There is no question that film photography has experienced a resurgence in recent years, something that has attracted companies both new and old to bring products to cater to the market of enthusiasts staying loyal to the traditional photographic method.
Large established companies and smaller individuals alike have introduced new films to the market and reintroduced old favourites for us to enjoy once again which is really great to see.
Despite this there seems to be a recent trend of trying to cash in on film's popularity with poorly made or obnoxious products that are patronising at best and just plain terrible at their worst.
Fujifilm, once a film giant who this year discontinued a large number of it's film products including velvia 50/100 in larger sizes and provia stock, instead put its efforts into selling what is essentially a 'premium case' for a disposable camera in a kit
*Then there is Yashica, known for producing TLR, 35mm SLR, rangefinders and even a super 8mm movie camera, who after months of teasing a product that gave the impression of being a film camera for 2017 was in fact a cheap digital camera with a sensor likely to be worse than a modern smartphone that saves images to fake film canisters simulating image filters usually found in free mobile apps.
While I expect to see smaller start ups offering less than elegant digital adapters for film cameras on Kickstarter, for well established names in photography to produce thoughtless cash grab products at a time when film is on the up and up, just seems ridiculous. I appreciate that the cost of production to bring old favourites back is not easy for companies to convince themselves and their shareholders to go all in on and it is unlikely that film photography will ever return to the same level of popularity experienced at its peak in the 70's and 80's but there are better ways to approach the enthusiast than this.
Like the old saying goes if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all, the same applies to film. If you don't have a decent product to bring to market, don't bring anything at all!
This article was designed to be open ended, I want to know what your thoughts are on film and the business in it's current form? What sort of new products would you like to see? Let me know in the comments below.
*P.S. I am aware that the Yashica that has made the new digital camera is not the same Yashica of the 20th century as it was sold off but I think the point about making good film products still stands. People hold onto brand association and although the new Yashica hasn't made any of the film cameras I mentioned in the article I find it ironic for them still to be trying to use the old reputation to sell a digital camera with fake film canisters?