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Friday, 04 June 2010


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Do people really buy $700 cards?

"Do people really buy $700 cards?"

Sure. A lot of them, actually.


Wow, Tri-X is still cheaper than TMax-400.

And you people buy EXPENSIVE memory cards (CF, at least). My three 8GB cards are all much cheaper than those (and some slower).

Tri-X is not listed? Unbelievable!

Interesting list, and very low prices!
I don't purchase anything material from foreign sources if I can help it. The attitudes of Canada Customs and Revenue, even if the film were to be sent by Canada Post and Storage means in the long
run it is better to purchase items here.

Canada's social order is tax and more tax.
and then tax again. Plus the shipper usually has a lot of paperwork to complete.
Provia's price is amazing,about twice that here in Canada.
Oh and processing here is around $15.00
for a roll of 36 plus taxes.

Fun list. Very surprised to see tri-x so far down. Love Astia. Would be happy to shoot only that for my colour needs. i notice that Velvia is absent. It would be interesting to see what Ken Rockwell's reader's choice would generate.

So, we're cheap with film but go all out on digital. Ah... sadness.

Glad to see Ilford Delta 3200 medium format on the list. I would really hate to lose that one. Nice to see so much medium format film in general.

I sure wish you could get a link to Freestyle Photo (in California) and Photographer's Formulary. I buy all my film, paper and chemistry from them. They're unique, small, primarily film oriented businesses with fantastic customer service and prices! (I know it sounds like it, but I'm not affiliated in any way. I just love a good business that caters to my niche!). Maybe their small size prevents a link at your site, but here's a plug anyway.


It's a not a coincidence that this list is alphabetical right? Otherwise I am very surprised to see Astia or Delta 3200 above Tri-X.

Among the films, I was surprised by the presence of Astia and Portra 800 120, and the absence of the clamored favorite Velvia 50. I'll also leave possible interpretations for others to comment.

Personally, I've never been happy with the colour rendition of Lexar cards.

TOP readers have expensive tastes in memory cards which,I suppose, is good for TOP's piggy bank. Personally I find old Sandisk Extreme III cards are fine - even for recording video on a 5DII.

Oh well, once a Scot, always a Scot!

It's a braw bricht moonlicht nicht the nicht

What's film? ;)

"Tri-X is not listed? Unbelievable!"

It's there, at the bottom.


Concerning the films: Huh? Kodak Ektar and TMY-2 so far down low? While I like Fuji films, those two have different and superior qualities. Price isn't that much better with Fuji, or is it?

"P.S. The lists are not in order of popularity."

That's a pity!

Before "digital" very few spent $800 on a camera. (My EOS 3 was not exactly an everyday toy). Apparently, tell people something is free once purchased then they'll pay anything for it. Look at that other "free" item- the car- people pick between the models as if they’d been asked “do you want fries with that?”, yet the difference is many thousands of $. The only sanity in this is that digital cameras prices are, at last, similar to the historical prices of their analogue brethren. Though, for less than $500, you can pick up a top flight film camera that puts its modern equivalent to shame!

"Do people really buy $700 cards?"

A friend at work is often reminded (by me) that he paid $500AUD for a 512 MB compact flash card when that was the largest you could get.

no 100' spools of 135. interesting. it's all I ever buy anymore...

Regarding $700 memory cards... it's actually $529.00 once you click on the "Add to Cart" link. Still pretty darn expensive, but I suppose if you're shooting with an $8000 Nikon D3x or some even more expensive Medium Format camera, it all makes a bit more sense.

I used to buy the largest capacity card I could. Then some photographer told me that I should carry more, smaller cards, because if one goes bad, or if I lose one, I don't lose the whole shoot, and I don't lose $700.

If I was shooting video, on the other hand, I could see the value in the highest quality 64G card I could get.

Jeff Glass, I agree completely about Freestyle. $1.99 a roll for re-branded Fuji Neopan 100 & 400, and Tri-X & Plus-X. Awesome customer service, too.

I like the first film on this list, the cheap Fuji 200 - nice greens & blues. Well, I guess I just have a thing for cheap film.

"I was surprised by the presence of Astia and Portra 800 120, and the absence of the clamored favorite Velvia 50."

IMO, Velvia was successfully replaced by digital, especially among those who shot lots of Velvia (and perhaps more importantly their market). The speed of the revolution also left lots of bricks of Velvia in private freezers.

On the other hand, digital is less successful a replacement for softer "portrait" films and B&W film, both aesthetically and culturally. It's still easier to get that character with film if you know what you're doing, and those who want that character and know what they're doing tend to be less impressed with digital, or nostalgic, or contrary, etc.

..and yes as Michel implied, there may not be a lot of overlap between the Velvia crowd and the TOP crowd.

I was kind of curious what people use $700 memory cards for, too. Anyone want to step up to the plate and give us some examples?

Bryce, I'll make a deal with you that's too good to pass up! I'll pay all your taxes on any photographic gear you purchase if you'll agree to pay my medical bills and insurance premiums (which are modest by US standards).

Such a deal!

(As a further incentive, I will toss in the Golden Gate Bridge.)

~ pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

What's a Compact Flash card?


Decent color negative film is cheaper than black-and-white. Never thought I'd live to see the day.

For low rating of 135 trix, I guessed you do not get the real one but got one have the same char., from a maker of film in US (there is only one?) but sold it via a different brand name called "Freestyle Arista Premium 400". I still get a bit in my freezer from US.

BTW, the $700 does not make sense but when I do digital I found 16GB for 12M camera (D300) makes a lot of sense. 8GB is a bit too small. Not sure though I would get the $700 one.

"TOP readers have expensive tastes in memory cards which,I suppose, is good for TOP's piggy bank. Personally I find old Sandisk Extreme III cards are fine - even for recording video on a 5DII.

Oh well, once a Scot, always a Scot!"

Andrew, I'm still buying Sandisk Ultra II cards, and I've yet to come across a situation where I've been left wanting for better card performance. Not willing to spring the extra $$ for the "old" Extreme III :).

I'd love to see these bestselling lists sorted by number sold rather than sorted alphabetically.

A 64GB memory card. Who would have thought...?

The iMac we bought in the year 2000 had a 6GB hard disk. The USB sticks I have range up to 16GB. But a 64GB card? What is anyone ever going to need it for?

I guess when I dig back through the TOP archives in the year 2020, I will laugh at how I ever asked the question.

Seriously, are stills photographers using these cards?

Say, those cheap Scots among us,
does it make any difference to buy more expensive class 10 SDHC cards instead of class 6?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Ctein; interesting offer, especially that bridge on the left coast.
My current medical bills yearly probably exceed what you pay in premiums for your health insurance.
Between my chemo and Lupus drugs,
one could purchase a very nice top of the line Mercedes (since the brand is in vogue with Mike), every month, and then some.

Yes our taxes are higher and about to go up again, by a considerable chunk. One
never really gets "used" to taxation, however dear; and still isn't enough money to go around for health care or anything else. The population ages,
and the medical profession keeps them
alive, longer.

Sort of like five year-old sick digital SLR's, when do we remove life support, eh?

Looking at the number of reviews is interesting. Tri-X comes out "top" in the film selection but I'm not sure what that statistic means - maybe just that Tri_X is bought by people who generally have a tendency to leave comments and post reviews. Having said that - I'm a TRi-x man myself ;)

@Tom Brenholts
A lot of pros have been following this line of thinking. I work with one guy that shoots a 1GB in his eMotion Sinar back. I imagine it has as much to do with coming from the world of shooting film than anything else.

BTW - What is going with CF cards in general? Are they becoming extinct in the near future? I planned on replenishing my memory cards every year but that doesn't look probable with nothing that I use [primarily 2GB cards] available anymore. Even the 4GB cards are diminishing.

90 MB/s! That's over twice as fast as my Scandisk extreme IV cards. Handy for sport wildlife and aviation shooter, it's not the kind of write speed I've ever needed.

64 GB sounds a lot(because it is) but a 4GB card in a 1ds mk lll will get you 137 raw shots. I might be a few shots out here but 64GB is about 2192 shots on a that camera. How many shots do wedding shooters take and if they're using it with a 5D mkll and shooting video to, it doesn't start to look as huge

Things available for $700 or less:
A decent DSLR body.
A very good third party normal zoom.
An excellent macro lens.
Enough photography books to keep me occupied until the price of the card drops below $100.

Dear Bryce,

Yeah, well the famous bridge on the Least Coast was sold years ago. If I offered you that one, I'd be cheating you. I couldn't do that! (TiC)

Sorry to hear about your medical woes.

pax / Ctein

No sheet film? Bahh!

A few thoughts:
Buying one huge card means never having to open your memory card slot the entire day. Impossible to lose the card. Doesn't mean you can't erase something accidentally though. (Usually I try to have one card that holds an entire day's worth of shooting, usually about 100 shots give or take.) Since flash is composed of chips, they're getting cheaper all the time. If you don't need the capacity right now, don't bother looking; it'll be cheaper tomorrow (for various forward looking definitions of tomorrow). Paying $530 for a memory card is a lot of money, but consider:

SanDisk "Extreme Pro" 64GB for $530 = $8.30/GB
SanDisk "Extreme" 8GB for $70 = $8.70/GB

As with most things from the computer world, the worst values on a $/unit basis are at the low end. You pay a lot for the high $$$ item, but on a unit basis usually it can be surprisingly competitive. (As an aside, the lowest cost per GB is the 16GB SanDisk card at $7.60/GB.)

Now to be clear, I'm not arguing that trying to get the lowest $/GB is the goal, and everyone should go out and buy a $530 memory card, but if you actually have a use for that capacity it's not as expensive as it looks.

I'm struck by the GB size of some of those cards. On a good day, my ist*DS will cooperate with a 2GB card (but, sometimes, I have discovered, it will simply stop recording images when it thinks that it is "full" at the half-way point). It won't even recognize a 4GB card.

So I am boggled by something that would use a 32GB card, and by the processing time and storage space needed to deal with the images involved. I guess I'm just not that hardcore!

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