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The truth about Kodak price hikes



Kodak prices are set to increase from March 2023 with a lot of talk about these hikes being as high as 40%. How will this affect the film community? To what extent is this true? What can we do about it and why is it happening?


Whether you are new to film, shoot every day or are just curious, read on to find out about the details of the price increases, whats going on behind closed doors at Kodak and what the future hold for colour film.


The Breakdown


Kodak has released their plans for the upcoming film increases starting from 1st March 2023. Though there are going to be some increases of 40% for films such as Kodak Colour Plus and Kodak Pro Image, the increases for the consumer favourite films such as Kodak Gold and Ultramax are "only" set to increase by around 5%. Though these price increases might seem daunting, it is important to remember that Kodak is not the only supplier of colour film. With these increases on the way we can only hope that this will provide the funds required to increase production of film to eventually bring these prices back down and bring up availability here in the UK.


Why will the prices increase?


Kodak's Nagraj Bokinkere, VP of film manufacturing has commented on the recent price hikes stating that "they literally cannot keep up with demand, we need more staff" over the past 18 months they have hired 300 more employees to cover their 24/7 operations in Rochester New York which have also increased from 3 days to 5 now to this 24/7 set up. These price increases will help to fund the hiring of more skilled tradespeople. Kodak are actively looking to hire chemists, engineers and operators through their award winning apprenticeship programme.


The increased demand in film is not the only contributor to the recent price increase. The supply of the raw materials to create the films has also played a part in this. During the global pandemic the production of the raw materials was hit hard which has not only made the price go up but the time taken for production has taken a hit too. Kodak have combatted this by upgrading their finishing equipment which has previously been a stumbling block for production.


Hopefully with the plans set out by Kodak, we can see increased production of film and in the future a decrease of film prices rather than further increases.


Need your film developing? check out or developing services available now!


What options do we have?



If you are a die hard Kodak fan we have to look at these increases, not as a 40% end of the world price hike but as a scaled price increase across the whole product range. The overall rise is around 17% which is still a hard pill to swallow. Though the options might seem bleak there are things we can do.


1- search around for cheap suppliers of film, it is ultimately up to the retailer to decide how much to charge, before buying your favourite film stocks, have a check around and see if anywhere else is selling it for a better price or whether buying in bulk might be better financially in the long run if you are a avid user of film. This could also be a great idea if you can get together with a few friends and split the cost of a bulk order cutting the costs of shipping and (hopefully) price per roll. We personally really like using Harrison Cameras for their fair prices and quick service.


2- Use our 'dev scan and film bundle' offering 10% off your whole order, thats the film AND develop and scan saving you a few precious pennies in the process.


3- Experiment with a new film stock. Kodak are only one of a growing number of film brands which are worth exploring. A few to note that bring out new and exciting films are Film Never Die, Cinestill and even our pioneers in black and white; Ilford who brought out a colour disposable camera last year.


4- Explore ECN-2 film. Though the developing of this film is a bit more costly due to the tricky removal of the remjet layer, many companies are offering ECN-2 film for a fraction of the cost of some C41 films. ECN-2 is simply cut offs from cinema films, and can produce great results when buying from a reliable source which has been kept in good conditions. Check out @thisis_howiroll's new venture, he is selling ECN-2 at £7 a roll and we have seen great results from these so far. You'll all get 10% off your first ECN-2 development with us if you place an order through his Etsy store.


5- Try black and white! This might be the perfect time to try out the MANY different black and white films out there. These create a completely different feel to your images, are cheaper than colour film stocks and have such variety that they are worth giving a go if you haven't yet explored them. Not sure where to start? Our favourites are Ilford XP2 due to the C41 process, giving you a quicker turnaround, great contrast and an easy film all round and Ilford HP5, great contrast, versatile and a perfect starting point.


Ilford HP5 @thisis_howiroll ECN-2 Ilford XP2


In Conclusion


Though these increases are of course unwelcome by the film community we can hold out hope that there will not be any more planned increases in the future and this will result in the promised increased output of more film at cheaper prices once again. If you are looking at getting into film don't be disheartened! There are so many options to get you going and there is still something so special about film photos that it is worth the hype, we promise.



If you have any questions or want any further advice on how to shoot then you can get hold of us on Instagram, email or Discord. - Good Luck!


 

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