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Film prices have been undoubtedly climbing but it’s not what you might expect; a special report explains what happened and how you can save money on your favourite emulsions. Two totally new colour films are in the works and four new film cameras are now on sale (incl. a 6x12 and an Instax Square SLR). Meanwhile, an NFT-crazed auction house offers to commit an act of vandalism while the popular blockchain marketplace closes down due to widespread fraud.
Below the fold, you will also find this month’s nine new tools, articles, and downloads, as well as a few select photography-related reads from elsewhere on the internet.
Film prices up 9% in six months.
Hold on, don’t sell all your film gear just yet! Let me break down some numbers for you first.
I’ve been keeping records of evolving film prices across several large retailers since 2018. The resulting 1400+ data points feed the Film Price Tracker tool that I use to help me save money on film (something you may want to do as well).
This month’s update to FPT shows a steep increase in film costs across the board. However, it isn’t even. For example, Kodak films drove the inflation with 8-40% price hikes while there’s no change to Ilford and Lomography stocks.
Interestingly, film costs have remained more or less the same from the beginning of the pandemic until the recent increase. This fact, along with basic inflation adjustment shows an actual overall film price increase of about 3% per year since 2020.
Perhaps, panic isn’t warranted after all. Though I understand that your experience at the store might not match the story the market prices tell. In which case, I suggest you read this article which breaks down some of the techniques you can use to avoid spending money unwisely while still supporting your favourite businesses.
Adox commits to making colour film, ORWO announces July 2022 as a release date for its new ECN-2 movie reels.
This month, Adox, a brand of a German black and white film factory known on this website for its “highest resolving image recording system in the world,” launched a limited-time colour film sale event. Kosmo Foto reports it as the one and only run of a firm that went bankrupt immediately following the production; a firm that Adox acquired so that it can produce its new line of colour emulsions.
Unfortunately, as of this writing, Adox Color Mission 200 is all sold out. To tell you the truth, I opted not to buy a roll when I had the chance as shipping to Canada came up to €40⁶⁰.
But there’s no reason to feel sad, however, as the new colour film release from ORWO is expected in July 2022 — source. It will be sold as ECN-2 movie reels — which isn’t immediately compatible with photo film cameras but it could be converted by a third party like CineStill, developed at home, or at certain specialized labs.
New film cameras from NONS and Chroma Cameras.
NONS make do on their promise to launch an SLR body for Instax Square film that takes advantage of a larger emulsion and solves most of the vignetting problems at the same time. It is now available at around $500 USD on Kickstarter.
Chroma Cameras has just made shooting enormous medium format negatives a little easier, especially if you’re looking for a new camera and have the lens to match it. Also new from the company: a 6x9 and a multi-format camera system.
NFT-crazed auction house encourages vandalism.
A few days ago, PetaPixel reported that an NFT marketplace was forced to shut down due to widespread fraud. And before then, Webb’s, “one of New Zealand’s premier auction houses” sold an NFT of two historical glass plate photographs taken between 1910 and 1920 and encouraged the buyer to have the original masterpieces smashed to bits. Presumably to give more value to the NFT — which is in essence just a URL pointing to a JPEG.
Not sure what an NFT is? Read the guide that explains it.
Film photography around the web.
Lee Webb, whose work you can also find on Analog.Cafe has recently published a great read, “A Great Big Guide To First Of The Roll Photographs.” In his post, he explains the phenomenon and gives some ideas on what you can do with your first-of-the-roll frames along with numerous examples of his own.
Fstoppers published a fascinating explainer and a video on “Creating a Brenizer Method Portrait,” which is a technique for assembling a composite photograph out of 9-15 single images. What makes their post particularly interesting is that it goes over the steps of recreating it with a medium format film camera.
The Guardian posted a series of scans of Ansel Adam’s work that’s up for auction — presumably sold as of this writing. The price ranges they estimated are between $5,000 and $700,000 — the latter being attached to his famous work, Moonrise.
Latest on Analog.Cafe.
“FED 50mm f/3.5 Industar-10” is my review of a beautiful Russian lens (a copy of Leica M39 Elmar).
“29 Reasons Why Film Is Better Than Digital Photography” is my clickbaity title for the giant collection of excuses to shoot film. In the introduction, I acknowledge that there may be just as many reasons to pick a digital camera instead — but that would be beyond the scope of that article. 😅
“Analogue Photography in the XXI Century” is the above-mentioned book posted as a free PDF download.
“Fujichrome Provia 100F Slide Film Review” — this is one of the best and most realistic film emulsions ever created by Fujifilm.
“Dessert First!” is a book review of Hanna Quevedo’s fantastic collection of photographs taken over nine years between 2007 and 2016.
“Who Made Your Film?” — a list of seven possible ways your film got its name and found home in your camera. Did you know that you can make an emulsion at home (and that there’s a micro manufacturer in France that does exactly that)?
“Ultra-Long Exposures With Solarcan” — as I am about to move from my apartment into something with a much less impressive view, I unveil my five-month-long photograph and review the experience using Solarcan cameras.