New online film & analog camera shop

Discussion in 'Australia' started by vcyoo, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. vcyoo

    vcyoo Member

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    Hi there :smile:

    I've started an online analogue camera & film shop with a friend, launched Dec 2010. Our target market is Lomography but our broader vision is to "keep film alive". I'm hesitant to post as I realise Lomography is frowned upon amongst many photographers as it's generalised that it's a marketing campaign to suck in young people into purchasing overpriced cameras - but my view is that I think it's a great thing as it's a catalyst to spark peoples interest into film.

    Anyway the reason for my posting is because we are looking to expand our supply of films, at this stage it is purely limited to 135 and 120.

    Seeing as there is so many choices available for us even when limited to just 135 and 120, I wanted to get some opinions as to what you guys currently use the most from these two film types. We will be doing both color and b&w. Look forward to your responses!
     
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  2. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    Hi vcyoo - where is your online camera shop (web address?)

    Currently, I'm a Plus-X user in 135 &120 (probably FP4+ shortly due to it's much-heralded demise), Ektar 100 in 135, 120 & 4x5", TXP320 in 4x5"...

    Marc!
     
  3. vcyoo

    vcyoo Member

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    Heyo! Thanks for your reply :smile:
    The website is at : http://www.lofico.com.au
    Not sure if violating any guidelines there, admin please remove if so.
     
  4. lns

    lns Member

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    I think you are totally right. Film is fun, or should be.

    I shoot Tri-X the most, in both 120 and 35mm. I also love(d) the Fuji black and white films, though only Acros seems to be left. Ilford FP4+ is great in both 120 and 35mm.

    Good luck with your store.

    -Laura
     
  5. vcyoo

    vcyoo Member

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    Hi Laura, thanks, I totally agree with you :smile: If not for things like Lomography, then I do believe Film would be a slowly dying art. It may be a thing of the past for most photographers, but to the newer and younger generations it's a totally new concept.

    I guess I should also be asking in regards to what type of pricing you would expect before considering purchasing locally. Our current measure stick is to beat anything we stock in comparison to Vanbar's pricing but I'm not sure if that's enough.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    For "lomography" I generally use film that is cheap first and foremost. I'd never buy brand new film for this sort of photography. I would just sell expired film for cheap, like Ultrafine does.
     
  7. vcyoo

    vcyoo Member

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    Hi 2F/2F! While I agree with you that beginners should definitely stick to cheap film to get started, I'm hoping to expand our range of film supplies to cover the general 135 and 120 market as well (and beyond that eventually). Also there are lomographers out there who are experienced photographers as well who have been asking for a wider selection of films :smile:
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i LOVE that business model !

    i ONLY buy expired film and paper :smile:

    welcome vcyoo !

    best of luck with your business

    - john
     
  9. vcyoo

    vcyoo Member

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    Hi John :smile:

    TBH I have no idea where to even start looking to purchase unmarked up expired film! :smile:
     
  10. jford

    jford Member

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    There seem to be quite a few of those Rollei boxes floating around in Vanbar and Michaels at the moment. I've shot some of the Rollei R3 and got good results. I use Ilford FP4 mostly, but am thinking of something cheaper for sheet film in the near future.

    John.
     
  11. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I don't live in Australia right now, but when I do, I'll make sure I order some stuff from you. The very best of luck to you.
     
  12. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I'm in AU but I get my film from ag-photographic in the UK. Postage costs suck, but I think you'll have to do better than their pricing if you want to get much business from APUGers. If you can though, I would be all over it.
     
  13. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Good luck with your store.

    Jeff
     
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  15. vcyoo

    vcyoo Member

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    thanks for all the welcoming comments! It's an encouraging message, we'll do our best to bring things cheaper to Aus :smile:
     
  16. vcyoo

    vcyoo Member

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    Hi all!

    Doing a quick feasibility analysis here.. For a small set of items I have the following prices:

    [​IMG]

    Price in last column would be actual sale price, excluding shipping. Shipping would be $4.50 for first item, and 25c for every extra roll.

    Would like some feedback as to whether these prices are good or still too pricey compared to what you may be shopping at/with right now. Thanks!
     
  17. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    I'd buy plus-x at that price for starters - normally I wouldn't buy 135 film, but I inadvertently bought an OM4T (see other thread) a few days ago, and will have to feed it... Ektar 100 (in 135 & 120) looks entirely reasonable to me too, especially in small quantities where the shipping from the US would make prices from there less attractive.

    Marc!
     
  18. panoman

    panoman Member

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    I wish you the very best in your 135 & 120 film/camera endeavors.
    Looking forward to visiting the shop from time to time!
    Speaking to two different people within the photographic industry today
    (Melbourne, Australia) they seem to think 120 format is still very much alive & well..
     
  19. vcyoo

    vcyoo Member

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    Thanks Marc & panoman!
    So what does everyone here shoot more of? 135.. 120.. 4x5.. or?

    We've secured a small shipment of the list above and should have it listed in about 1-2 weeks time :smile: we'll see how it goes.
    Ilford prices really have increased quite a fair bit I must say.
     
  20. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    You should buy Freestyle's re-lablelled films to save dough.
    Check out the Arista braned films there.
     
  21. eSPhotos

    eSPhotos Member

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    Great.
    I have bookmarked the site.
    Prices seem reasonable compared to other Aus online sellers incl @bay stores.

    Yeah, +1 for Arista. Also maybe Efke/Adox films too.
    Main stream films like Kodak, Fuji and Ilford are quite easy to get at good prices. However, those not-so-common brands are not so.
     
  22. wotalegend

    wotalegend Member

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    I have been using Fuji B&W products in both 35mm and 120, trending towards more 120 than 35mm now. Of course Neopan 400 has disappeared in 120 in the last year and I am looking for alternatives. Currently trying Kodak products but I am concerned about the long term viability of Kodak as a film manufacturer. Would like to try some of the European brands if available. I have also been getting reasonable results with Shanghai GP3, but the thick black backing paper means that I have to be careful which camera I use it in: only where the film feeds in the direction of the natural curl of the paper, e.g. TLRs OK, but not removable back SLRs, and the faint frame numbers mean no red-window cameras.

    If your prices are better than the alternative then I will buy. The catch is that I buy most of my film from Freestyle in bulk orders two or three times a year and they are going to be pretty hard to beat. What I do buy locally all the time is chemicals. If you are able to stock and ship chemicals on better terms than Vanbar then I will buy those from you all the time - but my amateur usage is not big quantity. I have been using mostly Ilford chemicals, and also Rodinal under whatever name it is currently being marketed under. I am open to substitute brands, but I do prefer liquid concentrates: no mixing powder chemicals.
     
  23. vcyoo

    vcyoo Member

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    great feedback! Thanks!

    I will definitely look into expanding the range with alternative and harder to get brands.

    @wotalegend - you're pretty much spot on, I don't think we would be able to compete with prices you could get yourself if you bought bulk from overseas suppliers as you say. Not at this stage anyway. I guess what we'll aim to do is to target users that do small purchases with the incentive of offering a large selection of different films to choose from. Then we'd move towards bigger discounts for higher volume purchases (5, 10, 30 films etc) as our capital and inventory increases.

    The same regarding chemicals - I think there is a definitely a market in Australia for this, however we don't have the capital (or expertise) at this stage yet, so we'll take it in small steps at a time.

    Cheers, thanks for all the comments/feedback.. keep it coming!
     
  24. vcyoo

    vcyoo Member

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    A small update on our site, we've added a small selection of Kodak and Ilford films.

    We're in talks with a few suppliers to organise shipping in bulk and possibly do chemicals as well, though I haven't looked into any import restrictions on chemicals yet. We'll be focussing on expanding our film range and quantities first so we can drive down the price even lower eventually.

    Current inventory can be seen here:

    http://shop.lofico.com.au/category/film

    The quantities we're stocking are quite low for now and I'm still undecided on the pricing so it's subject to change. Would appreciate some feedback on the following prices right now! Cheers! :smile:
     
  25. AmsterdamMartin

    AmsterdamMartin Member

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    Ilford Pan 400,
    Never heart of it before, can't wait to try
     
  26. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    wotalegends: I use Shanghai GP3 in my RB67 ProS all the time, its one of my favourites