Analog and love it but worried
Have been shooting digital for a while now and just cannot embrace it. A propensity to shoot a gazillion shots and little keepers. Never really part of the process, never taking the time to be sure if the shot is even worth the nanosecond it will take to upload somewhere.
I bought an F4 late last year, have a couple of primes and thoroughly enjoy the process and the looks from some people. Before I invest more into the medium (would like to try MF someday), can an informed someone please comment on the reality of film availability in the future? Are we looking at a slow death or will we have a niche market that will be sustained so people like us can enjoy this process.
Don't worry re 120 film! With companies like Ilford, Kodak, ADOX, there's nothin to worry about! Plus entry level MF cameras are really inexpensive now (rbz, bronica, tlr). Go all in!!!
If you don't belive me that there's nothing to worry about, check out what Mirko (of ADOX, maker of Rodinal) said about analog sustainability....this guy knows the math, he's not just some guy on the Internet with some "theory", he's got capital, staff, customers, and I trust what he says below...
Last edited by zsas; 07-21-2013 at 10:08 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I think it's an issue everyone on this forum get concerned. Here's how I think about the issue.
I think no one on this forum can give you a definite answer. I would also think, manufactures themselves may not be able to predict how long they will manufacture their last film. Many are reducing their product line up because of the demand and thus prolonging the availability of film as whole.
Assuming your intent is to stay in photography, I think the choice is fairly clear. Say you want an SLR of any kind, digital, 35mm, or 120 (MF), you have certain expenditures. You pay for the body, lens, and supplies, and thus you have an annual expense. That's ultimately what your concern is, isn't it? You don't want to end up with an equipment with its associated expense and no use. Say, you spent X amount of dollars or whatever your local currency, and no way to use it because supplies have dried up.
IF you are going to be in digital realm, you have this upgrade thing going because the technology is constantly evolving and improving. So you have X amount of dollars spent per certain period. I have to say this value is rather high.... and fairly short lived. When it comes to film gear, the advancement is basically over. You can get a top level gear for basically nothing. I have a set of newly acquired Mamiya RB with all the lens I could possibly want and I spent about $1500 I think. I intend to use it for few years at minimum. I think it's a safe bet 120 film will be around for few years, possibly quite a bit longer. So my annual expense falls....
I fully predict, at certain point in time in future, film and whatever needed will be so expensive and rare it will be impractical. But, because of this annualized expense being relatively low, I have no issue buying whatever I want and need and ENJOY IT NOW and for foreseeable future. Also, my interest may change and future situation may change. I don't try to predict the future for more than few years at a time for something like this. And for the next few years, it looks pretty stable.
Also consider, hobby expenses are ultimately a waste, if you want to really analyze it. You get enjoyment out of it and that's your ROI. (Return on investment) So I say don't worry, buy it, and get the maximum enjoyment out of it.
I don't know your age, financial situation, interest, future plans, or anything, so what I said may or may not relate to you. But this is how I think about the issue.
And I'm heading out with my newly acquired (pair of) Horizon Perfekt, a panoramic film camera I just bought new. I spent about $500 for two. (they were on sale)
PS. I fully expect 120 film to be readily available at reasonable cost for 5 years. I also expect it'll be available in one form or another for 10 years at obtainable costs. I think, 15 to 20 year span may be questionable. How's that for a bold prediction?
Last edited by tkamiya; 07-21-2013 at 11:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: added an BOLD prediction
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Why worry about something you cannot do anything about? What will be will be. You may be gone before film. Shoot & enjoy today.
Skip medium format and start using large format. If they ever stop making film you can always make your own wet plates.
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Interesting that there's a revival of production in many areas, the Impossible, Project, Fotoimpex/Adox and now Ferrania. Seems to be a good omen.
Don't worry, shoot film, be happy.
I don't expect film to disappear overnight, if it were to disappear at all. Individual product lines, yes. That happens, but you aren't going to wake up one day and find all film is just gone.
Honestly, I am not worried about our medium. Food for thought, if you will:
"From today, painting is dead!” Paul Delaroche, 1839 (commenting on the announcement of the Daguerreotype).
All I can say is: LOL.
Originally Posted by zsas
The truth is simple: We do not know.
But my personal take is even simpler: I will die one day, and I want to live a happy life. A happy life involves a lot of Quality time spent in my Darkroom producing Quality prints.
Living life involves making and spending money. I decide to spend my money on Film and paper and equipment. Some others prefer to spend their money on cars and boats. Or shoes.
What's the big deal? I don't understand the people that stop using film because one day it will be gone... As if they'll live 1000 years!
And it died in many, many, many of its forms from that day on (maps, ads, all forms of communications...).
Originally Posted by rthomas
Just like today, film is dead in many of its forms. Film and painting has become a niche and that's it. It will remain that way.