New Member Question

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by joconn, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. joconn

    joconn TPF Noob!

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    I`ve just now joined this forum and getting back into photography after a long absence. I`m not too taken with digital. It`s handy but I don`t think you can beat film. I have a chance to purchase a nice 35mm outfit from a family member. I`m just wondering how much longer we film devotees can expect to conveniently use film as regards to purchasing film and having it processed. I don`t want to spend this money and then a year or two from now find it necessary to go to digital.
    Regards,
    Joe O`Connor
    New Brunswick, Canada
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to TPF! :)

    It's easy to see why you'd hesitate, given the Chicken Little method of advertising being done by most photography rags these days. If you don't spend top dollar on the latest whiz-bang digicam, you'll not only be woefully behind the times, but you'll probably take bad pictures, too. :lol:

    Rest assured, film isn't going anywhere anytime soon. ;) New films are still being introduced. The digital boom has had a profound negative impact on the availability of small, local labs, to be sure, so that might be more challenging for you depending on your location. Of course if you shoot B&W you're better off these days developing at home, it's easy, cheaper and fun. ;)

    Go for it! Enjoy. What model are you getting?
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    it is my opinion and mine only, that one hour labs will begin to disappear. There may continue to be enough business for one of two, but most will simply wind up as photo kiosh for degital media.

    The return of the regional photo lab to service several drugstore type business will probably make a comeback. The three day to 24 hour lab service will most likely still be available for some time to come. I think the availability of film will shrink as it has been doing for years. The cost my well go up. Simple supply and demand will cause the supply to shrink as well probably driving up the cost over the next few years.

    In 1970 I could walk into a drug store and buy a roll of black and white film, I no longer can. The number of readily available brands and emulsions may shrink, but there will be film made in third world type countries for years to come, I think.

    If you are getting a good deal in the camera go for it. I personally shoot cameras older than I am. I mostly shoot black and white film made in poland or hungary, so times they are a changin. There is no sense trying to deny it but I don't see an early demise in film.

    Eventually possibly, but as long as the world doesnt have computers in every home and a chicken in every pot, somebody somewhere will be making film. I personally do not shoot digital cameras or media ,so I'm not the best person to listen to.
     
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As someone who does both, digital and film, and who has only recently got two rolls back from the lab, printed and all, to find that it is a JOY to get prints and look at them and think: wow, so clear, I simply REFUSE to believe film will die. But then I have NEVER got used to near-by one-hour labs, I have always had to hand my rolls of film into the drugstore to then wait for two days until the prints come back. And ALL the rolls of film that get collected in ANY North German drugstore/shop counter will ALL go to THE ONLY ONE big lab there is. Only one. But that one will survive. I am sure.
     
  5. joconn

    joconn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replys, folks. It`s encouraging. The outfit I have in mind is a Minolta (not sure which model) with three good lenses, bags and a very good tripod. I also own a Nikon EM with 50mm lens. I can probably buy the Minolta outfit for $200 Canadian which would be about $240 US. I think I will go for it. If I were to go digital the level of camera I would want would run me $600-$800 at least.
     
  6. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a lot of nice gear, with a bonus tripod. :thumbup: I'm certain you'll have a blast with this.

    I hope you come back and show us your work, once you've shot a roll or two! :) Enjoy!
     
  7. modbohemian

    modbohemian TPF Noob!

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    Hi Joe,

    The one-hour and discount store type of amateur labs probably will eventually die, but I seriously doubt that great labs like A&I and other pros will ever die.

    I predict that film will make a comeback one day. Unfortunately, a lot of people new to photography don't seem to be learning the basics. Why take time to compose and really think about the shot when you can go home and "process" out all your mistakes? It's really a shame. I'd rather have a handful of great shots as opposed to 500 mediocre ones.

    Also, there is a persistant electronic feel to most digital shots I've seen.

    Digital has many great applications, but there are times when the electronic process just doesn't substitute for a real film image.
     
  8. lawrenceismia

    lawrenceismia TPF Noob!

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    Film won't ever completely disappear. It'll always be taught and be used as an excellent way of immersing oneself in photography.
     
  9. ksmattfish

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

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    Depends on what you mean by convenient. 35mm and 120 are going to around for a long time; roll film will probably always be more readily available than sheet film is now. Kodak and Fuji might not make it, but someone will. Prices will go up, but I think it will still be affordable for those who appreciate it.

    Eventually C41 processing services will get more difficult to find, but there will be lots of labs still offering it, just not in every drugstore, mall, etc... Like BW process and E6, it may be mail-out processing from the econo-labs.

    I think printing services from film will remain common though. There's lot's of developed film out there, and it only takes a scanner to make it work.

    Your choice of DIY supplies, chems, and materials may even increase, as the people who do continue to shoot film may be more likely to be interested in doing the entire process themselves. I think that today Freestyle may actually carry a larger selection of BW darkroom supplies, papers, and alternative process materials than they did 10 years ago.
     
  10. ksmattfish

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

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    Which of course, is exactly what "real photographers" said upon the introduction of film. Raise your your hand if you feel confident in your ability to coat your own glass plate in the field, get the shot, and then process the the plate in the field. I don't see many hands. ;) Once upon a time those skills were very basic to any self respecting photographer.
     
  11. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A couple of statistics:

    Digital camera sales in the US in 2004: est.@ 22.8 million.

    Disposable [film] camera sales [world-wide 2005?]: 460 million.

    Somebody's making lots and lots of film.
     
  12. ksmattfish

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

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    Yes, but unfortunately it's mostly Kodak Gold 800, or something even uglier (if that's even possible). ;) I think the signs are in the goat entrails; Kodak is preparing to turn over most of it's film production to Chinese manufacturers. It may still continue to say Kodak on the label, but it's going to really be made by Lucky (or some other manufacturer). Like how Panasonic now makes Leica.

    As long as the personal computer remains an essential accessory to digital photography, there will be many places in the world where digital is still less convenient than film.

    On the other hand, here's a list of companies who have already discontinued, or have made plans to discontinue all or most of their film camera production:

    Nikon
    Canon
    Kodak
    Minolta
    Pentax
    Olympus
    Ricoh
     

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