Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
Just to back this up: The small but thriving dark room crowd in our local photo club (100+ members) consists mostly of younger folks (25-45 years old) while the old members (50+) are 100% digital.

Some people like CGW, Aristophanes and NB23 really seem to get a kick out of calling film a dead medium. If they truly believed in their assertions in any way, why do they spend hours per day (look at the sheer length of Aristophanes' postings in multiple threads! ) and hang out with us luddites here on APUG, when they could get a nice smart phone and set their sail into a bright future? It looks like film has become so popular lately that APUG has attracted its share of trolls now
I do not think film is a dead medium.

I think that way a market thinks of film and its placement within is in the wrong place and needs to change to allow roll, cartridge, and sheet film to survive. This change will have to take place both on the producer and consumer side, and requires multiple pieces in play.

At the heart of it is raw economics. The home hobbyist darkroom crowd is a resourceful evangelizing source of pro-film bias, but there is nowhere near enough volume to make up for the demand loss of almost all the pro market and certainly the consumer market. The inward looking focus of the darkroom set (which had a modest but nevertheless small market impact on the industry when home darkrooms became a thriving hobby industry in 1970's and 80's , especially in suburban America and Canada with all those new basements in need of a purpose) is actually part of the problem. There will never been enough volume of this crowd to make a dent in the demand side, and, to be blunt, many people find the darkroom concept a barrier to film enjoyment. Most people just want to shoot. this is not a bad thing, but a good thing.

In order for any film production to survive you'll need a majority of the market processing through mini-labs with scans and multiple ways of sharing. The economy-of-scale these well-established systems provide offer the greatest chance for retention of enough demand to keep the rollers rolling. This should be encouraged and discussed (which APUG gets into spasms about, especially the scanning side which is now integral to the business case and consumer enjoyment). That level of industrial consumption and processing is the only way to keep the required level of industrial film production going, even with multi-format/session coating machines in play. Ilford launched their photo lab service because of that harsh economic reality. The Lomo crowd also has it right.

Film is NOT versus digital. Got that? The vast majority of film shooters shoot digital as well. That's not a threat or a zero sum game; it's an opportunity. The either/or hyperbole doesn't help.

Generally stockpiling anything perishable is a time limited solution. It's survivalist photography.