Where to Find Film for Your Old Camera

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Nearly every photographer owns a film camera whether it be in the dark recesses collecting dust or they use it on a regular basis. The most common reaction when people see one of these film beauties out and about is shocked that you can still acquire the film to shoot with one of these models. So if you own a 35mm, Polaroid, or even a medium format film camera, Dust it off! Don't know where to begin on buying film? Have no fear! I have become your personal film guide and have tried and tested all the major players out there in the film world, so you don't have to!

Lomography is by far the leading provider for creative film options, with everything ranging from Lomo Chrome Purple film, giving your images that out-of-this-world appearance, to the more traditional 120 and 35mm color and black and white options. Lomo is also a great start if you don't have an older film body. They supply all types of creative cameras: wooden pinholes, sprocket 35mm, and bodies that quickly switch between an instant back and a 120 back. Lomo is also truly spectacular by having a film dropoff service making it seamless for photographers to shoot and develop with ease.

 

 

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Impossible Project is the frontrunner in the Polaroid world. Impossible purchased the machines from Polaroid when they decided to cease making instant film. They turned around the business, bringing it back into the mainstream by creating packs that still work with many of the old Polaroid models. Users should exercise caution when using the film as it isn't the same formula you might remember growing up. After taking a shot, you need to place it in a dark place for 20-30 minutes. While they have been working on the color developing times and consistency, I would encourage users to read the instructions to get the best results.

 

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Fujifilm can be easily bought anywhere, including your hometown camera shop, although with the recent news of Fuji discontinuing its FP-100C film, it's making it harder for photographers to get film for the Polaroid Land Cameras. Don't fret. Fuji will still be making its 35mm, 120, and of course, its insanely popular Instax Film, which rivals the Impossible Project film with far better quality and consistency, but leaves you with the downside of having to purchase a new Instax camera, as their Instant film is not compatible with the old Polaroid models.

 

 

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Kodak, the always reliable and classic brand everyone can trust, still produces all the forms of film you remember, along with dark room supplies for those who desire to develop their film. Kodak film is by far the best price-wise if you aren't sure the film life is for you and want to test the waters. I would buy a couple of Kodak beauties and work up to the pricier options. 

If you don't own a film camera, but after this article are inspired to buy one, check out eBay, thrift stores, and your local camera shops. You can find most models for a great deal, so dust your camera off, get out of the house, and create something great!

 

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13 Comments

I remember "pushing" the ISO in monochrome film. I raise a glass to TMAX, and those crushing blacks.

If you still shoot film, from subminiature to large format, you need to know about Blue Moon Camera and Machine in Portland, Oregon. https://www.facebook.com/bluemooncamera/

Maximilian Mesch's picture

Nice article!

But does anyone has some suggestions where I could buy some Super 8 film? My grandpa asked me to look for some on the internet. So if you know if there is a good website for it, please let me know. :)

Brandi Nicole's picture

Nice article! Viva la film photography!

I see that links were provided to B&H. I buy a lot of my film from B&H; I've also bought film from Adorama. I'm sure that there are other photography stores in the South, Southeast, Midwest, and West that sell film.

Ilford is another film manufacturer; they now produce the only C-41 B&W film and traditional ISO 3200 B&W film now that Kodak has dropped BW400CN and TMAX3200.

I still shoot film with my Canon A-1 that I bought in 1980. I added a used F-1N in 2013.

Presley Ann's picture

Yes you are right! You can get lots of these brands in various stores beside B&H. And I could talk about IIford for days they are also great! I was trying to just cover the basics for each model of camera. But I will be sure to do a more in depth article in the future!

Robert Raymer's picture

Honestly, though "popular" I have never been a big fan of "lomography" for anything other than playing around with. It always seems a bit gimmicky and I have never really been impressed with the quality of anything they make (though I know that quality in a traditional sense may not be their goal.) As for Impossible, I was very excited when I heard about them, especially given that they are the only company I am aware of making type 55 instant film, but unfortunately the film is way more than I want to pay for the hit or miss quality of their film. Im a bit surprised Ilford was left off the list, especially since they produce not only 35mm and 120, but also 4x5 and 8x10, both of which are offered in very limited film stocks (fuji, kodak, and Arista being the only ones I can think of off the top of my head). Also, though AGFA no longer produces film, Rollei now owns their formulas for both film and developers, and though I have yet to shoot Rollei film, that fact alone makes it tempting (especially since AGFA RSX 50 was my all time favorite film stock).

Presley Ann's picture

I also love IIford! This was a very basic article for the most common camera models but I will be sure to do a more in detph article in the furture! Thank you so much for adding in the extra info about Rollei.

Agfapan 25 120 film, shot at ISO 12. Grainless 16x20 prints all day long.

"Fujifilm can be easily bought anywhere, including your hometown camera shop"
WRONG - because where I am in the US there are NO 'hometown camera shops', Not just Fujifilm, but any brand of film. Some on drug stores and a few grocery stores but NO selection. A three hour drive to the only outlet with B&W film in the State. NO large format films within an 8 hour drive. Photo chemistry- forget it.
B&H in New York City is our friend.

Presley Ann's picture

That's the wonderful thing about B&H and why I linked to them in the article, I used to live in a very small town and didn't have a camera store near by. I always loved getting my film package in the mail every month!

That's all fine and dandy, but 120 and 35mm are quite easy to find. Where can one find film for old cameras, and i do mean 620, 127 and 126 film? How can one use a Baby Rolleyflex?