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  1. #1
    CPorter's Avatar
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    Wag the Dog? Is that Possible?

    All this talk of product availability, companies falling out, film is dead, can the the hobbyiest support the company, or can the tail wag the dog-----the tail being folks like us and the dog being Kodak, Ilford, Agfa, etc, etc, etc...

    Hell, I just don't know if I want to go to the expense of building my home darkroom------perhaps I should just keep using the kitchen at night when all the rest of the world is asleep! My wife tends to tolerate the kitchen that way for about 4 days!-----It's extremely frustrating but maybe that is the safe move and I should just be happy with that.

    Good day,

    Chuck

  2. #2
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    Why not go ahead with your darkroom, Chuck? Film and paper is likely to be available for many years to come, even if some players drop from the field. To re-use your analogy, some of the dogs have restructured themselves such that they are easier for the tail to wag.

    I like to equate the darkroom investment to buying a car. We spend spend [whatever] on the new car, use it for 3 years, and end up with something that's worth 25-30% of what we paid, even if we ignore the cost of interest on the car loan. We look at the net expense as acceptable, based on the utility of the transportation provided, along with whatever pleasure we get from driving the vehicle of our choice. A darkroom is much less of an expense, and the space can usually be converted back to its former use inexpensively, should our interests change.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  3. #3
    ann
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    if you have the equipment, which it seems to do, just build a darkroom. It doesn't have to be fancy nor cost a great deal of money.

    Make a space that you can enjoy and leave the kitchen for cooking.

  4. #4

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    Dead et al

    Chuck-if you want to make art then do it. No one is going to stop you. Buy a small deep freezer and stash some film and paper. There's plenty of materials available right now and in the foreseeable future. The committment is on you.
    Support people like J+C, Bostick and Sullivan,Forte, Bergger;etc. No manufacturor tells me when I start and stop to do my love of life. Build the damn darkroom. Don't procrastinate and you won't have to worry about it.
    This is NOT an attack on you but a support for analog.
    Best, Peter

  5. #5
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    Hey Chuck, go ahead with your darkroom. You'll get at the very least 10 years out of it.

    But can the tail wag the dog? Yes I believe so.

    I'd love to know what the annual spend on film/paper/chemicals for each member of APUG. I'd guess its between $250 - $500 on average. If its say $400, then thats almost $3.5 million we spend.

    Now if APUG members were really concerned about the future, they would be talking to every APs they know, getting them to join in. It shouldnt be too difficult to grow the membership to 40-50,000 making a hell of a pressure group with a big annual budget.

    You might even see APUG branded film yet, anything is possible if people want it to happen.

  6. #6
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    Certainly build. Film and paper will be around for a while yet.

    The Ilford puppy is showing signs of asking for assisted tail wagging. Since the management buyout it has been asking what people actually want (such as ULF size film, 220 roll film restocked - Postcard paper, etc). Of course, only time will tell if the tail will be successfully wagging away, but at least they are asking.

    In addition, Bergger have responded positively to the question of supplying unsensitized paper as described in another thread. It could be that as the market shrinks, those still in the market will become more responsive to customer needs.

    Cheers, Bob.

  7. #7

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    I just bought Mamiya RB, and consider to buy Jobo CPE2 or like processor. What I want to say, don't be afraid. After all, if you build that darkroom, you can allways buy few hundreds (thousands?) rolls of film(s), few hundreds sheets of papers, freeze that, and you can allways buy chemicals or give to some chemistry technicians to mix developer and fixer from raw chemicals for you. So, you can have years and years of analog photography to enjoy, no matter of future photography business (and I don't think film and rest will disapear in next decade or two...)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fintan
    I'd love to know what the annual spend on film/paper/chemicals for each member of APUG. I'd guess its between $250 - $500 on average. If its say $400, then thats almost $3.5 million we spend.
    ...and don't forget to count in all those people we know who aren't yet subscribers to APUG. Double or triple those figures at least!

  9. #9
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    Build it, film and paper will be around for a while. There are currently too many suppliers in relation to the demand but once it settles down, things will be more stable. Even in the worst case senario, no commercial providers at all, you can still work. Make paper negatives, use alt processes, coat glass plates, etc. I have always enjoyed photography and I refuse to let anyone stop me from continuing to enjoy it. I can, and will, make all of my own supplies if needed, and I suggest that anyone else can do the same. There are so many historic processes that can be done at home that if needed, you could be totaly self sufficient.

    - Randy

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fintan
    I'd love to know what the annual spend on film/paper/chemicals for each member of APUG. I'd guess its between $250 - $500 on average. If its say $400, then thats almost $3.5 million we spend.
    I spend in the lower end of that range, say ~200 - 250, right now. If I had more time, I would be in the range that you stated.

    - Randy

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