Quote Originally Posted by desertratt View Post
Please permit an Old Timer to put in his two bits worth. I took a lot of photos in the 1960s and 1970s and am now making large prints and displaying them in galleries. I sold one yesterday. The idea I am trying to get across is that you should think before you go for the cheapest film. Film lasts a heck of a long time and you may want to go the gallery route in 50 years. I have a photo I took with a Brownie Reflex box camera in 1947 and it is dynamite! Think about it.
In my view the ERA and Shangai films are not bad films. They may have idosyncracies like the lack of frame numbers etc, but they are decent emulsions. Lucky SHD100 lacks an AH layer, as others have mentioned. It is neither good nor bad, but what you make of it.

It was a packet of 10 rolls of Lucky SHD100 on one of our local auction sites that enticed me back into film photography. I hadn't touched my film cameras for 8 years. When I saw the listing, I took the bait, and two years later I have added Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 645AF and Pentax 6x7 systems as well as two 4x5 cameras and about 8 Nikon SLRs to my toy collection. So in a sense Lucky has been the most expensive film I ever bought. Also ironically, my favourite photo of my daughter was taken on the very first roll of Lucky film, the first B/W film I had shot and developed in something like 16 years. I have shot hundreds if not thousands of photographs of my children since, and that one still stands out for me. When I printed it about a year later, once my darkroom was set up properly, my wife pounced on it and had it framed. It now hangs in her office at work, where I never get to see it. What I can tell you is that in spite of them being inexpensive, very nice prints can be made from these films. So one should not discourage their usage based on price alone. Heck, for years Acros was the cheapest 120 film, by a country mile. By now it is back up with the Ilford and Kodak films in price, but I stocked up on 100 rolls when it was $2.68 or thereabouts. Glad I did, as it is not a bad film for that sort of price. I do have a pet peeve with low quality films that cost significantly more than comparable high quality films, e.g. Lomo and some of the eastern European films. Newbies that do not know what quality they get will infer that the more expensive the film, the higher the quality. That doesn't apply to most experienced users, and if it does, then it is certainly no-one's fault but their own. But I am not sure that such films selling on hyperbole and fashionability is good for the overall industry in the long run. I am also not that sure that many Holga and Lomo shooters make the transition into more serious film photography. If anyone has this statistic, then I would love to know the figures.