Where can I develop my B+W film cheaply?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by distantwonder, May 29, 2006.

  1. distantwonder

    distantwonder TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,

    Sorry if similar questions have been posted already, but I've recently purchased two Ilford black and white films, and have noticed that the prices to develop them are really high. Jessops take £8.99 to do it, and that's the cheapest I have found.

    One film is a C41 film which I hear you can develop anywhere for the price of a colour film, but Jessops charge an extra £1.99 on top of the usual black and white charge for this type of film, which worries me slightly.

    I live in South Lanarkshire, in the UK. There aren't many photo places near me, other than Klick (which I don't think do B+W), and Jessops (quite far away, but reasonably near). I've been looking online for someone who will do mail order but haven't really found anyone from the UK who does it for less than £10.

    Could anyone recommend somewhere to get my films developed for less than £10, or is that just the standard price you pay?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
     
  2. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    The only personal recommendation I can give you is Peak Imaging, who charge the same price for colour and b&w process and print, £7.95 for 36 6x4s. However, when you add post and packing at £2.10 you've reached your £10 mark. Excellent quality and good service though:

    http://www.peak-imaging.com/htmls/pap.htm

    I expect you have looked at the small ads in the UK photo magazines, and they all seem to work out at around the same price. Of course the cheapest way to do b&w is to process your own, and it really isn't hard. There are loads of threads on here about what you need and how much it costs.
     
  3. distantwonder

    distantwonder TPF Noob!

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    I've not actually looked at any photography magazines, maybe that would be an idea.

    I'm not sure about developing film myself, as I only have 2 films at the moment and don't know if I will buy any more. Also, I would be scared to make mistakes and get strange blobs on my photos.... although that may be quite a nice effect.
     
  4. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    One other thought. Ilford sell pre-paid mailing envelopes where you can send your films to them for processing and printing. The price includes postage, and the prints are on proper b&w photo paper, not digital prints that you get from most places these days. They accept C41 and true b&w films and for 36 exposures the cost is £7.95, post included. Available from various places, including this one:
    http://www.morrisphoto.co.uk/ProductDetails~man~Ilford~productID~5104~categoryid~175.html

    Of course you wouldn't buy from there because they want £5.95 postage, but you get the idea.
     
  5. distantwonder

    distantwonder TPF Noob!

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    Thanks ThomThomsk, those mailers sound good.

    I'm guessing they're developed somewhere in the UK, instead of America somewhere (I think Ilford are American...)?
     
  6. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    No, British as, er, a really British thing...
     
  7. distantwonder

    distantwonder TPF Noob!

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    :) Oops.

    Think i'll try and hunt down a cheap mailer, that sounds like a good way to do it.

    If I decide to do more B+W then maybe i'll look into developing it myself, but I don't know if i'd manage it.
     
  8. Rolleistef

    Rolleistef TPF Noob!

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    Hi distantwonder,
    have you ever tried to cook rice? Well, bw processing is pretty as easy.
    Only need a dark room (or a dark box with trash bags on it and a dark coat) and a pair of chemicals. Oh and also water.
    No really, its the easiest thing ever, after cooking rice of course :wink:
     
  9. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Don't forget making prints. Not difficult by any means, but it takes a bit of equipment. Plus, the C-41 process BW films aren't so easy.
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    If you go for the mailing option I'd say Peak is the safest bet, and good value for the quality of service they provide. Most other places for that price will do it digitally or on the wrong paper and generally you won't be all that pleased with the result. If you're only after developing and want to scan the negatives to choose which ones you want printed (rather than pay for 36 prints), most high-street shops will do developing only for about £3 - £4. Personally I prefer to develop myself and am doing it more and more now. Once you've worked out the best combination of chemicals, developing time etc for each film you sort of go into autopilot and it really does become easy.
     

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