Quote Originally Posted by Molli View Post

With regard to those advocating the complete avoidance of any "cheapie" films - for those of us who are just testing the waters, whether switching from digital, coming back to film, trying out a new camera - these films are invaluable. If it weren't for the price of, say, LegacyPro films when I first got back into film a few years ago, I'd have been too paralysed to ever trip the shutter. The availability of Shanghai GP3 120 film gave me a little bit of breathing room, economically, to invest in a medium format camera that I'd never have bought had I only had access to the more expensive films. One of these days I hope to take photos worthy of a better medium but, until then, I choose to commit my atrocities to the cheapest film and paper I can get my hands on.
There HAS to be a market for the novice, the dabbler, the plain, old flat broke or there won't be a "beginners" level to start in; ergo, no newcomers moving into film photography and taking it to a professional level. Then, also, not everyone wants to take it to that level.
Molli, I'm with you 100% on this.

I have not yet tried Shanghai GP3 (planning to soon), but I shoot a lot of officially branded Fomapan and Freestyle's Arista rebrand. I also dabbled with LegacyPro and am a semi-regular shooter of Lucky SHD. Without those economical films, I might not still be shooting film today. Photographs don't make me any money, so the farther my cash can stretch, the more film I can shoot. The more I can shoot, the better I get, which encourages me keep going and continue to buy film. Not just the cheap stuff either. I have boxes and boxes of Tri-X in the freezer.

Economy aside though, I also reject the notion that a higher level of technical quality automatically equates to better photography. Lucky SHD 100 can objectively be called a POS when it comes to manufacturing standards, but I still love the look it gives and there's many photographs I shot with Lucky that I wouldn't go back to shoot on "better" films. Each film's unique visual aesthetic has its own value.