Welcome Jack! You should grab a few books and get started with black and white, its really quite affordable when you develop and print yourself. I recommend H. Horenstein's a Basic Manual to black and white photography. There are tons of copies in libraries, and for cheap used on amazon. It covers much of the basics of cameras, developing, and printings, and good examples of each. There are many more great books such as beyond monochome, or the edge of darkness, that you should take a look at too if your in the same area in the library.
Plus you can always come here to ask any questions you have as well!
If I was you, I would definately begin by shooting and sending away for developing, moving pretty quickly over to developing the film myself (and scanning or sending away for printing).
The darkroom-printing process is something you can ponder about after you've gotten your feet wet, there is a lot of fun to be had just shooting and developing your own film. (quite empowering feeling, knowing you are a "self-contained", hard-core "negative film-maker") ^^
And as the others say, you can process your film in full daylight, using a changing bag to get the film out of the canister and onto the spool and into the developing tank.
Last edited by Helinophoto; 12-11-2012 at 04:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Wow, you really caused a stir today. And to answer another of your questions, no, other fora are not as friendly and civil as this one. What passes for a flame war here is pretty tame.
If you can make Mac & Cheese, you can process B&W film. I started a couple years ago and videos like Jbrunner's helped a lot. A good place to find books is Goodwill.
Nobody but stupid fools like us want this stuff any more, and bags. tanks, and reels seem to never wear out. So if you look around, all the equipment you need will be available for very little money - fractions of what it originally cost. I did a lot of calculating before starting this and decided that getting into film as a serious hobby would be MUCH cheaper than digital over my remaining lifetime.
A politician is a man who will double cross that bridge when he comes to it.