The end of film cameras

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by anm, Jun 22, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. anm

    anm Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    This is not one of those posts saying film is dead, but I'm coming from this from a practical standpoint.

    The debate about how long will film photography last usually seems to focus on how long people think film manufacturers will continue to make film.

    But, surely there is also a question about the cameras themselves.

    Over the last year I have happily picked up a Nikon F80, an Olympus Trip 35 and a Canonet QL17 GIII. All three for less than £100 in total.

    I may be wrong, but other than Leica, Voightlander and Lomo, there are no film camera manufacturs out there, certainly none mass produced.

    So, in 20 years time when I drop my F80 and it breaks, will I look on ebay to find there are none left to buy, or those that are left are rare exotic collectors items.

    Should I be stocking up on indestructible metal, mechanical film SLRs?
     
  2. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

    Messages:
    2,144
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    To answer your question - if you are interested in 35mm cameras by all means stock up. They are more durable in many ways. Since I primarily use large format cameras I am not worried as these cameras last will over 100 years and can easily be repaired in most cases. I am 82 years young and believe my cameras will outlive me.
     
  3. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

    Messages:
    505
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Bingo!

    This is the weak link in the chain of supply. No doubt about it.

    The market will require both MF and AF systems, 35mm and 120, and optics. Prices need to reasonable, not Leica, and not even Bessa. SLR and RF.

    And an AF system smaller than the F6.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2011
  4. hpulley

    hpulley Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    Guelph, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can still buy and use cameras made 100 years ago. What makes you think you won't be able to buy a 1990 film Nikon in 2090?
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,083
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Indeed. And I have made large and medium format cameras within the last few years. That ability is not going to be lost.

    If I needed to, I'm sure I could build a 35mm camera too - but I'm not going too!

    Steve.
     
  6. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

    Messages:
    505
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Because Nikon won't make a money-losing camera with an antiquated flip-up mirror in 80 years. And a mechanical shutter. Etc.

    Maybe micro-manufacturing on all this sunk cost IP will save the day. Hard to say. To mass produce you need a mass market.
     
  7. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

    Messages:
    505
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It should be pointed out that Vivitar makes both a low-end Nikon F100 and a K-mount 135 model, both affordable. They have stepped up to fill a void. How long that will last is anyone's guess.
     
  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There is a good number of used cameras still around. I'll be long dead when they disapear.

    Jeff
     
  9. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,538
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's only the OPs third post and I already fell like killing myself, what does he/she do for an encore ?
     
  10. anm

    anm Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'm 'only' 37. I know there are tank like indestructable things that will be around forever, and there are cheap plastic things still being made, but the middle ground of affordable, good quality cameras seems to be the weak point, maybe there's an opportunity there for a camera manufacturer to step in.
     
  11. thegman

    thegman Member

    Messages:
    623
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    For 35mm cameras, you've got Leica, Cosina, Fujifilm, Lomography, and some other "toy" camera makers. There are probably some others I'm forgetting, but it seems hard to believe that if film is still available, film cameras won't be.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,990
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    when you can't get the 35mm camera anymore,
    and you can't find them in the used market,
    it might be time to dabble in a different format
    which is more plentiful ... or make a box camera
    or have fun with paper, instead of film ... or coat glass plates
    or ....

    there is still lots of fun to have without a 35mm camera ...
    its gonna be 1890 all over again :smile:
     
  13. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    ZZZzzz. This truly is old news. I see used mass-market film cameras sold out of bins in Toronto camera stores. At the current rate of decline in film use/production, I'd recommend enjoying it while you can.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Looking into the future, I am more worried about the availability of repair people who really know what they are doing with older cameras. They are already scarce, and most of the "experts" are already elderly, or will be before long. I am not worried about whether or not brand new film cameras are made. I wouldn't want 99 percent of the new film cameras made anyhow, nor would I pay what they cost – not with the used market the way it is.
     
  16. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    Staunton VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Who cares if nobody makes any new film based cameras anymore? I can already hear the teeth nashing, clothes tearing, hand wringing and all the wailing and moaning and I haven't even posted this yet. There is a huge surplus of used 35mm, medium format and large format stuff floating around, a lot of which can't even be given away, for Gods sake. The stuff last forever, can still be repaired, and let's not even go down the "green" road here. I refuse to live in fear of a future that's not even here yet. "I feared a fear and it came upon me" makes life a bit to dreary for me. Photography for me is about creative expression. I have no idea where this might take me in 10 or 20 years. For all I know I might be coating glass plates and hand coating paper. What do we do if the whole damn economy just bottom outs? What if manufactures are forced to stop making digital stuff because of enviromental constraints, and people just don't have the money to keep buying constantly depreciating assets? Sorry for the rant, but it fries my shorts when we get to worried about something we fear for the future, and react to it as if it is already the reality today. Live for the moment, I say. My wife doesn't agree with me, but thats her...
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,083
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I am a firm believer in the idea that if something could be done in the past then it can be done now or in the future. So there is no reason why a mechanically minded person in the future could not look at a mechanical camera, work out how it works (or should work) and be able to repair it.

    The difficulty might be in finding such a person to work on your camera if you can't do it yourself.

    Oh yes, and I second everything that RPippin wrote above.


    Steve.
     
  18. anm

    anm Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'm actually positive about the future of film photography, here in the UK it is alive and very well, I'm not predicting doom and gloom, and where there's a gap in the market someone will always fill it.

    Just a discussion starter and a thought on the fact that used film cameras will become scarcer over time, especially in the consumer, mass produced, plastic bracket that I'm enjoying at the moment, that's all....
     
  19. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

    Messages:
    505
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's a pretty basic equation:

    In order to reinvest (tool and die) for film production, that capital investment needs to see the same reinvestment on camera production.

    If that equation breaks, then all the buckets of free 35mm/120/4x5 cameras in the world will not create a capital reinvestment scenario. Film photography has always been an economic symbiosis; never discrete.

    I doubt all the world's garage shop tinkerers combined could even muster enough $ to keep APUG going much less keep a substrate micro-factory going.
     
  20. eclarke

    eclarke Member

    Messages:
    1,972
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    New Berlin,
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    If you take good care of it, it will last a long time. You don't have to beat it up, good craftsmen use their tools every day but don't abuse them...EC
     
  21. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

    Messages:
    306
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Huntington,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    LCDs have a life span. I wonder if ccd, cmos etc. can just suddenly stop working because of their age, or develop thousands of dead pixels. I read somewhere about a digital SLR with a fixed semi-silvered mirror. Canon did that in 35mm with the Pellix and pretty much all of those are unusable because the mirrors aged and the coatings went bad. Parts for digital cameras are very expensive, available for a narrow time window AND in many cases, replacing some parts requires proprietary software from the manufacturer (which many won't make available) to set the camera up. John
     
  22. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,514
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
  23. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes; I said was was worried about the availability of such people, not that it would be impossible for them to exist.
     
  24. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,453
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    BS

    You forgot Fuji, Cosina, Chamonix, Shen Hao, Linhof, Holga, Fotoman, arca-swiss, ebony, kb canham, tachihara, toyo, cambo, horseman, sinar.

    I'm not sure about Mamiya, Hasselblad, Rollei..


    There is still a market for film cameras.
     
  25. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

    Messages:
    697
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Correct

    Correct, indeed.

    This is exactly why I keep my m42 Spotmatic (and its beautiful glass) and bought a Hasselblad. The only other camera I'd even consider buying would be a Leica MP.

    The next camera I buy? It's going to be my last.
     
  26. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Messages:
    4,423
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.