Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
Well, I have lead you into a trap.

The E6 film might be as good as a '60s product, but digital is going to be a "today" product. How will they compare?

Chances are that digital might win. It will not compared to a Kodak or Fuji product but compare it to a Farrania product.
Aww... not a trap, really.

A trap requires bait to work successfully. And for me digital is not sufficiently tasty enough to induce me to step into the maw. Tasty enough for a significant slice of the remaining color shooters? I would think that by this late date most of the fence-sitters have long since cast their lot. But maybe not. Again, time will tell.

Stone's point above carries some weight here. Both Lomography and Impossible Project have successfully circumvented their respective lack of quality issues by appealing to other, more fundamental desires of their respective target markets. Primarily, that burning desire of younger people to differentiate themselves from all the other young people they see. Analog film photography accomplishes this stratification nicely for some of them. And profitably for both companies, if reports are to be believed. Lemons into lemonade.

This is the style of target demographic that will, I think, possibly provide the critical mass for a small post-EK, post-Fuji color film aftermarket niche. Those who want to be—or want to appear to be—outside the now all-digital masses. This includes both amateurs and professionals.

Film will never again be about the millions of children's birthday parties cycling through 52 times each year on Saturday afternoons. But it might be that there are enough residual film enthusiasts, and self-proclaimed outcasts, and a few new younger ones,* to provide a correctly right-sized operation with the base it needs to successfully have a go at a smaller, but still workably profitable, film manufacturing company.

Technical issues? Yep. Probably plenty. But that's what the people in businesses do. They figure out ways around the obstacles and get on with it.

Hey, ever think that maybe those guys at Ferrania ran he numbers for their shot at the ring and decided to jump in right now before a reconstituted Kodak film selling business could take hold. Maybe they know that the niche is not ever going to be very big, and if they can get a market share toe hold before the new Kodak venture does they just might lock up enough of it to succeed.

Speculation? Sure. But not unreasonable, I think.


* I was at an airshow two weekends ago. Had the pristine 4x5 Crown with me. After finishing with this beautiful 1936 Lockheed Electra 12A Junior I sat down in some shade. A fellow and his son were there. The dad struck up a conversation, so I gave him the short story of the camera and how it works. All the while the boy, maybe 14, watched intently. As I get up to leave I hear him ask his dad "You know that old Pentax camera you have? Yes. Can you still buy film for that?" Dad looks up at me. I slowly nod "Yes" with an ear-to-ear grin, sit back down, and give them the scoop on how and where to buy it. (Freestyle, do I get a commission?)

This is where the future photographic film niche market will come from...