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Old 01-12-2019   #125
Larry Cloetta
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Larry Cloetta is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Jackson, WY
Age: 69
Posts: 1,421
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
Dear Larry,

correct. Therefore I look at the real world outside forums to analyse the real situation. And not at forums.

Here at rff for years the mantra has been "film is dead" and "instant film will be the first film type that will completely die".
Well, just the opposite happened instead. All the armchair experts here have been wrong.

A very one-dimensional view which leads in the wrong direction. Because the phone usage has no influence on film camera usage. That are two completely different things and markets now.

The masses will use the phone. No doubt. That are currently about 3 billion people worldwide, and the number is increasing. Then we have the market of photography lovers and enthusiasts. That are about 2-5% of all photo making people. That is a relative small niche compared to phone use, but in total a big market nevertheless.

With instant film photography we have already a huge mass market. By the way a bigger market compared to even the most glorious film days!! The sales record in instant camera sales was in 2017 with more than 8 million instant cameras! In 2018 this number has been most probably even higher (data is not published yet). The numbers for instant camera sales have surpassed the sales of DSLRs and DSLMs!
The reality has already demonstrated in an impressive way that a film camera comeback is possible.

I don't expect the same huge strength with a standard film camera comeback. But it is also not necessary.
With increasing popularity of film and rising used camera prices we will see the point at which it makes sense for some manufacturers to introduce new film cameras again. Not as million unit p.a. sellers, but with the potential of five digit p.a. sales.
Such products are daily business for camera manufacturers. Cameras like the D3s, D4/s, D5, Df, several Fuji X-models etc. are performing in that sales volumes.
The camera manufacturers need additional profitable new niches. And in some years, film cameras will be that.
In some cases, we have the situation already now: In camera segments where the used prices are already on the level of former new prices like the Voigtländer Bessa III / Fuji GF670, Plaubel Makina, Mamiya 7 II, Pentax 67II, Contax 645.

Cheers, Jan
Hi Jan,

I follow your reasoning, and I know what the numbers are, but, I don’t know. We’ll see. I’ve never been one to say film is dead, but new film camera manufacturing; I’m not personally feeling that Instax is a harbinger of the future outside of more Instax until that buzz wears off, then perhaps less. Is Instax a gateway drug, or just a drug?
But, that’s only my feeling, that decent new film cameras are not going to happen, and I’d be happier if I were wrong than if I were right.
The pricing on that new French M mount digital thing, the pricing that left everyone aghast, seems in line with what the reality of niche market cameras would be, which I think would be a problem. At the affordable end you’ve got extruded plastic. I know you see a business model there, I’m just not.

If you would be willing to go out on a limb, from thoughts you may have gathered from those deep inside the bubble, what’s your time frame for this first new film camera to appear, more or less? I’m not being argumentative with that question, just sincerely wondering if you had any thoughts. Before or after I’m dead, I’m wondering.

Best wishes,