View Poll Results: I will be able to buy FB paper for the next X years.
- 133. You may not vote on this poll
I'm shocked to see that "forever" is "winning" 2 to 1. Picker may have been talking about papers being discontinued 30 years ago, but in my opinion, it is not a valid point, as digital was not the threat then.
My "vote" is for 12-20 years, but I hope I am wrong.
If people are willing to pay, it's not difficult for a variety of other businesses to also manufactur FB paper -- maybe not at the volumes of Kodak or Agfa or even Bergger, but in specialized lots. There are plenty of non-photographic manfacturers of coated and chemical-dipped papers, most of them would have no trouble creating small runs FB photo papers (of varying quality) as long as they perceived a market.
I'll stick with 12-20 years with the proviso "brands I know today"
I recently heard a couple of digi-dudes discussing the "fact" that all analog materials will soon go the way of the buggy whip.
So I googled "buggy whip" and found this interesting tidbit
IMHO black and white materials from film to paper will be around as long as buggy whips...and the companies that learn how sell these materials in a niche market will do quite well.
Niche market, niche market prices... but I get your point.
Everything will cease to be available when the world ends in about 8 years - 2012, as foretold by the Mayan calendar.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Mmmmm but if it was printed on RC the calendar may have faded by then :o
Originally Posted by rbarker
Was gonna say forever, but I'm 67 so that doesn't seem so long anymore...so I voted 12-20, with emphasis on the 20...Heck, I'm an optimist!!!!!!!!!!
From what I've read by Fred Picker, much of his complaints were for loss of some film/papers with the offered replacements being inferior, or a manufacutrers change of a product line to a diluted version. I guess they had to justify their R&D budget by coming up with new items even if they were inferior for the fine art photographer. Maybe as the product line gets narrowed away from the mass market, manufacurers will compete thru quality for the remaining fine art market. Any competition will not be in price for the days of cheap film/paper are over at least for us in the US thanks to the shrinking value of the dollar.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
Let me ask this. Why has B&W paper and film been sold for the last 20+ years? Colour killed B&W so long ago most kids today don't even know it was once the only way. So tell me if we have B&W today in a colour world why won't we have B&W in the future?
BTW I'll lay dollars to donuts I will have an easier time finding B&W paper of some sort 20+ years out then any of todays digital wunderkids will have materials.
How long will b&w papers be available
A question has arisen about the future of traditional photographic products. The
following are my views on black and white photography.
[tab]I firmly believe traditional fine art products will always be available, though
the number of choices will likely diminish. Consider several things: first, no
art form has ever negated the viability of a previous art form. Digital will
not negate traditional photogaphy. Traditional photography has too many
wonderful options—as well as by far the best finished product—to be supplanted
by digital. Second, a lot of people do not want to be confined by a keyboard,
mouse and screen to create art. Third, fine art photography has always been
just a very small part of the income of photographic companies. Kodak made
most of its money off of Brownie cameras and drug store processing; only a
small percentage from the fine art products it created. The same is true of
digital vs. traditional: most of the digital market is the snapshot market, not
the fine art market. So even though there's a lot of hype of digital, and some
people have looked into digital, there are still a lot of people working in
traditional methods, and there always will be.
[tab]As a photography instructor, I constantly see people who have tried digital, and
have quickly returned or turned to traditional methods. This is not an uncommon
phenomenon. I feel it will increase as people begin to understand some of the
shrtcomings of digital.
[tab]An article recently in the New York Times stated that even the experts cannot
tell how long digitial memory will remain. So if you make a great digital
photograph,how loong will that file remain without decaying? Furthermore, since
digital memory keeps changing forms (from 5 1/2" floppy disks to 3 1/4" flopppy
disks to zip disks, to CDs, to DVDs, etc.) how often does the user have to
update and upgrade memory to have accesss to older files. Let's face it, if you
saved a great photo on an old 5 1/2 floppy, you have no access to it today.
Furthermore, each time you upgrade and update to a newer memory system, there
will be some alteration of the original, for no two systems save the information
the same way. By contrast, I can pick up my first exposed negative today and
print it. There is no degradation or alteration in traditional methods. Also,
the darkroom that I built 15 years ago works fine today, with the same
enlargers, easels, etc.. If I had gone digital 15 years ago, I would have had to
update my computers, my scanners, my printers, etc. every two years, at the
outside. The continuing costs of digital are extraordinary.
[tab]In time, even new photographers will come to recognize that. At that point,
there will be a slow slide back toward traditional photography, and options may
increase with it.
[tab]Currently, things do look grim. Ilford, Agfa, and Forte (which I have used for
10 years) have all announced bankruptcy. This is devastating news. But each
company has different reasons for its problems. It's not all digital that is
driving this spate of failures. Forte, for example, has too large a workforce,
and Hungarian labor laws prevent them from laying anyone off. They were making
a profit, but not enough to pay the 350 workers employed at the plant. It may
take an outside buyer to start again (their physical plant is in perfect shape),
but with a much reduced workforce.
[tab]I have no interest in switching to digital. I do not like sitting in front of a
screen. I like working in a darkroom. It gives me solitude and time to think
about what I'm doing with no distractions. Further, I recognize that nothing
has the brilliance of a well-produced silver print. So I'll stick with
traditional methods. I hope all of you will, as well.
—Bruce Barnbaum, 11/23/04
Last edited by Sean; 11-24-2004 at 01:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: bruce requested I fix some paragraph breaks..