I’ll tell you how long: I recently wanted to process my very last roll of E-6 slide film. No local place does it. I’ll have to mail it to a pro lab in a nearby city. They’ll do a great job and it is not that much more expensive to do than it was 20 years ago. But, once the pros no longer use film, it will be more of a “craft” part of photography with just a few film makers and camera body makers. Probably most film cameras will keep chugging along with repairs for another 100 years. If you treat your film camera nicely, it will last 20+ years until a part fails from age or abuse. This happened with my beloved Nikon FM-2 bought in the early 1980s. It had a titanium honeycomb shutter and I loved it. Then in 2002 the shutter broke (costing me hundreds of dollars in slide film shot and lost). Nikon repair imformed me that it was a defective shutter mechanism (that titanium shutter was only used for a short time), they no longer had the replacement in stock to fix it and, would I like a rebuilt N80 for $350+? Oh, and they would not return the beloved FM-2 if I took the deal! Out of desperation, I took it. Then, I hardly used it. Then I went digital. I kind of wish they just sent me back the dead FM-2, which I would like to put on a shelf.
But, as fate would have it, the N80 has turned out to be one of the last great 35mm SLR cameras Nikon was to have made. The detail quality on it is horrible compared to the craftsmanship on the FM-2. The N80 was made in Malaysia and the FM-2 in Japan. But the N80 has a good feel to it, does everything one could want on a film camera, has an incredibly bright viewfinder and is one of the last great digitally controlled film camera from Nikon. The FM or “F” series was probably the last great mechanically controlled (or nearly all mechanical parts) series from them.
Except they only used that defective shutter for a short time on the early FM-2s.
Nikon still sells the FM as the FM10 for $337 and the F6 pro SLR for $2810. But you are better off just buying a used FM model or N80 or N90 used for about $150.
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