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  1. #1
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    Head-scratcher: 220 Portra vs 120 Portra... big price differential

    I know this is a re-hash of re-hash'd topics mostly likely started lotsa times before, but why not ask again!

    Just for giggles I just looked up the cost of 120 Portra 400 in 120 and 220 sizes...
    WOW:

    120:
    singe roll: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ortra_400.html
    pro-pack: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ortra_400.html

    220:
    single roll: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ortra_400.html
    pro pack: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ortra_400.html

    $5.85 vs $15.19

    I can understand "double" price, because you're getting 2x the amount of film in length. But charging well over double? I mean, is it THAT much of a convenience factor, even for trigger-happy wedding shooters who don't understand the meaning of "a bottom line" and should probably be shooting 35mm instead ?



    I don't shoot much color neg film, but the price difference astounds me. Seemed not that long ago that 220 was just over 2x the cost of 120...
    Any ideas? I know it's a different base(it's thinner, duh!). I know there's no paper backing(just on the edges).
    So what do you think gives the rather large price differential?

    -Dan

  2. #2

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    There are other inexplicable and to-remain-unexplained by the price setter examples of pricing. The answer lies in the first rule of pricing which is: there are no rules except what the seller judges the market will bear.

    Ask yourself what has changed in the demand/supply of 220 film in recent months and I suspect you might get close to the reason.

    pentaxuser

  3. #3
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    I can understand that 220 film doesn't get as many SERIOUS users as it used to(pre-digital days when film was THE capture medium), but TBH, a massive markup over 2x120 rolls? I mean, a few pro-packs of 120 and some extra cash and you've paid for a really clean extra back(or backs, depending on your system) to use pre-loaded for when the going gets heavy !

    If 220 E-6 were still available new, I'd be buying it. I shoot enough of it to have it not sit around. I like the convenience of not changing film backs that often. But I'll suck it up and shoot 120 if the cost savings are worth it, and right now they are.

    -Dan

  4. #4
    Prest_400's Avatar
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    I certainly can see an advantage on using 220. For example in travel, having film occupy less space. I've long been looking and thinking into the 6x9 Fujis and for a long trip and a not too big backpack it seems quite useful. However, as you say, NOT cheap! Perhaps it's better to ship some forward to the places one is going to.

    Wasn't 220 just the same 120 film base but without the backing paper except leader and trail? I think part of this markup is due to the specifity of these components. One of the arguments that work against 220 for Ilford is that the backing paper was quite special. Another was that due the small market, the minimum they could order would last them about 2-3 decades at their estimated sales rate. Ilford did their math and it was quite more than 2x120, that's why it's not an endeavor they are getting into. IIRC they still have the broken machine. This is what I've gathered reading around here.

    If PE or Simon pop in they will have a closer knowledge.

  5. #5
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    I helped shoot a wedding of a daughter of friends of mine last week, and I remember thinking the same when I ordered film for the wedding and saw the prices of 220 Portra. I ended up only purchasing 2 rolls for my Yashicamat, and I used a couple of other tlrs with 120 in them so I wouldn't have to change film so much. I've never been a trigger happy shooter but I really like 220, it's just so much more convenient especially at an event like a wedding. My friends paid for the film, of course, and there was an other photographer shooting digital, so they'll have the best of both worlds.

  6. #6

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    Funny enough, in Japan 220 Portras are slightly cheaper per photo than 120. I'm always surprised when I look at the 220 B&H prices.

  7. #7

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    Why is Portra more expensive than Ektar?

  8. #8

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    Ektar is a professional film

  9. #9

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    EKTAR is in the Kodak Professional lineup as well...

  10. #10
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    I certainly do not pay three times the price for it. I watch for sales and then stockpile it. I know it is possible to carry extra backs loaded with 120 but that is even more bulky. And you have to reload those backs sometime. Portra 400 and Portra 160 are my go to color films and I use a lot of it. I know that 220 will eventually go the way of the dinosaur, but while it is here I just keep on shooting it.

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