buying film

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by SimplyMo, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. SimplyMo

    SimplyMo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    temporarily BUFFALO new york
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    does anyone know of a site that sells film that isn't so expensive..
    my class requires kodak t-max 400 36exp.
    also, do you have any idea where i can buy it in bulk? i can't seem to find that option anywhere....

    i've already searched adorama, b&h, and ebay (i had really bad luck with ebay) ... can you recommend anywhere else?:blushing:

    thanks in advance
     
  2. xamblin

    xamblin TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Did you check your local camera shop?
     
  3. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    It changes
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Why does your class require it? You should ask the prof.

    Basically some B&W film is old school actual B&W, other B&W film is color film a color lab will know to print as B&W. That's my guess as to why your professor is requiring Kodak T-MAX -- he doesn't want you getting film that needs to be developed with color developers.

    When I took photography in college we just bought any film that with the developer (chemicals). You should ask your professor if any iso 400 B&W film is accepatble -- it looks like B&H sells 100' of 400 iso forma for $35.

    You should also ask him if you can shoot with 100 and 200 iso as well because you want pictures that are "less grainy.[1]" He'll probably be thrilled you're showing an interest, probably say yes so long as you shoot in 400 for some assignments, and you can pay a little less for your film.

    If you go in and say things like that you'll A) look like a good student who's interested in the subject B) save some cash

    Also what price are you looking for? B&H sells 100 ft of tmax for $50. Doing a quick google 5.5 ft of film == 36 exposures, so 100ft == 655 exposures == $0.07 / exposure. That's almost half of the $0.14 per exposure you're getting if you pay $5 a roll in walmart.

    Just make sure you're getting real B&W film and whatever else you need. Ordering from someplace like B&H this should be easy to find.

    Oh, and don't open the film can until your professor shows you how to roll your own bulk film, in a dark room. :wink: Someone did that when I took photography in college and lost all their film. Besides the can (it'll literally be a can with 100 ft of film in it), you'll need some rolls to put your film in -- you can get those @ B&H too.

    I'm sad to say you're probably not going to get 36 exposures of film for $0.50 (go to your local photo shop see if they have any expired stuff -- they might sell that cheap). That's actually why I stopped taking pictures after photography class ended until I got a digital SLR many years later -- if you think film in bulk is expensive just imagine what it costs when you no longer have a darkroom to roll your own film, and need to pay $8 / roll to develop. (Plus if you don't develop your own the photo lab techs don't care enough to burn or dodge areas that need it, but you'll learn about that later).

    [1] So the "speed" of the film is the iso number. The higher the ISO the less light you need to expose the film, so in low light or for quick movements (because you can reduce the shutter speed) you go with a high ISO. The downside with traditional film is it creates a much grainier picture because the size of the film grains determines how fast it is (does that happen with digital too?) Sometimes you can put this effect to good use (ever see a dark, gritty picture? might be shot in high ISO B&W)
     
  4. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    It changes
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    What a horrible film choice for beginners. Why do photo 101 teachers insist on Tmax 400? Mine did too. It's so universal it's got to be Kodak's idea. Tri-X, Pan-X, FP4+, or HP5+ would be a much better choice for beginners. They should start with traditional grain films, and work up to finicky tabular grain films.
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,454
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have a bulk roll of TMAX 400 I'll sell you for $25. It's slightly out of date but should be perfectly fine. I think I also have a bulk roll of TMAX 100.
     
  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,454
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    While I do hate TMAX, I don't think t-grained films are necessarily poorly suited to beginners. Acros is T-grained and looks beautiful in just about any developer. I don't personally like Delta but I believe it's also T-grained.
     
  8. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    It changes
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    What's a t grain?
     
  9. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Why does everyone hate Tmax?

    And regarding what was said about "real" B&W films and films which are colour but labs know to print B&W, are there any advantages to the real ones, and what are some examples of "real" B&W films? Is Ilford XP2 Super any good? It's my first roll of BW film and I'm shooting it at the moment.

    Thanks.
     
  10. Hawaii Five-O

    Hawaii Five-O My alter-egos have been banned. :( Now I must be

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I also used tmax 100 for my class, I like it though, its really crisp. I like the TX film also but its not as crisp as Tmax.
    I've been trying to find deals on bulk film too.

    The problem with having the C-41 process B&W processed at most labs is it printed color paper instead of B&W paper. So instead of true B&W you'll have green or reddish tint to your pictures.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  11. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    Hell's Kitchen, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Here's the direct link to 100 ft of T-Max 400 (aka TMY or 400TMY) at B&H, as mentioned by Vautrin, though it is out of stock: link

    TMY changed not so long ago - it is worth buying the new version over the old. The new stuff is marked 'World's Sharpest!'.

    Here's a link to 100 ft rolls on Freestyle's site: link

    I think that TMY is exceptionally good film. Maybe the class teacher knows what he or she is doing, and maybe there's a good reason for everyone to use the same film. There's a difference between a beginner trying TMY on their own and trying it with assistance from a photographer who has experience of it.

    XP2 is a good film. It isn't a colour film, but a monochrome film intended for processing in colour chemicals. A monochrome dye image is created along with the silver image, then the silver image is bleached away to leave the dye image. This gives the image a different characteristic look when compared to traditional silver-image monochrome film. XP2 is designed to be printed on traditional B&W paper, while Kodak's version (BW400CN, various other names) is better suited for printing on colour paper or B&W paper made for colour chemicals. If the film is scanned, as it is with most minilabs nowadays, it doesn't make much difference which one you use.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  12. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I don't hate it. It's just not the right film for beginners in my opinion. Subtle changes in exposure, development times, temp, style, etc... have a much greater effect on Tmax 400 than they would on Tri-X. Some might say that teaches people to be precise, but poor results because of sloppy beginner technique can be a real downer and discourage further interest. If the class is not doing personal exposure and development testing, which is usually reserved for Photo 102 or later classes in my experience, they shouldn't be using Tmax 400. For instance many of the beginner photo books generalize N+1 as normal dev time +50%, but with Tmax 400 N+1 is closer to normal dev time +15%. I think the reason it's so popular with beginning darkroom classes is that Kodak pushes it because it's more expensive.
     

Share This Page