$23.00 for 1 roll of B&W Film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by 3 Olives, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. 3 Olives

    3 Olives Subscriber

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    Is this a standard price in most cities for developing and standard prints? That's what we are being charged and it's for my son's film so I can't afford it. They are the only store that does Ilford and several others so we have no choice but to use them. He's learning so the photos won't be perfect.
    It's no surprise younger people are running to digital.
     
  2. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    Black and white, or colour based black and white? I started learning photography using Ilford's XP2, it's a black and white film that works in your regular everyday colour minilab. It makes black and white negatives, and the minilab puts out black and white prints. This costs me $13 Australian, I just drop it off at my local lab and pick it up on the way home.
    $23 for a roll of ACTUAL black and white film (HP5, Tri-x, Tmax) is probably standard. It's a specialised thing, and you're paying for that.
    Kodak also make a brand of black and white film that works in a colour minilab, but it has an orange mask, which will make it very difficult to print in a darkroom later on. The Ilford variety has the standard purple-ish base.
     
  3. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Off hand I'd say he could put together his own at home
    lab for about the cost of 5 rolls of film. Basic darkroom,
    film and print processing. What size film does he shoot,
    35mm, 120, or ? Dan
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Is there a reason you have to use that film? You could buy C41 film, and then get developing and prints at any minilab that you please. It is also very easy to develop your own black and white film, and cheap too, if you have some way to print or scan the negatives.
     
  5. david b

    david b Member

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    I recently shot some c41 medium format film (120).

    Each roll of film was about $6 and cost about $15 to process and make 5"x5" proofs (12 of them).
     
  6. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

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    I agree with the others. If we are talking about traditional B+W (NOT C41), then this is about right. Remember that traditional B+W is NOT something that can be processed in a minilab. It definitely falls under the category of 'niche process'. Therefore, you are going to pay. My recommendation is to simply have the film processed (not printed) and either have a contact sheet made or have the negatives scanned (rather than having EVERY shot printed). This way, you can go through the shots to see which are worth printing, and only print those.
     
  7. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    Unfortunately I've noticed that the price of film processing has been increasing rapidly since digital became so popular. Not surprisingly, local photo stores have also been shutting down or cutting back services.

    Buying the equipment and chemicals to process film myself has been the smartest financial move I've made as far as photography is concerned.
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    If he's bent on using real B&W just get a tank and develop it at home, no darkroom needed, and at that rate you'll be ahead in a few rolls. If he is bent on real B&W all roads lead that way anyway, and once you figure it out your processing your results will be superior unless it is a very very good lab, in that case it will be on par.
     
  9. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Process yourself. You can find really cheap B+W film if you look for it, like 1.50 a roll US. The chemistry isn't that expensive either.
     
  10. jwil6969

    jwil6969 Member

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    I take XP2 120 to a place that develops it for $5.00 a roll, another place ( pro lab) charges $12.00. B&W 120 cost the same. Still another pro lab nearby charges $25.00 for color film and $15.00 for B&W, XP2 goes for $25.00. Guess it all depends on what is on thee film and whether it is worth the extra cost.
     
  11. Rick-in-LB

    Rick-in-LB Member

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    If you really want B&W film, try stopping by a community college photography department and sign up for a class or ask them if they could develop it for you for a small donation. It can't hurt, they just might do it for you.
     
  12. nickstreme

    nickstreme Member

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    DIY or die!
     
  13. randyB

    randyB Subscriber

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    Having someone else process and print your b&w film can get expensive real fast. You have several options, one has been mentioned already, shoot Ilford xp2 or the Kodak C41 B&W film and have a minilab process it and scan the negs. Or the minilab can process and make 4x6's on color paper, the prints probably will have a tint as it is very difficult to not have any color on color paper.
    If you have the time ( 1 wk to 10 days) then you can try the send out service at Walmart, Target, Kmart, it may be cheaper and then again it may not, check their pricing list. I see you are in Charlotte, is there a pro lab there, most can process and make a contact sheet for around $10-$12.
    Of course you can do it yourself, thats the cheapest, as other have said after just 4-5 rolls the equipment is paid for.
    Most pro-labs have a mail in service, turn around time usually is 48 hrs plus whatever time the post office takes to get it there and back.
    One other option is a local college, some schools still have a traditional wet darkroom as part of the Art Dept. Ask the Instructor if it is available to the public for a fee, or maybe they have adult classes at night? you won't know till you ask.
     
  14. One_DaveT

    One_DaveT Member

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    While I think it's a little on the high side, I'm not surprised. The drugstores here will also take 2 weeks to process traditional B&W film since they send it off. As others have said, traditional B&W film would be best done by yourself in which case it can be very cheap. Used equipment on e-bay is also incredibly cheap now. If your son doesn't want to go that route, C-41 B&W is fairly common and all one hour photo place will handle for much less.. I pay $2.25 to have C-41 roll developed to negatives. These days, I have actually become a hybrid user, and so at this point, I scan them into the computer with a film scanner. Contrast and exposure that would traditionally be done at the enlarger can then be done on the computer. You can then ship it off to your local drugstore for .19 per 4x6 or $1.50 for 8x10. Though some place like mpix.com is likely far higher quality.
     
  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    If it is a C-41 black and white film like Ilford XP-2 or Kodak BW-400CN, or whatever the new Fuji one is called, it should cost the same as color developing and prints.

    If it is a single-layer ("standard") b/w film, my local lab (A and I in Los Angeles) would charge $8 process only (b/w, C-41, or E-6), $15 process and proof, and $20 for process and single prints ($7 per roll extra for a full set of duplicate prints). I don't like the way their prints from b/w film look, as they are on color paper and are not full frame. (I do like that they process in a Refrema Dip-N-Dunk, however.) Therefore, the most I will do is process and proof, and that is a very rare occasion in which I will lab process b/w film; usually when I have a large batch that I want to be quickly processed in the same manner.

    Unless your son needs to see a print of every single shot he took, I would not bother paying for prints. At the most, I would pay for processing and proofsheets, and usually just processing only. The prints won't be optimized for contrast and density, they will have a color cast, and they won't show what your son composed in the camera.

    Some true b/w prints are available, through Freestyle or Ilford. I haven't tried it yet, however, and it is still quite expensive.

    IMO, if you are not going to do the lab work yourself for b/w, just shoot Kodak BW-400CN. It is made to be printed on color paper, unlike the Ilford XP-2, which is a similar product, but made to be printed on b/w paper. (If your lab can print on actual b/w paper, by all means shoot the XP-2 instead.) Any local cheap lab can handle the C-41 b/w film, and this will likely give you the same or better results than giving a standard b/w film to the same lab.
     
  16. usuthu65

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  17. 2F/2F

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    $4.49 process only is a good price if it is dip and dunk.
     
  18. dfoo

    dfoo Member

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    Do it yourself. The only slightly tricky part is getting the film on the reels. If you use plastic, and have a suitably dark place its very very simple.
     
  19. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Hmm, I think I paid something like $23 for my last roll of HIE. :surprised: But there's no way you should get anywhere near that for typical b&w films and processing. Get thee to freestyle for some arista or such, and yes, developing b&w is about as easy as mixing a martini. Developing &w 35mm is actually harder than larger formats IMHO, by the way. I do b&w sheets one at a time and it is an immense pleasure.
     
  20. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If this is a 36 frame B&W film with a contact sheet then 36 prints of 6x4( Is this referred to as standard in the U.S.) on genuine Ilford paper and includes getting the grade right on each print then I don't think that you'd get it much cheaper here in the UK. I am basing this on current exchange rates. Over a third of a box of 6x4 paper has been used plus chems, then factor in labour and overheads plus profit.

    As others have said it might be worthwhile finding out what it would cost if you developed at home, then got the lab to print on its genuine Ilford B&W paper, if sticking to B&W film and paper are "must haves".

    If photogrpahy is goiung to be a long term passion then all equipment to do 1000s of negs and prints will pay for themselves in a very short time, as long as there's space for at least a temporary darkroom.

    pentaxuser
     
  21. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    In my opinion, there is no point in getting a lab to do your black and white, at this level. You can only get good black and white if you experiment with exposure, development and printing. You don't need an elaborate set-up and these days, darkroom equipment for 35mm-medium format is being given away, literally. I get at least 3-4 offers a year for almost complete darkroom setups. The enlargers almost always wind up in the dumpster and I usually take whatever trays and miscellaneous equipment there is.

    You really don't need a lot to get started in b&w at home, if you want to. Digital is far easier, of course, and that is why people go that route. If your son wants to do snapshot photography and wants quick turnaround, then digital is definitely the better option. However, if you stay the course and learn how to work with traditional monochrome materials, particularly if you go to larger formats, then you will be richly rewarded.
     
  22. chop61

    chop61 Member

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