Developing

Jonster

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Hello everyone,

I'm new here, but I felt since I wished to ask a question that I should post here rather than on the welcome board.

I have a question that's been bothering me for some time and I have not been able to get a straight answer to: I shoot negative film to make prints (as opposed to slide film and slides). Let's consider developing the negative and making prints from the negative as two seperate processes, which they are. While I know many things can be done (or not done) to make a good (or bad) print from a negative, is there anything that can be done differently in developing the negative that will permanently affect the image quality?

In other words, does it matter who initially develops my negatives, assuming I can always go someplace else to get the prints made from them?

Thanks in advance for any advice on this,

Jon :scratch:
 

enigma

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Frst off, welcome to the boards.

As far as B&W goes, I do the developing, and printing myself. you can over/underdevelop your film to get looks that you want (or dont want for that matter.) It can make your neg more/less contrasty....


With color, I just print, you have to send it to a lab to get developed as you may know. This is where your question comes in. I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS send my film to a pro lab to be developed. most onehour places, they are fine for the public, most people dont really care that much, but a pro lab MUST have great prints. You will pay for this though. I send my stuff have them develop and make me a contact sheet. I then print any that I like myself , but you could just find that ones you like and have them print it for you.

The prints you get from a prolab will be MUCH better than at a one hour, and much of that is to do with how they developed the film.

I know the lab I go to changed there chem, every morning, and throughout the day if needed. Most one hour places are lucky have there suff changed per week, or even less.

As far as push/pulling film (color) it is much less forgiving than black and white, but ....em... can be done (I try not to)

So I would try and find a "pro lab".... just look for the place that cost the most :) hehe

I just got up, so... I hope I help you with your question.

gook luck
 
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Jonster

Jonster

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Hello enigma,

Thank you for the quick reply and the kind welcome.

I've been shooting strictly color, I figure I can always scan and convert to grayscale if I want a B&W of a particular shot.

I understand what you mean by changing the chemicals frequently, I'm guessing it's like fast food places changing the oil in the fryers. Clean chemicals=clean negatives. So this is a good point.

I have not had to push/pull develop any rolls yet so I wasn't thinking along those lines, but again good point and thank you for reminding me of it.

Lastly, cost of "pro lab". I'm pretty sure there are a few pro labs around here, but the heart of my question is I'm trying to save money not spend more. I shoot a LOT of pictures, and developing/printing costs are killing me. I usually get a roll developed and get a set of prints at the same time, then get reprints as required. I was thinking of how to save money, but I don't want to sacrifice quality to do so.

-Jon
 

voodoocat

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I take negative film to the pro lab here and they charge $3 to process only. I scan the negatives so I can print the ones I want at home.
 
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Jonster

Jonster

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Uh-oh, I drew a moderator's attention!!! :lol:

$3 ain't bad, even for a poor guy like me. I really should look around and get some quotes.

What are you using to scan the negs? Do you have a dedicated negative scanner, or a transparency adapter for a flatbed? I don't want to start a long thread on this (if I did I would put it in Equipment Discussion), but I've wanted to buy a Microtek neg scanner for a while and I'm just curious.

-Jon
 

voodoocat

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Don't be scared. I show up in a lot of places... mostly because I'm on here all the time. That is how I became a mod. :D

I have a dedicated slide/negative scanner. I bought it to save money on good prints and also so I could shoot more slides. With black and white it's almost as fast as digital. Shoot, process, scan all by myself :) It's 2800 dpi so I can easily get sharp 8x10s at home.
 

Chase

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I can remove his moderator status if you makes you more comfortable! :lmao:

Sorry, it is almost the weekend and I have nothing better to do today than pester my forum friends :crazy:
 

enigma

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also, if the pro lab around you are still too much you can go to a mid level lab, (not pro, but not one hour) and you can always ask them how often they change there chem. I guess now that I think about it, I dont take my stuff to a "pro" lab, I have know that guy that runs the lab that i do take it to, and he is very good, and hates crappy negitive just as much as I do.

Good luck
 

havoc

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OH Yeah! I am now a Jedi like my father before me.... Oh wait thats another story. Cool thanks alot Chaseman
 

Chase

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Back on the subject...there is a local camera shop here that does 1 hour (or somewhere near 1 hour, depending on how busy they are) processing and it is something like $4-$5 per roll. The quality of the processing and the prints has been outstanding so far, so I use them for anything I consider important.

Sometimes the little guys, even though they really aren't "pro" processors can do a great job.
 

mikerfns

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chaseman24 said:
Sometimes the little guys, even though they really aren't "pro" processors can do a great job.

AGREED! The "pro" lab and the local Wal-Mart 1-hr photo lab in my town both use the same processing machine (Noritsu). The Wal-Mart lab does a pretty darn good job for 1/3 the price. I have never had a problem with scratched negs, spots on negs, etc. from either lab. It all depends on the skill of the lab operator, and the maintenance done on the processing machine. The Wal-Mart does a pretty good job with printing too, although not quite as good as the results from my pro lab (which uses better paper and has more experience with films like NPH). On the other hand, if I gave my Wal-Mart lab 4 rolls of Provia and asked for a 1 stop push with a clip test, I expect all I would get is a blank, puzzled :? look.

Sometimes, the "pro" labs are worse than a good 1-hr lab! (See this thread at Photo.net: http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=005i0H )

Mike
 

ksmattfish

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mikerfns said:
chaseman24 said:
Sometimes the little guys, even though they really aren't "pro" processors can do a great job.

AGREED! The "pro" lab and the local Wal-Mart 1-hr photo lab in my town both use the same processing machine (Noritsu).

I worked in a "pro-lab" for 3.5 years. They don't pay real well. 50% of the employees are photo students and photo geeks (&lt;---me), and 50% are folks who aren't really even into photography. There were people who were really good at printing, and there were people you suspected of being color blind.

If you can find a mini-lab with an operater who cares, who checks the chemistry, who actually looks at the photos while printing them, then it's probably just as good as a lot of "pro-labs".
 
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Jonster

Jonster

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Okay, back from the weekend, and WOW this topic has gone all over the place, but it seems to have come back to me, so let me just throw in that when photography was just a passing fancy and I was using a point-n-shoot inhereted from my mother, I took the rolls wherever was having a sale on developing, usually the local drug store chain. Then I bought my SLR outfit and got REALLY bit by the photography bug. That was a couple of years ago, I bought my Nikon N70 right before they discontinued it for the N80. At that point I switched to my local Motophoto all the time and joined Club Moto (Moderator: I hope it's okay to name names, if not please edit). I got to know the owner and most of the staff there and they actually cared about what they were doing, and if I did not like a print they would redo it for free. Unfortunately they are selling the franchise rights this Wednesday and I am trying to decide whether to stick with the new owner or look elsewhere.

-Jon
 

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