Reliable Large Format Film/Darkroom Materials Suppliers : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

B&H and Adorama send me very obviously damaged or incomplete orders at least half the time. Has anyone found a more conscientious vendor for LF film and darkroom materials? (Calumet is too expensive. I live in California and have to pay sales tax.) Thanks.

-- Peter Free (, January 30, 2002


Peter: I've had good luck with B&H, haven't used Adorama. You might try Freestyle Sales in Los Angeles. I like going there and people who mail order from them have left favorable posts in prior threads. If you're looking for film and darkroom basics they have a very good assortment. My experience with Badger Graphics has also been very good with hardware, but I haven't ordered film or darkroom stuff from them.

-- Kevin Crisp (, January 30, 2002.

Peter, You must have very bad luck or be hypercritical. I have never had a problem with B&H, Adorama, Badger or Freestyle. Oh sure, there has been the box of 11x14 paper with the corner a bit wrinkled from rough handling and the like, but never an item that was damaged or other than what I ordered.

-- Dave Schneider (, January 30, 2002.

I've used both B&H and Adorama for years, have had perhaps three or four problems in all that time. When you say "incomplete," do you mean the packing slip says the items are there and they aren't, or do you mean they are shown as back ordered? If the former, it's a problem.If the latter, that happens with almost all suppliers occasionally. I usually tell them not to back order anything. With respect to damaged things, that is more likely to be a UPS or Fed Ex or USPS problem than the shipper, unless it looks like things have just been poorly packed. B&H has always seemed to over-protect if anything, i.e. one box of paper and a couple boxes of film will be shipped in this huge box surrounded by a couple feet of peanuts.

-- Brian Ellis (, January 30, 2002.

I recently set up an entire darkroom including dozens of purchases within a few months from B + H, and I must say that their error rate is not inconseqential. I have received an archival washer packed in a box clearly labeled "Not for packing mechandise" (it arrived in shards), had the wrong film dryer (roll rather than sheet) sent to me three times in a row (a mistake the have NEVER made good on in over a year now), etc. Putting it all together, the rate of mistakes is < 10%, and it's only because of the large bulk of purchases made that I'm aware of the trend. Still, even at 10%, why deal with B + H when there is Badger Graphic, who has yet to screw up an order of mine after dozens of purchases? Their prices frequently beat B + H as well, though perhaps their selection may not be as compendious.

In addition to Badger, I would recommend View Camera Store for the more oddball film sizes etc. They seem to always have 12X20, 7X17, and the like in stock, and are quite reliable in my more limited experience.


-- Nathan Congdon (, January 31, 2002.

Hello. I use Calumet Photographic - no problems so far. Very serious and specially courteous and polite, something I can't say about B&H.

-- Marcel Perez-Calisto (, January 31, 2002.

I have used B&H since the dawn of time, but the last year has been not too good. At least one screw up per order. Don't know why, they were perfect before. Always fixed it, but a pain.

-- Richard C. Trochlil (, January 31, 2002.

I must have been very lucky because in all the years I' ve dealt with B&H, I've never had a single problem. I order my stuff on the web and Fed Ex usually has it in my hands in two days. I've had excellent service when shoppping at the store as well. I sometimes go to Adorama ,because it's about 5 miniutes closer than B&H, but I do prefer B&H. Nice folks at Calumet, in NYC, but they never seem to have what I want in stock when I need it.

-- Wil Hinds (, January 31, 2002.

i have used calumet and b&h without any problems. any returns seem easier at b&h but i have no problems with calumet either. very friendly and reliable staff people. BY FAR, the best person for helpful service, and knowledage, is brian at "harry's proshop". if anyone needs the url, please contact me. howard

-- (, January 31, 2002.

Abbey Camera

-- Mark Wiens (, January 31, 2002.

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