View Full Version : NZ film / lab cost

03-20-2010, 03:56 PM
Hi, I'm another fellow NZder here .. Wellington here.

How do you guys shoot this film stuff here given the cost?

I have in the past got into photog 2004 with just expensive supermarket film at $4NZ a roll then into digital and now more into pro film but they are just expensive, I've only bought 2 rolls of film here (Portra 160 NC and VC), the rest I have imported from B&H.

The prices really are 3x vs the USA. Lab cost are maybe 2x after you factor in printing a set for c41 or mounting for e6. Processed only is not too bad at $15NZ though. But I know PCL does cost maybe 10-20% more than some other pro labs.

Just the other day, a lab had to clean my film, they gave me a free roll of 160C (135) and that price sticker was $19.95 with the expiry date within a month. Sometimes they have expired film but they are only 10% less ......

It's like if you screw up a shot or bracket a shot that cost you a can of coke or a chocolate bar. Do a few more and you lose a Big Mac supersize me up meal. I note that back in 2003 when I was still with supermarket print film, they price was still $6 for a roll or $20 for a packet of 3. Ie., Fuji Superia/Xtra 400 from Countdown.

I've got 30 rolls now in my freezer, really have to finish them off and then maybe go to 120 format. They are a bit cheaper at least with fewer shots. I shoot static, so a roll last me a good month (at least with 36x 135 format).


largeformat pat
03-20-2010, 04:03 PM
Got room for a darkroom? Changing bag to load film in to tank. Print in the bath room. If you want get the lab to dev only and print yourself.

03-20-2010, 05:03 PM
The problem is there isn't the population here to support a competitive film processing industry, especially now so many use digital.
I usually shoot Kodak BW400CN and get it processed using the VIKO service that most pharmacies offer. It used to be $9.95 for a 24 shot roll, but it's gone up a bit recently. Other than that, self developing in the bathroom using a changing bag and bulk loaded Ilford. The biggest problem for me is lack of somewhere for my enlarger so I'm stuck with scanning the negs.

03-20-2010, 06:56 PM
Yes, I haven't got into b/w yet. For a low volume shooter for me is that b/w is maybe still the cheapest b/c you do it yourself and the chemistry are the most affordable of them all. I may have to lump them up for maybe 6 months to do a set of processing. Or I would just be throwing away chemistry.

Yes, pharmacies have gone up, I just use WPS in Wellington for C41 which is $6 and then scan and print myself. I also import papers and ink from B&H, they are also double in NZ. For slides the same, I process for $15 and scan and print.

In NZ, I really think that no one shoot film. In my camera club, for the 3yr I been there not one member have provided a analogue slide show. It is always a digital projector shot with a digital SLR. Even those who have shot film, they have scanned them and projected off a laptop computer. The prices are really just not doable in NZ. 10 rolls of film after a trip, you have enough for a new dSLR. I looked at Auckland Camera, they wanted $39.95 for a roll of Provia 400X.

Does anyone know if WPS in Wellington process their own slide film or do they ship them to Image Lab? I know that Photo.co.nz outsource them (according to their website).

03-20-2010, 11:44 PM
I'm pretty sure Image Lab are the only E-6 developers in Wellington. WPS are almost always a multi day turnaround where Image Lab will do it the same day if you get it to them before 11am.

Film is expensive here. Last time I bought 400nc in 120 from WPS it cost me $16.90 a roll. For 10 rolls, I can order it from B&H and even with the $60usd shipping price, it's the same price. Anything over 10 rolls is savings. It's a shame really. I like to support local businesses as much as possible but sometimes it's just so hard to justify.

I often see people with film cameras about, but more often than not these days it's the younger generation. It's sad, but there are fair few people shooting film, I just guess like me, they're not the camera club types.

largeformat pat
03-20-2010, 11:51 PM
Hey guys, Why not try getting your film from OZ Vanbar are charging $44.00 for 10 rolls of 35mm 400asa.
Look up there website.

P C Headland
03-21-2010, 04:41 AM
WPS do have some reasonable prices in the "bins", and at present have a pile of outdated 120 and sheet film. TradeMe is another source at times for cheaper film, as is eBay.

However, I usually get my film from the US with a friend of mine (we share shipping costs), or occasionally I'll order from Europe (shipping is cheaper, and once you remove the VAT/BTW, the film can be cheaper than the US).

For developing, I mix my own B+W developer and develop at home. Colour neg in 35mm and 120 goes to WPS who do it within a day (develop only for around $6.00), while E6 goes direct to Image Lab (where it all ends up anyway). E6 prices have gone up quite considerably, so I'll not be shooting too many 4x5 chromes. The last 220 roll I had developed cost $22!.

There are quite a few film shooters still, but not in the numbers of years ago.

03-21-2010, 04:49 AM
I live in OZ, I import all of my film off ebay.

From UK, China, HK, Taiwan, Thailand, US.

Also do my own colour processing with minilab chems from vanbar.

Always some great deals to be had on ebay... 10x 120 roll of Provia 400X (fresh) was $39 AUD delivered etc.

You could mix up your own E6 first dev.. fixer from pool shop chem or supermarket chems if you cant get any photochemical suppliers in NZ, and your own colour developer from hair dye etc.

Chris Nielsen
03-21-2010, 04:51 AM
I also tend to get my film in from overseas, in my case Adorama. Colour at least, for b&w I just buy bulk rolls locally.

I used to use that overnight service at the pharmacies but they were shocking with scratches etc on my film, I now use my local Life pharmacy where I've got them all trained nicely.