Fujifilm announces worldwide price increase for color film
To take place in October, all of Fujifilm’s color film products will see an increase in price, as a result of climbing prices for materials. Costs of silver, oil, and other raw products are expected to go up by five percent. The company has attempted intensive reforms and infrastructure changes to accommodate these changes, but cannot avoid raising their prices.
From CBS Marketwatch, “Silver may shine brightest among metals,” published March 2007:
“Due to current supply/demand trends, the amount of silver above ground is projected to shrink to a critically low level in 2010. As supply shrinks, prices will keep rising steadily to new highs. Many in the investment world are unaware of this part of silver's story. Industrial demand has been outstripping mining supply for the past 15 years, driving above ground supply to historically low levels.”
From 1900 to 1990, the amount of above-ground silver in the world dropped by nearly ten billion ounces. Photography was only on culprit: silver, like gold, is a wonder-metal for any number of electronic devices.
Material has always been one of the main incentives of digital photography—why waste half a roll of film (if you’re a haphazard shooter like me) when you can clear space off a memory drive instead—even when (with the help of LCDs) you can review what you’ve taken while still in the field? For every photographer that applauds the reduction of wasted material, however, there will be one that argues the value of the material lends the final photograph a more precious quality.
Fujifilm should be congratulated for persevering in the color film market, especially considering that nearly all other suppliers have abandoned their own products in favor of digital alternatives. As anyone who has traveled abroad knows, these little green rolls can be lifesavers as a universal fall-back for photographers of all walks of life. Hopefully they won’t be forced out of mainstream retailers because of market forces.