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  1. #1

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    Cheapest way for BW development?

    I realized I can no longer afford shooting film and paying to have it developed and Id rather not only shoot digital. Whats the cheapest setup I can get that will still be decent for developing BW? I dont necessarily need to be able to do color. I do, however, need to be able to do 120 and 35....and Id like to be able to scan it. Thats where the price part really comes in......scanners are not cheap!!

  2. #2

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    You could probably get into processing film at home, with chemicals and all for $100 give or take. You need a Nikkor tank or two, developer, stop, and fixer, hypo clear, Photo Flo, some rinsed-out juice bottles (1 L and 500 mL sizes), some clothespins or other clips, and a thermometer.

    Printing it is a bit more money, but still cheaper than at a lab in the long run, and IMHO less of a pain in the ass than scanning, plus better quality and full control.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  3. #3

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    I do want to get into printing as well, but for now Id like to show off my portfolio online to clients so scanning is really a must.....

  4. #4
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    I would look for someone selling a stainless steel tank or two and a few reels on eBay. They seem to go for pretty low prices that way and you should be set for both 120 and 35mm. The best you will hope for is to get lucky and find hewes reels or something in the mix, but most likely you will find generic or Nikor reels which will certainly do. Sometimes they show up in the classifieds here too, but it is less common. You might try a WTB listing in the classifieds since you are a subscriber. That might get someone who has some extras and does not have the energy to list the stuff.

    Edit: For chemicals, anything will do, but if you are doing pretty high volume, replenished Xtol is a real bargain and if you are doing small volume, HC-110 is a real bargain. Freestyle has good prices and is more willing to ship the more toxic stuff than is B&H for some reason.

  5. #5

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    check craig's list or other sources for cheap or free darkroom equipment. Then set up a little darkroom in the bathroom to make b/w prints. Show them your original prints. You can get a flatbed scanner really cheap, or maybe even free, to scan the prints.
    - Bill Lynch

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kawasakiguy37 View Post
    I do want to get into printing as well, but for now Id like to show off my portfolio online to clients so scanning is really a must.....
    Hello,

    Photographing analog prints with a digital camera is another option. That is my "scanner," when I need to have digital copies of my prints. It is about the same cost as a scanner, if not less, and it covers all formats of film. Plus, you can copy whatever else you might need to copy once this is set up (artwork, documents, and the like). A copy stand is ideal, but it can also be done with the prints hanging on a wall.

    You can also photograph your negs directly on a light box and flip the tones in the computer, especially the formats larger than 35mm.

    A digital camera that meets the needs for this type of work will probably only cost you a few hundred dollars (Canon D30, D60, or 10D, for example), and a macro lens another few hundred. Plus you also get a camera that you could use for anything else, not strictly copying things. Hot lamps or dual speedlights on stands would not cost you that much. I use old Smith-Victor hot lamps myself that were free to me, but something like them would not cost that much more on the used market.

    As I already mentioned, digitizing prints by photographing them makes the film format used a non issue.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 02-19-2011 at 04:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #7
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    To buy:
    Developer, Stop, Fix, Drying aid such as PhotoFlo.
    Developing tank and reels for 135 and 120
    Thermometer to guage water temp

    Things you might have around the house:
    A pair of scissors
    Can opener (church key)
    32-ounce graduated measuring cup (1-qt cup for wet measure in the kitchen)
    Two baby medicine syringes for measuring out liquid dev and stop (useful for one shot chemistry where you mix, use and dump)
    A plastic funnel
    3 containers equal to the volume of your develoing tank (to hold chemicals during processing when not in use)
    A timer that measures in seconds and minutes
    Wire or string (for hanging film to dry)
    Stainless steel hanging clips or wooden clothespins (for hanging and holding film straight)
    Negative archival storage sheets

    You don't need much and you probably already have a few things laying around that can be put to use.

    Now, have at it.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  8. #8
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    First of all , you need cheap film and it can be very easy to find short cut kodak movie negative film from internet. It costs 10 times or more cheaper than the film you order from major online shops.
    If you interested in this offer , post here and I will help you.

    Second need is a processing tank. You can buy a Paterson tank for 5 , 10 less or more dollars.

    Developer , fixer is damn cheap , you can buy D76 from Kodak in dry powder condition very cheap as a developer.


    I think with 50 - 60 dollars , you can take and develop hundreds of pictures.

    Scanning , you must find a minilab which has a automatic film scanner with bw mode. In Istanbul development , scanning and cd writing costs 3 dollars.

    If 60 dollars is steep , you can find bw Kodak or Ilford film which can be developable with color minilab.

    If you are far from all sources and if you have no money income and no chance to buy film developer each time , www.keh.com , www.adorama.com , there are panasonic cameras for 40 dollars new and guaranteed , of course digital. Load your photographs to computer and retouch with www.picnik.com free.
    You have no cd writer of course , so load your pictures to www.gmail.com , e mail address and mail to the printer.

    Good luck ,

    Umut

  9. #9

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    A cheap developing tanke... $20
    A bottle of Rodinal... $15
    A bottle of Oderless Fixer... $15

    All from Freestyle.

    That assumes you have a scanner that will work with your negative size. I already had an Omega B22 enlarger that someone gave me, but I had to buy a lens, lens board, and a negative carrrier for 6x6 $50. A an enlarging easel that added $100 to the total, if you do not feel the need for a 4 blade easel you could probably add the enlarger and be in the $200 range. If you need to do 4x5 the price goes up to a minimum of about $500. We are talking used prices, of course.

    That is less chemicals and film, but those are on going expenses.

    The question becomes where is your beak even point? There is a point below which where it is cheaper to send out your film for processing, there is also a point where it is cheaper to go digital despite the high cost of the cameras. In the middle DIY film is the way to go.

  10. #10

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    Since you mention "clients", I assume you are doing this professionally or semi-professionally. Do you really have time and resources to do this yourself? True, you could get most of major equipment for almost nothing but little thing will cost you plenty. Also consumables will cost you, too. If you have to scan yourself, making clean scans eliminating dust spots will drive you NUTS too - not to mention equipment cost. Also, your time = cost as well.

    I certainly don't want to discourage this but since cost is your major motivator, I'm not sure if you are making the right decision by going DIY route.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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