Last Updated on October 26, 2023
Film is so very, very awesome, but unfortunately it is getting quite expensive to shoot for a couple of main reasons.
The first of course is that the pandemic disrupted global supply chains, and some of them still haven’t fully recovered. Film suppliers faced material shortages even before coronavirus upended the world, so it was inevitable that film prices would surge. (But, hey, at least we aren’t dead.)
The second is that shooting film has become really, really popular over the last few years. That is something to celebrate and embrace and encourage. Suppliers, however, haven’t been able to meet the skyrocketing demand. I don’t know if that’s because of the aforementioned materials problem or if it’s just not profitable at this point for film companies to increase production. The maths for figuring out economies of scale are totally beyond me.
I can though balance my checking account, and it isn’t looking good for my dwindling film supply. Way back in 2020, courtesy of a large tax refund, I purchased a fairly huge quantity of film that I promptly stashed away in the fridge and the freezer. I’ve been shooting from it ever since, but I’m down to the last 20 rolls or so. I thought it would be fun (or tragic) to compare what I paid for certain stocks in 2020 with what they cost now in 2023. I present you with the film-purchasing table of despair:
|Film (35mm)||2020 Price||2023 Price|
|Fujicolor 200 (3 pack)||$12.99||$29|
|Kodak Color Plus 200||$4.99||$12.99|
|Kodak Gold 200||$5.49||$12.99|
|Kodak T-Max 100||$6.99||$10.99|
|Kodak T-Max 3200||$9.19||$13.95|
|Kodak Ultra Max 400||$5.99||$14.99|
|Kodak Portra 400 (5 pack)||$48.48||$78.96|
|Kodak Pro Image 100 (5 pack)||$26.95||$41.99|
I think it’s the increase in Kodak Color Plus 200 that hurts the most. That was supposed to be the high-quality “budget” stock in Kodak’s line, but now it’s pretty much as spendy as everything else. Pro Image 100 is now Kodak’s best budget option if you can actually find it in stock and don’t need to shoot in the dark.