Bella, welcome to APUG. You will be able to find lots of help with your film processing questions here. However, scanner questions are not allowed unless you are specifically trying to scan images for submission to the APUG gallery. APUG is as analogue as we can make it.
Welcome to APUG Bella. As with everything, there is a learning curve. Come here frequently with all your film questions and they will be answered. Sometimes with as many answers as there are replies.
Welcome to APUG. As others have stated, scanning questions are off topic for APUG, but our sister site is the perfect place to ask about scanning. Any wet darkroom work or processing question you have, you will find lots of answers for. You can link to HybridPhoto at the top of the page, or with the link below.
Thanks Steve, I live in Melbourne, Australia.
Maybe if you told us whereabouts you live, some members may be able to help better with lab recommendations.
Thank you everybody for answering my questions
Where are some cheap film processors in Melbourne? (not printing, just the processing part)
There are many members in Australia, and probably some recommendations in the Australian sub-forum. If not, it would be a good place to ask the question; http://www.apug.org/forums/forum214/
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CostCo will process and make you a CD for under $5.00. Ask if they will do a "high resolution" scan. Then you can open the files from the CD on your computer and treat them as if they were images from a digital camera. It works quite well. Their scanner is probably better than what you would buy, and the time saved is well worth the cost of having them process and scan.
Bellalee some good film developing places in Melbourne are Prism in Nth Melb, Micheals in City, Vanbars in Carlton and Nth Melb. These of course are not the only one but are good ones. Most shopping centres still have a shop that will process your film but the quality needs to be checked. I know a nice little shop in Moonee Ponds still does a good job, and i think Photographic warehouse in Bentleigh does film too
As for specific scanners you can buy:
The top of the line scanners are, hands down: Nikon Coolpix scanners.
They have all been discontinued as of late so fleabay, Craigslist, or refurbs are your best bet there. They are "dedicated" scanners, meaning: they ONLY scan film and nothing else. This is why they produce better image quality.
They also cost alot of money.
The middle of the road scanners after most dedicated scanners are:
Epson Perfection or Epson Expression scanners
They produce the best quality per price ratio.
The Epson V300, V500, V700, V750, 4490, 4990 are all great models.
The Canoscan 8800f is also good and is worthy of consideration
Dont get anything that you can not find information on. A POS scanner for $20 will give you terrible scans and will be a pain in the ass to work with.
Toledo Camera Trader and photojournalist
the dril is
buy film- expose to light (photograph) - process(develop acordingly) - enlarge. enlargment would also mean scan (digitalize negative)
if you decide to work on black and white film its better to buy some stuff for less than 100$ and process it yourself, it's fun creative and easy. i am sure you can find a lot of help here. developing BW film at labs takes the fun away, and could also in most cases result in terrible negatives.
Doing it yourself, is better, and cheaper and you have all the creative options about developers and stuff to decide according to your personal taste.
after that you want to see your negs. either you buy an enlarger, which is not so cheap and requires a darkroom (film development does not) or a scaner. of course enlarging and materializing your pictures is some hundred times more enjoyable and worthy. one main difference between us and the digital photogs, is that 99% of amature digital photogs never print their photos and only see them in a stupid screen. Well we can print, and we do it.
however a scanner comes handy in showing your work over the internet and keeping an archive. I use it for that reason. I have the 8800F scaner mentioned above, which is the cheapest of the bunch and can handle medium format too. its quite good for what it promises. of course dedicated scanners do a better job, but whatever. iif you want to print a negative you print the actual negative not the digital file.
having your film scanned by a lab could be awfull. i've done it in the recent past. they give you a cd with 1000pixel length jpegs. scanned extremely poorly and bad. I say if you decide to stay in photography buy a scaner to be able to see the fruits of your work, and when you feel ready go find a darkroom lab (some universities have labs, or clubs etc for free) and print your pics. Darkroom printing is like touching god in the photo world..
cheers, shoot much