Film virtually dead in Oklahoma City....now what?

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by SafetyBob, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    Went to the Bessler store (which was Epperson Photo Video since 1972) to pick up a test roll of film from my new to me F5 today. At least one, maybe two film processing machines appear to be gone and the one last fridge with film in it only had some TMax and that was it. Heard the same "film is on order" excuse now for around 6 months.

    So, now what? I know it looks like if I want Porta or any professional film at all I will have to mail order. However, as I was surfing around today here on Apug I read a thread about the price of film from awhile back and the mentioned Kodak's consumer line of film. Is it worth my time to give Kodak's regular consumer stuff a try. I must admit once I tried Porta I haven't really tried much else. Since availability would be pretty good at WalMart and certainly the price is much better......worth it? How many of you have gone this way. That Gold consumer stuff is C-41, right?

    Any other options for me?

    Oh, one last thing, is it best for me to mix my color (using dry stuff) and/or B&W chemicals up say a day prior to let them blend better? Got a boat load of brown chemical mixing/storage bottles while I was at the photo store so I am ready to start developing.....

    Bob E.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Do your Walmarts sell Kodak C41 film? The ones I have visited in Washington state only have a few rolls of Fuji film.

    The Kodak Gold film is quite good. It tends to have a bit higher contrast than Portra, as well as more saturated colours.
     
  3. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Kodak Gold is pretty good. I shoot medium format mostly, so I don't use it often...It actually used to be available in 120 which I find quite amusing..There are many great films between the Kodak Gold, Black and White C-41 films, the Ektar, the Portra and the black and white selections from Kodak so mail order may be worth it once and a while..Kodak Color Plus is cool too.You can't quite beat the price of Kodak Gold at B&H...I have heard that it can be good to mix black and white up ahead of time but I sometimes can't wait that time if I need it. If you want to use it after you mix it and the mixing process for your chemicals requires high temperatures, be sure to let the chemicals cool before you use them....Does that shop still develop any film?
     
  4. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    How were things at the store that Bedford bought?
     
  5. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    Ektagraphic thank you for the film advice. I need to do some looking around at the local walmart just to see exactly what they do have. I did notice that some version of kodak consumer color was around 2 bucks a roll at B&H, so you know exactly why I asked about those films. If that Gold stuff will do me except for the times when I really want to make a statement with Porta (if that's really needed at this time for my competence), then why not. The heck with it, I am going to see just how it well it works for me....certainly makes film cost a reason not to be using all these cameras I have.

    Darkroom, before the buyout, things had slowed down significantly in my opinion. There was a strong film surge twice a year that went along with a local high school or college film course. They ate up alot of film inventory, which simply has not been restocked that I can tell in some 6 months, that is except for T-Max. One 5 pack of Porta 220, T-Max and that was it......

    Even two months ago when I went in to get my filmed developed and a CD made also, there was a big wall behind the photo counter that would have many, many rolls of film developed and ready to be picked up all arranged by name A-Z. Those 8 or so big drawers were down to 2 1/2 today. I have NEVER seen it that low EVER. Maybe it's the weather, maybe not, but it just didn't seem to have the traffic (slow and steady) that I have become used to.

    It's the only place in town where you can actually use a camera and get "real" instruction and advice as to capabilities of photographic equipment.....film or digital before you purchase something. I remember once they went into the parking lot with a high end canon with a HUGE lens with a customer's card in the camera and took sample photos in actual conditions. All I know is virtually everyone behind the counter wanted to sell you something you would be satisfied and happy with, which of course had the side effect of wishing you were back in the store again talking photography with them (and then buying something else......their master plan....).

    Bottom line: The store that was Oklahoma City's premier photography store for decades definately saw the results of the decline in film and the mass marketing of digital cameras to the big box stores. I think all the pro guys used them extensively in the day, but as soon as digital hit the pro end along with the consumer end, it was all but written in stone for them. They did compete well against the big box guys coming very close to big box price or better in alot of cases, but big box would NOTshow you how to use your camera, they would. Saw that teaching service many times with middle aged folks trying to use their first digital camera.

    .....then I would show up with several rolls of assorted 35mm and 120 film to confuse them all....

    Bob E.
     
  6. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    I have 3 photography stores near me, two of which sell used gear, and all of which sell film. Not a ton, but they do still have the film. A few months ago one of them removed the storage shelf for film from behind the counter. Now all their film hangs on pegs like at Walmart.

    Kodak's Gold 100 is my main film, and as far as I can tell, it's discontinued. That means there is no ASA 100 color film other than Kodak Ektar. I wish there was, but if I had to choose another speed I'd opt for either Fuji or Kodak's 200 speed films, both are nice. I just shot a roll of Fuji's C200 last week, and it developed and scanned real nice.

    Fuji C200
    Roll12689-L.jpg
     
  7. jcc

    jcc Member

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    There is a small store in Norman (http://www.mainstphotovideo.com/) that has a small stock of 135's and 120's — some are even frozen. I'm pretty sure they have Porta.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2012
  8. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    Looks like a trip to Norman is on my schedule tomorrow. Thanks for the hint JCC. I appreciate it!!

    Bob E.
     
  9. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    The title of your thread is exactly why the uneducated public thinks that film is completely gone, please consider a more accurate title next time. I live in one of the most photographed places in the world, but there is no lab, not even a place to upload your memory card and get a print. There are a couple of varieties of Fuji color neg film at either grocery store...

    But film is not virtually dead in my town because I use it. I use mail order, in other words, I support the people who support my needs the best. Change your wording, it is not helping the perception of the medium...

    And you list all of these cameras and don't have a roll of film lying around? Looks like you are supporting the used film camera market more than the medium they actually use.
     
  10. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I'm always amazed at these threads. Even in the 90s, I've NEVER lived where I could buy significant darkroom supplies or have other than 35mm film locally processed. You're on the Internet. Order your stuff here and send your film out. That's what the rest of the country does. Problem solved.
     
  11. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    PKM and Roger, sorry if I touched a nerve. It was not my purpose to upset anyone, and yes, the title could indeed mislead the uneducated that may find this forum.

    I must say that when I was starting this thread I was very emotional about this. I guess I am experiencing what many of you have already gone through and I have had my eyes closed about it. Most of you are already developing your own film (first try should be this weekend) and doing as much as you can at the house, then and only then do I see sending anything out. It is dissappointing that this is the state of film photography in our country.

    I did check the fridge last night, I still have a good number of rolls of porta (35mm and 120) still in there. Going to try and see how much I like (or can live with) Kodak Gold. Will wait until cooler weather to order film from the internet guys.

    Bob E.
     
  12. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Bob, I have to apologize my friend, I could have went another direction on it. We film users have to band together and one of the big problems I see right now is the language we use to describe the current state of affairs with film.

    Ten years ago, my seasonal town of 5,500 people had two full service labs that did both E6 and C41 up to 8x10 sheet film. So I have adapted...but the public's perception that you can not even buy film anywhere just kills me, so I am sensitive about it.

    Best,

    Dan
     
  13. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    PMK....Wow I had no idea that Aspen had THAT many labs up there in the first place. No harm my friend. You can count on me as one of your film friends. All of us on this forum I am finding out are all brothers-in-arms regarding the future of film on planet earth. Yes, we may not always say it right, but I think we all are so committed to keeping film alive AND growing it so others can see the power, enjoyment, and satisfaction that film photography can bring to life and to one's life, that we sometimes forget we are all in this together!! I know I did until you reminded me.....thank you.

    So it seems I am going through what you have gone through ten years ago......that is what is so amazing to me, to see the huge difference in the whole way we have to operate today getting our film in the first place and getting it processed in the second. In the case of Oklahoma City, there was a big pop around 10 years ago after 3 of the 4 big photo houses here closed. We still had Epperson here to handle all our needs, no matter how small or how big a customer you were. Guess I had not realized the impact when the pro guys went digital, THAT's what put a significant hurt on the film processing business here, then the gradual sales decline as average consumers (like me) gradually started doing digital and using inkjet to print.....I was NEVER satified with any of my digital results for over 10 years.......thank goodness I wised up and came back to film. Best decision I have made in a long, long time.

    I think I actually may have the guys in Norman Oklahoma's little photo place (who still sell film and a good variety of it) to actually start to process film the old fashioned way. They were very interested how I was going to develop film at home. The cost of leaving their one C-41 machine on 24/7 just for one or two rolls a day doesn't make sense BUT they aren't keen on wanting to send out something they could do.....two rolls a day.....that is manageable for them to keep doing as a SERVICE for their customers. Good for them. Plus, I think if the impression if I wanted say 10 rolls of HP5 in 120 and they didn't have it, they would order it in for me..... I just need to "alert" them what I need.

    So I am feeling much, much better about life and film in general now......

    Bob E.
     
  14. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    You didn't upset me. I just roll my eyes a bit at the "the sky has fallen on my head WRT film, the lab/local film camera store closed" posts. I've always had to send out 120 or sheet film, or do it myself. I could, back in the day, take it to places that would send it out for me, but that's really the same thing. I have always had to buy darkroom supplies, black and white film, larger than 35mm film etc. via mail order, which was harder in the days before the 'net. By the time I moved to a big city area and got interested in photography again, that was the case here too.

    Just go to B&H's or Freestyle or whoever's site and load up on what you want. I just got a ship notification from Dwaynes that my slides are on the way back. Life is good.
     
  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    WELCOME TO SELF DEVELOPING. YOU WON' LOOK BACK. IYOU CAN DO JUST AS GOOD IF NOT BETTER THAN ANY LAB!
     
  16. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    I've personally found little to complain about Kodak or Fuji's consumer lines. No, they're not quite up to the par of the pro films, but for the price you pay they deliver. Plainjane Fuji Superia has done well for me.
     
  17. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    Thanks for the words of encouragement and Roger, already have a small order in with B&H for some film and once I see how the home developing thing works this weekend, probably chemicals are in my future too.

    Was unable to shoot last night with the Kodak Gold I got yesterday, hopefully tonight/this afternoon I will get some photos taken and start processing in the morning.

    Bob E.