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09-25-2012, 05:23 AM   #1
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120 film processing 101

Hello everybody.
I've gone pretty much all-digital since 2006 but recently decided to bring out the old 67, mostly for slides and B&W photography.
As I live on the island of Corfu in Greece, it's almost impossible to buy film here, let alone develop, print or scan it. I used my 67 a lot when i lived in NY, over 10 years ago, when MF pro labs were almost on every block (in midtown). I took the easy route and had everything done for me...

I'm debating between mail-order or developing the film myself, but have no clue where to start. Plus 1/2 the films i used are not made any more, and there are all sorts of other films i have never heard of (which was a nice surprise). So my questions are:

1. in Europe, where do you buy film from, online?

2. and where do you process it?

3. If i were to develop slides myself what would I need? How about B&W?

4. Finally, I'd like to have the images in digital format. Are there any decent film scanners at reasonable prices? Am I better off shooting slides and using a slide copier and macro lens on my K5?

Sorry for all the newbie questions. I hope you can help me!

Many thanks,

Miles

09-25-2012, 06:41 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Can't speak for 1 and 2 or 4

3.
+Changing bag for move the film to developing reels
+Developing tank for 1 reel or 2 reel of 120 film (or 2 and 4 of 135 film) in plastic or metal and it is the light tight vessel allowing you to do this in normal light.
+1 or 2 liter storage bottles... enough for C-41 steps or E-6 steps or B&W chemicals
+very accurate thermometer and two of them is always good
+Basin large enough for temperature bath to raise bottles to processing temperature
+2 or 4 liter mixing vessel as you will probably be buying the chemicals in concentrates and powders
+mixing tool to stir and crush
+clips to hang when done
If you are just processing the film and scanning, you could do this all in a bathroom and pack it all up when you are done.
09-25-2012, 07:03 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot MysteryOnion,
That helps a lot, and definitely puts me in the right direction. I think last time i did something like this i must have been about 15. Loooong time ago!
It sounds rather complicated now, but i guess if i do it once it will appear much simpler..
Kind regards,
Miles
09-25-2012, 07:23 AM   #4
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I buy all my film and chemistry from Macodirect.de. It usually takes a week or two before I receive it though.

09-25-2012, 07:36 AM   #5
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I'd recommend first developing BW film yourself for a while before doing C-41 or E6 processing.

If you have a bathroom with no windows, you can close the door, stuff a towel under under it and pin up a black cloth over it. Hang the film clipped from a curtain track to remove the backing off 120 roll film. With that method, you never even touch the film surface. You can do it all by pretty much only handling only the edges of the film.
09-25-2012, 11:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I'd recommend first developing BW film yourself for a while before doing C-41 or E6 processing.
Yes i realize that's a good idea... A lot of things to do for the first time while being blindfolded in essence...

QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
If you have a bathroom with no windows, you can close the door, stuff a towel under under it and pin up a black cloth over it. Hang the film clipped from a curtain track to remove the backing off 120 roll film. With that method, you never even touch the film surface. You can do it all by pretty much only handling only the edges of the film.
Thanks. Yes that sounds like the plan. Should i wear gloves? I also thought of getting an air filter to get rid of most the dust..

Topace, thank you for the link, i've been browsing their site.
09-25-2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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To get rid of the dust run the shower for three or four minutes just prior to hanging the film to dry and leave the room undisturbed while it is drying, Most of the time dust is not a problem as the film is in a developing tank.
09-25-2012, 07:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by miles Quote
..
Thanks. Yes that sounds like the plan. Should i wear gloves? I also thought of getting an air filter to get rid of most the dust..
Maybe wear gloves to handle the chemicals but no need to load the film on a reel for a daylight tank. Dust is mostly a concern while drying the film. If you live in a dusty, dry climate taking dust prevention measures would be wise. The steaming shower technique is also effective as noted by redrockcoulee

09-26-2012, 08:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by topace Quote
I buy all my film and chemistry from Macodirect.de. It usually takes a week or two before I receive it though.
1+ for macodirect.de. Despite having great access to film both local and online from dealers in N. America, I have placed the odd order with macodirect and can recommend them.


Steve
09-26-2012, 08:16 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
To get rid of the dust run the shower for three or four minutes just prior to hanging the film to dry and leave the room undisturbed while it is drying, Most of the time dust is not a problem as the film is in a developing tank.
What he said...
10-01-2012, 04:58 AM   #11
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You could try an old Agfa Rondinax 60 - with one of these you can develop your 120 film in broad daylight. They're commonly available on eBay.

As for your question 4, there's a lot on this forum about this subject, but it mostly boils down to the Epson V700/750 being good bang for the buck for 120 film (not so much with 35mm, where the flaws in the scanner start to intrude a little). The V600 may also be a good bet, at a lower price.

Or you can wait for the long-announced but still-unavailable Plustek 120, which looks promising, albeit expensive.
10-01-2012, 05:13 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by artobest Quote
You could try an old Agfa Rondinax 60 - with one of these you can develop your 120 film in broad daylight
Is it easy to control temps with it in color processing?

Tanks like Nikor or Paterson or Yankee or Omega are also daylight tanks as well and can be dipped deep in a basin to control temperatures.

Old near turn of the century dip-n-tip tanks do not have light traps for pour out chemicals... Agfa as well as the Leitz were some of the first daylight-loading tanks.
10-02-2012, 05:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MysteryOnion Quote
Is it easy to control temps with it in color processing?
No, you definitely wouldn't want to use it for colour!
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