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Buying film off Ebay, risky business?


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#1 Ron Flex

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 06:02 PM

So far on my cheap stock buying adventures I have aquired 3 400ft tins of Kodak Vision2 250D for £30 a tin unopened. I thought this was a pretty good deal, I bought it from some classifieds I saw, spoke to the guy over the phone, paid and got it all the next day.

Now I am looking at some Fuji stock on Ebay. 4 x 200ft tins of Fuji f-250 unopened for £38 delivered from Bulgaria. I emailed to ask if it had been stored in fridge but have not had a response. Would it really be worth buying this and then forking out for dip tests or should I wait for something better?

I have given up on the chase for shortends and recans as I have come up empty after ringing round. Nobody seems to have any even to sell.
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 10:08 PM

Just like with anything off eBay, it is the luck of the draw. I have been burned no so much due to dishonesty, but by sellers who are truly clueless.

I have a saying that has almost never failed me: It is expensive to be cheap.

Here in the US there are plenty of "certified" short-end outlets: Media Distributors, Tape Superstore, Reel Good. Check online. They could always ship overseas, I would imagine -your money being as good as anyone else's.
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#3 Ron Flex

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 06:48 PM

I have found 3 sealed rolls of Kodak Vision 2 500T for £30 a tin. The guy says the rolls have a 'Best Before' date of Dec 2005. He also says they have been kept in a fridge since bought.

Would you more experianced guys say that this too risky due to age and the likelyhood that it may not have actually been stored in a fridge? I am slightly tempted as I am looking for exactly 3 rolls of Vision 2 500T and the price is what I have paid for my other stock.

I guess I will take your guys advice on this one. Also how much would I expect to pay to get 6 (400ft) rolls snip tested and does anyone know of a good place in the UK that does it?

Thanks!
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#4 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 07:01 PM

Hi Ron,
I bought some of that Fuji stock from the ebay seller in Bulgaria. Very cheap and an easy going transaction. I shot 100' in a bolex on my JK printer. I wanted to try this stock out for enlarging super 8 to 16. The results where o.k.. There was slight fogging, not problematic. Colours came out a bit odd with the one light work print I had made ... but I think basically the stock was o.k.. It was too grainy for the super 8 blow-up though.
I think it is worth buying on balance.
cheers,
richard
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#5 Erik Vilhelm

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 06:50 AM

I shot some 10 year old Fuji 64D and the results were good, nice colors, and only slight fogging.
This film had been stored in a freezer. For faster films the storage effects of course would have been more severe...
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#6 Ron Flex

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 09:23 AM

Well I ended up getting the 500T stock. So now I have 3x 250D and 3x 500T. All sealed, all old and secondhand. All refridgerated.

I still cannot find anywhere that does clip tests. Any links to a friendly lab?

Edited by Ron Flex, 02 October 2008 - 09:25 AM.

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#7 Ian Cooper

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 12:34 PM

I still cannot find anywhere that does clip tests. Any links to a friendly lab?


If you're in the UK, try Film Lab North - they did a clip test for me without charging the £100 minimum charge some other labs have.

I have to admit there are cheaper places than them for process & telecine though ;)
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#8 Ron Flex

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 01:48 PM

Thanks for the advice. Just dropped them an email to enquire.
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#9 Brian Pritchard

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 02:54 AM

Thanks for the advice. Just dropped them an email to enquire.

If you have no luck with Film Lab North then try Film & Photo in Acton 0208 992 0037, info@film-photo.co.uk. If you come in on a Tuesday you might be unlucky enough to meet me!!!


Brian
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#10 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 03:49 AM

This is meant as a joke only...

Dear Lab X, I heard you do clip tests. I really appreciate this as the lower cost labs won't do them for me. If you can do the clip tests for me it would really help me out. I probably won't use you if the clip tests come out ok because I can't afford you, but thanks in advance for doing the clip tests.
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#11 Richardson Leao

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 04:27 AM

This is meant as a joke only...

Dear Lab X, I heard you do clip tests. I really appreciate this as the lower cost labs won't do them for me. If you can do the clip tests for me it would really help me out. I probably won't use you if the clip tests come out ok because I can't afford you, but thanks in advance for doing the clip tests.



i bought from this guy before exactly that stock. I wish I still had my former webspace to show u some clips and I thought that they were good, but because I always use expired stock, the 'good' to me is a very slack concept.
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#12 Ian Cooper

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 06:09 AM

This is meant as a joke only...

Dear Lab X, I heard you do clip tests. I really appreciate this as the lower cost labs won't do them for me. If you can do the clip tests for me it would really help me out. I probably won't use you if the clip tests come out ok because I can't afford you, but thanks in advance for doing the clip tests.



It may only be meant as a Joke, but I agree with your message.

I contacted the lab concerned, and made it clear I was enquiring about and comparing costs from various companies. I asked the cost of their process & telecine (and details concerning one/best light etc. etc.), also if they would do clip tests, and if so the cost. I can't remember, but I may even have told them the price I was being charged at the lab I'd previously used.

They came back to me with the cost of their services. I made no further mention of using them for processing or Tk, but did seek further details concerning the clip testing as I had some stock I wished to test. I ultimately sent them the stock and they were most helpful.

At no time did I 'lead them on'. I was quite open about my comparison of different labs, when asked if I was a "student" I honestly replied that I am not, my material is self-financed personal projects. At no point did I suggest I would subsequently send material in their direction for processing if they tested it for me initially.

As it turned out they felt the results of the test showed the stock was beyond use. A subsequent 30ft camera test myself showed I was happy enough with the results for my projects . You can see this test and make you're own mind up on vimeo.

To my shame, I have to admit the one lab I didn't ask about clip testing was actually the lab I was using for process & Tk!

I would strongly recommend NOT lying to people/companys about your intentions, or trying to get favours by making suggestions or promises you have no intention of keeping. I am not a 'professional' and my usage is not in the big league, it isn't even in the small league! I am not a student and the labs aren't going to get rich off my major feature films in two years time when I'm "discovered". When asked I make this clear to them, I love the look of film and the process of exposing it. My usage is little more than home movies.


Bearing in mind 16mm film isn't exactly the cheapest hobby in the world when you're entirely self-financed, I have spent time contacting different companies enquiring about their prices, minimum order quantities and minimum order values. I have learnt at this end of the market the cost (and the way it is calculated) can vary wildly even when the same equipment is being used.

Yesterday I received 850ft of film back from a lab. 700ft was colour footage for process & Tk, 150ft was B&W for Tk only, shot in 1979. One lab quoted me an extra £70 to Tk the B&W as well as handle the colour (ie £0.47/ft for the B&W neg), the lab I actually used just charged their standard £0.09/ft (total £13.50) to add the B&W Tk to the colour material. (Incidently it was the first time I've seen the results from a Spirit Tk and the first results from my 'new' Beaulieu R16 - I was most impressed with the quality!)




Ian.
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#13 Tim Terner

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 01:05 PM

As it turned out they felt the results of the test showed the stock was beyond use. A subsequent 30ft camera test myself showed I was happy enough with the results for my projects . You can see this test and make you're own mind up on vimeo.

Makes you wonder whether they actually did test it Ian, the Vimeo footage looked great. I know from previous threads you have a K3, is that the camera you shot that with ? and if so what lens was used ?
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#14 Ian Cooper

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 01:56 PM

Makes you wonder whether they actually did test it Ian, the Vimeo footage looked great. I know from previous threads you have a K3, is that the camera you shot that with ? and if so what lens was used ?


I'm pretty sure they did, I actually sent 5 cans of various stocks. The specs for that one were:

Red: 0.47 (Best Base: 0.15)
Green: 0.80 (Best Base: 0.52)
Blue: 1.21 (Best Base: 0.91)

If you swallow the logs, chew them about a bit, scratch your head then spit them out in terms of stops away from 'best':

Red: 1.1 stops , Green: 0.9 stops , Blue: 1.0 stops

When shooting I over exposed 2/3 stop and hoped for the best. I would have O/E by a full stop, but it was early evening and there wasn't much light about for that!

The worst stock I had tested was 7296 EXR500T, which gave R1.4, G2.3, B2.1 measured in stops. I've yet to put any of that through a camera, but I don't expect much from it, shame, my fridge has x6 400ft cans of the stuff in it! Lol (it was cheap)


That clip was shot on the K3 with standard Meteor zoom lens, with the aperture pretty much wide open as the evening light was falling. It was transferred on an URSA.

As I mentioned, I've just received some footage from the K3 transferred on a Spirit yesterday, I have to say the results seemed sharper to my eye. The latest bunch of film also contains tests shot on my 'new' R16 on 7201 during the day and the new 7219 in the fair at night (lens wide open and pray for the best!).


Regards,
Ian.
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#15 Ron Flex

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 07:51 PM

Well I got an email back and they charge £2 per roll plus VAT. So it should be around £14 for all 6 tins. Not too bad really. Although I expect the cost of sending the 6 400ft tins via return postage will not be cheap!
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