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Will film be completly phased out?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by camerapapi, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. I heard comments yesterday that Kodak, by the end of the year, will stop producing film. I have not heard anything about Fuji.
    About 3 years ago Agfa and Ilford stopped producing darkroom products or cut their production drastically. I have not seen Agfa film anywhere ever since. I was looking for a film scanner but I decided to watch what is happening before buying one.
    I know that medium and large format film is still in production and I know many photographers still use medium and large format.
    Digital is very convenient and it has taken the market. We all know that Nikon and Canon do not manufacture film cameras any longer. I would be surprised if Pentax and Olympus have not done the same.
    I like film and I use it and at present have enough supply to last me for a couple of years but I am afraid that I could be having problems to find someone to develop that film in the near future.
    I just would like to hear your comments, especially if you have more basic information than I do.

    William Rodriguez
    Miami, Florida.
  2. Kodak and Fuji still produce film


    Kodak has announced it will stop Kodachrome this year, but so far as I know, they are still producing other films in various sizes. Ektar 100 was recently introduced, both 35mm and 120 size.

    I also believe Fuji has decided to keep making some film they had earlier said they would cancel, a 400 ISO slide film I think. They still produce other print and slide films, I have not read anywhere that they plan to exit film business completely.

  3. William,

    Fear not, Fuji sales of film in the UK, for example, have apparently increased slightly. Nikon still manufacture their flagship film SLR the F6. Lots of us use 35mm film as well as digital. I have recently scanned some slides taken in America (Washington DC) on Ektachrome in 1952! They are of family (including me when only 2 years old) and are priceless. I have some doubts that my digital images will be similarly available in 50 odd years time! I suppose if enough people do not buy film then it will die but I am confident that I shall still be able to get Provia and Velvia for the rest of my photographing days. I certainly hope so!
  4. By saying Nikon doesnt produce film cameras do you mean they havent come out with any new ones? On the site, they still the the FM10 and the F6 which are both relatively new.

    But i could see no way that they would stop producing film. Film still has a very large market. I know a lot of people that still use film, and Kodak is the main supply for it.
  5. Chad


    Jan 25, 2009
    Portland, OR
    It appears that all the film formats will continue on serving their respective niches. I don't see film disappearing although I suspect medium format film sales still have some contraction ahead as digital backs because less expensive.

  6. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Film will never die:biggrin:. Im not so sure about digital. What if someday the power turns off.
  7. Average Joe

    Average Joe

    May 19, 2009
  8. D.RicPhoto


    Mar 28, 2009
    Unlikely it will totally be gone. It was said that View cameras and medium format would be obsolete when 35mm came out and they still are around although limited popularity compared to Digital formats. I had the only lab in my area close down so the concern over good lab work may be a problem. Recently saw at KEH F5's starting at $300 and F100's in the $200 range. N80 and others for great prices. Should be around for awhile.
  9. I'd love to say no but the reality is what it is. Demand has dropped so much that manufacturers have to consider the cost and return.
  10. Well, I just picked up a sweet F100, so I'm doing my part to keep the demand up.:biggrin:

    Serously, I doubt film will ever be completely phased out. But I do think that we'll see the day when the only way we can get the rolls developed will be via internet and the postal service. This doesn't bother me, as I'll be doing that anyway.
  11. Rob T

    Rob T

    Aug 27, 2008
    Yes, the reality is what it is, and the reality is that despite a big drop in demand for film compared to what it used to be, there is still plenty of demand and plenty of opportunity for companies to make money selling film.

    It is a question of cutting back on some costs, and the consumer may not have as many film options as they once did.

    This does not mean that film as a whole is going away any time soon.
  12. Mark, if it was not for some of the digital advantages I would never, ever had stopped shooting slides. Photo heaven? 8x10 slides on 36 exposure rolls, a huge light table and a dark room.
  13. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    Right, 'people' have said for years now that film would stop existing in the coming years. Well I haven't seen as many people starting film as of today.

    Stop worrying and shoot film all you want, heck keep tons in the fridge if you're that paranoid.
  14. I am not paranoid, I simply asked for opinions since I heard comments that Kodak was stopping film production at the end of the year.
    Nikon could still be manufacturing the F6 but they announced about 3 years ago that they will no longer manufacture film cameras.
    Many labs have stopped developing film. Sam's Club, where I have been taking my film lately, will not continue to work with film by the end of the year. I do not know about Costco. Walmart stopped developing film already. I know some professional labs in my area that do not want to develop film and when they do, they have been charging a premium price to do so.
    I am interested in a medium format film camera but I have been hesitating buying it.
    It is not paranoia, digital is taking over rapidly. I have plenty of film in my freezer for my old Nikon F and my F100.

  15. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    All the films I am excited about come from European companies. Although I am a heavy user of trix, I am no longer married to Kodak's films, especially since their discontinuance of HIE film. Kodachrome is a bummer, but long ago I've lost my interest in color film. It's boring (to me.) The (eventual, at some point in the distant and nebulous future) loss of HC110 developer, premixed Rapid Fixer, Hypo Clearing Agent, and Photoflow formulations will be worse than loosing their films.

    Fortunately there is Jack's Photographic Chemistry Site!
  16. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    Didn't say you were (I said "if you are", nuance). Still, like I said, I really doubt Kodak would be stopping film production any time soon. It would be really weird since they just recently came out with their new Ektar 135 and 120, they wouldn't have developped a new film only to stop everything soon afterwards.

    From what I read and from what people say about the F6 it's the pinacle of SLR so it seems unlikely that they could really improve it anyway (sure anything is possible but at what cost). So the fact that it's their last film camera doesn't mean much to me and your F100 is a good camera for years to come (not to mention that there are tons of other film cameras out there still being made, granted not Nikons).

    You should definitely look into MF. Now's the time as things have gotten cheap because people really think film is going to die, or costs too much for them … Sucks that you don't have pro labs readily available though. Maybe that means shooting B&W and developing yourself, which is cheaper in the long run anyway :smile:
  17. Guys
    I'd like to think of it differently, and see where it leads.
    30 yrs ago let's say there were only PRO's or serious shooters taking photographs, for several reasons: cost of gear, developing and printing; then you must had the knowledge of what you were doing (no easy p/s scene modes), still, the overall number of photographers (absolutely speaking) was necessarily LOWER than what is nowadays.

    from 30 to 10 yrs ago easier and less expensive models came out, especially film p/s in the '80s which - in my esteem - multiplied around 5x the effective number of people using film. So, for each pro or serious user taking 5 rolls a month (a very roughly averaged number, but serious shooters couldn't just keep the same rate of real pros for economic reasons) there were 5 people taking 1 roll or less. It makes 10 rolls. For each simple group of pros/no pros.

    Now in the last 10 years, not only ALL the casual shooters moved to digital for obvious reasons but also lots of other new people joined the digital cause. I esteem now to be around 20:1 the ratio (if no more) between who uses digital and who uses also film cameras. Still, the effective number of film rolls passed from 10 to (10 - 5 considering none of the casual shooters remained on film) = 5 This number is INDEPENDENT from how many people joined digital. Then let's see pros. Rich pros could move immediately to digital but I'm sure some remained with film for a while. Serious shooters who couldn't afford a DSLR at first tried to manage the thing for a while too and I guess overall from the two groups only 2 rolls are now sold vs the original 10.

    But here comes the third point to consider. How many people, initially switched to digital only now are coming back to film again? Probably it's because of internet but I honestly can't count how many people are still working with film cameras nowadays, just because they are extremely cheap. Not only here but also on the littler rangefinder camera forums there's lots of people still working with them. And they are often quite wealthy people and old shooters, who know the pro of this kind of shooting.
    Here I'm assuming that only pros or serious shooters will continue to use film thus reasoning on the average volume of what they purchase.

    Now, despite the crysis, luxury items are said to be increasing their sales: there's no more an average vacation but a very short or a very luxurious one. If this is the case, probably film will raise its sales in the next years til to 3-4 rolls from the 2 where it was fallen at the beginning of the 2000. Remember, the number of people getting a new digital p/s or DSLR don't count here, what really matters are those who join again or leave forever film photography. I see more people joining than leaving.
    If 1/3 of the initial demand is the effective number where will stabilize and stay sales, probably there's still the reason for film, although expensive.
    Probably we'll have less kind of films but better.

    After having tried the "perfection" of digital, many people start again to appreciate what film can still give us. Not in terms of MP, IQ, etc. rather in a kind of emotional plus that is still unknown to digital at the moment.

    But maybe I'm biased.
  18. RedTownCats


    Jun 23, 2007
    Considering the surprising number of film cameras still listed as current products I think you could safely buy a scanner.

    There are still products listed as current covering the full range from simple point and shoot to professional, and from 35mm to large format. We also have the brand new Bessa III medium format camera.

    While the range of films might be slimmed down, film isn't going away anytime soon.

    One problem for the long term must be the focus on used film cameras.
  19. ArtScott


    Jul 11, 2009
    Personally I think film will be around for another generation or 2........to many processors out there world wide to just cut it off.....Kodachrome was another thing....I producer.....1 or 2 processors world wide........not a 1 hr process available.......
  20. Sangetsu


    Apr 18, 2009
    I've been using so much black and white film lately that my local photo shop has begun stocking more of it. I'm using my D300 less than I'm using either of my film camers, and I couldn't be happier.
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