This is the classic price and quality marketing analysis. I hear what you are saying and clearly your points are well taken.
Originally Posted by Mahler_one
The same set of circumstances are in play in all aspects of photography. Generic chemicals vs Kodak. Efke sheet film is less expensive than Kodak film but sometimes you get some bad emulsion defects with the Efke that you have to deal with. Sadly the net effect of increased demand for Efke is that it has just recently undergone a serious price increase that starts to make the previous no brainer decision a tougher call. We all know that Kodak TMY, TMX or Tri X are a consistent, clean and dependable product but clearly the higher cost alternative. Many time it is the MUCH higher alternative. Ilford fits in between these price points nicely. Ditto for Lodima relative to the single grade Foma 111. I hope that Foma makes more grades of their finer based contact paper so that there is a lower price point alternative as I do not believe that this is a bad thing at all for Lodima. It all comes down to the price point of the individual photographers that make decisions as to the materials that they opt to use based upon their individual circumstances. In a perfect world we would all buy the best materials to make images we chose to make. In the real world we all have kids to put through college, utility bills to pay, mortgages to cover and a wide range of additional financial responsibilities that can constrain our ability to purchase photographic materials and participate in this art form to the degree that we would like. Many times the compromise is that lower priced film and paper are the only viable alternative and the challenge is to make the best out of it.
At the end of the day I hope that everyone is able to find the best solution for them that will continue to allow them to make images and participate in what we all dearly enjoy. Freestyle is dialed into this mind set and has located many materials that are very competitively priced all things considered.
Ten years ago many people predicted that film would not make it to this point let alone paper. Thankfully they were wrong.