Are there any side by side comparisons of drugstore films?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Modern Minoltian, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Modern Minoltian

    Modern Minoltian Member

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  2. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Probably difficult to do a meaningful test. Drugstore and own brand films are/were made by the big manufacturers, and the drugstores sometimes changed manufacturer from time to time with no obvious indication on the actual product.

    SFAIK all the own brand films which I've seen recently in the UK say "Made in Japan", which is obviously Fuji. No idea if they are just a repack of a current Fuji film, or an older version, but, logically, Fuji would not set up a separate coating run for a relatively small order. And I'm sure that hey would never deliberately produce an inferior or substandard product even under an own brand name.

    (I'm not sure that Gold and Superia would count as "cheap" films....I'd say they were the "standard" consumer films. Color Plus and C200 would be the discount store ones, but even these are fine for everyday use with good processing and printing.)
     
  3. afrank

    afrank Member

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    I suppose you are a lomo shooter. The best place too look is that famous lomography site, the review all kinds of film, not in a meaningful reproducible way beyond "pretty" colors. If you want great films use ektar/reala/portra etc.
     
  4. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    That was kind of harsh dude. And in no way helpful to the OP...


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Why are you looking for this info? Are you relatively new to film shooting?

    I only ask because drug store film prices are often HIGHER than high quality film prices if you buy online. So wondering why you are looking at the drug store prices at all.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I have been notified that European film at drugstores is WAY cheaper than it is here in the USA so my statement is only for my part of the world... Sorry for my ignorance...


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    Hehe, i was just about to comment on that. Germany has films for 0.70 €. Thats less than a dollar.
     
  8. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Quality-wise, drugstore films are all the 'same', as far as you would be able to tell simply by looking at prints. Remember, there is an Achilles' heel here with the transformation of the negative into a positive print: much can be lost or modified with this step.

    They might have slightly different hue relationships or require slightly different darkroom filtration but, rest assured, they are all high quality. Maybe they won't have the 'punch' of Ektar/Reala/Portra but sometimes you do not want that extra saturation. Besides, a bit of extra color development and/or exposure can work wonders. In fact, all color negative film should be rated at half the box speed. Color film is more flexible than manufacturers would want you to believe. - David Lyga
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2013
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi

    i don't really have a very good recommendation for you.
    you might be able to do some comparing on your own by
    going to flickr and searching the key words of the films you
    wanted to compare. people sometimes put the film name + type + iso
    as part of the description, you might be able to do a search here as well
    the same way ...

    i've never come across any sort of formal comparison between the cheap films
    other than random commentary like "cheap kodak films have a neutral pallet, fuji films are more green "

    good luck !
    john
     
  10. Noble

    Noble Member

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    The guy mentioned he was inquiring about Kodak Gold. Kodak Gold 100 is $2.25 at Adorama in New York. Portra 160 is $6.99.

    What you linked to is the only extensive side by side film comparison I've ever seen on the internet of any kind. It is kind of odd. As much discussion that goes on about this emulsion vs that emulsion you would think someone would sit down every so often and do a definitive comparison. I see comparisons between one or two films all the time. But a big monster comparison seems pretty rare. I personally wanted some kind of monster comparison for B&W like this.
     
  11. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    He said DRUG STORE we are talking local prices which are WAY different from B&H / Adorama prices... You can buy PanF+ for $5 in NY at the big stores but my local shop charges $9 for the same film... The cheaper film like Kodak gold is $6 at my drug store...

    That was my point the drug stores around here charge way more than you can get better prices at the big camera stores by buying online. Anyway this is only in the US and I can only really talk about the northeast for sure.

    You can certainly find some good deal somewhere but you really have to search:


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. Noble

    Noble Member

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    Mmm... okay. But your statement was still false using your own number...

    Portra even if ordered online is still more expensive than even the drug store Kodak Gold price you posted and there is the small matter of shipping.

    Anyway my point is regardless of whether you buy it locally or online there could be situations where you would want to use Kodak Gold. I think the OP is asking a valid question. Online Portra is almost three times as much as Kodak Gold. At those prices you have to wonder how bad Kodak Gold really is. Personally if it was sold in medium format I would give it a whirl. Also Kodak Gold is sold locally. In many place Portra isn't. So if you are stuck and need a roll your choice is either Kodak Gold or nothing. The quality of Kodak Gold or whatever else is on offer will determine what I will choose. I don't do much 35mm stuff but the question of just how crappy Kodak Gold is has crossed my mind.
     
  13. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    OK I did some research, to be fair I'm used to looking at the 120 prices, not 35mm, so since the amount of film in a 35mm roll was comparable to a roll of 120 (in terms of surface area) I assumed the prices were similar. They are not.

    Also I did notice most drug stores sold rolls of 24 where the B&H is a 36 frame roll, so they aren't the same, the only good things to compare are the pro packs, who (on this forum) just buys ONE roll? its silly to do that, so I'll compare the "Packs" which BTW are also 4 packs while the B&H are 5 packs of course, so for $25 you get 5 rolls of Portra 160 while at the drug store it costs $24 for a 4 pack of Gold 200...

    So, I'm NOT wrong, the prices at B&H are MUCH better, for $1.99 more you get 84 more frames!

    HOWEVER for some reason the Gold 400 is much cheaper for the 4 pack at $14 while the Portra 400 is $35 so in that case it's STILL better for portra at 68 cents per image for the Gold but only 51 cents per image for the portra, again because of the 1 less roll and the 12 additional images per roll...

    This is my logic...

    I'll go tomorrow and actually shop a store to get official prices as I'm going off of the online prices listed for Walgreens and CVS.

    Either way, I wasn't wrong.

    HOWEVER it appears B&H ALSO sells gold, and they sell the 36 frames for $12 for a 5 pack which is MUCH better.

    Still means I'm right, better to buy from B&H.

    As far as quality, I'm given to understand that Gold is portra (or whatever the current pro color film is), basically they do a run, test it, if it doesn't pass for pro film by Kodak standards, they make it Gold, if it passes they make it portra.

    PE can correct me.

    So it's still pretty good stuff.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Gold isn't Portra.

    The contrast is a bit higher, the saturation is a bit higher, and the grain structure isn't the same.

    But it is good quality, reliable film.
     
  16. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Give how well Kodak manufactures film, I seriously doubt they would fail enough Porta at the QC level to make enough stock of Gold. You cant seriously base an entire product line off of QC rejects. How do you plan production and stock as well as other logistics. "I guess we need to muff this batch of Porta. Gold stock is running very low."
     
  17. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    LOL :smile:

    Good point, just something a really good photographer told me once, I'm really curious to hear about it from PE


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    +1
     
  19. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I'd be more concerned about drugstore processing. For instance, a one-hour lab delivers prints that discolor or fade an hour later, while with a next day lab they will fade within 24 hrs. There is also an
    inverse equation by which they change the fixer every 24 years. The quality of the film is determined
    by reading the batch codes or expiration date ... for example, if it's stamped on the box in cuneiform,
    you might want to pay a higher price elsewhere.
     
  20. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Are you serious? If this is the processing you are receiving, you need to find another joint. Er, maybe that's the issue...........
     
  21. Kyon Thinh

    Kyon Thinh Member

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    One of our drugstore films is Superia Xtra 400, 85 cents per roll, cant be happier.
     
  22. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Do you really think I'd ever either purchase or process film at the drugstore? That's my whole point.
     
  23. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I used to think this way... then I found out I can have a roll of 120 processed by "Walmart" which sends their film to Dwayn's Photo for processing... so, for $1 yes $1 you can have your film processed by good people, wow makes me almost regret getting rid of some of my C-41 now...

    All the time I waste on E-6 chemistry and reading and searching for 6 bath dev's and the time it takes to process a gazillion rolls at once because otherwise it goes bad... I feel like a fool, when I can have it all done by Dwayn's for CHEAP, it's not like B&W where you have to learn the finesse of it, it's all the same, so now I just feel dumb even bothering... it was good to learn, I'll kill the last bit of E-6 I have now and then do the rolls of C-41 I have, then be done with it, I can't believe I've been such a fool haha.

    I hope the info I got was not incorrect, I'll be scoping out the big scary walmart people the next few days to find out the truth.
     
  24. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I thought the whole point of Walmart was to sell stale broken Pringles chips and cheat workers out of a
    living wage. We apparently aren't going uphill with this discussion. Aren't there still any pro labs around in your neck of the woods? Where I go they can process everything from 35mm to 8x10 in either
    C41 or E6.
     
  25. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    "Pro" labs charge too much that's the problem, for $1 at Walmart it would cost me $8 at the pro lab.

    Also to the above posters point, the photo area is a loss leader, it gets people into the store and then they shop for Pringles since they are already in the store anyway.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  26. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    If you don't use a pro lab now, they'll be gone later. What will you do when you want a custom print made?