photography

Kodak Increases Film Prices in 2020

 kodak colorplus 200 film

Time to hoard some Kodak film!

If you read the film photography news or follow the film photography socials, you might have seen the big announcement that Kodak Alaris is raising prices on all film beginning January 1st, 2020.

The Bad News

While I’m no alarmist, and don’t mind a paying a little more, the word “significant” in a press release is somewhat concerning when talking about a price jump. Especially since this is for all of their film stocks.

I was curious and looked back at my last purchase of ColorPlus 200 in 2018. I paid roughly $17 for five rolls, and one year later they are averaging $35 for that same number. If Kodak really is discontinuing Gold 200, then I’m glad I snagged a bunch of it at Walgreen’s clearance, because Kodak ColorPlus 200 might become the cheapest consumer option at an increased price point. Fuji C200 (which is a great summer landscape stock!) has crept up too.

Since I want to get back into Black & White, and maybe even developing at home someday, I grabbed a pack of Kodak Tri-X 400 as well before it goes up. If the price increases truly are significant in 2020 I may start looking into Ilford HP5 since I’ve heard really good things about it.

The Good News

In the long run, it’s positive to see demand is high and film photography is “back”. This announcement, along with the increasing prices of film cameras, are a bummer on the wallet. However, I’d rather have film be more expensive than not available at all.

Kodak also stated that their supplier should show results of capacity increase by late 2020 and 2021. I’m hoping that means prices will settle back down in the long-term and it will result in a healthier, competitive market for film. Only time will tell…

photography

Kodak Gold 200 Film Discontinued?

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I got a hot tip yesterday from the /r/analogcommunity on Reddit¬†that Kodak Gold 200 film was on a serious discount at Walgreen’s pharmacies across the U.S.A.

Averaging between $4.79-$12 for a 3-pack of 24 exposure rolls, the clearance price varies from decent to “gotta grab it” levels of bargain basement insanity. I spent an hour yesterday afternoon driving to my area Walgreen’s and while some had already sold out, I managed to find five packs. Only one was expired.

Walgreen’s clearance has everyone speculating that Kodak could be discontinuing the Gold 200 line of film stock, perhaps leaving only ColorPlus 200 and Ultramax 400 for user-grade films?

I’ve never shot Gold 200 before. I’ve seen some nice work with it online, but honestly for a 200 ISO film it was simply too expensive compared to the ColorPlus 200 and Fujifilm C200 I was able to snag online. C200 seems to be getting rarer, and if Gold will truly be discontinued then I’m glad I’ll have a little stockpile in my fridge.

My hope is that Kodak is simply discontinuing 3-Packs of it. Inexpensive film is a good gateway to photographers who are either discovering or returning to film photography, and at least where I am it’s near impossible to find Kodak ColorPlus 200 anywhere but online. I hear it’s more of a European product? I’m sure there are business reasons behind it, but I hope they maintain at least one cheapo stock alongside the Portas and Ektars for higher-end use.

If you’re reading this and dig on Gold, go check out your local Walgreens. Kodak Gold 200 apparently produces very rich reds and yellows, so I’m anticipating some nice Autumn foliage shots when I load it up.