Freestyle

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Freestyle Photographic Supplies is a retailer based in Hollywood, California.

The company was originally founded by partners Sam Fatman and Irving Resch in New York City in 1946[1] as Freestyle Sales Co.; and their original inventory was mainly WWII-surplus film[2]. By 1950 Freestyle had relocated to Hollywood, California[3]. Through the 1950s, bulk and discounted film remained their primary inventory, but now joined by darkroom supplies, tripods, and other accessories. By 1964 their densely-printed ads in Popular Photography had grown to be two-page spreads, with a few surplus items (such as aerial cameras and film) still making an appearance.

The company continues to operate today (2011), from 5124 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, selling a full line of films, papers, chemistry, and "alternative process" materials. They also retail cameras, lighting, and other accessories. As many photographers have found their local "bricks & mortar" stores discontinuing film sales, Freestyle has gained increasing prominence as one mail-order source still offering a wide selection of emulsion types and film sizes. Additionally, Freestyle sells film, chemistry, and paper under its discounted house brand Arista. These private-label goods are widely understood to originate from "name brand" manufacturers (with the stated country of origin being a strong clue who these might be).

Samuel Fatman died in 2003 at the age of 90[4].

In 2002, became exclusive Holga distributor in the United States. They also release the Holgawood line of cameras

Film

Their house brand Arista black and white film is from name brand manufactures. These brands are often speculated to be the equivalents based on country of origin as wells as similar development times.

  • Arista II: Agfa APX (Made in Germany)
  • Arista II: Ortho Litho
  • Arista Color: Ferrania (Made in Italy)
  • Arista D-MAX: Ilford Delta (Made in UK)
  • Arista.EDU: Forte Fortepan (Made in Hungary)
  • Arista.EDU Ultra: Foma Fomapan (Made in the Czech Republic)
  • Arista Legacy Pro: Fujifilm (Made in Japan)
  • Arista Ortho Litho 2.0
  • Arista Pro: Ilford (Made in UK). ISO50= Pan F, ISO125= FP4+ and ISO400= HP5+
  • Arista Premium: Kodak (Made in USA)
  • Arista Silver Collection: (Made in UK)

Notes

  1. See "1946" in the photography timeline at the company website.
  2. Advertisement in Popular Photography magazine, February 1949 (Vol. 26, No. 6) page 114. Their NYC address was 43 West 64th Street.
  3. Advertisement in Popular Photography magazine, June 1950 (Vol. 24, No. 2) page 164. Their Hollywood address was 1431 (later 1427) N. Western Ave.
  4. Samuel C. Fatman Obituary, Monday, October 06, 2003 from Legacy.com.

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