Here in Montreal, I have two choices. Either I go to stores on the weekends, only to spend too much time in traffic, finding parking space. Then the store does not have what I want, 120 or 4x5, BW chemistry. Or, on Sunday night, a few clicks on B&H, I get what is needed, delivered at my door on wednesday. Low shipping costs, import duties and GST tax all taken care of on B&H website. Guess where my business goes...
I think hoarding, unless performed on a super scale bringing you the end of your statistical life expectancy, is useless. You are only introducing a (short) delay in the inevitable. Might as well adapt to current supplies and be happy with what is available.
order a couple of bricks and shoot away.
I buy my film mainly on line, my local pro dealer only had in total about fifty rolls of film 120 and 135 in stock the last time I was there and when I asked if that was all they had they said " very few of our customers still use film, if you give us an order for reasonable amount we can get it for you", they quoted me some prices, I could get it considerably cheaper direct from Fuji U.K on line,but I didn't tell them that I have a good relationship with them and don't want to upset them
I have not hoarded film in the past but I am now building a supply of 100' rolls from Freestyle, including the Premium (Tri-x). Even got, direct from Kodak, a roll of 100' 16mm Double-xx for the spy camera. For 120 and sheet film I plan to buy a few bricks and boxes. All going in the freezer. I don't consider bulk loading a hassle.
I keep 3 to 10 rolls of a type on hand depending on my general use. And the normal basic delivery for me here outside of Philadelphia gets me deliveries from B&H in two days (and without burning gas). In my area there is very little 120 film around. Last I was in my local shop, they had some 35mm PX125, 24 exposures, for something like $8.99 a roll. I like Plus-X, but not that much!
I have to agree, it's pretty easy to buy film online these days. Buy it Sunday night from B&H and it's delivered to my door on Wednesday. I usually buy several rolls at a time in order to spread the shipping cost out over several rolls (shipping is the same whether I buy 1 roll or 10 - I think the shipping cost goes up once I hit 13 rolls). Of course this drives my wife crazy because it's usually a $40+ order.
Now if I could just find someplace stateside that sells the Made-in-Japan Agfa Prescia so I could see how it looks. I got to shoot one roll of Sensia befofre it was discontinued and really like the colors. The flesh-colors were especially good with this film.
The situation is much the same up here: selection is generally poor and the prices typically run 50 to 75 per cent higher than those offered by B&H/Adorama/Freestyle and their peers. Even with shipping and taxes, for a sizeable order (I generally order 50 to 100 rolls-plus at a time) the savings (and convenience, of course) are substantial. As much as I would like to be able to do some shopping locally, I just do not have the time or inclination to chase after "a few rolls here, a few rolls there..."
I bought 140 rolls of 120 tri-x from freestyle for $3.75 a roll at the tail end of last year,it all expires on 11/2013.It's in my freezer and should last 'til 2016 at the speed I shoot.When it runs out I'll order more-this easily beats all the driving around I used to do trying to fnd film before the internet era and it's still less than I used to pay in the 90's.Got it Good.