Film photography is not dead! *Updated*


by Bellamy /

13 min read

Film photography is not dead
There has been a bit of talk recently of the whole ‘death of film’. This seems to be an ongoing theme, and one that brings out all sorts of emotions. But I really don’t believe it is dead.
Recently there was an article in the Economist about what was claimed to be ‘the end of film’. It was a poorly written and poorly researched article which did nothing to point out how the use of film has changed. I expected more from the Ecomonist, but then, sometimes these things slip past the editors who just need an article up.

You see, film is changing. That is true, the way it is used and the range that is available has changed and will continue to do so. In the past the film photography industry was driven by professional and industrial uses, but since they have wained in favour of the faster and more forgiving digital systems the industry has had to change. It is not economically feasible to produce film in the same levels as it was in the past, as there are just not enough users. But that does not mean to say there are no users. And the users are not a smattering of geeks either. There is a strong and vibrant community, which has actually been gaining traction as more people either go back to film or become aware of it.

But what about the manufacturers? What are they doing about the industry? Well, from the big two, not much it would seem.

Fujifilm is not a lover of film. The company is a lover of the bottom line, as any large company has to be as they have a responsibility to their shareholders. But it seems like fujifilm cannot wait to get out of the film market. Every single year they cut film, claiming that there are no sales (although they have quietly re-started making a couple of products because of demand). I would not be bothered if Fuji did not make film any longer, as I would hope that they would just sell off their emulsions or facilities. But sadly this would not be the case. Fuji would rather burn the emulsions than let someone else make them. And they have been using their chemical facilities for the production of cosmetics, which is a far more profitable market. So, sadly it may be the case in the next 10 years that we see the end of the majority of films from Fujifilm. I think they will still make a very very basic line up. But nothing like we were used to.

Ilford, has been coming up with the goods for a long time. And they don’t seem to be stopping, in fact they have just (re)released new film disposable cameras. Which is fantastic news, as they are a good indicator of the health of the film market. If they can still afford to make these then there is still a viable market for them, and not just to geeks, but to the layman too.

There are a number of companies still making film, more than you might think in fact. You can actually find a complete list of the companies still manufacturing film here The big players are all there, but there are a small ones too.
It is these companies that are going to be the places many people will look to in the future for their film, as the big boys have different priorities.

As for Kodak, well, what can you say really other than monumental mismanagement, mainly by people who are far more interested in lining their own pockets than working how to drop poorly performing lines and move into more profitable markets. If things keep on going the current way it is then there will be nothing at all left of what we know as Kodak. Now of course it is common knowledge that Kodak has a massive patent library waiting to be taken apart by the vultures, and part of that would be the massive library of emulsions. And this is where things get interesting. You see despite all of the naysayers, the Kodak film division has been and continues to be profitable. So someone is going to want that. And who is better placed to step into those shoes than Lomography?

In case you have been living under a rock, Lomo has been in the news recently. Some people are hailing them as the saviours of film. I don’t think this is necessarily the case. The article portrayed Lomo as having singlehandedly saved film photography from being sent into the mists of time. But I don’t think this is fair to the others who have done so much to ensure the popularity of film photography. I don’t use the words keep film alive as that does not sound very pleasant. It gives me the image of keeping someone on life support.  Whilst film photography is not as popular as it used to be, it could never be so, it is still popular with a larger amount of people than many give credit for.

So film photography is going to change. It is not going to be the same as it was, it never could be, but it is still going to be around as long as there is a passionate group of users. They said the same thing about vinyl records, and look what happened there, still in production. I have heard the argument from some digital users that film is damaging for the environment, which makes me laugh. The manufacture (and eventual disposal of) digital sensors is hugely damaging for the environment, with mining of rare earth materials, and an extremely complicated manufacturing process involved. It really is an invalid argument. The reason why digital trumps film for many in convenience. We are living in a society that is based on convenience and we all want things now. Waiting for film to develop is only for people who have time and patience.  But why these two methods can not co-exist? Of course they can. Some people like to get up on their soapboxes and shout “Yahboo film sucks” or “Digital is lame and you all smell” etc, but I don’t see the point in any of that. I shoot film for my personal work, and as a preference I shoot film. But I still use digital for my work, for this site, and for when I want to take pictures of my lunch for the world to see (because that is what is important now). Use film, use digital, use both, just stop being so daft and shouting down each others medium.

So what about film users? Where are they and what are they doing? What is this ‘renaissance’ that people talk about? Well it is happening all around you. There are many passionate groups out there…

The BelieveInFilm site is a great community for film users. The site is growing and getting the word out about film use and users. This is also the place to look for some of those rare films. Definitely go and check out what is going on over there.

I Still Shoot Film is a great website dedicated to shooting film. There are some nice articles and a great community of photographers.

Choosefilm is a forum/community that promotes the use of film and film techniques through shared information. A great place to get to know more about film photography.

The Guide To film Photography site is a valuable resource to beginners. With lots of useful information. Although the site does not get updated as regularly as I would like.

*Edit* I completely forgot to add APUG, the Analog Photography Users Group, a growing and vibrant site dedicated to film photography. They have big name backing too. Check this one out for sure.

Mijonju admonished me for not adding Filmwasters, a great bunch of film fanatics who do it because they love it. Go and check them out for sure.

Obviously Lomography is a major site for film lovers. Though the focus tends to be more about toy cameras. For a community of photographers with exerience in different types of cameras then Rangefinderforum would be a great place to go. There are tons of users, articles and resources on there.

As you can see there are a lot of different communities based around film photography, and with pieces being featured on the national and international press many people are realising that film did not die.
I think we are going to see a change, which will be upsetting for some as their favourite films may be lost. But photographers are an adaptable bunch and we will adapt to what is available of the market. But film is not going to die completely, there is still plenty of money to be made from it, and too many supporting it. We are going to see a similar thing happen as with Polaroid and Impossible (Polaroid must be kicking themselves). A new skew on old emulsions perhaps. It will take money and passion, but it can be done.
Let’s see what the next few years hold…

What are your thoughts on this? It is a hot topic and a lot of people get pretty feisty about it. I would like to hear your views in the comments below. Perhaps you know of communities and links that you can share with people too. Add them as well.

Zvonimir from Australia mailed me this response. I think it is a very valid point and have decided to include it. I would love to hear your thoughts on this too.

Film is seen as a troubled matter now because its major manufacturers are ones led with poor business wisdom in other areas of their operation. If Kodak as company was out of trouble, and doing well, many wouldn’t even venture into these doom and gloom film scenarios.

But what everyone seems to miss from the picture are not film manufacturers. Was film prospering in the heydays of film just because film was film, ie ‘a synonym for greatness’?
No. That is what we are led to believe, but it’s a false premise. Plainly and simply, film was prospering because there were lots of cameras, made every year, and by many different manufacturers, that made use of film. More cameras were available, more film varieties were used.

As a contrast, how many versatile film cameras people could be compelled to buy are produced nowadays? Ironically, majority of camera manufacturers that made their way into memories of our mental landscape are those that made helluva lots of innovation in camera manufacturing during the days of film. During that same time they also developed their popular mounts, that enabled people to use cameras with varieties of lenses, and expand on creativity.

Today, film camera manufacture is left to a handful of small manufacturing business that produce medium and large format cameras on one side, or simple and cheap plasticky cameras on the other side. So we have a choice to buy either a camera too large for everyday use, or a camera too fragile. The area in between them — right where film was traditionally flourishing — is almost abandoned. Who is left there? Where are new film cameras — well at least one — by Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony (former Minolta, former Konica), Contax, …?

Leica is there, with its M7 and MP models still in production, priced at around $4000+ or more, respectively. And that is without a single lens. Price hardly differs from their digital counterparts, and for many who even consider Leica’s offers, convenience of digital prevails — at such a price, to many, the choice is clear.

Would people be more intrigued about the magic and possibilities of film if there was a new Leica film camera priced at below $2000? Say, Zeiss still makes its Ikon rangefinder (or they are frantically trying to get rid of the last production batch :-) and its more affordable. But Zeiss is not Leica, die hards would say (they will spend days in litanies about the virtues of Solms and Wetzlar), and they instead buy 30 years old M6s, or 60 years old M3s — or cameras that are officially unsupported by its manufacturer for over 30 and over 60 years.

All the major SLR manufacturers that made millions of lenses so far are in the similar boat: people who want to get back to film, or try film from afresh, are curious about film or simply want to expand horizons, are forced to buy old equipment, officially unsupported, out of warranty, out of everything official and convenient and are left to all shades of grey of the second-hand film camera market.

And you’d like to see film more supported, bought and eventually resurrected in the future? So what do you think a prudent course of action would be?

In today’s situation it may mean buying more of the old equipment. Let’s but it all, dammit, until all supplies are finally depleted and no spare parts left. And from today’s 20-40 million rolls of film sold per year, we’ll slowly but steadily come to 2-4 millions of rolls sold. And then, we’ll finally give up and — with a sigh full of cognitive dissonance — proclaim that digital has finally killed the film and that’s digital ‘was better anyway’.

Now I ask more seriously: What is there to do, to *really* reverse the trend?

Start buying M7s or MPs simply to support one manufacturer which admitted publicly it wanted to kill film (yes, with its Monochrome Leica M)? Leica has made its choice quite clear — they are there to support their name, not film for film’s sake.

Coming to an end of this little reflection, I ask myself: what we’re up and against in fact? Don’t we — you, I, readers of this blog — contribute to faster demise of film just because we — people who swear by film — play the wrong notes all along?

To me, it is now quite clear that love for film is now about love for continuous buying of old and used equipment. That makes film even more obsolete.

To make film interesting again, or make it rediscovered from a novel angle, there must be some interesting and quality film cameras resurrected again, supported again and not ridiculously priced.

We indeed need some fresh thinking that may start, perhaps, with writing letters and petitions sending them to major camera manufacturers with mounts that support millions of lenses: they have made their names and stature in the days of film, and isn’t it prudent that they at least support film with one prudent product we’d love to buy from them?

If they don’t and won’t hear about it, then explore alternative avenues. Say, publicly pledge to start making film cameras in a mount that would have its copyrights expired by then. Say, a Nikon or Pentax film camera but not made by Nikon or Pentax if they really don’t want to. And in such a way put them up and against their own heritage, their own past and the sense of self-worth.


Another response, this time from reader Marcus Riccoboni:

I’ve been reading this thread with great interest.

I think Zvonimir has really hit the nail on the head here: if film is to stay for the long term, we need access to new film bodies, fitted with mounts that will work with modern lenses.  Simply resurrecting old equipment, whilst being a very worthy activity, will not provide new photographers in twenty or thirty years time the opportunity to enjoy shooting film.

Statements, from people like Trevor, such as “The digital age has made film a niche product, but one that will likely exist far longer than any of us will live…so stop worrying, and go shoot film” are a great morale booster and very seductive on a personal level.  Indeed, they help keep up demand in the short term. However, they do not address the fundamental issue that Zvonimir raised: if there are no new (and economical) film cameras being made, film will, eventually, die off.

Similarly, I have heard comparisons to vinyl, which has steadfastly failed to die. Again, these are seductive to those of us who want to continue to enjoy shooting film, but I fear they are misplaced – I wager the fixed costs of producing vinyl and record players is far less than that of film and camera bodies.  This leads us to the thorny question of just what are the minimum economies of scale necessary for film and film equipment production?

The key issues here are economic in nature – simple supply and demand. There is a minimum level of demand for film and cameras beneath which it is commercially unviable to supply them. Other than the film producers and camera manufacturers themselves, does anyone have any sensible estimates for what these numbers are?

If we could find out this sort of information it would be easier to pull together petitions, or groups of genuinely committed enthusiasts in sufficient numbers to stand behind one or two manufacturers who then might be willing to come up with a long-term commitment to producing film (think Ilford) and, more importantly, the essential camera equipment that will guarantee its long-term survival.

Right now, we may have a limited but golden window of opportunity – a sufficient number of genuine enthusiasts who are willing to join forces and influence the outcome of an issue close to all our hearts.

Supply and demand – simple.  We can pull together to concentrate the demand whilst working out who has the most appropriate supply to keep film (and film cameras) alive.

I’m willing to spend time investigating this and doing the calculations to work out the feasibility of such a campaign.  And I’m sure people like Bellamy and BelieveInFilm Gordon (@filmdevelop) would be willing to help spread the word and bring enthusiasts together.  That leaves us looking for people who have access to (or sensible estimates of) some of the commercial numbers we need to get the ball rolling.

Who wants to get involved?




72 comments on “Film photography is not dead! *Updated*”

    Peter Neale December 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm / Reply

    I agree completely. But you forgot to mention Analog Photography Users Group.

    I believe that B&M retailers are as much to blame as manufacturers. They are the front end of the photographic industry and they are the ones who have been telling lies to consumers about the supposed death of film.

      Bellamy December 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm /

      Hi Peter,
      Thanks for reminding me. I have edited the piece and added them.

    Dilraj December 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm / Reply

    Fantastic article Bellamy. I also came across that article in the economist and have to completely agree with you, by the sounds of it the guy really didn’t know what he was talking about. What really angers me is the ignorance of people, they say film is dead there’s not a market for it yet so many dedicated film communities such as JCH still exist.

    Death to digital! Just kidding, I shoot digital for fashion and film for personal, but personally I far prefer film :)

    All the best!

    Petr December 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm / Reply

    Still, I am afraid that fujifilm will drop the film. Aren’t they the only one who still produces 35 mm slides?

      Thomas J. Webb December 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm /

      Orwofilm, who sells their film as rolleifilm, makes slides too.

    dale December 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm / Reply

    An awesome melbourne based site is also Melbourne Silver Mine.
    Im not a member or anything, but it’s worth checking:

    thanks for all the other links!

    saber December 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm / Reply

    Well, as a DSLR user, i would not say that film has died either. But i truly regonise the value and art of film photography. Why is it so?

    1. In this fast times, everything people wants it instant. Instant noodles, Cash loan in 10 mins, fast food restaurant, and so on. People tends to get lazy and want everything to be instant. So Digital format is so call invented to meet people needs. Well there is a catch here. Film are not for inexperience users. Because they are not instant and you have to be the LCD and Processor in your mind. Now these are what i call powerful people.

    2. The color of the film compare to digital, i still prefer the film. Other people say to me no big deal, just go to Photoshop and adjust the color. I tell them, you might as well just anyhow shoot and go home and adjust the color. They were like stun….

    3. When i tell people that i took photo is just for fun and photography, they will assume that all photo i took, i will go home and adjust the color and stuff. Wrong. That is call Photoshop. No longer a photography.

    Do take note that i am not trying to offend anyone but photography is a kind of art and Photoshop is also another kind of art. When in the olden days, most of the internet picture are actual and real. Now when you see a photo, 2 things in your mind. Is this real or Photoshop? Some people just do not believe my picture that i took is non Photoshop. Well to me i got nothing to loose. Kodus.

    Rich December 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm / Reply

    Great article and very informative! but as a beginner starting out in film an area which I would like to know more about is the processing. It’s great having the best of both worlds – taking photos on film, scanning, digital editing as well as sharing on Internet. However finding a good local photographic lab to process colour film seems harder to source, and once processed investing in scanning equipment can be expensive and off putting for beginners. Are there still plenty of labs out there, where do people get their film processed? and will tech companies still invest on producing film scanning equipment at an affordable price?

      Brandon Feinberg December 10, 2012 at 11:47 am /

      I dont know if you already develop B/W film but if you do, then you have everything you need to develop color negatives or cross process slide film. Just get a C-41 kit which is like $20 (US). $20 for developing about 15 rolls of 35mm film is much cheaper than the labs.

    Arthur Bueno December 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm / Reply

    There is indeed a community of photographers who have realized that film is the way to go. There is a community of photographers that realized that digital photography is also a good way to go. I cannot stress the fact that these two worlds are an important portion of our society. I shoot digital for personal projects. I shoot film for personal projects. I would like to shoot film more because I have something tangible rather than shooting for data. But this isn’t a rant that about what is better. Film is going to stay for sure. It will be hard to grab as most markets will not sell it as much, but there will be places that will provide that. You have to plan ahead getting film, buying the amount you need, and finding places to get them processed. That’s just the way it is. I don’t think film is going to have any problems staying the way it is. Film isn’t on a crisis right now… it’s just now going to the front seat of the car when it’s been sitting in the back for so many years.

    Hans December 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm / Reply

    Great article Bellamy.

    Here’s a little shout-out for all Dutch speaking, film photography users.
    Since a year there’s a Dutch only (sorry guys) Film Photography forum ( And in the last year we had a little more then 350 registrations, which shows that even in this small area (language wise) there is still interest in Film Photography. The age of the members on this forum ranges from 17 to 77. And we pride ourselves for the laid-back atmosphere and respect for each other. Even if you’re just a collector, but shoot only digital you’re welcome to join.

    One Film Photography community that I’m missing in your article, is the Film Photography Project ( The podcast these guys make (2x a month) is always fun to listen too. And if you’re interested in Polaroid / Imposible photography this is the place too be. but they also talk about anything from 110 to 8×10.

    Keep up the good work.

    Thomas J. Webb December 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm / Reply

    Half the companies on that Ace Film Manufacturers list aren’t in business anymore or aren’t making film anymore – Efke/Fotokemika and Forte went out of business. Mitsubishi stopped making film. I’m confused about Agfaphoto.

    Furthermore, they miss some companies that do exist and are making photographic film – Kentmere, another British company (although they might be linked to Ilford somehow.. not sure on that one), Orwo, who sells their photo films as Rolleifilm and Adox, who makes perhaps the highest resolution panchromatic film on the market (think large format res. with medium format or medium format res. with 35mm). Oh and of course, the Impossible Project.

    Ralph Hightower December 10, 2012 at 12:36 am / Reply


    Great article. Thanks for sharing the links; I knew about APUG and ChooseFilm. Film shooters are now in the minority. In the local camera club I am a member of, there is another member who shoots film with a Mamiya 645 and an RB67.

    I have definitely recovered my ROI on my Canon A-1. It’s over 30 years old, but it still works. I had the MA Motor Drive repaired this year; prior to the repair, it didn’t advance the film, but I like the ergonomics of the drive. I also had my Sunpak 522 repaired where it would work from DC; it works with the AC adapter.

    I want to get into medium format with a Mamiya 645 and an RZ67; the 645 for when I need telephoto distance. I’m also interested in getting into large format photography.

    I’m in the market for a DSLR, but it’s a nuclear arms race in the DSLR market with new models coming out and “planned obsolescence” in digital models.

    j.ibrahim December 10, 2012 at 1:18 am / Reply

    film is much alive in manila..

    also: don’t forget

    pretty much solid on film!

      Bellamy December 10, 2012 at 6:51 am /

      Thanks for sharing those links. I look forward to meeting you guys next time.

      j.ibrahim December 10, 2012 at 7:50 am /

      hi bellamy,

      i think you met some of my friends already.. i’m here in iran right now.. film are still common for iranians here. i’ve been to some shops in tehran. got my photographic supplies there. i met some iranians who still uses film and wanna try other photographic processes which is quite complicated to do here. well, atleast i’m very happy i knew film is still alive here somehow.. it feels like i’m still at home..

      thank you!

    Tracy Clayton December 10, 2012 at 1:23 am / Reply

    Great post. I will say JCH was one of the main reasons why I got back into film photography. My only regret, why I didn’t I start shooting film sooner?

    Thanks for the great resources, informative posts and inspiration.

    Doug McLachlan December 10, 2012 at 3:41 am / Reply

    Thanks for the great article Bellamy. I read recently that film still sold 20 million rolls last year (51 million if you include the 31 million rolls in single use cameras) according to PDN. I know this is a drop in the bucket compared to the 800 million rolls sold at the height of the market in 1993, but I think we will see a resurgence in film sales much like your analogy to vinyl records. I think it’s a good analogy.

    Like film, vinyl was largely replaced by a digital technology (compact discs) that was certainly more convenient and less expensive to manufacture. In 1993, the same year that film sales set an all-time-high, vinyl sales hit an all time low of just 300,000 units worldwide. Fast forward to 2011 where worldwide vinyl sales were 3.9 million units with 2012 sales projected at over 4.5 million units. And of course unlike film there is a thriving market for used LP’s. There are arguments on both sides over whether analog or digital music sounds better, but there is agreement that they are different. LP’s are generally considered by enthusiasts to produce warmer tones and better range. Digital audio proponents claim a cleaner sound. Many vinyl enthusiasts also place a high value on the “experience” of vinyl, selecting an album, viewing the album art, carefully placing the record on the turntable and listening from start to end.

    I also agree that film today is different, but a difference still that has value to many. I’m encouraged by my young daughters (one of whom at 5 years old saw me playing with a film camera and asked “daddy where’s the screen?”) Her curiousity encouraged me to purchase a brick of Tri-X, a paterson tank and some D-76. We’ve been shooting a couple of rolls in a point and shoot and a rangefinder, and I have been explaining about film and developing to them. Over the upcoming holiday season we are going to take an afternoon or two and develop some film together. In an age where much of what kids experience is instant and “on-demand” there is a certain mystery and excitement in having to wait for the results of film. Once the film is developed we will bypass the traditional darkroom (at least for now) scan the negatives on a $150 Epson scanner and make some inkjet prints.

    I consider myself lucky to have grown up with film, learning to shoot and process 35mm, 120 and even sheet film in school long before I ever experienced digital. It gave me a fundamental understanding of photography that I think is much harder to gain in this auto-everything age. It’s a shame that most schools skip film almost completely now in their photography programs, relegating it to an optional course.

    George Hanes December 10, 2012 at 5:26 am / Reply

    The terrible thing is that film produces an image that is not subject to the disappearance of a technology. In digital, unless a print is output, the Image is subject to a technology that may, in the long term disappear. The same can be said of books versus e-books or documents stored only digitally. Could you read an 8 inch floppy disk today? Admittedly this example is a stretch. In the long term is it?

    Reiner December 10, 2012 at 6:21 am / Reply

    So true, retailers are the ones who make millions and millions €/$/£ selling everyone a couple of digicams each 2 years. Why on earth would they be interested in film? But they guessed it wrong I believe. Many photogs are getting tired of the same old soup in another bowl. Film stands for creativity and audacity. Dare to push that button without knowing the results instantly!

    Casey December 10, 2012 at 6:31 am / Reply

    Thanks for that… how about the “filmwasters” site

      michelle December 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm /

      A great site thanks for the reminder. I registered there years ago and all but forgot about it.

    3rdstringjedi December 10, 2012 at 7:55 am / Reply

    The economics of film will continue to make it a smaller and smaller industry. It is a niche market. The die hard users will stick with its long as someone can still profitably produce it. Heck, people are still shooting tin types and coating sheets of glass with home-made emulsions.

    I’ve been shooting and developing film for decades. If you think film use is some indication of creative superiority, you’re delusional. It’s just another process with its own process and quirks.

    Hub December 10, 2012 at 8:19 am / Reply

    As for Polaroid kicking themselves, well, the Polaroid from back then is dead, so they can’t really.

    The current Polaroid owns the brand – nothing else is left. They even started selling Polaroid 300 which is Instax rebadged – that same Instax that Fuji licensed from Polaroid back then and that uses more or less Kodak developments.

    Charlene December 10, 2012 at 10:06 am / Reply

    Great article thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading passionate pieces about film!

    I have been using film since I was a child I started with 110 kodak film, my first job at 17 was working in a mini lab. During my late teens & early twenties I stopped taking pictures & by the time I was ready to get back into photography I too believed that film had died (or was near on impossible to get hold of) but I plugged away & slowly but surely started coming across websites including some you have mentioned. Once I knew that film was still alive (just) my mind was made up, I had bought digital cameras in the past but they did not hold the same appeal to me as the process of shooting film , from buying to loading, shooting to processing & finally the best part – printing, seeing your images come to life in the trays is something I know I will never get sick off – it’s love ;-)

    Back in August I bought of Pentax 110 & have been trying to source black & white film for it since, the only produces of this type of film are Lomography & they have been sold out for months, just got my hands on some in the last couple of weeks. I agree that they didn’t single handily save film but they most definitely did their bit & bought distorted images to a generation who have only ever known the super sharp so called perfection of the digital photoshop age! & they loved it!

    You made some interesting points on what kodak are holding. IF they keep hold of their film division they will need to learn how to respect their roots. Kodak bought film to the people at a time when photography was only for the rich (a bit like digital now with its constant upgrades) if they could get back to why they ARE kodak then maybe things will turn around for them & us. Kodak gold is selling for really cheap these days & the colours are still fantastic I recently pushed a roll of 200 to 800 – sure why not when they are selling for only £2.30. The results surprised me, I will be posting them up (once I have scanned them) onto my facebook page, if any body is interested in seeing the results?

    Here you will also find links to articles, how too’s, darkrooms( from New Zealand to Brooklyn via Bristol), photography, courses in alternative processes, competitions & anything else film related!

    Film is most definitely not dead – its fighting back – the community is very much alive & kicking!

    Christian Nagasawa December 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm / Reply

    I enjoy both digital and film, but there is just something about the whole process of shooting film. I’m pretty new to this, but I immediately started to enjoy it the day I bought my lovely M6. Shooting digitial is practical, yes, but the whole process ends too quickly and is a little bit too easy imho. With film I have to plan my pictures beforehand (“should I go for a roll of ISO100 film or a roll of ISO400? Should I go for b&w or color?”), and I have to work around whatever limtiations the certain filmroll gives me. I also have to wait patiently for the film to develop.
    All this makes photography a long process, which makes me cherish my pictures more. With digital all of this is lost in a matter of two clicks on the mouse and a burp. I would probably use digital for studio work, but for everything else I will stick to film.

    Vincent Montibus December 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm / Reply

    Great article Bellamy (as usual).

    I would like also to mention a small (for now) and new initiative from some french films enthusiasts called : Dans ta cuve ( which means “in your tank”. There main goal is to promote film photography by several means : technical articles, reviews, interviews, meetings, lab introduction, photo walk, and so on… I really recommend this blog for all the french readers of JCH !

    Sam December 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm / Reply

    Film won’t die as long as there’s a market for it, whether it be small or large. It believe that film will get harder to get hold of with only specialists etc still manufacturing film. It will get more expensive, but the die hard film photographers will keep paying, just like others putting fuel in the car even though the fuel prices are rising.

    I don’t want to see film due, this is why we need more companies like the ‘Impossible Project’. With Kodak now on the ropes, snap up every bit of Porta 400 etc as you can afford. It may not be around for a while.

    Long live film!

    Guillermo December 10, 2012 at 11:51 pm / Reply

    Great to see the groundswell on this topic. A couple of points that come to mind.
    Film lovers need sot stop talking about saving film, and start talking about why they shoot film. It seems like the banner of “film is dead” is everywhere, keep on talking about it and more and more people will be scared away from investing themselves into film. Instead talk about the benefits of using film, the results, the experience, the fact that it is a great way to learn about photography. Talk about the attributes of film that are important to the young folk that need to get into the market, the genuine aspect of film, the authenticity of film. And yes talk about the appeal of the great old equipment that is out there to be had for a song. Film cameras are great, they are cheap! Developing film is also not really inconvenient. Drop your exposed roll at the local Walmart, Costco, or camera store and for many types of film the development should only take a couple of hours. Developing black and white at home is a snap for those that are committed. Talk about the positives of film and people will be attracted to use it and try it. Talking about the death of film is not only unnecessary (film isn’t going to die), but it also scares people away.

    Second point is about the industry. The current industry was set to provide for very large demands that are simply no longer there. Hollywood being the largest single customer and as well the diminishing consumer market. Large corporations rarely adapt themselves into niche markets. Kodak and Fuji already are in this transition. The only thing that will survive from them is their emulsions patents turned into the hands of the next generation of operators that will find ways to turn a profit. Film may end up being a little more expensive and there will be less variety at the beginning (already happened), however film will still be out there if there is demand, and with growing demand the magic happens.

    Last point is about innovation. At some point there just need to be more of it and we need to support it. Film dedicated scanners are great and a big part of the future. I sincerely hope that someone figures out a developing machine that one can just use at home with ease.

    Film is great for photography and it is a great way to experience all of photography, including digital.

    Jim Clinefelter December 11, 2012 at 12:30 am / Reply

    Thank you for posting this article, Bellamy.
    At Pro Photo Supply here in Portland, we routinely sell late-model Nikon F100s and F5s in nearly new condition for between $150 and $250. I recently marked an N70 down to $9.95, an N80 to all of $30. So, if you keep your eyes open and want a very recent 35mm camera, there are deals to be had. If you’re in Tokyo, check out Alps-Do Camera, in Shinjuku, as they often have a box of SLR bodies for cheap.
    So, does there really need to be any new film cameras made? With all of the used gear that is to be found, I don’t think so. By the way, film on this side of The Pond sells very well, ditto paper and chemistry.

    Jukka Watanen December 11, 2012 at 1:24 am / Reply

    Well, I didn`t read all the threads. I just want to straighten out a few points:
    Leica: they still”support” and have parts for M6 and also M3 only finder for M3 is not available. I just had a M4 factory new finder fitted to a M3 DS (1954 model) Leica still produces M7 and MP . Besides Mr Kaufmann is a film shooter with his M6 and a true afficionado!
    Film manufacturers: Kodak and Fuji seem to be withdawing but European Ilford/harmann/ kentmere are strongly committed to film. I am using myself Rollei RPX-400 and RPX-100 emulsions that are european products. I am not afraid of “Film vanishing”

    Trevor Saylor December 11, 2012 at 6:51 am / Reply

    There are good points made in the initial post, and in the message sent to you that you added to the post. The fact that film cameras are no longer sold does have an impact on film sales. I’d agree on that point. But the decline of film is just part of a larger process of the evolution of capitalism over the past decades. It really has very little, if anything, to do with film.

    Another poster made the analogy of LPs to film, and I think that could be deemed fairly accurate. Cassettes, and later CDs, supposedly killed vinyl decades ago, and yet–vinyl is still made and sold as the end of CDs approaches, and cassettes have not been made for well over a decade. Film isn’t dead–though companies might like to see it go. Kodak was mismanaged and is a shambles of its former self now, admittedly, but the reason film started to disappear is a combination of the digital age (which threw a great many business models on their heads) and companies that wanted to control the photography business from start to finish, and increase profits. Digital cameras are higher profit, and the constantly changing technology means cameras are “obsolete” far quicker, thereby necessitating their replacement. Complicated electronics also cannot be fixed anymore, meaning it is simply thrown on the landfill and its replacement bought not on the used market, where companies see no profit, but from the manufacturer, who sees continued profits indefinitely. Planned obsolescence, which took off with the auto manufacturers and others over the past half-century, is part of photography as well. Though you might enjoy having an M3 that lasts you a lifetime, Leica would rather you buy and M8, which breaks, is thrown away, and replaced by an M9, which then breaks, is replaced, and you buy the next digital offering.

    Companies don’t make money by making quality products: they make money by making attractive products, marketing them shrewdly, and then letting them break before reeling you in for a replacement. It really isn’t some existential issue. The digital age has made film a niche product, but one that will likely exist far longer than any of us will live…so stop worrying, and go shoot film.

    Luke Satoru December 11, 2012 at 11:27 am / Reply

    @ Trevor Saylor: Well said

    @JCH: Another vote of thanks to Bellamy for the wonderful site, articles and service. Since having returned to shooting film, JCH has become a resource I go to daily. I’m doing my best to enjoy what is available today and just shoot. Thanks to Bellamy I’ve got some wonderful lenses for my M4/M2 and Pentax 67.

    Landrew December 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm / Reply

    Is that a 120 prototype case I see above?×1024.jpg

      Bellamy December 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm /

      Haha, yes it is.

      Jeff Wieser December 12, 2012 at 9:53 am /

      I was holding out for the 120 case but just decided to order a couple of the 135 cases over the weekend. Can’t wait to get my bag a bit more organized!

      Good article and good comments. I’m just glad I have the option to shoot as much film as I want. 42 rolls and counting through my Leica M3 since I purchased it 6 months ago. Viva Film!

    Steven Clark December 12, 2012 at 11:14 am / Reply

    I think another point is to consider that film used to be a mass market product sold without an alternative, whereas today a consumer can easily buy, understand and afford digital cameras for everyday shooting and sharing. So I think comparing old statistics to new is really apples to oranges and implies an expectation that Kodak would survive if only people realised “film was better”. It is better, in my view, but not in the practicalities of the current market. The mass market isn’t going to return to film either, they’re happy with digital for what it does & knowing it’s trade-offs. A product only needs to be good enough. That being said, a strong niche can be serviced around film but with much much lower expectation of size + profit – Kodak was a behemoth of that old-world film paradigm. The new paradigm runs with smaller, leaner and more flexible outfits like Lomography… so the number I would be looking for in film as a first impression would be size of the overall profit pool – ie. How much money is in film – new and second hand – including people who fix cameras to film lab processors, chemical suppliers etc? The real risk to specific products like 120 film is that I believe only 1 manufacturer is making the paper. If they go bust, no more 120 roll film. Everything is made of components, worth keeping in mind. Cameras and film. Can component manufacturers survive? Are their prices going to rise as their market shrinks? How is their cash flow?

    Also, note that the smaller the market the more we, film photographers, are going to have to be prepared to pay for things. New tech is expensive then gets cheap as mass marketed and then expensive again as the market shrinks… eventually those who are only prepared to pay a few bucks for a camera, who only value their film shooting a certain amount, will undercut the production of any viable new film camera market. It’s expensive to design and make new cameras. The price reflects that R&D. Perhaps the Leica, in today’s market, is value. But note that a viable film sales industry informs the film camera production industry & vice versa. Don’t want to buy new cameras then who would logically make and sell them to us? Currently, nearly everybody I run into involving film seems to be chasing price, a short term objective at best.

    I’m not sold that film is at an end, or ever will end. The market will stabilise around a viable niche with a limited profit pool off which a smaller number of “better serving” products will come to partake of a competitive share. And if that pool dried up we would make our own emulsions… chemicals are just chemicals… and shoot large format. If you are a photographer then you’ll make photographs, like painters paint.

    I don’t have any answers beyond that other than to suggest that the profit pool is a good place to focus. Who is in it (including all those component makers) and their ongoing viability. And to suggest survival of “new film cameras” will require us to reconsider the value of buying that new Leica (a side effect of which is the camera is probably a once-in-a-life purchase because it’s made so well… sigh). There is a future for film… just not a Kodak behemoth mass market one.

    argent December 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm / Reply

    An italian film photography forum.

    jonas December 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm / Reply

    I like this quote from ILFORD:
    “This would go against our stated market position where NO ILFORD Photo product in relation to our monochrome ranges will be withdrawn.”

    Marie December 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm / Reply

    Thank you Bellamy, for bringing this up!
    I run a blog called Shimmering Grains, and yes, it is about my addiction to film photography! I have had lots and lots of positive response to this, and I think it is just companies like Fuji and Kodak that don’t see the potential here.
    I am also an big fan of Lomography, they are doing a great job with their community and shop. There is lots of young people who loves film, even though they are brought up with digital.
    I have used digital for a couple of years, but I was never really happy with it, so I sold my gear and returned to film. Happy Days! :-)
    I chose to see film as my artistic expression, and I hope that film never goes away.
    There is definitely place for both film and digital, but in different ways.

    Thanks again for bringing this up!

    Kind regards

    Demetri December 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm / Reply

    Well said B, great article. You cant forget Film Is Not Dead workshop by Jonathan Canlas. Jon is amazing and his knowledge and love for film is unmatched.

    Ono December 24, 2012 at 2:37 am / Reply

    Long live film!!

    LaChou January 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm / Reply

    So, let me draw a “bottom line”.
    1. A patient was taken to a hospital with pains in his chest and thoroughly examined.
    2. The lung cancer of IV-the stage was discovered.
    3. The parient was encouraged to undergo some chemical treatment, but in the same time he was told the truth about the possible outcome.
    4. Meanwhile, condition of the patient was getting worse very fast so the idea of chemical treatment was abandoned and the patient was administered morphine instead.
    5. The patient was sent to his home town to die. The prescription to give him morphine regularly was redirected to his home town clinic.
    6. After a month or so, the patient died, supported only by his closest relatives.

    “Film is dead, it’s just there is nobody there who’d pay for the funeral”

    LaChou January 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm / Reply

    The more blogs I read, the more scared I get. Internet is a horrible Reality Killing Machine. You guys just imagine people going to work at some distant place (Russia? Croatia? ) on a cold and rainy winter morning. To the factory, which products are no longer needed because all of us will finally shose to be “on the safe side with iPhone in our pocket and everything else produced by Chinese kids on us”. With no reliable future to even think about. With prospects to lose their jobs tomorrow.
    Of course, film is not dead today. But I see no future for it.

    Michael January 14, 2013 at 7:08 am / Reply

    Small and medium format film will likely survive as a medium for artists, just as larger formats have survived despite having been abandoned by 100% of professional shooters. Just 10 years ago I was using a studio pro with a Sinar 4×5 to get product shots made for publication. That is now completely over, replaced by DSLRs and Photoshop, and it’s never coming back, period. With the transition away from the typical four-color brochure to web pages, stuff I used to hire out I can now do personally in my dining room with completely acceptable results. To 99% of people, this is called progress.

    In truth, ALL mass market applications for film are over. Unlike LP records, there is no combination of aesthetic preference and huge, resellable “installed base” that can take film back to hundreds of millions of rolls sold in a year. Photography enthusiasts like myself (I shoot both 35 and 120 in addition to digital, 35 because I love the cameras and 120 because Velvia 50 in 120 knocks people out when compared to even the very best DSLR output) often fail to recognize how much casual camera users (who are 90%+ of the total photo market) HATED film and film infrastructure. They hated having to buy film, they hated having to get it processed and most of all, they hated a lot of the results they got from the whole film system. Non-enthusists will NEVER consider going back to film. They get better, faster and far cheaper results from their iPhones and P&S digital cameras than they ever got from film; they also get incalculably better access to and utilization of their pictures. With the primary medium for viewing personal photos now shifted from 4×6 prints in an album to instantly accessible online photo sharing through more channels than you can count, the casual camera user is living in a true golden age right now.

    So yeah, film isn’t dead but its fundamental economic life support system is gone and not coming back. So if you want to be a film artist, be prepared to pay for the experience in a way you’ve never paid before. I sure am.

    LaChou January 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm / Reply

    What Michael said is 100% true. There were not ONLY film enthusiasts, who made film sales for manufacturers, and they did hated the process.
    I have only one question itching me: what will become of all those Hasselblads and Mamyas RB and RZ, Bronicas and the similar “working horses” which exist in abundance on the market? What about F100 and F5? EOS-3, EOS-1v? I’ve seen lately a EOS-50 selling itself for 17.50 pounds on Ebay and being shipped if sold for 12.50 pounds. There is more working film gear on the market we could find a use for. I know of a powerseller at the biggest Russian auction, who has been trying to sell the RTS-III for $300 for 1 year and without success. It’s a pity I am so ruined now that I can’t afford it, but it wouldn’t it be VERY ironical situation if one day I will be able to afford it while staying ruined?

    Michael January 16, 2013 at 3:22 pm / Reply

    >It’s a pity I am so ruined now that I can’t afford it, but it wouldn’t it be VERY ironical situation if one day I will be able to afford it while staying ruined?

    With prices where they are now, it takes superhuman will not to just go and buy every film camera I ever had the slightest interest in during the past 35 years. This is a daily struggle. ;-)

    LaChou January 16, 2013 at 4:31 pm / Reply

    I started a tread just to tease some “film trolls”* at Just for the fun of it. You might be interested to see how it goes. Here’s the link. I know, I know it’s a childish behaviour…

    *I call a “film troll” a person who shoots 2-3 boxes per year and gets them developed at the local supermarket. No darkroom, no slides, no printing, nothing to show, just a “regular film supporter”.

    LaChou January 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm / Reply

    Ups, following this logic I am worse than “film troll” now. But I swear, I was just the oposite no later than 2009.

    Larry Baccay January 25, 2013 at 6:41 am / Reply

    This is definitely a good read. as I’m planning to switch from digital to film :-) thanks jch!

    john dowle February 12, 2013 at 1:51 am / Reply

    I hope film does survive and I am quietly confident that it will, virtually everytime I go out shooting with my mf film cameras I bump into at least 2-5 people who are also shooting film, usually 120 and 35mm, I have also seen a couple of large format shooters on my travels. Just a few years ago I never met any other film shooters, it would be a real shame if film did vanish altogether as it is a different experience for me shooting film compared to digital, now digital bores me I’m afraid, not quite sure why but it just doesn’t excite anymore.

    Steve Kandlik February 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm / Reply

    Enjoyed the post. Plenty of great information here. Added fuel to my belief that there is enough interest in film to maintain a viable market well into the future. Optimistically with no further loss of Fuji, Kodak, or other emulsions. is yet another film-centric site that has emerged. Thanks.

    Michael Ward February 28, 2013 at 10:45 am / Reply

    HI Bellamy,
    A wonderfully written article.
    A see film as an artist would view his palette and choice of media oil or gouache pencil or charcoal, Can I do this with that or the other. I nearly always carry a Vivitar Ultrawide with me its tiny and so light I keep it in a case that is heavier just so I don’t loose it! Film is now a choice not the only alternative. And like one of your other commentators mentioned the cameras are now so cheap that one can buy the very best of what was once unaffordable. That said, I think I will be waiting quite some time to get the Rollei wide I wanted as a lad !
    I always enjoy your site

    William Kazak March 16, 2013 at 4:42 am / Reply

    I have been reading all of these posts with great interest. I brought a camera to gradeschool in the 50’s. I shot models in the studio in the 80’s. I have shot 1,500 weddings. Currently, I don’t know what is wrong with me. I have two nice Nikon digital cameras and I know how to use them. I have one Nikon film body and I recently ran three B&W rolls thru it. I have yet to develop them. Is it nostalga? A longing for the past? An unwillingness to give up years of attainment and mastery of the B&W processes? Or, is it an unwillingness to let that Apo Rodagon enlarger lens just sit there unused for so many years? I don’t know. Maybe all of the above. I do know this. There is no compelling reason for me to shoot film. However, I don’t think B&W can be duplicated by digital. Maybe I should make more teasts because the programs are getting better. Out at the beach, film can melt in the camera. No external meter is required with digital. In the studio, digital offers that immediate preview of the lighting. No flash meter required. I can see why film is dying from a users perspective. Dangerous, poisonous chemicals are another problem. Everyone has a computer, so digital cameras work very well for the masses with computers. Why are dedicated film scanners dying is a good question.

    Frank Liu March 18, 2013 at 11:38 am / Reply

    Watching the Polaroid Slide Processor gave me an idea on simpler home film developing. It might even be able to do a film scanning on the same machine! But I don’t know if this is the right direction as it takes over the duty of professional film development.
    As for new film cameras, I think the medium format still has possibility as the digitization of that format is still not user friendly price wise. For interchangeable lens format, the P6 mount might be a good place to start yet I don’t know who owns the right to use that mount now. That mount can probably even be upgraded with camera body aperture reading, and a possible upgrade to AF (something like the development of F mount by Nikon). Making a medium format with electronic shutter, TTL metering built-in will be very interesting… (things I wish my Kiev 88CM has basically)

      Frank Liu March 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm /

      O I think its about time to make another classic Instant Camera like the SX-70 too

    Tom Tureman July 25, 2013 at 9:04 am / Reply

    I enjoyed you wonderful article on film. Later comment mentioned that the majors are no longer producing film bodies such as canon, nikon etc. I was just looking at the Nikon site. Today they still produce two film bodies, the F10 and the FM6 if I am correct. They are sold at BH. However, I would agree that relying solely on ancient cameras will eventually kill the medium.

    Tom August 15, 2013 at 12:30 am / Reply

    Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, excellent blog!

    Raymond Masse August 20, 2013 at 11:17 pm / Reply

    When it comes time to photograph for long exposures with a great depth of field, sensors are crap. Close down the lense above F11, diffraction comes an issue. No problems with film. F22 ,F32 ? No problemo. Dim light ? Great ! Reciprocity failure of film is a friend ! Noise ? Not an issue with film ; cannot say the same with sensors.

    Too often, other supposed to be photographers get in the discussions of latest toys on the market . Meet them two years later, and their top of the line equipment is already obsolete. Film is expensive ? Hey guys, since you started to photograph with digital equipment, how much money have you drained just to keep up ? Do your maths.

    wilhelm January 12, 2014 at 2:57 pm / Reply

    film is best . last longer. I haw film ( glass plates ) der is over 100 years old.
    I lost images there vas 13 month .stored on KODAK pro disks.
    I am a slow photographer, take my time,

    can see the image I wont , then I take the image.

    Wilhelm AUSTRALIA

    John Lockwood January 28, 2014 at 12:40 pm / Reply

    Fine discussion that ignores a major point WORKFLOW.

    If people could get film developed and scanned quickly, for a reasonably price, they might really enjoy the process of photography. And become better photographers.

    Instead, countless dollars are diverted to software, computers and upgrading their camera every two years. All in the effort to process pixels with the latest action set.

    Maybe there is a business model for Kodak to resurrect? Remember when they processed film? Or when Fujifilm invented the tremendous Frontier system? Ilford has done just this recently in California with Ilford Direct.

    How about someone opening a cool photolab where hipsters could hang out, sip lattes and wait for their one hour prints?

    Mikael January 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm / Reply

    For me its the darkroom that makes using film superior. I used to scan negatives but the way the image evolves in the darkroom is amazing. I can make better prints in my small bathroom with 1950’s gear than I ever made with my Nikon CS4000 + Epson R3000, in less time and a consistent look. Luckily darkroom materials are available and Ilford even introduced new papers late last year.

    For all film lovers I recommend trying out darkroom processing, its much faster and easier than you might expect! Let’s support the darkroom equipment, chemical and paper manufacturers too! Follow my darkroom work at .

    Michael Singleton January 29, 2014 at 5:37 am / Reply

    Around 5 minutes into reading this article I pressed shuffle on my iPod and ‘This is the end’ by The Doors was the first song to play, just a coincidence? I hope so.

    Anyway great article, I don’t know what the future brings for film photography, but we can sustain it as a community


    Bryan April 16, 2014 at 9:58 am / Reply

    Kai April 16, 2014 at 10:52 pm / Reply

    Hi there!
    Half a year ago, I switched back to film completely – again. After some years taking photos mostly digital, I was so tired of all those digital problems: inconsistent colours, ugly skin tones and the lack of beautful film grain. And most of all: I missed ‘something’, which simply could not be substituted through pixels.

    The last six months I shot around 45 rolls of 35mm film, mostly Kodak Gold 200, and i feels like… coming back home after a way too long and unacomplishing journey.
    Prints go directly to grandmas and the fridge door, and they just look so incredibly ‘right’ to me: Far away from that digital sterility, un-over-postpro’d, lacking beautifully crappy-digital-sharpness-and-contrast… EXACTLY WHAT LIVE IS.

    Industry sell to us, what brings them most cash.
    Sadly, and oviously, this will be digital cameras.

    I hope that a lot more people will find their way ‘back’ to what is so more pleasing to real live than everytime-, everywhere-foobook-shareable digital snapshots, so Industry can’t ignore them.


      Kai April 16, 2014 at 11:00 pm /

      I might add the fact, that last week ALL my digital gear went off to a camera store for a trade-in.

    Don Craig April 29, 2014 at 6:05 am / Reply

    What a great thread, it has been both educational and inspirational. I’m a geezer, I got my hands on my first POS toy 35mm at the age of 10 around 1952. Took my first shot, got a processed print, and was hooked. My father, a “serious” amateur photographer, realized I was serious and he taught me everything he knew (50’s remember, not many resources). He coached me on his Retina IIa and Rolleiflex, eventually let me borrow them for trips, eventually gave them to me. Wish I still had them.
    Skip to the 60’s, got a Minolta SR-1. A solid tank, took a lot of good pictures, I still like it. Acquired a couple more lenses. 1980’s, got an X-700 and another lens. Building my own low budget system. Around 2000, I bought an XE-7 off ebay, cheap, mostly because I wanted the wide angle lens. Body works great, now three bodies and 7 lenses. Whoop!
    Let me pause to talk about darkroom work. When I was a kid, I used to go with my Dad to a local hobby center that had a darkroom. I was fascinated, the smell of developer got in my blood. When I got the SR-1, my wife and I lived in a house with a finished basement. I built a darkroom and started to try to make prints. I was a total failure. It was time consuming and frustrating. I had an epiphany: I didn’t want to make pictures, I wanted to take pictures. But I’m glad I went through that experience.
    In 2002, bought my first digital, a Casio Exilim EX-S2 “Wearable Card Camera”. 2 megapixels. I carried it everywhere, stashed my heavy SLR and lenses in their bags and never looked back. I took some good pictures with that little camera. Eventually donated it to the local animal shelter thrift shop. But first got a Canon PowerShot with flip screen, did a lot of flower photography. Then another pocket Canon, still have both of those. I do a local online newsletter, they are invaluable for that. I actually made a couple of inkjet prints and sold them at a show.
    Recently I was talking to my digital photo buddy, he’s my age, about the good old days of shooting film…he started much like I did…mentioned my old cameras, he wanted to see them.
    I dusted the bags, got the cameras out and felt like crying. They were beautiful. 12 years sitting in the dark. Put batteries in the X-700 and XE-7 and they fired right up. The Gossen light meter still worked. Three unused rolls of film in the bag, two Fuji Superia Xtra 400 and a Seattle Film Works 400, 12 years old. They will get used.
    So, some online research and I discovered this site. Happy days are here again! My local Walmart sells Fuji Superia, yesterday bought a 4-pack of 400 and another of 200. They have 800. Out the door, about $3 a roll. Inflation adjusted, cheaper than what I was paying 12 years ago.
    I’ve read all the pros and cons of film economics above, very good information, better minds know.
    I shot film for 50 years, some good stuff, got some good cameras, none of the high end names. After a 12 year hiatus to digital, I’m coming back to film. Digital will continue to fill an online production need for me, film will feed my soul.

    Tucker September 3, 2014 at 12:01 am / Reply

    I have to say, this makes me feel better. Much better, although I’m still worried about film. I’m a glass is half empty kind of dude! I have been shooting film since I was 8 in 1981 and will continue to. I will get a DSLR and learn how to photoshop when jobs start coming in, but I almost don’t consider that photography. Like someone else said, the digital process should be called something else. “Image computing,” “Photoshopping” “Binary capturing and processing.”

    About a year ago, when it took me an entire day to find someone in the country to make me an analog print I was flabbergasted. A place in New York City…that was it. Giclee are great, but really? People are just dropping traditional photographic process completely.

    I hope film photography and motion pictures resurge under the model of vinyl and alternative rock. When Poison and Warrant were driving everyone nuts, Nirvana came around. When over compressed MP3s hurt our ears, vinyl became relatively big again. Anywhoo, nothing new said in my post, but the guy that got his cameras out and got teary-eyed. That is just priceless. And the guy developing with his daughters. Awesome!

    Paul September 25, 2014 at 6:30 am / Reply

    I absolutely needed to write my own re-introduction to film after reading this article with all the updates and comments. Like others in this thread I began shooting film at first then switched to digital when it got more appealing and cost efficient.

    Early summer 2014 I stumbled upon Lomography and the Diana F+ they sell. I was shooting exclusively in digital at the time while not knowing the last time I even shot a roll of film – it had to be several years. I ended up buying one of those toy cameras a few days afterwords. Those ‘dreamy’ and high-contrast cross-process shots definitely allured me! Without a doubt I rediscovered (film) photography thanks to that little plastic camera!

    Since then I’ve gone crazy with film. I unboxed my beautiful Canon Canonet GIII rangefinder I bought years ago and purchased an original Lomo LC-A just this summer. After several rolls of 35mm and 120 shot and processed I couldn’t be happier. Like other people here, I found out that digital photography just wasn’t providing me what I loved about photography anymore. It took a random website and several years shooting digital to help me discover this. I have not looked back at digital since. It absolutely bores me now. I rarely shoot with my DSLR now. When I do the immediate feedback on that LCD screen no longer excites me – not even while shooting RAW.

    I can write many paragraphs here about the joys in shooting film rather than digital. I would, but its difficult to put such thoughts into words for a small web posting. But what I will say is that the tangible, organic qualities of film coupled with the build quality of classic cameras definitely made me forget digital.

    I still love shooting with my Diana F+. I wouldn’t be here writing this post if it wasn’t for that plastic camera. In the meantime I’m saving for my dream camera – a Pentax 67, a medium format monster!

    Thanks to the internet, film photography is now being rediscovered. Digital served its purpose for several years. Now its time for us to begin making art again – let’s leave the instant digiphotos to the people who think they’re photographers.

    Thanks to places like film and the cameras that shoot film will live on.
    Stop worrying and shoot film. Its not going anywhere.

    Mohamed Fahmy Hussein February 28, 2015 at 12:54 am / Reply

    I do not know anymore where to buy and to process analog films for my SLR camera. My Minolta X-700 is still working great after 30 years of use and shooting 100,000 pics. However, I have no way to find cellulose films or shops for processing/print acetate films. Very sad that the digital industry has destroyed the analog films shooting hobby, seems for no possible recovery, yet. Has anyone an idea where to make what we always made?

    Andrew Chuah December 27, 2016 at 10:11 am / Reply

    Great article. Prices of film must go down, also processing charges. Keep posting regards Andrew

    jamie January 16, 2017 at 4:23 am / Reply

    Love this article and thank you for all of the wonderful resources you shared! I started shooting film two years ago now and it was definitely what was “missing” with my photography journey. The process feels somehow healing– it is methodical and just a more artistic en devour than digital, in my opinion. The wedding world is exploding with film photographers and it is amazing! :)

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