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03-08-2008, 11:26 AM   #1
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? for those that develop film at home

For those of you that develop your negatives at home, or yourselves, what is the average cost per 35mm roll? Does it range about the same for 120 film as well?

I appreciate any input.

03-08-2008, 11:52 AM   #2
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I don't know about roll film, but I think you will find it quite a bit more expensive simply due to the volumes you need.

Remember 35mm film is 35mm wide and frames are 24mm by 36 mm. 120 roll film, depending on the format youo shoot could be quite a bit bigger per frame, lets look at 645 cameras as a start, frame is 6cm wide across the film, so 2 times the width, and then 1.5 times the length on film per frame, or 3 times the area in total. I would expect 36 frames to cost 3 times the cost just for developers in order to have the same volumes per area of film.

it is that simple.

other costs will be somewhat more hidden, in terms of enlargers, and lenses with the capability of having a sufficiently large image circle.

printing costs will be the same for the same size print.
03-08-2008, 01:40 PM   #3
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I develop at home, both 120 and 35mm.

Costs me pennies in chemicals, most of which can be reused a couple of times. After that, I just scan them in using a film scanner.
03-08-2008, 02:31 PM   #4
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It really is only pennies. My reel holds 2 rolls of 35mm or 1 roll of 120mm. With illfosol s one shot developer, illford stop and fix reused once, it costs me $0.97 to fill the tank. Thats less than $.50 a roll for 35mm. Thats with adorama prices, local prices might be $.70 a roll. All you need is a tank and a closet to load. Printing is where things can get more expensive.
Ryan

03-10-2008, 09:45 AM   #5
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Lemme see...

1 Yank gallon's (3.82 litre's) worth of D-76 powder: $6 AU

Tap water: free.

Amount of D-76 needed per roll (in a Paterson Multitank): 290ml.

Cost per 100ml of D-76: 15.6 cents.

Cost per reel is therefore: 44.6 cents per roll (Australian cents.)

Which works out to about 40 US cents per roll.

Fixer, going for a 250ml concentrate that you mix 1:4 (ie, one part fixer concentrate, four parts water) will set you back about, oh, about a dollar per hundred mils (using my local prices for Ilford Rapid Fixer and Aussie dollars.)

It's harder to calculate the fixer costs, as it's easy to reuse each batch a dozen or more times. Hell, I don't even measure my fixer/water mixture. A good long slurp of fixer, plus about four times that of water. It's hard to actually over-fix film, so it's not a big problem.

You'll need to the same amount of fixer as developer, of course.

The amount of dev for 120/126 film is moulded into the bottom of the Paterson dev tanks, I can't remember exactly the amount, but let's figure it out....

Given that 35mm film is 35mm from top to bottom (where it gets its name from - remember, 35mm film is, after all, just movie film turned sideways) and that a roll of 35mm film requires 290ml of developer, we can work out the amount needed for 120 film.

120 film is 60mm in height.

It's then just a simple matter of extending the height of the cylinder (the shape of the volume that 35mm film occupies in a Paterson Multitank) to the same height as the cylinder occupied by a roll of 120 film in a Patterson Multitank.

The tank has perpendicular internal sides.

Let's seeeeee....

35mm high cylinder has a 290ml volume.

Double that, 70mm, would be 580.

Divide that by 7 gives us the volume per centimetre in height of the inside of the tank...82.8ml.

Multiply that by 6 gives us...497ml.

And, right about now, having been thoroughly pleased that Maths A has come in handy one more time than Maths B, which Lithos was forced to endure in highschool, he then just goes down to check what the volume stated on the bottom of his Paterson tank is, which, in retrospect, would have saved a lot of time, but, on the other hand, gave his left brain a work, which will no doubt cause it to delay its crippling vengeance stroke for another few years.
03-10-2008, 09:58 AM   #6
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And the volume given on the bottom of the tank is.........

500ml. Which would've been what they round to, of course.

Oh, and why have I been going on about Paterson?

Because they're the best damn tanks out there. Bar none.
03-10-2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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Yeah, at $0.40 a roll of 35mm... I could easily live with that. I made a shopping list for myself of the stuff I'd need, and came out to a bit less than $100USD to get set up.

Thanks for the replies, guys.
03-10-2008, 10:31 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by APEHAUS Quote
Yeah, at $0.40 a roll of 35mm... I could easily live with that. I made a shopping list for myself of the stuff I'd need, and came out to a bit less than $100USD to get set up.
However, don't forget that once prepared chemicals do not last forever. That is, if you prepare solution using $10 developer powder or liquid concentrate that can be used to develop say 20 rolls, theoretically you'll have $0.5/roll. But if you develop one roll and store developer to be used next time in 6 months you are out of luck: fresh developer will most likely need to be prepared, bringing your cost per roll to initial $10. You can still use "expired" one, but all temperature/timing information will be of no value and final negative density and grain will be hard to predict and control.

To reduce price per roll prepare small quantities and develop several rolls over a short period of time.

03-16-2008, 07:08 AM   #9
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Then what about throw the used developer chemicals away? any special treatment needed?
03-16-2008, 06:12 PM   #10
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See here:

hse_us_en FAQs

However, the guidelines are for professional processing. That is, running something like photo lab and processing 100s of rolls a day using large quantities of chemicals. For our purposes disposing of one bottle every 3 months should not be a problem at all: the quantity of silver (which is of only concern) would be negligible and within any regulatory limit.
03-16-2008, 07:38 PM   #11
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Are there any good starter kits still around?
03-17-2008, 02:16 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by HawaiianOnline Quote
Are there any good starter kits still around?
I don't know if you have seen Freestyle Photo but they have lots of variety when it comes to chemicals. The problem is that there are many different brands of chemicals that are manufactured for different purposes in the world of B&W film processing. You could even call them and ask about what you might need, they will be helpful. If you are thinking about developing colour slide film there is a Kodak kit for E6 processing that should do the trick.
03-17-2008, 07:19 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
Then what about throw the used developer chemicals away? any special treatment needed?
There are silver reclamation services that'll pull the pure silver from your developer.

Apparently, if you've got a batch of fixer that's been used multiple times and is exhausted, you can wave some steel wool through it and it'll coat it.
03-18-2008, 01:34 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
Then what about throw the used developer chemicals away? any special treatment needed?
Developer just dump it down the drain, it oxidizes really quickly and poses no hazard, even for septic systems
Stop bath.... it's vinegar at the end

Fixer can be hazardous if it is used to the point of exhaustion, i.e. saturated with silver
However the amount of silver in a roll of 35mm/120 is really small and if you use your fixer 1 shot then it should be fine to dump

However, ask your loal authorities (the are usually in panicky mode tough)
03-18-2008, 11:08 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
I don't know if you have seen Freestyle Photo but they have lots of variety when it comes to chemicals. The problem is that there are many different brands of chemicals that are manufactured for different purposes in the world of B&W film processing. You could even call them and ask about what you might need, they will be helpful. If you are thinking about developing colour slide film there is a Kodak kit for E6 processing that should do the trick.
Great site. Thank you!
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