WORLD COMES TO AN END TODAY. DETAILS AT 11...
I think that through the niche markets, there will be a supply of 120 for a long time. Yes, specific films will disappear. It seems though that the "magic bullet" syndrome that haunts photography (Rodinal, Tri-X, PMK, etcetera etcetera) there will become a reality in "mastering" a smaller range of films and papers.
As it stands now, there are a wealth of options for film. In a few years if FEAR that a fetish bullet may disappear, one can always hoard. Nothing lasts forever, especially us, so it is possible to lay in a lifetime supply of frozen silver. Being a miser aside, my personal view is that who cares if something may not be available in 10 years. I might not be either...
The point is that photography is and always has been about the moment. It is crystallizing a slice of three dimensional reality in two dimensions. Even after the film is gone, the image and its conveyed meaning remain. After 30 years of thinking about it, I just eBayed my first TLR and am enjoying photography in a way that I have not in years. This is what it is all about folks!!!
something witty and profound needs to be inserted here...
Ok - I have not had time to read the whole of this thread so I don't know if anyone else has touched on this.
I am also an avid Super8 shooter - remember the home movie format.
Well it is nolonger a home movie format but a professional format being used by production companies and filmakers to help express their stories and production.
15 years ago the tale was very sorry. The consumer video camera had bitten hard. Kodak was just about the kill the format completely when some people in the company persuaded the management to let them take the format under teh control of the Motion Picture division (up unto then it had been the domain of consumer stills, I think).
To cut a long story short, in the last 12 months Kodak have released 3 new Super8 emulsions: their Vision 2 200ASA motion picture negative stock and their new Vision2 500ASA stock. Although Kodachrome 40 is currently being discontinued in Super8, they are replacing it with Ektachrome 64T.
At present we have available direct from Kodak more emulsions than any time in the last 15 years. If you take into account other manufacturers such as Pro8mm who offer off the shelf about 15 emulsions, there is more choice than EVER in the history of the format!
With the 500 Vision 2 you can shoot in low light that would trouble any video camera, and all along you have the uinmistakeable look of film.
I know that this story is not directly analgous to what might happen to choice of emulsions in 120 film......
However what this story does illustrate is you NEVER know what is round the corner. Nobody, but nobody, 15 years ago, would have predicted this scenario.
What Matt5791 says is so true - look at the 127 size rollfilm for which no camera has been made for decades, yet in the last few years new films in colour negative & reversal in this size have appeared. So as far as 120 is concerned, it seems to me it is much too early to worry about its disappearance, particularly as new films in this size such as the Rollei Retro twins have appeared and possibly a Delta 25 round the corner etc etc.
You may not remember this, but about 40 years ago 16mm was a home movie format that was usurped by 8mm (standard 8) than again by super 8 with the larger frame size.
Originally Posted by Matt5791
Suddenly 16mm became too expensive and so everyone shot 8mm.
It seems the same thing has happened again, 8mm is too expensive for home use (not to mention too inconvenient - wow setting up the projector and a screen makes it inconvenient - I rather thought that was a fun part of watching home movies), and now home video rules the roost.
Home video is evolving even faster. First we had 1/2 inch tape porta-paks, then 8mm tape, then 4mm tape, then 4mm digital, now we have CD recorders.
I talked with a Kodak representative last month who told me that medium format film sales were very poor. I'm not sure what the trend is, but digital took a big slice out of them in the fashion and wedding markets, which were mainstays. So far, there still seems to be a good variety of film out there in 120 and 220. But I'm not sure how long that will last. Bad indicators are the discontinuance of 220 size films by several manufacturers and elimination of some films in the European market. Good news is the recent introduction of the Kodak UC films in medium format.
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I've stopped buying Kodak 120 and have switched to Ilford.
Perhaps a lot of others have done the same, and are supporting a company that supports us.
It is a funny repeat of history - 16mm originally brought out in the 1930's as the amateur format became a fully fledged professional format. It then evolved onto Super16, (although standars 16 is still widely used) which is the current format of choice for many TV commercials, motion pictures, with its ability to produce very sharp images indeed but with less light than 35mm (you can use wider apertures to obtain the same depth of field) and therefore much less cost aswell and cheaper raw material and camera equipment.
Originally Posted by gbroadbridge
On top of this the negative is almost identical to the 16X9 TV standard.
I know here in the UK all TV drama of any note is shot on super16, aswell as the best documentaries - does anyone remember how good Michael Palin's latest travel documentary, "Himalya", looked? All thanks to Super16.
Last financial year Kodak sold more motion picture film than ever in their history - this year they expect to sell more.