This is from an experienced photojournalist's perspective (written in Japanese though):
What it says is for doing a photo exhibit, he uses pro labs for film processing and printing images, but to get small proof prints, he uses an 1hr type of lab to cut the cost.
Sounds good to me. It's a matter of how one can handle the volume of the photos all at once.
Meanwhile, I as an amateur make small (3x5" ish) proof prints on inkjet paper at home after scanning the negs. I find that this is more cost-benefit and takes less labor (in my own estimate) than using the traditional method (at home) and have more control (no test strip necessary) on each image as I can see it on a computer screen. Sure the ink is costly, but I can pin-point the shots I want and that takes less paper (a different kind of paper though).
Sadly from a few rolls of 35mm negs, I don't usually have too many great shots to keep!
Anyway, in this stage I play around and choose either B&W (well, not truely B&W but...) or sepia and plan for the next stage, which is the actual darkroom printing. That way the only thing I need to do in the darkroom is making final prints (of course with some testing included but not too much) and nothing else.
I have to be clear that I don't make contact prints on a regular basis because the volume of the images is so low. But if I come back from a trip with 50 to 100 rolls of film to process, I will end up making contact prints and forget about the inkjet stuff. It really depends, but those big trips don't happen so often.
But the other benefit of doing this is that I can get the inkjet paper at any electronic store nearby, so when I run out I can just go there and grab one. There is no fear of seeing it disappear from the shelf!
For traditional photo paper, I have to order and wait a week to receive it. That's a bit of a pain.
Last edited by firecracker; 12-24-2007 at 12:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.
My local Walmart uses kodak paper and chemistry, and does decent low resolution scans for $1.97 per roll, so I use them for proofs, and web posting.
Then I get analogue prints from the lab next door of those negatives I want enlarged.
It works for me.