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Thread: Film in China

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    Film in China

    Here's an idea how well film photography is doing in China. A few weeks ago was one of China's golden week long holidays. I took my family up to Xi'an China for the week, doing lots of sight seeing. I came back with 16 rolls of exposed film. I waited a week to send them into the lab since I knew the holiday would result in a lot of work for my lab. After 7 days I sent in my film and was told that they still had a crushing load of film to process and I would not get my film back for at least 14 days. The usual turn around time is 4 days.

    So there are plenty of film shooters out there here in Shanghai, that is for sure. The lab I use is quite popular and doing extremely well.

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    Ratty, do you think these people are using film because it's traditional, because they like it better, or maybe they just don't want to buy an new digital camera? Any ideas?

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    It would be interesting to hear why. When I travelled in Nepal 4 months ago, there were a lot of Chinese tourists. 99% had digital cameras. But few had some nice film cameras, mostly rangefinders, like leicas and bessas. And they looked like very well off tourists, so I'm pretty sure they shot it because they must have preferred the results, look feel or something about it. Unfortunately I wasn't able to communicate with them, but my hasselblad got their attention.

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    I am going to have to guess that almost all film use is from hobbyists like us. Film is VERY hard to find in the stores (except for Fuji Instax). You have to plan well ahead to have a supply of film. You wont find it on location unless you are seriously lucky.

    Digital cameras, on the other hand, are EVERYWHERE. I mean EVERYWHERE. Also, Chinese are rabid smart phone users so they have cameras that way as well.

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    I could be off but I've sensed a very strong interest in all forms of photography in Asia, including traditional film. Look at the new film producing companies, the large format interest and of course the dominance of the Japanese camera manufacturers. I sold a Voightlander Bessa II with Heliar a few years ago on the auction site and fetched a good price from nearly 30 bids. All the bids save one (a Japanese bid) were from China. The camera went to Shanghai.

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    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandoloid View Post
    Look at the new film producing companies, ...
    What new companies are there in Asia?

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    AgX, as soon as I sent my last post I was sure someone would call me on it. Quite fair, but sorry, I can't verify any "new" companies, only new to me. Shanghai, Lucky and Shantou-Era are some existing film producers. My point was that most of the action in new traditional photographic development that I see (what there is of it) is Asian. Shen-Hao, Chamonix, Cosina, Fuji, and the previous Foto-man are examples of newer film products being brought to market there and I'm pretty unfamiliar with any American or European stuff that is new. Of course we still have Zeiss, Rodenstock and Schneider for European lens production. "I could be off" but that's my sense

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    AgX
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    I understand.
    But we must not forget that Lucky Film stopped their colour film production. Yes, Fuji is very successful in Asia with their Instax range.
    Still there is innovation in Europe. Though on the photochemical field. The latest mechanical innovation would come from Silvestri I guess.

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    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Agx ,

    When you will end short pulses of messages and start give us details. I cant read your mind. WHO are the inventors in Europe , what they did invented in photochemical field , what is the latest mechanical invention is coming from Silvestri. If you will keep writing meaningless posts like before , you will end in my ignore list. You are few does that every time , every post.

    I had many german friends before and they play the wise Emmanuel Kant every time.

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    I believe they like film or film camera better. I visit a Chinese photography forum (xitek.com) regularly. Films users are very active there.

    Quote Originally Posted by hdeyong View Post
    Ratty, do you think these people are using film because it's traditional, because they like it better, or maybe they just don't want to buy an new digital camera? Any ideas?

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