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  1. #1

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    Thinking of investing in $5,000 - $10,000 of film. Suggestions?

    I've been shooting large format only for a couple of years now, and the film I defaulted to is now out of production. I'm currently buying a whole bunch of different Ilford, Fuji and Kodak films to experiment and to see which ones I prefer. So far, I've narrowed it down to Ilford Delta and FP4+, Kodak Ektar, and Fuji Provia. These should do all the things I require, and my forthcoming testing should confirm that they'll be fine (I'm doing proper testing because so far, I've just dabbled).

    I am serious about my photography (I am working towards being a fine art photographer) and the money matters far less than having film available in the future which I've tested and become comfortable with (I'm standardising my systems at the moment and want to settle on just a few type of films).

    If I'm spending $1000-$2000/mth for a while on film to store in a freezer, what considerations should I have?

    So far, I'm thinking:
    1. Upgrade to a larger freezer.
    2. Do calculations to determine whether it's cheaper to order in one batch each month or smaller batches, given our import customs limit
    3. Will colour film last long past its expiry in a freezer like B&W does?


    Am I missing anything? I know I might appear nuts, but I've thought it through.... mostly!

  2. #2
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    You must be either incredibly rich or you are living way beyond your means. I don't think it matters, IMO, if you have that capability each month to spend disposable income just on film, then what could anybody here say, just do what you need to do keep your film. My view is probably too simplistic, I'm sure. Good luck, and I mean that .

  3. #3

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    As far as Ilford products are concerned, there is no need to stock up as they are still (and looks like will be) a viable company for the long haul. A lot of things can happen in one year and longer. Both planned and unplanned. I might suggest scaling back your (film) disaster planning way back. Keep 6 months to a year worth and re-evaluate at the half way point.

    That's what I do personally. I have what I think I'd spend in a year, film, chem, and paper wise. I do this for convenience.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    As far as Ilford products are concerned, there is no need to stock up as they are still (and looks like will be) a viable company for the long haul. A lot of things can happen in one year and longer. Both planned and unplanned. I might suggest scaling back your (film) disaster planning way back. Keep 6 months to a year worth and re-evaluate at the half way point.
    Excellent food for thought, thanks. It's difficult to see inside Ilford to get an accurate picture of their health. If a major brand name like Kodak had trouble, there's a reasonable chance Ilford had similar issues - the major difference being how they structured themselves internally and so on.

    I might consider what I'd use in a year and go from there...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    You must be either incredibly rich or you are living way beyond your means. I don't think it matters, IMO, if you have that capability each month to spend disposable income just on film, then what could anybody here say, just do what you need to do keep your film. My view is probably too simplistic, I'm sure. Good luck, and I mean that .
    Neither rich nor living beyond my means... I've just had some clarity over the past few years... I'm happy to forego new cars, Playstations, travel, trips to the cinema and so on in exchange for doing what I really love. If I spend my time and money like other men my age, I'd have no time or money for the level of photography I'd like to achieve. That said, I don't smoke, rarely drink, and don't have kids, either!

    :-)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFman View Post
    Neither rich nor living beyond my means... I've just had some clarity over the past few years... I'm happy to forego new cars, Playstations, travel, trips to the cinema and so on in exchange for doing what I really love. If I spend my time and money like other men my age, I'd have no time or money for the level of photography I'd like to achieve. That said, I don't smoke, rarely drink, and don't have kids, either!

    :-)

    I don't suppose you have an extra room I could shack up in do you? If you've got that much film, I'm moving in.

    That said, I don't drink, smoke, nor do I have kids either - and I think I have a single 5 roll pack of 120 TriX in the freezer and that's the extent of my film right now. How do you find time to actually shoot 1-2K worth of film per month? The developing along would kill me! LOL

  7. #7

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    Why not buy a relatively small amount of each of the films you are interested in, do the tests, and then decide what to buy? You don't need that much film for good tests. Also keep in mind you need enough $ for the chemistry, paper etc.

    In any case I'm not sure I understand your purpose in stocking up.

  8. #8
    Hatchetman's Avatar
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    I'd worry about the long term availability of color chemistry.

  9. #9

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    Color film does not keep as well as B&W even in the deep freeze. As color film ages, you would experience color shifts; sometimes these can be corrected with filtration. Increased fogging and grain is also evident in old color film.

    To be on the safe side, buy enough color film for the next five years.

  10. #10
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    If you are "investing" because you want to sell some of it when it gets discontinued, probably Kodak would be a first buying choice, followed by Fuji. It makes little sense to buy something you have no interest in using though.

    If you like Ilford film, there is nothing wrong with putting some in the freezer to hedge against price increases, though it's not likely as volatile as Kodak.

    I bought a bunch of Kodak 8x10 film and it's gone up 30% in cost in less than two years. At some point, the price increases, if Kodak is not careful, will drive people away and a film might end up discontinued. If it's anything cult like or hallowed like some of the polaroid products, it may maintain a good new-old-stock value. I bought it to use and bought enough due to the uncertainty of Kodak's future.

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