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Where to get 5x7 Color Film?

Nicholas Siebenmorgen , Mar 26, 2006; 11:11 a.m.

Here I was about to buy a 5x7 camera. I like the fact that it's a little bigger than 4x5 and the aspect ratio. I decided to see what kind of film is available. It seems like the big photo suppliers carry almost no color film for 5x7. I found a site that had Kodak 160nc but that was it. Has it always been this way, or is the 5x7 format dying out? Also, do most porfessional photo labs that develop 4x5 develop 5x7? How much does it usually cast per sheet to develop? Maybe I should just stick with 4x5? thanks



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Robert Young , Mar 26, 2006; 11:20 a.m.

A recent issue of View Camera magazine had a list of available sheet films, including I believe, color positive and negative types.

You might check the View Camera magazine web site, they sometimes put selected articles on the site.

Pico diGoliardi , Mar 26, 2006; 12:01 p.m.

See: http://www.viewcamera.com/pdf/2006/5x713x18filmtable.pdf and: http://www.viewcamera.com/pdf/2006/future.pdf

And while you are there, you might thank Steve Simmons for the information.

Mike Earussi , Mar 26, 2006; 01:43 p.m.

If you have the money to pay for a special order, most film manufactures will cut any of their films to whatever size you want. Of course, this can get expensive and you would also have to have a freezer to store it in.

Michael Briggs , Mar 26, 2006; 02:04 p.m.

Juding from discussions on forums and maganzines articles, I'd say that interest in 5x7 is increasing. But it hasn't been a format for pros (other than art photographers) for a long time. There are many choices in B+W film, and very few in in color, at least in the US -- probably the number of amateurs wanting color hasn't been large enough to interest film companies. The color choices in 13x18 cm are larger, but, assuming that you are in the US, you will probably find those expensive to import. The situation is discussed in an article at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/5x7.html.

H. C. , Mar 26, 2006; 03:41 p.m.

I agree with Michael B. in that I also believe 5x7 seems to be increasing in popularity. Others have been asking the same question you are with regards to the types of film available and, of course, where to buy such films. So, IMHO, NO... it's NOT a dying format!

If you Google 5x7 films... it should return with a number of discussions on this very topic. Also, go to the View Camera website... Steve has posted a free download on the types of 5x7 films currently available in the marketplace.

To start you off... I buy my 5x7 Provia from Jeff at Badger Graphics. They import it from Japan as far as I know. I believe Jim at Midwest Photo can also supply you with 5x7 films. You can also find it at B+H Photo in New York.

If you happen to live in Canada, it isn't available since Fuji Canada doesn't import it. That's why I buy it from Jeff or Jim from the stores above. Great folks to deal with! :)

FP4, HP5, TMax is all available through most local dealers (even here in Canada.) If they don't have it in stock... they certainly can order it in for you.

If you're not aware... people also buy 8x10 film and cut it down to fit 5x7. I've not done this before but wouldn't exclude it as an option.

The decision whether to stay with 4x5 or move into 5x7 is a very personal one. You have to answer the question of "why" you want to move into 5x7 in the first place. Why not 8x10? Difficult as it may be... ask around and see if any of the pros in your neighborhood are shooting with 5x7 and go spend a bit of time with them!

Personally, I really like the "feel" of the format as compared to 4x5 since it has an aspect ratio much more akin to 35mm. Historically, I've shot 35mm, 6x6, 6x7, and 4x5 but have now been shooting more and more 5x7. Of all the formats.. 35mm and 5x7 fit the way I "see" things the best. I'm very pleased I made the move... :)

Some pro labs will process both 4x5, 5x7, and certainly 8x10... some don't! I'd suggest that you call the labs in your locale and ask. Per sheet cost for processing B&W runs from CDN$4.00 - $6.00 where I live. Or, you can simply process it yourself and save a few bucks!

Hope that helps.


Michael Beckmann , Mar 26, 2006; 05:08 p.m.

I think it is easier to obtain 13x18 cm film. My supplier in Germany has three different b/w films, one color neg, six different color transparency films, and one duplicating film in stock.

The cameras for 13x18 are the same, all you need is the right film holder.

carsten benni , Mar 27, 2006; 03:08 a.m.

Michael, who is your german supplier? Here in Italy it is impossible to get 5x7 colour negative films. I have to buy them in USA. Maybe your supplier would be able to ship me some boxes... Thank you C

Michael Beckmann , Mar 27, 2006; 08:36 a.m.

My supplier has 13x18cm film, not 5x7". There is a size difference of one or two millimeters or so, and you need a different holder. You can use the same camera though.

carsten benni , Mar 27, 2006; 09:35 a.m.

Hello Michael, I have several 13x18 holders. They are quite common here. I am looking forward to find buy some films from your supplier... Thank you C

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