Whether film still exists in the foreseeable future does not only depend on film manufacturers but it also depends on camera manufacturers. As I see the market now, there are not enough NEW entry level cameras(35mm) of adequate quality (commenting out Holgas and Diana toy cameras).
More, it is my personal and strong belief that the digital SLR will disappear from the market (in favour of EVIL technology - this requires other lensdesign than (D) SLRS, so compatibilty will be lost). With other words, not every (new) analog photographer wants to start with secondhand gear, and not willing to invest in LF gear.
We cannot change how the cards are dealt, just how to play the hand...
I agree with Marc. For us "old people" it doesn't matter that the equipment is used. But sooner or later we will run out of Nikons and Canons from 1980-1990. What then?
Or will there be enough film users for Nikon or Canon to make a new film SLR. Rip out the sensor from a D700 and put in a film back. Hey presto! You have a very nice camera that will not depreciate like a cows rump. Ken R (he who must not be mentioned) is spot on in one of his articles where he writes about digital rot. A four year old DSLR is worthless because the digitals inside. An F6 costs about the same today as when it came it. No digital rot.
I am a Professor. Bravo to the student who goes the extra mile with research. It's one thing to pour over the books, it is another to speak to people who are doing what you are studying. You will learn more about reality talking to people than you will from books.
Originally Posted by mark
"I'm still developing"
My plans? I am going to keep going full ahead with film ONLY () forever. I don't plan to invest thousands in gear though I would like to. I am going to keep shooting black and white for the rest of my life even if when I am an old man it comes down to find a way to coat it myself and I will shoot color as long as it is here. I will also keep going the purist style with all optical and when I can no longer have color optical prints I will shoot even less color than I do now and I will NEVER give up an optical black and white print. I hope to help keep it alive just like the rest of us here. I also plan to keep using the ImPossible films even though they may rip a hole in my pocket. That is where I am headed
You have said you work for a Canon dealer etc. but still prefer shooting your films. I am somewhat in the same boat. I have plenty of freinds that love photography too. All they will pick up is digital because it is so easy for them and I take a lot longer then they do and they sometimes have to wait for me...It doesn't stop me though and certianly doesn't make me want to pick up digital. I only think to myself. If they were only capturing some of there stunning images the real way on film..........
Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time
I guess film is here to stay, for instructional purposes.
Try the Nikon FM-10, I love it.
Or as an emergency backup, indepent of electricity, computers (In Nazi-concentration camps people managed to take photographs, bury the film and secretly dug them up many years later when the same area's where under communist rule).
My oldest forgotten exposed film was one I found 16 years after: http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinheinsius/4362249897/
It is Kodak TMax 100, and I saw light differences with directly processed films (It was stored at various locations in many houses and storage boxes and went through 16 extremly hot-very cold cycles during the years (how many daily cycles !).
Also it is a reliable archival method, until we have definite ways to secure data for hundreds of years to come. Speeds, standards etc.
Film can be marketed as some kind of handcrafted form of art.
Soon digital cameras can probably replicate any kind of photography in an indistinguishable manner.
But maybe some day you can put a sensor in the back of your analog camera !
The old cameras will as good as the most modern ones, with all present day DSLR's being totally obsolete.
Or a new type of film will be invented.
photography for me is: looking, seeing, imagining, composition, focus, diafragm, shutter, data collection medium and some way to print when needed, on some other type of medium, and finally doing something with it.
I love film, especially silver-halide, but for me it is one factor in the whole process.
A very nice one though, combined with the way to print and tone.
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Quite correct but I would not accept the responses from an internet forum anymore than I would accept Wikipedia as a source. Too many unknowns.
Originally Posted by ricksplace
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
Um, accept them as what? These answers are leads for the OP to follow. As stated (unless I misread), this is a first step in a research project.
Originally Posted by mark
As for your initial bit of advice, I have spent a lot of time in libraries through my life, but I have yet to find any books on the shelves that tell me what the future will be. Perhaps your libraries are better.
Individuals, not companies.
Where the future of film photography lies?
As handicraft and as hobby. When color film started to be used by common people in the sixties "everyone" saw the death of BW-film.. It did not die and can be bought even to this day when people are predicitng the death of film alltogether. I think color film will go the same way as the BW did, nothing else.
This is just the same with many other technologies, they do not die just because proffessionals are abandone it. Even vacuum tubes for amplifiers can be bought new today. Digital is a disruptive technology, and as such it is not better on what the old technology was good at, it is better on something new. If that was not true, then we would just be talking about development of the old technology.
Mankind once invented machines to make clothes, but there are still people making their own socks, stockings and what not.. even from yarn they have colored them self. Who buys mechanical clockworks with pendulum today? Hobbyists making beatiful home made clocks of course, not factories.
Manufacturers that want to still be around making film, papers and chemicals have to realize this and adapt their products to hobbyists and artists occasionally doing it all by them self in their own little darkroom. Individuals, not companies. The professional labs working with film will go extinct, exept for a very few.
But usually manufacturers often do the opposite. When everything just go about as usual, those who do something will be seen as pragmatics and those making up fantacies will be seen as radicals. This get turned upside down under a disruptive shift since the new is not as good as the old, especially not on what the old was really good at. Those looking out the window and just observes what is happening, will be treated like radicals. And those proposing things that has a better fit with the old ways will be regarded as pragmatics.
This was very obvious when the digital cameras came. Hasselblad was very early in doing research around digital, allready at the California olympics 1984 they had a machine that scanned film and could communicate that back home to the editors back home. It was really a revolution and their machine became profitable very fast. Allready back then they had started to think about having that directly in the camera. But year 2000 they closed their electronic department!
Now in the mirror it can be seen as the foolishness it was, but back then? When sales started to drop, they did not invest in what their large customer base did not ask for, and even saw as inferior. At year 2000 digital cameras was very inferior even compared to a compact small format camera. They behaved very predictable.
Another example. In Sweden we had one of the largest manufacturers of mechanical calculators. A world wide concern buing up competition all arounf the world and so on. Its name was Facit and it was really huge, just as huge as Ericsson or Volvo. Then the electronics came. Facit saw the threat very early, even started a lot of cooperating with japanese manufacturers. In the early seveties they even made computers, and those where regarded even better than the ones from IBM. But when sales begun to drop, they closed everything electronic. In the mid seventies the large multinational went bankrupt.
Shure, they saw the threat. But the possibility that the new should take over as they had nightmares of, became sorted under the unthinkable. So they looked at their large old customer base. They did not ask for minicalculators - they have not even a paper roll! And much less computers.. Who needs a huge power consuming machine nobody understands when the mechanical calculator fills our needs.
But this can be seen the other way around too. The future for C41 and E6 will probably mirror BW to a large extent, become hobby and art done by individuals, not companies. But what are Kodak and Fuji doing? The same as Hasselblad did year 2000, they are looking at the large base of the old type of customers, of whom the used to make money. Thus dropping the products that are better suited for hobbyists.
Adding to that. At wikipedia anyone can edit, but also, anyone can correct. I have yet to find a library where i can correct things that i found wrong in the books.
Originally Posted by DLawson
In a way it boils down to how we view the world. I see it as 999 people out of 1000 are fully sane, kind, gentle and all the good aspects. The reason that wikipedia works as good as it does, is that every time that single maniac turns up, there are 999 that can correct it. And this is important, i do not deny that the 1000:d person exist, but they can be seen as professors or political/company puppets writing books too. Especially when we look at old books, it becomes quite obvious. The world develops, and we with it, but books do not. Once written, every fault there was will still be there. A really old encyclopedia can sometimes even be funny, a historical statement over things we today would regard as plain out stupid. Politics and its changes can also be read out. Old fact-books could be anything from racist to sexists and what not. In every time, our time too, there are things and facts that cannot be written. Encyklopedias reflect this, afterwards, never in current time.
We have to be critical allways. Some kind of authority is not a guarantee to anything, they are people just as the rest of us. They will also be affected by the times they live in, the zeitgeist of the day.
When Ron Mowry (Photo Engineer) joins this thread and declares that film will continue to be available forever, or at least for the foreseeable future, I'll believe him. Until then, it just doesn't matter how fervent our obsession is with film. It's a product that costs an enormous amount of money and space to produce, and just will not continue to be manufactured if enough people choose other mediums. It's been established many times over in other threads that film is NOT analogous to other endangered items, like vinyl LPs, because it isn't practical for it to become a cottage industry...too much is involved.