PetaPixel

This Massive Last Batch of Fuji Velvia 50 8×10 Film Cost a Photographer $100K+

Fujichrome Velvia 8x10 Film (2) copy

As camera film companies continue to shutter flagging film lines in order to focus on their most profitable wares, it’s not uncommon for analog photographers to build up personal stockpiles of film and store them in a freezer (or two) to use in the future.

It is unusual, however, for one photographer to pay the price of a small house for a stockpile that requires a walk-in freezer to store — and that’s exactly what one recently did.

Fujichrome Velvia 8x10 Film (1) copy

Photographer Brandon Remler, the National Account Director of Fujifilm North America, writes that they recently received an order from a photographer who purchased the entire last shipment of Velvia 50 8×10 film.

The guy purchased a whopping 12,000 sheets of the 8×10 film from an authorized Fujifilm dealer in order to have enough film for at least the next 10 years.

Fujichrome Velvia 8x10 Film (3) copy

How big was the shipment? It arrived in three pallets that each contained 40 cases (120 cases total). Each case contained 5 boxes (600 boxes total). Each box contained 20 sheets (12,000 sheets total). The entire thing took 6 months to arrive from Japan to New York City.

Fujichrome Velvia 8x10 Film (4) copy

Remler couldn’t tell us how much the photographer paid for the lot. Chris Gampat over at The Phoblographer calculates that the order cost $132,000. That figure is “close but a smidge low,” Rember says. [Update: The cost was around $161K. See below]

Oh, and the photographer paid for the whole thing up front.

Fujichrome Velvia 8x10 Film (5) copy

We reported back in March that Velvia 50 would still be available in 4×5 and 8×10, but Remler is now saying that it will only be sold in 35mm and 120mm formats, and that he’s “certain no more is available or being made based on info from Tokyo.”

Well, there’s at least one photographer who won’t be lacking Velvia 50 8×10 anytime soon.


Update: We’ve learned that this film shipment was purchased through Foto Care in NYC. Here are a few more photos we received from an employee named Kane:

image-1

image-2

image

We also found out a little more info: the total cost of the order came out to be about $161,000. The film is still sitting in Foto Care at the time of this post because the photographer is waiting to receive two “huge refrigerators” to store all the film in.


Update: Foto Care tells us of some “fun facts” about the shipment:

The total weight of the 600 boxes is roughly 900 pounds. The total area of the film in the shipment is roughly 80,000 square feet — almost enough to cover 1.5 football fields.

Processing the film would require as much film service as 12,000 rolls of 36-exposure 35mm film.

Laid out end to end, the film would stretch 1.89 miles.


Image credits: Photographs by Brandon Remler and used with permission


 
  • https://twitter.com/adamhowardcross Adam Cross

    velvia 50 8×10 is gorgeous, only ever shot 10 sheets but it was worth it

  • http://www.purseblog.com/ Vlad Dusil

    I applaud his dedication to the craft he loves. Some spend $100k on cars, watches, other vanity items. Why not spend it on his creative vision?

  • phew

    Maybe he’s planning to resell and get some profit.

  • Gman

    not enough demand to keep making it until they decide to stop making it.

  • Seb

    Now lets hope they didnt get Xrayed a couple of times at the airports ..

  • Ronald

    Hope he bought some chemicals too

  • Daniel

    hes gonna need a huge fridge.

  • Andrew Iverson

    Anyone want to guess the photographer? I’d guess Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, he seems to specialize in 8×10 portraits of many different people and seems successful enough to be able to do this to ensure he can still do it.

  • Ayaz Asif

    Dunno about that, Velvia 50′s color saturation wouldn’t be something I’d choose for portaits.

  • Andrew Iverson

    I don’t really know the difference of all the different films, and what it’s best for, not to mention not really knowing too many big time film photographers who would do this. Just thought it might be fun to speculate, and have fun with it. ;)

  • Aas

    Musta been Bruce Wayne

  • johnny

    Good point.

  • VarmSaus

    Just received some 4×5 velvia 50 from japan exposures. Cost me $119 for 20 sheets. Went straight in the freezer.

  • Joseph Mietus

    haha, so you pretty much made a blind guess? I think we’re looking more for a landscape or product/ad photographer.

  • Jam Master Jay

    I’d say it could be Gregory Crewdson. He works on huge scale $100,000 + shoots and shoots on large format. Plus Velvia 50 would probably suit his style.

  • Toast

    Ugh, you had to reference that douchebag Gampat didn’t you.

  • etothej

    haha bought a large batch in order not to draw attention

  • Donald Jakubowski

    It was Foto Care that sold the film, and no it did not go to Timothy Greenfield Sanders, even though he is a very good customer!

  • tekmonkey

    Whats the shelf life? How long does it last in the freezer?

  • Kane

    Hey, that’s Foto Care in NYC!

  • Maggie @ FotoBridge

    Definitely one of the top 2-3 films for film scanning results and holding up over time.

  • Andrew Iverson

    Well, i know he shoots a lot of 8×10, has a place in NY, so not quite blind, but a guess yeah. I couldn’t name a single landscape or product photographer who would buy that much 8×10 film. I was just looking to start a fun conversation with speculation since we probably won’t know unless the buyer comes forward.

  • Andrew Iverson

    Good call, hadn’t thought of him. He would probably make more sense.

  • Cal

    Pretty sure it’s Gregory Crewdson. In his documentary on Netflix he talks about buying enough film to make sure he could shoot whatever he wanted until a digital solution came out that he was happy with.

  • Donald Jakubowski

    Sorry – It wasn’t Gregory either….

  • Sean Lucky

    Totally something Jeff Wall would do (I’ve seen his freezers of film), but he’s not based out of New York.

  • http://www.intensitystudios.com/ Antonio Carrasco

    Someone should tell this guy about VSCO

  • MickO

    Maybe The Impossible Project bought it and is going to team up with Lomography to start selling Lomo 8×10 cameras at Urban Outfitters for huge markups. (Heh heh)

  • MickO

    Was there any reason to think it was a guy and not a woman who bought it?

  • Donald Jakubowski

    Because it is, a guy that is…

  • Nate Matos

    It will be another few years before it’s “expired”. But even then because of the slow speed and if it’s kept frozen it will last 10+ years before you start to notice real color shifts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1399503122 W Keith McManus

    What about getting it processed 10 years down the road???

  • Graham Case

    My money is on Mitch Feinberg – he’s the guy that got a company to make him two 8×10 digital backs to replace his stock of 8×10 Polaroid for proofing.

  • Ralph Hightower

    I hope he has a huge refrigerator!

  • Tessa

    Wait… the film took 6 months to arrive, yet the new owner still hasn’t bought refrigerators for it?

  • Metro

    8×10? Oh God. Spare me the fawning. What he doesn’t know is that E6 will be gone long before Velvia. What then? Caffenol??

  • Stuart Williams

    I would say Paolo Roversi but He lives and works in Paris. I’m dunno, Seliger?
    He likes to do 8×10 portraits in his defunct elevator shaft but that speed is too slow for natural light. I’m intregued as well as stumped! BTW Donald, your store and staff rock! Hope you guys stay around for many years to come!