As we refuse to believe that film photography is a dying art, PHOCUS would like to give all you film enthusiasts the resources to be on the cutting edge of film photography. Here are websites with the services and resources that may help.
First you need to find out what kind of film you need? There can be an overwhelming selection, but if you know a few basic categories, you can narrow it down to what you want. Once you get a feel for each film’s personality, it will be up to you as a photographer to choose what type of film works for you.
Film Size: 35mm vs. 120
The two main categories of film size are 35mm and 120. They correspond to the type of camera you are using. 35mm is used in most SLR cameras and point-and-shoot cameras. The film is smaller, so the resolution may be worse than 120, but it can be processed by most companies, unlike 120. 35mm comes in two lengths, 24 exposure and 36 exposure, with the latter being more economical, but you’re stuck with the same film a little longer if you want to change type. 120 is a larger film, used by medium format cameras and Holga cameras. The advantage of this is higher resolution, but it is a little harder to process and you only get 12 photographs per roll.
This is often more of an economic choice, with more popular brands being cheaper: Kodak, Kentemere, Ilford, Fujifilm, Lomography. But each brand of film as a certain look and feel, so buy a lot of different types of film, keep notes on which ones you liked and why. Specialty film can be fun, but it is more expensive (usually running $8 or more per roll).
Film Type: Color vs. Black and White
You have to consider what you will be shooting when making this decision. Color can be more casual, also good for more colorful settings. Black and white will have a very particular aesthetic. Really up to the photographer’s whim.
Film can be expensive, so its important to look for the best deal, buy in bulk (once you know what you want, and not before then) and compare retailers. (TIP: If you are looking to buy black and white film to process in the darkroom, you do NOT want to buy C-41 film, the kind you buy at the drugstore. For darkroom black and white film you want this type of film, I would recommend Ilford HP5 Plus for $3.75, basic.)
Adorama has a great selection as well as cheap shipping ($3.35 straight to Vassar). Easy to navigate with the sidebars, but sometimes does not have the more specialty/foreign films and paper. They also sell 3/36exp. rolls of 35mm Lomography film for $9.99, which is a great deal (Urban sells it for$15).
They are going to have all of your specialty film, ortho litho film, infrared film, Adox film (Adox 120 is great), roll film. As well as having specialty papers for alternative processing, cyanotypes, handcoloring, liquid emulsion (I would actually check this out for a cool activity, you can paint emulsion on anything, a shirt, banana, whatever, and print a photo on it, its pretty tight).
B&H has the basic film stuffs, but it is more digital and geary. If you’re looking for video supplies or digital cameras or surveillance equipment, go here.
A personal favorite, always reliable and makes great prints, (here’s a tip though, tape their mailer packages shut, they can come open which sucks). To get started, you can order these convenient ‘mailers’ (from here: http://www.yorkphoto.com/york/printlabel), they’ll send them to you, and you can ship off your film without even leaving campus. I might also add that their matte finish prints are kickin’ if that’s your thing. EDIT: You can no longer directly download photos, but you can save them from the website at a pretty high resolution.
Pricing for 35mm film:
$3.75 prints + $1.95 shipping (+ $1.00 online scans, worth it) = $5.70 (or $6.70 with online photos)
$4.60 prints + $1.95 shipping (+ $1.00 online scans, worth it) = $6.55 (or $7.65 with online photos)
If you have a car or need your film developed the same day, Art Craft Camera is a local photography shop in Poughkeepsie that develops and prints film. They also make prints from Facebook if you want to do that… But its a pretty cool place.