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  1. #1
    lightfox's Avatar
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    Developing at home and sending out for prints

    I'm planning on buying a C41 kit in the next couple weeks to develop my own 35mm color negatives. Can I then take these negatives to somewhere like CVS or Costco to make prints and scan to digital. Will they accept them?

  2. #2

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    The Costco near me will do that. Last time I was there the gal was scanning another customer's old negatives to DVD. It's simple to have them print it.

    They will likely charge a higher price than when they develop the film. And it's probably better to take the whole roll in before cutting into strips.

    But really, for 35mm it's hard to beat commercial processing. (my Costco charges only $1.59 for 35mm color processing)
    - Bill Lynch

  3. #3
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    I think doing the opposite might actually make more sense. Target near me charges 99¢ for a roll of 35mm C-41, just negs.

    Printing is where the artistry comes into play. You're not going to get great prints from CVS or Costco; no way, no how. They will however give you great negatives that you can take into your darkroom and make amazing prints from.

    My 2¢
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  4. #4
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    Well not always.... remember that all these are roller transport machines , and when they make your proofs at 4x6 a digital ice program is on to take away dust and scratches, this fools the client into thinking the film is scratch free.
    Put the film in a normal enlarger black and white or colour and hope that your processing location is doing a good job cleaning the rollers or you will have scratch nightmare which in a analoque print is hard to next impossible to fix.

    just my 2cents.


    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    I think doing the opposite might actually make more sense. Target near me charges 99¢ for a roll of 35mm C-41, just negs.

    Printing is where the artistry comes into play. You're not going to get great prints from CVS or Costco; no way, no how. They will however give you great negatives that you can take into your darkroom and make amazing prints from.

    My 2¢

  5. #5

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    I redo all my commercially processed negatives on my own Electronic Enlarger and they come back clean and unscratched from Costco.

    The prints from Costco are amazingly good, especially considering the price.
    - Bill Lynch

  6. #6
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Well shows how much I know...

    Theory is certainly different than practice

  7. #7
    lightfox's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I was thinking about developing at home because it seems like a cool hobby, and I like chemistry. I figured I could get prints from the negatives or get digital scans and print the best ones after some editing.

    However, I didn't realize that commercial processing was so cheap ($1.59 at Costco as wblynch says) which makes me less inclined to develop at home. How does printing at home compare in terms of ease and cost to developing at home?

  8. #8

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    I did the math and for the amount of color film I shoot and the cost of the chemicals and the keeping properties of them, it didn't make sense to do it myself when I have a Costco right down the road.

    Scanning is a different matter; their scan CDs are $3 at time of development, but they're not particularly high-resolution. Perfect for web and smaller prints, maybe up to 8x10; 11x17 would be pushing it.

    This is all moot if you shoot a lot of color film or shoot formats other than 35mm; Costco will only do 35mm. They may or may not have the ability to do larger formats, and they may or may not be able to provide higher resolution scans, but they don't.

    I have them develop my film then I take it home and scan it and store it in negative pages.

  9. #9
    lightfox's Avatar
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    When did you did the math how many 35mm reels per month did you assume to use? I won't use very much film at all. Maybe 2-4 reels a month. How long do the chemicals last by the way?

    $3 for a scan CD is a price I'm willing to pay. I have a normal scanner at home, but I'm guessing a normal home-use scanner will not produce higher quality images when scanning negatives than what Costco uses. Also, I think there would be a lot of manual labor to scan negative strips individually, edit for color correction, and break apart the frames into separate files.

  10. #10
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    The prints from Costco are amazingly good, especially considering the price.
    must be a good store...the Costco near here does an amazingly shitty job. Only Walgreen is worse. At least Costco is consistently shitty. Walgreen will actually do it right about three rolls out of five.

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