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  1. #11
    David Ruby's Avatar
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    I was in your shoes about 7 years ago. I started out by buying generic film from Freestyle (http://www.freestylephoto.biz/) and had some fun with it. I had a 28-200 and stuck with 400 speed so I could hand hold most shots. That got expensive after awhile and I was sick of always ordering film so I bucked up and got a bulk loader. They are all over Ebay. I bought mine new cause I had a gift certificate that I had to use up. It's an Aldon I think. The counter never really worked that well, but all in all it's been great. You can probably find all sorts of bulk loaders with tone of 35mm spools etc. on Ebay. This has got to be the least expensive way to go, especially if you can find the package off Ebay. Good luck and have fun.

    I sometimes look back at those first negatives and they are sometimes better than what I shoot now. I was just firing away at will. That is something that "rolling your own" gives you.

  2. #12

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    r-brian

    Sorry to rain on your parade but Freestyle's "Arista.EDU" line of film is inexpensive (not "cheap") repackaged Forte film from Hungary; not Efke film. You are correct in that their "Arista" brand film is from Ilford. Freestyle has had a close relationship with Ilford for 30 + years. I remember using their "Essex" brand VC paper which was from Ilford. Many, many years ago we used to shop at their small, cluttered store on Western Ave. in Los Angeles (Hollywood). Howard Tanger

  3. #13

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    yep.. Arista.edu series are the Fortepan from Hungary..I've been using it in 4x5 and 8x10 sizes with good results whenever i can get the exposure right

  4. #14
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Hi Huram,

    the only thing I can say is that there isn't really a bad film out there today. It depends on what you want. Do you want a perfect gray scale, or do you lean more towards a contrasty result?
    In any case, settle for one film, maybe two if you need one slow and one fast, and stick with it. Learn its strengths and weaknesses. This will help you as a photographer, especially in the beginning, to know what to expect from your negatives. Sometimes you might have to develop your negs with a fine grain developer such as Xtol if large images are required. Other times you may want extra sharpness and use for example Rodinal. In all these situations, it's good to have a good hunch of what to expect. This will make it easier for you to print as well.

    My personal choices are as follows:
    For slow film, Efke 25 & 100 (www.jandcphoto.com) and Agfa APX100 (www.adorama.com for a good deal)
    For fast film, Ilford HP-5+ (www.freestyle.biz has this film bulk for dirt cheap)
    These films work well for my purposes. They are versatile above everything else. Just watch it with the Efke films - load and unload film in very subdued light, the film canisters are not the most lightproof around. What is more, these films all work well in my developers of choice, so as long as they are on the market I will continue to use just these.

    Hope that helps a bit,

    - Thomas
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #15

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    Thanks all for the helpful suggestions. I have found a couple bulk loaders on ebay and am hoping to purchase one soon. Looks like Freestyle Arista.edu 100ft rolls are the best bargain I could find: 18 bucks for a roll of 100 Speed, 20 bucks for a roll of 400 speed. B & H had Kodak TMAX 100 ft rolls selling in the mid-20's range. Tempting, but I will stick with the Arista stuff for now. Thanks again.

  6. #16

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    I used the Arista.edu in 120, and I was not impressed. Seemed a bit for 100 speed and lord help you if you want to find times for anything beyond a handful of developers. Plus the base seemed a bit flimsy and soft.
    Official Photo.net Villain
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  7. #17
    Canuck's Avatar
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    Re: Cheap B/w FIlm

    Cheapest and best for me has been the Afga APX stuff. I can get 135-20 for $2.49 CND. You can get it by phoning The Camera Store in Calgary, AB. Can't remember the number, but they do have www.thecamerstore.com.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    I don't know how you could beat J&C's price for their Orwo (FP4+) film @ $1.39/36.
    I'm thinking about buying some rolls of this. It is worth trying. The price is GREAT, so if the results are good it may be my new portrait film.

  9. #19

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    If you're in Canada, http://www.photococan.com has Delta 400 for $4.74(Canadian). I order Agfa APX for $2.98. That's for 135-36. $2.63 for 120 and remember, that's little Canadian dollars. Since I'm in Ontario there's no provincial tax and delivery is $3.

    The have paper and dry chemicals too.

  10. #20

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    Tagging this post. When you consider the cost of the FP4 from B&H at a 100' roll, this is cheaper....
    David Savkovic

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