My last column produced several comments to the effect that buying a digital camera is not like buying a film camera, because buying the camera also means buying the "film." This is a point that many have raised before, the implication being that it makes sense to frequently upgrade one's camera, just the way one would with film.
Except...that's not what most serious/professional film photographers I know did. We would find films we liked and stick with those films for as long as we could. Sometimes we were forced to "upgrade" by manufacturers who discontinued our precious choices, but as often not. And when our hands were forced, many of us would stockpile favored emulsions. Hobbyists, experimenters, reviewers, and folks of that ilk would try every new film that came out and hop on the latest, admittedly better, bandwagon. But those of us who were serious about making photographs? Once we found a material that we liked and understood, we stuck with it.
I developed a serious fondness for Panatomic-X in the late 1960s, first in 35mm and then in 120 format. When Kodak announced it was discontinuing it in the early '70s, I scoured camera stores all over the state and amassed a several-hundred-roll stockpile. That carried me until T-MAX 100 came along, which I liked even better. Total run time for Panatomic-X for me? Close to 20 years, longer than my average camera lasts. As for T-MAX 100, that's still my preferred black and white film. The only (minor) change I made along the way was switching from D-76 to Xtol developer.
Color film's a bit more difficult because manufacturers have had more of a tendency to discontinue films in favor of newer, "better" ones. Still, you find folks crying in their beer that Kodachrome is going away. Me, I always preferred Ektachrome Professional (EPN), also a film I used for considerably more than a decade. Color negatives? Fuji hit the perfect mark with Reala Professional, which I would still argue is/was the best color negative film ever made. When they stopped manufacturing it around the turn of the century, I laid in a stockpile. I still have some in the freezer. The way things are going, I'll probably never get around to using it, but there is another film with something like a 20-year run for me.
Not to mention the myriad black-and-white photographers who have always used Tri-X and still do.
Think about it.