My local Costco is done with film developing

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by B&Wpositive, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    I live in a suburban area pretty representative of the non-city northeast US. I had been able to get C-41 processed at Costco for $1.59 until now.

    I shoot for a weekly newspaper, and I occasionally shoot film for assignments for various reasons.

    Yesterday, I called my local Costco just make sure their processor was up and working, in anticipation of shooting a roll of Fuji 800Z.
    I was told they ran the last roll on Monday. The processor broke down, and this time it was too expensive to fix it for the small number of film rolls going through it.

    For me, this is the demise of local mainstream color film processing.

    I just might have to learn to process C-41 myself...but I'm not happy about the lack of quality chemistry available.
     
  2. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    It isn't as hard as you think it is. If I can do it, anybody can.
     
  3. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    It isn't hard to process your own C-41 film, but it is time consuming and relatively expensive. You, like many others have, will have to decide if it is still worth shooting film for your newspaper work.
     
  4. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    The photo lab at my local Costco treated me very well and had great prices on C41 developing. They stopped processing a few years ago. After a few bad and unsatisfactory results at other places, I started to do it myself with good results. Be methodical with time, temp and agitation and all will turn out well. Presently I use the Jobo/Tetenal C41 powder kit- about US $20 for 12 rolls.
    Look at places like B+H or Freestyle. Good luck.
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    My local Costco (West Henrico, VA) closed down a while back for the same reason, but now they reopen it!

    Jeff
     
  6. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    There are at least 3 liquid kits out there, they all offer the same level of "quality" as well as several powder kits if you must.

    Cost per roll on most 5 liter kits is under 80cents, in some cases closer to 50 cents.
    C-41 is one of the easiest, most forgiving processes out there.

    If you shoot a bunch of film, over the course of a year or two DIY will have paid for it self several times over, and you shoot small amounts, you need to calculate the cost of sending the film out, add shipping cost, and make an annual cost to compare.
     
  7. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    How's the current version of the Rollei C-41 kit available at Freestyle? I hear it uses Blix now, and was concerned about archival issues. But I read PE's posts from 2009 on the subject, which said there is no archival stability issue...just a potential image quality issue, especially with faster films and push processing, due to retained silver.

    Also, any references that are a must-read for someone who has never done C-41 and would be starting from the beginning?

    Btw, the Nikon N80 is an awesome camera when you have to be quiet but still want to use an SLR. My DSLRs are much louder.
     
  8. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    The only thing you need to read is the manual that comes with the chemicals. BTW - our kit has bleach and fix separate, though there is nothing wrong with using a kit that has blix.
     
  9. DWO

    DWO Member

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    Really? When did it reopen? That is great news!
     
  10. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    I have used the Rollei Digibase kit from Freestyle both before the Blix and after and don't see any difference on scanned images. But, I have not made any prints from the negatives processed with the new blix version with the RA process so there could be some differences. I would really like to see the blix go away and get back to a bleach and fix process. The earlier digibase kits were exceptional.

    As far as push processing I have no experience, I have developed Fuji Pro160S, Portra 160VC and Portra 400 at box speed and it looks good.
     
  11. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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  12. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    What's "your kit" and where is it sold? PM me if you have to. MA is close to here, but I'd be ordering.
     
  13. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    Given the pay rates of most newspapers these days how do you justify the time and expense of color neg when digital will provide you with superior quality with no cost of sales?
     
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  15. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    For some reason or another they got the processor fixed.

    Jeff
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi,
    are you looking for a local lab or a send out service?

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum172/96379-lab-services.html

    some listings with personal experiences listed.

    if you dont mind setting up an account,
    parker has had wonderful experiences with
    millers. they are a pro lab with a great reputation ...
     
  17. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    I can justify film on an occasional basis because this is a sideline gig, and I'm often taking pictures for my portfolio. I don't have full frame digital, so when I need a very wide angle lens, or a quiet camera, film is the thing. Mostly I just shoot film for fun and for my own work.

    I'm going to look into the Rollei kit as well as the one from the Jobo distributor who posted above. I'm so new to color processing, I don't even know where to start.

    Do I have to save up a lot of film to do all at once to make it worthwhile? Problem with that is it would require a ton of developing tanks and reels.

    Also, are plastic reels and tanks ok? I just can't load stainless steel reels...hate them.
     
  18. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I'm doing C-41 one shot now with the Kodak chemicals, but I started with the Rollei kit. If you store the developer in a container that allows you to "squeeze out" the excess air, then the developer could last for weeks, months -- some push it up to a year. So there's no need to develop everything at once, as in one session. You're better off not to procrastinate though. Each time you reuse the developer, you're exposing it to air, the possibility of contamination, diluting it more if you prewash, and just bringing it closer to exhaustion by developing. Time is one more variable that you don't need, so it's best to minimize it.

    Some people adjust the developing times for each roll past the first or second. Poke around the forums a little bit.

    Plastic tanks and reels are fine. It's what I use. Just clean them with very hot water after each session; the stabilizer/final rinse isn't good for them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2014
  19. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Quicker, yes, better, no. IMHO
     
  20. DWO

    DWO Member

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    I called both locations. Henrico is stopping development tomorrow. Midlothian will still have it.
     
  21. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Thanks for the info. Henrico is closer to my house, but those are the breaks.

    Jeff
     
  22. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    I once worked for a small weekly paper. Often, this kind of newspaper will have a camera for journalists to use, and a budget that prevents them from replacing any perfectly usable piece of equipment... or even a DOS word processing program on a modern windows machine just to create a flat text file to send to the publishing company. Quark Xpress and XYwrite - that was an odd combination.
     
  23. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    Miller's Lab is terrific. With their turnaround and pricing, I doubt you could do it any cheaper yourself. Plus, you get scans on disk which would more than suffice for most newspapers.
     
  24. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    +1 on the CatLabs kit. It uses separate bleach and fix. My first 2 batches of c-41 were easy and the results were great. Once I get an efficient process down, it should come out to around $1.25 per roll, including shipping. Omer was real helpful in answering my questions.
     
  25. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    The kit mentioned above does sound good due to the separate bleach/fix. Anyone else used it? What temps can you develop at with that set of chemistry?

    I have no clue where to start. I've only ever developed b&w, so I have no idea how to go about this. I need some sort of instructions! And maybe some more equipment too...?

    Is the Rollei kit a lot easier for a beginner to start with?
     
  26. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    +1 for Millers. Excellent service, turn around, and quality. Best of luck to you!