I'm going to be living near Barcelona Spain this summer for 3 months. I am an amatuer photographer and so I know I'm going to be taking a massive amount of pictures. I have a nice camera with a good lens that I want to bring with and use. Does anyone have any ideas on what would be best to do for film? Should I wait and buy it over there and develop it over there? Or should I bring my own and bring it home and develop it? Any help would be fabulous!!! Thanks!!!
You can buy all kinds of film in Barcelona, all of the big brands such as Kodak, Fuji, Ilford etc. I am not sure if it will be cheaper to buy your film in the U.S though, this is something worth thinking about. If you check the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide to Spain they should give an idea of how much print and slide film will cost there. In tourist areas in Europe everything is amazingly overpriced, especially film.
As far as developing the films in Spain is concerned, will you be travelling around much (backpacking etc)?? If you are, I would suggest keeping your exposed films in a cool place as much as possible and then get them developed when you return home. You can carry fifty or sixty film cartridges in your bag or pack quite easily, it is not so easy to carry fifty packs of 36 photographs or boxes of slides and the extra weight will kill you! I developed about 10 films while backpacking around Morocco a couple of years ago and the extra weight in my backpack was really noticeable.
If you decide to take film with you, keep it in your hand luggage do not be put off by stories concerning x-ray machines at airports. All x-ray machines in Europe and the U.S are film safe so you will have no problem.
Hope this has been usefull for you....
If you are going to be in Spain for three months, I recommend you wait till you get there to buy most of your film - take some yourself of course. There are plenty of professional places around if you're looking for good film, etc. Actually, I developed a roll while I was over there - couldn't really wait till I got home - and it was probably the best developing I've had.. a lot of the pictures were poorly exposed (a mistake with my asa settings to blame there) and they did a great job tweaking the prints.
Benny makes a good point about the amount of space developed film would take up. On the other hand, three months is a long time to wait to see any results! You could always get the pictures developed and mail the prints back (keep the negatives yourself) to family at home. You would also avoid any possibility of x-ray damage, although chances of that are pretty much next to none in developed countries. If you would like the name of the place I got my roll developed, I could try to dig it up for you - they were a proper professional place, not far from the Sagrada Familia.
Thanks for the replies...
Do you remember how much it cost to buy film and get it developed in the Barcelona area?? I will be living in the same place for all 3 months so additional weight after developing isn't much of a problem... The cost of developing isn't as important because I can decide what I want to do with that while I'm there.
But the cost of film would make a difference. I usually buy Fuji 400 speed and I will probably get some black and white film.
Hey Leah, I didn't buy any film while I was there so don't have much of an idea about that. I'm afraid I can't remember the price of the developing either (it wasn't cheap though - it was a professional place!). I had a bit of a look in old documents to see if I kept the receipt, but can't seem to find it.
Hopefully one of our Spanish members might fill you in a little more
Can't give you specific's i'm afraid, but film in Barcelona/Spain is certainly readily available in whatever size/shape/form/speed you want and is cheaper than in Northern Europe at least. Having said that, i've no idea how expensive it is in The US (what would expect to pay for a Fuji 400 36 at home?) so can't really give you a meaningful comparison.
Also, i kind of doubt you will be prepared to wait 3months to take your film home to be developed - Your going to be too excited to wait that long! There are literally hundreds of places you can get them developed - some cheap, some not so, so it all depends what your looking for/how quickly/how much your prepared to pay.
The other plus of both buying and developing in Spain is you then have no risk of getting them fogged in transit / x ray machines etc. Whilst not that common, it does happen.
Thanks again guys!
For a four pack of 24 exposures of 400 speed color Fuji film in the states I pay about $8 - $9.
So roughly $2 a roll.
That is less than 2 euros a roll.
Does that help you compare to the prices in Spain??
It will probably matter where I buy it as well... I won't be living in Barcelona so I will probably buy it in an area with less tourists.
i have heard that everything in Spain is really cheap... well pretty much everything.. it might just be easier to buy film as you go rather than taking it in one big bulky pack and adding that extra unneeded weight..
Just a little insight: I'm not sure on the prices in Spain, but I know when I was in Florence, Italy, and had to buy some film, I paid three times as much as I did in Canada. It was in the heart of the city, right by the Duomo, so that really didn't help. If you do buy it over there, I say try to stay away from buying it in a tourist area - like Benny said, tourist areas rip you off for everything!
Have a good trip!
I have since found out that film in Spain costs about twice as much as in the States (when you buy it at the lowest possible cost) but could cost as much as 5 times as much if you buy it near tourist destinations.
However people from other parts of the world say it is the cheapest they have found film while traveling.