Why photography enthusiasts in Singapore are willing to pay S$20 for a roll of film

SINGAPORE: As a teen, Ms Trisha Lim gave up on movie images due to the fact the passion was way too high priced on her student’s budget.

In 2021, a couple of years into her job in communications, she assumed it might be the appropriate time to get again into the pastime, highly-priced as it was.

But with the value of film steadily climbing, Ms Lim, now 28 several years old, is unsure if she will carry on pursuing movie images.

“I’m pretty on the fence. When I at last use (my stash) up, I guess I’ll see how substantially movie fees at that point,” she said. Ms Lim has about 15 rolls of film that she bought overseas or on online platforms this sort of as Shopee and Carousell.

“I’m type of hoarding what I have left, and I really don’t know if I’ll even keep on trigger it is definitely pricey.”

However, at the exact time, she recognises that it would be a squander if she stops taking pictures movie, because she has previously invested in movie cameras.

Electronic cameras and cellular cellphone applications which try out to mimic film pictures are however missing anything, explained Ms Lim.

“If the digital options can replicate it perfectly, it’s a no-brainer, quick jump (about to digital).”

Movie IS “Extremely Serious, Quite RELATABLE”

As just lately as ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, a roll of film could expense less than S$4 (US$2.96), store house owners informed CNA.

A person of the cheaper films on the market place, the Kodak ColorPlus 200 35mm, now fees concerning S$11 to S$18, checks by CNA uncovered.

Ms Lim paid out all around S$12 for a roll of Fujifilm 200 35mm on Shopee final calendar year. Listings nowadays are asking for all over S$20.

“Prices hold rising,” reported Mr Ong Tee Huat of Whampoa Color Centre shop in Balestier. “This 12 months, there have been two or 3 hikes by suppliers already.”

Shop house owners reported rates amplified just after a revival in need a few or four yrs ago, and that most of their consumers now are aged involving their late teens and 30s.

“Young people today are tired of playing with their telephones. Because the pandemic, a lot of them have been exploring movie,” Mr Ong stated in Mandarin.

Mr Ken Ng, co-proprietor of Joo Ann Foh Color Service, said the vibrance of digital colors on mobile telephones is as well significantly for some of his shoppers.

“They find film colour incredibly genuine to them, quite relatable,” he reported.

Young grownups who spoke to CNA also claimed film images can make them more intentional about the pics they get.

“Shooting film makes me consider about what I’m executing, and it would make me imagine more about just what kind of image I’m trying to seize,” stated Mr Nikolas Lim, 25, who functions in the finance business.

“Also, for the reason that it is highly-priced, each individual shot you just take can be approximately S$1, you have to be incredibly specific,” he claimed, evaluating it to digital pictures wherever persons acquire many photos that they may perhaps hardly ever look at once more.


Main organizations such as Kodak and Fujifilm might be struggling to meet up with need.

“Demand has outstripped source and producing ability just can’t meet up with (this demand),” stated Mr Ng.

When factories were shut as digital cameras became common, several equipment were sold or scrapped, he discussed.

Even if spare components are available now, it might make a lot more sense to maintain them on hand for repairs somewhat than working with them to make a new machine, he claimed.

Shop proprietors also stated Tokyo-dependent Fujifilm seems to be focusing on its other goods in optics, electronics, biotechnology and chemical substances.

“Fujifilm is creating fewer and fewer rolls there’s not a lot competitors for Kodak,” said Mr Ong of Whampoa Color Centre.

In response to CNA’s queries, Fujifilm said it will go on to create picture movie to fulfill the requires of enthusiasts, and that is has “made every single effort and hard work to enhance manufacturing efficiency” and stabilise the offer of film.

“We are informed that consumers encounter some challenges paying for our films in Singapore and we will carry on our endeavours to satisfy their desires,” the firm stated. It attributed the selling price boosts to a sharp maximize in the charge of uncooked products for film manufacturing.

Photography web sites have also noted on Kodak increasing selling prices before this 12 months. CNA has attained out to the American business for comment.