Thinking of investing in $5,000 - $10,000 of film. Suggestions?
OK. I have been film hoarding a bit lately, not to the extent that you have but enough that we are getting a second fridge and my wife thinks I need to join 'film-anon' ;-)
I have mainly been hoarding good deals (expired film purchases, etc) or films that are going away (efke 25). But for the long term health of the industry that it would probably be best if I stop stock piling and try to purchase on a regular basis. Buying regularly and trying to spread it around is probably the best thing we can do to ensure long term availability. Granted, if you decide that the best film for you is from a company that you worry about (like kodak or efke) then maybe stockpiling is a good thing to do. The problem with us all stockpiling is that it will help the company now but then they may not see us again for a while. I am trying to resist re urge to stockpile unless I am offered an amazing deal or know for sure (efke 25) that something is going away. Even then, when I stockpile efke 25 I know it will mean I am not buying stuff like ilford pan f for a while.
I have 9 rolls of 120 (1 of HP5 and 8 of Foma 100), 50 sheets of Foma 100 5x7, a few under 50 sheets of J&C 400 4x5, and 50 sheets of Arista EDU Ultra 100 4x5. While it isn't a HUGE stock, it's a stock. I like stocks.
Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy
No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.
This is all talk about film. Consider also papers.
In both cases the strongest company with (coincidentally, or not?) the best products is Ilford (this thread is in the black and white sub-forum of course). Try looking at some sort of commercial deal with the Ilford importer in to your country, cutting out third-party retailers, or trust that the company will survive.
For the colour materials I'd have to say to try both manufacturers, but don't expect their film to be around in a few years. RA4 paper may also be superseded by the dry-technologies which are becoming available for commercial-scale photo-finishers, so try to get a big fridge I suppose (not that paper will last very very long).
You use 2000 dollars worth of film per month . Get credit and buy Leica S2 for 30000 dollars and shoot 100 times more pictures. Dont drop it to the sea for next 1.5 years
Or another advise , Frame 2000 dollars with thick gold coated wood per month and try to sell it for 3000 dollars as a art piece
Re: Thinking of investing in $5,000 - $10,000 of film. Suggestions?
I'd agree with this. I have paper and film stored that don't 'feel right' to me anymore though I was happy back when I bought them. Tastes, abilities and techniques do change so I wouldn't stock up too much.
Originally Posted by tkamiya
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Once you nail down what works for you in terms of specifics, go for it...
I think you are doing the right thing, it is what I have done over the past few years to the tune of about triple your high number, so have several very well known film shooters such as John Sexton. But I do shoot for a full time living, so I can write it off now, not have to wait until a business status change like you might do down the road...
It's funny the response you got on the number too, 5-10K is not all that much when one considers how much a new Mac tower, modern high end digital costs, especially if you can write it off taxes.
I have all my film cold stored, 400+ ISO, IR and rare stocks like Techpan all frozen at -20. I have less stockpiles of Ilford in 4x5 than I do Kodak for obvious reasons, I rotate and replenish stock on a quarterly basis or stock up when a big price increase is announced.
The big plus for me in having what is essentially a 10-15 year supply of film on hand is that my annual expenses here on out are on paper with a small amount for film replenishment. I am also fairly stocked up on chemistry, again, a ten year supply...
However, I shoot very little color because of less interest, less popularity in the fine art market, long term viability, more sensitive storage requirements and chemistry. I think in order for you to stock up on that, you are looking at a major undertaking of finance and very well thought out storage, spare parts for a processor, etc...
But yeah, film prices, chemistry, it is all going to go up in price, products will vanish, etc so I think stocking up is the professional thing to do in order to build a plan around your chosen medium. But I do agree with folks on here in terms of Ilford, stock up a little bit and then restock as needed as they are very healthy in terms of product offerings.
Last edited by PKM-25; 11-09-2012 at 03:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
More worrisome will be availability of chemicals, specially for color. I have kept Kodachrome 25 for 5 years past exp with no ill effect, but that is basically black and white film. Slow film lasts longer than fast film, but at some point they all fog from radiation unless you have a salt mine. Buy raw chems for D76 and divide the metol into small sealable bottles. Cut down a plastic spoon to remove powder. Hydroquinone is far less sensitive to oxidation but is sensitive. 20 mule team borax lasts forever. The Chemistry Store sells sodium sulfite in 25 # pails cheap and it works.
I have no idea how to get around the fact black and white paper has chemicals in it so it need not be aged before being sold. Cost saving for Ilford, bad for us because freezing will not stop the fog that generates in 3 years. I have some 40 year old Medalist ( exp 1969) that prints ok, not great but ok. Any current paper is gone in 3 years. You can scan and digitize, but scanners will not be available or repairable by then and software probably will not go into the computer available at that time.
In short, think this through very carefully.
Agree on the paper, I have no more than a year supply on hand. As for film base fog, I am doing better than expected in that regard..
For example, I live at 8,000 feet and yet both my Kodak HIE expired in 2009 and my Aerographic 2424 (120 version of HIE ) have no detectable base fog. I bet it will be fine by the time it is all shot in a couple years, who knew?
That being said, I have no other films like that or really high speed stuff stored for the reasons you have stated. I bet one could come up with a sound plan for color, I personally have no interest in doing that though...
Originally Posted by Ronald Moravec
Another poster pointed out that fast B&W film fogs faster than slow film. I know that by experience: I shot a few rolls of Tmax-400 (the last of TMY-1, just before TMY-2 came along) that had been frozen for around 4 years, and it had very high fog. Based on that, I suggest not storing fast film for a long time, even if frozen.
Others here have answered with far more experience and wisdom about things to think about regarding your choices. I won't offer any advice, but only a couple of observations.
I saw your post on Reddit and the answers there suck. ( For other folks here: They mostly were telling him to go shoot digital and not waste money on film or time on a kind of photography that is obsolete and going away.... and that he is sticking his head in the sand for not seeing that film is dying. ) I thought those responses were inappropriate and even more so since we're talking about LF.
Anyway, it occurred to me that $5K is not a completely outrageous amount to spend on a long term supply of film. For 35mm that would be like having 100 spools in the freezer. I don't think I'd have that much, but I could easily imagine having 10 or 20, and my film use is slow and deliberate.
Good luck and I wish you well!