Price of Efke Film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by William Levitt, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    I was contacted by a friend of mine via email this morning, and was informed that a price hike was made with respect to Efke film. The price increase is a whopping 20%!
    (Thanks Bill Mitchell for the "heads up")

    I just got off the phone with the head of Fotoimpex in Berlin. He gave me the following explanation for the recent price increase in Efke Films:

    The wholesale price of the celuloid used in the making of large format film has dramatically increased in price due to the demand from the computer industry. This samne material is used in the fabrication of flat screen computer monitors. Efke increased their wholesale price of the film close to 30%. Hopefully, any further price increases will be less dramatic, but it is to be expected that the price of Efke sheet film will one day come close to that of the larger manufacturers.

    Fotoimpex extends a 10% discount to professional photographers which takes atleast a small amount of the sting out of this recent price hike.
     
  2. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    All the more reason to switch to Bergger.

    BTW, I got a box of JandC Classic 200. I'll be sending some to Michael and Paula in a few days. We'll see what they make of it.
     
  3. bmac

    bmac Member

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    While we are on the subject of Efke, does anyone know a supplier in the US?

    Brian
     
  4. bmac

    bmac Member

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    While we are on the subject of Efke, does anyone know a supplier in the US?

    Brian
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm in New York, and I've ordered such things from fotoimpex.de. I try to make it a large enough order to justify the shipping, but it's quick and cheap, and Mirko is friendly to work with.

    B&H has been listing some Forte films. Maco materials are sometimes sold in the U.S. under the "Cachet" brand. If you're more comfortable ordering from Canada, there's Eight Elm, which imports some East European materials. Freestyle in L.A. has sometimes sold some of these things, but I don't believe they currently carry Efke.
     
  6. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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  7. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    I initally made this post to inform my fellow LF shooters of a price hike, but it's actually more than just that. It would be naive to think that this trend will only effect Efke film.
    According to Mirko, price increases can be expected across the board, from all of the major film suppliers. We can only hope that the makers of computer flat screens find another material with which they can produce their products.
    In the 70's, the Hunt brothers tried to corner the market on silver, some of the "older" members will remember this too, and the price of film and paper skyrocketed over night. And after the Hunt brothers plan failed, do you think the big photographic companies lowered their prices back to where they were before? NO! And who suffers? The consumer.

    And it will be no different in this case. Once the prices go up, there is no looking back.
     
  8. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I don't think it has much to do with diminishing supply of anything. It has everything to do with increasing demand for film. They've seen an opportunity and are taking advantage of it.

    I also think the prices will come down eventually. We're going through a massive global deflation. What I'm worried about is these guys going out of business. I don't mind paying even a lot more as long as I know it'll be available. The Super XX Pan example comes to mind. It was the most expensive B&W film made, but I'd pay $100/box now if they still made it.
     
  9. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    I'm not saying the supply of anything is diminishing. But what is happening is, the computer industry is creating this new demand. The computer industry needs this celuloid to make expensive flat screen monitors. One piece of celuloid allows a monitor to be made that will sell for several hundred dollars. That same celuloid can be used to create a piece of film that will sell for a buck fifty. If you were the manufacturer of this celuloid, which customer would you rather have? They can surely charge the monitor manfacturers more for their celuloid because of the insuing profit margin.

    When the price of gas goes up substancially, due to an extended oil crises or whatever, does the price fall back down to where it was before the "crisis" ...no. Maybe a small portion of the origional price increase will be reduced, but as with all things, the bottom line is what counts. And as long as people are out there that will pay $100 for a box of film, you can be sure that is what the manufacturers will be charging.
    I'm not saying boycott or stop buying film, or even reduce consumtion. Just throwing this topic out for discussion. Me? I was attracted to the relativly modest price of Efke film, and was thrilled when the product met my needs as far as quality was concerned. And Efke is still cheaper than Ilford and Bergger, it's just that the price hike has taken some of the "fun" out of using Efke.
     
  10. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    "And as long as people are out there that will pay $100 for a box of film, you can be sure that is what the manufacturers will be charging."

    True, but there have to be enough people willing to pay. When they discontinued it, Super XX was about $75/box. Allowing for inflation, it would be well over $100 today in 1994 dollars. A lot of people were willing to pay for it then even at its exorbitant price and it's GONE. There weren't ENOUGH people willing to pay.

    I sure hope this doesn't happen with Bergger film. Or Efke. Or Ilford, or Ektachrome for that matter. We all need to keep tabs on these films to make sure that we have available alternatives. They can disappear virtually overnight.

    I think we're in pretty good shape on Azo, since M & P keep up a timely dialogue with Kodak. At least if that goes down the tubes we'll have enough advance notice to hoard lifetime supplies. Ditto Amidol. And pyro is used so extensively in the leather and textiles industries that it will always be around.

    But film? I fear for its future. I wouldn't worry much about the price, William. Just be thankful that a film you like so much is plentiful.

    Jim
     
  11. Robert

    Robert Member

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    I'm not sure the fact it's hurting one company means it will hurt others. The lower price for Efke [well not here] might mean they had less room. Or the other companies may have longer term contracts. Personally I think it might be a good thing. The more users for the product [in this case the celluoid] may lead other companies to produce more of the celluoid. In the long run that may mean film will last longer.

    Me I use cheap Agfa and leave these expensive films alone-)
     
  12. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    I am highly suspect of their reason. Cellulose acetate is a mega-ton commodity, I really doubt that computer monitors would use that much acetate. The makers of Efke probably believe they will have better profits with Efke priced higher, and they are probably right. I would be willing to pay a little more as long as they improve their quality control.

    --Aaron
     
  13. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    I hate to say it, or even think it, but I'll bet you're right. This croation company sees that it's product is becoming popular among LF users and is looking to increase the profit margin....or maybe not.

    A little more from my conversation with Mirko...

    Efke is one of the major suppliers of Medical/Technical film throughout Europe and Asia. THIS is where they make their real money. The LF film industry is but a small part of the overall production capacity, but uses the same base material as X-ray film and other technical films.


    I'd be interested to know how kany flat panel monitors are produced world wide in a year...I have know idea and couldn't begin to make an educated guess.