It's gotten to the point that I can't get the film I want by any means other than ordering online or spending hours hunting down rolls from stores with very little stock. When I finally find the film I need local stores charge charge about $7-$10 a roll. I'm also worried about Kodak discontinuing Tri X 400, my favourite in film still in production. For these reasons I'm thinking that it might be worthwhile to stockpile film.
Is it worth hoarding film? I'm considering buying about 100 (36xp) rolls online.
If this doesn't sound crazy (my friends think I'm nuts) what's a good place to order from? I usually buy from B&H but if there's some place cheaper that would be great to know.
Your thoughts would be great,
100' bulk rolls are great as a stash.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Stockpiling isn't crazy. 100 rolls isn't even that big of a stockpile. I buy all my film online, and keep enough around that I don't run out waiting for it to come.
Also, try HP5+, it's similar to tri-x (some use it interchangeably although there are subtle differences)
I've NEVER been able to buy most of my film locally. Even in the 70s and 80s I lived 20 miles from the nearest place to buy 120 film, farther from sheet film, and those were just the more popular emulsions. Now I live in a major metro area but film is not popular.
There's at least two places I'm aware of that carry at least some film in Atlanta proper (leaving out the consumer C41 35mm stuff you can still get at Wal Mart last I looked) but truth is, it's far more convenient for me to just order it off the Internet. I hate driving inside Atlanta proper anyway, hate parking there even more, and would gladly pay a premium to avoid it. Provided I plan a little in advance, and I have a large dorm fridge just for film, I get a selection of any film currently made online for prices that are better, even with shipping, than I'd get by taking an hour plus to brave the traffic and buying it in town.
Just order it. It's so much better, I'd never go back to buying it locally even if I COULD, unless I had nearly as good prices less than ten miles away, and unless you live close to B&H or Freestyle, that just isn't the reality anymore.
To be fair though, I don't know what the situation is like for Canadians.
And I agree, 100 rolls isn't even remotely hoarding. I have no idea how many total rolls I have but I'm pretty sure it's more than that, though the most I have of any one emulsion is probably...20-30 rolls total of Tri-X between 35mm and 120 and not counting the bulk roll I'm still working my way through. I bought the bulk roll of Freestyle Premium, aka Tri-X, then started buying prepackaged rolls which are almost as cheap. Now I use the bulk loaded rolls when I plan Diafine and the preloads when I plan box speed, just to help keep them separate. I can also use the prepackaged rolls in the one camera I have that has DX coding (an Olympus Stylus zoom) though I rarely use that camera.
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You mention processing... Black and white is dead simple to process (it's about as hard as doing the laundry once you get the reel loading down) and will definitely save you a bucket of money you can put to more film.
There's a wealth of information on this site, enough to drown in for the beginner. However, there have been several good articles and tutorials done by APUG members designed for the beginner.
If you want to consider supporting a Canadian APUG Advertiser, Rob Skeoch sells film through his website:'s BigCameraWorkshops
Here is the film page: http://www.bigcameraworkshops.com/376442/film/
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I thought about this.
I like Tmax100, 400, and Tri-X. I use all of them on 35mm and 120 and that's all I use at the moment. I *could* buy dozens of each and keep them but I decided to buy just enough for my current needs and buy what's available when I need to replenish my supply. There's no telling if Kodak products will be available but Fuji is resuming some of their B&W line and Ilford is always an option. I kind of prefer using currently available and fresh product, and buy from current manufacturer.
Personal decision, of course. If you like Tri-X so much, why not? 100 isn't all that much anyway.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
I buy all my film online. Cheaper and easier.
There's also Arista Premium 400 in 100' bulk.