Can you send MF/LF negs off to labs?

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by BTilson, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. BTilson

    BTilson TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Western NC, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Or do you have to develop them yourself? I am very interested in getting into the world of shooting film, and I am very intrigued by medium or large format film, but I have zero space in my home to set up a dark room. So, can you send MF/LF negatives off to labs and have them developed? I would assume so, but I really don't know. Any input would be appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    6,190
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Hollywood, FLA USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yes you can but you need to send the film in the film holders or film bags, any lab with a dip machine should be able to handle sheet film, or you can do it yourself

    For me, I would find it more comfortable use a lab that I could walk into rather that mailing the film in the holders
     
  3. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    Hell's Kitchen, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You don't need a darkroom to process film, of course. You can develop MF and LF film in tanks, and load the tanks in a changing bag.

    I've never sent LF film to a lab in holders - always taken it out of the holders and put it in bags in boxes exactly like unexposed film.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  4. BTilson

    BTilson TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Western NC, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well I just called the local lab, and they have the hardware to develop B&W large format film, but not color. Fine with me, since I am mainly interested in shooting B&W anyway. Thanks for the responses!
     
  5. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,925
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It's not that hard to develop large format b/w negatives yourself--you need a changing bag to load the film holders anyway.

    I use a combi plan tank that allows me to develop in daylight:

    [​IMG]

    I then scan the negs with my epson V700, works like a charm, and much cheaper in the long run then having film developed.
     
  6. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    6,190
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Hollywood, FLA USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  7. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    Hell's Kitchen, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'd recommend bagging and boxing sheet film if you are sending it to a lab, whether by hand or by post. Undeveloped film is sensitive to pressure, and it needs to be handled gently. Rather than buying anything, just use the packing that the film comes in - that is the standard practice among LF photographers. When you begin you will be short of boxes and bags, but you can get them from the lab (for free) or from another photographer. Most of us have plenty of them, and would be happy to send a couple to someone who needs them.

    I use Jobo 2500 series rotary tanks for LF (and 1500 series for 35 mm and 120), which I prefer to the Combiplan I used to have, but I guess that it is personal preference. Some people use the 3000 series Jobo tanks.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  8. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,101
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Eddington, ME
    MF (120 and 220 film) in B+W is fairly simple at home. Don't need a processor or any expensive items. Chemicals are faily inexpensive too.

    LF at home is a little more challenging just due to the fact the negs are bigger. I use a light tight closet to load LF sheets into my drums and film holders. Using just a film changing bags is a pain. A tent bag it may not be so bad though (never tried one).

    If you want to do color. Slide film is another you can do at home. Same principles as B+W but you need to keep better track of your water bath / chemical temps. B+W has a lot of temp latitude, Color is very tight but can be done without fancy stuff.

    I agree about using the original boxes and bags that come with LF film. I have enough holders that when I load film I use the whole box. So when I am done, I put them back in the same box. I process at home so I don't worry about shipping. But I like to do my developing in batches. I try to make it so I use a whole kit of chemicals. So my negs may sit in the refridgerator for months before I actually process them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

send negatives off