Q from a cheap n00b

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by cal_gundert05, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. cal_gundert05

    cal_gundert05 TPF Noob!

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    Hi all. This is my first post here...so please be gentle.

    I'm thinking about getting back into color film photography. I used to take pics once in a while with our Rebel K2, and I always got them developed at a Walgreens-type store.

    However, I never liked paying, what, like $6 per roll to develop my film. So, before I start photoging again, I want to find the most economical way to get my pics developed. These are my options, as I see them:

    1) Suck it up and pay to have each roll developed at Walgreens or a similar store (or Ritz Camera if they do this type of thing).

    2) Get the materials to develop the negatives, then pick and choose the negs I like and have them printed at the same type of store.

    3) Go all in and buy materials for developing my own negs and making my own prints.

    I have no experience developing film of any type, so that's a factor. But my main question is, is one method vastly more economical (OK, I'm cheap) than the others?

    Thanks!:hail:
     
  2. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    Cheapest option is to develop the negs yourself & get someone else to print the ones you want to keep.

    The downside to this is that unless you scan them into your PC to find the good ones you'll see very little detail in just the negatives.

    You could try to find somewhere that'll develop only the negatives & either provide a contact sheet, (minatures of all the prints on one sheet) or scan them to CD for you.

    Developing your own & making your own prints is marginally cheaper than paying for development & printa but the downside is that you're unlikely to print all the shots yourself and, at least to begin with, you'll make mistakes or it'll take a few experiments to get good prints so the cost will initially be higher.

    However, after outlining the drawbacks of doing your own darkroom stuff the huge plus side is the hands on, working with the materials thing and the magic of creating the image completely from shot to print! :biggrin:
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Try doing your negs and guy a cheap scanner for having prints made on line and mailed to you... or have the negs only done and scan them to pick just the ones you want. its the cheapest way for me
     
  4. cal_gundert05

    cal_gundert05 TPF Noob!

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    OK, so if I want to develop my own negs I'll need to buy...

    a developing tank, reels for the negs, a lightproof bag to load the reels, a thermometer, some beekers and bottles for the chemicals, film developer, stop bath, and fixer.

    Is that right? Anything else?

    I'll also check the nearby Walgreens and various camera shops to see if they develop just the negs and make a contact sheet for me to pick the pics I want.
     
  5. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Development chemicals have a limited shelf life. If you're not going to process the full number of rolls possible with a set of chemicals, the cost/roll can go up rapidly.

    If there is a place in your home which can be made absolutely dark, you will not need a bag. Also, in a pinch, you can use an almost completely dark room and an improvised bag of three black plastic garbage bags.

    You will need a simple way to get the end cap off the cassette. Check the thread on this site in The Darkroom section starting 'Grr . . .'
     
  6. cal_gundert05

    cal_gundert05 TPF Noob!

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    I called Walgreens, and this is what they told me:

    -Neg development is $2.15/24 exposure roll + $.99 for a 4X6 index sheet.

    -Individual reprints from negs are $.39 each, or $.19 if I scan the negs onto a computer (which I can probably do).

    How does that sound, cost-wise? I'd prefer to scan the negs and get the prints I want from those.
     
  7. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    1. a simple beer can opener will open film canisters like a charm every time. (yes, i did learn this in college)

    2. If you're developing color film, i believe its a bit more complicated then black and white. (as in you need to use more chemicals, which additionally are more toxic then those used in black and white)

    3. To print color prints, you need to do it in complete darkness.

    my suggestion is suck it up and have a place do your color negs. They wont cause color shifts, or mess up the process.

    If your gona shoot black and white, do it yourself. Black and white film is pretty easy to learn and less complicated then Color.
     
  8. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For color print film, go with the Walgreen neg + sheet processing. Use the time you've saved to take more pictures. Walgreens will probably also provide a CD for about $US3. Saves scanning.

    For b&w . . . well, I'm one of those blokes who rolls his own, so you know what I'll recommend!
     

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