127 Film Sources

The first (and only real) obsticle to digging an old brownie out of the closet, and shooting a roll of film, is getting a roll of film. Unfortunatly Kodak discontinued 127 in 1995, but getting hold of film is actually quite easy - once you figure out how...

127 is currently available in 3 formats, and from two manufacturers:

Efke

Based in Croatia, perhaps Efke don't know that 127 is all but discontinued, or perhaps they know a good think when they see one, and are going to keep making the stuff as long as we keep buying it from them. Efke's R100 black and white print film is the staple of the 127 world in the new millenium. It's good solid film, and does the job just great, just like it did 50 years ago.

Efke film is distributed in europe by Fotoimpex and in North America by J and C Photography.

In the UK efke film is available over the counter in jessops stores - though be prepared to pay a frighting 5 pounds per roll. They rebadge it, and rate it at ISO 200, but its still Efke 100.

Maco

Maco also rebrand Efke 100 as UP100. More interestingly however they also produce Macochrome - Colour slide film (ISO 100 again) and MacoColor c41 colour print film. Both are available from the same places as Efke.

127 is the optimum size for "superslides": 4x4 transparancies that will go through a regular 35mm projector. You can get superslide mounts from Frugal photographer and Retro Photographic.

Other usefull sources

Frugal photographer offer a surply of colour film cut to size to allow you to respool your own, while Film for Classics will respool pretty much any film you like one to 127 - expect to pay for the service.

Fotoimpex's prices are great, but their postage rate works out expensive unless you order large amounts. Being based in the UK, I've found it more convenient to order from Retro Photographic - email them for a quote on 5 or more rolls. Mr Cad also sells Maco at what looks like a good price, but watch out for the postage. PhotoSupplies UK are also making a good effort to service the niche film market.

Those in Canada might try Film Plus in Toronto. An honorable mention should also go to Central Camera - their respooled 127 is expensive, but they're well worth a look if you need something really obscure like 122 or 124!

I've also picked up batches of out of date film on ebay - if its been well stored, then black and white film can work well past its use by date. While you might not trust it for anything important, they're great for trying out new cameras. Colour film ages less well, and the high dev costs make the risks and payoffs of older film far less attractive.

If you've found any other good sources of film (or if you're selling at good prices), then drop me and an email, and I'll add a link.

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