Film Photography 2022 Year in Review! 🎆
Plus: Pentax Is Going to Make Film Cameras Again7 min read by
☞ Get “Community Letters” via email: a monthly overview of the latest news, events, and stories from the film photography community.
Scroll down for this month’s Community Letter, where I talk about two new films from Ilford and Dubblefilm, as well as big news from Pentax. Oh, and you can now leave comments on Analog.Cafe* — try it now!
Film photography 2022 year in review!
I love discovering film, cameras, and the people who make stuff with them. Every year for the past five years, I’ve been sharing the things I’ve learned with you on this website and via email, which is a privilege and a lot of work. I appreciate everyone’s support thus far.
This year, I’d like to start a new tradition: a review of notable film photography events of 2022. It’ll be based on the content of Community Letters — a series of articles and emails that summarize monthly film photo industry news and relevant bits of trending internet lore.
Hopefully, that sticks, as my “predictions” series has so far received a grade of “meh.” Perhaps you can make your own predictions based on things that we know happened in 2022:
📆 January: Film photography grows — with evidence. Two new film cameras announced. “Moscow Dayze” photobook goes on sale.
📆 February: Semi-annual Film Price Report shows a 9% price hike across the retailers. Two new colour films announced, and four new film cameras go on sale. NFTs and crypto hype was about to peak.
📆 March: Kodak, CineStill, and Japan Camera Hunter announce new film. I reflect on the (still ongoing) war in Ukraine.
📆 April: Fujifilm raises prices by 60%. Kosmo Foto and CineStill begin shipping their new films, a new solargraphy camera. ORWO announces new fim.
📆 May: Lomography updates its lens and adds a new plastic camera.
📆 June: I showcase samples from the five new colour films of 2022.
📆 July: Film prices go up by another 3.52% across retailers. New social websites for film photographers go online.
📆 August: Polaroid ships new, very green film. New DIY Instax camera, AI, and Kodak’s EV business.
📆 September: Analog.Cafe Turns 5! 🎈 NONS launches a new lens, Polaroid angers film nerds, and Fujifilm raises prices by another 15%.
📆 October: Two new films go on sale; a new lens, and a new Instax SLR.
📆 November: Lomography turns 30. Fujifilm announces low stock due to supply chain issues.
📆 December: Scroll down for this month’s Community Letter, where I talk about two new films from Ilford and Dubblefilm, plus an announcement from a major camera manufacturer. And (finally🎉) comments on Analog.Cafe.
Leave a comment on Analog.Cafe! 💬
118 writers, artists, and photographers published 432 quality essays, insights, and guides on this blog. I’m beyond grateful to be in such a company.
Thank you all who contributed to this project along the way and those of you who advised me to add comments to this website. They are now live on some* Analog.Cafe pages. You can now:
Leave a comment on this 45th Community Letter, “Film Photography 2022 Year in Review! 🎆”
Add your suggestion for how comments should work on Analog.Cafe.
Start a conversation on one of these articles: “29 Reasons Why Film Is Better Than Digital Photography,” “How to Shoot CineStill 800T in Daylight,” and “How to Make Perfect Exposures on Film.”
✱ — Expect comments to launch across the entire website on Jan 2023. I am currently testing and improving the code that I build custom for this website and its readers.
Pentax is working on a new film camera series.
Pentax was a major Japanese film camera manufacturer, the first one to produce a Japanese-made SLR, until having ceased camera production in 2006. They still make digital cameras, as a brand owned by Ricoh. However, just before I pressed send on this month’s letter, I saw an announcement about Pentax taking on the challenge of making film cameras again.
Takeo Suzuki explains in this video that the new camera series is meant to be an affordable, simple solution for new photographers. It will be partially based on the drawing the company has unearthed from their archives.
Two things to note about this announcement: 1) There’s no release date, drawings, or any information other than Pentax’ intent to make film cameras again. 2) There will likely be more than one, starting with a point-and-shoot and later, SLR(s), which Takeo hopes will be mechanical (!).
✪ Note: The camera pictured above is reviewed here.
“Treat,” a new colour film by Dubblefilm.
Colour film is in high demand, and the prices keep going up. Thankfully, there were many brands that stepped up this year to deliver the C-41 offerings we need.
Dubblefilm is one of those brands. Their new product, “Treat,” is expected to retail at $17.50 for a roll of Kodak’s movie picture film spooled into 35mm/24exp. canisters.
Dubblefilm managed to remove the rem-jet layer from this film in-house so that you could process it in regular colour chemicals at your local lab.
Dubblefilm notes that this film is in the “beta” phase, which means possible light leaks in the first couple of frames of the roll. Nevertheless, it’s ready to sell and ready to shoot — today. Note that there is no DX code on the canisters, though it should work fine — as Dubble notes — with most point-and-shoot cameras as they tend to default to ISO 100, which is within the acceptable range.
Ilford Kentmere in 120.
Ilford has been making film for about 143 years. They are still the top producer of black-and-white films in terms of range and technology embedded in their products. Kentmere is a range of films Ilford promotes as an affordable alternative to their main Plus and Delta films that feature heritage formulas and T-grain technology, respectively.
This month, Ilford announced that their Kentmere range will now sell films in medium format in addition to 35mm. As film affordability has been top of mind for many photographers this year, this may be welcome news for some owners of 120-film cameras.
Polaroid SX-70 gingerbread house recipe and build template.
In case you’ve missed this recipe, template, and build instructions last month, here’s a quick reminder about a potential holiday project: Polaroid SX-70, a gingerbread “house.”
Last year, I spent a week building mine with Betty, meanwhile documenting the process diligently.
If you decide to build yours, get ready to spend at least three days (ideally, a week) on mixing, baking, and designing. It’s a crafty and fun endeavour:
How to Make a Polaroid SX-70 Gingerbread House.
Latest on Analog.Cafe.
Kodak Portra 400 Film Review — if you want colour accuracy and dynamic range, there are few films that can offer better results than Portra.
Introducing 💬 Comments! — in this article, I explain my work on the comments tool and open up discussion for community input on how you would ultimately like it to work.
Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 Film Review — an underrated film stock that I routinely find on the shelves of my local drugstore.
Olympus OM-1 Film Camera Review — a classic; OM-1 offers some of the best control and ergonomics in a package even modern SLRs can’t beat on size and weight.
#BelieveInFilm — a Film Photography Community — a lovely, open community of analogue photographers and the story of its beginnings.
You may have also noticed a new logo and a few minor updates on the Analog.Cafe blog. 🆕