"Please reduce the unproven and only post true facts about the industry"
It has been getting absurd the last couple of weeks. Perhaps, in addition to the Soapbox, we should have a "Gullible Nutter" section where all those posts can be made, allowing the rest of us to get on with things while the rumour mongers can disappear in ever decreasing circles up their own fundament?
It depends how you look at it. Im 38 and just starting my long time dream of darkroom work. 5 year ago I barely manage to buy my eos-3 new but not I also have a maxxum 7 and, YES, a Nikon F3 (just ordered the waist level finder). I will never know if agfa apx was going to be my thing but I have Ilford and Fuji to play with. There are also some companies that I never heard off, some of them supporting this site, that have a business model better to match the current and future market conditions. So I think that film, b&w at least, will be around for some time.
I,m starting to see that, in fact, this just might be the exact time for my dream to begin. Seeing that other members are just starting out has caused me to rethink. I appreciate your posts to my concerns.
Thanks much, nomadicslacker
Yes, this is a good time. We do have some of the major players changing the way we do business, but there are a number of new and recommitted players (like the new Ilford) providing great products. One thing we have never had, in the 30+ years I've been doing this, is the access to worldwide markets like we do now.
No one really knows the answer to this for sure. The one thing one can say for certain, though, is that investment in digital imaging is a guaranteed bad one.
Originally Posted by nomadicslacker
When I was weighing the decision to 'invest' in LF and buy both a 4x5 camera kit and enlarger (I already had one that would take negs up to 6x7cm) or to go with piezography it was the fact that the piezo stuff had just metamorphosed into a yet 'newer and better' incarnation that made the decision an easy one. That technology was really pricey...(I was amazed at how much it was in fact)...and it had just undergone an upgrade. Had I 'invested' in it to begin with, I'd already have had to 'reinvest' to the tune of BIG BUCKS!!!
Digital isn't cheap. Traditional isn't either, necessarily, but it's a much better investment. As so many have stated above, go with what you really love to do. The investment is actually in your talent and creativity...and that is priceless. What you produce either for yourself or with the intention of selling to others has boundless value.
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I've two bits to spare. Traditional silver gelatine processes
Originally Posted by nomadicslacker
will survive long, long into the future.
The problem at this time is down sizing the industry and
at the same time maintaining geoindustrial integrity. Kodak
has let it be known that the US of A will not be the center
for the multitude of products which enter into the
manufacture of silvered gelatine products and
those needed for their processing.
Europe, I think is the bastion to support and defend.
But again, down sizing will be the Challenge. Enormous
capacity exits in acerage size plants here and there.
Kodak and Agfa don't produce less,
they produce none.
Kentmere, Ilford, Forte, and a few others are combined
users of certain products locally available. Any more
nails out of that European shoe and a horse could
be lost. Dan
Everyone who buys a digital camera does so knowing full well that in about ten years they will be the proud owners of an obsolete dinosaur which may or may not be compatible with the future technology of the time. That doesn't stop them from buying and enjoying those cameras so why should it be any different for film shooters. I have no idea how long film and paper will be viable goods on the market place but that doesn't stop me from enjoying them now. With the relatively low cost of getting started in film and darkroom work, you are guaranteed to get your money's worth no matter when that day comes.
I don't mind people going digital if it means I can buy up their gear cheaply (FOCL)...
"He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.
Well, I'm 40 and I think I'm probably quite typical of the kind of people who are getting into film, or getting back into film.
All of this reminds me of the angst in another hobby that I used to pursue, and still do a bit, which is amateur or 'ham' radio. Lots of wringing of hands going on there - the internet, mobile phones, SMS messaging, who wants plain old radio any more, it was the leading technical hobby for the best part of 70 years, but the kids aren't interested now. Etc, etc, etc.
The truth is that lots of kids are getting into it, as they are with analogue photography, and even more so it's men (because it usually is men) of a certain age, looking for a challenging hobby, who have reached a stage in their life when they have settled down and have a little money to spend on their interests.
Ultimately the survival of film depends on people buying the materials. It's a mature technology, it isn't the only thing that uses coating processes, Hollywood (and as importantly, Bollywood) still uses 35mm so basic raw material manufacture isn't threatened yet, you can make up your own chemicals if you have to, there are hundreds of people registering here every month, other photography boards are full of questions from digital users wanting to know about film, and I'm sure there are many other examples which all add up to a lot of reasons to be optimistic.
If the time ever comes that Ilford finally puts up the shutters, I can hide a lifetime supply of HP5+ in the freezer, but I doubt it will come to that.
Plain old radio saves the day when not even the local law enforcement officials can get through in an emergency.
Originally Posted by kdanks
I'm hoping traditional photography hangs around long enough and finally stabilizes. I have a Nikon Coolpix CP995 that I paid more for that my RB67 pro S. The batteries don't hold their charge, a couple of the pixels are toast in the sensor and distortion in the lens is horrible! All it's good for now is taking auction photos.