Where to Buy Film in 2023 – 35mm, 120, and Instax Film.
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If you’re new to film photography or looking to make the jump from shooting disposable cameras, you may be wondering where to buy film. The vast majority of film that people shoot today is one of the following formats:
- 35mm film is the most common type available – this is the type of film used in disposable cameras.
- 120 film is a different size and requires a medium format film camera, which are generally more advanced and expensive.
- Instax film is Fuji’s version of instant film similar to Polaroid film (which is also still available).
If you need more information about different types of film, check out our in-depth explanation of different film formats.
No matter where you’re located, you should be able to find 35mm film for sale in person. If you need something less common or can’t find the specific type you’re looking for, you can always buy film online.
We’ve gathered a list of the best places to buy camera film, both IRL and online, as well as the pros and cons of each option. Check it out, buy some film, and happy shooting!
Table of Contents
Where to Buy Film In Person
In a lot of situations, buying 35mm film in person is the most ideal option. There’s nothing worse than when you want to take photos but you don’t have any film and you’re waiting for more to be delivered.
With the cost to shoot film reaching new highs in 2023, most people want to find the cheapest film available. For this reason, we only buy film online when we are ordering enough to receive free shipping. When we just need a roll or two, we always buy in person.
Find a Film Camera Store Near You
One of the best places to refill on camera film is to find a specialty film photography store. We’ve seen a good amount of shops like this open around the world as more and more people have returned to film photography.
These stores usually focus on selling used cameras, lenses, and other photo gear and accessories. While not always the case, most film camera stores have a good selection of fresh film for sale.
If you live in (or near) a big city, chances are that you have a store like this in your area.
And even if you don’t end up buying film from them, a film photography store can be a great resource – they are usually staffed by knowledgeable employees. If you need a recommendation or help troubleshooting an issue, they can usually assist you (or point you in the direction of someone else who can).
Regular camera stores also usually sell film, even if the rest of the store is geared toward digital photography. If you don’t have a specific film camera store in your area, a standard camera store might still have what you need.
– No Waiting for Delivery
– Good Selection
– Customer Service
– Supports Local Business
– Not Everywhere Has a Store Nearby
– Prices Can be Higher than Online
Most Photo Labs Have Camera Film for Sale
There is definitely some overlap between what is considered a “film camera store” vs a “photo lab” – some stores offer film developing, while some labs sell cameras and other gear.
But even the most bare-bones, hole-in-the-wall photo labs usually have a few types of film for sale. Especially if you already have a place where you get your film developed, you should check to see what they have in stock.
Most people probably thought to check their photo lab for film, but we’d recommend finding as many additional labs as possible in your area. Even if you have no interest in using them for developing, it’s always good to know all of the places you can pick up a roll in a pinch.
Check out our database of film developing near you to see if there are any photo labs you didn’t know about in your area.
– No Waiting for Delivery
– More Common than Film Camera Store
– Supports Local Business
– Selection Isn’t Always the Best
– Prices Can be Higher than Online
35mm Film at Walmart and Other Chain Stores
No matter where you live, you’re bound to have a Walmart, Target, or other big box store nearby. If a store like this even carries film, expect an extremely limited selection.
Just promise us that even if you buy 35mm film from Walmart, you’ll think twice before bringing it back for developing. There are a lot of downsides to developing film at the drugstore that you should be aware of.
Walmart Photo – What Film Do They Carry?
With Walmart being one of the biggest stores in the country, we’re glad that they still do have 35mm film for sale. Do we wish that they had more variety? Sure, but beggars can’t be choosers.
We obviously can’t say for every location, but we’ve seen that they do have 35mm film at Walmart, as well as Instax film and Polaroid film. We’ve only seen color negative film for 35mm, no black and white.
They sell just one type of 35mm film at Walmart closest to us, which is a three pack of Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400. They also carry a few different types of Instax film and instant film and Polaroid film.
Target Photo – Do They Still Have Film for Sale?
Maybe the most popular big box store on the list, we were surprised that at our Target 35mm film was not available.
We checked online and did find that they do technically carry 35mm film at Target, but they were out of stock at all 25 of our nearest locations. The unavailable options were Kodak Ultramax 400 and Fujfilm 200, both sold in single packs.
In the electronics section, they did have a few types of Instax film as well as Polaroid film. They also had disposable cameras for sale, but only the Heyday brand (Target’s new electronics store brand), instead of options by Kodak or Fujifilm like you might see elsewhere.
Does Rite Aid Photo Sell Film?
Rite Aid photo centers aren’t something we’ve seen in a long time. The company no longer develops film and even printing/photo products are geared towards online ordering.
That said, our local Rite Aid photo section did have a few options of 35mm film for sale, as well as disposable cameras and one type of Instax film.
All of the 35mm camera film was Fujifilm brand, with both 200 and 400 speed options, both sold as a three-pack. The disposable cameras they had were also made by Fujifilm and came in a single or double-pack.
– No Waiting for Delivery
– Stores in Almost Every Location
– Open Longer Hours than Photo Stores
– Extremely Limited Selection
– Out of Stock Issues More Likely
– Don’t Carry 120 Film
Where to Buy Film Online
35mm camera film, disposables, and Instax film are relatively easy to find in most places – it can be a lot harder to find 120 film if there’s not a dedicated film camera store in your area. Even if you only shoot 35mm film, you may still need to look online for a wider selection.
In most cases, it’s perfectly safe to buy film online and prices are usually consistent between retailers. We’d just avoid making small purchases where you have to pay shipping – try to plan on stocking up a bit when placing an online order.
Online Film Photography Stores
There are plenty of places to buy film online – we prefer purchasing from specific film photography stores over retailers like Amazon that sell everything.
These shops usually have a much better selection and consistency with their prices. While you may be able to find an occasional deal on Amazon or eBay, it’s just as likely that the film you want to buy will be marked up significantly.
There are far too many options to cover, so we’ll just list a few of the options that we’ve had personal experience with.
It’s also worth noting that many photo labs have started selling film online, alongside mail-in film developing. You can check the list of our favorite photo labs, many of which have film for sale.
Film Supply Club
While there are plenty of online shops that have film for sale, Film Supply Club really stands out from the crowd.
They have a great selection of film that anyone is able to buy – prices are on par with other retailers. But the interesting thing about Film Supply Club is the option to purchase a membership, which grants you the ability to buy film at a discounted rate.
There are two different tiers for membership, the cheaper option allows you to buy up to 20 discounted rolls per month, the higher cost tier allows up to 200 rolls.
Most types of film are 5% – 10% off the standard price with a Film Supply Club membership. They aren’t lying when they say, “as a member, you will save a lot of money on film.”
B&H Film and Other Photo Gear
One of the most popular options for any type of photographer is B&H, a massive photo superstore in the heart of NYC. They carry just about every photo item you could imagine as well as computers, video, audio, and anything else a creative professional may need.
B&H’s film selection is extensive and their prices are usually comparable to any other online retailer. You’ll receive free shipping when you spend $50+ and orders usually come quickly (especially if you live in the Northeast).
Many photographers are loyal customers to B&H because of their notoriously good customer service. They are easy to reach, quick to resolve issues, and very willing to answer questions and give suggestions.
One interesting thing to note about buying from B&H is that they are closed every Saturday. But because the closure is for religious reasons, you won’t even be able to make online purchases during this time. The website is still available and you can add items to your cart, but you have to wait for Sunday morning to place the order.
Moment started as a small company making cell phone accessories, but they’ve grown to offer a large, curated selection of gear for photographers and other creatives.
You can even book an incredible “experience” where a pro photographer and local guides take you on a multi-day adventure, taking photos in an exotic location. Not too shabby for a shop that started out selling clip-on lenses for iPhones.
When it comes to buying film, Moment has a great selection and standard pricing. Of all the shops on the list, they do have the highest minimum order price to receive free shipping at $98+.
Moment also has great customer service – they even advertise that they’d be happy to help you with questions about products that you didn’t buy from them.
KEH Sells Used Cameras and Film
KEH is a longstanding business that buys and sells used camera gear. The majority of their stock is digital cameras and lenses, but they do also have a selection of used film cameras for sale, too.
We’ve bought (and sold) gear from KEH in the past and recently noticed that they had 35mm film for sale, as well as less common formats like 120. Prices are on par with other retailers, although the selection is not as thorough as somewhere like B&H.
Unfortunately, the threshold for free shipping at KEH is a bit higher than some, only available for orders $75+. This amount makes sense if you’re shopping for a camera, but is a little harder to meet if just buying film.
– Great Selection
– Customer Service
– Prices are Usually Standard
– Extra Time Waiting for Delivery
– Shipping Fee Unless You Spend
a Certain Amount
Big Online Retailers That Sell Camera Film
As we’ve said, we much prefer purchasing from a dedicated film camera store over a big online retailer. We get it, though – some people may still want to buy from Amazon. No judgment! Here’s what you should know.
Buying 35mm Film on Amazon
It can be hit or miss buying film on Amazon – the prices, shipping costs, and customer service all depend on the particular listing, and availability is constantly changing.
Unlike other categories, most of the film for sale on Amazon is not sold through the company directly, but rather through a third party seller. This isn’t always a bad thing – there are actually quite a few photography stores or labs that sell through Amazon.
This just means that your experience might differ from purchase to purchase. The price of film also varies a bit more on Amazon than between other photo-specific retailers. Generally speaking, we’ve noticed the prices are actually a bit higher when buying film on Amazon.
The selection is decent, but once again, this seems to change frequently. While you can usually find whatever particular type of film you want, sometimes the only listing is overpriced, has extended shipping time, or something else making it a less than ideal option.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re looking to buy Instax film, Amazon seems to be a better option than it is for 35mm camera film. The prices are much more standard and product availability seem to be more consistent.
Probably the biggest benefit to buying film on Amazon is the potential to save money on shipping if you have a Prime membership. If so, a good amount of the film for sale is eligible for free, fast shipping.
– Fast, Free Shipping with Prime
– Decent Selection
– Unstable Prices / Availability
– Third Party Seller Quality Varies
Buying Expired Film on eBay
eBay is a popular option for buying used film cameras, but there is plenty of film for sale, too. You’ll find a lot of listings for old and/or expired film, but there are also brand new options.
Of all the places to buy film online, eBay definitely takes the most work. You’ll need to pay attention to all of the details in the listing, check out the seller’s profile, and potentially pay for shipping.
For this reason, we don’t usually bother with eBay for buying new film – it’s too much work for minimal savings.
We find it’s much better for old/expired film, usually sold at a discounted group price. The trouble is that there often isn’t a way to verify specific details of the film that may affect its quality.
Details like storage conditions and expiration date will have a huge effect on how the final images look, but neither can be easily proven. You’ll have to trust the seller (which is why we always check out their profile first) and accept that there’s a chance that the photos might not look quite how you were expecting.
We treat buying film on eBay kind of like a garage sale or a thrift shop – if we’re already there, we’ll probably check if they have any cameras or film. If we find some old/expired/weird film and the price is low enough, we’d consider buying it, but we wouldn’t shoot anything super important on the film.
– Good Deals on Old/Expired Film
– Good Selection for New Film
– Third Party Sellers Require Screening
– Shipping Cost / Speed Varies
– Buying Old/Expired Film Can Be Risky
Where can I buy old camera film?
Depending on exactly what type of old camera film you’re looking for, you can probably use one of the options above. 35mm film has been around since the 1930s and 120 film has been around since 1901. Most old camera film will be one of these two types, which are easy to find.
I’ve only ever used disposable cameras, but I want to use a regular camera film roll – what kind of film do I need?
Disposable cameras use standard, 35mm film, which is the most common type and probably what you need. If you make the upgrade, you’ll need to buy camera film rolls that you load into your camera. You’ll have a lot more control of your photos and fortunately, a camera film roll usually costs less than a disposable camera (plus, you get more photos).
Is it safe to buy film online from ______________?
Most places to buy film online are perfectly safe. We’d recommend sticking to an established, reliable source that has some sort of customer service available in case there’s an issue with your order.
I need a roll of film ASAP – where is the closest place to find 35mm film near me?
You can usually find 35mm camera film no matter where you’re located. The answer will depend on your exact location, but if I were looking to find 35mm film near me, I’d start with photo stores and film photo labs. If neither of those were close enough, I would check for 35mm film at Walmart or another big box store.