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How much would you spend for a cartridge of Super 8 film?


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#1 Jim Carlile

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 08:56 PM

What with Kodak's financial problems looming overhead, I'm wondering how much people would spend for a Super 8 cartridge.

Right now Tri-X is about $11 from their distribution centers, which I think is really cheap. It's obvious that the company is basically subsidizing S8 as a gateway product these days, but if the chips were down, how high would you go?

$20?

This could be a real issue, and soon. Buyer acceptability of a higher price could be a big factor as to whether or not they keep it.

BTW, this may sound perverse, but I think filmmaking is starting to get fun again. Let the hacks and the mediocrities play with their digital cameras.
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#2 Miguel Loredo

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 04:03 AM

Film Division at Kodak is the only one making money for the company, incluiding (yes) Super8 film, so I don't see why should they increase the prices so noticeably...

By the way, Kodak did very well indeed yesterday and has recovered all they lost in the past days, but nobody is spreading this, just the bad news.

Once more, "no news = Good news"
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#3 Mark Dunn

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 12:00 PM

The last K40 I bought cost me about GBP11 in 1996, process-paid of course. You can't get anywhere near twice that now, even allowing for inflation. So its demise was the end for me Super-8-wise.
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 12:24 PM

I don't know how much the cartridge costs, but the film itself is what 50ft.x1/3inch (15m x 8mm) 200 sq. in. or 0.12m^2 This should cost slightly more than 2-1/2 ro. of 36 exp. B&W stills, or 10 feet/3m of 35mm film, roughly.

If I were paying for it in bulk, like with a 1000 foot roll of Double X, at 35ยข/ft. that would be $3.50 worth of film. Kodak is making a very healthy margin on 8mm film sales, and labs are making a very healthy margin on processing.
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#5 Matt Stevens

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 01:12 PM

The processing and transfer costs are is outrageous. Super8 is cheaper than 16mm, but not by all that much, which is why I barely shoot it, despite loving the hell out of it.
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#6 John Hyde

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:58 PM

I would not worry too much about what Kodak charges for super 8. I understand they maintain a 60 - 80% margin on all their motion picture products. As they continue to cut labor costs and become a more efficient company, they should consider lowering their prices to try to help maintain or grow their customer base.

I try to use film as much as possible because I love the look and want to continue to offer Kodak and the labs who process film the support. Admittedly, the cost of Kodak's film and their chemicals used for development make film too expensive for many projects. If Kodak were to lower the cost of these key components by thinning out their margins, film could be viable for film lovers who have a bit of wiggle room in the budget. Film will not ever regain its original status, but it still has a chance to dig in and hold on to a reasonable chunk of market share if Kodak plays their cards right.
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#7 Will Montgomery

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 10:44 AM

With Pro8mm the film and processing is $30 or $35 so that works out to about your $20 idea. And they assemble the cartridges themselves so it is possible to do it if Kodak decides to stop making motion picture film as long as some film is available somewhere. Only issue will be making the empty super 8 cartridges which actually could be done fairly easily as long as Kodak doesn't put up a fight with their patent (but I'm guessing it's run out by now.)
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#8 Matt Stevens

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 01:38 PM

Too bad Pro8's telecine is expensive. They won't much like the idea of my sending the film elsewhere to be scanned. One wonders if they will allow you to have your film developed with them, but not scanned.
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#9 Joshua Hill

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 05:59 PM

They clearly offer that option, so I don't think it is a problem at all.

Too bad Pro8's telecine is expensive. They won't much like the idea of my sending the film elsewhere to be scanned. One wonders if they will allow you to have your film developed with them, but not scanned.


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#10 Will Montgomery

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:39 AM

One wonders if they will allow you to have your film developed with them, but not scanned.

I do it all the time.

I wish they would sell the film without processing for $20. I prefer Alpha Cine in Seattle for processing negative.
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#11 Matt Stevens

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 02:50 PM

Hmmm... Interesting. I have a 500t neg cartridge of theirs that I shot and never had it developed. Will they mail it back to me? I once emailed asking and never got a response.
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#12 Martin Baumgarten

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:38 PM

I think, that as long as raw bulk filmstock is being manufactured by someone, motion picture film can continue as long as there is a place to slit and perforate it down to the gauges desired. Having seem Super 8mm film sell at crazy prices all over the place; some Sound film has sold in excess of $50 per 50ft cartridge.

If it ever comes down to it, were film is produced in extremely limited quantity at very high prices, I would just be forced to shoot less of it, but would still do it. There's a magic in film presentation on the screen that just can't be replicated the same way by anything digital. The projector running, the lights darkened, the screen comes alive with film grain, contrast, hues, and a unique image structure that makes this analog realm so special and wondrous.

FOMA is back making filmstock again, and although Black & White only with their Fomapan R-100, I could settle for just that in the end, if I had to. I was outside shooting some EKTACHROME slide film earlier, and with an ancient KODAk made in the 50s, which has a sharp lens. Telling film based photographers and filmmakers not to use this wonderful analog technology, would be akin to telling a water color artist, oil or acylic painter, pen & ink, pencil, charcoal etc artist to forgo all that and just do something digital on their computer using a palette. There are so many ways to express oneself artistically, and who is to say one way is better than another. Anyhow.....I would stock up on enough film to keep me going to the end of my life, if they all ceased production tomorrow!
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