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  1. #1

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    Ektar 100...Where to develop?

    Now I know that Ektar 100 is a C-41 film. So, it stands to reason it can be developed at the local Walgreens or Wal-Mart.

    So far my workflow has involved B&W film for B&W prints, and digital for color prints. I haven't been very impressed with most of my color prints from my D40. Seems like I spend more time dialing in exposure compensation, fixing blown out highlights, and cloning out dust from my sensor when shooting landscapes than I should (I tend to shoot at smaller apertures when doing landscapes, where the specs of dust on my sensor are pretty apparent).

    Will I get good results from Ektar 100 when developing at Wal-Mart? I'm planning on doing develop only, with a CD and no prints. Should I just have them develop them, and buy a good film scanner myself? Or should I spend even more money and get a proper color set up for my currently all B&W darkroom? (I have an enlarger with a dichroic head, so color prints are a possibility down the line).

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    SchwinnParamount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brofkand View Post
    Now I know that Ektar 100 is a C-41 film. So, it stands to reason it can be developed at the local Walgreens or Wal-Mart.

    So far my workflow has involved B&W film for B&W prints, and digital for color prints. I haven't been very impressed with most of my color prints from my D40. Seems like I spend more time dialing in exposure compensation, fixing blown out highlights, and cloning out dust from my sensor when shooting landscapes than I should (I tend to shoot at smaller apertures when doing landscapes, where the specs of dust on my sensor are pretty apparent).

    Will I get good results from Ektar 100 when developing at Wal-Mart? I'm planning on doing develop only, with a CD and no prints. Should I just have them develop them, and buy a good film scanner myself? Or should I spend even more money and get a proper color set up for my currently all B&W darkroom? (I have an enlarger with a dichroic head, so color prints are a possibility down the line).

    Thanks for any help!
    I've been using Ektar 100 for a couple of months now. It is really good color print film. It may be the best I've used. They say it is designed to be scannable. I guess so. To be honest, I've never had any difficulty scanning my earlier color print film either.

    If you have the patience, room, and money then definitely go for the color darkroom in your house. Short of that, buy a good 35mm film scanner. It will pay for itself eventually. I own a Nikon Coolscan V for about $500. Nikon is (from what I hear on the grapevine) phasing out their scanners so get one while you can. Scanning your film is fine if you just want output for the web. If you happen to have a high quality stink-jet then you can get prints that way.

    I was taking my film in to my local photo shop to have prints made until I found out that they were not printing traditionally. Now I'm investing in a color head for my Omega D2 and buying color chemicals for printing.

  3. #3

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    Yes it's true many labs don't print traditionally. They normally scan the film and use an inkjet or some other printer (dye-sub?) to print onto glossy photo paper.

    The thing about setting up a color darkroom is I don't have a permanent place to set up the darkroom. Maybe in the future when I have the space a color darkroom is a definite possibility. But I'll want to do it right with a good sink, water supply that is temp controlled, etc. Right now it isn't really feasible.

  4. #4

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    No, a lot of labs use standard RA4 paper and processing to produce the prints. The enlarging process is not traditional though. A series of laser dot exposures derived from a scanned negative make up the image on paper instead of a straight projection of the negative through a lens.
    Frank Schifano

  5. #5
    GJA
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    Either way, don't use walmart. If your looking for quality, they will most likely not provide that!

    Try a local mini lab or a mail-out place like dwaynes.

  6. #6
    SchwinnParamount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    No, a lot of labs use standard RA4 paper and processing to produce the prints. The enlarging process is not traditional though. A series of laser dot exposures derived from a scanned negative make up the image on paper instead of a straight projection of the negative through a lens.
    Yeah, you're right about that. The biggest issue I have with the prints I get back is print quality. Whatever the process, the prints come back lacking in the contrast I've experienced for 25 years. The other problem for me is that the paper they use now appears to be single weight. Yuck. I want my prints to feel like they've felt for the better part of three decades.

  7. #7
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    Use a C41 processor for processing, a bunch of 6x4 "proof" prints, and possibly a scan onto CD.

    The ones that stand out as worthy, you can get properly printed up.

    For proofs it doesn't really matter what the weight of the paper is
    "Flatter Me, and I May Not Believe You. Criticize Me, and I May Not like You. Ignore Me, and I May Not Forgive You. Encourage Me, and I Will Not Forget You."

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by SchwinnParamount View Post
    Yeah, you're right about that. The biggest issue I have with the prints I get back is print quality. Whatever the process, the prints come back lacking in the contrast I've experienced for 25 years. The other problem for me is that the paper they use now appears to be single weight. Yuck. I want my prints to feel like they've felt for the better part of three decades.
    I figure that's more of a problem because of unqualified, disinterested, or poorly trained operators than with the limitations of the hardware. In any case it doesn't matter if you're not getting best possible image quality.
    Frank Schifano

  9. #9
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    If I were you I would totallly go darkroom!
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time



 

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