Where Could I purchase 4x5 (Portra 160 vc) films in L.A.?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by carsten, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. carsten

    carsten Member

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    Hello,
    During the first days of January I will be in Los Angeles.
    I am from Italy and here 4x5 films are expensive and difficult to find.
    So I would like to purchase some boxes of 4x5 Kodak Portra 160 vc (or nc) while I am L.A.. Any good addresses? I will even spend some days in San Diego.

    Last Summer I was in Chicago and some of you suggested me to visit Central Camera and I did it and it was so great!

    So thank you for Chicago and Los Angeles,

    Ciao
    Carlo
     
  2. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Probably Freestyle who are advertisers here.
     
  3. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Freestyle, Samys & perhaps Calumet.
    They're all in roughly the same zone if you have a car. Freestyle would be my first port of call.
     
  4. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

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    Definitely Freestyle (on Sunset near the 101 freeway), Samy's on Fairfax (also in Culver City nearer to the airport), and Calumet on Highland in Hollywood.

    In San Diego try Nelson's Photo (in the Little Italy area) and/or George's on 31st and University Avenue.

    I would bet that the LA stores would have it, but you may have to call in advance for the San Diego stores.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2008
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Where will you be staying and/or visiting?
     
  6. carsten

    carsten Member

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    In LA I will stay near the Farmers' Market. Fairfax and 3rd.
    So I think that Samy's is around this area.
     
  7. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    From memory Samys is right across the road from that market. It's a great shop, film & such on the ground floor & cameras, lighting etc on the upper floors. Staff were quite friendly & helpful. The car park can be complicated, they cram a lot of cars in & have attendants to get everyone sorted out.
     
  8. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

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    Samy's is about 2-3 blocks south on Fairfax from Farmer's Market. About 1/2 block further down on the same side of the street is the darkroom stuff (they separated the darkroom stuff from the rest of their stuff).
     
  9. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Try calling/writing Sammy's. I'm sure they can make sure they have some in stock at the time of your visit of you place an order ahead of time.
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Samy's is walking distance down Fairfax from there.
     
  11. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    Samy's is indeed right where you're going to be staying, but I have had big problems with their customer service in the past. If you're not a pro looking to drop large sums of cash, they're that much less likely to help you out quickly. And if you're a student (which I'm guessing you're not), forget it--they don't even want to know. I have personally seen them treat students like second-class citizens. Plus, their film & paper selection--particularly B&W--is only a fraction of that available at Freestyle. Samy's is primarily geared toward the high-end d*****l pro photographer, as is Calumet.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hogwash.

    They will have what you specifically need in this case, and will treat you better that you treat them. I have never had a customer service problem at any Samy's I have patronized (Pasadena, Fairfax, and Santa Barbara). I have had attitude at Freestyle (a store which I love to death way more than Samy's).

    The fact that they are a general photography business dictates that they follow the current trends, and has nothing to do with their customer service. If anything, you get ignorance at Samy's, but not bad attitude. I have not dealt with every employee there, however.

    Samy's will give you 5 -10 percent off of supplies if you are a student (depending on who is behind the counter). They act concerned about your academic progress, your projects, etc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2008
  13. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Bad attitude is not an experience I've had with Samy's, the people I've dealt with there have always been helpful and friendly in both the L.A. store and Costa Mesa.

    That said, if I were in L.A. and shopping for film, it would be at Freestyle, mostly because film and paper has been their primary business since about forever.
     
  14. carsten

    carsten Member

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    Thank you guys!
    And I am not really concerned about bad attitudes since my english is far too rough to read between lines (in italian to read between lines means to get the unspoken messages...)
     
  15. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I couldn't agree more. Everyone has their own experiences. Personally, I've had my worst experience at Calumet - both LA and Santa Barbara. But Samy's (and Freestyle) has been good to me so long as I know what I want and don't try "chatting it up" with the clerks... they often either don't ahve the time or the interest.

    Carsten... I suppose you've seen this already, but if not:

    http://www.samys.com/stores.php

    (It's the Fairfax store that's near Farmer's Market)

    http://www.samys.com/browse.php?cat=300&mfg=0
     
  16. Kevin9999

    Kevin9999 Member

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    What you now need to know is where to process the film. There are no labs in San Diego that process 4x5 color neg film. A&I in Hollywood is a good source.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    What he said.

    Steve
     
  18. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Did anyone say Samy's or Freestyle?:smile:
     
  19. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

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    You might try Chrome in San Diego...
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Not any more. They closed the darkroom supply store last year.

    Steve
     
  21. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

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    Bummer...