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Where do people buy film? – Russia and CIS

Few months ago we, the Cameraventures team, launched the project #saveanalogcameras, to see if the photographers are interested in the analog photography and to see the its future.

During the work on this project we interviewed about 250 russian-speaking photographers, who still are shooting on the film. All interviewed people are representatives of different ages and citizenships. Majority of them, obviously, are living in Russia, but also there are people from Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia and other countries.

Probably, a lot of people discovered in their houses old analog camera, maybe Zenit. Just when you understand that this camera shoot photos not on memory card, but on the film, you were asked a question, where could you buy this film? Nowadays, this is one of the actual question for the people, who want to shoot on film.

During the analysis of the statistic of project #saveanalogcameras, I understood that the majority of people buy film in local shops. Well, you can find those shops in every pretty big city. By the rule, there is no big choice in those shops and there is a question of trustworthiness; it is a usual deal, when they sell expired film. When you shoot on film for money it is important that your film shouldn’t be expired. Well, in my city it is not big deal to find kodak ColorPlus, but if I want to buy professional Kodak Portra 400 or BW Kodak TMAX 400 – there are some problems with it. In my situation I was made to look for other places to buy film and I discovered a bunch of new variants.

In the statistic there were some people who buy film in photo-labs. I think this is the best option for the analog photographer just according to some reasons. First reason is quality, photo-labs buy film from the manufacturer and you can be absolutely confident, when you buy film in photo-labs.

Secondly, buying film in photo-labs is reliable, just because those photo-labs usually works with professional photographers, and those are usually portrait and wedding photographers. Nobody want shoot the wedding on expired film! That is why the majority of those photographers choose to but film in photo-labs.

Thirdly, low price on film. Yes, the price of film in photo-labs usually is lower then in shops, the different is not so big, but still there is. Well of course, when you order film from the photo-lab in different city, you should pay fpr the delivery, but usually analog photographers buy a lot of film for a long time.

Where elsewhere you can buy film? In Internet-stores, as well. There is a bunch of them, like Amazon, eBay, but the majority prefers to buy film I film-oriented shops, likeJapanCameraHunter, KEH, B&H. In Russia there are a lot of forums and communities, where you can buy film, including the rare film, that is out of production.

So, that is why it is not a hard deal to find a place where to buy a film, the main thing to remember about is trustworthy of the shop, and film shouldn’t be expired.

Author: Dimitri Friedman


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