I don't know anything about economics. In fact their mere mention puts out big red pimples on my nose. But I am interested in some opinions in some matters that affect me (photographically) personally. Three cases in point: - I called the greek distributor of Ilford, Damkalides and asked about the new products of the company: the cool/warmtone paper developers, the selenium, the SFX film. Their answer is that they don't stock it and only with a special order with a minimum quantity can get them for me. - Fuji doesn't bring color film in 120 faster than 100 asa at all. - Orders from greek distributors can take months even be completely forgotten: after four months, I had to cancel the order for a Lowepro bag because I got tired of waiting. The Manfrotto distributor is no quicker and has even forgotten an order after months. Two other distributors (Hasselblad, Elinchrom) had to be threaten by sending letters to the parent company to behave professionally. So, who controls the market? - Does the customer control the market? But, if I don't find film which I need in stock, get in trouble when I order thousands of euros of professional equipment and in the end be lied to and accept horrible service, am I to blame? Am I to blame when I can't buy Ilford or Fuji products and then have to switch to digital because I believe the market is dead? If I mail order, what happens to the local representatives? They start to believe they don't have a market and so they stop stocking eve more items or close all together. And you end up with "there is no market in Greece". - Does the representative control the market? But, if they don't stock, advertise or assist their customers, don't they destroy their own market? A distributor that doesn't stock atleast a sample of a not so specialised product, or be extra quick in bringing it in, how can they find a market for that product? So, if the Ilford distributor sells only a very limited number of different products, how can the local people know about them, unless they read APUG or order from abroad? How often do you read in APUG about a member who was told with "some authority" that a product was discontinued just because the local distributor stopped stocking it? Does the greek distributor effectively controls the greek Ilford market for example? - Does the parent, manufacturing company control the market? In the end, does Ilford, or Fuji, or Hasselblad really know their markets and their representatives? Can they expand and contract in a geographical location by will? Can Ilford sell more products if the local distributor does not care about letting their customers know that some new ones are available and being able to sell a few of them to attract more? If the analog market has been restricted to a niche, to advertisements in analog magazins, APUG or word of mouth, I think its not only due to the Global Market Forces but also an effect of local representation. I have more than once stated the importance of APUG in this global society and I am often dissapointed to find out that the pumpered members often neglect the real situation in the world. Its not just the shiny new digital products that attract the eye, or their seeming advantages, or even the huge advertising campaigns by the manufacturers. Often it is the local people, the national distributors, the little local guys that control their market. Very, very few people will struggle over the availabillity of their materials, the vast majority will take the easy route and accept what's available. Even fewer will get into the trouble of searching for solutions far away from their locallity, ordering, buying large quantities, sending money, etc. There are very few people like me who live in an island, read APUG, order their material from abroad and stick with the medium "just because". It would be so, very easy to just switch to digital and forget about it. Will analog be restricted in large markets like the US and UK and the rest of the world will be digital just because of the actions of local representatives?