Film Cost Management

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by JWMster, May 17, 2018.

  1. JWMster

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    I know the ULF and LF guys order once or twice a year from Ilford's ULF/LF window. But as a newby back-to-film guy and shooting mostly 120, I'm seeing B&H jack prices of Ilford Delta 400 to $7.25 (yes, I remember the notes on this a few weeks back, but didn't think it'd run up this quickly) and wondering how to tame the beast with a quantity purchase, seasonal purchase, or bullet-to-the-head... back to Kodak TMY-2 (400) or Bergger Panchro 400 where the $'s are a bit less. For the moment, Freestyle has better prices by some measure, but for an east coasty kind of a guy, you have to kick the quantity up to get the shipping down. Is this an early summer kind of a price increase, or what? What do you do?

    With 35mm I bulk load so no problem there. But Ilford doesn't do like Kodak and give a 5-pack "discount" in 120, so I'm feeling a little (teeny tiny) "youch!" here. Just wondering.
     
  2. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    How many rolls of 120 do you shoot each month?
     
  3. Pioneer

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    Unfortunately I suspect that the big discount opportunities are behind us now.

    I am still shooting from very large bulk purchases made a few years back when cameras stores and pro shops were closing out and selling off large amounts of film.

    I haven't seen anything like that for awhile now but I am not searching as hard as I was when I made those buys either.

    But if you are serious, the only real way to ferret out these low prices is to spend some time searching for them, and then being willing and able to act very quickly. Sometimes these come up on various forum classifieds but you really have to be alert to get in on any of these sales as the films sell off very quickly. This usually means you need to have the money stashed away now in anticipation of a future purchase.
     
  4. nimajneb

    nimajneb Member

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    Wow, I bought three rolls of Ilford Delta 400 in 120 March 23rd for $5.49 each from B&H. That's a huge jump for ~2 months.
     
  5. faberryman

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    Ilford announced a price increase about a month ago.
     
  6. Just keep your eyes on the prices at all the usual suspects and checking them regularly. Prices go up and down over time.



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  7. jawarden

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    Delta 400 is good, but not so good that it's worth that price to me. I'd definitely use TMax400 (the five pack price at B&H is $4.89/roll, and you can order enough to get shipping included). That's a big price difference.
     
  8. The only Delta that I use is Delta 3200 for nature photos with the 500mm Hasselblad lens or the 500mm lens with the 2X extender on a tripod.
     
  9. OP
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    JWMster

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    nimajneb: Exactly! I just bought 30 rolls about then... and the ever so slight premium between TMY-2 and Delta400 has become a gaping chasm. I agree the current premium ain't worth it.

    My goal had been to use Kodak for color (Portra) and Ilford for B&W. Now? I'm rethinking that. I've been shooting a lot of TMY-2.... about a pace of 2 to 4 rolls a week (to answer Faberryman's question), so it's not insignificant. I guess keeping an eye out for bargains is just the way? I mean I thought Bergger Panchro was expensive, but suddenly those prices are looking pretty cheap.
    TMY-2... unless working with Delta400 really knocks my socks off and unless I can find it relatively cheaper, I may be moving back to TMY-2 and be done with it. All 3 are good films, lie flat and are easy to work with.
     
  10. Maris

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    I'm not sure I understand the anxiety about the cost of roll film. What is the work flow where the cost of film actually limits creativity and productivity? I expend maybe $1 per roll film negative but to actually produce a good photograph off that negative means using perhaps 3 or 4 or more sheets of enlarging paper, associated test-strips, and processing chemistry.
    For every $100 I spend on film I spend $1000 on paper etc. That's where the real cost lies; for me at least.
     
  11. awty

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    X2^^
    B&w film and developer is cheap as chips compared to printing added to that the low Australian dollar and the cost of postage its making this an expensive hobby.....although still not as bad as owning a boat or a trillion other hobies.
    We still live in fortunate times, but I can remember not having much disposable income, still managed to enjoy a hobie. Fomapan and Edu and others are still cheap.
     
  12. Tim Stapp

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    Anymore, Arista Edu Ultra isn't much less than Ilford.
     
  13. My go to films for 35mm and MF are Kodak Tri-X 400 which has a traditional grain and Kodak Portra 400.





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  15. OP
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    JWMster

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    Hmmm. Anxiety? Nah. I'm just wondering whether there's a seasonal cycle and prices get kicked up at the start of the summer... or whether there's some angle I should be looking to take advantage of. No anxiety. If you've ever done corporate buying... and I buy in size everyday... you're looking how to buy smart. I'm surprised the only quantities we can buy are 1's and 5's. When I was a kid and shot cine film, I used to buy my film direct from Kodak for just that reason. That of course was a different Kodak. And back then, I didn't have scratch. Today I have scratch, but they make it harder to buy in size. It's no wonder they're having problems. Why do folks read everything as an "anxiety"?
     
  16. Nodda Duma

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    That’s short-change compared to large format. Prices are all about perspective.
     
  17. MattKing

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    The production volumes appear to be relatively small.
    And with respect to Ilford products in North America, the sense is that they are shipped in batches using ship transport, so there are time cycles involved.
    Most small retailers probably pay wholesale prices close to the retail price that B&H and Adorama sell film at, so thee isn't much negotiation room there.
    And generally, Ilford films cost more in the UK than in the US, despite being manufactured in the UK.
    The cine films are still sold directly by Eastman Kodak. For Kodak still film though it is all sold through intervening distributors, so there isn't much chance to reduce prices by bulk buying - at least not much chance to beat the advantages enjoyed by the bulk buying that B&H and Adorama already do.
    Considering the two factors of inflation and the incredible reduction in sales volumes in, for example, the last 20 years, it is amazing that film is priced as low as it is.
     
  18. howardpan

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  19. guangong

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    Solution: Think before pressing shutter. Makes cost of film cheaper.
    All art supplies are expensive and the better ones harder and harder to find.
     
  20. RattyMouse

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    That's a 32% increase in price! WOW! I wonder why Ilford found the need to hit customers with such a massive price increase. Inflation is barely 2% globally if even that. Some costs are rising more than 2% of course but nothing is even remotely going up that fast.

    Private equity wants their cash back from the Harmon purchase.
     
  21. RattyMouse

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    What is harder to find?
     
  22. OP
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    JWMster

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    So the bottom line is that the bottom line is rising perceptibly, permanently, and significantly. And the idea that the personal cure of lower usage - if followed by everyone, would reduce volumes further, raising prices even faster.... is an erroneous one. Higher usage won't move the needle either, not enough to cure allow lowering costs. So there are no management ideas other than looking on ebay, Amazon, and the rest for folks bailing out of film and selling off their freezer stock from time to time. Got it.
     
  23. TonyB65

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    I haven't seen any kind of big price increase on Ilford film in the UK. If you're using imported film then transportation/import costs are a factor, for me Ilford is the best value film in the UK from a cost quality perspective, we pay through the nose for Portra and Ektar here.
     
  24. jnanian

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    just shoot short date / expired film
    there might be a tiny bit of base fog + use hc110
    in the grand scheme of things you get
    base fog by flying in a plane...
    i've never really stored my film in a freezer or fridge
    but ambient temperature / room on a shelf
    and as far as i am concerned, much to the crankyness of others
    the whole everything has to be frozen solid or it goes bad is a myth...
    and i am shooting film from nearly 20years ago with no fog
    im guessing ebay or the rain forest has people selling expired film ..
    ( don't bother with the super old stuff )
    the other thing you can do is get rid of your MF camera and get something thatt shoots SHEETS
    and shoot paper negatives, paper is cheap as dirt and expired paper works great

    LOL HAHAHA
    YMMV
     
  25. RattyMouse

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    Transport costs are not going up 30%. No costs are. Inflation continues to lag behind the Fed's target of 2%.
     
  26. RattyMouse

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    That's what +30% price increases do, kill off part of your customer base. People's salaries never get raises anywhere near this level. There really needs to be some explanation why Ilford needs to raise prices so dramatically.
    Is the company in trouble? It simply is not normal for such large price increases. I can't imagine what our customers would do it we tried to hit them with a 30% increase. Most would walk over to our competitors right away.
     
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