their own buggies.
Are they stubborn or just a lot smarter/happier than us? And what's so bad about making your own buggies? Maybe the old ways are better. They work hard. They keep their values. They take care of their elders. They enjoy life.

But what will last? CD's. They were supposed to be 50 years. Yeah, right. I've got photos that are from the 20's that are still in good shape. It all depends on the care you take with stuff. They said that books from WWII wouldn't last because of the acid used in making the paper yet I've got a Hardy Boys book in excellent condition from 44. (OK wise guy, I bought it in a used book store as a teen in the 70's)So what will last? It's anybody's guess because no one really knows.


Last edited by graphicgr8s; 12-31-2008 at 10:06 PM.
01-01-2009, 07:48 AM   #32
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Wow, I love the philosophical discussion that just happened the last time I looked in this thread, and I understand and see both sides of the argument.

Since Wheatfield mentioned that film would only be viable now in developing countries, and since I'm living in one of those countries, I guess I can put in my two cents on that perspective.

With the ever-decreasing cost of entry with digital photography (both PCs and digital cameras are falling in price), people are actually moving towards digital in a big way. The old film pros have all now moved to digital, with the exception of those who are too old to be bothered with learning how to use Windows/OSX and Photoshop. And of course, most of the new generation who didn't have to go through film don't care to learn a different discipline that requires them to do a lot of preparation and throw away the instant gratification and feedback of digital (heck, a lot of them are even averse to do manual focusing).

Most people where I am, they look to get a D40/1000D kit and shoot away.

So yes, film here is as much of a niche market as with other 1st world countries. But I would think that the niche market here has grown, thanks to the Lomo craze that's been catching on here. More and more of the "cool" kids are learning about film, and rangefinders are suddenly desired and bought. There are stories of people going to used camera stores and asking for a "Lomo camera" (people within the movement associate any film camera to be a Lomo camera), with those people happily paying upwards of $200 to get beat-up fixed-lens rangefinders (much preferred over SLRs, unless SLR in question is a Praktica or Zenit) that should have only cost less than a hundred dollars in reality.

Sure, they're the crowd that adores imperfections a lot of us here abhor like light leaks, but they're still buyers of film, and a lot of them eventually get past the cool factor and becomes serious with film photography in general.

I definitely agree that manufacturers will get nothing out of re-issuing film cameras, but that's simply because there's a whole market of used, cheap cameras discarded in favor of their digital counterparts.

Film stocks, though, are a different story. Like others have mentioned, there are new stocks that have been introduced, and this Kodak Ektar, while it looks to be a re-issue, it's still, well, a re-issue, and not left for dead at all. Also, a part of Konica lives on in new Centuria film that has been revived by some company who got the license (and I guess the technology) from Konica. That, and some Chinese companies are also picking up the slack with film production (probably related to the fairly good sales of toy cameras, Lomo-branded or not).

It does take a trip to a specialty store to be able to pick from different film stocks, but they're there. I've seen low-end films (anyone heard of Solid Gold film?) to high-end ones (Ilfords and Tri-Xs) in those stores.

Film as the more widely-used photographic medium is long gone, though that's different from saying film is dying. More like being a niche product, and I don't see film dying anytime soon.
01-01-2009, 07:58 AM   #33
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i am not a telephoto shooter

i purchased an MZ-S after realizing how much fun i had with my Super Program, but wanted a bit more features (at the very least the ability to meter in 1/2 stops instead of full stops :ugh

i like the 35mm format due to the versatility that it offers given my current lens library

i do not believe that film is any better than digital, with the few exceptions of increased dynamic range, for all intesive purposes digital is better

however going film as a pentax user is the cheapest way to work using the 35mm format

(the second cheapest way is to purchase a 5D and adapt m42 lenses)

since i'm not a patient guy, the short term costs of working with film outweigh the short term costs of buying a 5Dmkii and an assortment of quality canon glass

when the sad reality is that in the long run even the canon setup will be cheaper than film.

when and if pentax makes a FF camera (or a MF camera than can use 35mm FA lenses, if thats even possible), i will purchase that and put away my film camera.

film is a novelty, i doubt it will die completly, but overall i agree with Wheatfield, its time to move on.
01-01-2009, 11:38 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
...this Kodak Ektar, while it looks to be a re-issue, it's still, well, a re-issue, and not left for dead at all...
Thanks for your comments. Just a small note...Ektar 100 is not a re-issue. Kodak just revived the Ektar name. Here is a link to the Kodak Q&A:
KODAK PROFESSIONAL EKTAR 100 Film: Questions and Answers
Steve

01-01-2009, 03:58 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
"

Digital's lovely for a lot of things, and a practical necessity in others, but it's not the be all and end all of photography.

You never know what's going to be important later.

The world's more photographed than ever in history, but...

How many archival hardcopies are being made?
You are absolutely right Ratmagiclady!!!..Digital is not the be all, and end all of photography..

Every day there are people that have never used anything but a digital camera that are discovering the magic of film photography..They are finding out that photography is not digital versus film, or digital instead of film..Instead it is digital AND film..These folks are discovering that film and digital have very different looks with both mediums having equal validity..

You are also correct in how few hard copy digital prints are being made from the millions of images captured every single day worldwide..The truth is that creating an archival digital ink jet print is a very expensive process compared to a silver gelatin print of the same size..Especially, the larger the print is..And, the truth also is is that NO ONE really knows if a so-called archival digital print truly IS archival..What we do know is that the materials being designed and manufactured for archival ink jet printing paper have very similar constituent ingredients to the ingredients in archival silver gelatin printing paper..And, that is pretty much where the similarity stops..Fade tests of inks in direct sunlight, in my opinion, only tell a small portion of the story of whether, or not, a digital print is going to last 100 plus years..

What we do know is this..Properly developed black and white negatives will last for at least 150 years if stored in a cool dark place using proper archival storage mediums..Archival prints will last for at least 100 years if stored similarly..Many, many people believe that these are very conservative estimates..I do not think that anyone truly believes that anything yet developed for digital printing will really last anywhere as long..

In my opinion the entire digital camera-to-print system is fraught with equipment and procedures that have limited lifespans..That does not mean that I do not like and appreciate digital, for I do..The real lifespan of a digital ink jet print is completely unknown..For the amateur photographer that wants quality, long-lasting equipment the whole digital camera-to-print system seems to me to be a will-of-the-wisp chimera with no real substance..Easy to use??..Yes!!..Great for action photography of any kind??..Yes!!..Great for those photographic situations where immediacy of results is the primary concern??..Yes!!..But, long lasting??..No!!..Durable, able to take a hard knock and still function perfectly??..No!!..A good investment for the future??..In no way!!..

Let us assume that two different photographers were to go out today, Jan 1, 2009, and were to purchase separate camera-to-print digital and film outfits that were capable of creating archival 16 x 20 black & white prints..These two photographers would be equal in ability to compose and take a high-quality, saleable image using their respective systems..In other words, masters of their genres..

Let us assume that we will use a Canon FF digital camera as the benchmark for the digital system..

Let us assume that we will use either a Mamiya 7II, or a Pentax 67II film camera as the benchmark for film system, as these are still being sold new in Asia..The Mamiya is closer in cost to the Canon, so it is probably a fairer comparison..

Let us assume that we will purchase everything for the film system that is still available for sale at new 2009 prices..Let us assume that those items for the film system not available for purchase new will be purchased used in as good of a condition as possible (very close to new should be possible with some judicious shopping)..Lets us assume that the sums used to purchase the used film equipment will be bumped up to reflect what they would cost new if they were available for purchase in 2009..

Let us assume that we will choose a new Epson ink jet printer that has been cleaned, trouble shot, and made ready for use by Jon Cone at Pizeography..This printer will have one of Cone's custom black and white 7-ink sets installed in it..The printer will be used with a first-class software program and RIP..In other words, everything possible will be done to ensure that a digital print as near as possible to a silver gelatin print can be achieved..

If archival quality 16 x 20 black and white prints made in one's home are the desired end result, you will discover, as I did, that the cost for a digital-to-print system is far greater than for a comparable film camera-to-print system..I chose a 16 x 20 print as this size print will usually require the best of equipment in order to produce first class archival results..This way the comparison is more fairly tested by using the best of equipment and materials from both genres..

Not only does an archival digital camera-to-print system cost more up front, it generally requires more maintenance during its usable lifespan..The cost of that maintenance is also generally more expensive than similar maintenance for a film camera-to-print system..

The real kicker is that the digital equipment simply does not last as long as its film counterparts..High-end darkroom equipment simply does not have that many things to break, or wear out..This is why 30 year old darkroom equipment that was well used, and well maintained by pro labs can still be purchased in very usable condition with a lot of years of use left in it..

The research that I have done tries to compare digital to film as fairly as possible..With the end result being a large print that a discriminating museum would be proud to hang on its walls for the public to view..I chose this criteria as it seems to me that neither system can be fairly compared to the other unless the best results that can be eked out of either system are used as a means of comparison..

When compared in this way the cost of purchasing and maintaining a digital camera-to-print system of the best quality is light years greater than a comparable film camera-to-print system..Fifty years from now a 2009 top-of-the-line digital system will be in a land fill, or have been recycled..Even if it was brand new, technology would have advanced to the point of making it obsolete and therefore unusable..Fifty years from now a 2009 top-of-the-line film camera-to-print system will still be usable, even if there is no film to run through it..

And, therein lies the glaring difference..One that is seldom talked about by digital aficionados..Fifteen years into mainstream digital camera manufacturing we still do not have system components that will last more than approximately a decade..Fifteen years into the manufacture of film cameras that accepted roll film we had cameras that are still being used today to take exceptional photographs in the hands of a good amateur photographer..

Bruce
01-01-2009, 09:07 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
i am not a telephoto shooter

i purchased an MZ-S after realizing how much fun i had with my Super Program, but wanted a bit more features (at the very least the ability to meter in 1/2 stops instead of full stops :ugh

i like the 35mm format due to the versatility that it offers given my current lens library

i do not believe that film is any better than digital, with the few exceptions of increased dynamic range, for all intesive purposes digital is better

however going film as a pentax user is the cheapest way to work using the 35mm format

(the second cheapest way is to purchase a 5D and adapt m42 lenses)

since i'm not a patient guy, the short term costs of working with film outweigh the short term costs of buying a 5Dmkii and an assortment of quality canon glass

when the sad reality is that in the long run even the canon setup will be cheaper than film.

when and if pentax makes a FF camera (or a MF camera than can use 35mm FA lenses, if thats even possible), i will purchase that and put away my film camera.

film is a novelty, i doubt it will die completly, but overall i agree with Wheatfield, its time to move on.
It's really horses for courses. But yes, film will remain niche, but won't die.

In your case, you'd rather get a 5D and lenses instead of doing the extra hassle film imposes. Fair enough. I've been tempted to get a used 5D more than once to play with 35mm.

There's something else I get from film, and while it's more romantic than pragmatic, I'm willing to spend extra to have a beautiful roll of negatives, as well as the shooting experience itself.

I'm actually concerned about the longevity of digitally-stored photos, seeing how there are more chances it will fail (virus, hardware failure itself, etc.) compared to the relative ease of storing prints and negatives. I read an article once about a scientist that theorized a digital dark age in the distant future when files (photos and others) cannot be read anymore due to obsolete formats and incompatible interfaces with devices.

Of course, that does seem far-fetched and I'm pretty sure photo viewing software will just add to their supported image format list instead of dropping archaic and old ones, but it does lend credence to the idea that there are more chances for digital photos to be locked away or lost than film.

I welcome digital and shoot with it, but I don't see myself moving on from film, too. Horses for courses.
01-01-2009, 09:28 PM   #37
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Interesting full frame comments.

I know someone who has a 5D. He tells me he doesn't use it much. Why? Because the kit is so big and heavy. So it just stays at home when he goes out. He carries a smaller and lighter film camera instead.

The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.
01-02-2009, 12:15 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote
You are absolutely right Ratmagiclady!!!..Digital is not the be all, and end all of photography..

Every day there are people that have never used anything but a digital camera that are discovering the magic of film photography..They are finding out that photography is not digital versus film, or digital instead of film..Instead it is digital AND film..These folks are discovering that film and digital have very different looks with both mediums having equal validity..

You are also correct in how few hard copy digital prints are being made from the millions of images captured every single day worldwide..The truth is that creating an archival digital ink jet print is a very expensive process compared to a silver gelatin print of the same size..Especially, the larger the print is..And, the truth also is is that NO ONE really knows if a so-called archival digital print truly IS archival..What we do know is that the materials being designed and manufactured for archival ink jet printing paper have very similar constituent ingredients to the ingredients in archival silver gelatin printing paper..And, that is pretty much where the similarity stops..Fade tests of inks in direct sunlight, in my opinion, only tell a small portion of the story of whether, or not, a digital print is going to last 100 plus years..

What we do know is this..Properly developed black and white negatives will last for at least 150 years if stored in a cool dark place using proper archival storage mediums..Archival prints will last for at least 100 years if stored similarly..Many, many people believe that these are very conservative estimates..I do not think that anyone truly believes that anything yet developed for digital printing will really last anywhere as long..

In my opinion the entire digital camera-to-print system is fraught with equipment and procedures that have limited lifespans..That does not mean that I do not like and appreciate digital, for I do..The real lifespan of a digital ink jet print is completely unknown..For the amateur photographer that wants quality, long-lasting equipment the whole digital camera-to-print system seems to me to be a will-of-the-wisp chimera with no real substance..Easy to use??..Yes!!..Great for action photography of any kind??..Yes!!..Great for those photographic situations where immediacy of results is the primary concern??..Yes!!..But, long lasting??..No!!..Durable, able to take a hard knock and still function perfectly??..No!!..A good investment for the future??..In no way!!..

Let us assume that two different photographers were to go out today, Jan 1, 2009, and were to purchase separate camera-to-print digital and film outfits that were capable of creating archival 16 x 20 black & white prints..These two photographers would be equal in ability to compose and take a high-quality, saleable image using their respective systems..In other words, masters of their genres..

Let us assume that we will use a Canon FF digital camera as the benchmark for the digital system..

Let us assume that we will use either a Mamiya 7II, or a Pentax 67II film camera as the benchmark for film system, as these are still being sold new in Asia..The Mamiya is closer in cost to the Canon, so it is probably a fairer comparison..

Let us assume that we will purchase everything for the film system that is still available for sale at new 2009 prices..Let us assume that those items for the film system not available for purchase new will be purchased used in as good of a condition as possible (very close to new should be possible with some judicious shopping)..Lets us assume that the sums used to purchase the used film equipment will be bumped up to reflect what they would cost new if they were available for purchase in 2009..

Let us assume that we will choose a new Epson ink jet printer that has been cleaned, trouble shot, and made ready for use by Jon Cone at Pizeography..This printer will have one of Cone's custom black and white 7-ink sets installed in it..The printer will be used with a first-class software program and RIP..In other words, everything possible will be done to ensure that a digital print as near as possible to a silver gelatin print can be achieved..

If archival quality 16 x 20 black and white prints made in one's home are the desired end result, you will discover, as I did, that the cost for a digital-to-print system is far greater than for a comparable film camera-to-print system..I chose a 16 x 20 print as this size print will usually require the best of equipment in order to produce first class archival results..This way the comparison is more fairly tested by using the best of equipment and materials from both genres..

Not only does an archival digital camera-to-print system cost more up front, it generally requires more maintenance during its usable lifespan..The cost of that maintenance is also generally more expensive than similar maintenance for a film camera-to-print system..

The real kicker is that the digital equipment simply does not last as long as its film counterparts..High-end darkroom equipment simply does not have that many things to break, or wear out..This is why 30 year old darkroom equipment that was well used, and well maintained by pro labs can still be purchased in very usable condition with a lot of years of use left in it..

The research that I have done tries to compare digital to film as fairly as possible..With the end result being a large print that a discriminating museum would be proud to hang on its walls for the public to view..I chose this criteria as it seems to me that neither system can be fairly compared to the other unless the best results that can be eked out of either system are used as a means of comparison..

When compared in this way the cost of purchasing and maintaining a digital camera-to-print system of the best quality is light years greater than a comparable film camera-to-print system..Fifty years from now a 2009 top-of-the-line digital system will be in a land fill, or have been recycled..Even if it was brand new, technology would have advanced to the point of making it obsolete and therefore unusable..Fifty years from now a 2009 top-of-the-line film camera-to-print system will still be usable, even if there is no film to run through it..

And, therein lies the glaring difference..One that is seldom talked about by digital aficionados..Fifteen years into mainstream digital camera manufacturing we still do not have system components that will last more than approximately a decade..Fifteen years into the manufacture of film cameras that accepted roll film we had cameras that are still being used today to take exceptional photographs in the hands of a good amateur photographer..

Bruce
This is an excellent write-up on the pros and cons. You touched on an issue that I find is the one major issue with a lot of digital formats: obsolescence. You can look at home videos as an example. A boxful of Betamax cassettes is unlikely to be ever accessed again now, because there are no longer any machines that will read them, and we've seen VHS, LaserDisc, DVD, and BluRay supersede that format. But what about the $200 (which, inflation adjusted over 20 years, is likely closer to $700-1000) which was invested in those movies? That investment is lost. VHS faces a similar fate, and who knows if BluRay players will continue to support DVD playback years from now, or if they'll drop support to save costs. That renders even more media obsolete.

And that was only 20 years.

By contrast, I can still get reprints of negatives my father took in Australia in the 1970s. And if I take my honeymoon pictures on film, when I'm old and grey sixty years from now, I'll still have hard copies of those memories. Will there be a way to reproduce them? There is no guarantee, but if we can convert 8mm home movies shot 50 years ago to DVD now, chances are a format as prolific as 35mm will have options then too. And your argument with in-home digital printing is actually always a point that comes up at my work. If people ask me how long I think the *insert name here* printing system's prints will last, my response is always "Nobody really knows for sure, but there's a reason why we use photographic paper and chemical printing in our 1 Hour Lab, and it's not because we can't afford ink-jet printers."

Digital has it's uses and merits, as mentioned, but so does film, and eschewing a technology that has been around for 80 years simply because it's been around for 80 years isn't doing it justice, especially if it still excels at it's intended purpose.

01-02-2009, 06:19 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Interesting full frame comments.

I know someone who has a 5D. He tells me he doesn't use it much. Why? Because the kit is so big and heavy. So it just stays at home when he goes out. He carries a smaller and lighter film camera instead.

The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.
It's always a compromise, really. I'm okay with bringing heavy equipment (I'm making the most of it while I'm young ), but the compromise I'm not that comfortable with the 5D is having to buy better lenses (i.e. newer, more expensive ones) to make good use of the image quality available to the sensor. Or so that's what I hear.

That, and the availability of image stabilization only with pricier lenses gets me to re-think about that used 5D. Should my photography ever necessitate the need of a full-frame digital camera, I'd probably be more inclined to go Sony than the other two brands.

But in the meantime, I'm still having a blast with film, hassles and all. My lone worry is that I, well, worry too much by not having that LCD at the back of the camera. I have to get to a point where I'm confident enough in my skill that I don't worry that I had just lost a good shot due to my own faults.
01-02-2009, 10:03 AM   #40
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Hee, fun conversation. (If it has its scary aspects: but I can see why people are so very fussed on the News and Rumors board about if Pentaxt the company keeps making new digitals: if they don't, everyone's just running out the clock on their investments.)

But actually, one of the compelling *points* about me choosing Pentax for my digital is the film compatibility, both in terms of something to carry alongside my big old Canon FD stuff, and the ability to get little old-school film bodies that I can use to still have my B&W film with me even if I find myself carrying heavy with digital. (Carrying a 'split system' around isn't too crazy for me, because I'm pretty set in my ways and only use a few primes, and of moderate focal lengths, for the *vast* majority of what I do.)

(I'm always saying that if Canon put out a 5d with an FD mount, that would have been enough digital for me. Just give me some warning so I can pick up a few SSCs I've been putting off. )

I always wanted an excuse to be looking for an LX, though, since someone brought one into a store where I worked. Has to be one of the most 'properly done' cameras of all time. Guess I have my excuse.

I wonder if or when we'll start seeing digitals like that: in a sense, it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to build em to last forever when the technology is still maturing by the year, but eventually, some practical plateaus are bound to be reached.

The simple fact is that the digital phenomenon requires unprecedented amounts of support and energy infrastructure to be as practical as it is, ...will this continue long in this form? Who can be sure in times like these. Film is a technology that doesn't even strictly require electricity: and if you put it down and leave it alone for twenty years, it's still where you left it. (I should know)

I think people forget, when everything's about mass marketing and down-the-street retail convenience, that film doesn't actually *depend* on this stuff. It can be made in very simple factories with 30's technology in countries with developing economies. It used to, nonetheless, be a lot more 'special' than photography became along with the economies of disposable mass-consumption.

It's pretty cheap to make, cheap to ship, and doesn't necessarily compete for the same kind of personnel that could be making some other kind of computer. The way I see it is that someone can always make a few bucks on it, whatever happens. So I don't believe the 'film is dead' ghouls.
01-02-2009, 11:17 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I always wanted an excuse to be looking for an LX, though, since someone brought one into a store where I worked. Has to be one of the most 'properly done' cameras of all time. Guess I have my excuse.

The simple fact is that the digital phenomenon requires unprecedented amounts of support and energy infrastructure to be as practical as it is, ...will this continue long in this form? Who can be sure in times like these. Film is a technology that doesn't even strictly require electricity: and if you put it down and leave it alone for twenty years, it's still where you left it. (I should know)

I think people forget, when everything's about mass marketing and down-the-street retail convenience, that film doesn't actually *depend* on this stuff. It can be made in very simple factories with 30's technology in countries with developing economies. It used to, nonetheless, be a lot more 'special' than photography became along with the economies of disposable mass-consumption.

It's pretty cheap to make, cheap to ship, and doesn't necessarily compete for the same kind of personnel that could be making some other kind of computer. The way I see it is that someone can always make a few bucks on it, whatever happens. So I don't believe the 'film is dead' ghouls.
So did you buy the LX? Film camera prices seem to have stabilized, at least from what I can see. Ironic isn't it that people who buy film cameras today will at worst see only modest depreciation in value versus dSLRs which will easily lose more than 50% value within a year (ah, Moore's Law at work). Plus we'll see how well the high end dSLRs sell in this current economy -- not very well is my guess.

Film is not going to die as long as I am around. You haven't seen how much film I have stuffed in my downstairs freezer! When I've finished using up all the Reala I have squirrelled away, I can see myself using this new Ektar for portraits/nature/landscapes.

I choose to support a real photo lab instead of the likes of Wal-Mart. So I take my film to my local drug store. Yes, a drug store. It has a complete photography section including Fuji minilab and in-house technicians who know what they are doing. Yes it costs a bit more but the quality of their work is consistently superior. Plus they are happy to redo any prints I don't like, including fixing my mistakes. And I make more than my share of mistakes. They did downsize a couple years ago, now slide film gets sent to one of their labs in another city but that only takes a few extra days.
01-02-2009, 11:30 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
It's pretty cheap to make, cheap to ship, and doesn't necessarily compete for the same kind of personnel that could be making some other kind of computer. The way I see it is that someone can always make a few bucks on it, whatever happens. So I don't believe the 'film is dead' ghouls.
You should believe though, that if and when the demand side of film (that's us users) drops below what the supply side of film (the manufacturers) see as viable, they will stop producing it.
It's that simple.
When, or if, that happens is certainly open to debate at the moment, simply because right now there is sufficient demand for product.
Whether that demand remains sufficiently, both in terms of sale of film, but also sale of processing services is questionable.
I'm not seeing a demise of B&W film any time soon, but I do think both colour negative and slide film is already on life support, and I don't think Kodak tweaking an emulsion formulation and calling it Ektar is going to change that.
01-02-2009, 08:48 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
You should believe though, that if and when the demand side of film (that's us users) drops below what the supply side of film (the manufacturers) see as viable, they will stop producing it.
It's that simple.
When, or if, that happens is certainly open to debate at the moment, simply because right now there is sufficient demand for product.
Whether that demand remains sufficiently, both in terms of sale of film, but also sale of processing services is questionable.
I'm not seeing a demise of B&W film any time soon, but I do think both colour negative and slide film is already on life support, and I don't think Kodak tweaking an emulsion formulation and calling it Ektar is going to change that.
That's because color was mainstream. It was everywhere from SLRs to $10 kids' cameras, and most of that market is now digital. The people who used B&W film when digital arrived had been using it for years in spite of color's availability. Hence, B&W film sales never really declined that much.

I believe that Ektar is Kodak's answer to the death of Kodachrome. If there's a film on death's doorstep, it's Kodachrome. There's only one lab in the entirety of North America that can process it, which should give you an idea of the sales numbers. Ektar is supposed to give Kodachrome-like color in a C41 emulsion, and it looks to do a very good job at that.

Color film won't die. It'll hang on for the same reason B&W film didn't die when color came out. Some people are simply convinced that it's a better medium than digital, the same way some people were (and still are) convinced that B&W photography is a better medium than color.
01-02-2009, 10:04 PM   #44
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Don’t forget Kodachrome is slide film and the new Ektar is not. Kodachrome slide film has always had only a few labs that could process it and that goes back to the 70’s when it was in its heyday. Kodak also makes other slide film like Elitechrome, which would be the direct replacement for Kodachrome. Currently there are still two versions of Kodachrome for sale the regular and professional, both are 64ASA.

The new Ektar film will most likely replace one the Portra films.
01-03-2009, 04:53 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
You should believe though, that if and when the demand side of film (that's us users) drops below what the supply side of film (the manufacturers) see as viable, they will stop producing it.
It's that simple.
When, or if, that happens is certainly open to debate at the moment, simply because right now there is sufficient demand for product.
Whether that demand remains sufficiently, both in terms of sale of film, but also sale of processing services is questionable.
I'm not seeing a demise of B&W film any time soon, but I do think both colour negative and slide film is already on life support, and I don't think Kodak tweaking an emulsion formulation and calling it Ektar is going to change that.
I'm not sure about where you guys are, but Lomo is quite popular where I am, and I think that, and the usual guys I see over at my favorite camera repair shop, would keep demand tangible, still.

You should see the whole subculture Lomo has espoused here. The local forum gets swamped on a daily basis and now the server's gone down for maintenance. And people who sell used film cameras on forums and our local eBay now put in "Great for LOMOGRAPHY" (caps intended) even though they're selling a basic Canon film P&S from the 90's.

With most of them going for color films, I don't see color films dying anytime soon, like B&W.
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