No film, yet……….

2009, Photography

I looked for some black and white film today in my hometown, but nothing to be found. I really want to try it again and compare the photographs with those of my GX200.
Handshoe by Wouter Brandsma
Photograph by Wouter Brandsma

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27 thoughts on “No film, yet……….

  1. Hi Wouter
    Yes,…..lovely film….so much character. You could check on the internet to get some good BW film.
    Here in the Netherlands, it is not only increasingly difficult to get good film but also to get it developed nicely. I have tried many stores and in some it did not make any difference whether you had a wonderful Velvia or a Hema 2.95Euro film.

    For BW, I would always recommend to develop it yourself.
    Cheers,
    aphotoaday

  2. I agree. I checked kamera-express.nl and fotokonijnenberg.nl for prices of the Kodak Tri-X 400. I saw 36 exposures for 4 Euro. You are right that developing myself is the best, but available space seems a problem (and a good scanner too). Developing at Hema is only 2.59 Euro so that is not too bad.

    I was just suprised that there was no B&W film available anymore in Ede. And we all cheere: “Film is not dead, just not very much available!”

    Cheers,
    Wouter

  3. I am very interested in your findings, Wouter! I read alot about the debate digital/film, but it seems that a lot of opinions are biased. Film people hate digital and vice versa. I think it is hard to find an honest opinion.

    I trust you to give us a different look on this issue. But it is kind of strange that it so hard to get film in a city like yours that is not to be considered small!? And to be honest you live in quite a conservative region so film should be available? (just a sidestep with a blink of an eye)

    hope you find your film! ronald

  4. I find those debates very interesting, but I didn’t learn anything from it. So, that is way I want to try it for myself and compare it. And I look really forward to it.

    Strange, isn’t it? I think people in the Bibble belt don’t do much photography anyway. But than, many don’t have a tv here either (but how comes so many films are rented here?).

    I will find my film. I am very sure about that.

  5. I’m surprised for the unavailability of film in your town too, Wouter.

    I’ve recently bought some film from Hong Kong. At the shop, one of the largest camera shops in Hong Kong, I can find more than I thought. Fujicolor, Kodak and even Ilford. Kodak Tri-X 400TX is just sold at about 3.5 Euro. Discount is offered for a pack of 10 rolls.

    As a matter of fact, film is only for the minority now. Most shops don’t sell it anymore. As Polaroid have stopped their film production and I’ve heard that Kodak film will be discontinued, the future of film is really not bright. Will film be like vinyl records to have a revival? I doubt it. Anyway, as long as I still can buy film, I’ll use it.

    Don’t give up, Wouter. Hope you can get the film you want! I look forward to your film works soon. Good luck!

  6. Hi W

    This might sound Crazy
    but FREESTYLE in California
    is sooo Cool for Photographic Supplies.

    They sell Arista Premium /everyone swears its Trix repackaged
    for just $1.89 per roll
    (its the only place I can find the developer ‘Rodinal’ here in the States)
    so at least LOOK at their site
    I’m sure there is something Closer ….
    in Europe somewhere
    but I love their Service & Products & Prompt Delivery
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/

    All the Best- H

  7. ***Gave the WRONG address up Above***
    Just Type in Freestyle

    Cheers – I’m off to Bed sooo Sleepy
    helen

  8. Film is still available at some online shops and in larger cities Mike, but I do believe that things will get more difficult in the near future.

    Thank you Helen for mentioning Freestyle Photo. With the current exchange rate that seems very interesting indeed. I could look for UK suppliers too. Since the GBP lost most of its value, prices have become very good for mainland Europeans.

    And when I like the results of film I might even think about developing it myself too, but who knows? I shot the last film more than 5 years ago.

    Mark, are you the won who posted an article about educating the barbarians???????? 😀

  9. Wouter, Tri-X won’t fit into the GX200. Just kidding 🙂 . A lot of people and companies were taken by surprise seeing film declining so fast with the introduction of more affordable digital cameras with decent resolution. Kodak is using their brand to sell low end consumer digital cameras and failed in the high end. Fuji is selling consumer digital cameras with a few reworked Nikon semi-pro bodies that have some limited success, particularly in the wedding photography business.

    Film will stay for special purposes but mainstream it’s gone. It will become more difficult and also more expensive to buy and develop it in the future. I shot less than a roll of film since I bought my Nikon D70 and have never looked back.

  10. Hi Wouter, this is the company from which I buy my film and alchemy http://www.retrophotographic.com/ worth a check as may ship to Netherlands. I don’t want to get into a digital/film debate as views are very polarised and such arguements are futile and a total waste of time. For me personally monochrome is still with film especially in medium format. Here in the UK mail order is MUCH cheaper than in shops. And if it helps try Tri-X at EI800 or EI1600 in 1:150 Rodinal. Agitate for 30s and then leave for two hours. Wash and fix in the usual way. I’ve also used this stand method for HC-110 and Moersch Tanol. Grain is a little more than with standard development but it builds shadow detail and holds the highlight. The result is a very sharp high resolution neg with a contrast range that the digital boys can only dream of. Works well with most films especially FP4 and Neopan. There’s millions of film users in East Europe and China which will keep eastern european firms like FOMA in business for the forseeable future. Digital monochrome just isn’t the same, defferent feel, and I think it has to go some way before even being equal with monochrome film. I wish someone would produce a completely monochrome digital camera. All the best.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing Chris. This is such an interesting read. Although I have not yet any plans on developing it myself, this information might be handy when I start doing it.

  12. I’ve been playing with an old OM-1 I found in some cases I had in store; I thought I had sold all my Olympus bodies but not quite! So I have been shooting some TMX 400. Developing yourself does not need space; all you need is a dark bag to load the film in the tank. It has been fun, but I don’t think there is any miracle or special quality to the images. It seems that at the print level by using some of the grain simulators available and by using a lightroom preset that simulates the spectral response of the film I can get essentially the same results from digital (and using a higher ISO too!). Of course exposure needs to be a little more accurate with digital than with negative film. And while the dynamic range on a dslr is enough to give the same printable DR as film, film will give more usuable in a print DR than most compact digitals.

    But I think it’s no the technical difference that matters;’ as I say at least with a APS or larger sensor you can make digital look just the same. It’s the effect on the photographer as you slow down, feel the clockwork in the OM1, imagine the film being affected by the light, know that you can’t take extra frames because of the hassle and expense. All of that might be making me take different pictures!

  13. What David said is pretty much spot-on. It’s already redundant to compare both medium quality-wise. It’s all about how a photographer feels with film. To me, it feels great. 🙂

  14. I think you summed it up so well David in the last paragraph. Slowing down and be more consious of your doing.

    It might be redundant to compare film and digital results in general. So many have done it, so many have expressed their feelings and opinions about it. But I never compared it and I really want to see the differences. I used my last roll of film in 2004 and I want to see and feel it for myself.

  15. I think it also comes from the feeling that I miss using my GR1. It is still the one and only camera I never had any doubts about when I purchased it. Such a beautiful camera.

  16. Wouter, it seems that now is the time when everyone is looking at film again. Maybe you should just put any roll of film through your GR1 and go out shooting. Would be very interesting to see your results and read your opinion on it.

  17. I might pick up color film first with the intention to convert the scanned negatives to B&W. And in the meantime searching for B&W film in other nearby places or ordering it via internet.

  18. Wouter I’d have a look for some Ilford XP-2 super chromogenic B&W in a big photo shop or on the web (there is also a Kodak film like this). It processes in color chemistry, which means that you can get it processed at any good photo processor mechanically, and the quality will be fine. A traditional B&W is maybe not the best idea unless you develop it yourself; cowboy developers can completely ruin it, and professional hand developing costs the earth (there’s no technical reason why a repeatable machine couldn’t be made for it, but no-one ever did because of lack of demand, since the appeal was largely to enthusiasts who wanted to see the effect of different kinds of developing) . Also the chromogenic stuff has incredible exposure latitude, so if you get it scanned well you can get great dynamic range. One thing to look out for: a lot of scanning services around here give you an 8 bit file; if you do much dodging and burning or darkening down likely you’ll get banding, so make sure they give you a 16 bit file.

  19. I don’t know, film is great…but wow, I am addicted to digital photog. My uncle shoots only film. He’s an amazing landscape photographer, has his own dark room and everything. Our family was together Thanksgiving, we talked. I got the impression he has no desire to go digital.

    I agree, to shoot film and compare it with digital would be interesting. I no longer own a 35mm camera. Good luck finding film.

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