Supporting Dedicated Brands

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Ces1um, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Ces1um

    Ces1um Subscriber

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    I'm wondering what people think about supporting certain brands that show dedication to film photography rather than purchasing from cheaper brands that likely won't be around for the duration. It may be easier to illustrate with an example than to explain it. Ilford is a company that has shown commitment to film photography throughout the years. However, you can buy film from some other brands at a considerably cheaper price on a regular basis. Do you pay the additional amount to support a company that is likely to be around until the end, or do you buy the cheaper film from a company that we'll say likely won't be in it for the long haul? Such is the dilemma that I'm in. I'd appreciate everyone's thoughts.
     
  2. My photographs are important to me, so I would rather pay more money for:
    Consistent results
    Reliable products
    Reliable product sources
    Results that I want.​
    Therefore I stick with Kodak and Ilford. On the rare occasion when I need a special type of film that neither makes, I will then explore other brands.
     
  3. OP
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    Ces1um

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    That's been my philosophy as well, but I've come across a film from the czech republic that is significantly cheaper than Ilford's (about $1 a sheet for 4x5) so it is tempting... But Ilford has been producing quality products and really I feel I should support them. My cheapness is fighting with my gratitude.
     
  4. Ko.Fe.

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    Cheaper than Ilford's Kentmere? No kidding?
     
  5. OP
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    Ces1um

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    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1190988-REG/arista_190145_edu_ultra_100_4.html

    35 clams US for 50 sheets.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/sear...-of-sheets_5573|100&srtclk=sort&N=4093113314&

    11 bucks for 50 sheets.


    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/24748-REG/Ilford_1629181_HP5_Plus_4x5_100.html

    Ilford doesn't offer a 50 sheet box, but if you halve the price of their 100 box it's 65 bucks for hp5 which is listed as their cheapest.

    Now I have no idea what the quality is like for the first two products. It could be (and probably is) absolute garbage- but I don't know either way. I always believe you get what you pay for, but I also know manufacturing in England is probably a lot more expensive than it is in the Czech Republic which may account for some of the difference.

    Hence my dilemma, pay more for Ilford who produces quality products and is still innovating in the film marketplace, or buy from one of these companies (who to their credit are producing film) but likely aren't contributing anything more to film in general.
     
  6. Ko.Fe.

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    I must be posting in the wrong thread. Is it all about 4x5 film here? I ditched it couple years ago. I'm talking about what in use most. 35mm film and paper.
     
  7. Willyekerslike

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    For B&W I have had relationship with Ilford and Kodak going back to the fifties, a kind of menage a trois. However I have favoured Ilford to a greater extent although I have fooled around with cheaper brands for brief periods over the years.

    For colour I preferred Kodak for much of the time but have also tried many other brands on occasions. In colour I have always shot mostly colour slides so I am with Fuji as it is at present the only reliable slide film available, I hope that is about to change.

    So, as others have stated, I appreciate a reliable, predictable and consistent product for most of my work. However I am prepared to look at other manufacturers products to see what they have to offer but for me they must be easily available.
     
  8. OP
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    Ces1um

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    It's not necessarily about 4x5 film. I started the thread though so I just began with what was currently relative to me, which is 4x5. Please feel free though to provide your own experiences with other formats. I'm more interested in people's responses to the broader ethical question.
     
  9. OP
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    Ces1um

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    This seems to be a very reasonable approach. For me, no 4x5 sheet film is easily available. It has to be ordered online as nobody carries it locally at all. So when I order all that separates me from ordering Ilford/kodak/fuji/arista/foma is my decision to support one brand over another.
     
  10. faberryman

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    Instead of casting the issue as a moral dilemma, maybe you could just buy some of each and decide which one you like. The Arista film in the first link is rebranded Foma from the Czech Republic, and is a reputable brand. The Regent film in the second link is halftone film not suitable for general photography. B&H and Freestyle sell both Arista and Ilford in 25/sheet boxes. I don't know how reasonable their shipping costs are to Canada.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  11. OP
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    Ces1um

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    I didn't realize Arista was rebranded Foma- I thought it was originally a US company that set up shop in the Czech republic. That does help with the decision as Foma does make a lot of film products. I'm just trying to support companies that will support my film habit for the long haul. I guess my intention for all of this is to try to support film in general by patronizing brands that have been around for a while and are most likely going to keep going for the longest. I just wasn't sure I was willing to deal with the large gaps in price. Foma I'm well aware of and have used some of their rebranded Holga film. They even produce X-ray film!
     
  12. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I can't buy from ILFORD as they don't make color film. I don't shoot B&W. I use Kodak for my color negative film.
     
  13. chip j

    chip j Member

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    FOMA 100 (or, in my case Areista EDU 100) in 35mm is my FAVORITE film!!
     
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  15. We do not discriminate film formats, except 645 :angel:.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    foma is great stuff !
    i miss forte, that film and paper
    was a work of art ..
     
  17. pentaxuser

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    The way you have described your qualification for buying film, is there any reason to believe that Foma is less dedicated to film than Ilford?Foma have no other product line except analogue products as far as I know whereas Ilford do produce inkjet paper. Ilford certainly outsources its chemicals' production but I have no idea what Foma's position is.

    In terms of dependency on analogue you might argue that Ferrania has placed all its eggs in one basket to a greater extent than any other company, couldn't you?

    Except for what these three companies produce things are not as fully B&W in terms of dedication as might at first appear, are they?

    pentaxuser
     
  18. Craig

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    I have not used Foma, but I have used other Eastern European films and while they gave nice results, they clearly were not as technically advanced as the products from Ilford and Kodak, specifically the Delta and T Max films. The grain wasn't as fine for example. I also found them very delicate when wet and needed extraordinarily gentle handling. I had a number of shots on 4x5 and 8x10 ruined in the processing stage. I found Kodak and Ilford much more forgiving.

    All that being said, try a box and see what you like. I do support manufacturers and countries that I wish my money to go to, and avoid others I don't for certain things. That's a concious decision to pay more for what I believe in. It's your money if you wish to do that there is nothing wrong with it. There is also nothing wrong with getting what you perceive as the best value for your dollar either.
     
  19. OP
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    Ces1um

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    Please reread post #11. "I didn't realize Arista was rebranded Foma- I thought it was originally a US company that set up shop in the Czech republic. That does help with the decision as Foma does make a lot of film products." "Foma I'm well aware of and have used some of their rebranded Holga film. They even produce X-ray film!"
     
  20. Ste_S

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    In the UK Ilford is as cheap or cheaper than other brands so I use them for B&W. Colour, we're kinda stuck with Kodak or Fuji, and as Fuji seems to be doing its best to extricate itself from the film market, I'm tending towards Kodak now.
     
  21. keenmaster486

    keenmaster486 Member

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    If I really care about the pictures, I buy Kodak or Fuji. Most of my name brand film is color film, and mostly slide film at that.

    If I am just having fun, I buy the cheapest black and white film available and develop it myself.
     
  22. MattKing

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    +1
    That being said, I wonder if it could easily be re-purposed for enlarged copy neg/intermediate use. Thanks for the the source :smile:.

    I have a lifelong loyalty to Kodak materials. I am not the one to ask.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  23. RattyMouse

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    I typically don't shop for film based on price. I shoot the films that deliver the output I desire. For color, that's typically Fujifilm, but not always. Sometimes for a change I would shoot Portra or Ektar. My go to black and white films were Acros and TMAX400. I've been burned bad by extremely poor quality Kodak film so dropped them completely in 120 size.

    I believe that Kodak and Fuji are not going to be making film in 5 years or so, so Ilford is the one I tend to support going forward. I supported Ferrania's kickstart, but that has turned into an utter debacle.
     
  24. OP
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    Ces1um

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    That P30 is a beautiful film though...
     
  25. Ron789

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    Isn't the more fundamental question.... how many manufacturers and film types do we need? I think that there are today still too many manufacturers and too many film types to make good business and thereby sustain analog photography towards the future.
    I tend to agree with the OP that we should support manufacturers that are committed to analog photography. But... how many? And which ones? And which film types and formats?
     
  26. OP
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    Ces1um

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    Well, it seems like fuji will be gone soon. I also keep seeing threads about kodak's imminent demise (stock price at 5.45 or something). I think the market will find its own size- but I do think we should support companies that seem like they have a future in film.