35mm · Film photography · Photography

Another well lit house (and the increasing cost of film)

This might be a bit of a theme over the next few days – photos of houses that is. I’m down to my last few frames of scanned, un-posted photos, and all of them are of houses (except for one of a fire station). I have finished a roll of HP5+ today that’s been in my XA3 for a while, so if I can get that developed tomorrow, then that should give me a bit more fuel in the tank before resorting to the archive.

It doesn’t seem that long that I was four or five rolls of un-scanned photos in front!

I was disappointed to see that Kodak have announced further price increases. Kodak’s films are already expensive, with things like Portra and Ektachrome pretty much off my shopping list already, but the proposed rise of “at least” 20% will blow my desire to buy them completely out of the water. This will put a 5-pack of something like Portra 400 at somewhere in the region of £60-80, and I expect that even stuff like Colorplus and Gold will be prohibitive – settling into the price ranges that the professional films were at a few years ago.

I’ve still got a decent stock of color film in the freezer, at least enough to keep me going for the next year or so based on the rate I shoot it at, and I tend to favour B&W photography anyway, and there are still a good number of reasonably priced black-and-white films available at present (here in the UK at least), and my preference is for Ilford’s films for B&W anyway. It’s a shame about these increases though – I want to support Kodak, but I’m not sure my wallet will allow it.

Running out of shots
I need some fuel for the blog
Best get to shooting!

Pass by in blue

Canon Sure Shot Z135 & Lomography Xpro Chrome 100 (expired 2012)

Taken on 16 September 2021

5 thoughts on “Another well lit house (and the increasing cost of film)

  1. I can’t help but feel that if one thing will kill of the “film revival”, it’s this sort of price rise. I think everyone accepts things get gradually more expensive, but 20%+ more in a year! Sadly, I think any further colour work will have to be digital for me.
    Wonder if Kodak are trying to control their supply problems by reducing demand……..

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    1. I think there’s definitely a risk there. If someone’s just starting out with film, then they’re going to be pretty disappointed if a £20 roll of film comes back full of dud shots because of a camera fault of something. I’m going to be pretty careful with my use of colour film if these prices persist.

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      1. Wonderful color palette. This film really has held up great. The little Z135 did a great job, too.

        Kodak had already lost my business long before this announcement of yet *another* absurd price increase incoming. Until reading your blog post I had no idea another one had recently been announced. Even without “official” price increases being announced, Kodak film here in the U.S. has been steadily increasing bit by bit ever since the last announced increase. It never ends. It’s just that every time there’s an “official” announcement it just increases that much more, and much more sharply. It’s sad.

        I know things are a bit different in the U.K., but in the past two to three years virtually all of Kodak’s film stocks (consumer and pro alike) have doubled in price here in the U.S. And the fact is, they were overpriced even two to three years ago, before the incessant price hikes began. In my opinion it was originally pure, undiluted, corporate greed that drove up the costs in 2019/2020 (i.e. they saw an ignorant community they could exploit, and they did just that), but now I’d say we’re seeing the damaging results of that greed, exactly as I expected we would. In my view, they created artificial (i.e. unnecessary) inflation for their products to maximize their short-term profits by exploiting a mostly *new*, younger (or well-off and retired) film community full of gullible people willing to pay nearly anything asked of them so long as they were given some ridiculous (wholly illogical) excuse from Kodak to justify it. This no doubt served Kodak very, very well short-term, but I doubt it is any longer. Now, the already inflated cost of their products (which, again, they pointlessly created themselves, in my opinion, and which once created is nigh impossible to reverse) that caused them to lose the support of many once-loyal customers (like me), combined with today’s supply chain issues, is coming back to bite them in the rear end. This was all entirely predictable. People can agree or disagree — that’s fine. This is all my opinion, but I’d say it’s pretty difficult to refute if one actually takes the time to look at the big picture of what’s happened over the course of the past three to five years.

        Despite the fact I’ll never support them again as long as their prices are as asinine as they now are, I do hope Kodak survives, just for the sake of film photography in general. But if they don’t survive (or at least their film division and/or Alaris doesn’t), well, they brought destruction upon themselves as far as I’m concerned. Ilford and Fujifilm have lost my business, too, for largely the same reasons. The “big three” film companies have effectively not made a cent off of me for several years now. And there’s no way I’m the only one whose business they’ve lost during this same timeframe. How do they think that can be good for them?

        Meanwhile, other film companies, including Foma, Rollei, Agfa, and Bergerr have very clearly made an attempt to maintain some level of stability in the cost of their film offerings, especially Foma. They’ve done this despite not having anywhere close to the sway/power/resources within this industry that the “big three” have at their disposal. For this reason, they’ve gained me as a customer, while the “big three” have lost me. If Foma, who is on the other side of the world, can sell me a roll of film for less than half of what Kodak is, despite Kodak being in my own backyard, there is something very, very wrong. In my opinion, for several years now, Kodak, Ilford, and Fujifilm have really been nothing but a disservice to both the film community and industry, despite many out there doing nothing but singing their praises ad nauseam and serving as their marketing departments for free. The unfortunate thing is that due to their size and place within the industry, what the “big three” do unfortunately affects the entire industry as a whole. If they cause damage, they screw things up for everyone, including the smaller companies still trying to do right by their customers by keeping costs fair and reasonable. The current state of film photography really is a disaster, and one that could/should have been avoided. Again, all this is my opinion based on what I’ve seen take place over the years. People are absolutely free to disagree, and I know many do. Bizarrely, there are many who will argue until they’re blue in the face that film prices spiraling out of control is a *good* thing, and we should all pay whatever we’re told to (even if we literally can’t afford it). Common sense no longer seems to apply, nor does even a rudimentary understanding of economics (real economics, not the bogus trash they teach in most colleges and universities these days).

        Sorry for the length of this. I know we’ve discussed much of it before. But hey, you opened the can of worms this time, so I blame you. Haha! 😉

        Take care!

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      2. I think that, with a price increase as significant as tin (on top of the other increases in the last couple of years or so) that Kodak run a notable risk of tempering their film sales.

        There are plenty of cost-effective alternatives to their B&W films that I can choose (including Ilford, whose prices remain competetive here in the UK), but I’m only likely to buy any expensive colour film if I have *very* good reason to do so. I’m not paying these prices just for random photography outings.

        I still have a reasonable supply of colour film in the freezer (including more expired E6), so that will last me a while.

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      3. I think you’re being overly polite by stating they “run a notable risk of tempering their film sales.” I think their film sales are going to take a nosedive off the side of a cliff. It may not happen immediately, but I have no doubt it’s going to happen if Kodak continues down the path they’ve been on the last few years. I just hope the industry can survive this, that film as a medium doesn’t die off as a result of the way a few companies are doing things, and that it goes back to actually being affordable (truly affordable). As you already alluded to, these prices don’t just alienate newcomers, they outright guarantee there effectively won’t be any newcomers. It should be obvious to the manufacturers that this is a very serious problem for the continued viability of their product. When you don’t have new people entering the community and buying what you’re selling, things can only go one direction: downhill. And for those already in the community who haven’t yet been driven out by the gouging, well, eventually it’ll either get too expensive for them to afford, too, or they’ll just finally get tired of being exploited. People act as though there is still a film resurgence going on, that huge numbers of people are getting back into film all the time. While that was undoubtedly true a few years ago, I don’t see it anymore and I haven’t for some time. I see far, *far* more people leaving film because it’s gotten so expensive than I see picking it up.

        I’m glad you’ve got a decent supply of color film remaining in your freezer. I’ve really been enjoying your color work recently, especially since you got your Plustek and started using Grain2Pixel. Your scans have been excellent.

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