Getting 220 developed....

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by frXnz kafka, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    I'm planning to buy my first MF camera next week (I'm leaning toward a Mamiya RB67 right now), and am wondering what is the best way to get the film developed. I'm hoping to be able to develop B&W film myself by September, but I would also like to shoot some E6 and C41, and I don't have any way to develop that myself. So how do you guys do it? Do places like WalMart take 220? B&H sells mailers, but they're $30. I don't need prints, just the film.




    EDIT: Should have put this in the Film Discussion forum, my bad. If someone wants to move it, please do.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The simple answer is to shoot 120, not 220. Why is the use of 220 so important to you?
     
  3. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually this is a great place to put it. I would greatly consider doing it yourself. It might be a little of an investment up front but after the initial purchase you only need to buy film and chemistry. Even a simple starter kit and a few other odds and ends can get you started. I would venture to say for under $150 all told.

    There is an article on getting started in the july issue of CiM. Just hit the link below. And ask questions.
     
  4. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    I actually have decided to use 120. 220 backs for RB67s tend to be cheaper, and I didn't realized that the film selection for 220 is so limited. But places that develop 120 tend to develop 220, so it's kind of irrelevant anyway ;)
     
  5. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    I'll consider this option more seriously, but to start out I think I would be more comfortable getting my film processed at a lab, at least for the first few rolls. B&W I will definitely be processing myself when I can get the stuff I need, but color processing - especially E6 - is something I need to do a lot more research on before I jump in.
     
  6. DSPhotography

    DSPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Check around in your area for places that still do darkroom processing, and see if they offer a "public darkroom". There's a place about an hour away from me that does and the co-owner was awesome enough to let me practice loading a reel a few times, and then walked me through the whole process of developing. It's great to get hands on experience like that if you can.
     
  7. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    The closest public darkroom to me is three hours away. I have plenty of experience with 35mm B&W, and I assume MF B&W would be very similar. It's the color stuff that gets me a little nervous.
     
  8. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, 120 is identical in process. Just different reals and sometimes different times.

    Color just takes more steps, more chems and more space.
     
  9. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    The biggest advantage of 220 is you don't have to change rolls as often. 32 645 frames per roll as opposed to 16 with 120.

    The disadvantage is that it does not have the paper backing for its entire length, just the ends. That could lead to problems.
     
  10. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Almost any mini-lab can process 120/220. It just deppends if the lab is willing to do it. Not sure about your area, but I bet you can get it done locally (negative anyway). For E-6 slide it would have to be mailed out most likely. But again most mini-labs have a mail out service.

    E-6 can be done at home without alot of equipment. Basically just need a way to keep the chemicals at the propper temp. A simple water bath will do that. And only the first couple chemicals and washes are critical temp wise. The last couple steps there is a large lattitude. Black & White is of course the easiest.

    I do my own E-6 at home using a rotary processor. But when I first started it was just a canister and a water bath by hand.
     
  11. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I say develop it yourself. I use a hand agitated daylight tank for both color and black and white, and get very good results. I too was nervous about color film development until I tried it--it's not harder then black and white, just different.

    The thing with color is that the chemicals are more expensive, and to get your $$ worth you should try to use the chemicals to their recommended capacity. This means developing 6 rolls of 120 at a time, instead of a one shot like you would with cheapo black and white chemicals.
     

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