Hoarding Film?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by NHSN, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. With the constant flux in film availability and pricing, I tend to buy a brick or 30m bulk roll now and then if available and if the price is fair.

    Today, I just noticed all my regular local waterholes were out of my preferred B&W in 30m bull rolls, and one place which seemly got fresh stock was priced 50% above their previous price (which -to be fair- was the lowest in the city).
    Regardless, I panicked a little and started scanning EU online shops for new sources.
    Before buying I decided to do a quick inventory of my stash, and noticed I have the equivalent of almost 250 rolls of film!
    With an average consumption of 3 rolls a month, that is 6.5 years worth of film.

    In my mind I have been telling myself that I probably maintained about 2 years worth as a buffer for fluctuations in availability and price - but 6+ years worth! - it is not like I use some exotic film type in danger of extinction.

    Yet, I still feel an urgent need of buying more!

    Am I normal? Should I just buy motordrives for my cameras?

    Or a more serious question: How much film do you keep in stock in order to have what you need, when you need it?
  2. Half a dozen spare SD and CF cards does for me... and I don't have to keep them in the fridge.
    ajkocu likes this.
  3. Yeah RJ, I know you live a simple life ;)
    murray_kelly likes this.
  4. For me the problem is not the availability of film, per se. It's the increasingly difficult business of getting processing. Even in B&W, my favorite is Ilford XP-2, a C41 film. I can do conventional D-76, etc. films at home, but the developers I prefer make such large volumes that it tends to go bad before I use it all....
    NHSN likes this.
  5. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Had the same issue, saw this Link SIMPLICITY STARTER PACK the other day. Haven't bought yet, but tempted.
    NHSN likes this.
  6. I keep a couple of rolls. I would never use expired film regardless. If they don't sell film any more so be it. I love film but I don't like hoarding.
    NHSN likes this.
  7. That's easy, just develop in HC-110. XP-2 is beyond great in HC-110 - google it.
    I love the versatility of that film - it is especially great for travelling if you have concerns about x-ray, just have it C41 processed at the location, otherwise you loose nothing if souped in HC-110 (and probably others - but that is all I use).
  8. I recently found a few misplaced rolls of 400TX and HP5+ expired in 2012 and 2013, kept at room temp, and I seriously see no difference in the results compared with the fresh rolls developed the same way.
    Most of the film I have in stock will expire in 2023/24 thus will pass its expiry date at my current usage rate - but I will not sweat over that.
    I am not certain about the longevity of my color film, but I tend to buy Kodak Pro Image 100 which is said to be designed to withstand hot asian climate without refrigeration - but I have yet no personal experience using expired stock of that film.
  9. AJG


    I never used to stock more than a few months worth of film, but with prices increasing I bought a supply of mostly fresh but some outdated Tri-X 35 from a fellow photo net member which should last me for a couple of years. I've used some of it and the outdated film (dated 2019) was fine, as I expected. I still have lots of room in my small refrigerator, so I guess I don't qualify for hoarder status yet...
  10. I shoot mostly 35mm B&W............HP5 and FP4. I buy several rolls of each and just buy more when i run out.
    For color negs it has been Color Plus-200. I usually bought that 15 rolls at a time. I have 5 left.
    I was Shocked at the price of that "Budget" color film when i looked last night.
    It is +/- 2x the price i paid about 2 years ago

    I do shoot Provia 100. But just to document the Grand kids growing up. So maybe 2-3-4 rolls (at the most) a year of that.
    I do not even pay attention to the cost of buying it or developing it. I don't want to know :)

    I have never frozen my film.
    I double bag it with a few Silica Packs and keep it in the refrigerator. My Color Plus-200 is probably 3 years old when i shoot the last of it. Never had a problem.
    Perhaps Guys/Gals that keep it longer need to freeze.?
  11. About 10years ago my local drugstore and supermarket were just blowing out film for some reason. Something like $2-$3 per 4-roll boxes of 24exp. of new film. So I bought them up. Weird thing was, I thought they were just dumping old inventory but then a week later, they were restocked again and @ $2-$3 per 4-roll boxes. And then again.. So, now I have about 20 boxes of film in my otherwise unused freezer (I'm single). But then, interest in film started to pick up and I've never seen those prices again...
  12. I have two 30m rolls of Panatomic-X that I bought not so many years ago, though when the prices were more reasonable.
    As with cameras, I bid low and get too many.

    They are in my basement darkroom, which is below usual room temperature, especially in the winter.
    It lasts much longer than Tri-X, maybe 50 or 60 years, without noticeable fog.
    (Maybe 20 years for Tri-X.)

    I don't have near as much C-41 film, but fortunately there is a C-41 lab not so far away.
    (About a 10 minute walk from the Space Needle.)

    I have some rolls of VP in sizes that they haven't made for years, and that also last for many years.
    (VP was designed for those who might take a year to use a roll.)

    There is a Facebook group: Vintage film shooters, for people who like to use old film.
    (Personally, I would rather have new, but much isn't made anymore.)

    There is also one: Expired film collectors. This one seems to discourage anyone actually
    suggesting that it be used. Like coin collectors who like uncirculated coins, they wan't
    their film to be in close to the original condition.

    Otherwise, there is currently much uncertainty and variability in the supply chain.
    Unless it goes out of production, I suspect prices will be more reasonable in a
    year or two. But some might go away.

    According to the above mentioned lab, film use went up during Covid time, as many
    social activities were restricted. No idea what happens now.
  13. Thanks for the alternatives for XP2.

    I'll definitely look into the HC110 route, but the last time I tried alternative developers (to D76) was in the late 60s (!).

    Talk about stuck in a rut.:rolleyes:
  14. When I was young, I learned about buying recently expired film from my father. Black and white film is dated two or three years out, a few days or weeks won't hurt it. (Unless you keep it at high temperature. Then it will go bad, way before the date.)

    But there are also people who like using film as old as possible, 30, 40, 50, 60 years, just for the challenge of using old film.
  15. OP, don't worry about it. It is easy for things to get away from us unless you keep strict records. It is like money in the bank.
    NHSN likes this.
  16. Braxus Photography Fun: Film Freezer - Part 2 - YouTube

    One of my videos showing my freezer stash. I could definately qualify as a hoarder. I dont shoot that often, so I never use all this film I have. Yet I keep buying more of it. I basically get the discontinued stuff mostly, but occassionally buy new in stock film. I develop my own B&W film now, but Im lucky I still have 3 labs in the valley here I can send film to for color.
    Mike Gammill and NHSN like this.
  17. I shoot fresh and expired film. I like the color shifts in the expired color. I also cross process my slide film. I have a dorm fridge full and a tupperware in a bigger fridge. Mostly expired and discontinued..
    NHSN likes this.
  18. Years ago B&H regularly sold outdated film at a good discount. I always figured that expiration dates leaned towards the conservative side and never had any problems with such film. In fact, if I remember correctly, B&H made its original reputation being the go-to place for outdated film. I store film in my basement, which maintains a rather constantly cool temperature throughout the seasons.
  19. I once bought a very recently outdated 100 foot roll of PanF+ from a local store,
    kept refrigerated. (You actually select them out of a refrigerator.)

    I wasn't at all worried about it.

    I might wonder about a smaller store, in a tropical area, and without
    air conditioning, though.
  20. Freestyle once offered past date film at attractive prices, but also stocked fresh as well. I think now the closest they come to that is the occasional short-dated special. Never had any problems with any outdated film or paper that I bought from them.

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