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Author Topic: Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production  (Read 13214 times)

Dan Wells

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« on: December 16, 2008, 10:18:18 pm »

A poster on photo.net mentioned that the F6 has apparently been discontinued, or at least that production has stopped (Nikon sometimes leaves products "current" for quite a while based on built-up inventory). With this announcement, Nikon no longer makes a film camera - the FM10 is a Cosina with a Nikon nameplate. Nearly 50 years of the F series has come to an end, and the only professional 35mm SLR still made is the Canon  EOS-1v (and how long will that last? - is it gone already, and Canon is just selling old stock?). How soon will 35mm film become harder and harder to find? If the only cameras being made are junky plastic near-disposables for kids, a few derivatives of the same manual-focus Cosina body in different mounts, and small numbers of nearly handmade rangefinders, is 35mm even still a current format?
    I've gone digital a while ago, but "no more F" still has resonance for me - even if I wouldn't buy one, it was nice to know that the F6 was still being made, that film was still being supported as an option. There really aren't reasonable 120 film cameras being made any more either - the only ones left are either the Holga and its ilk or the back for the Hy6/AFi - opposite ends of the market to be sure (Mamiya may or may not have a few new film backs left for the AFD III, but they sure aren't talking much about it if they do).
     Will anyone ever introduce a new film camera again in any format - or did the passing of the F6 mark the end of the development of film cameras? What will it mean if within a few years, the largest-volume seller of new film cameras (other than under $20 toys) is a large-format boutique maker like Canham or Wisner? How long will it be until Kodak and Fuji decide that it's not worth keeping that last film coating plant open? Will some small maker continue making black and white film? Color will probably die when the two major makers stop producing it, as it is far too complicated for a little company to keep doing.

                                                                 -Dan
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aaykay

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 10:33:48 pm »

Agree that this is a loss.  However, I do understand Nikon's viewpoint, since they are after all a business and answerable to their shareholders.  Their resources are finite and they might have felt that it is worth their while to focus all of it, on a digital future than a film legacy.  The  world of big business is merciless.
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BernardLanguillier

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 10:53:33 pm »

Quote from: Dan Wells
A poster on photo.net mentioned that the F6 has apparently been discontinued, or at least that production has stopped (Nikon sometimes leaves products "current" for quite a while based on built-up inventory). With this announcement, Nikon no longer makes a film camera -

If that is confirmed, it is indeed a final nail in the coffin.

Quote from: Dan Wells
I've gone digital a while ago, but "no more F" still has resonance for me - even if I wouldn't buy one, it was nice to know that the F6 was still being made, that film was still being supported as an option. There really aren't reasonable 120 film cameras being made any more either - the only ones left are either the Holga and its ilk or the back for the Hy6/AFi - opposite ends of the market to be sure (Mamiya may or may not have a few new film backs left for the AFD III, but they sure aren't talking much about it if they do).

As of now, you can still buy new Pentax 645 bodies in Japan, but I really don't now how long Pentax intends to keep making these.

Quote from: Dan Wells
Will anyone ever introduce a new film camera again in any format - or did the passing of the F6 mark the end of the development of film cameras? What will it mean if within a few years, the largest-volume seller of new film cameras (other than under $20 toys) is a large-format boutique maker like Canham or Wisner? How long will it be until Kodak and Fuji decide that it's not worth keeping that last film coating plant open? Will some small maker continue making black and white film? Color will probably die when the two major makers stop producing it, as it is far too complicated for a little company to keep doing.

I'd be very surprised if Nikon or Canon ever introduced a new film camera. The F6 itself was a major surprise when announced and is already pretty much the ultimate film body. There would be no point in stopping producing this one only to launch another one a few years later. My guess is that they are kept producing it up to the point where some tooling had to be re-made, stock piled those they could produce until then, and will keep selling them for a few years along with spare parts.

If I didn't already own an F100 (that only saw one roll of Ilford in the past 5 years) and had some cash available, I'd be willing to buy one of the last new F6 out of pure nostalgia... but the price point of the D3x is making this a no GO.

Cheers,
Bernard

michael

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 08:56:48 am »

I haven't shot with my Canon 1V in years, but it sits on the shelf, waiting for the day that the world-wide supply of digits comes to and end and film is the only recourse.

F6 ... R.I.P.

Michael
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 08:58:03 am by michael »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 11:04:16 am »

Quote from: michael
I haven't shot with my Canon 1V in years, but it sits on the shelf, waiting for the day that the world-wide supply of digits comes to and end and film is the only recourse.

F6 ... R.I.P.

Michael
You should right away put a large supply of digits into cold storage to be prepared for the future (the way Ctein did with Dye Transfer materials).  

I have one lowly Canon Elan 7NE left that takes film. The 8x10, various 4x5s, MFs, and 35s have all departed. The ones I miss the most are my Mamiya 6 and my Kodak Retina IIIC.
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Jim Pascoe

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2008, 01:49:42 pm »

It does seem that an era is passing, or has passed.  However, due to the build quality, there will be enough used F-series cameras and their Canon equivalents to last film shooters well into the 21st century! Will the film still be available though?
 My FM2's and RB 67 lie unused in the cupboard.
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BJL

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 03:49:30 pm »

Quote from: Dan Wells
A poster on photo.net mentioned that the F6 has apparently been discontinued ... the only professional 35mm SLR still made is the Canon  EOS-1v (and how long will that last? - is it gone already, and Canon is just selling old stock?).
Many film cameras and related items like exotic lenses seem to go out of production but stay available for a long time afterwards, due to a great drop in demand. And with high end products often made in batches from time to time, there can be a twilight when a batch has not been run for a while, the last batch has not yet sold out, but the decision has not been made (or at least not announced) to never run another a batch.

It would not surprise me if no F6, EOS-1V, Pentax 645AF or even Hasselblad 503 bodies have been manufactured for some time, and there are no definite plans to make any more, but they are still in this twilight, not officially discontinued.

(Aside: even superseded and out of production Canon DSLR bodies sometimes stay available for a year or more, like the 30D; imagine how much longer it can take to clear stocks of a high-end film body.)


I agree that production of many film types might be at risk in this global recession, which is likely to shake out a number of obsolescent products that managed to hang on when the economy was better. Things like newspapers (Tribune group in bankruptcy) and GM vehicles.
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Plekto

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 04:34:21 pm »

The film, though, will survive for at least another hundred years, if only because it's the same stuff that motion picture cameras use.   They just cut it and package it all differently.   It really doesn't cost them much to keep producing film for consumer cameras.  The two things to look for will be when there no longer is a film based motion picture camera being made and when there no longer is a 4X5 camera being sold.

120 will be around for a long, long time.  And so will 35mm.  

New cameras, well, better get something while you can if you're a fan of film.  though, to be honest, if you're interested in quality, medium format is better.

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/...ews_272698.html
Fuji's new camera shows that they still are committed to medium format.  It looks to be a good camera as well.  I just hope they don't charge insane prices for it.
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andershald

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2008, 04:51:57 pm »

Quote from: Dan Wells
Will anyone ever introduce a new film camera again in any format

Sad about the F6, but HEY at least Fuji is out there, bringing new FILM careas to the market...you gotta love them for introducing this at Phototkina 2008:
http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/18141/fuji...-format-camera/

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pixman63

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2008, 04:39:45 pm »

Quote from: Dan Wells
Nikon no longer makes a film camera - the FM10 is a Cosina with a Nikon nameplate. Nearly 50 years of the F series has come to an end, and the only professional 35mm SLR still made is the Canon  EOS-1v (and how long will that last? - is it gone already, and Canon is just selling old stock?).

One Canon dealer in the UK reported a while back that Canon had ceased production of all their film cameras, so yes it does seem that the age of the pro 35mm SLR is over.

As for the future of film, although there has been a sharp decline in its use, there are still very large numbers of people out there using film. Unless that changes, there shouldn't be fears for the medium's future availability.
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Pete Ferling

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2008, 11:18:28 am »

I'm sure Nikon and others will still have to provide some support for current units under warranty.

To a larger extent, especially in the corporate field, switching to digital is a must to be cost competitive -as I'm sure there are a few whom refuse to switch, it's rather obvious that it's more a personal decision than one of budget.  I jumped on that wagon with the 1Ds mark I years ago, and still shoot with that today.  I've easily recovered the $7K price tag in savings over film many times over.

I still shoot film personally simply for the look of it.  However, I had to drive around for a few hours to find what appears to be the last three-rolls of reala in town.  I had an interesting conversation with the managers of the Ritz outlet, and they tell me that on a good day they would put a whopping six rolls of film through their machine.  The majority of their business is digital prints from customers memory cards.

Visiting two wall-marts I found several folks standing in line waiting for their turn to use several kodak kiosks, ordering and burning their own picture disks.  Most of them did not look like computer or photo savvy folks.  They could care less about the dynamic range or film grain vs. digital noise arguments that often fill these forums.  The whole digital process has now become a quick and easy push button affair.  That friends, is the real market driver of digital.

After five years of shoot digital, in the final analysis, none of that argument matter to me as well.  My work still met deadlines, none of the marketing managers or directors complained range, skin tone, or the lack of film grain, etc. etc.  Work was done and projects were wrapped up just the same.

As Bernard said "If that is confirmed, it is indeed a final nail in the coffin."

I would add that no one was around to hear that last one hamming in.




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Dan Wells

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2008, 09:06:00 pm »

I wonder about Hollywood, too - Jim Jannard has done such an amazing job with the RED camera that I don't think cinema film has long left to run (a couple of years, maybe). Film as a movie DISTRIBUTION medium may be around a bit longer, but the studios have a HUGE economic incentive to move cinemas to digital distribution, because a print of movie distributed digitally at theatrical resolution costs them between $5 (Blu-Ray) and $100 (on a hard drive), while an analog film print on a platter of 35mm cine film costs thousands of dollars. Sony's digital cinema projectors are around $100,000, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the studios either help with the cost or offer movies so much cheaper digitally that it made economic sense for most cinemas to upgrade.It also wouldn't be all THAT hard for someone else to come up with a MUCH less expensive cinema-grade projector.
     The few thousand 4x5 cameras made each year (I agree that 4x5 is film's remaining uniqueness) are probably not enough to keep anyone making professional color film (black and white is a different story because it can be made on a smaller scale). What may keep color films viable is the large number of older film cameras still out there - depending on how many of them are in use.


                                           -Dan
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OldRoy

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2008, 06:25:45 am »

Unless I'm mistaken, the other day I saw an ad for a new, or more than one, new, boxed F3 HP!
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brianrpatterson

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2008, 09:20:15 pm »

And so 35mm goes the way of 127, 116, 120, 220 and 620 folder cameras of the 30's to 50's - will 120/220 film survive either? Perhaps a little longer than 35mm since a MF changeover is astronomical in cost.

But do I miss film? Not really. In fact, it was a frustration when I did use it - the cost, the skill level needed to render a decent image under less than ideal conditions, storage, processing, the whole shebang, really. The limitations were real - one ISO at a time. I'm so thrilled with digital it's hard to believe what we can do electronically.

Instead of hours to get the first print made, I'm sending whole series of the day's shoot to family, friends and forums - in minutes. Time is money and film is also money but with too much of my time. Sorry if it offends some but I won't miss film for a moment...
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gr82bart

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Sad news from Nikon - F6 out of production
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2008, 08:13:37 am »

The thing about the internet is that there is a lot of misinformation. A typical visitor reading the headline will think the Nikon F6 is out of production and soon myth becomes reality in the internet world.

Last year, a friend of mine and I went to Downtown Camera in Toronto. We asked about the F6 because she wanted to buy one. This was a sure sale. Well, not only did the guy behind the counter proceed to INSIST the F6 was not made or sold any longer, but the rest of the staff chimed in as well to the same tune. Anyway, she dished out about $3k elsewhere later that day. That was 2007.

Look, I know there is an obvious concerted effort to push digital. Heck I've bought in with a D1X and D2X. But as a still avid film shooter too, I just see the bias on the net, on the 'street', the clubs, and in the stores against film. I can't explain it, it's there. It's like racism or sexism or ageism; you know it's there, but it's very difficult to prove. Call it filmism.   Well, this thread is symptomatic of it. And just read the post above mine. Oiy.

Straight from the source:
http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/...lr/f6/index.htm
http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-Nikon/Pr...ra/1799/F6.html
http://www.nikon.ca/en/Product.aspx?m=14098

Sometime in the future (near - who knows?) Nikon WILL announce the F6 discontinuance and people will shout "See? We told you so!" No you didn't.

Regards, Art.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 08:27:28 am by gr82bart »
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