Money.

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by JamesD, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    When I picked up a pack of prints from the local shop yesterday, the owner told me that he was finally closing up shop, probably around June. Since Christmas (when everyone got their shiney new digital cameras), film processing has plummetted, and film just isn't paying the bills this year.

    So, what to do now? I refuse to use supermarket processing for a variety of reasons; that's why I found this shop in the first place. Mail-order processing? Or, give in to the trend and go digital? Are there other options I'm missing?
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Process it yourself? B&W is very straightforward and it is rewarding to print your own.

    Rob
     
  3. 2framesbelowzero

    2framesbelowzero TPF Noob!

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    I spent a few hours reading forum-threads on the net about this subject.
    There seems to me a fair body-of-opinion that film is here to stay for several/*stroke*/many years yet. The supermarket processing, and the sale of disposable film cameras is a good indicator that the market is still worthwhile.


     
  4. celery

    celery TPF Noob!

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    Well, film will continue to be done by certain individuals who like the process more; but digital isn't a trend. For example: is VHS going to make a comeback because dvds were a trend? No, of course not. Digital is the future of photography.

    I love film, but I can't justify the cost of buying film and processing it.

    Don't feel like you're giving in or that you're conforming to the "mainstream". Digital is simply the new format for photography.
     
  5. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The cost of film and processing stands in relation to a camera and its accessories as gasoline to a luxury car. If the cost of film and processing is a burden, it may be that you're clicking the shutter without taking sufficient time to compose the picture. If you're not getting one print good enough to hang on the wall from each roll, you might wish to re-examine what you're actually doing with your camera.
     
  6. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    That's the difference between a trend and a fad. The trend in bell-bottom trousers is probably a fad (one which repeats every so many years), but the trend in gasoline prices isn't likely to reverse. Same with Digital vs. Film: the trend is toward Digital, for assorted reasons mostly related to money, both big and small.

    And that's all I have to say about film vs digital. I don't like getting caught up in the arguments.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I bought a DSLR last year out of desperation with the local film services. The good labs have closed, or are focused on providing digital services. I do my own BW, and if I need to shoot C41 or E6 I have to mail it or drive it elsewhere.

    I think that there will be labs that continue to offer good film processing, maybe even some that specialize entirely in it, but there isn't going to be a film pro lab in every town like there used to be.

    On the plus side, it turns out that I love digital as much as film! Yippie!! :)

    Edit: I just saw your sig, JamesD. Start up a BW darkroom. You'll be much happier with your results than you ever were with the lab.
     
  8. 2framesbelowzero

    2framesbelowzero TPF Noob!

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    It does depend on what and how you do but I maybe doubt that the real costs of using film are actually higher than continually and upgrading digital technologies plus the time/cost overheads involved in digital post-production.
     
  9. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    i'll second the idea of setting up your own darkroom. I love it, and like said above it's very rewarding. I wouldnt hesitate to use digital if it comes to the worst case scenario (you cant get a darkroom setup and there isnt really anywhere to develop your film). The initial payment for a camera is pricey, but well worth it when you work with the images and get something good.
     
  10. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Trend may be the wrong way to put it. Again; it is just a different medium. Mail order works well for me. Then again I only use them around 5 times a year. B&W developing is a great route. I bet a dollar that if you take a class in it you will be hooked.

    We mourned the loss of 2 labs and a camera store on this end. It was our own fault. We went digi.
     
  11. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    I've got a darkroom set up in one of my closets... Last year, Ed, the owner of the photo lab in question, sold me one of his old enlargers, and I've been fiddling with it ever since. It's fun, but sometimes it seems like it's more work than it's worth, particularly when I'm especially short on time, which seems to be most of the time. I seem to have a lot of problems getting exposure and contrast right, and I have yet to find a way to get clean negatives... there's always a spot of dust (usually an army of them) in the print.

    I love B&W, and I enjoy the darkroom, and I'm getting a bit better at it (at least, I think I am), but there's always color, which is beyond my means; and I was really wanting to start using slides (ironically enough, for scanning and processing on the computer more than projecting). :neutral:

    Plus, Ed's been great. I can go down to the shop and chat with him for an hour or two, and he's always building interesting gadgets and gizmos from old cameras and enlarger parts (like the GINORMOUS enlarger lens he has a camera mounted on).

    :sigh:
     

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