Since I sell film in Canada this is what I've noticed.
Large Format peaked a few year back with the Ilford Ultra Large Film special run. Each year it's smaller. Could be because people are stocked up and not shooting, could be because the list of dealers has increased slightly, dividing the pie. I know my sales are right off. The ULF run does not include 4X5 or 8x10 sheets since they are always available. 8x10 is still strong, 4x5 is way down, 5x7 is steady but I noticed many of the sales go to other countries since they can't get the film there, which is new. Whole plate remains strong since few stores stock it. I just sold my last three boxes last week.
Roll films in the 120 size have dropped right off and are hardly worth keeping in stock.
Roll film is 35mm size are way down as well.
Of all the film I sell, I would guess that 75% is used by three photographers who continue to shoot film on a regular bases. Even my own film use has dropped off although I had a special run of Delta 100 made in 4X10 for a project I'm doing.... it arrived too late for last year's rodeo season.
I do not know if Kodak is required to file an annual report while they are in Chapter 11, but from what I read online, Kodak's film division (above) was consistently profitable, leading up to the bankruptcy filing.
Originally Posted by Alan Klein
They have already announced they are exiting the digital camera business, but will continue to manufacture film.
I don't see Kodak selling the film business.
My best guess, as a retured Kodaker living in Rochester, is the current management would if they could.
Originally Posted by epp
I don't know, I am 68, and have gone back to film for B&W as I love the craft of photography. I would guess that shooting 35mm instead of digital is kind of crazy, especially in color. I shoot B&W with some old folding roll film cameras, a Crown Graphic (the most fun camera I have), and just recently picked up a 4x5 monorail camera.
Originally Posted by Grainy
For reference: my first digital camera was a Nikon Coolpix 100, so I have been shooting digital for quite a while. I use digital for client work (not much of that anymore), documentary stuff, my blog, etc. I shoot film for fun.
Kodak claims their film division is making money. I think Ilford is hurting due to the high value of the English Pound. There are a dozen or more companies worldwide still making B&W film and paper. The price of decent film cameras has been rising for the past 2-3 years. However, film is now a niche market and only fairly large internet dealers are making a profit at serving it.
That's ok with me about the dealers. I had to deal with "fairly large Internet dealers" even in the 90s, because of where I lived. Now that I live in a major metro, it's the same situation only those dealers are much more accessible due to the Internet.
Originally Posted by graywolf
Ilford is hurting? I printed on MGWT FB last night and was just putting my film into my new-to-me fridge for such, at least a fair amount of which is Ilford. Maybe I need to buy some more. Kodak has just about priced themselves out of my next order of 4x5 film anyway. I like Foma to play with but can't count on the quality and the reciprocity failure is hideous. I love TMY-2 but maybe not enough to pay the price now. HP5+ would probably suit me just as well.
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My local and the only professional photographic dealer now in a city with a population of about 500,000 only had a total of around 15 bricks of film 135 and 120 monochrome and colour slide and negative included total in stock the last time I was in there, when I asked the owner if that was all he had he said " very few of my professional customers still use film ".
On further reflection, I have seen no credible evidence that the decline of film has steadied out other than film enthusiasts wishful thinking, and I speak as one who has been shooting film for more than fifty years and owns no digital cameras, although I'm as sad as everyone else about the situation, we have to face the facts .
Last edited by benjiboy; 07-13-2012 at 07:06 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I last posted on this subject back in January.
Since then film sales have continued to spiral.
As the world spirals down in film sales, we are exposing more film than ever.
I am burning through 4 x5 and 8x10 sheet film on a project that will take me a couple of years if ever to complete. My wife is exposing pro pack after pro pack of colour negative , and every once in awhile a few of my heavy hitters come in with hundreds of rolls of film.
It will never be like it was in the old days , but I believe there is a solid core of dedicated film users (myself included) that are very active in our purchases of fresh film and chemistry.
I do envision the day where major purchases of film and paper will be required to meet our needs but thankfully Ilford/Harmon and Fuji are still feeding our habit.
Today and over the weekend I will be burning through 5 boxes of Art 300 11x14 on my own personal project.
It's different than just a few years ago but film and processing are still available. Can't attest to a revival but I'm not surrendering my barstool as the Titanic slowly sinks.
Shooting E100GX 120 in a few weeks at a friend's huge 2-day Tamil wedding--great fun and an explosion of color.