New to Film - A couple simple quesetions.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by keith204, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    May 20, 2007
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    Bolivar, MO
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    I am borrowing an EOS Elan II 35mm camera, and loving it. I'm 12 shots through my first roll of film (black and white!) and have a few questions.

    Scanning - I'd like to get these shots on the computer to share with friends/family. I have an old HP flatbed scanner, nothing fancy. That will work fine with scanning 4x6's low quality for web, but it will be slow. What options do I have for scanning photos or negatives fast?

    Developing - The 2 places for developing in town are Walmart and Walgreens. Walgreens will develop a 24exp roll for 1.99 one-hour. That's probably what I'll do for the simple snapshots, but for the more artsy attempts I've been taking with my first roll, I'd like some higher quality prints. Where would you get yours developed?

    Negatives - Assuming the same roll of film...would the negatives I get from Walgreens differ from the negatives from a specialty shop? (I already feel like this should go in the Stupid Questions Forum) I assume that the negatives just come from the roll, and aren't really altered by the developer....again, clueless.

    Enlargements - Let's say I see a 4x6 that I want made into a 16x20. Do I just take the negative to the specialty developer? Do I mail it in somewhere? How do I edit that negative and decide where to crop it? With digital, I am able to tweak the image before getting a large print...can it be tweaked somehow when the negative is taken to the developer?

    Any input on any of these items would be greatly appreciated! I'm loving the first roll. I've had the camera in my hands for hours upon hours, and have barely taken any pictures. I just want to make sure everything is right before I blow it, and it is making me try much harder for good composition and good lighting. Just shooting with this camera (not even seeing pictures) is making me a better photographer already. I can't wait to show you all the results.

  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

    Mar 15, 2005
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    San Francisco
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    For negatives the scanner must have a transparency lid. If your scanner takes a long time to scan a 4x6 at web resolution, then perhaps you ought to look into a new scanner, or take the negs to a lab and have them scanned.

    Have them developed at a pro lab if at all possible. There are plenty of obvious reasons. It's usually not much more expensive.

    Negatives can be vastly altered by the developing process in a number of ways, such as agitation, temperature, time, and developer type. If it's true black and white film, chances are a drug store will send the film off somewhere else to be developed at a larger development center, which will run it through boiling (exaggeration) developer and you'll get some very contrasty negs. Even if the film is a monotone c-41 film producing a black and white negative, IMO a pro lab is still preferable. Drug stores are built for one thing: Speed.

    You can have custom prints made by any number of pro labs. Unless the editing required is very very complicated, they can handle just about any instruction on how you want the finished shot to look. In my honest opinion, the best print for the money comes from a traditional print with an enlarger. High quality digital printing options are expensive, and small-scale local labs will simply scan the negative at marginal resolution and print it on color paper (it will still be black and white, but rarely as good). You can always mail off the neg if you can't find a local pro lab.
  3. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Mar 19, 2008
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    In a darkroom far, far away...
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    There are some faster scanners out there for prints and they make film scanners if you want to scan the negs directly (a necessity for scanning color negs, you can finagle B&W yourself on a flatbed)

    Man, I wouldn't throw my worst enemy's film at Wally World, either one. Color you don't have much choice but if you shoot Black and White you could do the developing yourself for not as much moolah as you might think and get a lot more satisfaction out of it.

    The negs would be virtually the same but with less chance of a scratch running the long way over the whole roll like you might get at the aforementioned WW's (oh, yeah, we had our machine cleaned last week . . .)

    With 35mm you really wanna test an enlargement greater than 8x10, and 8x10 only if you are dead sure of the focus. Medium format might get you 16x20 without many worries.

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