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View Poll Results: How many rolls of film do you use per month (on average)?
5 or less 145 46.03%
10 or less 112 35.56%
20 or less 34 10.79%
more than 20 24 7.62%
Voters: 315. You may not vote on this poll

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The "How Many Rolls" poll
Old 08-22-2004   #1
Todd.Hanz
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The "How Many Rolls" poll

Just curious, how many rolls of film do you use per month? Color or B/W doesn't matter, I thought it would be interesting to see the #'s we (RFF) consume. Please be honest and use the "poll thingy" up top.

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Old 08-22-2004   #2
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Just to clarify - "20 or less" means "Between 10 and 20" right?

Doesn't really matter to me personally as I'm a 1-2 rolls a month kinda guy right now
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Old 08-22-2004   #3
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Old 08-22-2004   #4
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I think I am just unusually slow
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Old 08-22-2004   #5
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I'm quite a film waster. On average 2 rolls a week. In some weeks may go up to 10 and in some other weeks only 2 frames.
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Old 08-23-2004   #6
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In general I shoot about a roll per day. That includes holidays and trips abroad when I can shoot hald a dozen per day. So, over 20 per month for me.

Ya'all should feel so lucky that I'm not posting all those shots here on RFF. It could turn ungly, like having to sit through several hours of photos or slides from your not-so-favourite overweight aunt's sunny beach holiday in her teeny string bikini.
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Old 08-23-2004   #7
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I certainly don't burn up film these days. For one thing I shoot about 80% digital with an SLR (mainly nature photography) and that cuts down film consumption. A couple rolls a week is about my average.

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Old 08-23-2004   #8
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Is this just 35mm RF? Or do I get to count my Hasselblad and LF monsters as well? If yes, what does sheet film count as?

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Old 08-23-2004   #9
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I just gave the number of the films burnt with my ambi silette (5 to 10). The other stuff (medium format slr) is just used during trips.

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Old 08-23-2004   #10
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I shoot so much during the week with DSLRs on the job that I'm unfortunately too tired to go out and do some real photography when I'm off. That sucks big time and I'm considering finding a new job.

So if I can shoot more than a roll per month right now, I'm happy. At least, I get the superb quality of film and CV optics. That's a reflief from the digital crap I have to deal with at the office.
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Old 08-23-2004   #11
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I shoot about 1 roll per week (after a long period of time of shooting about 2 or 3). That seems to place me in the 5 or less category.

There was a time when I was shooting almost three times that much. My cameras were never empty, and my film developing bills were a bit outrageous...

And then, I discovered slide film. And my university lab! They charge $5 for doing a 36-exposure roll, and $4.50 for a 24, same day developing, plus scanning and printing (before I got my own). Great posters too!

One drawback: lab subject to state budget cuts. So far, none, but it's always a threat we have to live with.

Sorry I went OT!
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Old 08-23-2004   #12
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On average, 5 or less. I have my spurts though, like over the last month or so, but things will slow down again.
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Old 08-23-2004   #13
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Until about five years ago, I could shoot up to a roll a day, but
currently I shoot a little over one roll per week on 35mm and about one per two weeks on rollfilm. Medium format has made me a more deliberate shooter. I now often look through the viewfinder and think ''nah, that's not great'', and then move on.
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Old 08-23-2004   #14
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Its hard for me to shoot much during the week with work and all, but I'm usually shooting a roll or two of B&W on the weekend and developing it, so 10 or less for me.
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Old 08-23-2004   #15
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3-5 rolls a week, only B&W, develop myself, that keeps the cost reasonable and the real B&W films just look great!
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Old 08-23-2004   #16
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I simply added up the number of rolls I've shot in the past year: 65, and dividing by 12 gives a little over 5/month on average. I souped only six of those myself, all on one day a few weeks ago.
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Old 11-03-2007   #17
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Well...I got 'waves'.
These days I do maybe 1 per week, but there are times I do 1 per day...
and sometimes more...



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Old 11-03-2007   #18
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This shows whats wrong with us, we just dont shoot enough
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Old 11-08-2007   #19
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12 thus far this month. (the 8th today)
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Old 11-10-2007   #20
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just started to shoot film but its looking like I'll shoot 5 or so tops. SO far I'm on roll three
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Old 11-10-2007   #21
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In the last two weeks, shared with my wife Frances Schultz, 32 rolls 35mm + 22 rolls 120. In an empty 2 weeks .... None!

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Old 11-10-2007   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otaku
just started to shoot film but its looking like I'll shoot 5 or so tops. SO far I'm on roll three
Good for you! Tell your friends! Film ain't dead- film is forever.
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Old 11-13-2007   #23
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Surprise, I use enough film a month to buy a dslr every 6 months, thats why I did.
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Old 11-13-2007   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avotius
Surprise, I use enough film a month to buy a dslr every 6 months, thats why I did.
Yeah, an interesting one that. In the same 2 weeks as Frances and I shot all that film, I also shot about 450 pics with the M8 -- the equivalent of (say) 15 rolls of slide film. Even at a fiver a roll (cheap film, home processed) that's 75 quid or $160. Now allow for the fact that I'm more profligate with digi than with film: I reckon that the M8 saves maybe $1000 a year in slides, so it pays for itself in 5 years tops -- maybe a lot less.

But it's not just money. When it's hack-work, the savings in time are even more important. I reckon that the Nikon D70 (my usual camera for pack shots and 'how to' shots for magazines and the web) pays for itself every year or less.

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Old 11-13-2007   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
Yeah, an interesting one that. In the same 2 weeks as Frances and I shot all that film, I also shot about 450 pics with the M8 -- the equivalent of (say) 15 rolls of slide film. Even at a fiver a roll (cheap film, home processed) that's 75 quid or $160. Now allow for the fact that I'm more profligate with digi than with film: I reckon that the M8 saves maybe $1000 a year in slides, so it pays for itself in 5 years tops -- maybe a lot less.

But it's not just money. When it's hack-work, the savings in time are even more important. I reckon that the Nikon D70 (my usual camera for pack shots and 'how to' shots for magazines and the web) pays for itself every year or less.

Cheers,

Roger

Indeed, there is something to be said about the ease of digital in our fast paced world. That said I still love film, dont get me wrong, but time is pretty important to me as well and its difficult for me to spend 6 hours developing bw negs then 3-4 hours scanning them, then a few hours looking at them then many many hours editing. Either way I spend many many hours editing and looking, but I really do not miss the scanning part of the processes. My 20D has paid for itself many times over (and I bought it when they were 1500 bucks) and I never regretted buying one, man I love film though....pity the last place in town that sold pro films (ilford, slide, 120, the sort) just closed. Now I have to order my film....online....and who knows how many scanners it will go through here in china before it gets to me. But every trip I go out on I still take my trusty film camera, so there is something in that if you ask me. Hurrah for (agfa, fuji, ilford) film.


By the way, I figured that a M8 would pay for itself in a little over two years, and a 5D in a little more then 1. I need a life...
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Old 11-13-2007   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avotius
Indeed, there is something to be said about the ease of digital in our fast paced world. That said I still love film, dont get me wrong, but time is pretty important to me as well and its difficult for me to spend 6 hours developing bw negs then 3-4 hours scanning them, then a few hours looking at them then many many hours editing. Either way I spend many many hours editing and looking, but I really do not miss the scanning part of the processes. My 20D has paid for itself many times over (and I bought it when they were 1500 bucks) and I never regretted buying one, man I love film though....pity the last place in town that sold pro films (ilford, slide, 120, the sort) just closed. Now I have to order my film....online....and who knows how many scanners it will go through here in china before it gets to me. But every trip I go out on I still take my trusty film camera, so there is something in that if you ask me. Hurrah for (agfa, fuji, ilford) film.


By the way, I figured that a M8 would pay for itself in a little over two years, and a 5D in a little more then 1. I need a life...
I'm sure your cost/benefit calculations are a lot more realistic for a full-time professional than mine. But because I'm a writer/photographer, and semi-retired at that, my film usage/image exposure pattern is much closer to that of a (very) enthusiastic amateur than to that of someone like yourself.

But like you, I love film (well, let's be accurate, I love black and white -- though I still shoot slide and neg alongside digi). Then again, I'm reminded of an alleged remark by George Bernard Shaw, when Henry Ford was waxing lyrical about the rewards of the artist's life: "Well, Mr. Ford, there is the difference between us. You think only of Art, and I think only of money."

Incidentally, DON'T get a life as well. You can't fit a career in around it. Today: decide to mix up D76 and clean up studio prior to exhaustive resolution and development tests on TMY2 for magazines and web site (pretty pics already shot on 2 weeks in Spain).

Clear path to mixing bench (in the stables). No borax, go to chemists', buy borax. Clean up balance. Find 2 litre jug for mixing D76.

Start on cleaning up studio. Make & fit new blackout for south-facing window. Partially rearrange studio. Put copy stand on rolling bench. Partially rewire studio. Remount lens testing charts. Find that bulb in one Redhead is blown; try to find bulb box.

Tomorrow: may be able to start work...

Cheers,

R.

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 11-13-2007 at 12:13.
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Old 01-21-2008   #27
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I shoot several hundred rolls a year. I'm actually looking into developing my own colour.... costs less than a digital camera.. ; D

Processing, scanning.. yeah it's drudge work but I just prefer film.
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Old 01-22-2008   #28
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After graduate school my personal photographic output declined dramatically as I pursued my professional work. A friend and I made a pact before this past November that we would shoot at least two rolls of black and white film every week, process, make contact sheets, and at least four silver prints (fiber) as well. Just so we didn't weasel out of the commitment we would meet every Saturday or Sunday morning at a cafe to share the results of our labors.

So far we have both held to the agreement. I am shooting mostly with the M6, an occassional roll with the Hasselblad or Mamiya 7. It is a struggle and I have found myself in the darkroom at 1 AM the night before our meeting more than once.

I continue to struggle to find a focus for my personal work and it would be easy to stop shooting and wait for inspiration or ideas. I know for myself that seldom does either arrive. Through the forced and arbitrary two roll a week shooting I do find energy and inspiration. No idea where it's heading but I keep buying and using up film and paper!
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Old 01-22-2008   #29
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Steve, it's tough to keep to a commitment like that. I'm impressed. One piece of advice they give to writers is simply 'write every day, whether you feel like it or not'. The idea being to keep active, keep the skills honed, and let inspiration find its way to you through your steady work.

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Not nearly enough
Old 01-22-2008   #30
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Cool Not nearly enough

No mention of # of sheets of film.

I converted 4x5 sheets to rolls. I still don't use nearly enough film.
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Old 01-22-2008   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneW
Steve, it's tough to keep to a commitment like that. I'm impressed. One piece of advice they give to writers is simply 'write every day, whether you feel like it or not'. The idea being to keep active, keep the skills honed, and let inspiration find its way to you through your steady work.

Gene
Gene, I'm hoping it becomes easier and habitual over time. I suffer from an overabundance of inertia which probably accounts for why the trim is still not up in our bedroom after 12 years.

In graduate school there were external motivations to keep me working. Professionally the same is true. But there are none for personal work and I don't want to lose my personal interest in photography. The childish wonder and excitement that I still get when I wander on my own remains intoxicating though hard won.

What continues to amaze me is how great it feels to finish shooting or printing but how difficult it is to begin. Drag me to the darkroom but then you have to drag me away. It makes no sense to a rational person.

More chocolate is probably the answer to most of my problems...
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Old 01-22-2008   #32
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OT - Steve, I left a note on your blog. I often go to central PA for stream fishing. There's another RFF member who lives in Galeton, Brad Birley. He may be nearby.
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Old 01-22-2008   #33
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I messed up and voted 10 and less - thought we were doing week not month. I shot 20+ over a month.
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Old 01-22-2008   #34
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I voted 5, I counted and organized the contact prints last sunday ... 50 b/w rolls during 2007 (plus some othes colour roll).
I should shoot more....
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Old 01-22-2008   #35
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Generally speaking, for my personal shooting - I'm in the 10-20 camp (tho that falls closer to 8-10 during the winter) and peaks higher in the summer and fall.

For a location architecture shoot - I can do 20+ rolls in a day (120) though. But we're not counting pro work, I assume. (Granted, it's been a while since I did a full location shoot too).
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Old 01-22-2008   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Jutras
I shoot so much during the week with DSLRs on the job that I'm unfortunately too tired to go out and do some real photography when I'm off. That sucks big time and I'm considering finding a new job.

So if I can shoot more than a roll per month right now, I'm happy. At least, I get the superb quality of film and CV optics. That's a reflief from the digital crap I have to deal with at the office.

I'm in complete agreement. Except for the new job part...I'm far too dim to do anything else that pays me as much

It does irk me slightly that I shoot all day and often simply don't want to wander around with another, albeit lighter, camera. As such I tend to carry my little Leica around with me wherever I am - though this hasn't meant that I shoot more film.

I'm a one or two a month shooter unless I'm at an event or something when I can burn through as much as I've got on me.
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Old 01-22-2008   #37
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Woah, I can't believe how much some of you (amateurs) shoot!
If you can manage to find compelling subjects that readily, then I'm impressed (unless you burn a whole roll or more on a single subject). Whatever floats your boat.
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Old 01-22-2008   #38
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I'm not quite sure on this one, but I do know I have films secreted around the place like a squirrel buries nuts. There's some ERA 100 in my work bag, a roll of colour print in my coat pocket, assorted stuff in my camera bag(s) and so on...

Like many others here, I suspect I'm a bit chaotic buying stuff in odd quantities here and there. For example I saw some Kodachrome in my local Boots and had to buy a roll. I then try and get the B&W films that I've shot, developed, but in no particular order. I also tend to be a bit of a magpie when it comes to films and developers. I know I should probably stick to ID11, or Rodinal, or D76, or DDX, delta 400. TriX, HP5, FP4, Panf etc etc. Tried them all and they all have good points. Fave at the moment is Neopan 400 tho'

That's the beauty of it really, just so much to do.

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Old 01-25-2008   #39
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Wow,
I just voted on a Poll that was started three and half years ago!
Slipped by me!! Untill today.

I gotta admit, I voted in the first category. But, last month I recorded 300 images on a 1GB card...does that count?

Kiu
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Old 02-22-2008   #40
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I probably could shoot a larger format at the rate I shoot film. A roll could easily last me an afternoon of shooting...if I fire away, I may expose two rolls.

I was looking at a few of my favorite images from Salgado's book (Workers) of men trying to cap oil wells in Kuwait during Desert Storm. I recall reading that Salgado exposed about 7,000 frames or approximately 194 rolls of film from his visit and if I recall correctly, there are maybe a dozen images of the 7,000 after editing included in the book...hmm, maybe I should shoot more frames....I wonder what the other 6 thousand plus images look like!
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