Ever hear of the "dead cat bounce?" Sad but that's what I suspect we're looking at here. Any sort of uptick, however fleeting or faint, can be read as a reversal of prolonged trend. With labs and film inventory decimated by a decade of decline, remaining business is funneled into surviving processors; still, it doesn't amount to much to celebrate. "Lomography" is a silly and cynical effort to "brand" film photography and sell over-priced toy cameras. Having talked to a few of the delusional who think 120 film only works in Holgas and Dianas, I'd say the scheme works.
If selling 4 million rolls of film in a year is silly and cynical, then hooray for silly and cynical!
Film isint going anywhere so why are any of you worried. this forum alone most likely buys enough black and white film in common sizes (135,120,4x5) to keep a small company like efke or foma in production.
Worst case scenario, last company standing (ilford, efke,foma) now has to produce for the entire world and has little issues, and all of those companies make a full line up of products and could no doubt expand that line if needed.
What could happen is these younger folk, those who are buying the holga's and Diana's maybe will get hooked on film and want to go further with better equipment, If these toy cameras get more people, especialy younger people, interested in film photography then that must be a good thing, I do know that I have seen more people with film cameras over the last few months than for a long time, and when I am out with my film cameras I get a lot more interest from young people, along the lines of ''where do you buy film cameras, I want one,'' than ever, and I often see them out and about a few weeks later with their ''new'' film camera, so it seems to me that the interest is there, we just need to foster it, be prepared to help and encourage them,
On a good year I shoot around 100 rolls of film. I think this is a lot for an amateur, most probably shoot much less, maybe less than 50. If all the 'Lomographers' shoot 50 rolls then the 4 million sales equals 64,000 photographers or 128,000 if they shoot 25 rolls per year. Lomography hope to double that this year (during a deep recession too). I think Lomography can be seen as a gateway to 'better' cameras for many but maybe not all. Importantly, I think, it's quite transient - I saw my first Lomo in the late '90s and the trend is still with us. There seems to be a continuous new generation of photographers buying into the brand. Hundreds of thousands of photographers must have gone through a 'Lomo' phase in the last decade and a half.