Film Photography

Where to buy film for your camera

This post got stale after a couple years so I updated it and republished it. Click here to read it.

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29 thoughts on “Where to buy film for your camera

  1. Andy Umbo says:

    Plus One for Blue Moon!

    Before I moved to Indianapolis for work, I was planning to join a pal of mine in Portland Oregon to get into the small house building business (long story short, he passed on, so I had to stay employed). I cannot say enough about the Pacific Northwest and classic film photography. You cannot swing a cat in Portland and Seattle and not hit someone shooting film, and even large format 8X10. It is certainly a place of kindred spirits. Blue Moon in Portland is all a part of that. Even photo coalitions in San Francisco like RayKo, with darkrooms for rent, galleries, and stores, are just so much ahead of the game (or should I say behind the game). Last time I was in Portland, I found two different darkroom rental places, so whew…

    What’s interesting is that these areas of the country have enough people with the aesthetic values to keep places like this alive and functioning. After years of working for others, and owning my own businesses, one of the things I realized is that you cannot just go into a place that doesn’t have the service you want, and recreate it hoping others will support it. You have to live where there are other like minded people willing to pay hard cash to keep it alive! It’s one reason I’m not spending my retirement money starting a black & white photolab and film store/gallery where I live now; it’d never be successful. Better to move where they DO exist.

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    • I think that if you want to get into the processing lab business in the Midwest, you really have to do mail order. Because I think you’re right, there just aren’t enough film shooters here to keep the lab alive.

      Sounds like I need to make a pilgrimage to Portland for more than one reason!

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  2. Alex Luyckx says:

    Also for Canadians in southern Ontario there’s Burlington Camera (Burlington, Ontario), Bel Arte and Camtech in Hamilton, Ontario, and Downtown Camera in Toronto, Ontario that all have wonderful film stocks in store and online you can order from Argentix.ca out of Quebec!

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  3. bodegabayf2 says:

    Ditto on all your sources. I also try to buy some film from the Mom & Pop camera shop in my little town. Their prices are higher, but I feel good supporting them. You have to be pretty brave (or nuts) to own a brick and mortar camera shop in 2016. They keep chugging along.

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    • I wonder if today it is a lifestyle business, one that gives you a meager living but is a fun ride. Anyway, the camera store downtown here sells film, but I’m almost never downtown when the joint is open.

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      • bodegabayf2 says:

        The junior college in Santa Rosa has an active photography program, so they keep a pretty decent selection of black and white and color film stocks on hand. This particular store has been in business for many years (pre-digital). Northern California has a pretty active film community. There are decent stores in Sonoma County, Marin County and across the bridge in San Francisco.

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  4. Great guide Jim, I hope it helps some people! I do try to help out my local camera stores as much as possible, especially if I want to buy just a roll or two of something different to try out. Plus, you’re going to need to get that film developed once you’ve shot it. Though maybe I’m just lucky living in Colorado Springs, having two C-41 labs in town plus easy access to E-6. Reading some of your other comments, I’d say that as far as labs in the Midwest go, some have made it work thankfully. Last time I was back home in Columbus, I took stock of the situation there, at least one C-41 lab was still running, and it looks like another camera store is in the process of opening a public darkroom! I suppose Columbus is a bit too far for Hoosiers to just pop over whenever they feel like, but hey, it’s not insanely far, either. I think these little islands can bolster the community and help it grow, so I’m sure Indiana will get there sooner or later!

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  5. Blue Moon Camera is where my film photography journey began, so they hold a special place in my heart. The owner sold me my first Holga. :) You toootally have to visit that place if you come to Portland. It’s really a remarkable place!

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  6. I find a lot of film going around to garage sales in the summer. Most of the time it works just fine. A couple years ago I got a big stash of film that had been kept cold by the sellers father for just $5. There were even several boxes of 4×5 sheet film. About the only thing I have been disappointed in so far has been when I come across some old Polaroid film.

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  7. George Denzinger says:

    It’s neat to see all those canisters of film. Photography is not my medium, but I have a daughter who has a great eye. (I’m more into oils). Regardless, in my working life I’ve dealt with photographers and labs and etc. Neat to see that some of this stuff is still available. I think so much has been lost by the transition to CCD and digital editing. I’m sure I’m talking to people who know about dodge & burn, but do any of the younger folks know? What’s that funny lollipop thing in Photoshop for, anyway?

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    • While I still really love film, I also I’m glad digital is here. I can’t imagine a time when I would ever have my own darkroom – but I surely have a computer, and can edit my digital photos all night long!

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  8. Dan Cluley says:

    Any suggestions for processing? I think the last film I shot, Meijer was still doing one hour 35mm. I know they still have a place to send it out, but my mom has been getting reprints from negs, and the quality & service has been hit or miss.

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  9. Here in the UK we can buy Fujicolor 200, rebranded as AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200, for £1 ($1.44) in a discount store called Poundland, although they are usually 24-exposure rolls rather than 36s.

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    • yeah. I keep hearing about this mouthwatering price on this film. Gonna be in Ireland in Sept.; was sad to learn that Poundland doesn’t have any stores there.

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