My big question is the destiny of processing, B+W as well as C-41 and E-6. I can remember about 20 years ago when the C-41 "mini Lab" concept was in full swing, and in about any drug store you could find. The drug store labs would have 2 people working most of the time, and meeting the "1 hour" pledge was sometimes tough to do. This was probably the heyday of "film for everybody" because you got pretty quick results in hand, even the 35mm point-and-shoot hardware could pop out decent results, and the 35mm SLR technology was cheap enough to place quality gear in many hands. Hopefully folks like The Darkroom can sustain their processing business model as analog continues to evolve. If Kodak can be a survivor in the analog space, I hope they do but time will tell, and if the reports on Ilford are correct they look to have their act together.
I learned last night at the photo club meeting that a nearby university won't be sending its photography students to another institution for analog stuff anymore because they built a brand new darkroom - color and B&W labs. They moved out a printer room, I believe.
And someone in the club who recently finished an associates degree at a community college was asking where to learn the darkroom side of things because the CC didn't have that.
Film for everybody is dead.
Everybody doesn't want film. Those of us that do are more than happy to use pro labs (which most of us would be doing anyway, I'm sure), or do it ourselves, or use mail order processing. If you're in an urban area, local processing of any sort should not be an issue, it's just a matter of finding out which lab to use (I use Duggal and CRC in new york city for my lab work.)
The fact that there are "no" mini labs doesn't trouble me, because I wouldn't be bringing my film to them in the first place.
Living in a very expensive resort town, I looked for about a year for a small darkroom space to either rent or coop and found nothing. I then decided to empty 80% of the stuff out of a rather nice sized storage closet adjacent to my apartment and put all of that crap in a cheap storage unit some 23 miles away. So for about $50 a month, I have a tiny but hi-tech darkroom in which I can with good consistency print up to 20x24 from 35mm, 120mm and 4x5 negs.
I send my color out because I do very little of it on film and have no interest in doing it my self. But black and white is 100% mio and it rocks.
I have a great show coming up in about three weeks that has kept me in the darkroom at least three full days a week. I will be the only one with 100% analog images and I love it...:-)
I am having fun with my recently acquired Nikon F5. Still have my D700 for landscapes and sports, but I love using film for people. Up until recently, I was only using negative films, but now I'm building up a supply of slide films to try out. My father shot slide exclusively with his Nikon F and this has me inspired to do the same. What I like most about my Nikon F5 is the ability to use the same lenses from my D700.
This is great news
I inherited three Hasselblads and two Nikons from my father. I originally got into B&W because it meant I didn't have to go out and spend $1000 on a DSLR---I could just spend ~$10/week on supplies and use the cameras I already owned. Much easier to stomach. I know many other young(er) people that have found themselves in the same boat.
I recently gifted a 21-year-old one of my old, unused SLRs because they had such an interest in analog photography. When I was 21 I didn't know anyone under 50 using film---and DSLRs weren't even what they are today.