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  1. #1
    ziyanglai's Avatar
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    How long do you predict the large format film market to last?

    I started digital photography about 6 years ago. And around 1-2 years ago, film photography caught my attention. I started doing more and more research about this dying field of photography. I now have a 4x5 that I only use for B&W, 2 medium formats, and a few 35mm...

    So my question is, how long do you predict the film manufacturers to keep making film? I have about $3,000 worth of film equipment gear right now, and it would really suck to have Fuji, Kodak, and Ilford stop making film as the value of those gear would instantly drop down to $10.

    I have thought about switching back to digital multiple times( I sold all my digital gear a little over 6 months ago), but I really enjoying the process of film.

    Someone please shed some light on this. Thanks..

    P.S. I am not as concern about 35mm and MF as large format.

  2. #2
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    Based on what's in my freezer, and how much I shoot, extrapolating from a sample size of One I get about 15 years' worth left.

    Seriously, I think we're bottoming out if we haven't already, every day here there's another "i used to shoot digital now I'm trying out / back to film". We're nearly at the end of E6 (although I've been hearing that for 10 years), C41 will probably last for another decade or two, and I think Ilford will be around for as long as me. I don't think format size makes much difference, slitting a stock is slitting a stock, no matter what size...
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

  3. #3

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    A long, long time.

    Film gear is cheap. You currently have at least 4 cameras (or more), for less the the price of one "pro" digital SLR, how can you go wrong?

    The more you shoot the longer they will make films.
    CatLABS of JP
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  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    LF is various formats is relatively easy to produce, so I predict it will outlive rollfilm, and then we can coat our own plates.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5

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    Meet Professor Dexterr

    Professor Dexter, so-named because he was extremely informed as to how to use chemistry in the new Photo-GRAPHY over 100 years ago, went into his darkroom and slid glass plates under a pan full of chemicals. He carefully positioned the piece of glass so he could get a "film" of chemicals to coat one side of the glass. He then hung the new piece of "film" out to dry in the darkroom, knowing he would have to shoot the "film" within five hours or it would be no good any more.
    I can do that if I have to. I believe there is a new mindset emerging regarding film photography and that it is considered "real art" and "cool" as opposed to digital, the latter considered for the most part on a par with Mr. Eastman's "you push the button, we do the rest," Box Camera DemiArt. And large format is in the vanguard of this revolution, the Army tank among the troops assailing the castle.
    Hang onto your Renault tanks and your open-cockpit biplanes and your horse cavalry lances. We have not yet begun to fight.

  6. #6

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    Long, but people need to by new. Currently no one is manufacturing mechanical central (leaf) shutters for instance.

  7. #7
    vyshemirsky's Avatar
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    Come on, Schneider are still making new lenses and new shutters.

  8. #8

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    Shutters were made by Copal.

  9. #9
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Ten years ago, people were predicting that film had five years left.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  10. #10

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    When tapes, CDs, and then MP3s came out, the death of vinyl was predicted each time.

    Ilford shows that you don't need to be a big company to make money from film. I think the film market as a whole could still plummet, and there would still be room for some small players.

    It's possible that your $3000 worth of film gear could drop in value. With digital, it's guaranteed.

    Even the the most pessimistic predictions for film will have it outlast any digital gear you buy now, in terms of value.

    Few things last forever, but many will outlast us.

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