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  1. #1
    rfshootist's Avatar
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    Future of 120 film

    Hi to all,

    at the time I (once again) think about shooting more MF film, that would mean to invest seriously in a MF system with interchangeable lenses because I find the fixed lens of my TLRs too limiting now, especially on the wide side, not that much on the tele side.
    And the tilt&shift lens which I want to buy since a long time would be bought for the MF system then, not for my 35mm systems.

    What bothers me is that some know-all and know-better experts keep saying that 120 film is the first one who will have very serious restrictions in choice and availability soon, sooner than 135 will be concerned ,because 120 is much more used by pros than by amateurs and the pros who haven't done it yet will replace their MF systems all by digital.

    Not really knowing the whole pro world I can't believe that anyway, because I know that some pros still use 120 and 4X5 for magazine work and say this won't change very soon.

    For me personally the question is shall I invest a considerable amount of money in a system, which probably has no sufficient film supply from 2010 or 2015 on ?

    I'd be interested in your opinions, maybe there are some pros among us who really KNOW what's going on in the professional MF world, opposite to what some self taught digital soothsayers BELIEVE based on hearsay ? :-)

    Interesting also the question if there are enuff amateur MF cameras in use
    to justify economically the 120 production for some companies in future.
    My personal expectation is that the film niche will be large enuff to keep the 120 film alive, maybe only two companies but with a reasonable portfolio anyway.

    Regards,
    Bertram
    A la recherche du temps perdu: www. bersac.de

  2. #2

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    We can not guarantee anything for the near future but at least all new Rollei films are also introduced in 120 rolfilm format. Also all B&W Fomapan negative films are available in 120 rolfilm format.

    Sure, our choice will be more limited in the future but WE will go on till at least 2025 !

    best regards,

    Robert

  3. #3

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    I don't have a crystal ball and my track record on predictions is pretty shakey. I do think the selection of 120 films will shrink, particularly color negative film. I think there will remain a niche market for 120 black and white and, possibly, color transparency but the choices will be narrow. The price will also be higher than what we're used to. Personally, I hope Ilford can continue to provide HP5+ and PanF+ in 120.

    If you are considering buying medium format equipment, it's pretty much a buyer's market right now. Don't let the future availability of film deter you.

  4. #4
    bill schwab's Avatar
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    Hello Bertram,

    I certainly have no inside track on the future of MF film, but if I were you I would buy with confidence. Although there is not very much new research and development into new films by the bigger companies, I feel there will be enough demand for film to keep it in production for some years to come.

    Bill

  5. #5
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    My advice is this: When I go sky diving, I do it because of the thrill, not because statistically, it is safer to do so than driving my car.

    Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  6. #6

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    Without having the remotest idea of the answer to this question, how many 120 cameras are being manufactured today? Is that number (whatever it is) a good indicator of anticipated 120 film supplies?

    Steve

  7. #7
    BradS's Avatar
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    Live in the present. Don't worry so much about what the future may bring.

  8. #8
    fred's Avatar
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    The future of 120? :-)
    You can see it between a 20-24 inch print coming from a 120 or a 135 negative.
    Film photography for b& w "is" the future... :-)

    Fred

  9. #9
    arigram's Avatar
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    There aren't many 120 film cameras in production or development at the moment though. Even Hasselblad is slowing going to digital-only. MF cameras with interchangable backs though have a better chance to make it through as far it suits the companies to produce them and not just intergrate the back with the body and make just large 35mm-like SLRs like the H2D.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  10. #10

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    Fewer number of emulsions? Definitely. Will still be around in 10 years? Hopefully.

    You can still buy film for 9x12 cameras, and they stopped making those in the 1930s. However, in a film vs. digital world, digital is winning. It's all a matter of demand -- can demand sustain supply?

    I'd hate to be left with only one choice: digital with its limited dynamic range, generic grainless look and its seeming need to upgrade at a ridiculous cost of $1,500 every 18 months.

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