Film Photography

Where to buy film for your camera (2018 edition)

Time was, when you wanted a roll of film you could walk into any drug store and buy one in any common size — 126, 127, 110, 120, 620, or 35mm. Those days are long gone; digital and phone photography killed them dead. Yet a growing number of us have discovered film, or returned to film, or never left film — and need reliable sources for the films we like to shoot. So where, exactly, do you buy film today? Can you still buy film?

If your town has a camera store, check there first. The camera store where I live, Roberts in Indianapolis, happens to be the US distributor for Ilford products and therefore has a pretty good selection of films.

Chain drug stores are a reliable source of consumer-grade Kodak films at full retail prices. Your nearby big-box store might sell Fujifilm’s consumer color films at attractive prices. I buy Fujicolor 200 at Meijer, a competitor to Walmart in the Midwestern US, four rolls for $11. That’s a solid bargain, and it’s pretty good stuff. Check it out:

Pathway

Garden path, Kodak Pony 135 Model C, Fujicolor 200, 2013.

The surest way to get the film you want is to buy it online. I’ve shopped around a lot over the years, but keep coming back to these online stores.

fpp-logoFilm Photography Project StoreCheck 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. Russian films, motion-picture films, surveillance films, extra slow films (ISO 0.6 anyone?), and infrared films, all hand-rolled into 35mm canisters.

The FPP Store also carries fresh 110, APS, sheet, instant, and Super 8 films. They also hand cut and roll various defunct formats like 620 and 116. Sometimes they find a stash of expired but cold-stored defunct formats and sell them. You can buy bulk 35mm film from them, too, and roll it yourself.

freestyle_photoFreestyle Photographic SuppliesCheck 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-logoAdorama and B&H — These are the two big New York City camera stores. Photographers have bought film from them for decades. It might take you a minute to find their film selection on their Web sites — 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.

bh-logoYou 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. 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-logoAmazon.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. I think it’s because they figure shipping cost into the price of each roll, thanks to free two-day Prime shipping.

Sometimes good deals do pop up. At the time I’m writing this, four-packs of 35mm Fujicolor 200 are $10.79. You have to be there at the right time, and get it while it lasts.

Sometimes a particular film will be part of their “Add-On Item” program at a good price. You have to buy $35 in stuff from them to get that price — but your order can be all Add-On items. So if you come upon 35mm Tri-X for $4.95 as an Add-On item, you can order seven rolls of the stuff to clear the $35 bar and get it at that price.

Finally, here are a few stores I would be remiss not to mention, but which I have not yet tried.

blue-moon-logoBlue Moon Camera and MachineReading their Web site, this has got to be the coolest camera store on planet Earth. I want to book a flight to Portland, Oregon, just to visit Blue Moon! 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.

PrintLomography.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!

analogue-wonderland-logoAnalogue WonderlandCheck them out here. This UK online-only shop offers films I’ve never heard of before (Bretz! Dubble! Revolog! Yodica!) plus many of the usual suspects. They offer instant, 35mm, 120, 110, 16mm movie, and sheet films. Their warehouse is in the UK so if you’re in the US shipping will cost you. They tell me they hope to open a US warehouse at some point, so keep checking.

CineStillLogoLong2small_325xCineStill FilmCheck them out here. You may know CineStill for its motion-picture films rolled into 35mm canisters, but they sell far more than that. You can buy fresh Kodak film from them, and a monobath to process your black-and-white film in one step.

ultrafinePhoto Warehouse / Ultrafine Imaging ProductsCheck them out here. They sell color and black-and-white films under their own Ultrafine label as well as from several of the usual manufacturers and a few you might not know. They stick to 35mm and 120 films. You can also kit out your darkroom at Photo Warehouse.

Finally, if you want to shoot a defunct film format like 127 or 116, you might find some on eBay. For example, eBay user jrdnmark offers a bunch of hand-cut and -rolled 127 and spy (16mm) films. You’ll also find a smattering of expired films in a whole bunch of formats there.

Advertisements
Standard

23 thoughts on “Where to buy film for your camera (2018 edition)

  1. Hey, Jim! Great list of stores, I personally used the first two and the b&h. Freestyle are amazing for someone like buying from outside US because of the shipping cost. As much as I love FPP their shipping prices are pretty high unfortunately, but I second you on their unique position with experimental films! It’s been several months since I shot film because my stock is dry so your article is just that nice amount of salt on my wound;-) thank you!

    Like

  2. I try and buy as much film locally as I can. I am pleased to report that my local Mom & Pop camera shop, which just a few years ago stocked only a few types, has really stepped up their game with a full selection of Kodak, Ilford and remaining Fuji emulsions. The owner tells me that demand for film has increased at a healthy rate for them. This warms my heart :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The challenge I have is that I can get best prices, even after shipping, online. Well, except on that Fujicolor 200. But next time I’m in Roberts I should definitely buy some Ilford films.

      Like

  3. Freestyle has a wide variety of B&W and color negative films. I live 20 minutes away from their retail store, so I buy most of my films, B&W and color chemicals from them. Every time I go to the store, I have to keep reminding myself to stick to budget otherwise I’ll end buying more than what I really need.

    Like

  4. Christopher Smith says:

    I must be spoiled for choice here in Falmouth UK I have 3 shops I can buy film at all within 15 min walking distance, used to have 4 but Poundland stop selling film, and they have a good choice of different brands and sizes/formats between them.

    Like

  5. Unless it’s the consumer film you can get cheap at Wal-Mart, etc, the cheapest is online. I just recently started buying film from Cinestill’s online store since they stock nearly all Kodak emulsions, and I get a discount on their own film for being a Kickstarter backer (and free shipping for $75+). They have the absolute best price on T-Max 3200, too. For everything non-Kodak, I’ll go to Freestyle.

    Like

  6. The folks at Blue Moon are great. In addition to the amazing range of vintage camera gear & typeweriters they sell, they’re the only lab I’ve been able to find who can still process the outdated film sizes I sometimes shoot — ie: 2×3, 3×4… and they’re even able to process the new glass dry plates being produced by J. Lane.

    Also, Ultrafine just published their latest catalog… they usually have some interesting hand spooled stock, and participate annually in the Ilford ULF program. http://www.ultrafineonline.com/

    Like

  7. jon campo says:

    Hi Jim, Once again a very comprehensive list. I love Freestyle, but as I am all the way on the other side of the country, shipping is slow. I order from FPP if I want something special, but mostly I use B&H. I have done a lot of business with them for 40 years, both online and in person, and I have always had great service. Their employees seems quite happy and enthusiastic.

    Like

  8. Kevin Thomas says:

    Here in Austin we have a couple of camera stores that carry film (another might but I haven’t been by there in ages – other side of town). Strangely, the local Walmart seem to have stopped carrying 35mm recently. I’ve taken to Amazon to keep stocked in Fuji C200 😜

    Like

  9. Living in Portland, Blue Moon Camera is my go-to analogue store. Not only do they carry about every film imaginable but their shelves are filled with film cameras and lenses. The employees also share a wealth of information. You should visit

    Like

Share your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.