Even in this day and age of laser prints on sheets of paper, the transparency film is still a useful way of archiving special collections and continuing projects that have already been started on transparency film. A type of image capture film that does not produce negatives nor prints, the transparency combines a copy of the actual image captured by the camera, and embeds this on a transparent layer. To view the images, light projectors, slide scanning devices or a transparency adapter is used. The transparency film has gained massive use in the past since they were small and easy to store, making them perfect for libraries and academic institutions that need to archive print media. If you need a transparency film, here is how to start the search.
- Specialty stores – While local shops may no longer offer these films, there are still a number of bookshops and printing shops that offer stocks of transparency films, as well as resolution film and transparency paper. If you are particularly lucky, you may have a direct outlet for the companies and brands that still produce transparency films, which will allow you to easily buy as much film as you need. Some specialty shops will not keep the films in stock but have contacts with the manufacturers, and can order stocks for you, so remember to ask first whether they might supply you, instead of simply leaving the shop.
- Newspaper advertisements – Manufacturers or retailers will sometimes post advertisements on the classifieds of major newspapers. These newspaper advertisements are particularly effective for products such as transparency films which are no longer marketable for mass consumption, but which still have niche markets that need the product. In this case, the manufacturers will sometimes choose to simply post advertisements instead of going through the hassle of setting up a brick-and-mortar shop. Be sure to check the classifieds of your newspaper regularly. Keep in mind, however, that the manufacturers may not regularly post advertisements. Sometimes, it may even be better for you to initiate the move by posting an offer to bid for the product, along with your contact details.
- Internet – When all else fails, however, the Internet is one of the best choices for you to turn to. Once online, there are several approaches that you can take. Either start with a search engine query, which will give you a list of all the suppliers and product providers. Or, you can also check out the various photography supplies directories, which will give you a listing of suppliers based on the products that they offer. Because these directories are more specialized than a search engine’s results page, it is sometimes easier to navigate using these online sites. For most, these are also one-stop-shops for most photographic film needs. Apart from directories, however, you can also check out the auction houses on the highland and lowlands of the web that offers a wide variety of items ranging from the common computer gadgets to red novelty items that are not found anywhere else.
The age of the transparency film may have already passed, but it should still be possible to find supplies of these films for anyone who needs them.