Does film developer matter much?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by molested_cow, May 6, 2009.

  1. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If I just want to develop 35mm color negatives and do the scanning myself, does it matter where I go to get them developed in terms of quality?
    I'm not an expert or a professional, just a recreational photographer, so I don't need national geographic quality images.
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well, it shouldn't but it does.

    most photo places use the same equipment however, the individual running the equipment can and will make a difference.

    you just need to try out a few and see how they are doing. look for scatches, or rather the lack of them. water spots, etc.

    since you will be scanning then you don't need to watch for color correction with the prints.
     
  3. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you asking if it matters what developer you buy to develop them yourself? Or if it makes a difference where you get them developed (at a lab)?

    I'm assuming the 2nd.. as ann said, it shouldn't matter, but it does. I take my c41 to my local drug store 1hr lab. They always do a good job (developing only), but once their machine was broken, I took it to a different 1hr lab for develop only and the negatives were bad. Same film I usually use had twice as much grain and something just seemed "off" about them. Now when the machine's down at Rite-Aid, I just develop it myself at home.
     
  4. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes I was referring to the lab. Thanks!
     
  5. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can only think of two automated way to develop film

    1) Roller machines are the ones use in mini labs. They pull the film thru the machine winding it over a series of roller. Damage and poorly cleaned rolls are not good.

    2) Dip & Dunk machines are used in pro labs, the film is hung and dipped in to the developer.

    You can also do it yourself in a tank or trays
     
  6. epatsellis

    epatsellis TPF Noob!

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    There are two other options:

    Roller transport processors like the Refrema, similar to the ones used in minilabs but about 12" wide and can accept up to 11x14" film. Not very common.

    Rotary processors, the Jobo ATL series, Thermaphot and Wing Lynch (I have a Pro 6) are the most common, typically one shot (good!) and versatile. I process anything from 35mm to 8x10 in mine and it is worth far more to me than the $150 I paid for it to have consistency in my B&W and C41 processing.

    erie
     
  7. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Quite true, sadly.

    C41 film processing is a science and not an art like printing. Many cheap labs lack any reliable quality control, usually due to unskilled or uncaring operators though often its a money saving issue. It can also be policy to push the chemisty past its limits by under-replenishing to save money.
     
  8. coreduo

    coreduo TPF Noob!

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    Developing film at your home is messy. It stinks. Members of the household probably might be complaining. I get complaints in my apartment. Plus it's bad for the lungs. Well, if you have the mask, put on swimming goggles so as not to let it enter your eyes, put on an apron and clean up thoroughly, I guess it is as good as having them developed in pharmacy.
     
  9. ully

    ully TPF Noob!

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    What part is bad for the lungs?
    Whats the mask for?
    Why an apron?

    I have been doing film since 1970 and have never needed any of that.
     
  10. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Eh.. if you're making a mess, you're doing something wrong. I use odorless chemicals.. personally, I think your post is a huge exaggeration.
     
  11. coreduo

    coreduo TPF Noob!

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    I use ILFORD developer. It caused me emphysema. During winter, we cannot control the heater such that it emits too much heat, it melts down the plastic container, and we inhale them. Plus the fact,that when it the developer is exposed in the washroom it causes odor.

    Man, don't get mad at me. I am just only relating my own truthful experience. Let bygones be bygones.
     
  12. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok.. i'm not mad though, just was saying most people don't seem to have issues. Maybe develop in a more ventilated room? You don't have to do it in an enclosed darkroom.
     

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