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  1. #1
    ziyanglai

    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.

    f/64 and be there.

  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.
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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/
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  5. #5

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

  6. #6
    vyshemirsky's Avatar
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    Come on, Schneider are still making new lenses and new shutters.

  7. #7

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    Shutters were made by Copal.

  8. #8
    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.

  9. #9

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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.

  10. #10
    Jesper's Avatar
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    Large format will be with us for a very long time. Speed and ease of use is not of great importance to a LF user so there is no advantage in going digital. It is not a large market but my guess is that it will expand rather than contract in the future.

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