… and so it begins (stops)!

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When I’m going to buy a batch of film, I often look at a few dedicated businesses. In the UK I consider: AG Photographic, Mathers, Firstcall, Speedgraphic, and Silverprint. If I’m considering FP4 only – then I’ll also check out Wex. I’ve used Speedgraphic the most, they are pretty close to me – keeps the road miles down a bit and they are good on price (often best). The closest to me however was Silverprint. I should mention that I also buy single rolls, the odd 5 pack and so on from traditional photo shops, when something is in that I want a little of.

I first got to know about Silverprint when they were based in London, and they used to run a scheme for taking in 5 litre containers of used fix for processing. They moved down to my part of the world, Poole, I gather to be closer to the Bournemouth University and it’s strong media and photography department. While they were in Poole, actually a trading estate way out of the centre, I sought them out to buy the chemicals I needed for Cyanotype, and made up an order. As it turned out, the unit was a warehouse with just a small front desk. It was advised to order ahead and collect when notified. While there I was advised that it was always best just to mail order. About half the stuff I asked about was out of stock, although they did post out my order to me complete, just a couple of days later.

Last week I discovered that they’ve now gone out of business, and filed for bankruptcy. I’ve heard that a straw that broke the back of the camel may have been the lack of colour film, I don’t know how true that is, but either way it’s sad to loose one of our main suppliers of analogue material.

If it’s the lack of colour film, that bodes ill. I looked at AG Photo tonight and they have no stock of ANY colour 35mm that I can see, and that’s across Kodak, Fuji, and Cinestill! They also do processing so hopefully that will fill the gap, but if there’s no colour film about, one can only assume there will be less to process. I hope this is not the start of the end. Lets support the remaining guys as best we can!!

2 thoughts on “… and so it begins (stops)!

  1. Oh dear, this is terrible news!
    I used Silverprint for my supplies, although as a very ‘intermittent photographer’ my custom would have been negligible to them – but they were quite important to me. I was planning a huge purchase of Ilford film via the ULF scheme this year – I was just waiting for Silverprint to publish the date. I have recently retired so have my lump sum to squander and time on my hands to pick up my photography again. My other half encouraged me to invest in lots of sheet film to put through the plate cameras and weird format cameras I have amassed over the years. (Being a man of experience you will understand how this works. If I’ve just blown £500 on photographic film, then of course I can’t object to that designer handbag… 😉
    But alas, it looks like it won’t be with Silverprint. I almost feel a bit responsible- like I should have spent more, previously. I really hope the other suppliers aren’t in the same boat:(

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello. Yes, it’s sad news but I guess all businesses suffer from pressure especially these days. I imagine just lighting a warehouse to health and safety requirements these days is a challenge in it’s self. Not that I have much experience in ULF but I seem to remember that one can order directly from Ilford, and that they usually announce their intentions next month sometime, for orders to be in by late August? I once did a little 4×5, these day’s I flirt with the idea of 8×10 – I like the idea of making contact prints, al la Edward Weston. I look into it and then decide it’s all too much, and I don’t just mean money! So I give up on the idea, then slowly the idea starts to grow again!! Photography is a slippery slope! All best wishes Andy


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