Film price

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by George Collier, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I ordered some 120 Delta 400 and FP4 last week from Freestyle at just under $4US per roll. It wasn't here by Saturday, so I went to the local photo store (where I bought everything for the last 20-30 years, till I could no longer get what I need) to pick up a roll or 2 (Saturday photo-fix). I asked for 2 rolls of Delta 400, and they were right at $8 each, so I asked about Trix, same price (within pennies). So I got one roll.
    So, is this normal retail? I mean, I'm ok with paying 20% or so more for paper, etc, for convenience and to support my local shop, but double price is way off. I questioned the price, but he confirmed. This shop, by the way, is what is left of the best pro shop going back to early to mid 20th century.
    Why so much difference? Is Freestyle still working off of a huge order, soon to go up when it runs out?
     
  2. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear George,

    Film in stores is becoming a convenience item that doesn't really move well. It is going to be expensive. I suggest keeping a stock.

    Neal Wydra
     
  3. david b

    david b Member

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    Here in New Mexico, we have three independent camera shops.

    One is expensive, One is obscenely expensive, and one matches Freestyle prices on everything.

    Guess where I shop?
     
  4. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    Freestyle moves film at a volume far higher than your local place does, George--which means they can get substantial bulk discounts. They are also in many cases the distributor of the film (Arista, Foma, Efke among others), and thus they are able to cut out middle-men costs. I don't believe this is the case with Ilford, however, IIRC.
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I guess I'm lucky here in the Twin Cities. A Pro-Pack of Tmax 400 is a little over $20 at West Photo or National Camera, and at Freestyle about $18 or so, so not enough difference unless I need a lot and the gain cancels out the shipping cost.
    I've been toying with the idea of just skipping having anything mail ordered just to support the local business.

    They carry film (Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford), papers (Ilford, all of it except Galerie), the full range of Kodak and Ilford chemistry, and some ZonalPro, Edwal, and Berg products. There's also liquid emulsion, etc. I really think it's unique today to have a whole chain within a major metro area carrying this stuff, and I sure am grateful for it. Usually the people working the film counter are grateful when I stop by too, because they tell me outright that if it wasn't for me and others buying it, they wouldn't have a job.

    They don't have everything I want from Freestyle and the Photographer's Formulary, though, so they don't get all my business, but I do purchase most of my film there.

    - Thomas
     
  6. Derek Lofgreen

    Derek Lofgreen Subscriber

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    There is one shop here in the Denver area that stocks lots of film all at the same price as the mail order sites. They even give a % off for volume purchases over 5 rolls. It's a great place with a walk in fridge full of every kind of film you could want.

    D.
     
  7. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I also live in Richmond, Va and I found that prices for 120 film are close to double at the local camera shop. What a pain in the rear. I have to do more mail order.

    Jeff
     
  8. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Unfortunately Richmond Camera is about all we have left here.
     
  9. alapin

    alapin Subscriber

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    Here in Holly Hill, SC its either CVS (drug store) with Kodak Gold and Kodak 400 B&W (not sure on price. I don't shoot much Kodak) or Family Dollar (Fuji Superia 400 B&W 24 exp at $3.50). The nearest other with any selection is Wal Mart 30 miles away.

    One can always bulk load their own film, with is cheaper. With 100 feet you can usually get between 18-20 rolls of 36 exp.
     
  10. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    A year or so back I foolishly went with the "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" philosophy at my local shop and ended up paying $7.99 a roll for 36 exp. 35 mm Plus-X which B&H had for $4.99 at the time. It was a last minute acquisition -- I did get some nice pictures on it, and it's a durn good thing!

    DaveT
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I think the best thing to do is to stock up. I am currently switching films, but normally try to keep about 40-50 rolls of each 120 and 35mm Tmax 400 at hand, and a few Tmax 100 for pinhole use and a couple of boxes of 4x5 and 5x7 sheets in case I feel like it. It guarantees that I won't run out of film in a couple of weeks, even if I shoot like a mad man, and it gives me enough time to re-stock. Once you're stocked the cost for re-stocking is the same as if you have few rolls.

    It makes sense to buy many rolls when you buy online, as the shipping cost becomes so insignificant per film that it's almost negligible. I would buy a hundred rolls at a time if I had enough money for photography to do that. Order all your paper and chemistry at the same time and it makes perfect economic sense.
     
  12. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    In Japan, thank god, Fuji's been keeping their film price rather low, so I don't think it is an issue yet. Right now, at ralatively big photo supply stores, for a 3-roll-pack of Fuji Neopan Presto 400 135-36 is about 1200-1250 yen, that is a little more than 4 USD per roll, but not that much more. And Kodak's been in the same price range for years for the same 3-roll pack with TriX or Tmax, and that's not bad at all.
     
  13. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

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    Hi George,
    I buy all my rolls on ebay. I don't mean to make their promotion but photo stores sell there at reasonnable rates. An example: a roll of 36 exp of Ektar 100 or Reala 100 comes to 4 to 5 euro (sorry, this should be ca 7-7,50 US). I buy from a store located in Germany, as I live in Belgium. There must be plenty US-based stores on ebay.
    A last thing, be sure to check the expiry dates in the advert on ebay. Some people sell cheap outdated films..
    Good luck,
    Serge
     
  14. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I also buy my film online in large volume. Ten years ago I did the same only by telephone. I only pay about 30p more per roll than I did ten years ago. I'd have to drive for 20 minutes to find a shop to buy film in and then my choice would be Superia and maybe Gold.
     
  15. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    Hi George,

    I can't imagine why the prices would be so high. We are in Jacksonville, Florida and the last full service lab in this city. We only started carrying film, paper, and chemicals last year as we never wanted to compete with the last remaining camera store it town. They shut their doors anyway, so we picked up what we could. Point being is that we don't exactly I have long standing relationship with film companies that get us much of a discount and we are nowhere near those prices.

    Delta 400:
    120 - $4.60 ea
    135 - $6.25 36 exp
    FP4:
    120 - $4.50 ea
    135 - $6.05 36 exp
    4x5 - $28.50 25sh
    HP5:
    120 - $4.20 ea
    135 - $4.75 36 exp
    4x5 - $28.50 25 sh
    Tri-x:
    135 - $4.75 36 exp
    at this time we only offer it in this size.

    Along with carrying Efke, Kentmere, Fomapan, Rollei, Fuji Neopan

    We do get some of these films back because we do a once a week run of B&W, so our prices may be a bit low on these hopes. However, I would say we get less than 10% of B&W back for processing as most are set up to do it themselves.

    Does the store you are referring to process film as well? Or are they a camera store only?
     
  16. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    Sounds like S.O.P. for a lot of stores these days. I can remember getting Tri-X 120 for only 99¢ a roll just 10 years ago from B&H. Haven't checked their prices lately since I'm slowly moving over to Rolleipan films which I get from Freestyle. Speaking of, they are the importer for Foma products which are quite nice indeed. So prices of Foma is extremely reasonable.

    I agree with others, buy what you need before you need it. I keep the freezer full of film, ready to go.
     
  17. wogster

    wogster Member

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    The price difference is due to volume purchasing. The local photo store orders maybe a brick of each film they carry every few months, this means that they pay the full wholesale cost. A company like Freestyle orders a whole truck load of film at a time, so they can get discounts from the suppliers. There is also the issue that if you sell 5 rolls of film and make $3 on each one, you make $15, if you sell 500 rolls of film and make 5¢ on each one you make $25....