View Full Version : Film Availability?

17-Nov-2007, 15:18
Does anyone worry about this? I dont know wether to be concerned or not, None of my local stores carry 4x5,5x7 or 120/220 roll film. Are they trying to phase us out? a few places on the net say so. If i jump into this format am i going to find that i cant buy film in 1year? 2,3,4years?....

I just dont want to by all this equipment and then find its worth nothing in 5 years cause of no film availability. i love the fuji velvia, is there an equivalant?

Kirk Gittings
17-Nov-2007, 15:25
Where do you live?

There will no doubt be fewer selections and be more expensive, but regular sizes of film will be available for a very long time. Many of us continue to invest in new cameras, myself included. A particular film may go away, but they just reintroduced Fuji 50. They wouldn't have done that if there wasn't still a strong market. I'm not at all worried about film availability in the larger sense.

Gene McCluney
17-Nov-2007, 23:15
More and more film sales are going to the large online and mail order suppliers, as local stores do not want to carry inventory that they can't sell within 30 days. This does not mean it is going away, it is just an evolving market. I am a commercial photographer, and I have had to mail order (actually telephone order) all my large format materials for the last 20 years, due to the small size of the community I operate in. LF film was never in the average camera store anyway, just the ones that catered to professionals.

And....the bulk of the local film sales to professionals was to portrait and wedding photographers (in 120/220) and this market has gone over to digital in a big way. None-the-less, the one and only local camera store here still keeps a small stock of Portra in 120, and also some T-max.

17-Nov-2007, 23:16
Ten years ago, yes. With time and watching what's actually occurred, not much anymore. I've always had to order film in. Still do. I can get plenty of color transparency films, and if anything there are more black and white films available now. There are still plenty of black and white papers and chemistry for my darkroom.

I gave up my plans for a color darkroom about the time digital got big. I got a high end color inkjet instead with the best of expectations, but I can't say I'm happy about it. Blasted expensive ink. Profiles, calibration, special papers. And it still takes multiple prints to get it right.

One of the digital predictions made long ago has become true for me: film is more expensive. But that's because I got into 4x5. :) 35mm is downright cheap in comparison.

18-Nov-2007, 00:49
I can still get film in the local store, but all pro labs (for 4X5) in town are out of business. Local chain store has just increased their price on E-6 (120 format).

Gary Tarbert
18-Nov-2007, 02:04
4X5 film has never been stocked in any quantity by anyone in my part of the world.
Even 15 years ago!!
Go too Badger Graphics website they stock 5x4 & 8x10 in most colour & B&W films from all three major manufactures.Cheers Gary

Scott Knowles
18-Nov-2007, 06:55
The folks are fortunate in Seattle to have a good source, Glazer's (http://www.glazerscamera.com/) for all 120/220 and LF films and a lab, Ivey Imaging (http://ivey.com/ivey/index.html) next door which handles any of the LF films ($2.50 sheet push/pull free). This is because of the large user community and help that several local community colleges which teach photography have class (required for majors) using both formats. The last lab near my home (outside Tacoma) is shutting down its film lab in preparation for a move in the near future. Labs aren't cost effective to install and operate anymore unless you have a sustained customer base. And I think even Seattle is down to two major labs, Ivey and Pro Labs West (http://www.prolabwest.com/).

steve simmons
18-Nov-2007, 07:38
This doom and gloom scenario has been repeated so many times but still comes back over and over and over and over and over and over and over and.........

I don't understand why this happens. There has been so much info about how many film choices we have, Kodak's putting money and tme into revising T-Max 400, Fuji bringing back Velvia 50, etc., etc., if these companies thought the film market was dead they wouldn't be doing this.

There are dealers all over the world selling sheet film by mail/e-mail order. Calumet, Badger Graphics, Mid-West Photo, B&H, the View Camera Store, Freestyle, Megapearls in Japan, and there is film now coming out of China.

View Camera has run several articles in the last couple of years about how many films are available. Yes, we've lost Bergger (who may or may not be back) and J and C (no comment!!!) but Kodak has been much friendlier about odd and ULF sizes and Ilford/Harmon is very committed to this market.

Relax people.

steve simmons

18-Nov-2007, 07:54
Forget B&H for 4x5 film. As I found out on my trip to Zion, they will not ship to you on location. "Our policy is that we do not ship to hotels". And yet their banner claims "The Professional's Source". Yeah, right. Because of this incident, B&H has lost my business. Now, I sole source my film from Badger Graphic. They will ship anywhere in the world, 99% of the time have what I need in stock, and Jeff is a genuinely great guy who will go the extra mile to make sure orders are processed seamlessly and the goods arrive on time. Let's keep the companies that really care about 4x5 in business (Badger, Midwest etc) and drop the B&H's of the world who only care about how many digicams they can clear from their inventory before the new models arrive. I'll also give a big thumbs up to Jim Andracki at Midwest. I have bought three new Rodenstock lenses from Jim in the last 6 months and he is just a terrific individual to deal with.

Eric Leppanen
18-Nov-2007, 11:51
Here is a thread from the APUG Forum started by Photo Engineer (Ron Mowrey, a former Kodak photo engineer who also occasionally posts on this forum) which includes a post from Simon Galley (who works for Ilford). This should give you a better understanding as to why certain films are being discontinued, as well as how Kodak and Ilford are adapting to an environment of declining film sales.


19-Nov-2007, 21:30
I don't know where you live, but I work in a city of 5+ million, 4th or 5th largest in the USA. While generic 35mm color film is plentiful wherever I go, 35mm black & white & pro color, 120/220 film of any emulsion and sheet film in any flavor are hard to impossible to find. There are only 2 full service camera stores left. They are so far away from me that it's easier and cheaper to order film online.

The internet spread digital photgraphy and will probably save film for a long time.

John Kasaian
19-Nov-2007, 22:30
Unless you're in a really big city, sheet film in formats larger than 4x5 are going to be a mail order proposition. Get used to it. There are plenty of internet outfits who'd love your business and will treat you well, such as Badger Graphic and Freestyle. Fear not!

If you live in or near a college town you might find a local store that stocks a limited selection of 4x5 film for students.

Zach In Israel
20-Nov-2007, 03:17
Here in Israel there 4x5 is pretty easy to get. In Jerusalem I know of at least 2 stores downtown that sell it. (Prizma and Shwrartz) and there are probably more. Also Jungend in Tel Aviv (though I have not been over there myself yet). There are also a number of places that will develop it for you without a problem.

20-Nov-2007, 19:49
Here in Israel there 4x5 is pretty easy to get. In Jerusalem I know of at least 2 stores downtown that sell it. (Prizma and Shwrartz) and there are probably more. Also Jungend in Tel Aviv (though I have not been over there myself yet). There are also a number of places that will develop it for you without a problem.

That beats Houston, TX. Houston is a Film Black Hole. Go figure.

Gordon Moat
20-Nov-2007, 20:21
I am in Houston a few times each year, and found mostly the same thing. I need to plan to bring in my own for each job, or have mail order sent ahead of my trip. The worst is not having a good E-6 place for 4x5 processing, because sometimes it would be nice to process prior to flying again. I think it is more because their are few independent camera stores there, much like everything else it is larger companies outlets (like Ritz). Is there even a good pro lab in Houston anymore?


Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

21-Nov-2007, 04:23
Pro lab in Houston, from a recent post on the Texas Photo Forum:

One of the Best in the business:

AZ Photo Labs: WEBSITE (http://www.azphoto.com/lab/azlab-index.php?menu=1)

Not as well known, but the guys running it ARE photographers as well as excellent lab personnel. Quick, curteous & professional service.


Gordon Moat
21-Nov-2007, 12:07
Thanks Wayne. I will probably give them a try on my next trip.


Gordon Moat (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

21-Nov-2007, 15:41
I've never used them. If they are terrible, I was never here! :D

On the other hand, I have 4 sheets of Polaroid chrome material that came with a 545 holder I bought last summer. I should shoot them soon and try the procsessing at AZ.

Jim Jirka
21-Nov-2007, 17:01
ProLabs west is pretty much out of the film business. They quit about 2 years ago. Nothing but digital now.