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35mm will they stop processing it soon?

Steeve Blain , May 09, 2010; 07:17 p.m.

I just started shouting film and love it, I especialy like the fact that I find 35mm print film on sale at $1 or less per roll. I buy dozens each time I see them on sale.
many place like walmart or maxi will process them at a resonable price, however some places charge 3-4 times as much for the same service, this make me wonder if procesing prices will sky roket until it simply dont make sens to shout film anymore?
also are the film days near doom?
whats your opinions on this.

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Les Sarile , May 09, 2010; 07:38 p.m.

If I had a dollar for every time someone posted film's demise . . .
I say shoot 'em if you got 'em.

Larry Dressler , May 09, 2010; 07:42 p.m.

Time to close this one.

Dave S , May 09, 2010; 07:46 p.m.

This question has been asked as long as I've been here. In 2003, there was a guy named Jay on the Leica forum, who confidently predicted there would be no more 120 film in five years. Well, it's been seven years now, and I'm still shooting 120 film, but the selection of film and processing in my city isn't as good as it was, so now I use mail order for both.

Nobody knows, but I think you will find the same thing happens with 35mm. In a few years, you may not get your C41 (color neg) processing at Walmart, but you'll be fine sending it off to North Coast or Dwayne's. If you use black and white, you'll have no problem getting materials for developing and printing for decades to come, but you might have to mail-order them.

And no, the film days are not near doom. Film is still used by a lot of high-end amateurs and professionals for their personal and creative work, so there's a market, but it's much smaller than it was 15 years ago.

Andy L , May 09, 2010; 07:47 p.m.

I think it's not going to disappear. It's declined but sort of leveled out. It seems like I'm seeing more film shooting going on now than a couple years ago.

Cheap processing and expensive processing have always coexisted. $3-4 isn't really expensive, it's medium. Expensive is $10-20 and gets you pro service. Cheap is $1-2 and gets you service that might be good or might not - the machine may not have been calibrated recently, the chemicals might not have been changed recently, colors might not come out great or you might get scratches or fingerprints. $4 at a local shop usually gets you better service than a chain drugstore, with employees who know what they're doing.

Dan Goldman , May 09, 2010; 08:09 p.m.

i think the issue will come when the infrastructure starts taking a hit. there are a lot of things that make film work. camera repair could become a thing of the past, and my FD equipment isnt getting any younger. but, i'll worry about it when i have to worry about it. for now, i'll just grumble over 13 f%^n dollars for slide film that came back with a perfectly straight line 4mm from the top of each frame.

Ron Andrews , May 09, 2010; 09:58 p.m.

35mm film will be the last format standing. Hollywood still loves film. That will keep the infrastructure for producing 35mm still film going for many years to come.

Dan Lovell - Orange County, California , May 09, 2010; 10:06 p.m.

Les and Larry, why so rude to the poster? This question deserves to be asked again and again because the answer can change as time changes. So the answers provide X years ago are far less accurate then those of today.

I was told by a big-wig at Walmart three weeks ago that new stores and stores that are to be renovated will not provide film development. Many other chains are dropping film development.

Now having wrote that, this is not to say that film is going away. I think this is indicative of the fact that convenient film processing is the thing that is going away.

The bigger worry is not so much when film is going way, but rather at what cost will film and processing shoot up to. As less and less of the general public shoo film there will be less of a demand for processing in every drug store, Walmart, Target, Sears, etc, etc, and that will force costs up.

I think 120 will be available 10 years from now but it will cost you a lot of money. 35mm will be with us even longer.

Really, the number one reason to shoot film over digital is the wider dynamic range that film provides over digital, and I think what will really damage film usage is when digital finally matches and exceeds film for DR, and when that happens I would not want to be carrying any stock in any film companies.

Of course there is the film look that strongly seduces us all, and perhaps that will keep us paying $20 a roll in 15 years for the stuff.

Les Sarile , May 09, 2010; 10:41 p.m.

To be sure, there is nothing to worry about because worrying about it doesn't change anything - doing something about it does. And I say shoot 'em if you got 'em.

C O , May 09, 2010; 10:51 p.m.

I am shooting more film then ever. I recently purchased a medium format camera. I was worried about the costs. I send out through walmart and develop and 10 proofs cost me $1.44. The proofs look fine and the negatives are clean and have not been scratched. E6 ran me around $6.00.
$1.44, I thought it was a mistake. I feel free to shoot almost "limitless" now.
There are film lovers and artists all over the world. I wish they could buy film as inexpensively as we can here in America. The markets will change but film will always be there.
I also think that someday digital cameras will be so commoditized (spelling?) that there won't be much profit in the cameras and the marketing guys will turn back to film.

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