When I first saw Nick Rainsford's article on the P45 vs 4x5 film, I just thought, whow! amen to that. Then I saw this thread and Michael's response to the topic starter:
Seeing the world though ones own restricted experience is, regretably, one of the failings of many in our society.
and I thought, yep, that would be generally North American society. I then had a bit of self analysis as to why I find all this so interesting and why it is that I fall squarely in to Nick Rainsford's camp and the reasons are:
(a) I am not (sadly) a rich dilletante.
( I am not a highly successful professional photographer shooting 4-500 sheets of 4x5 film per month.
So a bit of envy going on there. Leaving aside the obvious tax benefits for pro photographers in the USA investing in very expensive and rapidly depreciating equipment, I still think Nick Rainsford is absolutely bang-on. Here in Wales in the UK, I am absolutely certain that there are no
pro-photographers shooting that quantity of 4x5 film. Aside from london, I very much doubt that there are many in England. Most pro photographers will have a mixture of work and will choose and sometimes rent equipment best suited to the task. Mostly there will not be many jobs requiring very high resolution files for large prints.
What would be interesting to know is the demographic of those 1000 P45 sales 'worldwide'. My guess is that at least 50% of them will be in the North American market, with the rest mostly divided up between Japan and Europe.
Here in the Uk, the leading pros (e.g. Adam Woolfitt, Martin Hooper) will do a lot of mouth-watering over these backs, but often will advocate something like a 1DS MKII as a real-world alternative to a 4x5 camera. Meanwhile, the fine-art large format users (e.g. Joe Cornish, David Ward) are sticking with film (I very much doubt that even they shoot 4-500 sheets per month). So, at least in my society, regardless of whether you are pro, amateur or a Sunday variety of photographer, you are unlikely to be buying yourself a P45.....as Nick rainsford writes, the application of rational logic dictates against it. Less emphasis on pixels and more on value for money.....amen to that!