Film Shooters

This is for the film shooters in this group that do not own or use digital SLR's.

How often do you buy film?

How much is your estimated film expense in one year's time?

I understand you do a lot of your own developing.

How often do you pay to have your film developed?

How much do you pay in one year for film development?

The reason I am asking these questions is because, to me, film seems to be an expensive hobby if you aren't bulk loading and developing all of your own prints.
K. Praslowicz 10 years ago
If I'm shooting heavily, I may buy a 100' roll of hp5 every other month for $40. If I go into a lull, I don't need to buy any, and my expenses don't accumulate. I took inventory a few month ago and haad something like 120 rolls exposed between 2001 & 2007, and about 30 rolls since this november.

I also just layed down $170 on a 160 sheet order of 4x5 film. Sounds like a lot, but sheet film gets consumed very slowly. It is typical for me to go out for several hours, and return with less then ten exposures made. I bought a box of 100 sheets in 2006 for $80, and I still have about 60 of them left.

If you look at it with the exposure counts counts that you've taken with your digital camera, it could probably look pretty sinister when converted to film costs. I wouldn't doubt that many here have taken 2000-3000 images over the past three months. I've done about 4000 over the past ten years. Just need to excersize a bit of discipline when shooting. ;)
Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago

I usually end up buying film one every 6 to 8 weeks. I shoot 10 to 15 rolls per month at my current rate (that's 360 to 540 exposures per month for those who are counting).

I bulk load exclusively. My favorite film costs $20 per 100 feet and 100 feet is 18 rolls... so roughly $1 per roll.

I have never paid to have film developed since I started shooting photos as a hobby. A roll of B&W costs me between 25 cents and 50 cents to develop depending on the developer I choose. A roll of color costs me 40 cents to develop.

This doesn't include the cost of gear, and with good reason -- all of my gear has be obtained for less than a total of $50 at garage sales and through freecycle.

There are two "downsides" to film that are not present in digital. One is that to properly do film, you should have or have access to a dark room. A dark room takes up a lot of space and there is a lot of gear that has to be owned, maintained and understood. The second is that to digitize film, you need to film scanner. For a decent one, you will spend at least $100. A very good one is much, much more, as much as a DSLR.

These two things are enough to make it certain that to do film, you should WANT TO do film... For me it is cheaper

In all, I've saved a lot of money with film. The cameras and lenses are much cheaper (at least at the entry level). My favorite SLR body was $40; assume $1.50 per roll of film shot plus $40 for the body and I've get to shoot 306 rolls of film before the cost is the same as a $500 entry level DSLR. That's right around 11,000 exposures. Anyone who has made 11,000 exposures is at a point where they're probably going to sink more cash into a photo hobby, anyway.

waphoto 10 years ago
I don't buy film that often, I have a large stock of it from the last time i bought it so I wont be buying much for awhile.

I pay to have all my slides developed since I don't have the chem or machinery to do it nor have I ever learned how to do it. If I really want them back fast I'll bring them to a pro lab but It's much cheaper to just have wal-mart or walgreens send them out, I dont really have to worry that it's at a crappy place because they get sent to a fuji pro-lab via mail and it's 3 times cheaper than a someplace like First Photo it just takes 2 weeks to get it back.
I bulk load some stuff but not all of it, the only stuff I ever load is b&w.

As for costs, film has a much lower initial cost than digital...but it costs more in the long run

I conserve a lot more than most people that shoot digital since I know I will have to pay for any shot thats crap...
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