Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
Yes, I noted that in my post. The problem then is scanning. Here in China, I get great quality scans for virtually no money. The lab that processes for me does this as well. If I process my own, I have to either pick up that step or work in another way. Yet more headaches.
Ahahaha no. You're effectively paying $3/roll for scanning since the B&W chemistry would cost you under 50c. You can get a mid-range flatbed (~1200dpi optical resolution, enough for an 8x10" print from medium format) for about $180, which is 60 rolls of lab scans and that's only 10 weeks at your current burn rate.

If you value your time (and at 6 rolls/week this might be important) then scanning yourself can be a big time-sink but the results are generally going to be much better than what the $3.50 lab gives you. And you don't need to scan every damn frame, just the good ones - same as you wouldn't print every frame. If you really want someone to do the labour for you, I'd be surprised if you can't find a lab to do bulk scanning, say 20+ rolls in a batch.

The next step on the slippery-slope is to pick up a free enlarger and do real printing. It's a huge time-sink but you can get razor-sharp 16x20" prints from MF Acros for about $5/sheet - just make sure you by the same paper in each size so you can setup your prints at small/cheap sizes then just scale the exposure accordingly to make a big print. Pretty sure you aren't gonna see 16x20" digital prints from any lab or inkjet for $5.

If the running costs are too high, then think before pushing the button. Ask yourself "am I honestly happy to spend an hour in the dark putting this image onto paper?". If not, move on and see your standards climb.