Is Film Dead?

December 13, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

:-(  A big  unhappy face.  Coming back from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) annual Holiday Alumni Sale where I met some new people, and had some great photography chats.  Jennifer talked about how she is having trouble finding Kodak film for her work.  A film shooter! that is getting rarer and rarer.  Not that I am not, but I don't shoot color film.  She shoots color for her travel photos.  Her film is then printed, not scanned!  another oddity.  Most film today is scanned.  far faster and cheaper.  But film does have a different look.  a unique look that is softer.  The other two photographers I talked to also shoot film, but like me it is black and white.  So the question is... Is film dead? 

In order to have any viable product there needs to be a market.  Kodak was the producer of the best film products. I took a look at the Kodak website and was very sad!  Under professional film, only three products showed up.  all large format and all black and white.  Hmmm  While that would seem to make my happy, as that is what I shoot when I shoot with film (4x5 black and white) I don't want it to be gone!  I want to keep it.  So I went looking for some 4x5 chrome film for large transparencies so I can scan the resulting slides to these HUGE data files.  But Kodak has stopped making even Ektachrome for me.  No Kodachrome but that was several years ago.  Steve McCurry got the last roll, and made some amazing photos with it.  but Ektachrome :-(  went over to look at Fuji,  Velvia has been the stronghold for landscape photographers for a long time.  So there is one Velvia and one Provia left.  My choices are very limited i guess.  Provia it is :-) a box of 20 sheets for my trip to Arizona in January.  

Is color film in its last throws?  with Nikon/Canon not making film cameras, the cameras being made are for us Artists.  Funny thing is, Black and white film and paper there is NO shortage of!  New black and white films are being introduced.  Used cameras both large and small are being sold in good quantities and for good prices.  Small manufacturers are making small batches of cool film!  MACO a German manufacturer is selling film under Agfa and Rollei names.  Perhaps I should try some of that. 

I think it is sad, loosing a look a way of working, a style and quality.  I hope we can keep some of the best films for those of us who really enjoy the media.

 

 


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