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  1. #1
    adelorenzo's Avatar
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    High cost of colour sheet film

    I was looking at my film supplier's price lists and I was struck by how much more expensive color sheet film is. I created a quick chart, but basically colour sheet film is twice the price of black and white whereas in roll film there isn't a huge difference between the two. Could be any number of reasons, maybe just low demand?
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  2. #2
    AgX
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    In roll film you have higher added cost due to that more complicated conversion, which make a larger share of the end price.
    And thus a price difference in the sheer film costs has a lesser impact.

    (On the other hand, at low volumes those boxes of sheet film could form a significant share.)

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    I think the economy of scale plays a roll in the manufacturing (regarding low demand).

    Maybe I'm not reading your post correctly, but instead of cost per exposure, shouldn't we compare cost per square inch for this particular situation?
    Truzi

  4. #4
    adelorenzo's Avatar
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    My point was not to compare the cost of 35/120 against 4x5 but to compate the cost of color to black and white in the same format. The roll film costs per frame are fairly flat but the costs per frame in sheet film spike way up for color.

    Basically, if a roll of T-max costs $8 and a roll of Porta costs $9, why does a sheet of T-max cost $2.50 but a sheet of Porta costs $5 which is twice as much?

  5. #5
    Truzi's Avatar
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    Yep, I was reading incorrectly
    Truzi

  6. #6
    LJH
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    Given 4x5 is about 15 times the size of a 35mm image, a 36 shot roll of 35mm has about 2.4 sheets of 4x5 (area).

    2.4 sheets of T-Max @ $2.50 = $6.00 Cheaper than the roll of T-Max ($8).

    So, perhaps your question should be "Why is colour sheet film so expensive, when B&W sheet film is so cheap?"

    Statistics can be read many ways...
    Last edited by LJH; 03-06-2013 at 11:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelorenzo View Post
    My point was not to compare the cost of 35/120 against 4x5 but to compate the cost of color to black and white in the same format. The roll film costs per frame are fairly flat but the costs per frame in sheet film spike way up for color.

    Basically, if a roll of T-max costs $8 and a roll of Porta costs $9, why does a sheet of T-max cost $2.50 but a sheet of Porta costs $5 which is twice as much?

    Hmm. I'm wondering where that $8 (!!) for a roll of T-Max (135/36) figure is coming from. We're talking about US Dollars, so the Australian dollar would be around that, but not what I can see. Prices do vary considerably.

    Have you noticed that some colour film stock, Fuji among, has gone up since the beginning of this year? What else has??
    T-Max 100 135/36 only $5.95 where I get it. And Portra $5.35/ 4x5 sheet (which I do not use). It might be down to a lack of competition at a retail level.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  8. #8
    adelorenzo's Avatar
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    Those prices are in Canada . It doesn't matter where you buy your film, if you punch in the prices from B&H you get the same scenario with Kodak. TMX is $1.65/sheet while Porta is $3.50/sheet. Whereas the 120 rolls are $4.50 and $5.09 respectively. Why the huge difference in sheet film?

    Interestingly enough Fuji prices don't show that same trend. It's a Kodak thing.

  9. #9
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I think that even though it is a shadow of what it once was, there still is a significant amount of Portra roll film being sold, so there remains economies of sale with respect to the "confectioning", packaging and distribution of roll film.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #10

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    Ten years ago, color sheet film cost three times what black and white cost. The shock is the general increase in price of sheet film relative to roll film.

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