Cost of analog photography

I wrote a while back about the temptation of analog photography, and I struggle every day with the urge to get back into it. So far I’ve resisted, primarily because of the cost.

Here’s how the price of one roll of HP5 135-36 has evolved over the last couple of years, according to Prisjakt, a Swedish site that keeps track of prices on many thousand of products (pretty much anything you want to buy).

To be fair, analog photography has always been more expensive than digital, at least if you look at the running costs. With digital, you buy the gear, and then there is no running costs. With analog, you buy the gear, and have to pay for every shot you take. A bit simplified, but you get the point.

I finished with analog many years ago now. Then, I seem to remember, a roll of HP5 or Tri-X cost around SEK 50-60. Of course you can find cheaper film of other brands, you can buy bulk, and other things to save money.

But you have to add chemicals, if you’re going to develop yourself, which is at least half the fun of analog.

And I’m not saying that a roll of film should not have increased in price. With rising inflation, higher interest rates, a fallling demand and other factors, of course the price needs to be higher.

The result, though, as sad as it is, is that this kind of increase just puts it beyond reach for many, including myself.

In conclusion, analog is never going to get cheaper, and as much as I love shooting film, I can’t afford it.

That’s sad, but the reality.

What can be done about it?

Nothing, I’m afraid.