Ilford Price Increase June 1st 2011

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by pentaxuser, May 27, 2011.

  1. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Those of us in the U.K. who receive the Harman Express News e-mail have just received the following announcement:

    "Customer Notice: Due to the rise in the cost of raw materials and manufacturing( in particular the big rise in the cost of silver) it will be necessary to increase the price of some of our products. On 1st June there will be an increase in the price of ILFORD PHOTO, Kentmere Photo, black and white film and papers and HARMAN Direct Positive papers."

    No more details given

    pentaxuser
     
  2. Paul Green

    Paul Green Member

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    bad times.
     
  3. rphenning

    rphenning Member

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    shoots. :sad:

    Just as long as they keep making it.
     
  4. tjaded

    tjaded Subscriber

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    Dang, again??? The rise in fuel costs won't help getting the stuff across the pond, either.
     
  5. ArtTwisted

    ArtTwisted Member

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    bummer, good thing my big order of kentmere paper is going through right before that, and remaining stocks will stay at the lower prices for awhile im sure as well at the big stores.
     
  6. R gould

    R gould Member

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    As there appear to be no announcements on the main Ilford website, and apart from the news in the Email,which I also recieved, which is primarily aimed at the UK market, it makes me wonder if this is aimed at the UK market, possibly Europe, and maybe the USA will be exempt, as the amount of the rise is currently not known, information is sketchy, we will have to await further anouncements, but for me Ilford products is starting to look very expensive, and like others I find other products from the likes of Foma/adox/efke Etc much more appealing,
    Richard
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Does the Harman Express News which we in the U.K receive as an e-mail only go to U.K. customers and not cover any other customers outside the U.K.? Even if it only covers U.K. customers then given the reasons as quoted for the increase, I wonder on what grounds any market outside the U.K. could be exempt from the price increase?

    Look s like it is "watch this space" until Ilford announces something here and/or we get to know some info on specific increases and to whom they will apply.

    pentaxuser
     
  8. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    No-one is a bigger Ilford fan than myself, but, as you say, the products are now looking very expensive, especially if this further price increase proves significant.

    It is elementary economics that , with any consumer products, not just photographic, ongoing price increases will, eventually, be counterproductive and affect the volume of sales, especially at a time of recession and economies and in a decliming market, as customers move to cheaper options, use less, or even postpone purchases altogether.

    As an example, check out the UK Royal Mail...every postage increase reduces their sales by volume, as people and businesses turn to other suppliers or electronic alternatives in the form of email, text, etc. Photographers likewise will turn to
    other suppliers or restrict their picture taking.....and some may even take the electronic option..... :sad:
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Irreplaceable in the 'silver' gelatin process, it's unavoidable. Harman can't keep eating the increased cost of raw material. The economics of it is unfortunate, but all of us will have to learn how to deal with it.
    I am currently re-printing a ton of old negatives, and some of them on Ilford Warmtone paper. It's hard to justify the expense for me. Very very hard. Every time I order more 11x14 fiber paper, and pay 3 dollars per sheet, I look in the mirror and think I must be insane. And I only order one box at a time. It's all that I can afford. A box lasts me a couple of months, so I'm spending a thousand dollars a year on Ilford paper. This is petty cash compared to many other silver printers. I doubt someone like Bob Carnie spends less than that in one day of printing silver gelatin.

    I'm not asking Mr Galley of Harman to defend their pricing; I understand why it is as it is. All I'm saying is that I don't know how long I can keep it up. There will be a time, shortly, where I can't afford this passion anymore, and that saddens me to no end. I'm sure there are others in my situation.

    - Thomas
     
  10. R gould

    R gould Member

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    Thomas,
    I am being forced to look at alternatives to Ilford products, and with another price rise I will have to look harder, at least for the moment there are alternatives out there, such as the Adox, Foma,and Fotospeed papers, all very good, also film, we have Adox foma and Kodak, but Harman has priced themselves out out my market, and his after a lifetime of using Ilford products, and this makes me sad, but I am still taking photos,and printing photos, and life must go on,but what I dont get,over this side of the pond, is why I can get nearly 3 boxes of Fotospeed printing paper for the price of 1 of Ilford, yet the Fotospeed paper is made for Fotospeed by Harman,
    Richard
     
  11. CGW

    CGW Member

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    It is elementary economics that , with any consumer products, not just photographic, ongoing price increases will, eventually, be counterproductive and affect the volume of sales, especially at a time of recession and economies and in a decliming market, as customers move to cheaper options, use less, or even postpone purchases altogether.

    Harman hasn't cornered the world's silver market. Are they supposed to eat the increase in silver prices to hold film prices down? Doubtful.
     
  12. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I am certain that the management at Harman are well aware of the risks associated with the continuing need to adjust their prices in today's marketplace. And I am also fairly certain that they have examined all of the alternatives forwards and backwards, and do not take these decisions lightly. The smaller a market niche, the more symbiotic the relationship becomes.

    From a March 12, 2010 Ilford press release:

    "Steven Brierley, Marketing Director for ILFORD PHOTO commented: “Over the course of our 130 year heritage, ILFORD PHOTO has become more than just another photographic company – many of our customers see us as the custodians of the future of black and white photography."

    Speaking only for myself, that is exactly how I see them. Unlike some others, they have publicly committed to this medium for the long run. And backed up that assertion with actions in the form of new and/or reintroduced black and white products, as well as the continuation of a full and complete product line of insanely high quality offerings.

    So I will adjust where necessary and continue to purchase as much as I can from them. And trust that if and when economic conditions improve, they will reward that trust and readjust their prices accordingly.

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2011
  13. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Hasn't silver gone down in price recently? Yes I realise that Ilford will be using the expensive silver it has recently had to buy but if its future materials use the cheaper silver then it might be good marketing to hold current prices then make up the profit difference with the cheaper silver.

    Of course it may have chosen to increase prices to reflect higher silver prices and then choose to announce a price decrease later this year based on lower silver prices so the good news comes later.

    It may see that as a better approach. All speculation of course as we know no more than what was in the Harman News announcement.

    Things other than the increased silver price were cited but not specified. All I can say with some confidence is that labour costs increases are unlikely to be part of the factors. What we are seeing in the U.K since the start of the recession, following the banking crisis of 2008 is a kind of " economic perfect storm" where wages and salaries are being successfully held but inflation is rising with almost zero rates for savings.

    The consequence of this is a lowering of living standards for most people that hasn't been experienced since the 1930s. Not my conclusion but that of the Governor of the Bank of England. It is against this backdrop of a lowering of disposable incomes that I think Thomas Bertillson refers to, that Ilford has to weigh up the consequences of increasing its prices.

    Photography is a hobby and when times are tough and we have responsibilities towards our families, hobbies demand economies.

    pentaxuser
     
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  15. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    I agree with all that's been said. It's easy to get upset when things you enjoy using increase in price. I understand the price increase, and why it needs to happen. But everyone here knows that photography is not a cheap hobby. What I will do is continue to shoot film as I always have, and if the film prices go up significantly I will simply be more picky of what I shoot, and shoot less film. It can only make my photography better and force me to be more critical. If paper goes up in price I will maybe print a little less, or be a little more picky about what I print. I still want to use Ilford's papers and films, I still want to use the best. I look at it like this: I pay $2 now for a sheet of 11x14 MGWT paper. Say it takes 4 sheets to get one great final print. That's only $8 for a FB final print!! Plus your time and chems obviously. That's cheap!! So if the price per sheet suddenly increased to a whopping $3 a sheet, that's still only $12 for a final print. Try getting a good light-jet, inkjet or lambda print for that cost, not including the drum scan!!
     
  16. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    The world is what it is and that's the way it is.

    Where it hurts the most is for those on fixed incomes and artists who make a living from photography, the poor and students. Fortunately two things have happened to me that have changed how I feel about the availability of products. One is Carbon Transfer Photography and the other is X Ray film. Both are extremely economical. 100 sheets of 11x14 X Ray film is right around $50.00. that's 50 cents a sheet. Carbon Transfer materials are inexpensive too.

    While I scale back on 'traditional' photography I'm increasing my work with Carbon. I've found it totally useless to try to analyze photo companies, no one knows what's behind decisions and no one but a few actually knows what economics are of Harmon or Kodak or Fuji or any other.

    The old saying comes to mind: "Keep 'em guessing".
     
  17. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    Ha, and I just opened the box of fiber paper that I bought from just before the last price increase.
     
  18. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I love Ilford's products - I'll skimp in other areas and support them as long as I possibly can.
     
  19. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    I heard from Freestyle when I was in there last week or so about another Ilford price hike coming up. Therefore I don't think the US is exempt from this. For the first time since I've gotten seriously into b&w photography five years ago, I'm starting to think I may have to "go digi" as my digital friends call it. Sure there are other brands but when it comes to film Ilford has cornered the market on some items such as Delta 3200, the fastest film available in 120, a film I shoot a fair amount of, and at the other end Pan F+, the slowest film I can count on for QC. I really like the Adox/Efke films, but they now cost more then Ilford and I've had too many rolls where the first (or is it the last?) frame is exposed so close to the end of the roll, that the shot is wasted. This is simply too much money for this kind of QC inconsistency which is why I went back to Pan F+. Ilford papers have always been too expensive for me, but this won't matter if film becomes too expensive for me to keep purchasing. In the last two months I've purchased enough Ilford film that for about the same price I could have gotten a fairly decent DSLR.
     
  20. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    PS - Right now the best buy in film I think is Fuji Acros 100 (120 size). It's $2.99 a roll at Freestyle or $14.49 for a five pack. If nothing else, I'll just shoot this film until prices for Pan F+ and Delta 3200 drop. I've already bought up a bunch of Acros to replace Adox CHS Art 100 as my favorite medium speed film. Thank you Fuji!
     
  21. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I hate to see price increases, but it is better for Ilford stay in business.

    Jeff
     
  22. coigach

    coigach Member

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    Me too.
     
  23. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    I still prefer Ilford films to other brands I have tried, although I am also liking TMY2 very much as well. It is the cost of photo-papers that is my main concern.
    Kentmere Fineprint VC is the paper I am currently using as an alternative to MG-IV FB. I want to try the new Multigrade Art 300 soon for a project, but it cost far more than the Kentmere.
     
  24. rst

    rst Member

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    I'd rather prefer Ilford to increase the prices and therefore stay in business than keep prices to low for being profitable and go out of business sooner or later.

    Do I go to digital because of this increase - well, no because the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. I did the calculation out of curiosity once. If you go digital and do your own prints with an inkjet on some nice paper - and that is almost never the cheapest paper out there - and if you calculate costs of ink, then I run with less costs if I stay in my darkroom. Not to forget that I have a lot more fun in the darkroom as compared to sitting in front of a computer monitor moving pixels around.

    Cheers
    Ruediger
     
  25. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
    I'll keep buying it.
     
  26. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Ditto.