depressing

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by nomadicslacker, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. nomadicslacker

    nomadicslacker Member

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    This is the most depressing and discouraging part of this forum. I am 46 years old and has always wanted to learn film based photography, I am now making that dream come true but every time I read this particular part of apug I wonder if I have waited too long to get started and will there be any products to buy in the future. I other words, is analog photography a bad investment. I hope not because digital just isn't art to me, it's just digipics without art. Please reduce the unproven and only post true facts about the industry. Thanks nomadicslacker...
     
  2. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I think there is plenty to go around for those of us who want it. Welcome, and don't worry: I think you will be enjoying your long-time passion for a long time indeed. Take things with a grain of salt, focus on the positives and have fun!

    Peter.
     
  3. Magnus W

    Magnus W Member

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    Even if all production of analog cameras and film stopped RIGHT NOW*, the second hand market and the remaining stock of film would provide you with a wonderful hobby for many years to come.

    Personally I try to spend more time enjoying the moment, than worrying that things might change in the future. And remember the sooner you start; the longer you will keep going.

    -- MW

    *which I find extremely unlikely
     
  4. Jack Lusted

    Jack Lusted Member

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    I am 47 years old and have only just really got into darkroom work since I was a kid in the '70s.
    Frankly I'm as excited as hell with all the good stuff around at the moment.
    Quality MF is a snip.
    Film seems cheaper than ever in real terms. And for B+W there seems so much 'new' stuff around.
    And the same goes for paper. Multigrade, once you get use to it, is wonderful stuff, and RC is good for the more run of the mill print.
    Lots of interesting chemistry too.
    The only thing that I really do miss however is Kodachrome 25 - that was such a nice film....

    Jack
     
  5. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    FWIW, my suggestion is to fret less, and expose more (film, that is). :wink:

    I view the doom/gloom posts regarding changes in product availability to be largely due to the momentary moods of those who make such posts, combined with the undisciplined ease with which such posts (rants?) can be made. In other words, that's just the nature of the "forum beast".
     
  6. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    This is a fantastic time to buy film cameras. And you can even hedge your bets - many medium format cameras will accept digital backs (though they are expensive). So jump on board. Film will be available for decades to come. There may be fewer choices, but it will be available. Photography didn't kill painting and drawing. And digital won't kill film.
     
  7. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Indeed it won't-though we might go back to a 'garden shed' age with lots of small guys selling direct to us analogists.
     
  8. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I agree with everything that is being said and I also agree with your comments about trying to keep to the facts a little bit better.

    There have been some losses that were frustrating, but when I look at the big picture, there are more and more folks coming forward to serve this market as the big players get out. I think we need to recognize that there will be lots more changes, but we are still a pretty big maket of enthusiasts and there will be folks serving us.
     
  9. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Don't fret about all the doom and gloom types here. Four years ago, when I was 30, I bought my first Hassey MF camera instead of a digital camera. Best investment yet. This year I plan to buy a 4x5. I know I will be enjoying it.

    Remember, there are painters and stone sculpturers out there who are pretty optimistic about their ancient mediums.

    Regards, Art.
     
  10. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    This is a great time to get into traditional photography. For one thing, you have this and other great on-line forums to participate in and learn from.
    Also the "D" revolution has made top quality analog photographic equipment available at previously unheard of low prices. You could put together a fine camera kit and complete darkroom for about $300. Film, chemistry and photo paper is still available in great abundance.

    Don't permit the uncertainties of the future steal from your enjoyment of today!

    Once you learn the controls of a manual (preferably) camera and how to develop and print your own photos you're on your way. You can learn how to use the camera and develop and print in about a day (and then happily spend the rest of your life getting better at it).
     
  11. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    "Please reduce the unproven and only post true facts about the industry"

    Amen.

    It has been getting absurd the last couple of weeks. Perhaps, in addition to the Soapbox, we should have a "Gullible Nutter" section where all those posts can be made, allowing the rest of us to get on with things while the rumour mongers can disappear in ever decreasing circles up their own fundament?

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  12. dolande

    dolande Member

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    It depends how you look at it. I’m 38 and just starting my long time dream of darkroom work. 5 year ago I barely manage to buy my eos-3 new but not I also have a maxxum 7 and, YES, a Nikon F3 (just ordered the waist level finder). I will never know if agfa apx was going to be my thing but I have Ilford and Fuji to play with. There are also some companies that I never heard off, some of them supporting this site, that have a business model better to match the current and future market conditions. So I think that film, b&w at least, will be around for some time.
     
  13. nomadicslacker

    nomadicslacker Member

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    I,m starting to see that, in fact, this just might be the exact time for my dream to begin. Seeing that other members are just starting out has caused me to rethink. I appreciate your posts to my concerns.

    Thanks much, nomadicslacker
     
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  15. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Yes, this is a good time. We do have some of the major players changing the way we do business, but there are a number of new and recommitted players (like the new Ilford) providing great products. One thing we have never had, in the 30+ years I've been doing this, is the access to worldwide markets like we do now.
     
  16. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    No one really knows the answer to this for sure. The one thing one can say for certain, though, is that investment in digital imaging is a guaranteed bad one.

    When I was weighing the decision to 'invest' in LF and buy both a 4x5 camera kit and enlarger (I already had one that would take negs up to 6x7cm) or to go with piezography it was the fact that the piezo stuff had just metamorphosed into a yet 'newer and better' incarnation that made the decision an easy one. That technology was really pricey...(I was amazed at how much it was in fact)...and it had just undergone an upgrade. Had I 'invested' in it to begin with, I'd already have had to 'reinvest' to the tune of BIG BUCKS!!!

    Digital isn't cheap. Traditional isn't either, necessarily, but it's a much better investment. As so many have stated above, go with what you really love to do. The investment is actually in your talent and creativity...and that is priceless. What you produce either for yourself or with the intention of selling to others has boundless value.
     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I've two bits to spare. Traditional silver gelatine processes
    will survive long, long into the future.

    The problem at this time is down sizing the industry and
    at the same time maintaining geoindustrial integrity. Kodak
    has let it be known that the US of A will not be the center
    for the multitude of products which enter into the
    manufacture of silvered gelatine products and
    those needed for their processing.

    Europe, I think is the bastion to support and defend.
    But again, down sizing will be the Challenge. Enormous
    capacity exits in acerage size plants here and there.
    Kodak and Agfa don't produce less,
    they produce none.

    Kentmere, Ilford, Forte, and a few others are combined
    users of certain products locally available. Any more
    nails out of that European shoe and a horse could
    be lost. Dan
     
  18. Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Member

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    Everyone who buys a digital camera does so knowing full well that in about ten years they will be the proud owners of an obsolete dinosaur which may or may not be compatible with the future technology of the time. That doesn't stop them from buying and enjoying those cameras so why should it be any different for film shooters. I have no idea how long film and paper will be viable goods on the market place but that doesn't stop me from enjoying them now. With the relatively low cost of getting started in film and darkroom work, you are guaranteed to get your money's worth no matter when that day comes.
     
  19. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    I don't mind people going digital if it means I can buy up their gear cheaply (FOCL)...
     
  20. kdanks

    kdanks Member

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    Well, I'm 40 and I think I'm probably quite typical of the kind of people who are getting into film, or getting back into film.

    All of this reminds me of the angst in another hobby that I used to pursue, and still do a bit, which is amateur or 'ham' radio. Lots of wringing of hands going on there - the internet, mobile phones, SMS messaging, who wants plain old radio any more, it was the leading technical hobby for the best part of 70 years, but the kids aren't interested now. Etc, etc, etc.

    The truth is that lots of kids are getting into it, as they are with analogue photography, and even more so it's men (because it usually is men) of a certain age, looking for a challenging hobby, who have reached a stage in their life when they have settled down and have a little money to spend on their interests.

    Ultimately the survival of film depends on people buying the materials. It's a mature technology, it isn't the only thing that uses coating processes, Hollywood (and as importantly, Bollywood) still uses 35mm so basic raw material manufacture isn't threatened yet, you can make up your own chemicals if you have to, there are hundreds of people registering here every month, other photography boards are full of questions from digital users wanting to know about film, and I'm sure there are many other examples which all add up to a lot of reasons to be optimistic.

    If the time ever comes that Ilford finally puts up the shutters, I can hide a lifetime supply of HP5+ in the freezer, but I doubt it will come to that.

    Kevin
     
  21. Marco S.

    Marco S. Member

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    Plain old radio saves the day when not even the local law enforcement officials can get through in an emergency.

    I'm hoping traditional photography hangs around long enough and finally stabilizes. I have a Nikon Coolpix CP995 that I paid more for that my RB67 pro S. The batteries don't hold their charge, a couple of the pixels are toast in the sensor and distortion in the lens is horrible! All it's good for now is taking auction photos.
     
  22. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Film did not kill painting or drawing. Digital will not kill film, it is just becoming a niche market. The big difference is that we need to order product instead of running down to the local camera store.
     
  23. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    Apart from my being 47 it could be me saying all of this . I have posted it elsewhwere in the board but my poll at http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40021 gives some interesting figures;
    22%- use mainly film
    20%- use mainly digital
    42% - use the most appropriate medium for a task (film OR digital)
    15% - would switch to digital if it weasnt so expensive.
    ONLY 5% say film is dying !
    (41 votes -figures rounded to nearest whole number)

    The board's headline poll is on a similar subject of 52 votes cast
    54% prefer digital
    33% prefer film
    13% like all media.

    This is NOT a specialist analog forum, most conversatiion reflects the approx 60/30 split, but it seems that amongst 'serious' photographers film is still preferred by 1/3rd of users- even with improving digital technology I guess at least 20% will stay with silver based capture so we should be OK for a while yet.. and the price of GOOD gear is absaloutely silly, though I have noticed that s/h prices seem to be rising at dealers as new stock dries up.
    I'm glad I made the investment- Darkroom, MF camera, 35mm AF camera and a film scanner for a little more than a new Canon 350D!
     
  24. kdanks

    kdanks Member

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    Quite right, the communications after Hurricane Katrina being just one recent example of amateur radio working reliably when everything else has failed.

    Kevin
     
  25. kdanks

    kdanks Member

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    I saw that poll and voted (for film, of course). That board is very interesting - I get the feeling that there are lots of younger photographers on there who see film as something that they should aspire to using, but perhaps are a little daunted by it. It's a good place to spread the true gospel of analogue!

    Kevin
     
  26. niclester

    niclester Member

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    I'm 24 and all my mates (many younger) use 35mm and MF exclusively. There are a few of us :smile: