"But - when film is concerned - we as a "group" can keep it alive or "kill" it altogether. "
The sad thing is that, we as a group, wouldn't make a fly speck of purchases at 1990 film production capacity, even if we increased our buying 1000%..
Hence: don't count on Kodak or Fuji, but put your faith in companies like Adox, Foma, Ilford and maybe even Ferrania for future film supplies (niche or otherwise).
Originally Posted by eclarke
"Have fun and catch that light beam!"
Bert from Holland
my blog: http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
my Linkedin pinhole group: http://tinyurl.com/pinholegroup
* I'm an analogue enthusiast, trying not to fall into the digital abyss.
* My favorite cameras: Mamiya C330f, Nikon S2, Hasselblad SWC, Leica SL, Leica M7, Russian FKD 18x24, Bronica SQ-B and RF645, Rolleiflex T, Nikon F4s, Olympus Pen FT, Agfa Clack and my pinhole cameras.
I think much of this has to do with the "Walmartization" of society these days. Instead of buying something of quality that is more expensive initially, most people would rather buy several cheap quality knockoffs because it makes them feel like they are saving money. It's difficult to place blame but I believe part of it has to do with the influx of products in our market. Many manufacturers have moved overseas and quality has suffered in some cases. Now do not get me wrong, I believe there are some VERY high quality products that come from places like China.
Another example I can throw into the mix is with aftermarket car products. In the Japanese car scene, many people go with "knockoff" products such as wheels instead of supporting the big names like Work, RAYS Engineering, Weddsport, Enkei, etc. Many claim they are doing it because they are on a budget, but imo they are ruining the scene because the big name companies actually carry out R&D on their products and are ISO9000/9001 certified. In many cases people have had knockoff wheels crack and come apart but continue buying new sets because they are "cheap."
A brief survey of the net indicates that Kodak and Fuji are the only companies that still manufacture both photographic AND x-ray film. However x-ray film is manufactured by separate divisions or companies under the main company logo. As such they are not manufactured on the same coating machines as the photographic film. There are a large number of companies based in China, Pakistan and India that make x-ray film.
Originally Posted by pdeeh
When a company is faced with a contracting market for a product and hence lower profit margins they can
1. raise the price,
2. relax quality control,
3. redesign the product, or
4. cease production.
This is simple economics.
The fact remains that when people stop buying conventional photographic film and use substitutes they are doing everyone including themselves a dis-service.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Color or black-and-white?
Originally Posted by Tom1956
Just last evening I placed an order for 50 sheets of 8x10 black-and-white. Two different emulsions, 25 sheets each, the high-end good stuff. The total cost, including shipping, worked out to $5.20 per sheet. Higher than last time I ordered, probably due to currency exchange rates, but nowhere near $10.00 per sheet.
Five plus dollars per sheet is an exquisitely useful feedback loop. It makes me think really, really hardand double-check everythingbefore finally pushing the button...
"When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."
— Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932
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Since dental x-rays are now largely replaced by digital, and since diagnostic medical imaging is now mostly digital, asking about where X-ray film is coated is largely a moot question.
Originally Posted by pdeeh
I lament the loss of many of the emulsions that I loved. I really lament the loss of Cibachrome process prints. the reasons to own a high end 4x5 color enlarger and processor are so greatly diminished, that I don't even have much inclination for making a darkroom area in my home.
I do apologise for so lacking insight as to have raised the issue
A companies size is rarely related to innovation quite the contrary.
Originally Posted by tron_
Large companies rarely innovate these days they buy small innovative companies and destroy all innovation. To say one should support the big companies because they innovate far from reality and Iso 9000/9001 certification means nothing I believe Foma one of the cheapies has one as well. Innovative companies can't survive on their own best example Cirrus in the aviation world they sell more than anyone else but even they had not the money to go further and were bought (investors) by the chinese. Diamond Aircraft same thing money comes from the Emirates. Teledyne Continental has been promising Jet-A/Diesel Pistons for quite some time, never happened now they bought Thielert an innovative company that had a cash flow problem innovation from Continental since the 1980's zero. Innovation requires huge amount of money something truly innovative companies rarely have. Kodak had to buy Wratten and Wainwright to be back in the innovation business. Google, Microsoft and Apple steal and buy small innovative companies in order to appear innovative.
When I can't afford Tri-X in 8x10, I don't take pictures with that camera. In that case, I am not supporting Kodak, but I am not undercutting them either.
Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch
And it's pretty rare that I can't afford that film, when you look at it in the context of, say, one sheet = one visit to Starbucks (where I never ever go) saying I can't afford film is kind of ludicrous. It's like managing time, it ain't how much you got, but how you use it.
And thank you for reminding me of this story!
Truth is I'm just not that "artistic" of a photographer. I'm not sure any picture I take is wort $5-10 on a sheet of film. X-Ray film is 30 cents a sheet, and my pictures probably are not even worthy of that.