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  1. #1
    ZoneIII's Avatar
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    Velvia 50, disappointment with Calumet

    Since its inception, my color film of choice was Velvia (RVP). I shoot primarly in 4x5" but also some 8x10". When RVP was discontinued, I switched to Velvia 100. I really didn't care for that film even though it had great reciprocity characteristics and other technical advantages. There was simply a look to RVP that is unmatched for color landscape work. My large stock of Velvia 100 film is almost gone now and I was looking forward to getting some of the new Velvia 50. I was suprised to see that Calumet doesn't carry it in any format. B&H does carry it in all formats including sheet film sizes but I am told that it is only sold in 10-sheet boxes now. I prefer to buy from Calumet when possible because they are close to me and I usually receive orders the very next day and also their customer service has always been outstanding. But I was very disappointed when I called them today. The guy I talked to said that it wasn't "convenient" for Calumet to carry the film. He couldn't even special order it for me. Even worse, he made it clear that he simply couldn't care less and that he didn't want to bother with me or the film at all. In fairness, after dealing with Calumet for decades, this was the first time that I was not treated like a valued customer.

    It seems odd to me that a film that is immensely popular with landscape photographers - especially large format color landscape photographers, and which was brought back into production by popular demand and that may be the most popular E6 film made is not even available from Calumet by special order. I got the feeling that the guy I talked to not only didn't want to bother with customers but he also may have hated film. There is no practical digital equivalent to large format Velvia film, IMO. (My primary sales these days are for very large display prints for hospitals, professional offices, private collections, etc.)

    I was getting an order for a bunch of stuff ready but now I will place it with B&H instead.

    Does anyone know if it's true that Velvia 50 is only available in 10 sheet boxes now (regular sheets - not Quickloads)? Also, if you use Velvia 50 in sheet film sizes, where are you getting it?

  2. #2
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Megaperls (http://www.unicircuit.com/shop) has Velvia in 50-sheet boxes. I am not certain if this format is only available in Asia (Megaperls is in Japan) or if North American retailers have simply chosen not to sell the product. I'd guess the former.

    In any event, if you want 50-sheet boxes, you can get them. You may want to check the price for 5 10-sheet boxes from B&H or Adorama first to see if, considering shipping costs, they are more economical than ordering from Megaperls.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  3. #3
    ZoneIII's Avatar
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    Thanks much, PhotoJim.

    I have to follow-up on my original post because Calumet just called me and bent over backwards to make up for what happened earlier today. That's the Calumet that I have always known! It turns out that they do have Velvia 50 film in stock but it's just not listed on their website now for some reason. The guy I talked to originally just didn't bother to check even though he said he did and he also said he couldn't order it for me. He must have been having a bad day, that's all. After talking to him, I sent Calumet an email telling them of my disappointment with them earlier today and a gentlemen called James called me shortly after I sent the message and he went above and beyond to make things right. Over the years, Calumet has always been a class-act with the single exception of the guy I talked to earlier today. They have more than redeemed themselves.

    Before James called, I did place an order for a bunch of boxes of Velvia 50 4x5" film and also a Pro-Pack of Velvia 50 for testing purposes. After placing the order, I realized that it probably won't be delivered in time for a short trip I am leaving on later in the week. I wanted to shoot some Velvia so I can test do development tests with it when I get back home. But James is sending me a box of ten sheets for that purpose and I will have it tomorrow.

  4. #4
    ZoneIII's Avatar
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    PhotoJim,

    I couldn't get the link you posted to work. Is it possible that there's a typo in it?

  5. #5
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  6. #6

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    Amusing. When it was first re-released, the ONLY place I could get it in NYC was Calumet, which I rarely went to before that.

    And I thank APUG for giving me that lead at the time, and just in time for my trip to Zion.

  7. #7
    ZoneIII's Avatar
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    Thanks, PhotoJim. That'll do it!

    Terence: As I mentioned in my follow-up message, it turns out that Calumet does carry it but they don't list it on their website (at least not as of last week) and the guy I talked to at Calumet said they didn't carry it at all and couldn't special order it for me. And that's after he got off the line for a minute to check on it! That guy must have been having a bad day. James Mielke from Calumet than called me and fixed me up, redeeming Calumet for what the first guy did. They're class-acts!



 

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