Photography & Filming

Heads Up: Film Photography is About to Get More Expensive

Film photographers often have more than enough to panic about. But one thing that we’re all complaining about is the price. And that’s why many of us use it alongside digital cameras. However, with the latest news from Fujifilm, prices might just be going up again. What’s worse: it’s going to affect all of film photography.

In a recent statement to the press, Fujifilm announced that chemicals and paper would be facing a price increase. If you don’t read the statement carefully, you’d think that it’s just the paper. And if it were just the paper, then you just wouldn’t order prints. But the news pertains to chemicals too. That’s bound to annoy a lot of us. And when you combine this with the lack of regulation in pricing within the film photography world, it gets even more frustrating.

Here’s the official statement from Fujifilm:

To accommodate the increased global costs of raw materials, energy, and the rise in transportation and logistics expenses, FUJIFILM North America Corporation will implement a moderate price increase on consumables products. Effective October 15, we will increase prices 15% for all Fujicolor Crystal Archive color paper types (excluding control strips and display materials), C-41 and E-6 film and RA-4 paper chemicals, cartridge chemical start up kits and other starters, as well as acetic acids, hydroxides, and all other additive chemicals.

At Fujifilm we recognize the extreme importance that photography has in our society. As a longstanding innovator of photography products, we are proud to continue to provide high-quality products and services at a reasonable cost and that also contributes to a robust and healthy photo ecosystem.

It true that the film photography community has been under some major and drastic change for a few years now. Back in 2019, prices weren’t changing much. But then, when 2020 came around, a whole lot evolved. Brands started to say that film was becoming profitable though still very small. Other brands even still say that it’s just a lot of hype.

It seems, according to the brands, that the prices are going to have to continue to increase to make it something that’s sustainable for them. In case you didn’t know, Fujifilm makes pretty much all the chemicals for development out there. Sure, there are some by Kodak and other brands. But generally speaking, most of what’s developing your film are Fujifilm chemicals.

We reached out to a few companies for commentary on how this might affect them. But only Blue Moon Camera responded. According to Jake Shivery, Owner of the store, it’s something that they’re monitoring closely.

“This is certainly on our radar, and we’re approaching it like we typically do – back-stocking as much as possible to delay the price increases as long as we can,” says Jake. Indeed, this means that brands will be hoarding as much of it as possible.

Jake continued:

“I don’t have a firm answer on when, but we generally look at lab pricing at the end of each year, and consider increases in material, increases in labor, turn-around time and volume all at the same time.  Ultimately, the short answer is “yes.”  What I can’t tell you right now is “when.”  

Let’s just hope that the price of silver doesn’t make things with film photography even more complicated. How do you feel about all this?

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