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Old 01-14-2019   #247
Camera hacker
Phil_F_NM's Avatar
Phil_F_NM is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Age: 42
Posts: 3,930
Cosina won't and probably can't make a good camera that will serve as an "investment" into the craft, for $2000. They could sell you an FM10 for an inflated price though.
I think the camera manufacturers know that there are millions of reliable 35mm bodies out there to be had for nothing. They can't compete with their used gear that is reliable. You can buy 5 Pentax Spotmatic bodies for $100 if you shop around and at least one of them is going to work perfectly. I know in my local brick and mortar shop there are many working 35mm bodies with lenses, ready to go. Most for $100 or less and they sit on the shelf not being purchased. I don't call that resurging interest. In fact, I'm the guy that purchases some of that used gear but I wouldn't count me as a force in the new interest in film cameras. So, in the 6th most populous city in the United States, we are immune from this new interest in film it would seem. There is a cadre of film photographers such as myself and a few other die hard but we aren't the hordes of hipsters breaking down the doors of Urban Outfitters for whatever new old film cameras they have inflated the price on.
I think it would be better policy for the big manufacturers to accept the camera bodies that all these new users have bought at yard sales, repair them, CLA them and then "certify" them with a warranty on parts and service. Like buying a factory certified Mercedes-Benz, you get a camera that works like new and is covered by warranty from the company that made it. Because Sover has a 15 month waiting list for making an F2 perfect but can't offer a longer warranty like Nikon could. Now THAT service could be the gateway for a new generation of analog shooters.
One thing that has to be taken into account is generational interest. I grew up with film photography. Mine is the last generation to do so with no digital alternative. The Simpsons generation and later has grown up with digital capture available most of their whole lives. So with milennials we all have to be aware that they may just think analog photography is cool but not enough to keep it going. Film production is not cheap and it is a process that relies on economy of scale of use and sales, in order to survive. This goes for all labs as well. Chemistry does not keep so developing runs are done only when large batches of film come in otherwise expensive chemistry gets wasted. All the parts of this industry are necessary and have to work well in order for it to survive. Can't get a used or new camera working? It gets shelved along with interest. Customer uses their phone. Can't find a place to get film developed? Camera gets shelved along with interest. Customer uses their phone. Can't find film conveniently? Camera gets shelved along with interest. Wash, rinse, repeat. Just because it has been there all your life does not mean it is going to continue to be there in spite of your optimism.
Phil Forrest