Road Train !!!!!!!!!!

by Russell McMahon

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Recently I was given an Imperial Satellite 127 camera as a wedding/moving away gift. I was pretty excited about it since older cameras have always interested me, but I've not ever owned one. Also, I haven't shot film since over 10 years ago when I was in a college photography developing film in the darkroom.

After I received it, I realized that this particular camera took a very uncommon film format, and it seems to be very difficult to come by (Here's a quick write up on 127 film). I've done some searching online and the only thing that looks feasible is this roll of color 127 film on B&H, but I would greatly prefer to shoot in B&W if at all possible. If not, I'll probably buy a few rolls of this color film.

I've also read a few things about people experimenting with other film sizes in 127 film cameras. Some will take a roll of easier to come by 120 film and cut it to fit, other will take a roll of 35mm film and just expose the while thing including the sprocket holes. Here's an interesting write up of both.

So, my questions are:

  • Where can I find some B&W 127 film? Online? There are no local photo places near me :(
  • Has anyone ever tried other film sizes in this camera or another 127 camera?
  • Does anyone have any other recommendations or tips for me as I start out with this camera?

Here are some photos of the camera I now own! the box the camera

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Maybe I'm missing something... but ebay? –  rfusca Mar 16 at 1:28
    
That is certainly an option, but wow that's expensive! $85 for 5 rolls of film seems pretty high to me. I see a lot of expired film for sale, how bad will photos turn out if I shoot with expired film? –  Chris Barr Mar 16 at 1:59
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See this question –  rfusca Mar 16 at 2:48
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It seems high to me too, but given the market, that may just be it. –  rfusca Mar 16 at 2:48

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

127 film can be purchased, in colour only, from Bluefire Labs in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Price isn't bad... the 127 film is $9.89.

At this point they appear to be the only ones making 127 film in any format, so unless you want to pay substantial ebay prices for end of life film (which may take interesting shots), I don't see better options.

EDIT

As a thought... you can always do what Bluefire is doing if you're willing to cut in the dark. Basically, get your hands on the parts (perhaps by ordering colour film from Bluefire) and then get bulk B&W film from an Agfa (if you can) and cut it yourself. I've bulked rolled film before, it's pretty easy, but I've never cut it for size.

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Shipping is steep from BlueFire, $11 shipping on a $10 roll of film. the film I linked to on B&H is $15 with $4 shipping, so it actually comes out about the same in the end :/ any recommendations between the two? –  Chris Barr Mar 16 at 20:43
    
@ChrisBarr - I think the shipping is $11, but not per roll, so unless you only want one roll... Anyways, I don't have a specific recommendation between the two. For myself, I would probably look to go the cutting route as bulk film is usually reasonable in price. –  John Cavan Mar 16 at 21:02

Google for Rollei Crossbird or Nightbird 127 4x4. You may find some. But be warned, these films are a bit special. And they ain't b&w either.

The only dealer I am aware of is Photo Impex in Berlin. But there it is currently sold out.

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