Large Format Sheet Film Cost Analysis
I have revised the original article with the new costs as of December 12, 2020 which is a little over five years since I last checked the costs for commonly available large format film stocks.
I think you may be a little surprised at the information in the tables below. Not only have the prices drastically increased, but some films are no longer available.
Large format photography isn't about cost for most people, it is usually about quality or artistic expression. I can't think of a better way for large format photographers to not only control costs, but to explore a wide range of creative options by making your own negatives and paper.
Review the information below and let me know which film is your favorite and what developer you use. As a side note, I checked the prices on the B&H website where I buy all of my film and darkroom supplies.
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4x5 Sheet Film
HP5+ 100 sheets $125 $1.25 per sheet (2015) - $170 $1.70 per sheet (2020) 135%
Foma 100 - 50 sheets $62.99 $1.25 per sheet (2015)
FP4+ 125 - 100 sheets $124.95 $1.25 per sheet (2015)
Delta 100 - 25 sheets $34.95 $1.39 per sheet (2015)
T-Max 100 50 sheets $90 $1.80 per sheet (2015)
Tri-X 320 50 sheets $97.95 $1.95 per sheet (2015)
T-Max 400 - 50 sheets $120 $2.40 per sheet (2015)
Acros 100 - 20 sheets $56.50 $2.82 per sheet (2015) (No Longer Available)
Provia 100F - 20 sheets $72.00 $3.60 per sheet (2015)
Velvia 100 - 20 sheets $72.00 $3.60 per sheet (2015)
Ektar 100 - 10 sheets $36.95 $3.69 per sheet (2015)
Portra 400 - 10 sheets $42.95 $4.29 per sheet (2015)
Portra 160 - 10 sheets $43.95 $4.39 per sheet (2015)
8x10 Sheet Film
Foma 100 - 50 sheets $198 $3.96 per sheet (2015)
FP4+ 125 - 25 sheets $110.00 $4.40 per sheet (2015)
Delta 100 - 25 sheets $110.00 $4.40 per sheet (2015)
HP5+ 400 - 25 sheets - $110 $4.40 per sheet (2015)
Tri-X 320 - 10 sheets $76.50 $7.60 per sheet (2015)
T-Max 400 - 10 sheets $103.50 $10.30 per sheet (2015)
Provia 100F - 20 sheets $250 $12.50 per sheet (2015)
Portra 160 - 10 sheets $159 $15.90 per sheet (2015)
Portra 400 - 10 sheets $165 $16.50 per sheet (2015)
Ektar 100 - 10 sheets $187 $18.70 per sheet (2015)
11x14 Sheet Film
HP5+ 25 sheets $200 $8 per sheet (2015) - $295 $11.80 per sheet (2020) 148%
Be sure and comment on which film you are using and why.
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You didn't mention Fuji Acros 100 8x10. That is my go to film for
long exposures: no reciprocity failure up to 80 secs., not to mention
tonality and sharpness. I don't care much for Fuji films (Velvia,
Pro 160 NS, etc.), but with Acros, they hit a home run. Granted,
it is not a cheap option, but what an amazing film.
There is also Atomic-X 100 from New55 project now being sold as 4x5 sheet film for about same as FP4. And Bergger 400 which I have yet to try slightly less than HP5 in 4x5.
According to my supplier of film, Fomapan 100 4x5, 50 sheets is around 25 Euro, not $62
You should also consider try the Retropan 320 which is a brand new film, 116 Euros for 50 sheets in 8x10
In low light I actually got the Tri-x 320 look, a "coal chalk" like grain.
I haven't tested it fully to make a conclusion, but it looks promising.
In sunny 16 light, you may have to shorten development time.
You also have to consider the new Bergger Pancro 400 in 4x5 and 8x10. I don't know prices in the US as it is a french base manufacturer but you can ask the owner, Aurelien Le Duc, who is active on Facebook in several LF groups ; http://labo-argentique.com/produits/bergger.html
Some examples on Jock Sturge facebook page and on my flickr, too ; https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathieubauwens/albums/72157651990872598
Prices are, in the EU, the same as Ilford for 4x5 and 8x10 inch. No 11x14 or bigger for now...
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