I dev my own c-41 for medium format but all of my medium format cameras have limit controls so it can be a bit hit or miss what I get out of them anyway. Then I can get the ones I like printed, but a c-41 kit costs less per roll of film than dev-only service (about half the price) and it's a fun new skill. For c-41 35mm I just get them dev&prints at RGB Labs. It's far away, I have to pay postage but they don't screw up my pictures/negs like all the local minilabs.
Hey isn't this the same thread from flickr? http://www.flickr.com/groups/ishootf...7601574874556/ It's like deja vu.
Sending out 120 c-41 through walmart seems like a good idea when I can't drive all the way to the lab when I need film developed (30-35 min one way) What was the quality of the negatives? Were they developed corectly? scratched, dirty?
You need to test your Walmart. The one near me did a fine job with the processing. But then they didn't cut the film just shoved it into an envelope.
If you buy the big jugs of mini-lab chemicals home colour is much cheaper then kit prices.
I'm all for saving money... but when I really need help it is good to have a local pro lab to talk face-to-face with. I tend to "invest" in keeping that lab available to me by giving them my business on a regular basis.
Hmmm...when I checked; the poor OP had posted this in the "Color...." forum. So why all the B&W "advice"?
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The original post touches on B&W (not C41)
Originally Posted by copake_ham
I think mine and one other are the only replies that concerns only B&W.
Hi Pukalo from a lab point of veiw this is all I have to say "Pay peanuts expect to get monkeys". Would you rather the high school student who doesn't give a damn running your film through a roller transport machine prone to scratch film and which may not be well maintained and tightly monitored? or have a trained mature professional who measures the specific gravity of the chems and runs controls at least twice a day dip and dunk your film in a stringent environment?
As for a print from 6x4" paper being 94cents ide love to judge such a mass run computer assessed print next to a hand crafted dodged, burned, masked, density and colour / contrast assessed print which was produced by an expert darkroom technician.
I genuinely feel the drive towards cheaper and cheaper processing deals has really reduced the quality of acceptable process / printing.
I do however feel that yes photography can become expensive raw materials such as film all adds up, but good film is not cheap for the manufactures to produce.
I do feel a need to help make analog photography cheaper and easier for those who love analog to access so in my lab I do offer a mixed range of free film to holga and lomo photographers. I have a basket in my lab I let people take as they desire. Its a great way for clients to try new films and to save money. in the past year I have given out close to 50,000 free rolls of film. which as a small player I consider to be a large contribution to keeping analog cheaper and more accessible to shooters. I also offer discounts to students and people affiliated with educational institutions. Also All apug mermbers I discount materials too.
Anyway I guess Im just wanting to add caution to anyone who goes down the cheaper path. Like anything else you always get what you pay for.
Last edited by Stephen Frizza; 12-22-2007 at 06:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Some random thoughts:
- Processing your own, for either B&W or color, can be economical or not compared to sending it out, depending on volume, your own efficiency, etc. If you shoot relatively little, sending it out will almost certainly be less expensive, since doing it yourself will result in chemicals going bad before they can be used and/or the need to buy in smaller (and less cost-efficient) quantities to prevent stuff going bad.
- Andy K suggests moving up in format. The film and processing for larger formats will be more expensive than for 35mm on a per-frame basis, so this suggestion only makes sense if you adjust your shooting style so that you take fewer photos. There's also the fact that larger-format cameras cost more than 35mm cameras. If you spend $1,000 on new gear, it'll take a lot of cost savings in materials to earn back that investment.
- In the US, bulk loading makes economic sense for B&W (assuming you don't scratch the film and assigning your own labor a fairly low value). For color, bulk loading offered little or no cost advantage the last time I checked, although of course you might run across a great deal on bulk film -- OTOH, you might also run across a great deal on factory-loaded film, so this is a wash, IMHO.
- As Mick Fagan suggests, mixing chemicals from scratch can be a way to save money. I put together this spreadsheet (OpenOffice.org and MS Excel formats) two or three years ago with various costs and formulas. I'm sure some of the costs have changed, though. I found that the cost savings are biggest for developers (both B&W and color). For stop bath, fixers, and blixes, the cost advantages of mixing yourself are slim, and sometimes even favor the packaged stuff.
- A new suggestion: When buying by mail order, try to order as much as possible at one go, rather than place multiple small orders. Shipping costs tend to be bigger, as a percentage of the original purchase price, when you order few items than when you order many.
Well, we sure took care of this "pukalo" dude here didn't we? Imagine, having the nerve to express some frugal thoughts on his first post!
Real nice going all. The guy's first post on APUG and he gets his head removed.
"As the boys down at the loading dock are fond of saying at this special, joyous time of the year, and a Merry F---ing Christmas to you, Pukalo"!
Congrats to all. By now he's probably listed his gear on eBay and is ordering a dSLR!
George... welcome to my "ignore". You are a noncontributor. What thread are you reading? Everyone but you has been "non-destructive".