yet another beginner question: film processing

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by wbryant, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. wbryant

    wbryant Member

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    I have not been able to find this out in all my research... laugh if you want.

    I can only develop B&W at home, so when I do color or slide 4x5 I will have to bring it to a lab to get processed. do I just bring them the whole film holder and give it to them, or are there light tight bags for this? if I only have 4 holders and they hold on to them, I guess I will have to get more holders... and how do they handle mail away processing, or is that not done for LF?

    I hope this falls under the only stupid question is the one not asked.

    Thanks, Will
     
  2. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    saved me asking...

    I would take the sheets in old film boxes to my local lab, leaving instructions I want the box back!
     
  3. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Sorry, my mistake, I just noticed you were talking about 4x5.
     
  4. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    The labs I deal with will accept the films in the holders but really, really prefer having the film delivered in an empty box. The reason they do not like the films in holders is keeping track of them.

    Mike
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you're just starting and don't have any spare boxes, you can ask the lab if they have any extras. I've done things like using opaque plastic bags, but I've found that the lab makes fewer mistakes if they get the film the way they are used to receiving it, which is in a clearly labeled 3-part film box (unless you're using Readyload/Quickload). Labs often prefer that you put a rubber band around the box instead of taping it, just to simplify handling in the dark. All my boxes say "Please Return" so that I get them back (usually they just put the processed and sleeved transparencies in the box).

    Labs will also "download" your holders for you usually for a small charge.
     
  6. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    Go to your local lab and ask for any spare triple boxes. Then, ask if they or if you can own load your film. If they do duping or any 4x5 copy work. They'll have lots.
    When I was with a commerical lab. We would charge to down load film. I think it was a buck per holder or we would escort the photographer to a darkroom for down loading.
     
  7. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Another possibility you might run by your lab -- black ABS drain pipe with cement type caps makes very nice film storage tubes. The 1 1/2" size will accept a 4x5 with the small dimension curled around the inside of the pipe, and with a little care you can insert several sheets in a tube. The caps press on easily, are light tight and weathertight (watertight, if they're on tightly), and can be removed easily with a twist to break the friction. You can make these with a handsaw or hacksaw and sharp knife to debur the cut ends, at a cost of around $5 for ten feet of pipe (will make a couple dozen tubes at 5 inches each) and around $1.50 each for the caps.

    Check with the lab first -- ideally, take in a tube with no film to show them so they'll see what's up, and clearly mark the tubes for content, ownership and disposition. They're a lot cheaper than film holders, and IMO more secure than a film box -- but there may be labs that don't want to deal with them...
     
  8. Bob Wagner

    Bob Wagner Member

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    I was in the Post Office the other day and bought a mailing box that is perfect for 4x5. Since I am always short of boxes I used a black plastic bag that some photographic paper came in and put it in the box, inexpensive, easy to get, worked great