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HT Finley
6-Apr-2018, 21:19
I am not making this thread to be a rant, at least in spirit. I just don't understand the prohibitive pricing of large format film. take any larger than 4x5 large format panchromatic film price, and it's absolutely prohibitive. My first thought is to wonder what the 8x10 and larger panchromatic film prices were, say in the 40's through 70's, inflation adjusted? Until I know that, I can't rant about pricing today. I'm talking about B&W film now. Color I can understand, as it requires much more production machinery and chemistry. Let's take X-ray film, which I'm limited to... Last I saw, it's still quite low compared to pan film. X ray film can get me from violet to green. All I'm missing is yellow to red. What's the big deal on the last few steps through the spectrum? Although as digital replaces it, I have little hope for that either. But 8x10 pan film B&W is at least $4.00 a sheet? (or is it even more now)?
Something seems totally out-of-kilter to me.

Alan9940
6-Apr-2018, 21:40
LF film is definitely more expensive nowadays, even inflation adjusted. For example, in the mid-80's I bought 50 sheet boxes of 8x10 Tri-X for $50.00 per box. Adjusted to today's dollars that's about $117.00. A 25 sheet box of HP-5+ runs about $109.00; and I won't even discuss the price for 8x10 Tri-X nowadays! IMO, one of the best deals for 8x10 film today is Fomapan 100. I typically buy it from fotoimpex because even with overseas shipping it's cheaper than buying it here in the states. All that said, though, 8x10 is my favorite format so I keep shooting it, pretty much regardless of the cost.

Bernice Loui
6-Apr-2018, 22:48
Back in the 1990's when 8x10 color transparency film was commercially viable for specific work. Cost per sheet of film & processions ran between $10 to $20 per sheet. This is simply the cost and way it has always been. Stepping down to 5x7 did not reduce the per sheet of film cost that much, further down to 4x5 did make enough cost difference to be significant.

*This is one of the reasons why 4x5 became the standard for most high quality color commercial images produced back in those days. In studio with a Sinar P system good lighting system and high quality processing lab with a truly artistic and skilled photographer, work flow could be very good indeed with a good cost to results ratio.

Film and processing cost pales compared to associated cost per image, models, support personal, rental of location and all other non-camera related tems often far exceeded the cost of film and processing.

As for cost per B&W sheet film, it is similar to color sheet film, a matter of production cost for a given market demand. Sheet film production compared to roll film production is tiny. This drives up the cost of sheet film regardless of color or B&W. There comes a point when the production cost of any given film format exceeds it's market sales volume making continued production of that given film format not economically viable. Essentially for those who are sheet film users, keep using sheet film or more and more of it will disappear resulting a continued shrinking sheet film varieties being available.


Per image cost per sheet of film is one of the reasons why learning how to achieve the desired image in a single sheet is SO important. It is also why learning how to use a view camera at 8x10 or larger is a extremely steep learning curve and expen$ive.

No complaints about todays film cost, what is far more worrisome is the availability of sheet film in general.



Bernice

Jim Jones
7-Apr-2018, 05:35
A sheet of 8x10 film (purchased in quantity) cost $0.27 when Edward Weston was budgeting for a Guggenheim financed photo project in 1937. Gasoline may have been around $0.20. Weston was concerned about both prices.

Tin Can
7-Apr-2018, 05:59
Compare cost per sq in between formats.

Same same mostly.

paulbarden
7-Apr-2018, 06:49
If you find the cost of 8x10 sheet film prohibitive, that says more about your ability to afford the product than it does about the cost (or value) of the product.
The ďper imageĒ cost of shooting 35mm makes it seem as though film is a trivial expense, and so people go out and shoot without concern about wasting frames. Working with 8x10 sheet film is the polar opposite: the greatest care is exercised to get the shot right with one or two sheets. Itís an entirely different approach to image making, so itís hard to make comparisons. At $4.35 a slice, I consider HP5/Pancro400 to be a bargain.


Compare cost per sq in between formats.
Same same mostly.

Yep.

BrianShaw
7-Apr-2018, 09:55
If you find the cost of 8x10 sheet film prohibitive, that says more about your ability to afford the product than it does about the cost (or value) of the product.


... and if not ‘ability’, willingness.

jp
7-Apr-2018, 10:22
An 8x10 sheet is the same amount of film as a negative page, or a roll of most sizes. $4 isn't bad for a roll of 120 or 36 exp 35mm or 4 sheets of 4x5.

Aside from spending $4/sheet you could spend $1/sheet for xray film which I think is fussier and more fragile but still capable. Or you could spend $10 for Kodak's options. Though here their rollfilm is less expensive than Ilford.

Leigh
7-Apr-2018, 10:23
We seem to forget that film is a perishable product, like apples or kumquats.
How often do we complain if "new" film is not "fresh"?

The retailer has to buy cases of film, not boxes.
If it doesn't sell in a reasonable time, it's trash.

As demand fades, the trash rate goes up.
That has to be compensated by making higher profit on the film that does sell.

- Leigh

Bob Salomon
7-Apr-2018, 10:54
We seem to forget that film is a perishable product, like apples or kumquats.
How often do we complain if "new" film is not "fresh"?

The retailer has to buy cases of film, not boxes.
If it doesn't sell in a reasonable time, it's trash.

As demand fades, the trash rate goes up.
That has to be compensated by making higher profit on the film that does sell.

- Leigh
Worse the manufacturer has to coat miles of stock to maintain consistent quality. If the market canít buy all that film while fresh it has to trash what is left.
Todayís market for any size LF film is a tiny fraction of what it was when sales were healthy!
Want proof? Name all current lens manufacturers of LF lenses, cameras, shutters, etc.. if there was a healthy market for them you would see far more of some and new production for the ones no longer manufactured.
In short, it has become a cottage industry today.

Pere Casals
8-Apr-2018, 01:26
Compare cost per sq in between formats.

Same same mostly.

Hello Randy,

This is true in the Ilford product range, but fuji and kodak have different policy, with LF products at $ x2 per sqi, and in the case of fuji 135 slides.

Tin Can
8-Apr-2018, 01:32
Which one is responsive to our needs and has a chance at still selling film in 10 years?


Hello Randy,

This is true in the Ilford product range, but fuji and kodak have different policy, with LF products at $ x2 per sqi, and in the case of fuji 135 slides.

Pere Casals
8-Apr-2018, 01:54
Worse the manufacturer has to coat miles of stock to maintain consistent quality. If the market can’t buy all that film while fresh it has to trash what is left.
Today’s market for any size LF film is a tiny fraction of what it was when sales were healthy!

Yes Bob, this is true, but we discussed that earlier, not necessary to go there again, only pointing that we have Ilford and Foma holding same price (sqi) for LF than for rolls, with Fuji and Kodak with around a 200% overpricing for LF. This is a fact, so it's more about product managers than logistics.




Want proof? Name all current lens manufacturers of LF lenses, cameras, shutters, etc.. if there was a healthy market for them you would see far more of some and new production for the ones no longer manufactured.
In short, it has become a cottage industry today.

Gear market if off, we know that. This is because comercial LF photography nearly extinct, present market is artists and amateurs, and there are tones of second hand Pro gear. Nothing new...

But film market is about consumables, measured in rolls the world market has shrinked from 800million rolls to 3 million. Those 3 million rolls, growing now 7% yearly, are a surprise for marketing teams !!

Pere Casals
8-Apr-2018, 02:09
Something seems totally out-of-kilter to me.

As an amateur located in a place where the standard of living is lower than in the usa, and price/taxes higher, I'd say that there are solutions if price is a problem.

1) One solution is shooting 1/4 of the times, an making x4 greater effort in obtaining a sound image, this delivers impressive results, IMHO, in special for a learner like me.

2) The second solution is what Denise Ross kindly explains: http://www.thelightfarm.com/ . These are books that one should have in the shelving anyway, but even one can do what's explained there, for great fun, great satisfaction, and great photographs.

3) See Sally Mann, never complained if a glass had a crack in the middle, and she even says that she never controlled completely wet plate, but see the photographs...

Sure there are more solutions...

jp
8-Apr-2018, 04:10
You might feel more independent but wet plate is not inexpensive. It is very inefficient with silver and chemistry is not cheap but if you like it, great.

Pere Casals
8-Apr-2018, 04:37
You might feel more independent but wet plate is not inexpensive. It is very inefficient with silver and chemistry is not cheap but if you like it, great.

What is the cost of chem per 4x5 wet plate ?

For dry plates, a chem batch for 60 4x5 plates costs $20, this is $0.3 per plate, then you have the glass, but I cut it from trash. Of course if you count manpower the cost is another one, but in an afternoon one can make as many plates you want... just you need a magnetic stirrer (https://web.archive.org/web/20180408113646/https://www.ebay.es/itm/1000ML-Magnetic-Stirrer-Mixer-Machine-wi-Heating-Hot-Plate-Laboratory-220V-150W/302672893412?hash=item4678b5d5e4:g:74IAAOSwUwhaq6s3) and a drying cabinet with room enough. You get from ISO 1 to ISO 40, depending on skills...

Tin Can
8-Apr-2018, 05:26
Hello Randy,

This is true in the Ilford product range, but Fuji and kodak have different policy, with LF products at $ x2 per sqi, and in the case of fuji 135 slides.

As I have become more aware of LF sheet film performance differences, I now realize both Kodak Tri-X-320 and Ancros 100 are unusually excellent films when compared to others I have used.

I am stocking up on Kodak TriX-320 as I can in retirement. I an parsimonious in all expenses, except this hobby.

Today I shoot an F5 with Acros 100, but I never used it much. I am not stocking up on it. How can I miss a lover I never knew. Kodak I do know, like an ex-spouse.


I learned LF with X-Ray film cutting it to all sizes. Now I am trying to be more deliberate.

Kodak Sheet film is worth double. I wish they cut 2-1/4 X 3-1/4.

BTW Ilford 2-1/4 X 3-1/4 is more per sq inch than larger sizes. I buy plenty of it.

And for several years running Ilford 4.75 X 6.5 has cost significantly less per sq in during the Special Order. I buy to cut to 3-1/4 X 4-1/4. I post this oddity occasionally. Not all sellers price the same. Last year I bought it here. http://www.ultrafineonline.com/il20ulfprhp4.html The Prices are still there

jp
8-Apr-2018, 05:59
What is the cost of chem per 4x5 wet plate ?

For dry plates, a chem batch for 60 4x5 plates costs $20, this is $0.3 per plate, then you have the glass, but I cut it from trash. Of course if you count manpower the cost is another one, but in an afternoon one can make as many plates you want... just you need a magnetic stirrer (https://web.archive.org/web/20180408113646/https://www.ebay.es/itm/1000ML-Magnetic-Stirrer-Mixer-Machine-wi-Heating-Hot-Plate-Laboratory-220V-150W/302672893412?hash=item4678b5d5e4:g:74IAAOSwUwhaq6s3) and a drying cabinet with room enough. You get from ISO 1 to ISO 40, depending on skills...

Good deal for you with the dry plates!

https://www.bostick-sullivan.com/cart/1113.html?category_id=440
$383 for 65 8x10 wet plates

I realize there is some markup for their expertise and convenience and probably $50 worth of reusable pieces, but it's still almost double Ilford/Foma 8x10 costs here. And that's without the glass or aluminum

Pere Casals
8-Apr-2018, 07:33
I am stocking up on Kodak TriX-320 as I can in retirement. I an parsimonious in all expenses, except this hobby...

...Kodak Sheet film is worth double. I wish they cut 2-1/4 X 3-1/4.


Randy, of course, film is something very personal, and TXP is amazing, no doubt.

you can cut 2-1/4 X 3-1/4 from 8x10, you just need this toy to do it with total convenience:: https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.amazon.com/Spy-Gear-Ninja-Night-Vision/dp/B01MSMQHWR/ref=sr_1_7?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1523197744&sr=1-7&keywords=night+vision.

Pere Casals
8-Apr-2018, 07:43
Good deal for you with the dry plates!

https://www.bostick-sullivan.com/cart/1113.html?category_id=440
$383 for 65 8x10 wet plates

I realize there is some markup for their expertise and convenience and probably $50 worth of reusable pieces, but it's still almost double Ilford/Foma 8x10 costs here. And that's without the glass or aluminum

This is a luxurious kit with acessories from a luxurious vendor, sure it's a good product/service, but quite expensive and far from actual WP costs, in your link also there was:

176827

For example they have 500gr of Potassium Iodide for $142.68

You buy Potassium Iodide some 3x more expensive than me: https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.ebay.es/itm/Potassium-Iodide-99-9-ACS-500gm-Shipped-Same-Day/131772396483?hash=item1eae3f33c3:g:aAYAAOSwMVdYGe~n

Not for WP, but telling about price policy.

You can buy wet plate chem way cheaper. Anyway they offer silver nitrate at a competitive price, but in general it's not a cheap place...

Tin Can
8-Apr-2018, 07:58
Randy, of course, film is something very personal, and TXP is amazing, no doubt.

you can cut 2-1/4 X 3-1/4 from 8x10, you just need this toy to do it with total convenience:: https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.amazon.com/Spy-Gear-Ninja-Night-Vision/dp/B01MSMQHWR/ref=sr_1_7?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1523197744&sr=1-7&keywords=night+vision.

I cut in total darkness, practiced with X-Ray. I'm not cutting up 8X10 or 11X14 TriX...or any real film that size.

Pere Casals
8-Apr-2018, 08:12
Randy, this an interesting toy, if you remember it was pointed by Sandy, I want one !! it's useful for all, to load spirals, to cut film, to load 135 cassetes, to develop by inspection... and to cut film. Last time I was cutting sheets I resulted injured :)

Well not indispensable, but very useful sometimes when something goes wrong, like when not finding something in the darkness...

I'm to get one to sensitize dry plates for panchro, but I feel I'll use it a lot.

Thalmees
15-Apr-2018, 09:06
Hello,
Just could not resist to add my statement!:cool:
The Film Pricing Thread
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?137828-The-Film-Pricing-Thread