Everything old is new again. My Kodak moment.

A couple of weeks ago I got a huge surprise. Something I thought was almost dead and buried turned out not to be at all.

Let me explain; a friend owns a local camera shop and his second-in-charge was out of action due to an accident. Having some time up my sleeve, I helped out in the shop, fully expecting it to be full of people buying GoPros, DJI drones, mirrorless cameras, dSLRs and so on.

But no.

Sure, over the few days a couple of GoPro 10s were sold and I spoke to a small number of people about DJI Air2S and Mini 2s – and there was a lot of interest but no buyers of the Mavic 3. I am guessing they then trundled off to JB or somewhere to get a discounted price after picking the brains to get the knowledge.

But by far the biggest activity was around…

Film processing.

I kid you not!

People – teenagers mostly – were buying disposable film cameras by the bucketload and bringing back the film for processing and converting to digital prints to be emailed to them via Dropbox.

Yet others, wanted to buy multiple rolls of film for use with older SLR cameras. Talk about a blast from the past; I saw Pentax KXs, Olympus OM-1s a Minolta SRT101 and other vintage celluloid royalty, as I say, mostly in the hands of teenagers and Millenials.

It turns out the global supplies of film at the moment are thin to say the least. In my time in the shop a few rolls of black and white were about o become available, but access to colour film was non-existent and not expected to improve for weeks.

I can only surmise this is caused by a combination of the unexpected (to me anyway) demand and the all-encompassing manufacturing pressures felt in so many areas at the moment.

The big mystery of course is why, when these people have access to the latest photography and video technology on their $1000 – and more – smartphones, were they resorting to using $40 disposal film cameras and then spending another $20 on processing?

I don’t know either.

I am guessing as it’s now “cool” in the same way vinyl and increasingly using CDs is. Or perhaps as Mum and Dad now use smartphones for their image taking, using a phone is now not cool.

The sad thing is, the majority of negatives I saw still had crap photos on them, and probably, in the real world, no more than 20% of images were remotely usable.

But hey, who am I to judge? It just means that there is a need for education in just how to compose and take decent images, so there is hope for us older ones that have the experience yet!

Whether they want it of course is a different matter.

Have you any thoughts on this? I’d love to know. Add your comments below (all are anonymous).


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