I have got to concur with this serious doubt. I use Acros, Delta 100 and FP4 in 4x5" sheets and I can assure you, the Acros is very different from either Ilford product. Both in terms of base, grain and if you still have any doubt, try reciprocity failure to see HOW different they are. I doubt Ilford is making Acros only for Fuji and not themselves...
Originally Posted by Brac
If you tone it down alot, it almost becomes bearable.
- Walker Evans on using color
About photographic manufacturing industries going digital and many suffering from it...
It could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. How long ago was it that I last saw an advertisment for film camera, or film, in the popular media? I can't tell you, for it was such a long while ago. The last trade show here (sort of like the Australian version of the PMA) Kodak had a large stand but not a roll of film in sight even though it was the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the epoch-making Tri-X. Why's that? No one wants to use film, they said; of course if they're telling everyone that "film is dead", refusing to promote the use of film, then they would do a great job doing themselves in. Vicious cycle, but I do think that the industry itself has just as much to blame.
The important question regarding product ability is: will there be anyone left who can make black and white film at a reasonable cost and reasonable quality? If not, then shooters will have to adopt alternative light sensitive processes to continue analog photography. Making plastic film is too difficult for me to do.
Typography was killed by digital, but a few boutique places still do it--because the technology is not to difficult to duplicate. What is most worrisome is that digital is not a human readable information format whereas film is. Even a caveman would be able to see a picture in a frame of 16mm film without knowing anything about the technology which created it.
Seele, I agrree 100% and I've been saying so for years. Kodak had the influence and power to beat back digi easily. Instead they jumped ship to play catch-up as a second rate marketer of asian junk.
I've always imagined an ad... Picture a modern family opening a box in their attic. They find negatives from their family that are over 50 years old. They have them printed and displayed on their "family wall" with pride... Jump to year 2050, family opens box in attic. They find a collection of flash cards and CD's. They shrudge their shoulders and toss them in the vaporisor.... "Film is Forever"...
May be too late now?
Expanding on your idea... Do the commercial split screen with 2 different families, the first segment basically the same, both families getting prints made. Future segment, one family finds a box of negatives, gets em printed, enjoys them on the wall, other family finds the flash cards/cds, etc. and throws them out.
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It may be interesting to you to note that Kodak stopped advertizing Kodachrome film in about 1990, I believe for the winter Olympics. At that time, it shared billing with Ektachrome rather than having its own prime ad.
Even at that early date, it was becoming very hard to sell Kodachrome film, in spite of the enthusiasm among a hard core of enthusiasts. At the present time, reversal film of all kinds is undergoing the most severe decline in sales, seconded only by B&W film and paper. This is a major factor in the problems at Agfa and Ilford, both of which tried gamely to stay in the analog film and paper business.
No matter what fiscal plans you make in a business, if the majority of your customers abandon your products for whatever reason, as is the case across the board in the analog film industry, you have to change that plan.
Kodak did not 'jump ship' on their own. The ship foundered because of the storm, and the ship began to sink. In fact, the entire fleet is going down or foundering, and so all of the conventional photographic companies management are trying to decide what to do next.
I must say here that I am an avid analog photographer with lots of cameras in just about every format. However, count the number of members and users here and on other photo enthusiast sites. Now, multiply by 1000 or even 10,000 and ask yourself if that represents even a fraction of the nearly 1 billion consumers out there. Can the tail wag the dog? Can we enthusiasts support conventional photography?
I don't purport to have an answer to that question BTW. My only recourse is to begin plans to make my own films and papers for B&W, and hope that I can at least supply myself for art's sake. The bad part about this is that as production of the films and papers cuts back, production of paper support, film support, and chemicals also cut back and therefore even if we had 'real' formulas it would be nearly impossible to duplicate existing products.
Someday, I may even try to make color.
An interesting side note though is that current RC paper support for conventional products still outstrips digital paper support by 10:1 according to my sources. But, the sales of one is going down by 35% / year and the other is going up by the same amount.