A few recent thoughts about film.

  • I bought a folding press camera last week. Excited about the potential of shooting a lot of sheet film, I was going to buy a Kodak Readyload holder to go with it, only to discover that Kodak discontinued the entire Readyload system just a couple of days earlier.

  • I wouldn’t have been able to use the Readyloads anyway. I had meant to buy a 4×5” camera—only I accidentally bought a beautiful example of the long-obsolete 3.25×4.25” format. The only reason anyone ever shot 3.25” film was because you could contact-print a negative right into a two-column newspaper layout without any last-minute darkroom hassle.

  • I went to two stores this week looking for Fuji Pro 800Z film for Laurie’s wedding. Both were sold out. Calumet begrudgingly sold me their last roll of the Kodak version (Portra 800). I had to get special permission from the manager to buy it because the sales clerk was concerned they were saving it for a more important customer. (Thanks, Calumet!) Several other types of film were “reserved.” Lately, buying photo film has been a bit like waiting in a bread line. What next—two per customer? Stores are frequently out of what I’m looking for. It seems to me that demand outstrips supply.