Film use is definitely on the rise. However, when you start to play around with this admittedly archaic technology, one fact of life rears its head very quickly: the film needs to be processed. Although you can go the lab route, I've always found a certain satisfaction in processing my film myself. For those of us with means, however, there may be another option: The Filmomat!
Coming to you from the gents over at Analog Insights, this awesome video is an in-depth interview with Lukas Fritz, the creator of the Filmomat automatic developing machine. In it, Fritz lays out his journey into making the machine, the costs involved, and the reasons why he attempted such an endeavor in the first place. Even if you're not interested in film, it's an interesting watch as it shows what can be accomplished by a person with a passion for something, even if they don't have any experience with product design and assembly. Once you get the film on the spool, the process is fully programmable and automatic. You can use E6, C41, or black and white chemicals. The machine even has cleaning and purging routines so that you can reuse your chemicals and safely prep for another processing cycle.
Admittedly, the price tag on such a machine is high at $3,500 euros, but considering the time and money that is required to hand-make a single unit, the price is understandable. Of course, there will be those that say, "well why not just use some Paterson tanks and be done with it?" They're not wrong. However, as with any endeavor, you can spend as much or as little as you want on your passion. You can get the same results out of a $75 Canon AE-1 as you can out of a $2,000 Leica M6, but if you've got the means and the passion, who am I to tell you how to spend your money? I'm just excited that film use is on the rise to the extent that someone actually took the time and energy to make such a machine.
If you had the cash is this something you'd be interested in? I'm not sure, honestly, but I'm happy it exists.