You might have found Grandpa’s old film camera and want to try it. Or you might be an experienced film photographer looking for a reliable, affordable film supply. It’s not like the corner drugstore has a huge display of films anymore. So where, exactly, do you buy film today? Can you still buy film?
Absolutely. I shoot a lot of film and so I’m always looking for places in the United States where I can buy it for the best price. I buy my favorite film, Fujicolor 200, at Meijer. It’s like a slightly upscale Walmart that you’ll find in several Midwestern states. I get it four for about $10, making it a solid bargain. And it’s pretty good stuff. Check it out:
I’ve seen similar film bargains at Walmart. I’ve also sometimes seen film at the chain pharmacies, and the camera store in my city always has film, but it’s pricey. I find better prices online, even when you factor in shipping. I’ve shopped around a lot over the years, but keep coming back to these online stores.
Film Photography Project Store — Check them out here. I love the FPP for reminding film shooters everywhere to not overthink this hobby, and to have fun experimenting with it. Their store carries many of the fresh films you are looking for from Kodak and Fuji. They also keep some fresh Agfa and Lomography films in stock.
What sets the FPP Store apart is all the audacious extra stuff it carries. Expired and no-longer-manufactured films (often always stored cold). Motion-picture films, surveillance films, low-ISO films (ISO 0.6 anyone?), and infrared films, all hand-rolled into 35mm canisters. Russian films.
The FPP Store also carries fresh 110, APS, sheet, instant, and Super 8 films. They have some leftover fresh Efke 127, and they hand-reroll various fresh 120 films onto 620 spools. You can buy bulk 35mm film from them, too, and roll it yourself.
I got my stash of no-longer-manufactured Kodak Plus-X from the FPP Store. I also just bought a roll of cold-stored Verichrome Pan that they hand re-rolled onto a 620 spool.
Freestyle Photographic Supplies — Check them out here. This store caters to the educational market, and still features film prominently. They carry fresh films from all the major manufacturers in 35mm, 120, and various sheet sizes. They also carry instant and Super 8 films, as well as bulk 35mm films. You can also buy everything you need to process your own film, and kit out a complete darkroom, from Freestyle.
What I like most about Freestyle is their house brand, Arista, which includes black-and-white films in 35mm and 120 at bargain prices. You’ll find Arista.EDU in ISO 100, 200, and 400; it’s said to be made by Foma in the Czech Republic.
I favor FPP and Freestyle because of price and service, and because I’m buying from smaller companies. But I sometimes buy film from these more obvious outlets:
Adorama and B&H — These are the two big New York City camera stores. Photographers have bought film from them for decades. Except you have to work pretty hard to find film on their Web sites now. It’s there, just well buried. So I’ve made it easy for you: see Adorama’s film stock here, and see B&H’s film stock here.
You can get all the big film brands from them: Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, Agfa, Kentmere, Lomography, and more, in 35mm and 120. They also carry sheet film, movie film, and instant film.
B&H even carries a limited stock of defunct film sizes, hand re-rolled: 620, 127, and 828. They also carry a new, fresh 127 film called ReraPan. But I’m a little squicky about buying from B&H since the news broke about how they might be treating their Hispanic workers.
Amazon.com — You’d think Amazon has amazing selection and prices, right? Wrong. They offer lots of film for Instax cameras and a smattering of other films. What they stock is often eye-popping expensive. Sometimes good deals do pop up. I bought a four-pack of Kodak Gold 200 not long ago for about $10. You have to be there at the right time, and get it while it lasts.
A few films are part of Amazon’s “Add-On Item” program at consistently great prices. For a while now, Kodak Tri-X in 35mm has been $4.95, and Ilford HP5 Plus in 120 has been $4.09, on this program. You have to buy $35 in stuff from them to be able to order these items at all.
Finally, here are a couple stores I would be remiss not to mention, but which I have not yet tried.
Blue Moon Camera and Machine — Reading their Web site, I think this has got to be the coolest camera store on planet Earth. If ever I’m in Oregon, I’m making a pilgrimage. They carry a selection of the most popular films from Kodak and Fuji, but what really sets them apart is the unusual film brands they carry (Rollei, Bluefire, CineStill) and the defunct film sizes they list. They say they can get 103 film! It was used in swing-lens panoramic cameras from the early 1900s; the film went out of regular production in 1949. They don’t always have every defunct film in stock, but they invite you to inquire, just in case.
Lomography.com Shop — Check them out here. I give them huge props for resurrecting 110 film. Every now and again a 110 camera falls into my hands, and thanks to them, I can shoot it! They offer several films in 110, 120, and 35mm under their own brand, all made by other manufacturers. They also offer films of other brands in 35mm, 120, 110, sheet, and instant. They also carry 16mm movie film!