Lament

Olympus AF10

There is an online shop that I’ve purchased many cameras from over the years. Just recently they have advertised for sale an Olympus Mju II for £275! This is not a criticism of them, more bemused acknowledgement from me. Why would anyone pay this when that would nearly buy a Nikon F3?

I’m sorry that film manufacturers are putting their prices up too. The prices I see are clearly opportunistic. I am sure Kodaks’ production costs for Color Plus for example, have not suddenly increased by 50% overnight.

I’m sad that younger generations of film photographers, won’t enjoy the beauty of Kodachrome. I doubt the majority will make a print in a darkroom either.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m delighted than film photography is once again gaining popularity. My humble opinion is that there is more “craft” involved in using film, that I believe leads to more thought before the button is pressed.

That said, we “old hands” know that there is still magic and bargains to be had. Back in the mid 90’s one of my jobs was coming to an end, as the owner was retiring. I had a plan… I would go to Japan. I brought myself an Olympus AF 10, a simple camera, predating the Mju, it cost £69 new. I stocked up on FP4 over the weeks. I had my Kyocera (Sony) 8mm video camera, so I stocked up on some tape too. As it happened I landed another job quicker than expected and my trip to Japan never happened, the film and camera still got used of course!

Just recently I picked one up from a thrift/charity shop nearby for £5, its not as gooda camera as a Mju but the lens is still very good! I’ll enjoy a trip down memory lane with it soon, but probably pass it on to someone starting their film journey, afterward.

Meanwhile my planned year of using a different camera every month has been delayed a month by a bad back! So February will now be my month with the F3, watch this space!

2 thoughts on “Lament

  1. “I’m sorry that film manufacturers are putting their prices up too. The prices I see are clearly opportunistic.”

    Are we sure about that? Film prices probably remained artificially low for a long time because it didn’t seem like people cared about it. With lowered demand, it meant lowered production, which then translates into getting rid of equipment. Now demand is back up, so Kodak et al probably has to figure out a way to get more equipment again–equipment that hasn’t probably been built in decades. Add on the effects of pandemic–the stretching of supply chains and inflation–and higher prices were probably inevitable.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the price increases. But hopefully higher prices will mean ramping up production, more R&D, and hopefully more types of film.

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    1. Hello, Nice to hear from you again! 🙂 You are of course quite right! I’ve just been in that sort of mood recently! That said, the local store where I often buy film, the cost for Colorplus has gone from £5:99 to £10:99 for a 36exp. Increase of 83%! This is not a bash at Kodak as Fuji C200 is a very similar story. Of course film producers costs will have risen, and the pandemic wouldn’t have helped. I think here in Britain we are also suffering from the effects of Brexit too, but I don’t want to get into all that!! I remain unconvinced that those costs have risen by 83%! Of course I am very lucky I realise, if I have to pay a few more pounds for a roll of film – so be it, I might just buy 2 instead of 3, and use it more sparingly. It won’t prevent me for eating, paying the rent or even buying more film, it’s more that I lament the situation for people younger and of course less well off than me! I hope that you are right when you look forward to more R&D, new films, might we even see a new Kodachrome? – and would i buy it – you bet! Thanks for your comments, I appreciate the time! All best wishes, Andy

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