How Many Individual Still Film Stockpilers Worldwide (Estimate)

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Andre Noble, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Andre Noble

    Andre Noble Subscriber

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    A friend (layperson) asked me the other day: How many people are seriously stockpiling photographic film recently (within last few years) for long term future use.



    So let's say to qualify for "serious":

    -photographic Film bought fresh for still photography(within expiry)
    -Stand alone freezer or fridge dedicated to said film
    -3 cubic feet or more




    I'm going to guess an average of 2 per US state and twice that total worldwide
    .
     
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  2. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I would think a lot more than that, I mean even I have 2 cubic feet of film an a dedicated mini fridge/freezer and I've spilled over into the meat freezer. And I don't have very much film... There are a minimum of 150 daily active users who I bet have more than that, and that's just on APUG


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I do it myself the last few years.

    Jeff
     
  4. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I'd say many more that the OP's estimate. I wouldn't consider myself as any more than a keen amateur, with several other hobbies as well, but I have a dedicated freezer with enough film to keep me going for several years at my present rate of use. This includes a useful amount of discontinued films e.g. Ektachrome, Astia and Efke, all of which I stocked up on at ordinary prices before they finished.
    Apart from anything else, having saved up and spent a lot of cash (to me, at least!) on analogue gear over the years, I have no wish to have to spend to re-equip myself with equivalent digital gear!
     
  5. troyholden

    troyholden Member

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    I have 1000 rolls of Arista Premium 400 cold stored b/c they are no longer making it. As it's my every day workhorse film that amount should last me 3-4 years. I've also stocked up on 20 rolls each of: Delta Pro 3200, Tmax 3200, Neopan 400, Plus-X 125, and Lomo 110 color and black/white.

    On top of all that I have a couple hundred rolls of various expired and infrared films.

    Not sure if that's considered stockpiling, but I do have more in stock than my local lab.
     
  6. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    I have had 3 cu ft or more dedicated fridge for 2 decades...
    I did buy enought tri-x to satisfy my need for the next 5 years.
    ===vw
     
  7. BradleyK

    BradleyK Member

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    I, too, would suggest the OP's estimate is seriously underestimating the incidence of "stockpiling." By what degree is anyone's guess. Using the criteria provided, I would be considered a "stockpiler." I have an 18 cubic foot refrigerator for archival film storage, the freezer compartment of which is used solely for (unexposed) film storage (three cubic feet?). I also have a stash in my deep-freeze (exact storage capacity unknown...2 1/2 ft X 3 1/2 ft x
    4 ft?); as well, I keep a hundred rolls(?) or so of fresh (long-dated) film in my food refrigerator. Current inventory: 250 rolls of E100G (120), 50 rolls of E100VS (120), 346 rolls of E100G (35mm), 65 rolls of E100VS (35mm), 216 rolls of Tri-X (35mm), 104 rolls of HP5 Plus (35mm), 150 rolls of PanF Plus (120), 108 rolls of FP4 Plus (120) and 10 rolls of PanF Plus (35mm). (Oh, and 140 rolls of Kodachrome, mostly in bricks, picked up for between $.90-$1.15/ roll.) Stockpiling? Hoarding? Why so much film? The Ektachrome (both formats) is solely for a two-year planned book project I am currently involved in on Vancouver Island. The black and white? The 120 format materials are for my landscape shooting (I am a passionate outdoorsman); the 35mm film is for general work. Why such a large amount of film for someone who no longer shoots professionally? $$$$ ! I buy all my film from Adorama or B&H (both great places to deal with, so I like to spread around the largesse), and buying in bulk makes sense considering the shipping costs reflect the bi-coastal travel.
     
  8. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Several cubic feet in the freezer here. I buy when i see good deals, or when I think I'm getting low on some film.
     
  9. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    I agree OP's requirements may be stock pile for an casual film enthusiast... but I "feed" 6 formats... 8x10, 5x7, 4x5, 120, 35mm, and 16mm
    In the "day" I fed 4x5, 120, and 35mm in B+W Transparency and negatives. I used to go through a box of Transparency 4x5 in 6 months... now .....



    Just look at how much film from the 1960's to 1990's shows up for sale... and there was no need to stock pile.
    I simply used to over-estimate how much Tungsten rated film I would need when I bought a 10 pack deal... and my color negative stock pile I gave to a college was orphan from the digital revolution.. (First couple years of the digital years when I couldn't afford a second body I kept a F100 in the bag and 6 rolls of NPS400._ and so it went)
     
  10. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    So that's only 200 stockpilers worldwide? (Or 228 if Obama is counting) I bet that's a pretty low estimate.

    I've been stockpiling, guilty as charged. I bet every one of Keith Canham's film customers (some of which are over $12k judging by the willingness to pay for a whole custom order) stockpile. I bet a large portion of the Ilford ULF order stockpile a multi-year supply as a buffer in case they miss a year or in the event of a business problem or just to hedge prices. I bet the people who order just a minimum qty for that are a minority. Most people aren't really interested in talking about how much film they have in their freezer.
     
  11. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    More than that. Here in little old Adelaide, I personally know at least three people (probably five) that easily meet your threshold and I reckon there would be no less than ten... in a population of about 1.2 million. Say the western world has 2bn population, that implies there are probably 15,000-20,000 people with a modest stockpile. And there are probably as many again in China and India (don't forget there's no shortage of affluent people there despite the hordes of peasants).

    "2 per US state" is a hilarious estimate when there would be a few hundred in each of CA and NY alone. Think how much business Freestyle and B&H do.
     
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  12. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    There is no equivalent digital gear!

    tim in san jose
     
  13. kevs

    kevs Member

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    12,872,475,000.

    (did you expect a serious answer?)
     
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  15. paul_c5x4

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    :whistling:

    Perhaps a case of being afraid of being found out by the "other half"...


    I don't qualify as a serious stockpiler, but I've got enough in the freeezer to last a couple of years at least.
     
  16. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Member

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    Why would ANYONE stockpile film now? Except for films that are seriously threatened, everything is easily available, no? One could order thousands of dollars worth of Kodak film today and fill multiple freezers. Why stock pile and pay for it and the cooling costs now?

    Films dont disappear overnight do they?
     
  17. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    I think Ratty has a point. I understand stocking up if it looks like it's about to go out of production..makes perfect sence. Since, at this time, there is so indication the films that I use (tmax, iLford, etc) will be going out of production any time soon I don't bother. However, I can see stocking up if they were going to be discontinued with no equivilent. Perhaps I haven't been in this long enough to have an attachment to any particular film.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i havent stockpiled in a long time.
    back in 2001-2 +/- a year
    i bought 2000 sheets of 4x5 film,
    and 2000 sheets of 5x7 film
    and i have nearly used them all up.
    once in a while when i see a good deal
    i "binge" but i wouldn't say i stock pile
    the 4x5 sheets were 65¢ each
    the 5x7 sheets were 1¢ each
    the rolls have been more expensive.
    i don't bother with a freezer, shelf stored
    in a room whose temp is about 68º seems OK
    even for 400+800 iso for me at least
    and if its a little foggy i don't really care ...
    ihave a bunch of paper too, and i like aged paper
    for paper negatives, and eventually for lith printing
    when i get around to it ...
     
  19. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I have a bit of a stash in the freezer, but my biggest problem is using it up. I have a tendency to take a few rolls out when I'm going to go shoot and then not use it all, and not put it back. Then six months later I look in the bag and have 5 rolls of 35mm and 7 rolls of 120 that have been out of the freezer for who knows how long and I relegate it to Holga use 'cause it might be starting to go downhill.
    But I do keep a certain amount in the freezer because I can hide things like Tagalongs or mini Ben and Jerry's under it.
    It is nice to be the one in control of the freezer. :wink:

    No idea why, but I buy clothes on sale whenever possible, but I don't look for sales on film or paper. Saving a few cents per roll doesn't get me the way saving $ on some shoes does.
     
  20. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Two stockpilers per US state? Then I must own eastern Tennessee! I have two 7 cu ft freezers full, and more in a refrigerator. I'll probably be getting a third freezer for paper. Or maybe paper does better in a fridge

    Why stockpile? Well if nothing else, the return on investment probably beats the stock market. Go back and look at film prices from say two years ago and you may be shocked.

    Anyone starting to stockpile chemicals?
     
  21. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    I am also guilty as charged, while I don't go out and buy 1000 rolls of something, I do tend to get 100-200 rolls and store them in my mini-fridge. Right now I am purchasing the Lucky 200 film since its out of production, and it's a great film for testing different techniques as I continue to learn how to use my camera effectively (yes, after 2 years I am still learning...), the stuff is insanely cheap. My budget is very tight being a part time student, getting paid a paltry wage where I work, and having to support my 4 cats to a lifestyle of leisure. So I buy a brick or 2 at a time when my check comes in.

    I have a stash of 30 rolls of Provia/velvia/elite chrome/ in the freezer portion of my mini fridge. I recently bought a large (for me) stock of Efke film, thanks to a very kind member here on the board.

    You could say I am one of those private hoarders.

    As for chemicals, I'm still new enough at developing that it's hard for me to justify that. There always seems to be an equivalent of the stuff I use, so I'm not worried about that.

    for the record, I have 100 sheets of Mitsubishi black and white printing paper that I bought a couple years ago sitting in my basement (~65F), if anyone wants it, PM me. I want to see it used, I bought a buunch for my photo class and this is what's left. It's 8x10. It's free.
     
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  22. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Something changed in the market place right around EK declared bankruptcy. Today, one of my (only) large local camera store now sells Tmax400 for $8.00 where it was $4.50 few months ago. Amazon has some Kodak products limited 4 per customer. Some online stores are having difficulty keeping stock. News are mixed on if they are still producing. I have no ways to tell who's information is accurate. It is possible suppliers or middle men are hording but to me, the end result is the same.

    Availability and prices of Kodak films are less favorable.

    So I went out and purchased what I will need for next year or two. Beyond that, I'll either switch or the market place will return to more stable state.
     
  23. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Yes, it's sometimes silly. I bought a bunch of 35mm Kodak Proimage 5-packs for $9.99 on amazon not so long ago. It's not a brilliant film. Last I checked, the Amazon price is $35!!

    I could not afford to buy my stockpile now. I have a lot of ECN-2 movie stock, and even that stuff typically sells (on the auction site) for a lot more now.
     
  24. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I bought more fuji fp100c45 than I needed two years ago and the prices have doubled since. Polaroid hoarders are being rewarded, especially the people who saved their 8x10 processors after knowing Polaroid would never make the film again.

    I've bought plenty of Kodak 4x5 and 8x10 film that has gone up 25% in the past two years; such that I would be hesitant to buy it now, but gladly use what I've got. Their 120 format stuff has stayed pretty stable in price over the past two year, but I still hoard it in case Kodak continues to make bad business decisions.
     
  25. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    I wouldn't have believed it, but I'm pretty close to becoming one of 'those' hoarders. Except for the dedicated freezer, I'm nearly there.

    1. I hoard because something is about to become unavailable.
    2. I hoard because I'm tired of running out of a particular film, and want more than 20 rolls on hand.
    3. I hoard because something's on sale and I'm an idiot.

    I don't hoard chems, exactly, I just panic-buy when rumors start to fly. See no.3 above.
     
  26. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    There's no real need to hoard chemicals unless it's something totally obscure like technidol, which I sold for 10x what I paid 20 years ago, upon finding some cleaning my garage. Color might be another matter, but I don't know how that keeps.

    For B&W, most of the common developers have competitive equivalents (like many of formulary's variety), or use "open source" style developers which are available both commercially and DIY (like pyro variants). Fixers are common chemicals and available from many sources as well. B&W chemicals are easy to acquire or mix.