View Full Version : 8x10 Film: Why Kodak so Expensive

21-Aug-2010, 15:32
Why such a gap in price between Kodak and Ilford in the 8x10 size???

Bruce Barlow
21-Aug-2010, 16:04
Cuz they only package 10 measly sheets per box, rather than 25 like Ilford or 50 the way they used to.

Their packaging costs (think of all the cards, internal envelopes, 3-piece box) are huge, for one thing.

They also need to recoup the cost of the new production lines from a few years ago.

I'm just annoyed with the inconvenience of 10 sheet boxes, so I've become an HP5 guy, mostly in protest.

21-Aug-2010, 17:06
Here in Toronto I find that Kodak and Ilford aren't that far apart in price for 4X5, but I recently got some Fuji Acros in 4X5, and it came in 10 sheet boxes too.
I really do prefer at least the 25 sheet size.
Back in the eighties and ninties I was running the Custom Printing dept for a major Lab, and there was a colour print product or two that we used that only came in 10 sheet boxes in 16X20 and 20X24, and complained to our rep, but he more or less said "that's the way we sell it". The waste of all the packaging used to bug me. The up side, was all nice white card that they used as stiffeners, made great drawing card for my kids, and some of my friends that had young ones.

John Kasaian
21-Aug-2010, 17:16
I still have 50 sheet boxes of Kodak TMY and TXP in the freezer. When it's gone...?
At one time the explaination from Kodak was that the 10 sheet boxes would allow more folks to try out the new emulsions :rolleyes:
It must be more profitable for Kodak to sell packaging materials than film.

HP-5+ and FP-4+ (and Fomapan/Arista.eduUltra) look pretty good to me!

Drew Wiley
21-Aug-2010, 18:07
It's probably a way to keep 8x10 film profitable for them as they anticipate reduced
demand. So in that respect, it's a good sign, because if they make money they will
keep it going, along with further R&D overhead. Probably the 10-sheet box thing is
just a ploy to charge a premium, and would also save additional money on duplicate
inventory in different packaging options. As Kodak went up, the other brands have
increased prices too. Whatever the market will bear. If you also shoot 8x10 chromes
like me, you really feel the pinch; but an 8x10 isn't a machine gun anyway.

Frank Petronio
21-Aug-2010, 18:16
It's probably to reduce the number of products they sell and have to maintain inventory for, as well as making it easier for dealers to buy inventory. In the old days studios would run through a 50-sheet box of chrome film for paying work... nowadays the only people shooting 8x10 are hobby-artists and more of them rather spend $50 on ten-sheets of TXP than $250 for 50 sheets, it's just psychology.

The nice things about the 10 sheet boxes is that you can afford to at least buy a box of film. A 50-sheet box of Portra 400NC would be $450. That's an intimidating number and if you fog it... big Opps!

Kodak will always be the most expensive film because that's their place, they pretty much invented everything and created the industry, so they won't play price games. Just as you'll won't see Mercedes or Rolex trying to compete with Hyundai or Timex... Ilford, Efke, etc. hardly matter.

You're also getting a better quality product, with better quality control. This is coming from a disgruntled former HP-5 user.

I also know Kodak actually does talk to photographers all the time. In fact they probably talk to so many and get so much information that they are overwhelmed. I mean look at this forum -- some of you hens want to have fistfights over developer formulas. So what's a Fortune 500 company to do when they wade into asking our opinions? Ever try herding cats?

The raw materials and even the packaging only cost a tiny fraction of the price. I bet that a lot of thought went into their price point so that they can recoup the optimal, most efficient profit.

Of course Kodak offers emulsions that others simply can't match, even this new fangled color stuff in practical ISO speeds like 400. So what if it costs $10 a pop? It's the only game in town.

Jan Pedersen
21-Aug-2010, 18:33
Well said Frank.

My film use in any format from 8x10 down is 90% Kodak and i have yet to see any imperfection in the negatives unless i screwed up and that happens.

Ilford on the other hand, i have seen plenty of problems in the emulsion so i use it rarely.

Drew Wiley
21-Aug-2010, 18:45
I'm going to spend an annoying amount of time spotting a print tomorrow because I
wanted to first use up the last sheets of private-label 8X10 film instead of thawing out a box of TM400. So from now on, when I start feeling the dollar crunch of Kodak in the 8X10 category, I'll simply take a "vacation" to 4x5 for a month or two!

Vlad Soare
22-Aug-2010, 03:45
Because it's worth it. :)
TMY-2 is a gorgeous film. It's worth every penny. All other ASA 400 films don't even come close to it.
Unfortunately, its magenta dye, which makes development by inspection impossible, forces me to use HP5+ instead. But in small and medium formats I'll never give up TMY-2, no matter how expensive it might be or it might become in the future.

All Kodak films are great from all points of view. It's a pleasure to use them. Also, as a bonus, their technical data sheets are the best and most comprehensive I've ever seen.
This level of quality cannot come cheap.

22-Aug-2010, 04:48
Expensive? It's the cheapest part of photography.

22-Aug-2010, 06:10
TMY-2 is a gorgeous film. It's worth every penny. All other ASA 400 films don't even come close to it.

I agree on that, but I have no problem developing it by inspection using IR goggles.

22-Aug-2010, 06:27
Bit the bullet and just bought some TXP.

23-Aug-2010, 13:25
So what's a Fortune 500 company to do when they wade into asking our opinions? Ever try herding cats?

Well, yes, actually.

And it's not a bad metaphor---what you do is open a can of tuna fish, and the cats will follow you eagerly. Sort of like a company that offers what its prospective customers want :)

Michael Kadillak
23-Aug-2010, 19:19
Kodak on their own decided that there was a market for an improved high speed emulsion and dropped over $1 MM on the R&D and manufacturing improvements to make it happen. When you recoup these costs in a diminishing market you get a price escalation - BUT YOU GET A GREAT SHEET FILM.

Fact is that TMY(2) is simply amazing and Kodak absorbed the extra costs of running a separate emulsion for sheet film so that they could keep the UV coating off of it for the alt process guys after "we" collectively asked for it.

Nobody is forcing anyone to buy it. I am damn glad it is available and I will but the crap out of it regularly one way or another. I am reminded of the marketing slogan for HK firearms:

"In A World Of Compromise - Some Don't"

John Bowen
25-Aug-2010, 19:51
Yeah, I see it costs more to purchase a roll of 35mm Tri-x than a share of EK stock :eek:

Michael Kadillak
25-Aug-2010, 19:59
Michael, we aren't complaing because Koday came up with a new whiz-bang film. We are complaining because the numnuts won't package it in boxes with enough sheets so we don't have to re-box for travel or waste so much packaging each time we order. The Yellow Godfather used to sell 8x10 and others in 10 sheet boxes as well as the larger quantities. Many of us bought it in the larger quantities after trying a 10 sheet box. For those who don't shoot much the 10 sheets were fine or a base number to try a new film. After you know what you like being able to buy in larger quantities makes sense. It is especially helpful when we travel. You should know as I know you don't just shoot off the back porch and load in the basement every few sheets.

Kodak is not listening to those of us who buy our film by the hundred+ sheets at a time and the bigger problem is that they really don't seem to care.

OK Dan, just to set the record straight I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU. I wish that we all could continue to acquire 50 sheet boxes of TMY2 like we did with TMY not that many years ago. Kodak made a decision when the new film came out that such an increase in price for this new emulsion would require a price point 1/5 less than the 50 sheet box so that they could get this emulsion in as many hands as possible to give them the best chance of selling as much as possible. A 50 sheet box was deemed to "expensive" for their marketing objectives or re-inventing themselves. Like you I could puke on the prospects of this brain trust decision - but such are the brain waves at work in Rochester.

I can only hope that after a sufficient period of maintaining the 10 sheet box Kodak can arrive at the conclusion that they have given all of the "test" market people plenty of time to try this film and that the die hard users would really appreciate the re-introduction of the 50 sheet box. I just requested a price for a 50 sheet box as a "special order" that would only require them to put 5 of their currently manufactured 10 sheet packets into one box and it was stupid expensive.

I have a number of old 50 sheet boxes in the basement and I will continue to load these up with the 10 sheet packets in the interim. All we can do is continue to ask and see if a lower stock price will soften up their attitude.