Jump to content

Color Print Films cheaper than B&W??


Recommended Posts

Hey film student Zoomer here. I'm already thinking about the required student film thesis I'll make in 2025 (leaning towards 16mm Tri-X) and while checking prices for print films, I noticed smth weird (see image attached):

3 1000 ft reels of 16mm Color Print Film is cheaper than 2 1000 ft reels of B&W. Why?

Is it because Color Print Film could only print from negatives/intermediates while B&W can do those + reversals? Is it because no one makes B&W films anymore?

so for more context, I'm planning on making a 2-reeler feature length film < 55 minutes runtime; originally in B&W because I had thought that making B&W films is cheaper; if previous statement proves to be wrong, this changes things for me, a broke film student.

Why am I looking to release print films for a student film? hehe cause I want to distribute it imma win Palme d'Or & Best Picture


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

B&W was always a niche product, and so might be more because of that, also it MIGHT require more silver as the image in B&W is silver, while the colour stock may use less.

You may also want to note that it looks like they will sell ONE CAN of the Vison Color, But you need 3 cans worth to get the 3302.  {16mm print film is almost always only sold as two rolls in a 35mm can.}

you might want to inquire with the Filmotek- ORWO folks.  to see what they offer as an equivalent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the explanation Charles!

I am quite insistent on using the 16mm Tri-X reversal film because our uni has a 16mm projector that I want to use so bad, however I guess I should now seriously consider using Double-X negative film [im also very stubborn on making it B&W] instead so that I could print it on the cheaper Vision Color.

34 minutes ago, Charles MacDonald said:

you might want to inquire with the Filmotek- ORWO folks.  to see what they offer as an equivalent.

I had not seen the alternatives to Kodak, so thanks imma take a look at them!

Once again, thank you Charles for the reply; this is some really rad info 🥺

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, David Mullen ASC said:

In film school we used to print b&w reversal to b&w reversal to make prints -- it got very high in contrast of course.

Oooohhh thanks David I had not known that this was possible 😮😮😮, however upon checking on the prices per foot (image attached), the print films were still cheaper than the reversal films 😞; that said, I might use this method if I'm looking to do a really special screening where the amazingness of the reversal film could shine (I think this classifies as showprint? I can't seem to find the Eastman 2393 showprint stocks anywhere).

Also, this is a very beginner question, but does this mean that reversal films can be cut and spliced just like print films (im hella excited if this is true!!)? I am sorry for my lack of knowledge because truthfully, I have never operated any film cameras in my life and have never seen actual film aside from Polaroids and Instax :((((

Thanks again David for the cool info!!! :)))


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

I think there might have been a b&w reversal print stock back in the late 80's.  Later CalArts switched to shooting those beginner projects on b&w negative so I guess the option to print onto reversal disappeared. But in theory it should still be possible, I just don't know about soundtracks, plus it would be an acetate print, not Estar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, David Mullen ASC said:

it would be an acetate print, not Estar.

I've strayed away from chemistry since high school, but it's come to haunt me again 💀💀💀

Thank you David again because I had the wrong idea that films were spliced and worked on the ESTAR polyester print films; rather, it seems that the splicing happens on the weaker acetate negatives/reversal films!

I'm learning something new everyday thanks David (see attached image)!

david based.jpg

Edited by Joshua Robert Dy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Forum Sponsors


FJS International

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Film Gears

Serious Gear

Visual Products


Cinematography Books and Gear

  • Create New...