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02-24-2014, 06:30 PM   #1
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What is your source for film?

When I got my first film SLR, I didn't have the money or appreciation for quality film. Every time I look at the film threads, I want to try the films used. I look at the number of film varieties much like the razor blade varieties for double edge safety razors. Fortunately for new wet shavers, a lot of places offer variety/sample packs to find what works for your face.


So...where are you getting your film and do you have a preference for different subjects? I have some T-Max and Tri-X. I'm in the middle of shooting a roll of Ektar 100 and Portra 160. Other than that, I haven't shot anything color other than the cheap stuff. I did a quick Amazon search (I have Prime and like the fast, free shipping) and it appears film like Velvia and Fujichrome Provia are anywhere from $12-$17/roll. Either you all are finding it cheaper, are much more selective in what you photograph, or have much more discretionary income than I do. Looks like B&H and Adorama are in the $10.XX/roll. Is it just the case that professional quality film is going to run $10/roll minimum?


Maybe I should shoot some of the consumer grade stuff until I'm more capable with my gear, especially since at least one of my cameras is going to Eric for a CLA in the near future.

02-24-2014, 06:46 PM   #2
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I don't shoot slide film, so I can't comment on the Velvia and Provia prices you mention. For premium color negative film, you're basically looking at Ektar, Portra, and whatever Fujifilm has--Pro400H or something. Otherwise it's cheap Fuji stuff, which I can still get at my local WMart for $8-12 for a 4-pack of 24 exposure 135 film. Then there are the outliers like lomography and Rollei, which I can't comment on.

For B&W, I've mostly just shot Ilford, but just put my first rolls of TMax and Arista EDU through, and like them both, though the Arista negs seemed extra curly. Anyway, I'm rambling and probably haven't been of much use to you, since I shoot film for the fun of it--my tastes are not very refined.
02-24-2014, 06:59 PM   #3
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Amazon. Most of the places I used to buy film from here have stopped carrying it, but I can still get film online. Most of the big gear stores also have it but honestly I can't afford them. Between the cost of the film and the cost of developing per roll at the only film lab left in town I can't afford to hardly shoot film anymore. I've gone from doing like 10 rolls a month to practically none. I'm considering learning to develop in B&W myself just so I can keep shooting film. I can get the chemicals online too and it might be cheaper overall. I'm a little worried about chemicals though. I can get toxic migraines just from a whiff of someone's perfume and I'm not sure I can develop myself.
02-24-2014, 07:03 PM   #4
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I buy from Freestyle (freestylephoto.biz). They have a good lineup of less-expensive film consisting of house brands and European films. They also have the full Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford lines.

I buy sometimes from B&H. They are cost-competitive to Freestyle, but the selection differs. I have also bought from macodirect.de in Germany for stuff that is hard to get or more expensive here in the U.S.

When bottom feeding for film and shooting 35mm, it is often good to consider bulk-loading your own cassettes. A 100' of bulk film yields about 17-36 exposure rolls. At Freestyle a 100' of Arista.EDU Ultra 100 (Fomapan 100) is only $39.99. That is $2.36 per roll in case you do not have a calculator handy. I currently have two loaders, one full of Acros 100 and the other with Rollei Retro 80s.

$10+ USD per roll? Current prices (2/25) for 36 exposure rolls at Freestyle:
  • Ektar 100 $5.99
  • Portra 160 $7.11
  • T-Max 100 $6.39
  • Tri-X 400 $4.39
  • Adox Silvermax 100 $7.99
  • Neopan Acros 100 $7.49
Mind you, these prices are historic highs all round. March of last year, I bought Acros 100 for $4.00 a roll.

I hope this helps.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 02-24-2014 at 07:22 PM.
02-24-2014, 07:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
When I got my first film SLR, I didn't have the money or appreciation for quality film. Every time I look at the film threads, I want to try the films used. I look at the number of film varieties much like the razor blade varieties for double edge safety razors. Fortunately for new wet shavers, a lot of places offer variety/sample packs to find what works for your face.


So...where are you getting your film and do you have a preference for different subjects? I have some T-Max and Tri-X. I'm in the middle of shooting a roll of Ektar 100 and Portra 160. Other than that, I haven't shot anything color other than the cheap stuff. I did a quick Amazon search (I have Prime and like the fast, free shipping) and it appears film like Velvia and Fujichrome Provia are anywhere from $12-$17/roll. Either you all are finding it cheaper, are much more selective in what you photograph, or have much more discretionary income than I do. Looks like B&H and Adorama are in the $10.XX/roll. Is it just the case that professional quality film is going to run $10/roll minimum?


Maybe I should shoot some of the consumer grade stuff until I'm more capable with my gear, especially since at least one of my cameras is going to Eric for a CLA in the near future.
Film and developing at Blue Moon Camera in the St. John's neighborhood in Portland, OR 35mm, medium and large format, and more. Blue Moon Camera and Machine | Cameras, Typewriters, and Film Processing | Portland, Oregon, USA
02-24-2014, 07:18 PM   #6
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The $10 prices are what I saw for Velvia and Fujichrome. I'll eventually develop B&W at home after I move back from a military school. Steve, I'll check the links.
02-24-2014, 07:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
The $10 prices are what I saw for Velvia and Fujichrome.
Yep, slide film is expensive.


Steve

---------- Post added 02-24-14 at 06:42 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Banskojoe Quote
Film and developing at Blue Moon Camera in the St. John's neighborhood in Portland, OR 35mm, medium and large format, and more. Blue Moon Camera and Machine | Cameras, Typewriters, and Film Processing | Portland, Oregon, USA
Blue Moon does my C41 processing.


Steve
02-24-2014, 08:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Banskojoe Quote
Film and developing at Blue Moon Camera in the St. John's neighborhood in Portland, OR 35mm, medium and large format, and more. Blue Moon Camera and Machine | Cameras, Typewriters, and Film Processing | Portland, Oregon, USA
I'll check them out. I'm guessing the way film is going these days, it should be expected the norm is now mailing film out for processing/scanning?

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Yep, slide film is expensive.

Steve
So the people who are posting images here from slide film...are they likely getting scans from the lab, using some sort of specialty scanner, or using a digital camera to get the digital images?

My film experience is quite limited, but I want to shoot more of it. I'd rather avoid a significant learning curve that invovles buring $10 rolls of film. I can wait to shoot those until I'm confident in my abilities and equipment to get an acceptable keeper rate.

02-24-2014, 08:22 PM   #9
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I shoot a fair amount of slide film. I scan all of it with my Epson V500.
B&H and Adorama often have the best prices on new film.
Ebay can be a decent source for film.
Most of my film stash is expired film I got on Craigslist, here at PF, Ebay, and some was given to me locally.
02-24-2014, 08:28 PM   #10
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I buy from the local independant... prices are all over. I am listing regular retail, but I often can pick up recently expired, or almost expired rolls for half price (they make their cost back...)

$8 / 36 exposure for HP5+
$17 / 36 exposure for Fuji Pro 400H
$19 / 72 exposure of Fuji Superia 400 similar for Kodak Ultramax (that is a 3x24 exposure pack)
$18 / 36 Exposure Kodak Portra 400
$11 / 36 exposure of Kodak Ektar 100

picked up some expired Kodak Royal Gold 400 for $2 each... it was crappy...

its purely recreational for me, and costs me ~$10 a roll to develop (no prints, and I cut and scan my own negs) - so i shoot digital mostly, but like to dabble / play with film to appreciate some of the specialty lenses I have like the 17/4 fish eye which is utterly defished on APS-C format.

When my wife sees the film... I cry out that at least its cheaper than beer drinking with the guys
02-24-2014, 08:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I shoot a fair amount of slide film. I scan all of it with my Epson V500.
B&H and Adorama often have the best prices on new film.
Ebay can be a decent source for film.
Most of my film stash is expired film I got on Craigslist, here at PF, Ebay, and some was given to me locally.
I see a lot of your posts on the film thread and I'm always impressed. Do you see a noticeable difference between the expired and "fresh" film? I have something like 6-10 rolls of Tri-X and T-MAX in the fridge that are a couple months passed their expiration date. I'll shoot them just to practice developing my own and see what I get.

I have a V600 at the house that I haven't gotten out of the box yet. Other things in life, the need for a capable computer, and the lack of shooting film have kept me from putting it to work up to this point.

---------- Post added 02-24-14 at 10:40 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
I buy from the local independant... prices are all over. I am listing regular retail, but I often can pick up recently expired, or almost expired rolls for half price (they make their cost back...)

$8 / 36 exposure for HP5+
$17 / 36 exposure for Fuji Pro 400H
$19 / 72 exposure of Fuji Superia 400 similar for Kodak Ultramax (that is a 3x24 exposure pack)
$18 / 36 Exposure Kodak Portra 400
$11 / 36 exposure of Kodak Ektar 100

picked up some expired Kodak Royal Gold 400 for $2 each... it was crappy...

its purely recreational for me, and costs me ~$10 a roll to develop (no prints, and I cut and scan my own negs) - so i shoot digital mostly, but like to dabble / play with film to appreciate some of the specialty lenses I have like the 17/4 fish eye which is utterly defished on APS-C format.

When my wife sees the film... I cry out that at least its cheaper than beer drinking with the guys
You need to brew your own beer. Ask me how I know.

I have a local lab that does pretty fair pricing for their development and I think anything more than a handful of rolls, might be as low as 4 or 5, they discount. I wasn't very pleased with the quality of the images when they did scans for me, but that might have been my crappy shots. Lightroom improved them. It was old film, some of which I shot and then it sat for a couple years before developing. This was prior to my rekindled interest in film and aquisition of some older bodies and nice lenses.
02-24-2014, 08:50 PM   #12
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I guess I am lucky in that Walgreens around the corner still processes film. I also have a friend I met here on the Forums that lives near by and has opened a photo lab. He has also started selling film . I get a fair amount from him along with plus he process ti for me. One of our grocery stores has just decided to stop carrying film. I picked up several Kodacolor 3 packs ( Expire next year) for around 1 buck a roll. I couldn't turn that down I am always looking for that sort of deal everywhere I go.

Last edited by patrick9; 02-24-2014 at 08:52 PM. Reason: spelling
02-24-2014, 08:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrick9 Quote
I guess I am lucky in that Walgreens around the corner still processes film. I also have a friend I met here on the Forums that lives near by and has opened a photo lab. He has also started selling film . I get a fair amount from him along with plus he process ti for me. One of our grocery stores has just decided to stop carrying film. I picked up several Kodacolor 3 packs ( Expire next year) for around 1 buck a roll. I couldn't turn that down I am always looking for that sort of deal everywhere I go.
I still have several options in the area for processing C-41, but haven't ever looked into E-6 or slide film. As far as I know, no one within 70 miles does B&W. That and the cost of it are why want to do my own eventually. There's only one shop I know of in the Lancaster, Pa area that carries anything more than the consumer stuff you at pharmacies, grocery stores, and Walmarts. Same shop that did some developing for me, but their prices are usually pretty awful. They're the only place I could find that carried Pentax when I bought my K-5 in 2012, but they wanted more than MSRP and more than $400 what the online vendors were charging. A couple bucks on film is different, but the principle of charging 25-50% more than online stores is probably why a lot of these places are disappearing.
02-24-2014, 08:59 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
I see a lot of your posts on the film thread and I'm always impressed. Do you see a noticeable difference between the expired and "fresh" film? I have something like 6-10 rolls of Tri-X and T-MAX in the fridge that are a couple months passed their expiration date. I'll shoot them just to practice developing my own and see what I get.

I have a V600 at the house that I haven't gotten out of the box yet. Other things in life, the need for a capable computer, and the lack of shooting film have kept me from putting it to work up to this point.[COLOR="Silver"]
A couple months past expiration date won't make any difference.
With expired film, how it was kept is very important.
I have some original Velvia RVP from 1992 that was stored in a freezer since new, and it works perfectly.
If film gets too hot for too long, it will fog, and the colors will shift. I have some Kodacolor 100 from the late 80s that was poorly stored. I dubbed it "Purple Haze" and shoot it at ISO 50.
02-24-2014, 09:02 PM   #15
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My local Fred Meyer store does film processing here in Beaverton, Oregon. It's less than $5 a roll for develop only. I scan my own negs with an Epson V500. My local Walgreens and Rite Aid also offer film processing and sales, at much higher prices though. Ask around, you might be surprised to find you can get it done locally for cheaper than sending it across the country.
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