Except the internet, the greatest POS to wreck the lives and minds of those in it's path will always try to tell you different...
When I had to give up film photography for a while due to general life stuff and having babies, I took up another antiquated pass-time: I learned to knit. Now I knit, dye yarn, and I'll be designing several patterns next year. You'd think that making your own clothing would go out of style because of the fact that buying it is so *cheap* nowadays...but, yeah, not so much. With the cheap price comes cheap quality, which I'm not exactly happy with, to be quite honest. Sweaters made out of ACRYLIC? Not for me. Same with cameras made of plastic and images in solely digital format.
I mean, you can pry my DSLR from my cold, dead hands, but I've held onto the Burke & James 5x7 and the Mamiya C3 for the last three years. I don't really see myself giving them up any time soon.
Film will survive amongst amateurs, but it will be an artcraft, not a massive pastime as it was the case before. We all know professionnal photographers use digital because of the competition. Only a few of them get to work with film for specific clients willing to pay extra bucks. Some others pro, of course, use film as their pastime as well.
I can't tell the future because I don't know. If I can still buy a roll of 135-36 color negative film for less than $10.00 and cost me less than $10 to develop it (not including print cost) then I will continue using film as my main type of photography. If I can't buy film or can't get it developed or even getting the chemicals to develop myself or the price went much higher then I can't afford to use film any more.
The horse is so dead that it’s rotted, turned to earth, became fertilizer, then fed some grass that fed some horse, that died.
But that being said, when something like this comes up in my life, i focus only on the right now. Right now i have a bunch of film in the freezer, there are tons of it in several stores nearby and much more on the net...so i'm fine.
Film definitely has a future. I am convinced there will be an art/craft market that will see me out. I am a convert. In the past I shot film, and used a lab to D&P. Then I shot digital and had a few cameras. Then on a whim I bought an old Kiev 4A which I couldn't believe was only £5 and then its just GAS. I'm a techie, even though not professionally trained. I take things to pieces when they are broke and >50% of the time I get them back together fixed. The other times I learn something. What I like about film is the *challenge*. There are so many variables - the quirks of the camera as a machine, the film, the exposure, and latterly the darkroom and all it's mysteries that I am just starting to get to grips with. If I take my camera to say a major event there will be 99.9% digital cameras and me and a couple of others trying to tease a nice image out of that bit of silver salt. Of the 99.9% digital pictures taken perhaps 1% will be outstanding and 98.9% will be *the same*. Mine, whatever I do will at least be *different* because they will be taken on film. better? - No! but the images I take will be my view, and my record - and they will be unique. And they might get kept for posterity and not erased or wiped or lost in the next "upgrade" in technology. I like that thought.
There are many reasons to shoot digital but the fear that film will not be available in the future is not one of them. Unless we all stopped shooting film for that very reason. I would not be surprised if many of the modern devices and supplies will not be around in the future either. Film is still here so if you want to use it do so. I cannot see SD cards being common twenty years ago so why buy a DSLR that uses them? Other than you can use them now and for the forseeable future. As long as enough of us still enjoy shooting film and keep buying it some one will still make it for us. Will enough young people also use film to replace us as we fade away, that is another question but it will be answered not in the next 3 to 5 years but at least a decade longer I believe.
Our local theatre went digi last week:
My wife and I went and saw Argo on Celluloid before the transition.....damn this is going to happen fast....