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  1. AgPhotographic

    AgPhotographic

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    Matthew
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    Harman Technology (Ilford) have recently filed their audited accounts for their financial year ending 31 December 2017.

    They report film sales grew a further 9% during 2017. This is the 3rd or 4th year running they have reported growth. Unfortunately they report that B&W paper sales have continued to slip - so everyone needs to set up a darkroom and get printing!

    But overall it's great news, not just for people shooting film, but for a British manufacturing business.
     
  2. MarcHT

    MarcHT

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    This is amazing! I do hope this increasing market brings back older films as kodak did!
     
  3. Quendil

    Quendil

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    Well I have just started film photography this year and now I have a small temporary darkroom. There are a few other people I have met that have just started up so hopefully it will continue to grow.
     
  4. FujiLove

    FujiLove

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    Thanks Matthew.

    And in case anyone else is interested, all their financial documents are here: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05227615/filing-history

    Edit: It looks like their profits quadrupled in 2017, compared to the last few years. All good news for their financial health and hopefully our supply of film, paper and chemicals.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
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  5. AgPhotographic

    AgPhotographic

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    Their net profit is very good - but last year they took £2.8m in dividends - which means Pemberstone, who own Harman since 2015, have had a big chunk of their purchase costs of buying the business, back.
     
  6. ariel7515

    ariel7515

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    "Film use continues to grow"... as the price of film... more sales should reflect in lower prices, not higher.
     
  7. Nikkorr

    Nikkorr

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    Well actually, with the supply remaining constant, prices will rise as demand grows.
     
  8. excalibur2

    excalibur2 Loretta

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    There must be a decent interest in film use as the cameras at the bootie have dried up....could be people now know to sell on the bay :(
    Mind you scanners and printers are still around and bought an Epson stylus photo 1270 for £2 and I know why they were probably selling it....as it wont work on a more modern computer only one with the print cable to socket LT1 i.e. not USB.
     
  9. ariel7515

    ariel7515

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    Yes, it is true, but as a consumer that is not my problem, if manufacturers are no able to keep up or not interested in keeping up just to have more revenues, increasing the prices will not motivate me to buy more, that is for sure.
     
  10. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    To be honest, I don't think cheaper film would encourage me to use more of it. It might, however, encourage me to use higher quality film such as Ektar 100 and Portra 800 instead of mid-range types, but I doubt it would make me rattle through more frames. However, if even the economy or mid-range stuff got significantly dearer that might encourage me to use quite a bit less of it! So if any film manufacturers are reading this then please take note and keep prices fair and sustainable!
     
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  11. Asha

    Asha Blithering Idiot

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    :plus1:

    Most people with whom I've chatted with about shooting film ( not on TP!) immediatly speak of the costs involved and thus their reasons for having no interest in digging out their old film kit.
    Fair enough they aren't usually interested in developing at home so, yes I see their point when taking all the costs involved into account.
    In the last two years there has been 3 local retailers who have closed shop that used to offer all the products and services required for film photography…….No surprise to me as their prices were simply too high.
    I for one refused to pay sometimes 50% or more for a roll f film that I could buy cheaper online simply because it was immediatly available in a shop.
    They have overheads blah blah but there is a line when profit margins become sheer greed!
     
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  12. AgPhotographic

    AgPhotographic

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    We have the availability of cameras listed as a "Threat" to the industry. They are all getting very old now - even a Nikon F5 can be over 20 years old! and I know that many are build like bricks, but we see a lot of camera faults on film we process - to anyone new to film, this can be very disheartening and enough sometimes to make them quit.

    Shortly after Harman was sold to Pemberstone, in March 2016 I had a meeting at their offices in Cheshire. One of the points I raised was the availability of film cameras and that someone needs to make a decent 35mm mechanical camera at a decent price - mainly to draw more people into the film world. It's analogous to Polaroid - they knew they would eventually have to release new cameras - and they have of course now done this.

    The great thing about a new camera is it can be bundled up with some film and it makes it very easy for the novice to get into it. The used market is to tricky for many people.
     
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  13. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    I wouldn't worry too much about the availability of cameras being a threat to the industry, I've got cameras dating back to the 1930s and most of them still work! Some exotica can be unrepairable if it breaks owing to the complexity of manufacture and/or unobtainable spares, but most good-quality popular 35mm SLRs from the late 70s to the late 90s should survive for years to come. After all, they reckoned the LCD panels on Canon T90s would probably stop working after about 10 years and, other than the sticky shutter magnet issue, there are enough T90s still working, with fully functioning LCDs.

    I suspect that quite a few of the camera related film faults may be from cheap, rather battered and unserviced cameras bought by people who thought they were getting a bargain, or from plastic point and shoot cameras that weren't of the same build quality as a mid to upper range 35mm SLR? I think if you buy good quality and good condition then it's usually worth budgeting for a good service and CLA, in which case a late 70s or early 80s SLR may well outlast a brand new one if it were available, and even with the purchase price and a full service a 70s or 80s classic will probably cost a lot less than an equivalent new 35mm SLR if they started making them again these days. Plus, it should hold its value, unlike a new one probably would.

    A couple of 'body only' price examples - a mint to mint minus boxed Canon EOS 30 could be found for around £80 to £120. Cost new in 2000 £450. A similar condition Canon EOS-3 - £250 - £400 Cost new in 2000 £799. Canon A1 - £100 to £150 Cost new in 1980 £210. Add a full service and CLA and a minor repair and recalibration and you're probably talking around the £100 to 150 mark with postage costs. How much would a brand new 35mm SLR camera cost; and would people be willing to pay that for what usually amounts to a secondary photographic hobby? I think the biggest threat to the industry is perhaps the long-term availability of suitably experienced camera repairers rather than the availability of cameras themselves?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018 at 10:27 AM
  14. F1.2

    F1.2

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    Film makes you think about your photography before you fire the shutter , 24 or 36 images is all you get so need to get them correct , Digital is machine gun technology , fire off 500 images , downoad onto your computer , sit for hours viewing and deleting most , then into photo shop or lightroom to process the few remaining images changing almost everything , DOH ! :eek:
     
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  15. ariel7515

    ariel7515

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    Ariel
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    It is pretty obvious that film photography will die sooner or later because of the unavailability of new film cameras. If nobody is manufacturing new cameras (the Leica monopoly is not enough and not everybody can pay those prices), then film photography as we know it will die, not matter how well constructed are the cameras we have today. It is like saying that the automobile with internal combustion engine will last just because there are some Ford T still running.

    The industry is not interested in keeping film alive when they can get higher revenues by selling a piece of plastic, and with the sensor excuse and/or the mount-type excuse they will force customers to buy new ones.
     
  16. StephenM

    StephenM I know a Blithering Idiot

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    Actually, there are several new film cameras being made, they're just not 35mm. Film based photography had been going a long time before 35mm, which is still a miniature format.
     
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  17. FruitFlakes

    FruitFlakes

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    Lloyd
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    That's the problem though, you have to put some work into researching a particular model to ensure you're getting a good deal, and that means trawling through forums looking for checklists/opinions on that camera, having to trawl through ebay/classifieds to determine exactly what a good price is, or researching what dealers have a good reputation. That's fine if you're used to doing research and can navigate forums, but most people just want to buy a camera and shoot a roll of film without having to worry about any of that. Introducing a new camera (and I disagree with the notion that a new 35mm camera has to be an SLR) lowers the barrier of entry immensely AND ensures that whatever film they run through it is actually representative of the medium.

    The first camera that needs to be made is a well built 35mm point and shoot, similar to a Contax T2/T3 (since prices for those are ridiculous). Sharp lens (a 40/2.8 would be perfect), reliable metering/flash, price it around £250-350 and it'll sell. We're at a time where people don't bat an eye at spending £2000+ on a new phone + contract. I do hope that JapanCameraHunter project is still being worked on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018 at 11:27 AM
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  18. simon ess

    simon ess

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    I would lay a little wager, say 100 virtual pixie points, that a major manufacturer will produce a 35mm film camera within 5 years, and it will be Fuji, and it will be a rangefinder.
     
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  19. ariel7515

    ariel7515

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    Yes, all LF cameras and lenses are almost eternal, and some still made, but that does not represent film photography as a whole. How many people are doing LF photo and how many 35mm or MF?. And again using a car analogy, it is like saying that it is enough for everybody if only Rolls and Bentley are the ones still producing cars. Maybe I am approaching this with a "poor" people mentality, but something that is made available with prices that I cannot afford, from my point of view, it is not available at all.
     
  20. excalibur2

    excalibur2 Loretta

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    erm didn't some one say there is a rumour that Fuji are going to stop film production.................
     
  21. simon ess

    simon ess

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    I don't know Brian, but they are totally different products. My wager stands.
     
  22. StephenM

    StephenM I know a Blithering Idiot

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    Neither does 35mm represent film photography as a whole. My response was to the statement that new cameras weren't being made, as a global statement. I don't know what proportions the various format have as users.

    I rather think that if a new 35mm film camera was made, unless a point and shoot, it would fall foul of the affordable/unaffordable line. My own photography involves few exposures and a desire to be able to print large if I want to; hence 35mm isn't really my thing unless it's to use a camera I like.
     
  23. DG Phototraining

    DG Phototraining Woof

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    If used incorrectly then yes I suppose some may well waste time like this

    Trying to get 24/36 images 'correct' in many cases just means you miss moments or the opportunity to try being more creative in compositions, only to go into a dark place for hours before binning your prints (or sticking them in the loft) as you can't share them easily with friends/family, or not printing them at all as its too costly

    There's a counter argument for everything

    While I don't miss film and would never go back to it I'm delighted its making a comeback for those wishing to use it still, slagging of digital users (and vice versa) is a similarly daft recurring argument as Nikon v Canon

    Dave
     
  24. ChrisR

    ChrisR

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    There is of course the Reflex Camera Kickstarter, which is apparently very much delayed (surprise). They did price a reflex body "retail" at £399.
     
  25. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    I really doubt it wouldn't sell in large enough numbers to merit a price of "£250 to £300" though. It would cost a lot of money to set up a production line to produce all the moving parts that a good-quality point-and-shoot 35mm camera requires just to transport and rewind the film, then there's the design, production line assembly and marketing costs, plus the cost of returns and guarantee honouring. I bet a low volume camera like you've described would have to retail at around £400 to stand a chance of the manufacturer and retailer turning a profit.

    Would people spend that? Not unless they were daft when you can currently pick something like a fully working Canon Sureshot Supreme up on eBay for around the £10 mark! If it breaks then just buy another and keep it for spares or drop it in the recycling bin. 35mm point and shoots were made in their 100s of 1000s during the 80s and 90s, and unlike cars they don't tend to rust away, so they don't get scrapped to anywhere near the same extent. Yes, they break from time to time, but at that price view them as a Biro! But the supply will run out one day! Yes, I thought that when I bought several box brownies over 40 years ago... :whistle:
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018 at 1:51 PM
  26. desf

    desf

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    There is hope of course ... my 'kids' (19 and 21) both use their phones as digital cameras but my daughter owns a Fuji Instax and a Polaroid OneStep 2. When going on holiday she always takes a disposable film camera.

    My son also uses disposable cameras for the 'look' of film. His girlfriend uses a 35mm film camera.

    And they are definitely not hipsters! :)
     
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  27. FruitFlakes

    FruitFlakes

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    People are dropping £1k on T2s/T3s that won’t ever be repaired and I've seen photographers drop £700 just to get their Contax G2s running again. £400 would be doable if there’s a warranty behind it and 10 years’ worth of spare parts. MiNT have just sold (and are currently delivering) a run of 274 Instax Wide rangefinders (with manual exposure and an aperture priority mode that automatically compensates for Instax's sensitivity curve) for $900*/£680 a piece. There's definitely a market for a mid to high end 35mm camera.

    As for design costs, China (Shenzen in particular) could probably have a working prototype in a month. You have lens makers based there to design that 40/2.8 Sonnar copy (7Artisans springs to mind). Film transport and rewind would be trivial for most makers there, autofocus could be achieved with a simple IR transmitter/receiver setup like the Hexar AF. The electronics side of things is well covered too. You could go wild with the body design, there are small (compared to the likes of Sony) audio companies like FiiO making really beautiful housings for their audio players out of aluminium and glass.

    Marketing would be handled via social media, just put that camera in a few Instagram/Youtube famous photographers' hands and watch the preorders roll in. Most companies from China have been an absolute pleasure to deal with, and I'm speaking both as a customer and as someone who has commissioned things to be made. Chamonix and Shen Hao are two Chinese camera makers who seem to be doing well, and they're specialising in large format which is a market that is probably a few orders of magnitude smaller than the one for a premium 35mm compact.

    *revised the price of the MiNT from $700 to $900
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018 at 2:49 PM
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  28. simon ess

    simon ess

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    And...

    whenever I see Chinese tourists in places like Chester, there is always a film camera or three between them.
     
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  29. F1.2

    F1.2

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    Who's slaging digital users ? I own both Nikon D700 and Canon EOS650D digital cameras also a Canon G11 compact
     
  30. Quendil

    Quendil

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    The photography A level courses have some film and darkroom parts to them so they should help getting the younger generation interested
     
  31. DG Phototraining

    DG Phototraining Woof

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    I didn't mean you, though you were hardly nice about them lol - its just common for film v digital to do so

    Dave
     
  32. F1.2

    F1.2

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    Isn't it the same with Manchester united / City
     
  33. simon ess

    simon ess

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    Is it common?
     
  34. DG Phototraining

    DG Phototraining Woof

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    Yes - in all circles I see from the many clubs I attend, just like the Nikon v Canon p***-taking is common still - hence I used the word 'common'

    Dave
     
  35. simon ess

    simon ess

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    But what about here? It was here that you made the statement, after all.

    I'm not interested in clubs or your circles, I'm interested that the statement was made here.

    My experience is that it is not common here. Most people here have digital cameras. I certainly do.

    I can think of a couple of people who have a fairly entrenched position on the subject, but common?

    I don't think so, unless you can demonstrate otherwise of course.
     
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  36. Asha

    Asha Blithering Idiot

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    You have a WHAT??!!:mad:

    Banned from F&C...…..Forever! :D

    These digital camera users, rant, coming in 'here, rant, pretending to be part of the elite, rant …..:LOL:
     
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  37. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    Well, what are you waiting for? Off you go, if you're right you'll make a lot of money. Perhaps we'll see you on Dragon's Den next series? Only joking, from what you've written you'll probably be a very wealthy businessperson already and will have the necessary funds to design, produce and market the camera without getting a dragon involved? (y)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018 at 9:28 PM
  38. Asha

    Asha Blithering Idiot

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    Arguments are easily avoidable.

    If one doesn't agree with someone elses view ( thus the primary reason of arguments),instead of critisizing / slagging off, then just accept that is their opinion of which they are entitled, as you are entitled to yours.

    I really don't see the need for upset …..

    Perhaps it's an ego thing…. i dunno
     
  39. FruitFlakes

    FruitFlakes

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    As I mentioned earlier, there's someone already working on one (with far better industry connections compared to approximately zero for me), my previous post was really just some quick brainstorming as to how one could bring a product like that into production, all conveniently within the same city.

    And I truly wish I was a very wealthy businessperson, would make shooting film a lot easier (plus imagine all the overpriced Contaxes I could buy).
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018 at 12:12 AM
  40. Fraser Euan White

    Fraser Euan White

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    Fraser White
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    Trouble with this idea at present Lloyd is that the quality of some second hand 'flagship' 35mm film cameras will be far superior to any 'budget' Chinese new camera (Top of the range Nikon/Canon/Pentax/Minolta/Leica etc), therefore at present I'm not so sure there is a market.

    I bought a Nikon F3 in fantastic condition, sent it for a CLA to Jules Abel and he has put a 12 month warranty on it for me; he reckons it will probably outlast me :)

    On these very forums a New 5 x 4 film Camera is being produced out of acrylic and I believe he is not sleeping trying to fulfil orders for it :)

    IMO Film will always be a small Niche in photography and although it's nice to see sales grow the market is still very, very limited - but one of the reasons I love it because it is very different.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018 at 1:39 AM
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