A Hard Economic Lesson
Everyone who bemoans the loss of a favorite product should read John Galsworthy's short story Quality. I read it in high school and it made a lasting impression on me. Whenever you use a cheap substitute you are helping to kill off the quality product. There are many examples; x-ray film instead of LF film, cheap surveillance film instead of regular film, etc. In today's market you may not only be killing off the quality product but all products of that particular type.
As someone said, praises don't do much if you don't speak with your wallet.
So we should basically all shoot with Leica Cameras and Lenses because they are better than anyone else, same thing with film we should only use Kodak Film because they are the best and if we don't use them they might get killed off. Those cheap traffic surveillance films are high quality products so are X-Ray films and many people are unable to afford real pictorial 8x10in film but they still want to shoot film and X-ray film is film as well. Those cheap traffic and X-ray films actually helpt to keep film alive and not the other way. In order to keep prices low you have to buy in masses X-ray uses 90% of the same ingredients as normal film, surveillance film is 100% like normal film so those buying the cheaper product actually help to keep the prices tolerable. Film is not cheap but if it gets even more expensive many people will switch to digital or stop making pictures alltogether but don't worry you can still say it's the cheapies that killed the quality product, while in reality it's the cheapies and the MP industry that keep your quality product alive.
P.S. I am an avid Kodak and Ilford user
In a sense you're absolutely right. But sometimes it isn't a bat thing that some products are discontinued (in general). There will have been excellent stagecoach makers all around the world, but we don't need them all anymore. That's the other side to the story.
But - when film is concerned - we as a "group" can keep it alive or "kill" it altogether.
For example: the Ilford ULF film run 2013. A lot of people were excited about this announcement. But when they saw the prices a lot of them were scared of - including me. I was willing to buy 18x24 cm film, but just couldn't afford these prices. Apparently there were enough people who could buy film to keep Ilford up and running (thank you all).
Will this be the same next year? I don't know. But I do know that I look for alternatives to still be able to make large negatives. This steared me into paper negatives and alt-photo processes like salt printing, bromoil printing, gum printing, etc.
So, yes you're right but no, you're not. I think that always somethings will survive or new products will arrive (like Adox sheet film). Or new products will be invented. The world isn't this black & white, altough my photos often suggest otherwise).
That having said: yes - a lot of great products are lost in the last few years. Like Agfa Scala film....
I didn't set up the dynamics of the market place. It is what it is. When production of a certain product ceases the usual cause is lack of demand. Anything that reduces demand hastens a products demise. Yet people seem to be mystified as to the real reason and their role in the demise. Use it or lose it.
Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch
I agree with this part.
Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch
But, how do you feel that products like Arista Premium (re-branded Tri-X that Freestyle carries) affect the market? Obviously, in this case Kodak decided to put their own premium product out there for about half of the price of the yellow box variety. That seems like one can purchase the premium product at a significantly discounted price.
I'm one of those folks who has a bit of a hard time making purchasing decisions purely based on product quality and product demand. Sometimes I can't afford to purchase the Ilford paper I want, and other times I can't afford to purchase the Kodak film I love so much. I think that it's not as simple as you stated; the dilemma is two fold:
1. If we don't continue to buy it, demand will drop to a level where production is no longer sustainable.
2. If the manufacturers continue to raise prices, even if it's beyond their control, then people cannot afford to continue supporting the product, which leads to point 1.
In my own job I stress the the difference between this product being American made and costing a little more and that same specification product being Chinese produced and costing less. I am happy to remark that many will buy the American made product when it is promoted to support American jobs, and many of those buying it are people who have fought in our war's from Vietnam to present day. Those who buy the Chinese made product are generally those not born in the U.S. or where there is no onshore American made product.
And now the Chinese own 12 trillion dollars worth of assets in the United States. Even though we manufacture more than most other countries out there, the trouble isn't where the stuff is made, but who owns the companies that make the product, and our buying habits and demand for lower prices (as consumers) has driven this development.
Originally Posted by waynecrider
Corporations don't care, because they are global. Again, the consumers that were raised to support this massive joke are the ones that will bear the burden when the $hit hits the fan.
They have such a stronghold on the American economy (by threatening to dump their holdings in US securities) that the government almost have to bend to their will. That is the real trouble.
I have to do things like X-ray film. I never recovered from the 2008 crash. Still struggle desperately to keep my head above water. I agree totally, but gotta do something.