Well, to keep a stock, I buy 100 sheets of 4x5 at a time, and find that they go bad faster than 10 sheet boxes. Once opened, film ages faster.
For paper, I would buy 100 sheet boxes of my favorite size(s). I think that 1000 sheet boxes would go fast more readily as well.
I used a lot of film and paper, along with interneg film when available and a lot of other stuff, but now I make my own B&W product so it is not so much of a problem. I think that film usage will devolve from color to tricolor using B&W and Carbro, Bromoil or Dye Transfer. A regression so to speak, or digital output of the print.
And, the film David speaks of prints just fine in my enlarger. There is a tad lower contrast due to the higher dmin.
Originally Posted by Ray Heath
Maybe it will let him think about photography and not worry about materials by committing to a process and not dithering around with this and that.
My opinion. I think you should develop a strategy of using film stock that is "most likely" to still be around in 10 years. As opposed to buying film stock now for use for the next 10 years.
It is possible that there will be further improvements in color negative films from both Fuji and Kodak. If you already "have" your film, then you wouldn't take advantage of these improvements.
It is the continued purchase and use of product that will help ensure its survival.
The motto of every film photographer should be "shoot plentifully and often". I do my part. I shot 60 sheets of 5x7 b/w last thursday, and I shot 24 sheets of 4x5 Ektachrome monday.
I actual had a chance to speak to the Kodak guy at foto 3 alone, and he was not real optimistic about the survival of film. Here is the progression disappearance he noted. First will come the Readyloads which is already happening, then color slide film will go, and then Portra 160VC will go which is what I am shooting. Portra 160NC could hang around for a long time, and b&w film will most likely be here for the longest time. No distinction was made between sheet film vs roll film. So I do not know if he was just talking about roll film or when it goes all formats go. He thinks we got two years before heads starts to roll, but it was an interrupt driven conversation, and I finally gave up.
So I am now considering developing a strategy for long term storage of film. I buy 8x10 and cut it down to 5x7 and 4x10. I have small older chest freezer with no auto defrosting that could hold around 100 ten sheet 8x10 boxes of film. I am also going to be talking to the freezer guys about shutting off the frostless feature on a new bigger freezer. I raised the question about the future of film at the foto 3 meeting about using lead foil (not aluminum foil) to further reduce the effects of background radiation, but someone said it would not work. I was too drugged out at that meeting from neck spinal surgery to ask aggressive questions and follow through on unclear answers. No one there dared to ask the the big question of how much longer can film hold on.
So does anyone know why lead foil will not work?
The Kodak guy said the Portra film could be frozen as long as the seal was not broken. Once the seal in the box is broken then crystallization can occur in high humidity condition when the film is frozen. So they recommend cold refriguration after the seal is frozen.
I am also aware that the difference between Portra VC and and NC is not that much, and I could switch to NC once VC disappears.
My goal is to identify all of the issues and solutions, and get the infrastructure in place and slowly start to build stock. Once the writing is on the wall it is just a matter of making the final big purchase. I am looking at 200 boxes total at $17,000.
This fall my intent is to do some heavy testing of Portra NC, Portra VC, and Fuji color negative film and make the call on which one I am going to commit to, and then slowly start building stock.
I am optimistiic that I could get 10 good years of shooting film after it disappears. My goal is to shoot 20 boxes of film a year, or 400 sheets of 5x7 or 4x10 (2 per sheet), or 200 compositions (2 sheets for each composition). That is a lot of shooting and a lot of work with a large format camera. I do landscape full time now, and I am determined to go down in flames before they bury me.
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Point well taken. If I cannot find that big of a difference between the three films noted above I may go with Portra 160NC just because it is still the most profitable.
Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE
I suspect in may be prudent to come up with a suite of standardized tests that would check for film speed changes, changes to the slope of the characteristic cuvre, and color shifts. Each year you could run these test on our stock and make compensations on how to expose and process the film as it ages. Any thoughts on this?
if you guys stock up now, what are you going to do later?
say you store enough for x number of years, firstly, how would you know it's enough?
what are going to do if you run out early?
I think it is not necessary to stock up for the next ten years.
In a german film magazine ("schmalfilm", "small format") was an article about that topic and especially Kodak. There was an official statement from Kodak CEO Antonio Perez: He said that Kodak recently has made some long-term contracts with their customers for analogue photo and film products. Due to this long term contracts the film production at Kodak is safe for the next ten years at least. The sales of 35mm print film are continously increasing since 1999.
A friend of mine is working at a european film manufacturer. There they had to increase their production recently by 60 % due to strong demand. Fuji has reported increasing sales numbers of professional photo films. Both Fuji and Kodak have introduced improved professional films every year during the last years. I don't think they would have invested millions of dollars if the market would not be there. They certainly know what they do when they invest in new photo and cine films.
As I understand it, a lot of the background radiation is from high-energy particles that travel completely through the earth. So a bit of lead foil is irrelevant.
So does anyone know why lead foil will not work?
Some of the radiation can be from "local" sources, such as Radon, and in that case, its effect on the film is probably the least concern.