Film Prices...What the Heck?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by richterjw, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. (Pulling out hair and yelling, "AAAAAHHHHHH!")

    I haven't bought film in about six months. What happened?! I about had to go donate blood just to buy 8 rolls of Ilford
    35mm and a small box of 4x5. Geez! I can't believe it.

    Okay...calming down now...When did this happen, really?

    I'm going to go tear my clothes and put ashes on my head in mouring. I guess I'll be even more selective, even with
    35mm. (Disheartened sigh) JR
  2. Really? Wow... I have to say, I don't think there's been much of a price change at my local (down here in Australia) for a couple years or more.
  3. I noticed the price of everything going up as a barrel of oil hit $147, supposedly because shipping charges went through the roof. Now that oil's below $70 a barrel, do I see the prices coming down again? NO.
  4. The prices will come back down, but with some delay, just as there was a delay in increases as barrel prices shot up.

    But things like film that rely on oil not only for shipping but also in manufacturing were probably very hard hit.
  5. But things like film that rely on oil not only for shipping but also in manufacturing
    How does film rely on oil for manufacturing?
  6. Film is plastic. Plastic is made from oil.

    Film is pricey, although I don't think it has become that way in the last few months. Kodak color negative 36 exposure rolls go for about 8 bucks Canadian, 24 rolls are 3 for $11. I still remember the days when we bought 36 exposure rolls of Kodachrome for $3 something WITH PROCESSING! lol

    Like a lot of things, I am just grateful that they still make it.
  7. My "cheapest" memories of film amount to using Fuji Sensia 100 (36 exp.) at US $2.79 and Fuji mailers for US $2.99.

    As finances allow, I've been stocking up on 20-packs of Fuji Provia 100F (Import). I do love Velvia, but lately
    Provia 100F has been cheaper than Sensia 100 from B&H, and I'm perfectly happy with Provia 100F.

    I took a chance on eBay awhile back and bought 30 rolls of original ISO 50 Velvia for roughly US $2.00 per roll.
    Everything looks good so it was a worthwhile gamble.
  8. it


    I'm sure the film producers know that the majority of film shooters left now are attached to the medium. So, they will jack up prices accordingly. Once you factor in the loss of economies of scale, I imagine it is going to get very expensive to shoot (and process) film in the mid to long term.
  9. Film requires a serious committment these days. It's not just the film that is expensive. I recently bought 45 rolls which cost around $200. Then I realized that processing that film into cd scans (no prints) will be close to $900! So those 45 rolls will have cost me, say, a Nikon D80 and a couple of nice lenes. So you see what I mean by "committment?" While some digital shooters say they are returning to film shooting, I don't see it as a landslide by any means.
  10. I don't want to steer this into a film against digital thing, but the truth is that I've spent more money on digital gear than I had in 10+ years of film costs, thinking that I'd better get with the times and figure out this digital thing.

    Digital has served me well at times, but no matter the cost, I love shooting slide film. People come from all directions as far as how they perceive the cost of photography. I can see how pros that shot 1000 rolls of 35mm per week would embrace digital from a business perspective. Luckily, as a "serious amateur", shooting film is still perfectly affordable for my endeavors.
  11. For 35mm b&w film go for Freestyles Arista Premium brand (rumored to be made by Kodak) in 100 and 400 speeds. Great films at about $2 per 36 exposure roll. Can't beat that bargain!
  12. Film is plastic. Plastic is made from oil.
    LOL, maybe there's a few cents worth of polyester in a roll of film. If the price of a barrel of oil doubles, it will still only be a few cents. The cost of the plastic doesn't have any significant effect on manufacturing costs.
  13. The prices of most commodities surged this past summer. Now we may face a possible deflation. Trust me - inflation is better!
  14. It was nice when it was cheap, but I wouldn't consider it that bad. $5 for a roll of Ilford or some color C41 film isn't going to break the bank and $5-8 for development and prints (next day). As much as I shot that is maybe $20 a month and for a big vacation that might be $200.
  15. Oh, if scanning prices are knocking your socks off, just get a half way decent scanner. Something like an Epson V500. Sure it takes more of your time, but personally on any given roll of film I find there is maybe 3-8 pictures that I actually want digital copies of and even something like a vacation isn't going to be do bad to scan them all up, maybe a day of work. You get much higher quality scans then what you'll get most places and also save quite a bit of money (most places around me are $1.99-2.99 for low res scans around 1600x1060 a roll, or maybe $50 for 20 rolls that would barely pass muster printing as a 4x6 from the scans).
  16. I'm not gonna give up, and I hope you guys don't either. As usual, I've got a lot to say about this, just like I would about
    anything else; but, main point is, don't give up.
  17. The price of silver has gone up. You all don't remember when the Hunt brothers ran up the price of silver from $4.50
    an ounce to over $13 do you? Kodak, Ilford, and Agfa sent out notices that the price of film and paper would double
    after a certain date.

    We notified customers and many placed large orders for materials at the lower price. The photo materials' price
    doubled, the Hunt brothers silver scam went down the drain - and the price of silver went down to about $5.25 an

    And the price of photo materials.....? Stayed at the doubled price because the photo manufacturers found out that
    people would buy the products at the higher price. You'll just have to live with film being whatever price they can
    charge for it.
  18. I feel like a chump too -- I just spent $70 for two rolls 36 exp. film plus processing (36 slides, 36 - 5x7 prints, scans of slides). One reason I went Digital so many years ago was because of the cost savings so why do I flip out occasionally?
  19. Punishment for failure to go digital.

    Seriously, don't any of you folks roll and process your own? I used to save a bundle that way!
  20. "Punishment for failure to go digital."

    Amateurs can't use that argument to justify going digital unless they're burning a huge amount of film. Film is still cheaper,
    especially considering the nasty depreciation DSLRs take. Almost as bad as a car.
  21. I do what Marc Todd does: Shop at FreeStylePhoto dot com or go to their store in Hollywood. 35mm B&W film (Kodak Tri-X repackaged) and for 36 exposures $2.00.

    Then I develop it at home, so the cost of film and development is a triffle. Soon I'll be printing at home too, and the additional cost of that with chemicals will just add a bit more per exposure.

    And doing this means you don't have to print the exposures that are cr@p. More money saved.

    As to color, I only use digital.
  22. Scott, I love film, but lets be objective here: Shooting color film is a heck of a lot more expensive the color digital. By factors of 10 or more, in fact. The film costs alone for a wedding is perhaps 10 times more of an erosion to the photog's profit then had he shoot digital. Have you sent color film to a pro lab lately?

    Even cheapo B&W film shooting with processing and printing at home is more expensive then digital.
  23. What about the service life of a pro-SLR vs a DLSR? My Nikon FM3a was $800 new and is still doing top rate work after 5years. Who uses the same DSLR for 5 years? Even the Nikon D1 has been reduced to closet fodder with a $200 price tag IF you can manage to sell it. Now, my Nikon FM3a is still worth about as much as I paid for it 5 years ago ... go figure? So where is the big Digital savings if your Digital camera is out dated every 2 years?

    Film is cheaper than a $2,000 up grade every 2 years.
  24. What the heck.... if you want it pay for it, enough with the crying of the price of a roll of film....
  25. I live in England - film is trembling because most people use digi.
    Good news for film fans - out local Aldi store (German company) sells 2x35mm rolls of Kodak 200 or 400 iso film
    for about 80pence FOR THE TWO. Madness, but I like it. If you want me to buy some and send it, let me know! But
    now is the time for buying 35mm cameras. I got a Canon T90 for about £200, with lens and dedicated spot metering
    TTL flash included, off ebay. It is without doubt, the best metering camera I have ever bought - noisy and a bit
    heavy, but wow! the beautiful exposure - and the lenses are cheap and easy to buy, again I used ebay. A nice 24mm
    canon lens was about £25, I think, and gives very nice quality too, and all for less than a cheap digital SLR.
    And for even better image quality, a nice ETRSi with standard lens, but the later PE lenses, made by Tamron,
    gives superb shots, and again for about £250. The pictures can be biggish, 20x30 with good detail - that's my tip
    for a 120 roll film camera, and add Fuji films new Velvia 100, and you have lovely rich shots too. Love film,
    (and digital) - though the current debate is a bit daft on film vs digital - amazing how some academics like to
    go to any length to prove they are right and the other person's absolute understanding is not precisely correct.
    My slant is that digital seems to clean up all the noise, but seems to remove fine detail in the process - which
    seems to be like polishing the silverware until you polish the details in the silver, and smooth the texture away
    with the dirt. I hear the latest Kodak film is the finest grain film in existence - I buy my films from, as they are cheapest, and if you are in Britain, you don't pay VAT - whoopee says I.

    Good shooting friends!

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