Film photographers often have more than enough to freak out about. But one thing we all complain about is the price. That’s why many of us use film alongside digital. With the latest news from Fujifilm, prices could increase further. The worst: it will affect all film photography.
In a recent press statement, Fujifilm announced that chemicals and paper will face a price increase. If you don’t read their ad carefully, you’d think it’s just the paper. And if it was just the paper, you just wouldn’t be ordering prints. But the news is also about chemicals. This is sure to annoy many of us, and combined with the lack of price regulation in the world of film photography, it becomes even more frustrating.
Here is the official statement from Fujifilm:
To address rising global costs of raw materials, energy, and increased transportation and logistics expenses, FUJIFILM North America Corporation will implement a moderate increase in consumable product prices. Effective October 15, we will increase prices by 15% for all types of Fujicolor Crystal Archive color paper (except control strips and display materials), C-41 and E-6 film and RA-4 paper chemicals, cartridge chemical starter kits and other starters. , as well as acetic acids, hydroxides and all other chemical additives.
At Fujifilm, we recognize the extreme importance that photography has in our society. As a long-time innovator of photographic products, we pride ourselves on continuing to provide high-quality products and services at a reasonable cost that also contribute to a robust and healthy photo ecosystem.
The film photography community has been going through major and drastic changes for a few years now. In 2019, the prices didn’t change much, but when 2020 came around, a lot of things changed. Brands have started to say cinema is becoming profitable, albeit still slightly. Other brands say it was just a lot of hype even today.
It seems, according to the brands, that the prices are going to have to continue to increase in order for this to be sustainable for them. In case you didn’t know, Fujifilm makes just about every chemical for development on the market. There are some from Kodak and other brands, but most of what develops your film is Fujifilm chemicals.
We reached out to a few companies to explain how this might affect them. Only Blue Moon Camera responded. According to store owner Jake Shivery, this is something they are watching closely.
“It’s definitely on our radar, and we’re approaching it like we usually do – stockpiling as much as possible to delay price increases for as long as possible,” says Jake. In effect, this means brands will hoard as much of it as possible.
“I don’t have a specific answer as to when, but we typically review lab pricing at the end of each year and factor in material increases, labor increases, execution and volume at the same time. Ultimately, the short answer is “yes”. What I can’t tell you right now is “when”.
Let’s just hope the price of film doesn’t further complicate things with film photography. What do you think of all this?