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Thread: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

  1. #11

    Re: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

    I'm 66 years old and I believe that film will be available for long as I will want it. If younger photographers want to use it for more years then I have left, then start buying and using film.

  2. #12

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    Re: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

    One way to look at it is:

    As long as there are film photographers, there will be film.

    Another way is:

    As long as there is film, there will be film photographers.

    I think both are correct.

  3. #13

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    Re: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

    As i have opined before, there is a hard core of film users, especially b/w (also true of LF users). There are several low volume film makers that have survived over the years and they should be around for quite awhile. My guess is that Kodak will "chicken out" from stock market pressures and sell their coating alleys to a low bidder. Of the Biggies, I guess that Fuji will hold out for awhile, perhaps due to the far east growing market.

    This white haired elder statesman of photography is guessing that film and LF will be around for at least 20 to 25 years, longer than I'm likely to live.

    Lynn

  4. #14
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    I'd want to know what the barriers to entry are for small companies who want to form a cottage industry.
    There's at least one thread on this over on APUG. A former engineer from Kodak Australia saved some parts from a coating machine that was dismantled, and built his own coating machine. He can coat his own B&W film, but his goal is color. (B&W production has a "low" entry point.)

    The main problem are the chemicals. The chemicals are highly proprietary and jealously guarded, and someone new to the market would have to hire engineers to recreate appropriate formulas. How many millions ($45 million?) did Kodak invest in China Lucky film and then drop? Probably at least that much to get something off the ground. A company would want to get something that Kodak wants to sell, without it being dismantled, and license the chemical patents, etc.

    Remember, 8x10 TMY is special order now. There wasn't enough world-wide demand to normally stock the product, and while a $30,000 order may seem big to us, it isn't enough to support an actual independent manufacturer.

  5. #15

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    Re: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

    I just picked up 50 sheets of HP-5+ in 8x10 for the summer.
    Freestyle seems to be selling quite a bit of Arista.edu Ultra. Enough to sell out!
    I've been buying it, anyway. And now x-ray film to add to the mix as well.
    Why do you guys seem to think film is just barely hanging in there?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  6. #16

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    Re: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

    Well it is already tough enough being a film photographer so the end if film - if ever- will only induce more creative people to cone up with more creative DIY solutions . I mean, I'm already having to learn a lot about optics and electricity when I try to revive and old enlarger or power source so if I ever have to learn to mix my own gelatin.e silver and coat my own plates, I will. All part of the art , as far as I am concerned. Not to mention all the alt processes that would still be viable. So, I'm not worried. Roll with the punches, stiff upper lip, lemonaide from lemons, etc etc.

  7. #17
    よろしくお願いします! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

    The only thing I want to see die, are threads like this.

  8. #18

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    Re: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

    At least on the sheet film end of the spectrum, film is alive and well. There are places that sell it and companys that manufacture it. Roll film otoh is getting harder to find at tourist attractions & local drug stores, the places where the consumer film market has traditionally been concentrated. That goes along with the disappearance of camera stores and traditional processing labs. Families are no longer recording their history on film---thats understandable---but film dying?
    LOL!
    Consider this: there are more horses now, when they aren't much other than playthings, than 100 years ago when they still pulled plows, wagons, artillery and streetcars. Why? Because people still appreciate the intrinsic beauty and workings of the horse & the companionship they provide, just as 100 years from now people will still appreciate the intrinsic beauty and workings of the view camera & the art that can be produced with one.
    Someone is buying up all those Shen Haos (I certainly haven't seen any marked down to move on a clearance table!)
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  9. #19

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    Re: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

    You can build a horse one at a time, not so easy with roll film.

  10. #20

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    Re: "How much longer can photographic film hold on?"

    Longer than me.

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