View Full Version : Film maybe here longer then you think....

Stephen Willard
16-Jan-2006, 22:45
So Kodakís CEO said that film is dead. Hmmm! I suspect in a few years he will have to eat his foolish words.

My wife has traveled all over the world. I on the other get to stay home a mow the lawn, Go figure. She tells me the rest of the world shoots film and only Americanís buy digital cameras. Lets face it guys, only in America do we find foolish people who are willing to pay $1000, $1500, $3000, $5000, or even $8000 for a dinky DSLR knowing the camera will be out dated and unsupported in two to three years. The rest of the world knows better. It is these foolish Americans that are Kodakís CEO groupies!

Fuiji on the other hand knows this and is just sitting quietly on the side line. Fuiji is well established in the remainder of the world and has a respectable market share in the US. When Kodak goes all digital, Fuji will pick up the slack. Fuij also knows that unlike film which is consumable, digital is not. Eventually, those foolish people will run out of money and will be unable to buy any more foolish expensive cameras. At that point we have market saturation and poor Kodak will start to decline just like most of the computing industry has done today (except for Apple).

I am a LF C41 color negative guy who currently shoots Portra 160 VC. I suspect within four years I will be shooting Fuiji film and laughing at Kodakís decline. To bad Kodak has such a foolish CEO. Oh well. What to do.

PS I suspect that there will be lots of flames with this string. Hmmm...

dan nguyen
16-Jan-2006, 23:03
I agree with you Stephen....

Digital requires more than a camera and the time to take pictures....it requires a computer, softwares and the time to learn and use them...there are a lot of countries with a lot of people without the resources (yet) to go digtal...

an example.. I was invited to a community in a country in the world. I took pictues in LF, sure.. I took pictures of the people who hosted me and feed me.. they want to see their pictures...if I took DLSR, they can't have the next day. I took their pictures with a 35mm camera, went to the nearest town with 1 hour photo booth... and they are happy.... none of them has digital camera, they only have 35mm film camera...

sad..very sad...

ronald moravec
17-Jan-2006, 04:08
I love to buy the latest and greatest cars. More expensive each year. Can`t repair it myself so I give it to a pro who usually can`t. Resale value is nil.

Must be why the average age of autos is creaping ever higher every year.

Toyota is poised to takeover Ford and GM. Kodak is dead. Maybe the problem is we just aren`t paying enough for really good executive talent! The execs here make 500x the average salery of a worker. Not so anywhere else.

Long live Fuji.

Armin Seeholzer
17-Jan-2006, 05:57
Hi Stephen

"She tells me the rest of the world shoots film and only Americanís buy digital cameras."

Sorry it is not true! In the EU is it very similar to USA and also in Japan. I can not speak for the rest of the world maybe in China it is so!

Here in Switzerland are not many Labs which still develop sheet films. And almost all sheet films are now special order items more and more!
But we have more and more amateurs wich go LF so it will survive for some time!

So use much film and it survives at least Fuji!

Ron Marshall
17-Jan-2006, 06:29
I was in China two years ago. The friends I was staying with had a digital point and shoot, and said that among the middle class (the poor can't afford cameras or film) digitals are rapidly replacing film. Their motivation to switch is strictly economic: they love the freedom to snap away madly without having to consider cost. It doesn't take many rolls to recoup the cost of a cheap 3MP camera.

With entry level digicams at $99 most people in third world countries who can afford a film camera and film will switch for the saving in film and processing. This is the bulk of the market for 35mm.

My view is that there will always be some film available. It may be somewhat more expensive due to reduced economies of scale in production.

I am certainly not going to worry about it though.

I am currently in the market for a 5x7. When I told a friend and fellow LF shooter he cautioned me about the reduced selection of emulsions in 5x7 versus 4x5. This has been the case for years. No problem, as I only intend to do b/w in 5x7 and all I want is t-max 100 or HP5+.

Terence Spross
17-Jan-2006, 08:12
Kodak has found that a lot more people are buying the preloaded disposable 35mm cameras than projected. A lot of film is sold that way now. For better or worse.....

17-Jan-2006, 09:17
What he's actually said is that kodak's old business model is dead, and that he needs 4 years to reinvent the company. The questions are, what does his new vision include, and will he be able to pull it off?

17-Jan-2006, 09:34
Stephen, I don't know where your wife has travelled, but I have recently been to Burma, China, and Scandinavia. All those places are like here in California: at least 99% of photographers on the street are shooting digital.

Stephen Willard
17-Jan-2006, 23:45
All of your points are noted, but I still stand by my prediction. There will come a time in the near future the digital market will run out of steam and collapse. All the digital cameras for those who have one will be sufficient independent of any galactic digital advances made by mankind.

This is what happened to the computer industry. I have an old G4 MAC workstation that is plenty sufficient for my needs. I have no intentions of upgrading to the newest G5 Quad systems.

It happened with the wood stove boom in the 80s. It happen with the computing industry. It happened with the dot coms. It happened with the telecom industry. And it will happen with digital imaging as sure as bears shit in the woods. Unfortunately, Kodak's CEO is just to stupid to see this.

Things are starting to heat up now. Digital imaging has now become the great divide. It is infinit they claim. There will be those that have digital cameras and those who do not. Those that do not will be left behind with useless film cameras. Hmm.. Where have I heard this before.

I give the digital boom about three more years at most, and then the big throbbing digital erection will go limp and shrivel away, and Kodak's CEO will the be forced to take early retirement. Oh well. What to do.

Bee Flowers
18-Jan-2006, 03:40
> I have an old G4 MAC workstation that is plenty sufficient for my needs.
> I have no intentions of upgrading to the newest G5 Quad systems.

Yeah so you stopped upgrading your comp. But you didn't revert to punch cards, did you?

David Luttmann
18-Jan-2006, 06:55
Me thinks dear Stephen is in denial......

Juergen Sattler
18-Jan-2006, 08:07
I think it is obvious to everyone - film will become (or already is?) a niche market. The average person only buys digital cameras these days - nobody buys film cameras anymore. The pros who make their money with wedding or product photography have gone digital as well. The statement that only the US is digital-crazy is absolutely wrong - I spend a lot of time in Europe and other parts of the world and everyone is using digital camera - in fact you hardly see anyone with a film camera anymore. Camera phones are taking over too and given that most people don't print their pictures anymore I really don't see where Kodak or anyone else for that matter could survive on film - Kodak's CEO has no choice but to focus all his energy on digital and try to beat the traditional camera makers like Nikon, Canon, etc. Don't get me wrong, I hate this development as much as everyone else on this forum and I have a freezer full of film stored away, but I believe the victory of digital has already happened. I do believe that film, paper and chemicals will be around much longer, but it will be at a significant cost - prices will have to go up, because production will diminish and we will have less of a choice - in fact there might be only one or two manufacturers left ina couple of years. I don't think this is a dooms-day scenario, but I believe we have to be realistic - we are in the minority and that minority is getting smaller every day.

David Luttmann
18-Jan-2006, 09:00

I agree. I love using film as part of my workflow & plan on doing so as long as I can. However, after travelling through Germany, Poland, and Italy, as well as Japan, Beijing, Shangai & Hong Kong.... I don't believe I saw a single film camera during my travels.

I think this idea of Stephen's is nothing more than maybe wishful thinking.....as though digital sales will collapse bringing on a renaissance in film. Sorry, but I just don't think so. Film will be a niche market. I'm actually happy about that. Like I've said before with LP pressings and turntables.....I get higher quality pressings now as well a better turntables than I did 20 years ago.

I think a collapse of digital holds no more weight than Stephen's 4 stop DR for digital comment earlier.....just more guesswork

Stephen Willard
18-Jan-2006, 09:43

For many years computers were not sufficient for consumers needs, and they indeed were upgrading as new developments occurred. My wife had MAC G3 on her desk, and it was very frustrating to work with the machine. I would say that the G3 was not a sufficient solution for my wife's needs. Now she has an iMac, and its computing power far exceeds anything my wife will ever need. Unless our machines break, we will probably never buy any new ones.

I believe that the technology used for digital imaging has matured and is now entering a stage of sufficiency. The cameras are very functional and feature rich and take great pictures. It is now very easy and inexpensive to make RA4 photographs prints. Inkjet prints are not a sufficient solution for the average consumer. RA4 prints are.

Unless their cameras break consumers will probable never upgrade to latest developments. It is just a matter of time before market saturation is realized and sales start to shrink and plummet. Those companies who maintain both a film and digital solutions will do better than those who put all there eggs in one basket.

I think of HP's last ECO who set out to reinvent HP, acquired Compaq (SP) only to be forced into early retirement last year. I believe that is what will happen with Kodak ECO in time.

I also believe that Fuiji will be one of those steadfast companies that will continue to sell film for years to come.

18-Jan-2006, 09:44
[deleted (edit: for clarification, user was banned from posting here)]

Juergen Sattler
18-Jan-2006, 11:05
Stephen, I agree that we will have film for years to come - there is no doubt in my mind! But I think that we are still at the beginning of the digital revolution in photography. Your example of the computing power for PCs does not gel either in my opinion. The software always drives the need for more computing power and software is becoming more integrated and more sophisticated - which means more computing power and people want the latest and greatest. How many PCs did you go through - I've had at least 6 - not counting the Laptops. The same logic will hold for digital cameras. There will be more mega pixles, more and better software, etc.

It might be that folks in rural areast have not caught up with this digital photography age, but I am not even sure about that.

BTW - I don't even own a decent DSLR - I live with a point and shoot and I only use it for eBay listings. But that was a concious choice, because I love film and I love the darkroom work. Most people couldn't care less. I am just trying to be realistic!


Stephen Willard
18-Jan-2006, 13:44

I am sorry to see that your response was deleted. It must have been pretty bad because this is the first time I have ever seen a response deleted. You can send it to me personally at willard@peakpeak.com. I promise I will not get mad nor personalize it.

Driving around on these bulletin boards is like driving around in our cars. Its kind of like road rage! We do and say things in car that we would never do in person. Somehow, JJ I suspect your a real nice guy independent of what things you might have said.

Sal Santamaura
18-Jan-2006, 13:56
"Driving around on these bulletin boards is like driving around in our cars. Its kind of like road rage! We do and say things in car that we would never do in person"

I disagree. In my experience, the characteristics that people display when driving their cars generally correlate very well with the way they behave while engaged in other interpersonal activities. Those who rage on the road generally rage off the road too.

20-Jan-2006, 11:09
good riddance...

Terence Spross
24-Jan-2006, 07:28
Stephen -

While I've only used color and B&W Kodak Film in my LF camera, I'm not exactly a large volume user. In 35mm I've shot a variety of brands over the years, but more recently I've stuck with Kodak products. ---------------- Is there something sacrilegious with me reloading my son's disposable Fuji camera with Porta160NC? {The camera is modified to about aprox EI150 and I have Porta in bulk}(My 14 yr old son has a disposable since he is grounded from using any of my SLRs due to lack of taking proper care of cameras.)

On another note - hopefully jj didnít respond negatively to you, he was censored in this thread because of what happened a couple days ago. Over the years his 900 plus posts have generally been useful and good but in a couple political threads, which was outside of the subject matter that should be in a photography forum, he and a couple of other posters got out of hand. Finally, he went off the deep end with posting the f word and other hateful words repeatedly. And there may have been additional direct emails between posters as well. Then some posters said he should be removed etc. Anyway the moderator, Ralph Barker, said he was banned and I agree but I hope itís not permanent, a good few months grounding is appropriate enough . I think jj posted here just to see if the forum software could block him. That wasnít in the software design. Moderators can only remove specific posts and I tink he was just testing that.