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Henning Serger
05-26-2011, 05:54 AM
Hello,

some positive news:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/8525839/Traditional-camera-film-makes-a-come-back.html

I've got confirmative information from some other manufacturers, distributors and labs. Some of them still see decreasing sales, but this trend is significantly slowing down (official Kodak statement of Kodak Germany), some see stabilised sales and some increasing sales.

Example: The Lomographic Society International in Vienna sold 500,000 new cameras in 2010.
And 4 million films. They are expecting to sell 8 million films this year.

Best regards,
Henning

hpulley
05-26-2011, 06:18 AM
"...And the rare 120mm film..."

Tom Kershaw
05-26-2011, 06:30 AM
Hello,

some positive news:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/8525839/Traditional-camera-film-makes-a-come-back.html

I've got confirmative information from some other manufacturers, distributors and labs. Some of them still see decreasing sales, but this trend is significantly slowing down (official Kodak statement of Kodak Germany), some see stabilised sales and some increasing sales.



Example: The Lomographic Society International in Vienna sold 500,000 new cameras in 2010.
And 4 million films. They are expecting to sell 8 million films this year.

Best regards,
Henning

I'm still not convinced the 'Lomographic Society International' is good for analogue photography, it seems to be an exercise in branding and fashion over much else. I guess the trendies have their place, but from a broader perspective, one could buy a basic Bronica ETRSi SLR, Nikon kit, or similar for the price of some of these "toy" cameras.

Secondly, I fail to see why one would buy Lomo film. It is hardly difficult to get hold of out of date film from one's own stockpile, and in general surely it is preferable to have the known quality of fresh in-date Kodak, Fuji, ILFORD film?

It is depressing if many of these 'lomographers' need to be spoon fed the marketing hype in order to develop an interest in non digital photography.

Tom

bighilt
05-26-2011, 08:24 AM
I think that is good news indeed.

Henning Serger
05-26-2011, 09:21 AM
Hello Tom,

I mentioned Lomo only to give one example of a field with increasing film and film camera sales. It was not a "pro Lomo statement". Only data.


I'm still not convinced the 'Lomographic Society International' is good for analogue photography,

I think it has both positive and negative effects.
Positive:
+ Additional demand for film. Helps the film manufacturers to keep the lines running. Both for original brand and OEM production (some of the Lomo brand films are now even made by Kodak).
+ Young people get involved in film photography. Some of them go forward and discover "serious" film photography, too (I know a few which took this way).
+ Film is again considered attractive for young photographers. That is very important, because digital marketing massage for years was "film is outdated and only for old guys".

Negative:
- The "film is unperfect and unpredictabel" marketing campaign and the flood of unsharp pictures, and shots with extremeley oversaturated colors give a wrong impression for beginners of what film is really capable of.
- For lots of these beginners is film = lomography.
- For those who don't know that you can buy films and cameras much cheaper at other stores, the high prices at Lomography stores may be discouraging to use film more often.
- The LSI is now a bigger company than Foma, Fotokemika, Filmotec, Adox, Maco and Freestyle altogether. With their huge success their market power is significantly growing. That could be a problem for some manufacturers and distributors in the future (but they could avoid this problem by learning from LSI, TIP, Redbull and other marketing innovators and creating own marketing strategies and strengthen their market power).



Secondly, I fail to see why one would buy Lomo film. It is hardly difficult to get hold of out of date film from one's own stockpile, and in general surely it is preferable to have the known quality of fresh in-date Kodak, Fuji, ILFORD film?


By far most of the film LSI sell is fresh Kodak, Fuji, Ilford etc stock.

By the way, the Lomo movement started in 1991. In 1997 the commercial Lomo business was established. It is definitely not a short dated trend.
The whole toy camera movement, including Holgas, Blackbirds etc., is an established part of photography now.
Lots of succesful professionals and artists are using these cameras and techniques as well.
The company producing the Holga cameras, Hong Kong based "Universal Electronic Industries" (they started their business with manufacturing of flashes for OEM production), is concentrating their marketing efforts on this art market ( see www.holgainspire.com ).

Best regards,
Henning

Jeff Kubach
05-26-2011, 10:07 AM
At least it is looking up for film.

Jeff

michaelbsc
05-26-2011, 10:24 AM
At least it is looking up for film.

Jeff

Being a natural born cynic I'd probably say it isn't quite so dismal. Not so sure it is really looking "up" just yet.

Let's hope that the glow on the horizon truly heralds sunrise.

perkeleellinen
05-26-2011, 10:30 AM
Regardless of what the article says, I think it's great that a such a high profile site as the Telegraph has given film a wider publicity.

mono
05-26-2011, 10:33 AM
As we formerly said here: The snapshooters keep our hobby alive.
Nowadays these are the "lomos"!

perkeleellinen
05-26-2011, 10:38 AM
Incidentally, selling 500,000 new cameras & 4 million rolls of film during the biggest recession since the 1930s is some achievement. I wonder if that is up or down from sales in the early 2000s.

Jeff Kubach
05-26-2011, 10:45 AM
Being a natural born cynic I'd probably say it isn't quite so dismal. Not so sure it is really looking "up" just yet.

Let's hope that the glow on the horizon truly heralds sunrise.

True!

Jeff

CGW
05-26-2011, 11:35 AM
Ever hear of the "dead cat bounce?" Sad but that's what I suspect we're looking at here. Any sort of uptick, however fleeting or faint, can be read as a reversal of prolonged trend. With labs and film inventory decimated by a decade of decline, remaining business is funneled into surviving processors; still, it doesn't amount to much to celebrate. "Lomography" is a silly and cynical effort to "brand" film photography and sell over-priced toy cameras. Having talked to a few of the delusional who think 120 film only works in Holgas and Dianas, I'd say the scheme works.

Tom Kershaw
05-26-2011, 11:45 AM
Having talked to a few of the delusional who think 120 film only works in Holgas and Dianas, I'd say the scheme works.

How do you think these people come to this view?

Tom

perkeleellinen
05-26-2011, 11:48 AM
If selling 4 million rolls of film in a year is silly and cynical, then hooray for silly and cynical!

Moopheus
05-26-2011, 12:03 PM
If selling 4 million rolls of film in a year is silly and cynical, then hooray for silly and cynical!

Totally.

From the article: "Shooting on a manual camera means you can't make a mistake"

If only that were true!

CGW
05-26-2011, 12:12 PM
How do you think these people come to this view?

Tom

Lomography stores and websites? It's absurd. It's the photographic equivalent of the "Easy-Bake Oven."

ArtTwisted
05-26-2011, 12:29 PM
Film isint going anywhere so why are any of you worried. this forum alone most likely buys enough black and white film in common sizes (135,120,4x5) to keep a small company like efke or foma in production.
Worst case scenario, last company standing (ilford, efke,foma) now has to produce for the entire world and has little issues, and all of those companies make a full line up of products and could no doubt expand that line if needed.

R gould
05-26-2011, 12:31 PM
What could happen is these younger folk, those who are buying the holga's and Diana's maybe will get hooked on film and want to go further with better equipment, If these toy cameras get more people, especialy younger people, interested in film photography then that must be a good thing, I do know that I have seen more people with film cameras over the last few months than for a long time, and when I am out with my film cameras I get a lot more interest from young people, along the lines of ''where do you buy film cameras, I want one,'' than ever, and I often see them out and about a few weeks later with their ''new'' film camera, so it seems to me that the interest is there, we just need to foster it, be prepared to help and encourage them,
Richard

perkeleellinen
05-26-2011, 12:53 PM
On a good year I shoot around 100 rolls of film. I think this is a lot for an amateur, most probably shoot much less, maybe less than 50. If all the 'Lomographers' shoot 50 rolls then the 4 million sales equals 64,000 photographers or 128,000 if they shoot 25 rolls per year. Lomography hope to double that this year (during a deep recession too). I think Lomography can be seen as a gateway to 'better' cameras for many but maybe not all. Importantly, I think, it's quite transient - I saw my first Lomo in the late '90s and the trend is still with us. There seems to be a continuous new generation of photographers buying into the brand. Hundreds of thousands of photographers must have gone through a 'Lomo' phase in the last decade and a half.

CGW
05-26-2011, 01:05 PM
What could happen is these younger folk, those who are buying the holga's and Diana's maybe will get hooked on film and want to go further with better equipment, If these toy cameras get more people, especialy younger people, interested in film photography then that must be a good thing, I do know that I have seen more people with film cameras over the last few months than for a long time, and when I am out with my film cameras I get a lot more interest from young people, along the lines of ''where do you buy film cameras, I want one,'' than ever, and I often see them out and about a few weeks later with their ''new'' film camera, so it seems to me that the interest is there, we just need to foster it, be prepared to help and encourage them,
Richard

I don't see the "interest" you note, same as I've seen, amounting to more than a nano-trend among the easily distracted 20-somethings I meet. iPhones are "good enough" for most of them and will only get better. This has killed the market for low/mid price p&s digicams. I don't see many in this demographic sporting DSLRs outside the usual small % with the means and/or interest to buy into "system" cameras. Film stuff has cachet but mainly as a kind of retro fashion statement with little abiding commitment. Hoping I'm wrong but most I've helped into "film" drift away after a few rolls, citing the trouble and expense of processing and printing. Those who hang on and come to love it get all the help I can give, Problem is, there just aren't that many.