No-one would be game enough to say that film will come back to dominate the photo market, that would be foolish. There is no doubt digital is here to stay and will command the majority of the market, however as amsp pointed out a revival of some sorts for film seems to be happening. A decade ago you could pick up a good quality film camera and lenses off fleabay for next to nothing because the digital excitement was growing, that certainly can't be said nowdays. Good quality and high end film cameras are actually appreciating in price and fetch a premium. Proof, I just sold all my Leica M gear which I only owned for three years for a healthy profit, and that has allowed me to get into LF .
Originally Posted by CGW
In a curious unexpected consequence digital scanning has helped to keep film alive, you can still have the beauty of film and the convenience of a digital image. I asked my local pro lab operator about the demand for film or lack of it, he said it was healthy and they had no intention of getting out of it. The point about someone picking up the gap left by Kodak and Fuji if they completely fold is quite relevant, I would suspect that would come from China or maybe India.
While the plastic camera market might be a "drop" in the big scheme of things, at least it is something and without the actual figures its hard to say if the bucket is leaking or filling. I can say from knowledge though that there is a healthy demand for film with Australian university students doing arts or photography because they are forced to learn how to use a real camera, most will probably move into digital but some will continue with film I suspect because of its aesthetic value.
I do the B&W developing of 35mm and 120 for a couple of local Camera shops. One of them still has his Fuji colour neg processor in daily use and does work for other around who have not replaced their old machines when they died, but he no longer does B&W.
My take on it all is a bit good news/bad news.
The good news is that Lomo et al have made it 'hip" and easy for young people to try using film. I presume a proportion of them will catch the bug but I wouldn't expect them to abandon digital either. I applaud this development and have stopped sneering at "plastic" toy cameras.
The bad news is that most of the films I see show signs of major lack of knowledge about exposure and even camera use. I usually try to insert a commentary sheet in the bag when I take the film back. Common faults are large numbers of blank frames and gross underexposure. I feel that the Art teachers who are running photography modules as part of their school curriculum know sweet FA about film, or don't even care what their students are doing. Community College courses are all about learning the basics of "your digital SLR" or even going on to an advanced course, but nothing for film users. The demand would be small, I know, but surely every six months a one-day session on using B&W film would help a lot of people who will otherwise give up.
Rolleiflex(s) 2.8/80, 4/135, 4/55.
Perhaps, rather than making these vacuous statements, you'll have the courage of your convictions and come out with a detailed prediction of where we "all stand at the end of 2012".
Originally Posted by CGW
Where, specifically, do you think we'll be?
Whether at the track or here, your guess is as good as mine--this makes us "co-vacuous," I guess. Still, you'd have to have a truly weak grasp of the obvious not to worry about:
Originally Posted by LJH
Kodak's agony. MP film stock demand? Little or no film? Higher prices? A truly rudderless company.
Fuji's commitment to film. No more E6 materials or chemistry. Waning support for wet mini-labs and processing.
Lab survival. Scarce E6 processing. Thinning processing services. Dry print lines only.
I run the Lofico site and we target the exact market talked about in this thead here's my 2c from my experience over the past year or so
I would say the majority of young blood getting into Lomo loses interest within the first couple of months which is kind of expected. But then there is a bunch that will hang on for longer than that and continue moving on to other film related things (film slr, and other types of films). The actual Lomography guys do fairly well with marketing which continues to draw new blood into film.
There is still a big demand for general film (135 & 120) and also I feel there is even more demand for instant type related film (polaroid and fuji instax)
I think moving forward the market will continue to have demand for general film (basic) usage but a dwindling demand for more professional type usages (medium to large format, self development, etc) the reason being that there just isn't any sort of transition or drive/reason for young people to experiment and move beyond their basic film usage into those areas. There will continue to be declining support for film (e.g commercial) to compensate for this type of demand but in the end I think film will survive but become even more of a niche market.
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The Sydney Morning Herald had a confused and confusing piece by Lynne Dwyer which attempted to conflate Lomo, the 2010 re-release of an "iconic" Polaroid (? Missed that one myself), toy cameras and the "retro" design of the Fuji X-100 digital rangefinder. I don't know why the Fuji, which produces very high quality pictures is included, but the liberal "funkies" and "retros" scattered throughout the article might be a clue; a functional rangefinder, film or digital, must appeal to the "hipsters."
This is probably a reference to the "Polaroid" 300 which is just a re-badged Fuji Instax Mini. I would consider the SX-70 iconic; the 300? Not so much.
Originally Posted by Ross Chambers
Last edited by rthomas; 05-08-2012 at 08:25 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: sentence structure
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson
Fuji was making "Polaroid" film in the brand's dying days.
Originally Posted by rthomas
That was possibly the camera I saw lined up at the Museum of Contemporary Art shop in Sydney with the very overpriced Holgas. The pictures it made were very small? I'm pretty sure it was badged Fuji.