The comeback?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by marcofimages, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Kodachromeguy

    Kodachromeguy Subscriber

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    Lee, I regret you are right. Color film will be prohibitive to make on a small scale. But I must say, in my case, I am comfortable using digital media when I want color. I especially appreciate the fact that a digital camera has little or no reciprocity effect. I often take pictures in old buildings or factories. I just set up the tripod, click the shutter, and let the sensor collect enough light, be it 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 10 minutes (I don't try to set the camera et ISO 250,000 or whatever some of the manufacturers claim; I leave it at its base ISO). Film was harder to predict in low light.

    But monochrome is where I really like the look of film. I am one of those grumpy old geezers described above. A hundred 5-packs of 120 Tri-X and miscellaneous packages of 135 film will serve the rest of my life. The films really don't take up too much space in the freezer. As I mentioned before on these forums, I am still shooting an occasional roll of 25-year-old Panatomic-X, and it seems fine after a quarter century. We will roll with the punches and let the breezes or time carry us along (with our Leicas, Rolleiflexes, and Hasselblads......).
     
  2. foc

    foc Member

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    Without up to date worldwide industry figures, a lot of what we say is speculation.

    Yes there are local peaks in film sales, film processing etc it is hard to judge the overall picture. BUT these good news stories are always great. Any positive new is always welcome and yes it will always draw distractors ,but such is life.

    It has been mentioned before, the manufacturers main sales is in paper. RA4 paper for small and big labs. ( I know there are now dry labs but they are still a little behind in speed and cost compared to wet lab) But as technology improves it is only a matter of time. My Fuji engineer told me at my last Frontier service that there was no R&D in RA4.

    The upside is that there enough wet labs still in operation to sustain RA4 for the moment. To a big lab the cost of new investment is high and can only be justified when existing equipment need to be replaced and /or the alternative represents enough of a cost saving to justify the investment.

    Comeback or not, let's enjoy the moment and shoot more.
     
  3. markjwyatt

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  4. Cholentpot

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    wyofilm Subscriber

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  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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  7. jawarden

    jawarden Subscriber

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    Hahaha yes! :smile:
     
  8. markjwyatt

    markjwyatt Subscriber

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    I use to think that in order to be a model you had to look like a heroin addict. This is a bit of an improvement. But, for whatever reason, this is what sells (I guess it is hipster or something?). KODAK may become a topic of conversation in some cases, and who knows... (BTW, look at that car- it looks analog :smile: )
     
  9. Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

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    My car has analog windows.
     
  10. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    I thought it was a Chevy Nova - but that horizontal groove near the front doesn't match Nova photos I've found.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    lookslike a pontiac tempest
     
  12. Angarian

    Angarian Member

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    I can completely agree. Very good comment!
     
  13. Angarian

    Angarian Member

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    It is indeed on instagram, facebook and youtube (meanwhile dozens of film photography channels are there; every month I discover at least 2 new ones).
    And then there are very active regional hubs often around one of the numerous new film labs or used film camera shops. Because of my job I have to travel a lot. And when I have a bit spare time, I discover the local photography scenes. And there is quite a lot happening out there induced by all these new labs and shops.
     
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  15. Angarian

    Angarian Member

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    Fortunately your fear will not become reality. There is already evidence for that. We have an increasing number of new labs and film camera shops globally. Most of them founded by young(er) film enthusiasts or young professional photographers.
    All the needed lab gear for a new lab can either be bought in excellent condition refurbished at specialised refurbishing companies, or even new by companies like Noritsu, Colenta, Fujifilm, Hostert, Jobo, Filmomat., Kaiser, Kienzle.
     
  16. Angarian

    Angarian Member

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    No, that number is completely wrong. The global photo film sales had its all time high in 2001 with 3 billion units worldwide.
    There was a report with a all the numbers published by Fujifilm some years ago about that topic.
     
  17. Angarian

    Angarian Member

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    It is a big misunderstanding that color photo film production in a factory is only possible with the amounts of movie film production. Just have a look at the former color film factories of Agfa (Germany), Konica, Lucky and Film Ferrania (there looking at their production in the 80ies, 90ies, 00ies). In none of these factories movie film was produced. They were totally fine with only photo film production.
    Fujifilm does not need movie film, too. They stopped their camera movie film production several years ago. And continue with photo film. And their instant film production is so huge that it even surpasses their former movie film production by a great margin.
    Maybe Kodak (still) need the movie film production. Maybe, maybe not. No one here really knows for sure. But I would not be surprised if Kodak can continue without it because of the increasing interest in their photo films.
    The longer and stronger the film revival is running, the better the chance that Kodak does not need movie film anymore.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    you make some good points but to be honest its not a mass revival
    like you said it is in like little pockets
    its kind of an organic grass roots kind of think, i agree
    the way i look at all of this is that it is like the early 1900s or late 1800s..
    everything is being started again with everything scaled way back.
    just like the labs springing up and small communities on the web or real life
    i wouldn't compare what is going on now to anything recent ..
    the unfortunate thing about your above statement about kodak is that
    all the small film and paper makers NEED kodak to stay around and healthy
    because when it goes it is going to send shock waves throughout the whole industry.
    look up and read some of the posts made by Photo Engineer, an member here
    he worked at kodak for decades and is still connected to people in the industry
    and can shed light on this subject for you ..
    IDK it is a reality, i have had similar conversations with similar people young and old some folks dont' want to deal with the added
    issues of sending to a lab ( $$ and sometimes a crap shoot, or it doesn't exist near them and again a hassle of mailing )
    or dealing with darkroom work, even it if it is to just getting negatives to scan.
    its an issue with a lot of people, including people who did darkroom work for 30 years, who debate whether or not to
    start doing it again .. sure it is easy and fun and everyone should do it but a lot of people don't want to do it .. its a pain

    personally if all the color was donated to the digital side of photography and the remaining companies focused completely on
    black and white, and maybe even some slick black and white films with RBG layers so the home scanner can stack them in photoshop
    and make their own color images ( digital tri chromes ) ... the grass will grow higher.
     
  19. Angarian

    Angarian Member

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    In instant film it is already a mass revival for some years, as other members here already have explained in detail. Fujifilm alone has sold about 30 million instant cameras in the last six years.
    And for standard film: It just don't need to be such a huge mass revival as in instant film! We just need enough demand for the current manufacturers being profitable and in business. People in the industry told me that is possible. And only a demand level of 1,5 to 2 % of the former peak volume is needed for that. Because the industry has already very successful scaled down in the last 15 years.
    There has recently been a factory visit at Kodak's B38 production plant (see channel "Negative Feedback" on youtube). There it was reported that the converting capacity of 35mm photo film in a 8h shift is 50.000 units max. Calculating interruption times for service of the machines you get a max. capacity of about 12 millions rolls of 35mm photo film p.a. So with that number the converting machines for 35mm are running at full capacity (in a normal 8h shift).
    You see, it is not so much needed today to run it at max. capacity.

    I am much more optimistic. Because I am convinced Kodak's film production will stay. And even if they stop, then there are enough other manufacturers to fill the gap. All the buzz at the chapter 11 case at Kodak some years ago also did not lead to decrease in demand in general.

    I know his posts very well. Learned a lot from them. I have just registered here on photrio some days ago. But I have been a reader here for many years :smile:.
    PE retired at Kodak in 1997, if I rember correctly (he wrote it in some of his posts).
    The industry is completely different now compared to its peak time in the end of the 90ies / beginning beginning century.
    Therefore I focus to listen to those people who are today working in the industry which has completely changed.

    I have never experienced that. Young people today order most of their staff via internet. Therefore online and mailing business is something they are completely used to.
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    glad you haven't .. wish i could say the same ! :smile:

    as they say
    talk is cheep like free advice :smile:

    vivre la difference !
    vive la revolution !
    vive la resistence !
     
  21. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    Looks like someone has been shopping at Goodwill.
     
  22. Lee Rust

    Lee Rust Member

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    -----

    -----

    Economics and convenience drives everything in our consumer culture. Here in the US each cassette of 35mm negative or positive color film sells for at least $6-10 and processing (without prints) costs another $5-15... a total of $11-25. Is it any wonder that digital image capture and instant internet distribution have replaced film and paper in popular usage when the intrinsic cost per equivalent number of pictures is virtually zero and processing and transmission time can be measured in seconds? Not to mention that high-resolution color video with stereo sound is just as easy, using the same device.

    As a resident of Rochester NY, I admit that I'm most familiar with the old Kodak way of making film and photo materials... in huge quantities. Nowadays, the new Kodak mostly seems to be interested in licensing their hallowed trademarks for things like T-shirts, cheap gadgets and cryptocurrency. At Kodak Park, EK used to operate several film and paper coating lines that ran 24/7 but now there's just one film line that runs intermittently. When that machinery inevitably needs to be replaced, how likely is it that whatever remains of Kodak will have the corporate will or even the institutional knowledge to do it? One of the largest and newest Kodak Park film coating buildings has reportedly been re-purposed and leased out to a governmental agency engaged in the experimental culture of marijuana. How ironic is it that the inky blackness of the film coating process has been replaced by the brilliance of pot grow-lights? Changing times, indeed.

    Smaller coating and finishing lines can run smaller amounts of film and paper, but I can't imagine that Kodak will be building any of them. If Japanese, Chinese or European manufacturers can keep traditional photo materials in production, more power to them! However, the larger culture has already made the almost universal choice for digital technology. Don't forget that the first iPhone was introduced in 2007... only 11 years ago! How many people want to go back to wired desk phones? I will admit that I have such a telephone, but I had to seek it out in an antique shop. I also use examples of several film camera models that are on permanent exhibit in the George Eastman Museum. Hey, there's my M6 and my Retina in that display case! I suppose that makes me an antiquarian, but so is everybody else around here who still uses film. Either than, or an artist.

    I do like the idea of digital tri-chromes, though. The future could be fun.
     
  23. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    But who is which?
     
  24. Berkeley Mike

    Berkeley Mike Member

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    Interesting. I have not seen that.
    Would you please help me with a more specific source for that number? Here is one of my sources:

    "PDN June 6, 2016

    According to PMA Market Research, roll film sales have plunged from a high of 948 million rolls in 2000 to just 31 million in 2014."

    Your input is appreciated; just trying to get this right.
     
  25. Berkeley Mike

    Berkeley Mike Member

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    Back then manufacturers were serving much large market. My data shows 1 billion rolls per year. Another poster suggests 3 billion. In any case 98% of that was "casual" use with C41 the rest of us using BW and Assorted Chromes. Take that market to an estimated 20-30 million rolls per year now. How much Movie film would it take to control production? The length of such a reel is suggested to be 1000-1500 ft.

    Back of paper napkin calculations suggest:

    30,000,000 rolls at 3 ft/roll= 90,000,000 ft

    Assume 60% for Movie to wag the dog:

    .6 x 90,000,000ft = 54,000,000 ft.

    Divide by 1000 ft/reel and 1500 ft/reel:

    54000000ft/1000 ft/reel= 54,000 reels and 54000000ft/1500 ft/reel= 36,000.

    So 36,000-54,000 reels of movie film

    Can that be possible?
     
  26. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    The biggest cost of discretionary products is advertising, even online. Does Kodak have money to spend on a product that no large market wants? Would their shareholders be happier if Kodak just sold the brand name to Walmart or P&G and distributed the cash?
     
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