Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
I still expose a lot of C41 film and we batch process the film on our C41, I am hoping I am wrong about this but we are seeing a disturbing trend of dwindling fresh film, and once the marketing gurus in Kodak and Fuji decide that sales are consistently heading downwards they will cut the product sku's.
We hope to be one of the last standing labs offering black and white processing, and will continue to process our own personal C41 as long as the chem's and film is available. But we are preparing for the future where mixing from scratch, alternative hand coated prints, and probably making the single largest purchase of Ilford Warmtone will be made by us within the next 3-10 years. At my age , there is a time coming where my clients and I will be forced to make the investment and cold storage 10 years of paper. After that I will be wearing Diapers and watching reruns of Dallas and the Price Is Right and won't give a shit about the industry that has been my friend and supplier of a place to rest my head and feed my family for over 40 years.
I think this is the writing on the wall that we all know is there, but people on this site have a hard time dealing with. You can't blame them, it's just not what we all would have wanted. The town I live in with some 6,000 year round residents used to have two full time E-6 labs that in 1998, got flooded with work from people like tourists to big name ad shooters handing in anything from 35mm to 8x10. It was truly amazing a town this small could be so photo-centric, but it is a world famous resort. As of 2007, there are no E-6 labs in the area, only a couple in Denver. Not even the Wolf Camera has a C41 machine anymore. I still shoot some E6 but replaced it mostly with C41 since it gets scanned and output onto Endura Metallic. I have a couple hundred rolls of Ektar 100 in 120 and Portra 400 in 220, I will only stock up on that so much due to the fact it does not have good long term prospects for pro use and quite frankly, my future is in black and white, a much more stable product line with a far easier to home brew level of production.

My concern is now for silver gelatin paper prices, by far already the most expensive part of the equation of being a professional fine art photographer preferring film. When I hear about you making a sizable investment in Warmtone, I am on exactly the same page, cover my rear so I can continue on and I think this is how most of the established pros I have talked to think as well. The thought of investing some 20-30K+ on paper in the next 2-3 years is a daunting one, but what choice do we have, we are still in the game and will play until the fat lady sings...

Honestly though, I am impressed color film in any form has survived this long, Kodak's Portra and Ektar product line is simply amazing stuff...