Film photographers often have more than enough to panic 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 might 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 their announcement carefully, you’d think 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, combined 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.
The film photography community has seen some major and drastic changes for a few years now. Back in 2019, prices weren’t changing much, but when 2020 came around a whole lot evolved. Brands began saying that film was becoming profitable, although still only 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 to make it sustainable for them. In case you didn’t know, Fujifilm makes pretty much all the chemicals for development on the market. There are some by Kodak and other brands, but most of what’s developing your film are Fujifilm chemicals.
We reached out to a few companies to comment on how this might affect them. 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.
“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?