Why is there a 35mm film shortage (5 reasons explained)

Today we’ll be looking at why there’s a 35 mm film shortage.

Why is there a 35mm film shortage

There’s a shortage of raw materials. The market’s limited and prices are shooting up as a result. On top of that, there’s been supply chain issues. This is most likely because the majority of the 35mm films are being shot in color.

Shortage of raw materials

This was a warning that was sent by Fujifilm for its customers interested in color film photography.

There’s limited resource to make the material for this type of film, and it was expensive to make.

The company got hit from both sides having a shortage of supplies and an increase in demand.

35mm film production is alive and well, as you’ll find plenty of producers that use this type of film.

The color film market seems to always have a demand for the material to shoot this way, but few companies that can keep up.

This color film storage is sending the shooters that prefer this style to explore more expensive options.

The market’s limited

One thing that made a world of a difference was the discontinuation of the 35 mm film by Kodak.

It was them, Fuji and Foma that were known for making this type of film in the entire market.

There’s also been a surge of indie companies that make them as well to keep business rolling.

You can walk into any pharmacy store that prints pictures, and they’ll print out your 35 mm image.

I recommend CVS since I’ve been hearing good things about their customer service.

Lately demand has been going down with this due to lack of production, but a majority of printing is done in Rochester, NY.

Prices shoot up

It’s simple economics to understand that supply must meet demand, and the 35 mm film failed to do that.

The price for film altogether is rising and that leaves enthusiasts of the style to raise the prices on what they do have.

The cameras themselves are only $100 and can still be bought today.

On average the price for the film is $12.

Supply chain issues

It’s been said that in addition to the shortage of raw materials, there was also links with Covid materials.

If you’re someone with 35 mm film it’s considered valuable as it’s looked at as being unobtainable.

Color films

The colors formed in this film is dependent on something called the subtractive color formation system.

35mm is developed in a foggy area, usually with exposure to light.

It’s the same as any other film, they all have to be developed.

The demand is likely because of the ease it is to develop colored 35 mm film.

Final Thoughts

These points should explain the shortage of 35 mm films.

Let’s revisit

  • Shortage of raw materials
  • Limited market
  • Prices shooting up
  • Supply chain issues
  • Specific demand for color

I talk more on the comparison of 35 mm and 70 mm film that you can find by clicking here.

One response to “Why is there a 35mm film shortage (5 reasons explained)”

  1. […] has been a known shortage of these films that I talk about on a previous […]


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