Fujifilm is going to make it more expensive to live in the past

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Putting a roll of film in your dad's old 35 mm camera is about to get more expensive.
Putting a roll of film in your dad's old 35 mm camera is about to get more expensive.
Photo: Andrew Hutton/ Wikipedia CC

For the photographer still in love with film, the romance is about to get more expensive.

Fujifilm announced it will implement a worldwide price increase for film starting sometime this month. Exact prices were not announced but in announcing the increases, Fujifilm characterized them as “substantial” and “double digit.”

“The demand for film products is continuously decreasing and the cost of production, such as raw materials stays at a high level and cost increases associated with lower volumes becomes much serious,” the company wrote in a statement published Friday on the photography news site Photo Rumors. “Fujifilm is unable to absorb these costs during the production process and is forced to pass on price increases.”

The demand for film, as Fujifilm indicated in its statement, has been on the decline for some time as digital cameras and software removes barriers of cost and need for technical know-how. Photography, of course, has been further disrupted by the quality of cameras in smartphones, especially the iPhone.

Last year, the iPhone’s popularity was particularly evident among the 112 million users of the photo-sharing site Fickr. Based on an analysis of the EXIF date on pictures uploaded to the site, the iPhone accounted for 42 percent of all photos. Canon was a distant second at 27 percent and Nikon came up third at 16 percent.

Fujifilm says it will remain committed to the production of film but it clearly has its sites on developing cameras that might further erode the fan base of film users. Just last week, it announced updates to its popular line of mirrorless X-series cameras, some of which have settings that mimic classic styles of film.

Film is far from dead. Along with Fujifilm, Kodak still makes film, but like its longtime Japanese competitor, it has diversified its portfolio of photographic products.

Film photographers and hobbyists can also find film produced by lesser-known brands like Agfa. Lomography, a company whose business model is built around fans of analog photography, sells film cameras and film.

The price on film, obviously, varies depending on the kind you buy. A role of Fujichrome Provia 100F color transparency film for 35 mm and 36 exposures is currently $9.95 on B&H. Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400 color negative film is $3.99.

Freestyle Photographic Supplies, a popular resource for analog supplies, sells color negative film from Agfa and Adox and depending on film type, runs a buck or two cheaper. The Lomography film page also shows a wide variety of film types and prices.

Source: Photo Rumors