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Thread: Film revival

  1. #21
    clayne's Avatar
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    Guys, no digital camera manufacturer (Nikon, Canon) is going to release a new film camera, ever. The entire MO of the digital stuff is to keep people on the upgrade train. It's no longer about cameras and instead about electronics (computers). They're not going to release something that will self-cannibalize their cash cow and get people out of the buy-use-trash mentality. It makes them too much money.

    There's a reason people are still using Nikon F, F2s, and whatever else today, because nothing needs to be changed. When the mindset changed from servicing well made products to producing consumptive products the game was over.

    That being said, it doesn't mean one cannot successfully use film cameras it just means the big producers aren't going to be creating new technology that can be reused for 50 years (a deeper problem, itself).
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by clayne View Post
    Guys, no digital camera manufacturer (Nikon, Canon) is going to release a new film camera, ever.
    Sorry to be pedantic, but Cosina already makes both. True, Nikon and Canon could never make money at the low volume that even the most popular film camera would ever reach. But Cosina can and does.

  3. #23
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lxdude View Post
    That knowledge, the "tricks of the trade" in the old days, had been lost as design and manufacturing techniques changed. Nikon had a tough time re-creating with all the best modern tools, facilities, and engineering knowledge, what they had been able to do in early post-war Japan with the technology, materials, and techniques available at the time.
    True, that. And yet...

    Tomorrow afternoon I'm scheduled to take delivery of a brand new medium format Fujifilm GF670 bellows folder. Now I'm not a folder historian, but it seems to me that folders reached their manufacturing and market peaks sometime in the—what—1920s? That's 90 years ago. And they have been virtually extinct for many, many decades since then. Even if the workers who designed and built them did so as infants, they're all dead now.

    But Cosina/Fuji/Voigtländer were still able to figure it all out...

    Ken
    "Hate is an adolescent term used to stop discussion with people you disagree with. You can do better than that."
    —'blanksy', December 13, 2013

  4. #24

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    I have to agree with you. If Nikon released an updated version of their F5...perhaps with AF (if it didn't have it originally) there are a lot of people who would buy it. While I love my D3100 I absolutely love my Nikon FG as well. Furthermore, a lot of photographers might want both....a DSLR *and* a film camera. Someone within these companies just needs to be able to make a business case....I think the success of lomography and "the impossible project" shows that people still want to shoot film. Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who think film doesn't even exist anymore (believe it or not.)

    Quote Originally Posted by brofkand View Post
    It would seem to me that Nikon would re-release some of their better 35mm cameras, namely the F100 and FM3a. Or maybe release new models...the F200 and FM4a. How sweet would that be?

    Why not capitalize on this resurgence? I suppose, like you, they have a vested interest in discouraging film use so they can sell the latest D-series cameras.

    Canon users are shaving down the aperture coupling prong of our K-mount manual lenses, Nikon users are buying AI-S lenses for HDSLR video, and us film users are stuck buying from an ever-shrinking pool, and ever-increasing price list.

    Remember the days of picking up a Yashicamat for $10? They're over. The latest crop appear to be selling for a little over $200 on eBay.

    We can't rely on Lomo either. They sell Russian TLRs for over $300. But at least you can still buy them new.

  5. #25
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    True, that. And yet...

    Tomorrow afternoon I'm scheduled to take delivery of a brand new medium format Fujifilm GF670 bellows folder. Now I'm not a folder historian, but it seems to me that folders reached their manufacturing and market peaks sometime in the—what—1920s? That's 90 years ago. And they have been virtually extinct for many, many decades since then. Even if the workers who designed and built them did so as infants, they're all dead now.

    But Cosina/Fuji/Voigtländer were still able to figure it all out...

    Ken
    I was addressing specifically the re-release of old models- a 2012 limited edition Spotmatic or F100 or FM3A. In my last sentence I was stating that decent basic 35mm cameras are still made for those who want a new camera, my point being in part that because of that it's even less likely the big guys would come out with new or re-issued film cameras.
    One reason Cosina can succeed is that they have their operation tailored to doing that, and they make cameras which are relatively inexpensive to make. The simple, low price camera niche is one they have served for a long time, and they have been able to adapt their facilities and methods to make the various Bessa cameras. Because they have served their niche for a long time, they have amortized major costs and so are able to function at lower ongoing cost by far than if they were starting now from scratch.

    Fuji have made MF film cameras since before digital, so they also acquired their know-how back when they could pay for it through sales. They do have to invest in some tooling for new models, but the basics of the designs are similar. And folders are relatively simple cameras-one reason they worked so well back long ago. Plus they're not exactly cheap, which has long been more acceptable in medium format than in 35mm.
    Last edited by lxdude; 07-05-2012 at 04:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  6. #26

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    Nikon makes the F6; Canon the 1v. Cosina makes the FM10, Vivitar V3800N, and several rangefinders under different names.

    Those of us who want new cameras can buy the above mentioned models. Several other models are available as New Old Stock (the F100, Canon Rebel T2, Pentax MZ-S, MZ-7, ist, among others) at least occasionally. I'd love to buy a NOS F100; such a great camera.

    I even see AE-1's and FG's available as NOS every once in a while on eBay, when a camera store closes or refreshes stock and they find one in the back closet.

    These new and NOS cameras command a premium. For example, the F100 NOS from B&H is $700. They go for around $200 in good used condition. I doubt the market will bear a $500 premium, and the scale at which film cameras need to be produced (maybe a truck load a month) means the cost is impossible to reach.

    Supply and demand. Demand may be higher than it was in 2004, but it's still too low for the Supply-Demand chart to meet in the middle and offer consumers (and manufacturers) new film cameras at bearable prices, at least for the mass market. The best proof of this is in Impossible film and Lomo cameras. Lomo builds cameras like the LC-A (mediocre point and shoot 35mm camera) and sells them for $300. Impossible has re-created integral film and charges $30 for 8 shots. The demand isn't there for them to be able to ramp up supply to get cost down, especially when you can buy a Nikon point-and-shoot 35mm camera for $5 on eBay.

    You could argue that Lomo (and perhaps Impossible as well) positions itself as a couture brand and thus can command inflated prices, but I would think at least part of their high cost is the fact that tooling and factory time is expensive (and essentially a fixed cost) and must be amortized over the production run, and with smaller production runs they sell the LC-A at $30.

  7. #27
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post
    I would be surprised if all the tooling for these basic mechanical cameras has been lost or destroyed.
    I would be surprised if it were not. The way that bean-counters these days look at such things as cost per unit of floor space, things don't get stuck away somewhere the way they used to. And major camera makers make so many more models than they used to in any given span of time, each with at least some unique tooling, and the requirement to provide spare parts after the model run is finished.
    Also, not all tooling just gets scrapped-stamping fixtures for instance are often reworked to make something else. Molds are designed for projected runs and eventually wear out. If a mold can be made of aluminum instead of tool steel it's much cheaper and faster to build. It just won't be able to make as many parts. If a model sells much better than expected another aluminum mold can be made.
    As I stated above, (this according to Nikon), when they designed the FM3A, they had to buy a used FE2 so they could see how to make the meter coil properly, as they could no longer readily source what they needed. The FM3A came out in 2001; the FE2 ended production in 1987. That's only 14 years.
    Last edited by lxdude; 07-05-2012 at 05:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  8. #28
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cepwin View Post
    I have to agree with you. If Nikon released an updated version of their F5...perhaps with AF (if it didn't have it originally) there are a lot of people who would buy it.
    What is "a lot"? And what sort of people? The F5 is big, heavy and fast, best suited to the exact type of professional who abandoned film first.
    And yes, the F5 has AF.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  9. #29
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lxdude View Post
    What is "a lot"? And what sort of people? The F5 is big, heavy and fast, best suited to the exact type of professional who abandoned film first.
    And yes, the F5 has AF.
    I love my F5, and I don't mind that it's big and heavy because of how good it is. But as an amateur film shooter, while I can and did pay $400 to get a really nice used F5, I certainly wouldn't spend $2,000 or more to buy a new one - at least not yet.

    I think a lot of film shooters are like me. The only new cameras I've bought in the last five years were my DSLR (which I only got last month) and my Shen Hao 4x5. Any 35mm cameras I've gotten in that span have all been used because the used prices are so attractive. The reality right now is that I could wear out half a dozen bodies and still have more than enough to do what I need to do.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  10. #30
    Photo-gear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
    I love my F5, and I don't mind that it's big and heavy because of how good it is. But as an amateur film shooter, while I can and did pay $400 to get a really nice used F5, I certainly wouldn't spend $2,000 or more to buy a new one - at least not yet.

    I think a lot of film shooters are like me. The only new cameras I've bought in the last five years were my DSLR (which I only got last month) and my Shen Hao 4x5. Any 35mm cameras I've gotten in that span have all been used because the used prices are so attractive. The reality right now is that I could wear out half a dozen bodies and still have more than enough to do what I need to do.
    Instead of making F5s or F6s, Nikon should start over with F100s or a new version, let's say F200 ! Less expensive than the previous ones and still attractive.

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