Kevin Bjorke
Kevin Bjorke
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Shanghai, 2004 (C)2004 K Bjorke

It seems like Ilford is back from the edge of the dissolution abyss, at least for now. Despite all the anxiety over the “death of film,” it seems to me that it won’t be film that will dry up. It’ll be other parts of the expendables supply chain that will first disappear and make life difficult.

In my own experience, the most problematic supply item has been acquiring decent negative sleeves. And right this moment, I’m completely tapped out.

Sure, there’s a pack on order from B&H. It’ll be here Monday or Wednesday. Some time soon. But at the moment all film processing is halted, because the only negative sleeves I actually like — Print File 35-7BXW — are already next to impossible to find without driving for 40 minutes or waiting for a week’s worth of shipping delay.

As I’ve already ranted about sleeves, print, and framing sizes, for some lame reason negative sleeves are always too small for those of us who typically get 37-40 frames from a 36-exposure roll (it’s not that I try to be extra-frugal in my film winding — it’s automated). So I can buy 35-7BXW (seven strips of six frames, total capacity 42 frames) or two of the typical 6x6 or 6x5 pages (that I could just buy at the local Long’s drugstore) to store a single roll. Grrr.

Don’t even get me started on the local Rodinal supply situation….

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