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Wednesday, May 14

How's your Film Stash?

I think we'd get some advance notice if film were ever to reach the point where the last few rolls were about to leave the production line. But, just in case, I think we all tend to have half a mind on building up a stash as insurance against that day ever arriving.

How much film you'd need in reserve to meet your demands for years to come obviously depends on how much you tend to go through and what age you are. If you shoot one roll a month and are 60 then you might be happy with a hundred rolls. Heaven help you if you're 23 and get through several a week!

I stumbled upon this article on the Japan Camera Hunter website, an interesting place to visit if you haven't already found it, where readers were invited to "show us your film". Personally, I have about 20 sheets of 5x4, three rolls of 120, 17 rolls of 36-exposure 35mm, one roll in the SL66 and three 35mm rolls in cameras. That's not a lot but the balloon hasn't gone up yet and I'd re-mortgage the house to buy enough film to see my boots off if it ever does.

Some photographers are more organised and, like the guy who owns the stash in the pic at the top of the post, like to have most options covered. Most of the respondents had similar stashes to my own.

Over on the I Shoot Film group on Flickr, one guy revealed he has the following - more than 250 rolls if I've added it up correctly:

35mm in long term freezer:
40 x Kodak Gold 100
40 x Kodak Gold 200
40 x Kodak Color Plus 200
20 x Kodak Ektar
10 x Kodak Portra 400
6 x Kodak e 100 VS
6 x Kodak Elitechrome 100
3 x Kodak Elitechrome 200
5 x Tmax 400
5 x Tmax 100
2 x BW400CN (bought some, never shot it)
5 x Fuji Velvia 50
5 x Fuji Provia 100
10 x Fuji 800 color

120 in long term freezer.
20 x Kodak e 100 VS
10 x Kodak Ektar
10 x Kodak Tri X 400

In Fridge, only cold:
6 Gold 200
2 Max 400
2 TMax 400
1 Ektar
3 Fuji 800
2 Fuji 200
3 Large ziploc bags full of loose purchased (estate and thrift store, church sale) film mostly Kodak and Fuji also some off-name store brand stuff. 100 - 400, C41 and BW, even some E6 here. Remarkably I find a lot of film marked "kept cold" at such sales. And if i am at an estate sale where the person was obviously a photographer, I buy any and all film there.

120 in fridge, not much
2 x Tri X 400
1 x Ektar

He urged fellow enthusiasts to "Buy Fresh. Buy Often".

Another from that same group, fellow FADU member Pentax Pete (alias Peter Elgar), posted this pic of his stash:

That's an impressive hoard - I'm guessing more than most of us have in the fridge - but would it be enough to see out your film photography days?

How's your own film stash? Are you future-proofed or do you really need to start setting some film aside right now? Or would you just bite the bullet come the day and switch to digital? Please use the comments to let us know.


Antonio Aparicio said...

Lets see:

2 Rolls FP4+ 120
1 Roll FP4+ 135
2 Rolls Tri-X 135

Why stash film when you can buy fresh every week?

David Arbuthnott said...

My "stash" is about the same size as yours Bruce but its all 35mm as that's all I use. If they stopped making film I don't think i'd be able to afford enough film to keep using it until I "retired". you're talking about thousands of pounds aren't you? I don't think I'd bother with digital. it doesn't interest me in the slightest so i'd take up bowling or surfing. :)

Jim Grey said...

In 35mm, I have four rolls of Fujicolor 200, four of Fuji Superia Xtra 800, one Portra 400, two expired Plus-X, two Kentmere 100. In 120 I have four E100G and one Portra I think. I also have two Fuji FP-3000B for my packfilm Polaroids and one very expired pack of film for a Polaroid 600 camera.

This is all crammed into the top shelf of my refrigerator door, where the eggs are supposed to go.

Part of what drives me to shoot film (as I don't hate megapixels) is not knowing when or whether the end will come.

Omar Özenir said...

About 25 rolls of Tmax400 - 120
about 20 rolls of Tmax400 - 135
5 rolls of Delta3200 - 120

less than 10 rolls each of Fomapan100-135 and Silvermax-135, which I bought to see how they are like.

And then there's this single roll of Kodak Highspeed Infrared film which has been occupying it's own volume for about 7 years now (gift of a friend). Don't have the corresponding filter, hence can't use it. It must be fogged to death by now anyway.


Michael Stevens said...

I tend to hoard bulk rolls of HP5 and FP4 against the risk of being short of film during an unforeseen spike in picture taking. But I do feel a bit guilty that I'm not supporting Ilford – and other current manufacturers – by buying fresh film more frequently.

Herman Sheephouse said...

And I thought I was bad - I currently have too much 5x4 (about 170 sheets), 13 rolls of varying B&W 120 and 10 rolls of 35mm B&W.
I'd love to get it all out and show you, but it would get all condensationy!

Herman Sheephouse said...

Omar - I had a roll of exposed Kodak Infrared which was forgotten, in a cupboard occupied by a hot water tank, for around 8 or 9 years . . I then processed it in Rodinal 1:50. It was a little dense in places (well, more like black acetate) but I am pretty sure it is printable, I've just forgotten to.

John Robison said...

I have a small stash, perhaps 10 rolls 35mm 36exp B&W and 15 rolls 120 B&W, plus a few rolls in cameras. I also have 10 sheets of 4X5 Fuji color negative film in an unopened box. That came from a garage sale in the neighborhood along with 6 4X5 DDS (my belated introduction to 4X5). However I have never shot any film with them, only expiermented with paper negatives.

Except for the C-41 Fuji I do not have any color film. The problem these days is the expence of developing it. All local C-41 has closed. I'd have to send the film away and that incures postage plus developing cost, too much for an old guy on a fixed income. Yes, I could order a Tetnal kit but I notice even that price has increased 50% in the last year and now they say it can only do 8 rolls per kit. That works out to about $4/roll when you add shipping to the kit price.

I've developed my own B&W for 45 years and fortunately have enough HC-110 and Ilford fixer to go for a long time. One thing that helps in the 35mm is that I also shoot half frame.

The steady increase of film prices makes me want to buy more now and put it in the fridge.

Oh, has anyone else noticed there is almost no savings anymore in buying film in 100 ft. bulk rolls?

Anonymous said...

I've about 150 rolls of 120 and 35mm around me. It's moving ever so slowly now as I'm with a video still camera for convenience.

Iv £5,000 to hand for the day when film is withdrawn. It'll never happen in my lifetime.

Btw, Ilford advised in a recent Mobberley meeting that B&W film doesn't go off unless seriously abused. So never throw it away.


Paul Glover said...

Not counting rolls in cameras or waiting for development...

2 rolls Fuji Superia 400 35mm
6 rolls Ilford FP4+ 35mm bulk rolled
3 rolls Kodak Tri-X 120

I'll be picking up some more 120 soon, and will likely get another 100 foot roll of 35mm which will last me quite a while as I'm moving more to medium format now.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, film photography is thriving in Japan; as shown here

About three pages in is a post that mentions a price rise in Kodak Tri-X from June: almost a 30% increase.


Kevin Allan said...

I have a very modest stash of about 40-50 rolls, mostly 120. I'm running down the 35mm pile so that I can concentrate on medium format.

The only element of the stash I can really justify hoarding is the 11 rolls of Efke 100 in 127 format for my Baby Rollei, since I can't buy new 127 film. For everything else, I could keep less in stock and buy fresh when needed.

Dave said...

I have about 700 sheets of 5x4" transparency film in the freezer, and a few dozen rolls of 120 (all mainly Velvia 50, with some 100/100f, Provia and E100VS). None of this was bought at full price I might add! Mostly all expired/short-dated or otherwise clearouts from digital ship-jumpers (more fool them).

Since monochrome supply seems more secure in the long term I've not felt the need to stock up so much, but I do have 50-100 sheets of b&w film in at the minute. Not got room for any more until I eat the couple of legs of lamb languishing in the bottom of the freezer.

Personally speaking most of this was not bought to "stock up", rather bought to shoot, but then real life gets in the way and before you know it you've only shot 50 sheets of film in a year!

Ghengis said...

'Bout 100 rolls of 35MM. Mostly Color but some cool B&W stuff. Some Kodak XX (5222) cine film spooled in 36 exp. rolls I've been slacking on trying out. I acquire expired stuff all the time from guys who are leaving film behind. Thanks to them I have tons of film.

Anonymous said...

I have about 20 rolls of 35mm. Half is a mix bag of professional and Superia C41. About five rolls each of Acros 100, Tmax 100, and Delta 3200. Just bought a Tachihara 4x5 so that should prove interesting.