I want medium format!

Started Aug 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,554
Re: Only enough business for one lab per continent...
1

stevo23 wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

Cailean Gallimore wrote:

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

john9001 wrote:

read the news.

"Ilford opens US lab to meet demand for black and white film development"

I did.

Ilford opened a lab of their own because too few of the remaining film labs could develop Ilford's film or print on Ilford's paper any more.

It's just another step in the shuttering of the film industry.

Just out of interest, how long have been singing that song?

Just out of interest, has there ever been a year in the last decade in which the number of discontinued film emulsion has been below three? Has there ever been a year in which Fuji or Kodak announced increased sales of film products?

Film will die similarly to how vinyl has died. Some low-level interest will remain but in some markets it will be too low to be sustainable.

If similar to how vinyl has died, then you're making my point exactly. There is just enough steady interest in vinyl to keep it going for a long time. The cost to manufacture is down to materials only and it basically has a steady cult following with new adherents coming in from young kids all the time.

So I'm proposing that film could become a specialized industry with low volumes and no more development but enough demand to keep it going for a long time.

Film will be dead as a method of choice for almost all tasks, meaning there will be very, very few tasks where film is objectively better, ie, cases where people without any emotional attachment choose film. For vinyl one of those rare tasks might be DJs but I don't know how prevalent that still is.

Available film sizes will go down, MF might end up being the largest size available. Available emulsion types will be much reduced (they already are), processing will for most people require mail transport, as Joseph said, for B&W it might shrink in the extreme to one per continent (NA, Europe, Japan). Very, very few film cameras will still be produced, we are already there. Nikon for example only offers two models, Canon to one, Pentax to two (both MF), Leica one (M6). Sure cameras last pretty long, the only problems will be lack of spare pieces for electronic components, but using one camera for parts.

Compared with vinyl, the need for processing complicates things.

If that's true, it could be that we can keep the likes of the GA645 alive for some time to come.

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