Film and film prices

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OCtrainguy
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Film and film prices

Post by OCtrainguy » Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:22 pm

(Writers note: This topic is not meant to stir up the film verse digital debate or a Kodak verse Fuji debate.)

I still photograph using both print and slide film. Over the past year, I have been keeping an eye on both film prices and availability and I have a few observations.

The first thing that I have noticed is that several of the more well known retailers (such as K-Mart and Walgreens) in my area are now only carrying one brand of film, Kodak. I have also noticed other retailers are not carrying as much Fuji film as in the past (such as Wal-Mart, Target and ShopRite). I know some people not buy film from these places, but some do. And it's good to know in case you need to quickly get a roll or two. I have also noticed that Kodak's prices are typically higher than Fuji's.

The second thing is that with the great number of people going to digital, film prices have not really decreased. In fact, I noticed Wal-Mart has increased their prices on some of the Kodak and Fuji film. In speaking with an employee of my local camera store, she has noticed that same thing and suggested that while demand may be diminishing, so is supply, thus a possible explanation as to why film prices have not decreased.

In my recent pricing inquiry on slide film, I have noticed that both Kodak and Fuji film prices for 100 speed slide film have remained the same.

Now here is something that I find interesting. I have noticed an increase in the amount of disposable cameras being offered at various retailers. If the use of digital cameras is growing, why is the number of, and types of disposable cameras growing? (My first guess would that there is a growing market of people who are using these for various social events.)

Has anyone else noticed/experienced this?

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Post by railohio » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:38 pm

From my observations the price for Provia 100 has remained about the same but the price of Provia 400 has gone up about 50%. The cost for E-6 processing has remained the same at both of the labs I use. Not to stir the pot, as you said, but I'll keep shooting slide film as long as it's available and reasonably priced.
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Post by kevikens » Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:38 am

As much as I liked the feel of mechanical film cameras it was the growing fear of ever diminishing sources of film and processing problems that got me into digital about a year and a half ago. I really fought the switch but am glad that I did. As for the disposable cameras I suspect that photography will soon be reduced to those who use digital and those who choose not to, but, still want convenience and low cost for the few times when they need to take the occasional picture, weddings, birthday parties, etc. The price of the SLR film cameras has plummeted reflecting the abandonment of that medium as a popular mode. Boy am I glad I never invested real money in Leicas.

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Post by OCtrainguy » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:30 am

I usually buy the Fuji Provia-F 100 speed film as it is cheaper than Kodak's 100 speed film. As already noted, I have also noticed that the price of film processing has not changed, for either print or slide film. What I find interesting is how many places now offer $0.20 "digital" prints. So if you have 24 pictures, it will cost $4.80. Where I usually go, it costs $5.99 for two sets of prints with a roll of 24 pictures, available the next day (24 hours). The local camera store that I visit (which I really enjoy their work, but cannot always afford the price) charges me about $11 for a roll of 24, single set prints.

I have noticed that the more recent Canon SLR Rebel has consistently been about $200 at both Wal-Mart and Target. I have noticed that the price is dropping on the Canon 8-megapixel camera.

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Post by OCtrainguy » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:45 pm

I was at my local Wal-Mart today on my lunch break and out of curiosity, I stopped to check the film prices. I didn't notice much change in prices, but I did notice that their "film" stock consisted of about 80% disposable cameras.

They also had more Kodak film than Fuji film.

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Post by pennsy » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:52 pm

Hi All,

I haven't noticed much of a change, but then since I was trained by a professional photographer, I use one of their tricks. That is, I will buy several rolls of Fuji film, usually ASA 200, and promptly place it in my refrigerator until needed. This will extend the shelf life of the film some several years. When my photographer buddy and I were "shooting up a storm" we would purchase film that had just gone out of shelf life, and either use it immediately, or pop it into the refrigerator until needed. Never had a problem. As he once told me, "Film can't read and doesn't know it is out of shelf life." Additionally, from a chemical point of view, for every ten degrees centigrade that you lower the temperature of the film, you double its shelf life, and essentially stop its chemical degradation.

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Post by MEC407 » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:12 am

On the rare occasions that I shoot film these days, I buy it online from either B&H Photo-Video or Adorama. Both have good prices and good service. I had to stop buying film locally years ago... paying $10 for a roll of Kodachrome just doesn't make sense when you can get it for $5 online.

B&H sells Fuji Sensia 100 for $3.49/roll. It's an excellent film, very similar to Provia 100F but slightly warmer. They also have Kodak Elite Chrome 100 for $3.69/roll, which is my personal favorite slide film. It is comparable to E100G / E100GX.
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OCtrainguy
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Post by OCtrainguy » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:16 pm

I do buy my slide film from B&H, usually getting Fuji Provia 100F. I do like the Kodak E100G / E100GX film, but the Fuji film is usually between $2-$3 cheaper per roll.

I will look into B&H for print film for my trip to Altoona in a few months.

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Post by railohio » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:23 pm

Random thought: Why would you alternate between prints and slides? :(
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Post by OCtrainguy » Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:47 pm

I use slide film for submissions to magazines. Particularly for special events or moves such as the circus train. I primarily use print film. I don't have a slide scanner and my local camera store charges between $1 and $1.50 per slide to scan and put on a disk.

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Otto Vondrak
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Post by Otto Vondrak » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:23 pm

That $1.50 charge per scan is only if you come in with mounted slides after the fact. If you get the CD made at the same time you are having your slides processed, you can generally get that CD made for $5 to 7$ extra. If that's not the case, find another camera shop to get your film developed at.

My advice: If you're shooting slides for train stuff and print for "snapshots" that you are just getting scanned anyway, you want an inexpensive pocket digital camera. Dedicate your film camera and your slides to railfanning exclusively! :-)

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Post by railohio » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:30 pm

Heh. I really wish I had the foresight to know when I was going to find something newsworthy on a trip. :(
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Otto Vondrak
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Post by Otto Vondrak » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:43 pm

Just because it's not "newsworthy" now doesn't mean it's not worth shooting.

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Post by railohio » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:58 pm

And shooting on quality film.

(That's what I was getting at. :wink: )
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