I say enjoy the choices while they last. I also feel that all is not lost when I can choose between a dozen different films for one project between Kodak, Fuji, KonicaMinolta, Foma, Forte, Efke(Adox), or even Ferrenia or Lucky. I can still do 100% traditional black and white film prints in my college darkroom and still take my film to a pro lab or 1-hour hack job should I wish. Heck, I can still take my slides to the supermarket to be developed (sent out) if I so ish. There's still a lot out there so instead of worrying about what's next or what's gone, concentrate on the now and pick up a half dozen rolls of film and go man go!
And if you're really a sort of nuclear fallout worrywart, you can get yourself one of these to at least have some piece of mind.
Other than chemistry, specifically Dektol, indicator stop, and fixer, I haven't used any Kodak products for a very long time. Ilford and Fuji are the only film I've been using, and they both appear to be in it for the long haul. I use Ilford paper, which appears to be in good shape. I have to admit, as a non-Kodak user the daily Kodak hand-wringing doesn't do much for me. If Ilford and Fuji bail out I'll have to contact Photo Engineer and decide whether to make roll film or move to large format where I can do wet plate work. But one thing is certain, I intend to continue photographing regardless of the commercial availability of materials. And that doesn't mean I might switch to digital. I love the wet process and I'll keep using it if I have to learn processes from the 1850's to make it work. There is no substitute for the experience of making a wet print. People can argue about the product quality all they want. I don't know and don't care how they compare. But I love the wet process and I can't be chased off or scared away by corporations deciding to transition from making quality products that last a lifetime to becoming just another player in a large, new, and simultaneously dying industry making items of planned obsolescence that are worthless one year after purchase, and can't be repaired if they malfunction.
We should all recite that upon waking every day!!!!!!!!
Originally Posted by Troy Hamon
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
I must have been particularly inspired when I wrote that... The irony of all these companies vying to be on top of the digital craze I find somewhat amusing because as things become minitiarized and combined with other items (cell phone cameras, etc), there is no future in digital photography except at the high end, where it will be reduced to a niche market for professionals, just like film and all things analog is becoming a niche market. In the past, the professional market drove the consumer sales. I don't foresee any relationship in the digital era, as the equipment for pros and consumers won't even be related. So I think all these companies are, as I said, headed for hard times. The ones supplying Motorola and Nokia with imaging chips will survive, and a few professional equipment makers, but I wouldn't be investing in digital photography stocks...
I think everybody should pause for a bit and think back three to four decades or so. It was about that time (from the sixties through the early to mid-seventies) when the explosion of high quality 35mm equipment occurred. Prior to then, there were essentially two streams of photography - the difficult and technical and expensive (much of it professional), being one stream - and the "you take the picture, we do the rest" amateur and snapshot photography which provided huge volumes of business for Kodak and others.
There was some crossover - hobbyists using leicas and the like - but essentially the volumes were in the snapshot market and the benefits that flowed from those volumes (profits, R & D, a healthy dealer network, etc.) were shared across the industry.
Then, in the sixties and the early seventies, with cameras like the Olympus OM1, the Canon Ftb, the Minolta SRT 101, the Nikkormat and others, high quality 35mm SLRs became much more mainstream. The growth really started. The real explosion occurred with cameras like the Canon AE1 and Pentax ME and the models from the various competitors. These were and are high quality cameras, they were compatible with or formed the core of profession quality systems, and they were priced to be affordable for the more casual user.
As a result, the availability of high quality equipment was incredible, and we became somewhat spoiled. We came to expect that the equipment and materials we wanted to use would be easily at hand, because they were carried at the local "photoshop", who were serving the interests of so many casual snapshooters, and their high quality equipment.
Various alternatives were produced over the years to attempt to meet the needs of the casual snapshooters (126, 110, disk, even APS) but 35mm still had cachet, and the materials and systems involved in those other formats were similar to the materials and systems we use, so we continued to benefit from the economies of scale flowing from the casual snapshooters' use.
The difficult reality is, however, that the casual snapshooter is more interested in immediate results, ease of use and convenience then quality. Digital photography "promises" greater ease of use and convenience, and certainly offers immediate results, of a sort. It also has great cachet, and involves the newest and most popular, rather than the highest quality and best. Paradoxically (is that a word?) it also offers even more opportunities for the "gear obsessed" than anything other than leicas
The phenomema that we are experiencing now is that the casual snapshooters who supplied the volume of business that made our segment of photography so convenient and available, have deserted most of the analogue photography market. The volumes and profits and distribution chains have gone with them. It may be true that digital is better suited to what matters to them, but sadly their desertion also impacts on what suits us.
Kodak and others may be able to retool somewhat - they have had successful, smaller divisions before. New suppliers may appear, but they may have difficulty offering to customers all the benefits that Kodak and others offered before.
What is clear, is that if there is a market for the equipment and materials we wish to use, and that at least some of that equipment and some of those materials can be made and sold for a profit, someone will try to fill the need. I think that it is clear that there is such a market, its just the profitability that is in question.
It is true that our expectations have to change, but it is also true that they need not be abandoned.
There are probably not enough of us to cause another "explosion" in the marketplace, but there are enough of us to be meaningful.
Kodak and others are in the business to sell stuff. Keep asking for it, and buying it when needed, and providing customer feedback, and you might be surprised how long you may be able to continue doing so.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
I think the demise of film is somewhat overwrought. Certainly in the first world countries there is a definite shift toward digital cameras, equipement and supplies. However, have you noticed the second and third world countries and their manfacturers are being "discovered" by photographers of the first world. One of the photographic benefits of not having the latest technology is that if we choose, we can utilize their lack of progress to keep analog processes alive.
Just my thoughts...
Wow, you guys are diehards. I boycotted Kodak back in the 1980s.
When I quit buying their stuff, I'd though they'd collapse in a few months, so I'm real surprised they lasted this long.
Also my theory is live in the moment. I never worry that in 20 years, or 5 years there may be no film, because I could get hit by a car or a meteor tomorrow.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
Well, all that is because here is more and more of people on planet. I mean: You make photo on film and if properly processed it last "forever". Now, you make digital image, save it on CD or DVD, then after a while you must copy it on another CD or DVD because first CD or DVD will lose information. That means you must to buy more CDs and DVDs, and that mean more people needed to make them and that means more people will have a job. So, with more and more people on this planet there will be less need for long lasting things, and ultimate need for thing which will need to be replaced fast, and people who will manufacture those fast replacing things. Othervise majority of people will be unemployment as times goes by.