The end of Chinese (photographic) films?

For a while now I’ve turned to inexpensive film made in China to experiment on. These tended to be Shanghai GP3 and Lucky SHD100. Both iso 100 films, both could be problematic at times but their low price made them very appealing for not-so-critical, fun photography. Both were (are?) made in 35mm and 120 with Shanghai also having a 4×5 and bulk 35mm products.

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Lately it’s been hard to find. There’s still some on Ebay but it’s price has gone up considerably, around $6+USD/roll. This makes it an unlikely candidate for fun use and forces it to compete with honestly better offerings from Ilford, Kodak, Fuji, etc.

Shanghai seems especially scarce. Luck you can still get on AliExpress but still at twice the price it was 7 months ago.

Back in August I made a contact in China that could get me Luck or Shanghai for as little as $2/roll when bought in bulk. Now he says this items have been discontinued. 🙁

The Shanghai I’m kind of “meh” about, the Lucky with its almost absent anti-halation layer will be missed.

Both websites still list these products (Lucky and Shanghai)as well as others, but Arista’s rebadged Fomapan might be the way forward for cheap film.

It may be worth noting that Ultrafine is thought to be Lucky OEMed products.

I’m not 100% sure that these products have been discontinued at the time of this writing, but it sure isn’t looking good.

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  1. I bought a box of Shanghai 8×10 film off eBay today with an expiry date of 08/2018. The ad said it was fresh stock. I really miss GP3 and Lucky. I hope this marks the start of a return (at least for GP3 given the above), but it could equally just be frozen old stock being used up.