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  1. #1
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    TIRED OF BW FILM PRICE 'EXCUSES'

    Yes, I am tired of 'excuses' being given for BW film prices.

    With such a mature technology (all the R&D long ago paid for) it seems amazing that decent, high quality, 'no frills' film cannot be made in bulk rolls for no more than $20 for 100 ft. Why does 100 ft of Kodak Plus-X have to retail for, what is it now, about $80 before discount?

    When I was living in New York City in the 70s, a 36 exposure roll of Plus-X was 63 cents at the Camera Barn chain store. Why does a DISCOUNTED price now have to be over 6 bucks at B&H? That is TEN TIMES the 70s price. Back then minimum wage was $2.50/hour and now it is about three times as much.

    I know that the usual excuses will follow (ie, less made) but I really think that the groundwork made in production efficiency and refinement over the years should mitigate the 'less is sold' excuse. Am I dead wrong here? Or is this film simply selling for what the traffic will bear? Lack of competition thwarts reasons for not giving 'value'? - David Lyga.

  2. #2
    wildbill's Avatar
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    On the large format forum they have a complaining thread just for this kind of thing.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  3. #3
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Yes, Bill, occasionally I look at large format prices and wonder, and wonder anew, why a damn 8 X 10 single sheet of film has to be measured in DOLLARS rather than cents. No sense. Unless...one wants to make a financial killing. - David Lyga.

  4. #4
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Again, back in the 70s one could get a pound of metol for $30. Today, although not nearly as much is sold, one STILL CAN get it for the price. (Artcraft). Paper is as outrageous as is film. - David Lyga

  5. #5
    Neanderman's Avatar
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    Well, in 1969, you could also buy a Volkswagon Beetle for somewhere around $1,995.

    It's not just film...
    "I only wanted Uncle Vern standing by his new car (a Hudson) on a clear day. I got him and the car. I also got a bit of Aunt Mary's laundry, and Beau Jack, the dog, peeing on a fence, and a row of potted tuberous begonias on the porch and 78 trees and a million pebbles in the driveway and more. It's a generous medium, photography." -- Lee Friedlander

  6. #6
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    You might also compare the price of groceries then and now. I don't like the prices on any of them, but I have to eat.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Am I dead wrong here?
    I think you are probably wrong. What about milk? Gas? Any number of products that we have the manufacturing process down pat?

    I don't know what the profit margins on film are, but I'm willing to guess it's pretty small. When costs go up, prices go up.

  8. #8
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    It's been noted many times that, adjusted for inflation, film is the same or cheaper now than in the 1970's.

    If you can find something else that hasn't had a price rise in source materials, that isn't (at least) ten times the actual list price from 40 years ago...be my guest.

    That number once again: 40 years.
    "Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away and you've got their shoes."

    MY BLOG - www.reservedatalltimes.com
    YOU SHOULD LOOK AT THIS SITE - www.colincorneau.com
    INSTAGRAM: colincorneau

  9. #9

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    All of the film I buy is priced in dollars, regardless of where the film is manufactured. I can buy a 100 foot roll of Ilford Pan F+ for $54 and a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400 for $60. In pre-1964 silver dimes with the silver content valued at $33.94 an ounce Troy (as of a few minutes ago), that is 22 dimes ($2.20 face value) for the Ilford film or 25 dimes ($2.50 face value) for the Kodak film. I think that's pretty cheap, probably cheaper than it was in 1964, although I wasn't buying film then so I'm not certain about that.

    Film is not high priced. It's gotten cheaper. The problem is that the US Dollar is practically worthless. If you want to blame it on something, blame it on the inflation of the money supply over the last 40 or 50 years. All those mature technology production efficiencies you mention have not only kept the cost of film low, but has actually reduced its price to you over the years.

    So yeah, I believe you are dead wrong.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipA View Post
    The problem is that the US Dollar is practically worthless. If you want to blame it on something, blame it on the inflation of the money supply over the last 40 or 50 years.
    I don't think that's the real problem. I think the real problem is that for the typical American, wages haven't kept pace.

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