"Film is Expensive"? – Only in Canada
Old 08-25-2016   #1
BLKRCAT
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"Film is Expensive"? – Only in Canada

A brief forewarning, this may turn out to be a little rant.

It's that time of year for me to stock up on film and chemistry so as I would be out shooting I made some detours to check out a couple camera stores in the city who sell film and chemistry, Downtown Camera and good ol Henry's.

This specific run I'm looking for specific extra large print files to hold 10 shots of 6x7 120 negatives, Xtol, and Tmax 400 (both 120 and 35). Not able to find the specific print file's anywhere (understandable) I check out the developer, $19.99 for a 5L pack. Seemed steep since last year I swear it was no more than $12 a pack. I felt like even with the dollar being not great I could get a better deal at BH since it would appear I would need to order the print files anyways.

I place the order, $198.88 CAD all in. Product, Shipping, Tax/Duty, all to the door.

10 x Tmax 400 in 35mm
10 x Tmax 400 in 120
2 x Xtol 5L
100 pack of 6x7 Print Files

Just out of curiousity I worked out what it would have cost me to buy locally. Worked out to $407.34 all in.

I'm not sure what planet camera stores in Toronto live on. Or if they get their products delivered by miniature ponies. But their prices here are insane.

$14.87+tax for a roll of Tmax in 35
$13.18+tax for a roll of Tmax in 120
(tax is 13% in ontario)

It appalls me that newcomers to film or people who want to get into film photography have little choice when it comes to buy locally. They won't have any incentive to keep with it if they have to put an insane amount of money into it.

Curious to see what peoples thoughts are. I'm aware "times are a changin'" but when I can buy everything at basically half price from the US I feel like there's some bending over happening if you buy local.

Edit: Another great laugh to add. Bulk Tri-X 100' - $252.20! (plus tax!!!)
http://www.downtowncamera.com/
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Old 08-25-2016   #2
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B&H. Free shipping. Done.
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Old 08-25-2016   #3
Ko.Fe.
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Henry's went nuts long time ago on film prices. Total nuts.
But I respect them and DTC for keeping chemicals and paper prices at reasonable prices for some time, it helped me to learn.

We still have normal, not greedy, companies to support as local film, chemicals and paper providers.
Locally I go to Burlington Camera. For single film rolls, paper, chemicals and advice. They have large selection of very affordable enlargers and all kind of darkroom supplies.
On-Line here is argentix.ca.
BW films - http://www.argentix.ca/AllBWfilms.php?=SID&mqry=sp01
Chemicals - http://www.argentix.ca/AllBWchems.php?=SID&mqry=sp02
They are also great help for color film.
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Old 08-25-2016   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKRCAT View Post
A brief forewarning, this may turn out to be a little rant.

It's that time of year for me to stock up on film and chemistry so as I would be out shooting I made some detours to check out a couple camera stores in the city who sell film and chemistry, Downtown Camera and good ol Henry's.

This specific run I'm looking for specific extra large print files to hold 10 shots of 6x7 120 negatives, Xtol, and Tmax 400 (both 120 and 35). Not able to find the specific print file's anywhere (understandable) I check out the developer, $19.99 for a 5L pack. Seemed steep since last year I swear it was no more than $12 a pack. I felt like even with the dollar being not great I could get a better deal at BH since it would appear I would need to order the print files anyways.

I place the order, $198.88 CAD all in. Product, Shipping, Tax/Duty, all to the door.

10 x Tmax 400 in 35mm
10 x Tmax 400 in 120
2 x Xtol 5L
100 pack of 6x7 Print Files

Just out of curiousity I worked out what it would have cost me to buy locally. Worked out to $407.34 all in.

I'm not sure what planet camera stores in Toronto live on. Or if they get their products delivered by miniature ponies. But their prices here are insane.

$14.87+tax for a roll of Tmax in 35
$13.18+tax for a roll of Tmax in 120
(tax is 13% in ontario)

It appalls me that newcomers to film or people who want to get into film photography have little choice when it comes to buy locally. They won't have any incentive to keep with it if they have to put an insane amount of money into it.

Curious to see what peoples thoughts are. I'm aware "times are a changin'" but when I can buy everything at basically half price from the US I feel like there's some bending over happening if you buy local.

Edit: Another great laugh to add. Bulk Tri-X 100' - $252.20! (plus tax!!!)
http://www.downtowncamera.com/
I just took a look at Downtown's prices. They are gouging...plain and simple. $17.09 for a roll of Ektar 100??? Seriously???? The same film from Camera Traders in Victoria is $12. That is an inexcusable difference. Yet...I can go to the film photography podcast store and pay $6 USD which is $7.80 CAD. So $7.80 vs $12 vs $17.09. Ridiculous
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Old 08-25-2016   #5
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Fuji P400h 135/36 is $22 in Sydney. Portra 400 is $17 and Provia 100f is $25.50...

Definitely not 'only in Canada'
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Old 08-25-2016   #6
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Black and White film was always a ripoff price wise in Canada compared to prices in the USA. The only bargain in past years in Canada was 35mm colour print film of the common variety and that was store branded stuff mostly, but that is gone too with the popularity of digital cameras and iphones.
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Old 08-25-2016   #7
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Two weeks ago I needed some 120 TriX for a couple 645 medium format cameras I was evaluating. Here in El Paso (a city of 1 million) there is only one camera store and they sell used junk but also carry film. I paid $28 for two rolls of HP5. Now knocking off 8% sales tax, that is still $13/roll. I can buy HP5 from B&H for $4.09/roll.

I admit to wanting the 120 film soonest and honestly I did not check my credit card receipt until I got home. So, my mistake but I will never shop there again. And I will be checking prices and my credit card each and every time from now on.
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Old 08-25-2016   #8
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I just wish we had a local B&H too
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Old 08-25-2016   #9
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I just started shooting film about 2 months ago and I am finding it very expensive. I shop at Downtown Camera and Henry's. I am really liking film compared to digital but not sure if i want to keep dumping money into it.
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Old 08-25-2016   #10
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Now try that with Fuji Velvia...
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Old 08-25-2016   #11
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^ look at BH in the future, even with the terrible dollar its worth it.

The sad thing is that Downtown Camera and Henry's drive prices in the city. If you go elsewhere you'll find similar markups and similar prices, unless of course it's expired or short date.
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Old 08-25-2016   #12
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In LA Mel Pierce Camera in Hollywood matches B&H on some items (Portra 160 120) but there must be a typo here as they are asking $45 for 1 roll of Ektar! Most of the other film seems decently priced:

http://www.melpiercecamera.com/prodd...-Film-One-Roll

Freestyle Photo in Hollywood seems ok - a little pricier than B&H but not outrageous.
MPC and Freestyle are worth it if u are in LA and need it now.

Samys camera in LA seems to have decent prices online - Portra 400 120 is cheaper than B&H! - but when u go into the store they charge more. $6.49 vs $5.99
http://www.samys.com/c/Film/2/543.ht...ute~1283~120mm
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Old 08-25-2016   #13
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Once upon a time when I worked for a photofinisher, we sold film for essentially what it cost us to buy it AND gave a new roll of film away with every roll we processed that printed out 50% of the frames. And a full 36 shot roll of 35mm film D&P was $9. This was predicated on the fact that that $9 price tag per roll incorporated a 65% markup from our cost of operation, and we sold a lot of D&P. The profit from that alone was enough to pay the rent, the salaries, and the operating costs of the lab with a little left over for growth and development. The same was true of every camera shop and photofinisher I knew, they all priced out film in the same way.

Photofinishers now have virtually no D&P income. So film has to be sold at the actual retail price, not the D&P-subsidized deep discount it once was. And the actual retail prices have risen dramatically because there is insufficient demand to keep those expensive film production machines running at their most economical rate, so the cost of manufacture has gone up. Big vendors selling mail order can afford some discounting because they earn their profits across a broader stroke of product sales.

The entire chain of business profitability for the camera vendor has been impacted severely in recent years due to increase in the costs of rent, the costs of insurance for employees, the cost of salaries, etc etc., as well.

So before you go accusing your friendly neighborhood camera/film dealer of "gouging", be sure you understand how lucky you are that someone is interested enough to figure out how to stay profitable enough not to just close their doors so that you can still buy film at all. And go buy something from them so that they have a chance of not seeing another month of red ink on the balance sheet. Because without customers and profits, they'll surely be gone soon.

G
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Old 08-25-2016   #14
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I was hoping there would be a response like this.

DT Camera runs a lab alongside their sales. Their prices per their site are $15.99 for same day color, 36 prints 4x6 or $17.99 and a week for 36 prints 4x6. Prices for D&P have also increased, and they don't offer you free rolls if you use them either.

From what I've heard from film shooters around the city their service is good and people use them frequently. They also are one of the few places in the city that have deals with E6 processing labs and will send out your E6 with a markup as well.

They have their hands in many cookie jars. I just so happen to think they are getting greedy with the film sales jar.
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Old 08-25-2016   #15
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G, let's not generalize. We have local stores with normal price on film.
In meantime, Henry's and DT are profitable and not gouging on digital gear, but, yes, they are gouging on film comparing to other local retail stores and those are more friendly not because of the correct price on film.
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Old 08-25-2016   #16
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For many (most?) of us there is simply no local source for film. You do mail order, plain and simple. So you have to plan ahead. For me B&H is eight days out from order day to delivery day. This is just a hobby so if I do run out then most often it is not a big deal. I could get Freestyle quicker but I'd have to pay shipping and I wait till I have enough in my cart for free shipping with B&H.
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Old 08-25-2016   #17
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Im 16 and in england and I love film, especially 6x6 format and the problem i have is that it is a fiver for a roll of kentemere 100 (the cheapest in the UK) and that bugs me as i am stepping up to a 6x7 mamiya as an exams present
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Old 08-25-2016   #18
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Originally Posted by Huss View Post

Samys camera in LA seems to have decent prices online - Portra 400 120 is cheaper than B&H! - but when u go into the store they charge more. $6.49 vs $5.99
http://www.samys.com/c/Film/2/543.ht...ute~1283~120mm
I asked them about that once.. I guess it's a physical store cost thing, like trying to make up some of the overhead costs. Also, their website is a separate business.
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Old 08-25-2016   #19
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If you're in Toronto, have you tried Film Plus? I've found them reasonable in the past. They're at Symington and Dupont (close to Lansdowne). http://filmplus.ca/

Of course, Argentix works really generally quite well.
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Old 08-25-2016   #20
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I personally haven't been to film plus in years. Last I remember prices were highish. I remember getting better prices from the tomography store back when we had it.

I had been meaning to get back there though, I know film plus has a huge commitment to film and getting film in the hands of younger users.
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Old 08-25-2016   #21
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I asked them about that once.. I guess it's a physical store cost thing, like trying to make up some of the overhead costs. Also, their website is a separate business.
Yeah, but I was surprised, even with the markup, how competitive it is.
And some of their online prices are better than B&H, for all those looking for the best deals out there.

Once my stash of film has been used up I will definitely be looking at giving some of the locals my business. Seems you are in luck if you live in LA or NYC.
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Old 08-25-2016   #22
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Kodaks distribution in Canada has always been a bit brutal with their prices. Usually the charge more for film whole sale than BH, free Style etc charge retail. I find that Free Style is probably the best - they ship promptly.
The trick is to get together with other shooters locally and "gang" order. Shipping is cheaper and getting it into Canada is quite simple. Of course the low C$ hurts - but you are still about 1/2 price of store prices here.
When TriX is approaching C$ 12-14/roll for 35mm film - there is something wrong. The store must make a profit, but not gouging the customers. What will happen is that nobody will buy their film - just go online instead.
I tend to do big bulk buys - sometimes on my own and sometimes with friends. Hurts when you pay for it - but if the stock lasts a couple of years - you have forgotten it.
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Old 08-25-2016   #23
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I would like to be the first to congratulate Tom on his 6000th post!
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Old 08-25-2016   #24
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Here's something to make your eyes water. From Vanbar's site here in Oz.


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Old 08-25-2016   #25
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[IMG]I shoot digital... not sure what's going on ... Tom will have to explain to me by T&T and Mr B Abrahamsson, on Flickr[/IMG]

This is a shipment dating from 2011. Arista Premium 400 - 1000 rolls. About 300 rolls were set aside for friend, the glance was mine. I have added another couple 0f 100 rolls in the intervening years - but even so, I can see the bottom of the stash. Most of this film is when we travel as IXMOO cassettes make airport security suspicious. Hmm, that looks like some big gauge gun ammo!". At the time, the Arista was US$2.09 a rill, Fedex shipped to Vancouver added $100 and taxes added some more. Came out to about $ 2.70/roll in the end. It is a lot of film, but if you "gang" up with other users, it is worth it.
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Old 08-25-2016   #26
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I hear you. Prices in Quebec aren't much better. I've had good luck with Photo Service in Montreal. They ship - you can order online from them. Price for TMY is $7.99 CAN in 120 and $9.98 CAN for 135 : http://photoservice.ca/fr/products.html?catalog[name]=Film&catalog[decision_model_guids][0]=160830cc-7790-4399-9330-586545ab3e9b&catalog[offset]=60
(copy and paste the whole line for the specific page)

With our weak dollar, I decided to buy a 400ft of Kodak Double-X last spring. For about $250 CAN + tax, it's quite cheap I think. Works great with Xtol. I love the look and versatility of the film, but maybe you prefer something more modern looking.
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Old 08-25-2016   #27
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Oh, and Photo Service has Xtol packs for $9.98 each. Shipping is quite cheap (~$15).
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Old 08-25-2016   #28
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Be advised that with a looming Canada Post strike I'd be careful about ordering film from outside Canada...make sure they don't ship it via USPS or else your film could be sitting in a hot trailer parked in a yard for weeks!
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Old 08-25-2016   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
Once upon a time when I worked for a photofinisher, we sold film for essentially what it cost us to buy it AND gave a new roll of film away with every roll we processed that printed out 50% of the frames. And a full 36 shot roll of 35mm film D&P was $9. This was predicated on the fact that that $9 price tag per roll incorporated a 65% markup from our cost of operation, and we sold a lot of D&P. The profit from that alone was enough to pay the rent, the salaries, and the operating costs of the lab with a little left over for growth and development. The same was true of every camera shop and photofinisher I knew, they all priced out film in the same way.

Photofinishers now have virtually no D&P income. So film has to be sold at the actual retail price, not the D&P-subsidized deep discount it once was. And the actual retail prices have risen dramatically because there is insufficient demand to keep those expensive film production machines running at their most economical rate, so the cost of manufacture has gone up. Big vendors selling mail order can afford some discounting because they earn their profits across a broader stroke of product sales.

The entire chain of business profitability for the camera vendor has been impacted severely in recent years due to increase in the costs of rent, the costs of insurance for employees, the cost of salaries, etc etc., as well.

So before you go accusing your friendly neighborhood camera/film dealer of "gouging", be sure you understand how lucky you are that someone is interested enough to figure out how to stay profitable enough not to just close their doors so that you can still buy film at all. And go buy something from them so that they have a chance of not seeing another month of red ink on the balance sheet. Because without customers and profits, they'll surely be gone soon.

G
This has got to be one of the most clueless posts I have ever witnessed here. if some shops can sell film for $7.80 a roll and other sell at $17.09, the rest of the equation ismtotally irrelevant. They are gouging, plain and simple.
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Old 08-25-2016   #30
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I hear you. Prices in Quebec aren't much better. I've had good luck with Photo Service in Montreal. They ship - you can order online from them. Price for TMY is $7.99 CAN in 120 and $9.98 CAN for 135 : http://photoservice.ca/fr/products.html?catalog[name]=Film&catalog[decision_model_guids][0]=160830cc-7790-4399-9330-586545ab3e9b&catalog[offset]=60
(copy and paste the whole line for the specific page)

With our weak dollar, I decided to buy a 400ft of Kodak Double-X last spring. For about $250 CAN + tax, it's quite cheap I think. Works great with Xtol. I love the look and versatility of the film, but maybe you prefer something more modern looking.
I was lucky to buy some 24 cans of 400 ft XX before the price went nuts. It did cost me $127 per can. This is my "day to day" film at home shooting or when travelling by car. I have about 11 rolls left (4400 ft) and when that is used up I will probably switch tp ORWO 74 - which in some ways is a better film than the XX.
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Old 08-25-2016   #31
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Here's something to make your eyes water. From Vanbar's site here in Oz.


That is terrible Keith. I don't even look at the pre-rolled film here beyond the fringes of civilization in darkest South-Western Oz. I buy 100 foot lengths of Delta 100 and keep one lot ahead in case of disaster. Doesn't compare to Tom A's prepping though....
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Old 08-26-2016   #32
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I was lucky to buy some 24 cans of 400 ft XX before the price went nuts. It did cost me $127 per can. This is my "day to day" film at home shooting or when travelling by car. I have about 11 rolls left (4400 ft) and when that is used up I will probably switch tp ORWO 74 - which in some ways is a better film than the XX.
I did something similar, bought 1200 ft of plus x for around £60 a few years ago still got more than 800 ft left as for colour I've been buying Agfa vista 200 at poundland for you guessed it a £1.
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Old 08-26-2016   #33
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I was lucky to buy some 24 cans of 400 ft XX before the price went nuts. It did cost me $127 per can. This is my "day to day" film at home shooting or when travelling by car. I have about 11 rolls left (4400 ft) and when that is used up I will probably switch tp ORWO 74 - which in some ways is a better film than the XX.
Wow, that's quite the deal! About Orwo : can you tell me what is the way to buy it from Canada?
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