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Mick Fagan
06-09-2011, 07:50 AM
Doctorfivechrome, I understand it to be an increase in their film volume over the previous year.

Regarding dollar value, which dollar are you talking about? There are quite a few and some of them are doing quite well at the moment.

Perhaps the North American market, which appears to be in free fall from where I sit at the moment, is reflected in your comments.

I'm interested in your comment about there being over 300 labs closed in North America last year. Is there some source to reference this statement?

Whilst many labs have been closing in my country (Australia), there are some opening up, including one not too far from me and another in my sister's country town. This appears to be going against all trends and market statements I know about my own country, but it is happening as I can see it with my own two eyes.

Australia is a small world, I wouldn't under any stretch of the imagination, suggest that Germany is a little world.

Effectively, Germany with it's economy, technology, manufacturing ability and capacity, is the powerhouse of Europe. Interestingly, Germany is currently being lead by a Doctor of Physics, which is a nice change from where most politicians seem to come from.

Mick.

Aristophanes
06-09-2011, 07:51 AM
Lomography stores and websites? It's absurd. It's the photographic equivalent of the "Easy-Bake Oven."

Which was always the market norm from the Brownie on and carried the mini-lab industry on it's shoulders. "Easy-bake" cameras account for the vast majority of vernacular photos ever taken, probably by staggering margins over everything else combined. Economy of scale is a good thing and the dominant, critical issue facing film and camera and lab production.

If film tries to contest the same fidelity (especially for colour) market space as digital, the table is tilted. At least lomography accepts and embraces film's foibles knowing it cannot compete against the clinical, sterile, non-tactile world of the digital sensor.

As for saturation, maybe the dominant aesthetic emerging is that of Eggleston, in the same way that Rubens liked his women a certain way.

markbarendt
06-09-2011, 08:14 AM
8% above what? What's the $ value of that 8% against total film sales last year? That's the big picture background that's necessary to grasp what's going on. Viewed in isolation of that, the chirping about Harmon/Ilford's 8% increase doesn't necessarily mean much.

In the grand scheme of things in our commodified world, I agree.

In a more localized/personal sense (for Ilford and us) though this is great news. An 8% growth in volume demonstrates viability for Ilford's business.

I see this as a sign that the film/digital adjustment may be finding some balance, settling into the new norm.

Listened to a show on the radio a while back, NPR book review I think, where they tried to find old technologies/tools that were no longer available. They couldn't find anything that was no longer available and in use somewhere.

My point here is that each technology has it's hey-day then there's a new kid on the block that knocks the aging dude off the pedestal, doesn't mean the old dude goes away he just does things on a different scale.

If you want to watch an example of this technological shift in real time watch the switch from laptops to iPads (and the like). I don't expect laptops to go away but I only open my personal laptop maybe once a month since I got my iPad.

CGW
06-09-2011, 08:25 AM
Doctorfivechrome, I understand it to be an increase in their film volume over the previous year.

Regarding dollar value, which dollar are you talking about? There are quite a few and some of them are doing quite well at the moment.

Perhaps the North American market, which appears to be in free fall from where I sit at the moment, is reflected in your comments.

I'm interested in your comment about there being over 300 labs closed in North America last year. Is there some source to reference this statement?

Whilst many labs have been closing in my country (Australia), there are some opening up, including one not too far from me and another in my sister's country town. This appears to be going against all trends and market statements I know about my own country, but it is happening as I can see it with my own two eyes.

Australia is a small world, I wouldn't under any stretch of the imagination, suggest that Germany is a little world.

Effectively, Germany with it's economy, technology, manufacturing ability and capacity, is the powerhouse of Europe. Interestingly, Germany is currently being lead by a Doctor of Physics, which is a nice change from where most politicians seem to come from.

Mick.

Monetize the "increase' any way you wish, but it's not really meaningful in isolation of sufficient times series data to show a trend--and that trend isn't very rosy.

The USA market is huge. More people live in California alone than in OZ, Canada too for that matter.

DR5 is in the business. Why wouldn't he know? Labs have been folding steadily in my hood(Toronto)for the past 5 years--both low-end and pro labs alike. The reason? No consistent business. Upticks at surviving labs seem only to indicate the widespread elimination of comparable service. The increase in business doesn't reflect any real rise in the amount of film shot--quite the contrary.

I wish it weren't so but simply denying it and/or citing isolated statistics without context won't change much.

Analog photography may prove to be a "long tail" technology. Let's hope so. But there's no comeback likely.

markbarendt
06-09-2011, 09:04 AM
But there's no comeback likely.

+1

SimonD
06-09-2011, 10:06 AM
Maybe not a mass comeback - but a revival is definitely happening.

Last weekend - out in some crowds in Oxford I saw three other people carrying proper SLRs, one guy with a Mamiya RZ67 and someone else with a Diana. That's definitely an increase over recent years.

Diapositivo
06-09-2011, 10:11 AM
If the glass is half full or half empty depends on the mental attitude of the person looking at it.

If a new wave of youngsters begins using film instead of photography, one can see it as a welcome reversal of a trend which we thought permanently established, or can see it as a fad. Only future will tell us.

If newspapers begin noticing that film sales increase, one can see it as a reversal of a trend, or as a "dead cat bounce". Only future will tell us.

If we notice that all producers of chemical stuff are still alive ten years after the "revolution", one can see it as a demonstration of the fact that film sales follow a different pattern than film camera sales, or can say that the entire industry smell strange.

The only way we have to know if the film industry is still with us in ten years is to wait. In the meanwhile playing Cassandra does only show a certain uterine will to complain about a problem that is not there yet.

CGW
06-09-2011, 10:15 AM
In the meanwhile playing Cassandra does only show a certain uterine will to complain about a problem that is not there yet.

Erh, the "problem" has been here for about the last decade. Where were you?

Diapositivo
06-09-2011, 10:24 AM
In the meanwhile playing Cassandra does only show a certain uterine will to complain about a problem that is not there yet.

Erh, the "problem" has been here for about the last decade. Where were you?

I was here and the "problem" (film producers going out of market) did never materialize. The "problem" it's just people like you who is screaming "Wolf" every day, because all this screaming might actually have the Wolf appear. Yes one day the Wolf might appear, which doesn't mean you were right ten years ago, or today. If anything else, it is your attitude which causes the film industry to collapse. If you like film, use it and I say it's no use whining about a future which is unknown to everybody, including me and you.

CGW
06-09-2011, 10:38 AM
I was here and the "problem" (film producers going out of market) did never materialize. The "problem" it's just people like you who is screaming "Wolf" every day, because all this screaming might actually have the Wolf appear. Yes one day the Wolf might appear, which doesn't mean you were right ten years ago, or today. If anything else, it is your attitude which causes the film industry to collapse. If you like film, use it and I say it's no use whining about a future which is unknown to everybody, including me and you.

"We" aren't the problem, it's everybody else--pro, amateur or otherwise--who stopped shooting film. FYI, the "wolf" took over the lease and sublets us the attic.

dr5chrome
06-09-2011, 07:08 PM
hmmm - what CGW said.

Mick - There are plenty of facts to prove these numbers, and this is likely conservative. Keep in mind the California alone has a higher population than your entire country. for that matter, your country and Germany combined.

I wont get into the logistics of why certain markets see higher films volumes than others. Its really been confusing.

Film companies are barley hanging on themselves, but they are doing little to help themselves. Simple low cost things they cold do to increase film sales - they do not do. A perfect example is 'us': Our unique, one of a kind process, that creates B&W chromes from most all B&W films, is not supported by 1 of the film manufactures. ILFORD does not even recommend HP5 for use as a positive, yet it is our highest volume film after 14yrs.. how silly a business move is that? All it will do for ILFORD is sell more film for them.

This is the problem with the industry today. The only old-school company we see left is FREESTYLE. They freely give support to photo related industry - even if its free. This mentality just doesn't exist anymore.

The facts remain that as long as the media spews out that cell-phone images are photographic art, gadget driven countries [US, Japan, China, ETc..] will accept the images, and more labs will close.

If the masses do not accept the divide of 'photography' and 'digital imaging', more and more labs will close.

dw





Doctorfivechrome, I understand it to be an increase in their film volume over the previous year.

Regarding dollar value, which dollar are you talking about? There are quite a few and some of them are doing quite well at the moment.

Perhaps the North American market, which appears to be in free fall from where I sit at the moment, is reflected in your comments.

I'm interested in your comment about there being over 300 labs closed in North America last year. Is there some source to reference this statement?

Whilst many labs have been closing in my country (Australia), there are some opening up, including one not too far from me and another in my sister's country town. This appears to be going against all trends and market statements I know about my own country, but it is happening as I can see it with my own two eyes.

Australia is a small world, I wouldn't under any stretch of the imagination, suggest that Germany is a little world.

Effectively, Germany with it's economy, technology, manufacturing ability and capacity, is the powerhouse of Europe. Interestingly, Germany is currently being lead by a Doctor of Physics, which is a nice change from where most politicians seem to come from.

Mick.

jnanian
06-09-2011, 08:29 PM
if lomo, helga, diana, zorki sputnik kievin and the rest of them want to help,
i am not sure why this is thought to be a bad thing ... seeing the golden age of silver halide is on the way out

as a Qtip the the tribe used to say ... push it along

michaelbsc
06-09-2011, 10:28 PM
if lomo, helga, diana, zorki sputnik kievin and the rest of them want to help,
i am not sure why this is thought to be a bad thing ... seeing the golden age of silver halide is on the way out

as a Qtip the the tribe used to say ... push it along

I don't believe anyone perceives the Lomo/Holga movement to be "bad" for film. It is just completely inadequate to keep film alive worldwide. The toy camera market is so small compared to the old "Mom and Dad taking pictures of little Susie" market that it is statistically insignificant. So are we. APUG has bazillions of registered users, but maybe 300 regular contributors.

Film-Niko
06-10-2011, 05:29 AM
....

And while you seem to be stuck in some sort of time-warp there in Germany, World-wide labs are still closing left and right. I don't believe you quite understand what is happening outside of your little world.
....

What an arrogant attitude concerning Germany and the Europeans.
And that from someone who is consciously doing misleading advertising on his website for years. And don't know what is going on in other countries.

Mr. Wood, on your website you are telling your customers that you are "the only quality processing, worldwide, for the remaining Sala film".
That is completely untrue.
And you know that.

There are at least nine labs worldwide doing quality reversal processing of Scala film. Five of theses labs are in the country you have bashed, Germany.
I have lived in several European countries and I know some of these labs, because I have been their customer.

Some weeks ago on photo.net some Europeans informed you about the facts and your misleading marketing. They even gave you the names and internet adresses of the other Scala labs.
Your reaction was quite absurd.
You said you didn't know of all these other labs.
That proves that you didn't know your own market.
You even didn't know your direct competitors.

Sorry, but with your lack of market knowledge you are the last who have the right to critizise others.

Completely ridiculous was your excuse on photo.net:
First you have said you didn't know the other worldwide Scala labs.
Then you have said, you are the only "quality" lab for Scala, that you are better then the others.
That can't be logic at all:
When you don't know the other labs, you can't have tested them.
And because you have not tested them, it is impossible to judge their quality (I have experience with some of them and have got excellent quality).

We as photographers cannot trust a guy who is using such misleading and questionable marketing.

Film-Niko
06-10-2011, 05:47 AM
Mick - There are plenty of facts to prove these numbers,

No excuses, give us the sources.



. Keep in mind the California alone has a higher population than your entire country. for that matter, your country and Germany combined.

That is complete nonsense!
California has about 37 million inhabitants.
Australia about 22 million.
And Germany alone has 81 Million inhabitants! (source: wikipedia.de)

Another evidence that you don't know the facts about other countries and markets.
We photographers can not trust someone who is unable to do at least the most little, essential steps of market research.

This German market, which is so bashed by you, is by far the biggest and strongest in Europe.
There are even five labs in Germany doing Scala reversal processing. And only one in the US, you.
With so much more labs in Germany for BW reversal it looks like the market there is bigger for that speciality than your home market.




Film companies are barley hanging on themselves, but they are doing little to help themselves. Simple low cost things they cold do to increase film sales - they do not do. A perfect example is 'us': Our unique, one of a kind process, that creates B&W chromes from most all B&W films, is not supported by 1 of the film manufactures. ILFORD does not even recommend HP5 for use as a positive, yet it is our highest volume film after 14yrs.. how silly a business move is that? All it will do for ILFORD is sell more film for them.
dw

They are not silly, they are clever.
They are Europeans. They know about the all the BW reversal / Scala labs in Europe.
And they know about your misleading marketing on your website.
They know that it would damage their reputation if they do a partnership with a company known for questionable marketing methods.

Film-Niko
06-10-2011, 06:01 AM
I don't believe anyone perceives the Lomo/Holga movement to be "bad" for film. It is just completely inadequate to keep film alive worldwide. The toy camera market is so small compared to the old "Mom and Dad taking pictures of little Susie" market that it is statistically insignificant.


Michael, the company that produces the Holga (more precise, the founder of the company, Mr Lee) said in an interview in 2009 that the worldwide community of toy camera users is about 1 million, and is very strongly growing. At that time film consumption of this group was 5- 7 % of the whole market. That is statistically significant. And, due to the Lomographic Society International, film sales in this segment have growth rates of 50 - 100% per year.
By the way, after the recent job cut of another 58 employees at Ilford (they had to cut 100 jobs in 2009/2010 if I remember right a former statement of Simon Galley), now the Lomo company is bigger than Ilford (more than 300 people working for them, published in a newspaper report about the company).

Ian David
06-10-2011, 06:16 AM
Gosh these sorts of threads quickly become tedious...
Positive press for film photography has got to be a good thing.
It may be that film will still ultimately struggle and die, or it may be that some unforeseen resurgence will occur. It may be that film sales will simply stabilise and persist as a healthy niche. But the truth is that none of the armchair sages here at APUG have any idea what will ultimately happen.
We should enjoy any positive news that comes out of companies like Harman, and in the meantime just keep on wasting as much film as we can afford.

Ian

markbarendt
06-10-2011, 06:49 AM
I don't believe anyone perceives the Lomo/Holga movement to be "bad" for film. It is just completely inadequate to keep film alive worldwide. The toy camera market is so small compared to the old "Mom and Dad taking pictures of little Susie" market that it is statistically insignificant. So are we. APUG has bazillions of registered users, but maybe 300 regular contributors.

Last Sunday our local photography club had a field trip. We rode the D&SNG RR, it was a "themed" excursion centered around Native Americans and their culture.

Dancers in full formal dance regalia performed and told us their stories, we got to take pictures.

There was the usual plethora of digi-snappers plus two of us film shooters. I had the biggest camera for the day, my RB. It was quite the conversation starter.

When I carry around my RB it always draws attention from anyone interested in photography, when I pull off the back and show people the size of the negative they are always amazed.

The camera opens the door to talking about film and to teaching.

I got to teach people about exposure and even muddled through the menus to set exposure on some cheap digi's. That is a truly frustrating experience for their users, especially so when I show them how easy and fast it is with the RB and an incident meter.

My Holga also starts conversations, for different reasons. I get a kick out of handing it to someone over 30, they are typically dismissive until they see the fun stuff it can produce.

People like taking pictures, cheap digital cameras are truly frustrating "toys" because they screw up so often and they are so hard to control. Holgas and RBs and old 35mm SLRs solve those problems.

No film is not a magic bullet but next Thursday I am taking some prints from my train ride. There is some really fun stuff including some portraits of a few of the people who I got to tutor.

The point I want to make here is that the Lomo crowd and the APUG "300" are significant, we do wag the dog a bit.

Digital shooting is all the rage but it has real problems, complexity and cost being paramount.

I'm not suggesting we can recreate or get back to film's glory days, but there is a real opportunity to create a new, sustainable normal, where Ilford and Kodak and Fuji films and mail-order labs can "earn their keep".

jnanian
06-10-2011, 07:29 AM
SNIP



They are not silly, they are clever.


i don't think so ...

it doesn't matter where the film is made
there is very little, if any advertising to the general public ..
i don't find that clever ... ( and if you ask me, it is one of the reasons for film's decline )

one of the reasons many people are here on apug, is because
they are tired of the flame-wars and the harshness found on other websites ( like pnet ) ...
i am sure dr5 knows his market very well, he has been around for a long time,
and he IS pretty much the only place to send film to chromify it ...

can you keep your personal attacks out of this thread ??


I don't believe anyone perceives the Lomo/Holga movement to be "bad" for film. It is just completely inadequate to keep film alive worldwide. The toy camera market is so small compared to the old "Mom and Dad taking pictures of little Susie" market that it is statistically insignificant. So are we. APUG has bazillions of registered users, but maybe 300 regular contributors.

i was under the impression people ( as they do in many lomo-threads )
were badmouthing lomo &C and dismissing them altogether
as a waste of thought ... and an expensive waste of money that only
"posers" would buy as a "fashion accessory" ...

i agree ... the toy camera market isn't large enough, in the grand scheme of things ...

Tony Egan
06-10-2011, 08:02 AM
Gosh these sorts of threads quickly become tedious...
Positive press for film photography has got to be a good thing.
Ian

Yes, we'll all be rooned said Hanrahan...

Praise every hipster you see with a lomo. Urge them and their friends to buy 3 or 4 more dianas and shoot as much film as they can. Instead of die-hipster-die it should be shoot-hipster-shoot.