What Film to bring for two week Japan travel
Old 02-02-2019   #1
aleqx
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What Film to bring for two week Japan travel

Hey there!

In about two months i will be traveling to Japan for two weeks. I will visit Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Since this is not my first time in Japan I thought about having some fun and I decided to leave my DSLR at home and only bring my Canonet QL17 and some nice film.

I think I will need about 10-15 rolls of film, but Iím not so sure what to bring. The Ąto-goĒ Film would be Kodak Gold 200, since I can buy three rolls for 8Ä in Germany. But I wonder if it might be too slow as an all purpose film. I do have the Canolite D flash, but maybe a ISO 400 film might be better? There is the Fuji XTra 400, but itís about double the price, so a bit expensive for everyday shooting.

As nice extra I thought about Cinestill 800 Tungsten for cool neon light shots, maybe some inexpensive B/W film (Agfa APX100, or some Fomapan stuff).

Do you have any other nice suggestions?

As for getting the right film for the right moment: I wonder if itís feasible to rewind and later reload a film, if itís not fully used, so I can switch to a higher ISO film after sundown? I would have to remember the shots and be careful not to completely roll it into the canister, but other than that it should work, right?

Thanks for your time and support!

aleqx
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Old 02-02-2019   #2
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Kodak Portra 400, rate at 200, since you are only taking one camera. If need be you can rate it anywhere from 100 to 800 and still get acceptable results. Personally, I stick to 200 or 400.

If you were taking a second camera, I would add Kodak Ektar.

These are my selections in the last three trips to the same destinations in Japan, using two cameras.

As to the cost of the film, if you are paying for flights and accommodation to go to Japan, saving money on film is a totally false economy.
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Old 02-02-2019   #3
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You could buy film in Japan.
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Old 02-02-2019   #4
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Japan is THE place to buy some film, especially if you like color negative.
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Old 02-02-2019   #5
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Re: buying film in Japan... I love to shoot with Kodak Gold 200 but I can't find it here... I order from NYC. It would be my go-to color film in Japan. I normally shoot b&w... Fuji Neopan 100 (discontinued) or Fuji Neopan 400 (discontinued), I carry ND4, PL, and R1/YA2 filters for daytime. I just purchased a couple of rolls of TRI-X 400 at Yen 935 per 36 exposure.

In Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka in late March or early April some color would be good. The city can be quite bright at night (natural light fades early), interiors can be low light ; )

For the most part I do b&w film during the day and digital (x100t) in the evening.

Have a great trip...
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Old 02-02-2019   #6
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400 speed film is a must for travel, I think -- it just gives you so much latitude and options, and the quality nowadays is terrific.
Colour or B&W is your choice, but black and white lets you focus on the light and the moment, it seems more timeless somehow. Anyway, your choice. But 400 speed seems like the obvious choice.
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Old 02-03-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbielikowski View Post
Japan is THE place to buy some film, especially if you like color negative.
WARNING! I used to think that one could always buy film in Japan but that is not the case anymore, at least when it comes to Kodak film. Last year in the spring time I went to Kyoto with the intention of shooting Kodak Ektar film in my Fuji TX-1. I could not find a single roll of Ektar anywhere in Osaka or Kyoto. None. I really wanted the saturation and scan-ability of Ektar but I was out of luck. I shot Superia, which was easy to find.

Ilford and most Fujifilms were easy to find although film selections were waaay lower than seen in the past. I've been going to Japan yearly for a decade and film use there seems to have declined quite a lot. Yodobashi's film shelves are more than halved in size.

Bring films you must have!
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Old 02-03-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleqx View Post
Hey there!

In about two months i will be traveling to Japan for two weeks. I will visit Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Since this is not my first time in Japan I thought about having some fun and I decided to leave my DSLR at home and only bring my Canonet QL17 and some nice film.

I think I will need about 10-15 rolls of film, but Iím not so sure what to bring. The Ąto-goĒ Film would be Kodak Gold 200, since I can buy three rolls for 8Ä in Germany. But I wonder if it might be too slow as an all purpose film. I do have the Canolite D flash, but maybe a ISO 400 film might be better? There is the Fuji XTra 400, but itís about double the price, so a bit expensive for everyday shooting.

As nice extra I thought about Cinestill 800 Tungsten for cool neon light shots, maybe some inexpensive B/W film (Agfa APX100, or some Fomapan stuff).

Do you have any other nice suggestions?

As for getting the right film for the right moment: I wonder if itís feasible to rewind and later reload a film, if itís not fully used, so I can switch to a higher ISO film after sundown? I would have to remember the shots and be careful not to completely roll it into the canister, but other than that it should work, right?

Thanks for your time and support!

aleqx
I didn't see a single roll of Kodak Gold film my last trip to Japan. If that's what you want, bring a supply.
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Old 02-03-2019   #9
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I was in Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka in November and film is sold all over the place. With stuff you can't get outside of Japan like Fuji Superia 400 Premium which turned out to be 100% better than regular Superia.

And yes, rewinding a partially shot film is something I do a lot. As you say, just listen carefully for when the film pops off the take up spool and stop winding before it goes back in the canister. Mark the shot you were on on the canister with a Sharpie and you're sorted.
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Old 02-03-2019   #10
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Originally Posted by Arbitrarium View Post
I was in Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka in November and film is sold all over the place. With stuff you can't get outside of Japan like Fuji Superia 400 Premium which turned out to be 100% better than regular Superia.

And yes, rewinding a partially shot film is something I do a lot. As you say, just listen carefully for when the film pops off the take up spool and stop winding before it goes back in the canister. Mark the shot you were on on the canister with a Sharpie and you're sorted.
This is a very misleading post. The OP was interested in Kodak Gold. That film is certainly not sold "all over the place". If one is lucky, Yodobashi or Bic Camera will have some, but as mentioned earlier, this is not guaranteed.

Those interested in shooting Gold, Ektar, or even TMAX films should not rely on local supply, except perhaps in Tokyo. Smaller cities such as Kyoto do not have the film supply they once had. I've been going to Japan yearly for now 8 straight years and have witnessed the decline.

I'll be going to Japan this spring and I wont be relying on finding Ektar as I did last time. Not one roll was available in stores in spring of 2018 in Kyoto.
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Old 02-03-2019   #11
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Like Ted said. Kodak and Ilford are rarer and more expensive. Quite logical since they're all imported.

Instead you have lots of Fujifilm staff, including the Japan-exclusive specialties like the Superia Premium 400, all cheaper than in the US. Curiously you'd see less Kentmere but more of the rebadged Oriental film and paper.

So if you insist on shooting Kodak then bring your own supply. Otherwise give local stores a try - some grab bag deals can be amazing.
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Old 02-03-2019   #12
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Thanks everyone for the information!

I really like the way Kodak Gold renders, so I’ll bring at least a few rolls, just to be sure.

@Mute-on: when you say rate at 200, do you mean that I should set my camera to ISO 200 to overexpose the film by one stop? Would this work with other film as well, eg set the camera to ISO 400 if a 200 film is loaded? I heard the film can be forgiving to underexpose about one stop, so that should give me some headroom when working with Kodak gold.

I didn’t even think about buying film there, so that is a really good idea. I checked the yodobashi website and they have nice ISO 400 film, I think I will grab a few rolls of some nice Fujifilm, maybe even try the superia 400 premium. Apparently it’s designed for Asian skin tones, but I’ll just see how they turn out.
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Old 02-03-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleqx View Post

I didnít even think about buying film there, so that is a really good idea. I checked the yodobashi website and they have nice ISO 400 film, I think I will grab a few rolls of some nice Fujifilm, maybe even try the superia 400 premium. Apparently itís designed for Asian skin tones, but Iíll just see how they turn out.
Be advised, what is on Yodobashi's web site is vastly different to in-store stock. You will have no problems buying any Fujifilm products, but imported material can be hit and miss. If Tokyo is your first stop, you will have your best chances there. Stock up on whatever you find there!

Enjoy Japan. It is an amazing place to visit.
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Old 02-03-2019   #14
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Oh, and Kamakura is a MUST visit sea side town if you have time in Tokyo. A very short train ride away.
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Old 02-03-2019   #15
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When I travel by air I buy my film after arrival and have it processed there.
For convenience I also have them mailed directly home when possible.

Unlike film, processed slides, negatives or prints are not likely to be subject to X-ray damage during repeated airport security inspections.

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Old 02-03-2019   #16
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Thank you everyone for your input, especially Ted for the first hand information. Actually I have been to Kamakura twice already and it was always really beautiful. As for the air travel, I hope that I can convice the airport staff to hand check my film, as I don't want to soley rely on buying film in Japan, but thanks anyway for the reminder!

I hope that leaving my digital camera at home will help me enjoy travelling more, as I started to notice that I became a slave to my camera and lenses, instead of enjoying the moment.

Instead I will try to take in the atmosphere and snap the occasional pic here and there. I will let you know how it worked out and what film I ended up using.

Cheers!
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Old 02-03-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
Be advised, what is on Yodobashi's web site is vastly different to in-store stock. You will have no problems buying any Fujifilm products, but imported material can be hit and miss. If Tokyo is your first stop, you will have your best chances there. Stock up on whatever you find there!

Enjoy Japan. It is an amazing place to visit.
Doesn't camera geeks go to Shinjuku right after landing in Tokyo? There you can just stock up in Yodobashi some fancy stuff like Superia Venus and then you really start enjoying Japan Of course you're right, not all films are available nor as cheap as in Europe but those unique JDM emulsions are worth the money, and they just complete the whole experience.
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Old 02-03-2019   #18
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I would use the film you usually use and buy some interesting film you can experiment with in Japan. If your go to film is Kodak Gold get Kodak Gold 200 and take some 400 which isn't all that expensive as well. DM has both.
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Old 02-03-2019   #19
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Originally Posted by jbielikowski View Post
Doesn't camera geeks go to Shinjuku right after landing in Tokyo? There you can just stock up in Yodobashi some fancy stuff like Superia Venus and then you really start enjoying Japan Of course you're right, not all films are available nor as cheap as in Europe but those unique JDM emulsions are worth the money, and they just complete the whole experience.
Yeah, I used to do that. Now that Natura 1600 is gone, along with some other unique emulsions, the film offerings in Japan aren not that special anymore.
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Old 02-03-2019   #20
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Originally Posted by aleqx View Post
Thank you everyone for your input, especially Ted for the first hand information. Actually I have been to Kamakura twice already and it was always really beautiful. As for the air travel, I hope that I can convice the airport staff to hand check my film, as I don't want to soley rely on buying film in Japan, but thanks anyway for the reminder!

I hope that leaving my digital camera at home will help me enjoy travelling more, as I started to notice that I became a slave to my camera and lenses, instead of enjoying the moment.

Instead I will try to take in the atmosphere and snap the occasional pic here and there. I will let you know how it worked out and what film I ended up using.

Cheers!
Japanese security is usually pretty good about hand inspections if you ask. However, it's totally unnecessary as film today can be scanned a dozen times or more without effect. I shoot 40-60 rolls while in Japan and I dont want to burden the security guards so I just send it right through the x-ray machine. Never causes any problems. I've had rolls of film scanned 10 times over in Europe, again, never any problems.
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Old 02-03-2019   #21
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Originally Posted by ChrisPlatt View Post

Unlike film, processed slides, negatives or prints are not likely to be subject to X-ray damage during repeated airport security inspections.

Chris
Film is very unlikely to be affected by x-ray machines. I have had all kinds of films exposed to all kinds of x-rays. Even Delta 3200 and Portra 800. I never ask for hand checking of film anymore since the results clearly show x-rays do not affect the film.
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Old 02-03-2019   #22
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Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
Film is very unlikely to be affected by x-ray machines. I have had all kinds of films exposed to all kinds of x-rays. Even Delta 3200 and Portra 800. I never ask for hand checking of film anymore since the results clearly show x-rays do not affect the film.
I have the same experience but only with 100 and 200 b/w films. I am worried about the latest 3D scanners though. They are supposed to take over a hundred scans in order to form a 3D image.
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Old 02-03-2019   #23
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I have the same experience but only with 100 and 200 b/w films. I am worried about the latest 3D scanners though. They are supposed to take over a hundred scans in order to form a 3D image.
I fly all over the world and have never seen a 3D scanner. No idea what it is and so I am not worried about such things.
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Old 02-03-2019   #24
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I fly all over the world and have never seen a 3D scanner. No idea what it is and so I am not worried about such things.
They look like CT scanners in hospitals with an arch shape and are in use at SFO. Youíll know it when security does not require the traveller to remove the laptop and other items from the carry on into trays.
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Old 02-03-2019   #25
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Kodak Portra 400 all the way
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Old 02-03-2019   #26
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They look like CT scanners in hospitals with an arch shape and are in use at SFO. You’ll know it when security does not require the traveller to remove the laptop and other items from the carry on into trays.


This PDF describes the explosives detection machine that you are referring to:
https://smithsdetection-scio.com/Ass...pmLL1VFA%3d%3d


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What Film to bring for two week Japan travel
Old 02-03-2019   #27
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What Film to bring for two week Japan travel

Porta 400 plus your fav 400 speed B&W.
Get some Velvia 100 locally in Japan for Hanami if you’re there during Cherry Blossom time.

My family and I visited at late March and early April last year. As I recall the sun set around 1800-1830. Check http://timeanddate.com for local sunrise and sunset for your locations.
Swapping film mid-roll is OK but I always skip a frame when I reload to avoid double-exposure.
Listen and feel carefully for the tension release when rewinding to avoid rolling back into the can. Any photo dev shop can help you get it back out if you make mistake.

When I travelled, before I left I stuck a small approx 1cmx2.5cm sticker directly on every film canister for notes. Use removable labels or if using permanent sticker, do not cover the DX barcode if your camera or film processor or automated.

I also found a small kitchen leftover style box (Maybe 15cmx20cm?) at the dollar store for holding all my films without packing the individual plastic film container.

Think of a system you will follow at end of each day for keeping track of used and unused films, labels, notes and then plan your location and films for tomorrow.
Inspect and clean lenses and filters and pack your photo kit at night, not in the morning.


I took this picture of the film selection at BIC at Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. Film department is on the first level below ground.
Most boxes were display only, you take the box to the counter and they check in the fridge for available stock.

https://flic.kr/p/23swG4w

Have fun, smile and say hello to everyone. Japanese people are excellent hosts.

Michael.


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Old 02-05-2019   #28
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Bring a few rolls of Gold 200 with you. When in Tokyo, go to Bic Camera Shinjuku or Shibuya and stock up on Gold 200, Super Gold 400 (same as Ultramax 400) or one of the Fuji alternatives, if need be. I've never been there and not find suitable Kodak film for sale.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 04-19-2019   #29
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So I came back from Japan a few weeks ago, and I really have to say that it was a fun trip. I actually shot most of it on film, and luckily the rolls came back just fine. I brought a few rolls from home and added a few in Tokyo.

I ended up shooting all kinds of film, including Kodak Gold 200, Lomography 400, Fuji Venus 800, Ultramax 400 and Superia 400. Funnily enough it was easier to buy Lomography film than Kodak in Tokyo, which I found surprising.

As for the experience, I really have to say that I enjoyed it a lot. The Canonet QL17 is small enough to have it around your neck for a whole day without it being too heavy. Being a bit limited with my frames I just shot what I found really interesting, which reduced both the unecessary pictures, as well as the time lost while trying to get the "perfect" picture. Also the time spent recharging batteries, making backups etc. was reduced. I have to admit that I used my phone here and there, for when I wanted to take a snap, but didn`t want to waste a frame - for example for a funny poster or a nice meal pic. I was happy to see many other film shooters during my trip, including a Hasselblad 500CM and some dude shooting large format frames of cherry blossom trees. Film is really alive!

The pictures turned out nice enough. A few keepers are in there but of course some didn`t turn out great, and thats ok. Unfortunately I donīt have a film scanner, so I just scanned one print to show here As a final though I would say that ISO400 is probably the fastest film I need, especially because I can set my camera to ISO800 as a makeshift exposure compensation for night shots. Also the fact that I carry a phone with me softened the anxiety of coming back with possibly no pictures. And last but not least: donīt forget your flash at home, if you bought it just in time for this vacation. Would I do it again? Definately!


Edit: Totaly forgot about my airport experience: I flew from Germany, where the airport security was so young, that she didn`t know what 35mm film rolls were. Her supervisor was kind enough to handcheck the rolls. In Osaka the airport staff was experienced, and they handchecked the film without asking. For my transfer in Amsterdam I had to get all rolls scanned once, as the staff would not hand-check it. Luckily it didn`t have any visible effect on the film, not even for the Fuji 800 film. It helped that I put all rolls in a transparent plastic bag similar to the ones used for liquids, so the staff could immediatly see what they were dealing with.
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Old 04-19-2019   #30
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Just to clarify, Gold can be difficult to find. Kodak films though, Ektar, Portra, Tmax, Ektachrome, are super easy to find in Tokyo. I didn't bring a single roll of film the last time I was there...I try to get to Shibuya and Shinjuku a couple of times a year. My last time I did not see any Gold stock...but as usual, boatloads of Kodak, Fuji and Ilford films, along with others.

I always grab a bunch of Fuji Superia Xtra 400 as the price is good and supply plentiful. Sometimes I still notice some stock of Industrial 400 at a slightly better price.
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Old 04-19-2019   #31
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I would take it easy here and just try to fully enjoy my trip. We went for 6 weeks to Japan manay years ago, and it was a great experience. I had in one pockets a Minox GT and an Olympus XA in the other pocket for daily photos in the streets. My "professional outfit" was a Bessa T with a CV 25/4. Wear good walking shoes and have a light rain coat with you. Buying film over there means 50% less X Ray or Gamma Rays exposure for the film.

Have a great trip.
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Old 04-19-2019   #32
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I ended up shooting all kinds of film, including Kodak Gold 200, Lomography 400, Fuji Venus 800, Ultramax 400 and Superia 400. Funnily enough it was easier to buy Lomography film than Kodak in Tokyo, which I found surprising.
You should not have been surprised as this thread specifically warned you that this might happen. I could not for the life of me find ANY Kodak color film the last 2 times I was in Japan. Nothing. Not. A. Single. Roll. And my intention was to shoot the entire trip on Ektar. BIG mistake as there was none to be found.

Kodak has horrible distribution of film these days compared to back in the day. I could not find any Ektar when i was in Rome last too.
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Old 04-19-2019   #33
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Kodak has horrible distribution of film these days compared to back in the day. I could not find any Ektar when i was in Rome last too.
Simply your own fault. In Rome there is the wonderful, film photography only store 'ars-imago'
http://www.ars-imago.com/index.php?language=en
And they offer the full line of Kodak films, too.
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Old 04-19-2019   #34
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It was no issue for me really, as I don’t mind trying whatever I can find. I just did not expect to find so much Lomo film.
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Old 04-19-2019   #35
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Simply your own fault. In Rome there is the wonderful, film photography only store 'ars-imago'
http://www.ars-imago.com/index.php?language=en
And they offer the full line of Kodak films, too.
You are incorrect. I went to that store. It's wonderful. I found Superia 400 in 120 size there! Never saw that anywhere else. But when I was there, Kodak was out of stock.
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Old 04-19-2019   #36
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Unless you want to make a large camera store in Tokyo a destination, I would not want to spend a lot of time running around town trying to find film. If you are only going to use 10-15 rolls, take them with you.
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Old 04-19-2019   #37
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You are incorrect. I went to that store. It's wonderful. I found Superia 400 in 120 size there! Never saw that anywhere else. But when I was there, Kodak was out of stock.
I know this store much much better than you. I am a regular customer. I've never experienced there that Kodak film was out of stock. Never.
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Old 04-19-2019   #38
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That you did not see something does not indicate it never happened.
Black swan syndrome.
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Old 04-19-2019   #39
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Black swan syndrome.
Well noted!
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Old 04-19-2019   #40
tunalegs
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I did not have an issue finding Kodak films in Tokyo when I went in 2016.

I did however have a problem finding film in Okinawa. Only Fujifilm consumer grade films were available, and nobody had any 120 of any sort in Naha (my friend even called around a bit, but nada).



I shot most of my 35mm on Agfa Precisa, and my 120 was a mix of Ektar and Fuji 400.



I know the OP has gone and been back already, but I may as well throw my 2 cents in that 100ASA is fast enough for most outdoor situations. I shot most of my photos in Okinawa on Ektar and it was overcast and rainy most of the time. Everything turned out great.


Naha by Berang Berang, on Flickr
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