Film Photography News — July 2022 Recap

Film Prices 🔥, New Film, and “Instagram Is Dying”

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What’s new?

I’ve done some research: film prices are still in check. Meanwhile, ORWO’s new colour film nears ship date, Polaroid announces its new green instant film, Adox plans to bring more colour films to the market, and CineStill TCS-1000 now ships with the 🇬🇧UK plugs.

Plus: a brief overview of the two new social media apps for film photographers.

Summer 2022 film prices. 🔥

Higher than normal inflation is the unfortunate reality of life in 2022. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing fuel, minerals, and food prices to go up. This is in addition to the existing supply chain disruptions and the increased demand for natural resources we use in tech products.

Fujifilm has linked their recent film discontinuations and price increases directly to their inability to source certain components efficiently or at all. Kodak managed to keep their entire catalogue afloat, but they had to change how their film canisters look and increase the prices for their colour negative films severely. And at least one film brand had to shut its doors forever.

However, there are still some things to be grateful for when it comes to film photography. Recently, I saw Kodak’s Jeff Hansen explain what it takes to make film at their facility. Did you know that iridium, a precious metal used in film manufacturing, is the result of cosmic dust and is 40 times rarer than gold?

There are also ways to save money on film.

Last week, I updated Film Price Tracker* with the latest data. As expected, the cost of shooting film went up — no thanks to the 8% inflation, supply chain issues, and the exploding interest in analogue photography.

✱ — Film Price Tracker is a web app to help you save money on film. It tracks market averages to which you can compare your store’s tags and decide whether you’ll be getting a good deal.

My research showed an average price of a 35mm/36exp. film canister increase by 3.52%. On the bright side, that’s slower than the inflation rate where I live (Canada) and is on a level with the last year’s 7% overall increase: -2% in the first half of 2021 and 9% in the second.

Also, I found a few film stocks that got cheaper (including a few Kodak emulsions) and identified the worst offenders (ahem, Fujifilm).

So if the money’s tight or you don’t want to overpay, consider using the tools and research above. It certainly helped me over the years.

⚡️ Update (Jul 23, 2020): Apparently, prices on some Kodak films increased sharply at B&H online store. I also saw Malaysian stores charging double the market average I’ve got from the stores I surveyed.

The entire set of photos above is courtesy of ORWO. The top image is from the latest emulsion going into production. Two images below are from an earlier test.

ORWO’s new colour film, NC500.

I’ve been writing about ORWO’s new colour film all year. This is likely the last time I’ll be doing that in the future tense as the shipments are about to dispatch.

Not only is this film available for still photographers — it’s also in movie formats — up to 65mm!

In their latest blog post, ORWO shares a brief overview of their manufacturing process:

Each colour film is made from 11 independent layers, each layer is consisting of different sets of emulsions, each emulsion is consisting of up to 30 different ingredients, each ingredient can consist of up to 16 different steps to prepare it. Similar actions apply for the mere process of coating. Differences in humidity, temperature etc. lead to different behavior of fluids, making changes and adjustments necessary.
Newgrain.app

Newgrain, a new social network for film photographers.

Instagram is dying,” wrote Tim on Reddit. Indeed, the app has been receiving some pushback from the photo community for its aggressive pivot to video. This is on top of the recent accusations the company received for its negative impact on users’ mental health.

Tim’s proposed solution to the social network’s fallacies is to create and populate an alternative, which he calls Newgrain. Newgrain is a web app that the nineteen-year-old French student, Tim, built based on a list of his favourite emulsions.

The app has been gaining traction with over 3K users and 3K uploads as of this writing. Tim hopes to push his project further by rewriting it in a more suitable programming environment and building a mobile app in the coming months.

Newgrain.app is currently in public beta and open to anyone wishing to join, contribute photos, and participate in conversations.

Grainery.app

Grainery is also a new social network for film photographers.

Grainery is the other new social app for film photographers you may have heard about. Developed by Kyle Johnston, it’s been featured on 35mmc and PetaPixel as a place to take refuge from Instagram.

Grainery is a freemium product with a $3/mo subscription for unlimited posts, sellers marketplace, forums, developer database, etc.

You may find the app’s design quite familiar — it’s almost identical to Instagram’s. The logo is an olive-coloured lower-case “g,” which reminds me of Google Plus from back in the day. But unlike g+ and Instagram, Grainery requires you to divulge your gear and film specs before posting in an apparent attempt to enforce the “film only” rule.

The app can be found online at Grainery.app.

In other news.

Paul of Analogue Wonderland asked me to pass on a message for the British readers of Analog.Cafe: CineStill TCS-1000 — temperature control for film development — now ships with the 🇬🇧UK plugs! No more fumbling with power adapters.

Adox plans to bring more colour films to the market, according to 35mmc. They’ll be starting with ISO 3 Helios, which will be available in various formats with plans for “normal” speed film next.

Polaroid released a limited run of their Green Duochrome Film for Polaroid 600 and i-Type cameras. And it’s cheaper than all other Polaroid film in this format ($15 vs $20)!

A massive collection of film cameras is now on sale (as a whole) by Modern Decorative, an antique dealer in London. PetaPixel estimates it will go for over $30,000. Judging by photos of the items, I assure you it will fetch much more than that. As of this writing, the listing is up, and the dealer is presumably still accepting offers via email.

Latest on Analog.Cafe.

Olympus 42mm 𝒇1.2 H.Zuiko Auto-S Lens Review — did you know that there’s a half-frame SLR that has an ultra-fast 𝒇1.2 lens made for it? This is my review of that lens.

Polaroid SX-70 Colour Film Review — I’ve been shooting this film for years, though I’ve never published my thoughts on why I love shooting it despite its numerous flaws. This article corrects that.

Shooting Film: Book Review — a couple of months ago, I got a book that claimed to have “Everything you need to know about analogue photography.” In this review, I examine that claim.

Rollei Paul & Reinhold 100th Anniversary Film Review — I love pretty film packaging, and the rolls that come in this set look fantastic. I liked the film also — my results looked close to what I’m getting from JCH StreetPan.

FED 55mm f/2.8 Industar-61 L/D Lens Review — a strange, beautiful, and mildly-radioactive lens for M39 and M42 mounts.

Kodak Portra 160 Film Reviewcheaper than its ISO 400 and 800 cousins and with finer grain. But for best results, you’ll need to meter your light perfectly.

Film Prices Up by 3.52% Since Feb 2022 — I use figures from this report above.