Cheapest Place to Buy Film ?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by paul_c|8, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Sorry guys i know this must get asked so much but times are changing and prices are changing, Im based in Australia and film is so expensive here I went to buy some instant film fp-100c and its like $21aud a pack and I wanted to buy bulk and the guy said he can do it for $16 which is still almost double what BH sell it for.
    Anyways that was just to give you an idea of what its like here, I'm in the market for some new 35mm film portra all speeds, some balck and white I usually use fp4 and hp5 may try some pan f and some delta 3200 just to have in the kit.
    Ive been looking in the UK still expensive but I have family there so shipping could be cheaper or free when they visit, Im currently looking at BH, Adorama and Freestyle but are there any other places I should be looking ? The postage is a killer ut it still works out to be cheaper.
  2. try looking for sellers on ebay. Often they have their own web stores and often they are in Hong Kong, korea and other south-asia spots. Often they have free shipping, or at least modest charges to Australia.
  3. However, there are at least a couple of factors you need to consider.
    • Does Australia insist on import duties? If so, trying to get past that may land you in more difficulties than you imagine.
    • Film is perishable. High temperatures and radiation (such as that used to 'sterilize' germ thingies) can make your brick of film into just a brick.
    You can probably ask the vendor (at least the biggies such as those you mention) about such problems and how to address them, but the end responsibility is yours.
    In any case, have you considered buying from Asia? Much film is made there and they are well up on shipping costs and such.
  4. Depending on the situation you may want to look at They have Tri X 400 re branded as arista premium (2.69 per 24 exp) they don't have a portra equivalent to my knowledge but it may be worth a look. The shipping has been reasonable to Canada, I don't know how it would be to Oz.
  5. "...may try some pan f and some delta 3200 just to have in the kit."​
    I'd advise against trying those if cost is a factor. Both are picky films. Pan F+ has a reputation for latent image instability. In my experience it's closer to a true speed of 25. The box speed of ISO 50 is a full stop underexposed. Any underexposed film has a less stable latent image, and Pan F+ seems to be worse than many films in that regard. Personally I prefer T-Max 100. Better looking film, finer grain. I actually have some expired Pan F+ I plan to give away because I don't process film often enough to make good use of that particular film. In my experience even properly exposed Pan F+ needs to be developed fairly soon after exposure. I only develop film in batches every few months, so I mostly stick with normally exposed ISO 100-400 films.
    Delta 3200, like all ultra-fast films, is vulnerable to fogging from ordinary ambient radiation. It should be used quickly, and developed promptly. Personally I prefer the looks of pushed T-Max 400 and Tri-X, up to around 1200-1600. These lack the true shadow detail of Delta 3200, but they're actually less grainy when pushed than normally exposed and developed Delta 3200. And the snappy contrast if pushed TMY and Tri-X suits my personal aesthetic preference. Delta 3200 tends to be a low to moderate contrast film and needs either longer development (with increased grain), a higher magenta filter setting during optical enlarging, or tweaking scans to get snappy contrast.
  6. That price for FP-100C looks pretty good. Anything less than USD1.00/picture seems good to me.
    I have a store nearby that sells film, but also buy some on eBay.
  7. Import duties into Australia start at $1000 dollars so it is good in that respect and the postage form NY usually gets here within 3 days which is also nice.
    You are right about PanF i have had some very old rolls once before given to me by a friend and nothing came out. I do develop my own stuff and usually develop it same day it comes out the camera or within a few weeks my I use the original Agfa Rodinal which serves me well and last a lifetime (I am a lover of grain) its more the colour neg I am worried about paying so much for really almost double here in Australia and I was unsure about film coming from Asia being the real deal or the conditions its been in as its so humid and hot there
  8. Unique photo
  9. I am partway through a 100 foot roll of Pan F+, but haven't done much latent image testing.
    Last week I developed (with Diafine, as that is what I have) a roll of VP122 that was exposed in 1956 or 1957. (Close to the beginning of VP, it is ASA 80.) One picture is the Mackinac bridge under construction. A little fogging, but latent image seems to be fine after 57 years. (The picture is in the classic cameras, Film Friday section.)
    (I believe it came from someone reselling a camera, and removing the film first.)
    There is a lot of film on eBay, including unexposed VP122, and 100 foot rolls that have been frozen, or some that haven't. I have some Panatomic-X that I bought on eBay, which as expected works just fine.
  10. Pan F+ at EI 50 in Diafine is a good combo, especially in contrasty daylight. But it still needs to be processed promptly after exposure. And I still prefer T-Max 100 for the same types of photography - landscapes, etc. TMX has good latent image stability too. I've processed normally exposed TMX that was left undeveloped for several years after exposure, many with low light/late evening shots, and the results were remarkably good.
  11. Paul,
    Fuji C200 C41 film is dirt cheap here and they ship to Australia:
    C200 isn't the best film but for that price I have been shooting a lot of it and it's not too bad at all.
    Ilford film is expensive anywhere. You can buy cheap Lucky B/W film from the Chinese eBay sellers but it's supposed to be fairly crap. I shoot Kodak T-Max and Fuji Acros as it's good quality film and is slightly cheaper than Ilford.
  12. Yeah the postage is killing us all but in yor case the best would be if you check on Ebay. 35mm Lucky, 100ASA 120 roll 100ASA. 4x5 5xx7 and 8x10 100ASA sheets BW films comes cheap from a seller in Taiwan named Isaac. Surch Shanghai films Chinese but still a good quality.

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