Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/07/29

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Subject: [Leica] First They Starve Your Leicina, then....
From: jshul at (Jim Shulman)
Date: Thu Jul 29 18:33:53 2004


I sure hope so.  However, I remember getting the old Superior Bulk Film
catalog in the 1970s, which hawked all kinds of crazy emulsions not offered
by Kodak (like 100' Bolex H8 rolls of regular 8mm ISO 1000 b/w reversal
film!) SBF used to have a paragraph in their catalog which said something to
the effect that, "While we are aware of the impact that Super 8 has had on
the marketplace, we understand that there are 15 to 20 million regular 8mm
cameras still in use."  They promised to serve this small, profitable

SBF died some time ago, alas. I guess they couldn't sell enough 16mm film to
film students!  Those "15 to 20 million regular 8 cameras" (the last of
which was produced around 1966) now have exactly SIX sources for film in the
USA.  They are:
(1). Action Camera in San Francisco, CA (415) 564-0699
(2). Yale Film & Video in Hollywood 1-800-955-YALE
(3). Chambless Cine Equipment in Ellijay, GA (706) 636-5210
(4). Prep Film Lab in Michigan 1-800-793-FILM
(5). Olden Camera in New York City, NY (212) 725-1234
(6) John Schwind P.O. Box 1233 Dixon, California 95620 U.S.A. Tel: (707)

Though this list is deceptively long, since I believe only Schwind actually
produces the stuff for the others on the list.  He orders specially perfed
16mm film (twice as many perforation, required for regular 8) and respools
it onto 25' regular 8 camera spools.

Right about the time a 1,xxx,xxx M3 was produced, you could have purchased a
Bolex camera (an example on THAT auction site, reference 3829789952) with
incredible Kern lenses, (including a f.9 normal--take THAT, Noctilux!) Rest
assured that a projected 8mm image from high-quality optics bests any
conventional home video.  So go shoot with it today, since there are ALL SIX
of these small suppliers offering film.

Now, how about THIRTY FIVE BUCKS (w/processing) for a four-minute (silent
speed) color film? Not exactly what you forked over at the Rite Aid in 1979?
Do you honestly think this poor Bolex will ever make another movie?

So yes, I think this is the future--sooner rather than later.  We WILL have
small providers offering film.  However, silver halide will become a very
rich person's hobby, or the province of a few committed weirdos who will go
without Montrechat or dental work to purchase 36 exposures of ISO 100 black
and white negative film.   


In reply to: Message from dorysrus at (Don Dory) ([Leica] First They Starve Your Leicina, then....)