Why is 35mm so expensive now?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

The cost of 35mm film has been steadily increasing in recent years due to several factors. One of the primary reasons is the rising production costs associated with manufacturing film. Film production involves various processes such as coating, drying, and packaging, which require specialized equipment and materials. These costs have been on the rise, making it more expensive to produce 35mm film.

Another factor contributing to the increased cost is the competition from digital photography. With the advancement of digital technology, many photographers have switched to using digital cameras instead of film. This shift in consumer preferences has led to a decrease in demand for film, resulting in lower production volumes. When production volumes decrease, the fixed costs associated with film production are spread over fewer units, leading to higher prices for each roll of film.

Furthermore, the decline in demand for 35mm film has also affected economies of scale. Film manufacturers typically achieve cost savings through bulk production, as larger quantities allow for more efficient use of resources. However, as the demand for film decreases, manufacturers have to produce smaller quantities, resulting in decreased economies of scale and higher production costs per unit.

Additionally, the production of 35mm film requires certain raw materials that may have become more expensive over time. For example, silver, which is a key component in film emulsion, has experienced price fluctuations in recent years. The rising cost of raw materials directly impacts the overall production cost of film, contributing to its increased price.

Personal experiences also illustrate the rising cost of 35mm film. As an avid film photographer, I have noticed the gradual increase in film prices over the years. It has become more challenging to find affordable film options, and some film stocks that were once widely available have become scarce and more expensive. These experiences further highlight the impact of various factors on the cost of 35mm film.

The cost of 35mm film has been rising due to a combination of factors. Rising production costs, competition from digital photography, changing consumer preferences, and fluctuations in raw material prices have all contributed to the increased price of 35mm film. These factors have made it more challenging for film manufacturers to maintain affordable prices, resulting in a significant impact on the film photography industry.