ADAG (Anti doomand gloom)

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by digiconvert, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    :smile:
    It's clear that people on this site take film photography very seriously and the passing of every film is mourned deeply by at least some members of the community. However I would like to suggest the following reasons to keep it all in perspective ;
    - All companies are in it to make money , that's what they do so if Kodak or Ilford or whoever discontinues a product they are doing it because not enough people buy it at a price that makes enough money. No amount of weeping over infra red films or cooltone developers will change that.
    - Film is wonderful and the surveys show that a lot of professionals hold that view. But ever since Kodak started selling cheap cameras to encourage mass film use ( a fantastic business model !) photography has been a mass market activity. In the same way that Joe Public once bought cheap and cheerful instamatics they now buy digital because they're easy to use and Aunty Freda's photo usually comes out looking ok with them (add in marketing and the geek factor and they sell in millions). So what we and a few professionals think is never going to sway the accountants.
    -What we are left with is some fantastic colour films from Kodak and Fuji (Portra is really lovely) and cracking BW films from these and Ilford as well as a few interesting films like Adox/Efke 25 which should keep most people happy for a while.
    -The number of colour and Mono papers is decreasing admittedly but Ilford's efforts in monochrome need to be recognised, if the Cheshire plant had closed things would have been so different. And I can still buy Kodak colour paper and room temperature processing chemicals reasonably easily from internet sellers.
    - Getting into film photography has never been more accessible . OK new film cameras are rarer than hens teeth but the s/h market can probably supply APUG members for quite some time yet and prices are silly, Darkroom equipment is almost 'free to a good home' on ebay .

    SO let's celebrate the hobby / living we love and be thankful for the opportunity to use that equipment we dreamed of only 5 years ago and please stop convincing ourselves that the end is nigh. Film will have a long death , some people here still use plate cameras from before WWI so 35mm and 120 should be reasonably easy to get in the next 5 years , after that who knows , better stop writing and get shooting/developing/printing :smile: :smile: :smile: :smile:

    Cheers CJB
     
  2. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    A good take on the subject...as I frame in my darkroom...and hang the door this weekend. :smile:

    Jed
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    We definitely need this thread in APUG.

    Thanx,
    Steve
     
  4. Brac

    Brac Member

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    It's refreshing to see an upbeat post and what you say makes a lot of sense. There's still a large choice of materials out there, though sometimes we have to search a bit harder to locate them.
     
  5. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I like this thread and think it is very timely.

    I got fed up on rangefinderforum of all the posts bemoaning the end of film and how great digital could be. That's why I started reading and posting more here. One of my final posts on rff was about the realities of film sales and the prospects for further innovation in the film business. For what it's worth I am appending a slightly edited version of that post here:

    Thinking about this 'either/or' issue with respect to digital/film and whether there is a renaissance of film in the offing I have been looking at the statistics regarding analogue sales and monitoring various websites for a number of years now. I think the future is probably not so bad for film users as many think.

    Sales of analogue photographic products seem to have flattened out. There were big falls in the early 2000s, but these have tapered off as the market has restructured. Figures from the Office for National Statistics in the UK show manufacturing output for different parts of the analogue photography sector as follows:

    UK Sales from 2003 to 2006 (£million):
    Sales of flat film based products- 2003- £162, 2004- £99, 2005- £108 2006- £108
    Sales of roll/cassette film- 2003- £47, 2004- £41, 2005- £39, 2006-not available
    Sales of paper products- 2003- £26, 2004- £18, 2005-n/a, 2006-n/a
    Sales of chemicals- 2003- £79, 2004- £90, 2005- £96, 2006- £82

    So the big crash was 2003, by 2006 the flat film market seems to have bottomed out and the chemical market doesn't show any particular pattern.

    This confirms Ilford's recent comments on the film market:

     
  6. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    See, some folks on APUG remind me of my Grandma. She's approaching 98 and everyday she's complaining that she's dying while she's doing her chair exercises or bonsai or flower arrangements. Every time I visit her, I find her complaints of an approaching death while enjoying a very fun filled life quite amusing. Love her 'to death', and entertaining. Like some folks on APUG.

    Regards, Art. (My brother and I predict Grandma will live to 120 at least - as long as she continues complaining!)
     
  7. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    Art,

    You could be onto something. My grandmother lived to 106, complaining evry day. If it works for grandmothers, maybe it'll work for analogue photo graphy too.

    Richard Wasserman
     
  8. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    The time my 93 year old Gran STOPPED complaining about the aches and pains we knew the end was nigh, it took two weeks .
    maybe we need the dommsayers to keep us going.

    And thanks for the positive way the thread has been received.

    Chris Benton
     
  9. JanaM

    JanaM Member

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    Hallo CJB,

    you are absolutely right. I have begun with photography in the "golden age of film" about twenty years ago. Nowadays I have
    - much better films, papers and chemistry
    - my materials are much cheaper (considering inflation) then 10 or 20 years ago
    - I have much more alternatives, because I can get materials from all over the world, 20 years ago I have had limited access
    - in some areas I have much more products and options, for example 100 ASA slide films: Today we have such a beautiful and widespread programme: Ektachrome 100G, 100 GX, 100 VS, Fuji Astia, Provia, Velvia 100, Velvia 100F.
    Nothing like that 20 years ago. Such a programme was a dream at that time.
    Same with developers and chemistry here in Germany. Much more excellent options today because of our local chemical wizards Heribert Schain (Spur) and Wolfgang Moersch. Wonderful products.

    I enjoy my photography with film.

    Regards,
    Jana
     
  10. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    Four reasons to celebrate , I love Kodachrome 64 but tried Astia last year for a portrait shoot and loved the outcome.

    I keep looking for Spur products to try . retrophotographic are the photoimpex dealer in the UK but the link to Spur is often out of action . Is it good ?
    Keep on keeping on :smile:

    Regards ; Chris
     
  11. JanaM

    JanaM Member

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    Hi Chris,

    the Spur developers are excellent. I often use the Spur HRX-2. Excellent results with Delta 100 & 400, T-Max 100 & 400, Fuji Neopan Acros 100, Agfa APX 100, Ilford HP5+.

    Try them, you won't regret it!

    Best regards,
    Jana
     
  12. thomsonrc

    thomsonrc Member

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    new darkroom for me

    I have just bought a professional photographers entire darkroom (not the room, just the stuff) for £300, and not long ago the enlarger alone would have been a bargain at this price. He also threw in a studio lights and stands as they were no good for digital. The plumbers coming round next week to fit the darkroom sink and then I'll have my first ever permenent darkroom space and I cant wait to get printing. I'll be buying lots of paper, chemicals, etc I'm going to fill the fridge and freezer just in case, but I think analogue is here to stay.
    Ritchie
     
  13. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Thanks for this thread, Digiconvert, some interesting points have been raised. I'd like the photo media to have a more positive outloook - they seem to report the negative happenings but rarely the postive, like the pending relaunch of the Agfa papers.

    Film is still my choice of media. Since last summer, I've been thinking in terms of options.

    Many folk seem to have an either / or attitute towards their choice of image-making medium. But when it comes to materials, digital technology is actually increasing the options availible to all photographers in some areas.

    Lightjet / Lambda printing systems use photographic papers to output from digital files. When you consider that minilabs still use RA-4 papers for printing images originated on both film and digital media, it's easy to see a future for these materials. I can't see minilabs changing to inkjet or dye-sublimination papers - the expense would be huge!

    Ilford / Harman is now producing a panchromatic monochrome paper, Galerie FB Digital, which is sensitive across the colour spectrum so that it can be used in lightjet printers. It's only sold in huge rolls atm, but who knows - they might sell it to the general public one day. Panalure replacement anyone?

    De Vere is producing a digital enlarger to output files to photographic papers.

    Film recording can output digital files to photographic film, giving a tranny or negative to file away for posterity.

    Inkjet printers can produce enlarged negatives which are superior and easier to produce than sheet film equivalents (stay with me please!). The alternative / archaic processes are now within easy reach of small format film users for whom messing with litho film in the darkroom is off-putting or impossible. A platinum print from that precious old Kodachrome slide? No problem!

    And the fact that cameras and darkroom equipment are dirt cheap at the moment means that it's cheaper than ever to acquire quality gear.

    When the digital 'revolution' began in around 1998, a lot of commentators declared that film would be gone in a few years. It's still very much here, and I think that photographers are slowly realising that it's not an either / or situation - it's a question of using the tool and medium that fits the job best. When it comes to image-making, we have more choices than ever before. In many ways, analogue photographers have never had it so good.

    A final thought: When Daguerrotypes were invented, the artist said "From today, painting is dead".

    Well, painters still paint pictures.
     
  14. GeoffHill

    GeoffHill Member

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    I know of 3 people, includeing myself, who have started using film, from shooting exclusively digital in the last 12 months. I don't know anyone who was using film 12 months ago, and now shoots digital.

    It's not a very big sample size, but It's enough to convince me that film will be around for a while yet.
     
  15. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    Interesting to note the number of UK/European based contributors to this thread as opposed to US contributors. Is it because I'm UK based or is the US market less optimistic about film ? Just a thought.
    Kevin - I did once post a thread asking if people would still use film if the only output method was digital enlargers and I was not exactly popular with some contributors. I love 'playing' in the darkroom but if I could only get my images digitally produced that would be fine with me - anyone who doesn't print their colour negatives at home does this anyway. The fact that I can shoot a film get it developed and onto disc within 20 minutes of finishing that film works for me !

    Geoff - As you say not a 'reliable' sample in mathematical terms but as anecdotal evidence the trend seems to be a positive one. I think K64 may be a dead duck (for which I am really sorry) but it is a pretty old product and there is stuff out there which does as good a job in a different way.

    Cheers CJB
     
  16. Pete H

    Pete H Member

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    and what about APUG itself? I have some beautiful prints from various print exchanges and a fantastic collection of postcards which is growing again with round 12 of the postcard exchange. Share your work and enjoy other people's!