At your suggestion I contacted Silverprint about the availabilty of 14x17 film & this was their reply
We have just spoken to Ilford, the reason they have the film showing up
as unavailable is because they have already shipped the film to the USA.
The only thing I can advise is to get in touch with Ilford direct.
So frustratingly I have missed the boat along with the rest of my fellow Europen ULF photographers!
Firstly I will check if we have any product left over, I think the reason it was shipped to the States is that they ordered it and Silverprint must not have, we only made this ULF film against firm orders from distributors and resellers, we did not make any for stock.
"The only size requested that we did not make is 7 x 11 where we received only 2 orders for FP4+ and one order for HP5+ obviously not viable to make.
We will repeat this special make when the current stock has sold out and our ULF resellers request a further make."
You guys at Ilford have shot yourselves in the foot handling the larger and custom sizes this way. Not having Photo Warehouse or similar able to purchase long rolls and cut to order for those of us using odd sizes has pushed some of us to other brands of film. This is so we can shoot the same film in all the formats we use.
Having to commit and purchase all our film at one whack is not possible for all of us. Being able to buy film as needed is workable for us but apparently not for Ilford. Too bad as I really like FP4+ but now go elsewhere so I am shooting the same film in all the formats I use. Others I know are in the same boat. Business reality for us is being able to get what we need when we need it rather than becoming a stock house/storehouse with a year/two year supply in an icebox.
Make accomodations with Photo Warehouse or one custom film cutter so we can use your products or watch as a number of us no longer use Ilford film. Can't see using film I can't get when I need it.
I don't see why you can't buy a year's supply in one order. You don't need an icebox for that. Not even a refrigerator.
If you think someone should stock your film, talk to your dealer, not Ilford. This is ULF film not whole milk!
Another thing I don't understand is why everybody who uses ULF seems to want a different format. I can understand there is a need for a few different aspect ratios and sizes, but why do you request 7x11", could you not work with some other similar format? Standard 8x10" for example is not far off, and you could just mask a little at the bottom and top to get the aspect ratio.
I can see that some people want to use older cameras which are made for formats that are no longer common today, but it appears to me that a few people seem to think they can invent a format, build a custom camera, and then demand that someone make the film for them. When the film is not made because there are only three geeks that want it, they blame the manufacturer.
I have no doubt Ilford is going to sell you a master roll of film if you ask them! You could cut that to whatever you like.
My opinion on this matter falls in the middle ground between Dan and Michael. First, I'm just thrilled to see Ilford and Kodak offering film in ANY of these sizes. I'll be buying a new freezer to hold my new 7x17 and 4x10 film when it arrives. My wife is behind me on this as I'm already taking up over half of HER freezer with my 4x10 Velvia and E100S, plus several boxes of Quickloads and Readyloads - and that stuff is small compared to the 7x17.
So, I have no problem ordering a year or two supply of film at a time. Even in 4x5 I've always preferred to make big film purchases once or twice a year rather than buying it a box at a time. Having to buy in bulk is a whole lot better than not being to buy at all - and if this is the only model that lets Ilford (and Kodak) continue to supply film in these sizes, that's fine with me. And let's face it, these companies do need to make money on this or they just plain won't do it. And, in spite of the enthusiasm these formats enjoy here on APUG, in the grand scheme of things the reality is ULF is a niche market (or more accurately a sub-niche of a niche market).
That said, I don't think 4x10 falls under Michael's description:
There are four manufacturers offering cameras in the 4x10 size TODAY (soon to be a fifth - Fotoman) and five companies making 4x10 film holders. I get multiple emails every week from people with questions about 4x10 cameras, lenses and film holders.
older cameras which are made for formats that are no longer common today, but it appears to me that a few people seem to think they can invent a format, build a custom camera, and then demand that someone make the film for them. When the film is not made because there are only three geeks that want it, they blame the manufacturer.
I doubt Simon wants to hear this, but when I placed my film order back in January, due to the lack of FP4+ in 4x10, 100% of my order (20 boxes of 7x17 and 10 boxes of 4x10) went to Kodak. Had FP4+ been available in 4x10, Ilford would have gotten at least 1/2 of my order, maybe more. Like Dan, I prefer to shoot the same films in all the formats I shoot. The lack of 4x10 FP4+ discouraged me from ordering any in 7x17. Hopefully the next time Ilford will realize that there are enough 4x10 shooters out there (many who also shoot in other, bigger formats) to make offering their films in 4x10 worth their while.
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"but why do you request 7x11, could you not work with some other similar format? Standard 8x10" for example is not far off, and you could just mask a little at the bottom and top to get the aspect ratio."
Typically sizes like 7x11, 5x12 etc... are contact printed. Yes you could crop an 8x10 to approximately a 6x10 image - a sizable crop and smaller contact print. One point of interest about 7x11 is that aspect ratio wise it is like a mini 12x20 (1.57:1 vs 1.66:1).
I personally like to shoot full frame and like to print the full negative. It is very rare that I crop, whether enlarging or contact printing. Besides... I have the camera, I have invested in holders, and I want to shoot it and not turn it into a museum piece.
Personal preferences I guess.
Ordering enough Film
I found Photowarehouse to be a great option. I used them to get film that was not supported by Ilford (prior to the latest round) - such as Plate, 4x10, 7x11, 5x12 and ULF. When I needed a standard size film, I bought Ilford packaged film, and yes paid the premium to have it factory cut and boxed. What was great about PW was I could monitor my film consumption and place orders for it when I needed to restock a size etc...
I restocked on all of my oddball and ULF sizes before they ran out of film stock and I was beginning to look for other solutions when the offer from Simon and Ilford came up. I placed orders mostly in support and not because of a burning need. By the time the next order timing occurs I will be placing a larger order of 7x11 film... and I hope other shooters of that format will as well.
I didn't realise that ULF was about "mini".
Originally Posted by Steve_7x
I believe that folks who want to shoot 7x11 or 5x12 are better off using standard 8x10, where they have more cameras to choose from, and they have the added benefit of a format that can be enlarged when desired. Oh yeah, there is also a variety of colour film.
I could shoot 4x10" in my 8x10" camera whenever I wanted to, but I could never shoot 8x10" if I had a 4x10" camera.
Originally Posted by kthalmann
I'm not sure I understand you're point. If I wanted to shoot 8x10, of course I'd use an 8x10 camera. However, if I want to shoot 4x10 I see no point in carrying the weight and bulk of an 8x10 camera. Just like I see no point in carrying a 14x17 camera to shoot 7x17.
Originally Posted by Petzi
My point was that since there are several manufacturers making 4x10 cameras, there must be a market for 4x10 film. Somebody is buying those cameras.
I'm not bashing Ilford. I just thought it would be better for Simon to know that Ilford lost my business to the competition this time around, why they lost my business and what they can do to gain my business next time around. If they still chose not to offer their films in the 4x10 size, at least they have made an informed decision.