“Film is dead, it’s just there is nobody there who’d pay for the funeral”

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by lachou, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. I read this thread with the corresponding comment at japancamerahunter.com
    http://japancamerahunter.com/2012/12/film-photography-is-not-dead/#comment-12641
    Knowing how it is embarrassing, and being fully aware of the hard core moral film supporters who dwell (legally?) at photo.net, I want, nevertheless, bring up a strange thought that flashed through my mind lately:
    1. Since film is a medium that can be stored and stocked, there might be stores and stocks of it somewhere.
    2. Nobody actually knows, how many film supporters are left and what their number would be in a year.
    Question: what if there are, in reality, so few film shooters by the time it will have been demised, that those film adherents who remain out there WILL ENJOY shooting a film stock ten times bigger they could have ever hoped to get hold of?
     
  2. Question: what if there are, in reality, so few film shooters by the time it will have been demised, that those film adherents who remain out there WILL ENJOY shooting a film stock ten times bigger they could have ever hoped to get hold of?​
    Good for them, get out and shoot more! I'm not sure why it's strange and flashes through your mind of late. Nothing too much to dwell on imo. I'd rather hear strange voices echoing and see pictures flashing in my mind than "bigger film stock." And maybe the smell of fresh fixer bath tho;)
    Boy, I do miss sniffing fixer bath.
     
  3. Exactly! I am not shooting now because I can't Ilford it. But, since someone is going to die in the village, I hope to get drunk at the public funeral for free, if you know what I mean.
    Speaking bluntly for those, who are on the armoured train.
     
  4. Forgive me for saying so but this seems a typical troll.
     
  5. <a href="http://eur.shop.lomography.com/films/new-in-stock">Good for them, get out and shoot more!</a>
    Shall we stop using this slogan and busting somebody else's "film spools" with regard to these prices?
     
  6. "Forgive me for saying so but this seems a typical troll."
    Let's call a cat a cat. It will not mind. I'm just sick and tired of enterprising artists shouting "film is not dead!!!" on every corner and trying to sell me this very film for 10 EUR/box. It's just unacceptable. I am also sick and tired of not being able to shoot film. Plainly speaking, I WANT this funeral to happen, to see if I can get myself some film to shoot for the next 1 or 2 years.
     
  7. In the last twelve months here in the UK, about half a dozen new public access darkrooms have opened up. We have new retailers selling film, paper and chemicals etc. Ilford have reported an 8 percent increase in sales. Jessops have recently folded but they practically abandoned 'real' photography years ago.
    Film-based photography has now settled to a level which it wil maintain into the foreseeable future. Some people are coming to film photography for the first time and some are coming back to it.
     
  8. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Ilford have reported an 8 percent increase in sales​
    Ilford talks about that increase in terms of revenue and profits, not volume of product. If they have announced volume increases, it's not apparent. Revenue can mean almost anything - volume can decrease and prices can go up faster. If there's actual volume of product sold info out there, someone should post it.
     
  9. If people with deep pockets want to spend $, this site apparently has annual reports of UK companies availalble.
    No guess as to the scope.
    http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk//compdetails
    (I searched for Harman Technology Ltd.)
     
  10. this thread started ans a strange ramble
    chris waller made one of the first clear statements
    but let me add my own "old man;'s analysis"
    film is used because we havbe film cameras and it is hard to shoot digitan with thise cameras
    second we like film
    we , in many cases LIKE working in the darkroom
    and while we may use a digicam for practical reasons
    we still use things we have always used
    a
     
  11. "Nobody actually knows, how many film supporters are left and what their numbers would be in a year."
    Really!?
    I would think that Ilford, Freestyle, Fuji, B&H and several other outlets and suppliers could give you some pretty good data based on sales. As for fiscal year 2014 sales, well they'll probably look at trends in the last two years and project from there.
    I really think film has reached a 'steady state' with potential for some growth. The world price of silver will have an effect so I would expect prices to rise in response to that and labor and equipment replacement expense. Not as many deals but available to anyone that wants it.
     
  12. Help me out here, Oleg. You recognize, from the article, that film is not really dead but still exists in a reduced state. You find current film prices too expensive and so you want to hasten the end of film photography so you can sweep in and pick up a good deal from the remains of the dead carcass so you can then shoot for a couple of years. Have I got that right?
    You need to discover eBay. Last night I bought ten rolls of fresh 35mm Fujicolor 400 36 exp for $3/roll (US Dollars) with free shipping. For B&W, try buying bulk and loading your own cassettes to save money. Outdated film is also available NOW on-line at reduced prices if you hunt around the web.
     
  13. I am not shooting now because I can't Ilford it.​
    B&H Fuji Acros 120 roll $3.25 (it was $3 at Adorama last year)

    Rodinal $13.99 Depending on how you shoot one bottle lasts YEARS.
    120 C-41 processing at Walmart 88¢ WTF?! How cheap does it have to be for people to stop making excuses?!
    Oleg, how much is your monthly cell phone bill? How much is you monthly cable bill? I picked up a complete mint Rollei 6008i camera with multiple accessories for a little of $1,000. That is nuts. When in the history of photography have you ever seen prices like this. When? Give me a year.
     
  14. Dead,like the LP ! Mind you LP sales are rising while Cd sales are falling rapidly! People still like the alternative of analogue media
     
  15. Dead,like the LP ! Mind you LP sales are rising while Cd sales are falling rapidly! People still like the alternative of analogue media
     
  16. There are those that say that adjusted for inflation (US dollars) film is actually cheaper now then it was in the pre-digital days. Whatever the case, the rise in film costs to consumers has a lot to do with the cost of silver steadily increasing over the past few years, or at least that is what Illford, Adox, and other companies have stated. I'm sure there are other factors but I cannot say what those may be. As long as I can afford to buy film, chems, and paper, I will keep shooting film.
     
  17. Oleg,

    You apparantly can't buy film. So for you film is dead. Live with it.
    The rest of us will happily go on with our lives too. Using film.
    "Let's call a cat a cat", and a troll a troll, indeed.
     
  18. @Louis Meluso
    Yes, you got it right. After having made a bit of my own research I started to think that film may be already phased out by Fuji and Kodak (probably, not yet by Ilford and Foma) and what they sell to us is actually the remaining stock that these "manufacturers" simply repack.
    As to the prices: I have a misfortune to live in a third world country, first point. There is no much use to buy film from USA dealers and to ship it dearly to my place. Rodinal is cheap, but, luckily, in my country the chemical industry is overdeveloped and I can by raw chemicals to do my own B&W. So, what is missing? Paper. No paper, no film scanner. I can go hang. Just to mention it: one box of god knows how outdated Foma (10 sheets) costs HALF of my monthly salary. But even if it cost one-fifth's, it would be unreasonable because of only 10 sheets 30X40cm in the box. Normal production flow even for a self-made artist requires more paper.
    Resuming all this I would like to stress one point: there may actually be so few film followers in the world, that they already do not need film to be produced anymore. They could be shooting the actual film stock till the end of their days. But commerce thinks differently. They will be selling you whatever you will be buying. And this doesn't necessarily mean that someone will be PRODUCING it.
    "Oleg, how much is your monthly cell phone bill? How much is you monthly cable bill? I picked up a complete mint Rollei 6008i camera with multiple accessories for a little of $1,000. That is nuts. When in the history of photography have you ever seen prices like this. When? Give me a year."
    This is another question. Cameras CAN cost big money. It is normal. The abnormal situation is the one where you buy Rollei 6008 for $1000 and I gather money to buy Contax RTS-III for $250. Because, at today's film rates, and seeing how they are changing, the rationale for it would be very far-stretched.
     
  19. And when you divide $3.25 per 12 you get roughly $0.30 per 1 button pressing, which is cool. I just can't find a place in today's world where I can boast that I spend $0.30 every time I press the button.
    Just for general information. I am over 40 and I caught the vanishing tail of the USSR glory, when I was 18. I could have silver rich film and paper by the stone because they were actually produced in MY TOWN and close nearby! . And, having once compared the quality of this 1990 paper to Adox Nuance, I should say that TODAY I would prefer the former.
     
  20. """"You apparantly can't buy film. So for you film is dead. Live with it. The rest of us will happily go on with our lives too. Using film. "Let's call a cat a cat", and a troll a troll, indeed.""""
    I want excuses and I'll get them. Please make notice of this.
    As it is, the situation tends to be very ironical, not to say "absurd" for YOU.
    1. Film becomes more expensive every year (day?).
    2. If my assumptions about Kodak and Fuji are correct, Ilford and Foma will divide the remaining market, but this doesn't mean that the prices will be lowered.
    3. There is a Russian company "Tasma" which is situated in the back of beyond and still produces aerial B&W film also in 35mm perforated format.
    It seems, the person who called me a troll WILL BE BUYING FILM FROM RUSSIA!
     
  21. It seems, the person who called me a troll WILL BE BUYING FILM FROM RUSSIA!​
    'Persons' not 'person' Oleg. So far two people here have called you a troll and now I'm a third.
     
  22. Thank You. You can't imagine how much pleasure I get from it. While you do not contravene my arguments, take your time and recall more folklore names to call me by.
    Meanwhile, once again, and for those, who think:
    Did they recently show you at Kodak or Ilford how do they do the actual film coating in 2013? What if you are already buying their STOCK? And, consequently, what if you are buying it too dearly, considering how many prospective buyers are left?
     
  23. Oleg, I am sorry that you are unable to afford film prices. Studies have shown that it has not gone up in price as much as other things in life, so sales are steady and now at a sustainable albeit boutique market levels. Even digital ravaged Kodak can manage to re-tool around that and if they doubled the price, people like me who shoot for a living will still buy it because the quality is so high that our end products to our customers will be too. If you think that your cognition of film vanishing will create some kind of "Ground Beef half off due to past expiration date" sale and you will inherit a windfall of celluloid, you are incredibly mistaken and are setting your self up for some serious road rash... But it's ok sir, you do the worrying and we will make the art.
     
  24. "Studies have shown that it has not gone up in price as much as other things in life" - what a phrase! I like "other things in life" best of all.
    Seriously, it's me who is wearing motley here and is making unfounded assumptions. And I want to hear some serious objections to them. Kill me with facts, not laugh (thanks nevertheless).
    I contend that the logic behind "I am still shooting film so it will always be there" is flawed.
    Following this logic, YOU may be keeping Ilford afloat for the sake of Its staying afloat with the money you could have spent on your kids. And it is very easy for Ilford to declare that they are flourishing while they are selling their stock to several thousands of very stubborn people. Ilford or no Ilford, you WILL get this stock either way. It will be sold to you. It's a law of commerce. Question is price.
     
  25. Oleg,
    I'll "contravene" your "arguments". There is no difficulty buying film.
    How's that for feed?
     
  26. Tell us the whole truth, Mr. de Bakker. How much film and for what purpose do you consume exactly?
     
  27. Apparently lots more than you, Oleg.
    You are separated from reality quite a bit if you think it's difficult to get and use film. Or be a troll, of course. The two aren't mutually exclusive though.
    In the past, Oleg, i had to walk no less than 400 - 500 meters to the store where i bought mine! Nowadays, i don't have to anymore. It's delivered to my front door.

    What purpose???
    A troll, yes. But not a very good one, you are.
     
  28. I have an impression that what you have been saying does not make neither you nor me LESS intelligent, but for different reasons. I feel ashamed and in the same time unable to fully comprehend your remarks because of their bottomless-ness. In other words, your flow of conscience seems to have no bottom and flies, flies away. It's transcendent.
    You should get outside more often, of course, whan the guards let you do so.
     
  29. Here's an idea Oleg: if you too would go out more, you'll find that the world is a bit different than your paranoia makes it appear to you.
    And then we'll both be happier people. ;-)
     
  30. Went to a Kim Weston (famous photography family) presentation last night and he just upgraded from a Mamiya Pro S to a Pentax 6x7. He makes his entire living selling fine art photography and it's all from film. Also the images are dodged and burned in the dark room, not in Photoshop.
     
  31. Pretty much what I am doing now Michael...but don't tell Oleg that, he will get further distraught at the notion that film will continue to be used for a long time...and it won't be throw away free.
     
  32. We often forget, in the fury of these endless and boring "film is dead" posts, that shooting film and digital often involve different approaches. I shoot both film and digital but for different reasons. I had just bought my system digital camera about 5 or 6 years ago when I opted (another first time event) for a weekend workshop on an island not far from my home. During the two days of photography I photographed a lot (visualising, finding subject matter, waiting for atmospheric change, etc.) but shot a total of only 39 frames, with perhaps a half of those shot and reshot a second time (total of about 60 clicks). The other participants, with more experience and culture of digital photography, each shot something like several hundred images to more than 1600.
    The point here is that the film photography approach does not have the same multiple image craving that film photography has, and the price per final photo is thereby often very small, whatever the cost of Ilford, Kodak, Fujifilm or Adox film. Shooting film is a relatively slow and methodical approach, much time often being spent in assuring the conditions for exposure and composition are close to what is desired or required. So the cost of the film is only a small part of the total spent before scanning or darkroom printing.
    Have a look Oleg and others at the cost of digital printing papers for final output (if the target is other than a simple internet sharing of an image, before the electronic file is either lost or equipment advances make it impractical to retrieve or guard in storage). The high cost of those better quality papers (to match the quality of traditional photosensitive papers) is added to the cost of inks. Black and white darkroom printing is arguably no more expensive than digital printing. With little used darkroom equipment being very inexpensive, the overall cost of the film-darkroom route is not high, compared to the very large investment required for digital inks, printers, back-up devices, digital papers and screen/printer calibration devices. Unlike darkroom equipment, these change often, inciting extra expense to keep up with the digital technology.
    If there is any rip-off, or high cost or over-consumption, I think that I would cite the digital market rather than a film market where increase in cost of the latter products reflects inflation factors and to some extent lessened demand. Some digital cameras and associated equipment have life cycles of only a few years, inciting continuous "upgrading" or change. The cost of film is nothing in comparison.
    The important thing is that some companies (among those listed above, or some newer arrivals - the people who bought up the Agfa film or paper-making chains) are placing their confidence in the film and traditional darkroom sectors, which will likely continue as long as those who prize traditional photography will demand the products. New films, papers, chemicals and even film cameras (Fuji's recent 6x7 camera, large format builders in China and elsewhere) are seeing the light. The specific approach of film photography is far from dead, just leaner than it was when mass film camera had not been supplanted by digital cameras.
     
  33. Since most of OP's arguments pertains to where he lives, may be he should have put his residence in the title of the thread. I can get 4 rolls of 24-exp Fuji 200 for under $7 at Walmart.
     
  34. Looks like I'll continue using 120 film (b&w) and intend to have it printed occasionally. The smell of chemicals still lingers....since early 70's. Sooo, I'll stash the film and if the need arises, I'll get some or a lots of Rodinal and scan the results. Regardless where you are, you can order in large quantity (film and chemicals)...in one package vs ordering the same items 100 times and paying unnecessary fees. Like it's been said, good equipment (35mm or 6x6) can be had for reasonable cash. Anyway, Oleg, the rest is up to you.
    Les
     
  35. @Arthur Plumpton [​IMG][​IMG], Jan 18, 2013; 03:00 p.m.
    Dear Arthur,
    I fear to even start to think in the direction you pointed out. Higher costs mean plainly that those young people who are 18 or 20 today will associate the word "photography" with the output of their smart-phones only, being unable to afford anything more serious.
    But I think that another scenario to be more likely: the cost of semi-professional digital equipment will drop dramatically during the next year or two, and all these young people will be able to afford Nikanons and Psigmas to definitely NEVER smell this odious fixer again in their bathroom. I am over 40-ty, the other guys who post here must be over 50-ty and some of them even older. We have been talking about the toys of our GENERATIONS now.
    The rest is not in the least degree is up to myself or any particular individual. Nobody can chose anything in today's world. Today, all of you who can afford it play with Galaxies, iPhones and iPads. Let me axe you one question: did these devices arise from any particular NEED? No, they were a "gift". "Beware of the Trojans bringing you their gifts". I believe, that these "gifts" will finally kill the digital SLR as a concept either.
    Today, we witness the end of the epoch. At the moment none of us can change anything. My personal belief is: you are buying the stock "till the stock lasts". Don't ask me where I live. It is all the same everywhere. Not only people, but the whole worldwide industries may be reduced to dust for the sake of instant profit today. "This is what happened. Don't lie to your kids."*
    * taken from "Men in Black -III".
     
  36. "If there is any rip-off, or high cost or over-consumption, I think that I would cite the digital market rather than a film market where increase in cost of the latter products reflects inflation factors and to some extent lessened demand. Some digital cameras and associated equipment have life cycles of only a few years, inciting continuous "upgrading" or change. The cost of film is nothing in comparison."
    Once the market is saturated with digital SLRs, their price "USED" will drop to nothing. I once held in my hands the Nikon D200 and looked through it's viewfinder. What a hole! I think that this junk will be given free to 7 years old kids to amuse themselves during the breaks in the primary school.
     
  37. "Regardless where you are, you can order in large quantity (film and chemicals)...in one package vs ordering the same items 100 times and paying unnecessary fees."
    Impossible to do outside the United States and the EU. No photographer in Russia or other 3-rd world country would stake his money on a "one very big order". Unless he wants to familiarize the Customs Officers with the joys of film photography.
     
  38. Just today I was thinking about it. Film is not dead but is shrinking in sales volumes with Kodak and Fuji gradually disappearing. Efke is out. The remaining manufacturers include Rollei (which rebrands emulsions from Agra Gevaert), Adox (with its in house productions), Ilford and Foma in the foreseeable future.
    So, film is still available, at least where I live (Italy). But digital is undoubtly cheaper in any way.
    I don't want to delve into which is better: digital or analog. I feel that both are good, it depends on what you're after. Art is art and it's independent of the medium. No one ever wondered how Michelangelo grabbed his chisel when he was creating his Mosé.
    Art Blakey is Art Blakey whether he's playing Gretsch or Tama or Pearl or you name it.
    Sebastião Salgado now uses digital in his workflow. So what. Do his works are better or worse? Neither.
    So, personally I'm phasing out film (I have to use my last 92 rolls and then I'll sell my Nikon outfit) in favor of digital.
    For example: a 10x15 colour print made on Fuji Crystal Archive from a digital file is 0.09€. A 10x15 print on the same paper but from a 35mm negative is 0.4€.
    Where on earth analogue is on par with digital?
     

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