Who/What is the market for film?

RichardC

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If something seems to good to be true...
My first thoughts - however, his pricing is consistent with what other sellers are asking for GX680s. Have to say that if I had a scanner which would take transparency film strips in that size, I'd fancy having a go myself. Been a long time since I've processed E6 though.
 

kwalsh

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I just re-upped my ham radio licensing and am on a quest to log 100 countries contacted. I describe it to people as being like taking a Cessna Citation jet to a civil war re-enactment. Everthing is on the internet except that last little link where the radios are trying to hear each other. But it's fun.
FT8 and you can DXCC in a few evenings ;)

Though at that point its sort of like doing photography by screen capturing highway department traffic webcams...
 
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I'm sure all those film users, buyers and sellers are on Reddit. List a film camera, film, expired film rolls, pretty much anything film related and it gets sold. The /analog sub is thriving too if film enthusiasts here are feeling left out.
 

Armand Di Meo

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The film market is a small niche market of dedicated hobbyists and a small number of professionals. There is enough of a market to keep it going and in fact it has enjoyed a modest resurgence. I still buy and shoot film, including black and white, color print, and color slide. In fact, I just shot two rolls of color slide film last weekend. I love the feel and sounds of my mechanical film cameras. Film is not necessarily better than digital but it has a unique look. The slower processes make me think more about what I am doing. I still process black and white film and would like to go back to printing black and white photos. Despite the suggestion above that the smell of the chemicals is "ghastly," I find the smell of the chemicals, the sound of running water, and the general slowness of the process to be very relaxing. It takes me back to a slower era in which photography was its own world and not a branch of consumer electronics. The chemicals are not toxic if one is careful. A change in technology is not a reason to get rid of your old friends.
 
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Droogie

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Actually I buy and sell vintage film cameras as a hobby and am always running film through one old camera or another. Right now I'm testing out one of the original Canon Canonettes, just finished a roll in a Pen Trip 35 and a Nikon point and shoot. I love film. I'm a graphic artist by trade and work in a very fast paced setting. It really helps me to decompress and makes me more deliberate in my photo projects. Don't get me wrong, I shoot tons of digital on my Pany G3 (don't laugh) - but film also has a place in the digital age.
 

Droogie

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Don't fear those light seals. They are very easy to replace, I've done several - I buy the sheets of sticky back foam off of Amazon . . .
 

ac12

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When I was about 12 or 13 yrs, I made my own darkroom!
It was tremendously good fun, and used up all my pocket money. A bit like now actually....
Only a half wit would do that now, the chemicals were ghastly.
I guess I'm a "half wit."
I want to build a semi-permanent darkroom and print again.
Printing in a darkroom is so much more peaceful than doing it on the computer.

My experience has been that if the darkroom was not kept CLEAN of chemical splashes on the walls and floor and the sinks not cleaned, that is where the majority of the smell came from.
In a CLEAN darkroom, there was very little lingering smell.

And they have no/low odor chemicals today.
 
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ac12

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Similar to how tape remains the preferred high density data backup format, still cheaper per gigabyte and longer lasting than hard drives.
My last tape drive was a 40GB DLT tape. I still have it.
With drive capacity increasing every other year, the next generation of tape was too expensive, vs. hard drives. So I switched to portable hard drives for backup.
The USB-3 interface on a portable HD is a LOT easier to deal with than SCSI controller + tape drive was, when rebuilding a destroyed system.
 

agentlossing

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Film is compelling for multiple reasons.
  • Old cameras are going way up on the used market. I sold a plasticky Canon AF35 for $50 on eBay after picking it up for $5, and it sold the same day I listed it. Described as tested since I put a roll of film through it and developed it successfully.
  • The lomography crowd is continuing to be crazy popular.
  • Sites like emulsive.org and 35mmc are putting out new content every day, and good stuff.
  • Easy do it yourself chems. I use DF96 monobath and it's super easy and fairly cheap.
  • Still plenty of online film labs.
  • People on the street don't seem to care about a vintage looking film camera.
  • I can't find anything digital remotely as cool as my Voigtländer Bessa-T with 35mm f2.5 Color-Skopar.
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agentlossing

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Thank you! I should find a color version, mine is the Heliar 101 special edition, so the body is olive, with silver dials. The only missing piece is a silver viewfinder, they're hard to find for a 35mm lens but I am vain enough to keep looking, hahah. I don't mind if my other cameras look fancy, but this one is just a pleasure to use. And early 2000's with barely any use before I bought it so the simple electronic meter and mechanical shutter will likely work forever (fingers crossed).
 

agentlossing

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Just because (don't have this lens/viewfinder combo anymore)

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felipegeek

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I've been shooting film again lately. I last did so around 2010-12 on common consumer color films. Developed my first rolls of B&W film a couple months ago, something I kept thinking I would do since I was a late 80's teen but never did. Cinestill Df96 monobath made it quite easy along with some videos to understand the process. My first run was successful a couple months ago and did another pair of rolls a couple days ago. As already mentioned it's a slower process. I go out with my E-M1 for a two hour walk and come back with 320 frames, but the same amount of time with a film cam and it's maybe 15-30 film frames and usually shoot another 30-40 on an iPhone 11 where I want a photo but not necessarily on film.

On my move to NYC a bit over a year ago I found a box full of unused color film rolls 6-9 years expired (from the foray in 2010-12). I started shooting with my Yashica GN (jammed up now), and a couple of Minolta MD SLRs (ISO dial tied to meter broke on one of them) then sending them to Miller's Mpix to be developed and scanned. I generally just accept the photos as they are with no further processing. I can't control the expired film's behavior, only the camera settings, I can't control the development and scanning. I get what I get. There is something rather liberating about it. With B&W self-dev it's more complicated but more exciting to me to have developed them. My handling techniques still suck and I need to learn more about how different films react under different lighting conditions and how the colors convert to tones. Right now, it's quite random and trying different films.

In NYC there are a lot of young people shooting film. Like all cool things there are many for which it is a temporary fetish but I've met several that are serious. They shoot film a lot more than I do and it's their preferred modality while still doing digital for gig work for the ones that derive some income from photography. "Hipsters" is something I attribute to middle-age adults (I'm 50) that want to look cool while of not having a particular passion for it. They have higher incomes and drive up the prices of old stuff by overpaying for it. That does have it's negatives but it raises the visibility of film photography and has lead to new films coming back to the market place and the development of new instant films (Fuji Instax) and reinvention of Polaroid integral instant film, for which there are easily a million of the cameras floating around. (I own 5 of them when you could still easily buy them at a thrift store for $2-5 dollars). When Fuji fp packfilm was still being produced I would shoot with that at parties with a Polaroid 360 packfilm camera which was a real attention-getter at parties and events. The look on a child's face when I would peel apart the film and show them the photo was priceless.

I love digital but I also love analog and I hope they coexist long after I'm gone.

The color shots are Kodak Max 400 the BW are on Ilford HP5+ (the latter was double exposed in most of the roll - a happy accident as I could not come up with such clever photos from my brain alone.)

Note: the photo with the bridge tower should be vertical and the bicyclist is supposed to be head side-up but the orientation I see in the viewer on my PC is not translating to the forum post properly.
 

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