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06-19-2016, 08:31 PM   #1
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How Much do You Save

How much do you figure you save by processing/developing your own film. I'm just jumping into developing my own film, and I've already began scanning my negatives into my computer > Lightroom > Photoshop > Print on my Canon Pro 100.

I know I was paying @ $12 for each for my 1st 2 rolls of film developed. I was able to download the next day. (I didn't like the results)

As I get better at all stages, I'll be buying film in bulk, along with whatever I need to develop & print.

I know this is not an easy answer, but just some ball park estimates. Of course, some, including myself; the fun factor, & doing it yourself can't be calculated.

06-19-2016, 09:07 PM   #2
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After the initial start-up costs for developing gear (~$120 to repurchase both my B&W and C-41 gear), it depends.

I'd guesstimate that if I develop eight rolls of C-41 or B&W at a time*, I spend about $3.12/roll.

*C-41 is supposed to be good for at least a couple of weeks. I've kept my B&W chemicals for months.
06-20-2016, 02:48 AM   #3
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I'm not sure I save anything. But I have no same-day film developing service in town (it's all mail-out with a two week turnaround), and being able to develop it myself is great, even if it is limited to B&W right now. I figure I'm paying for flexibility and time - eight-ish minutes in the developer, two minutes in water for a stop bath and anything up to ten in the fixer is less time than I spend on the road (there and back) to take film to the place that does the send-out.
06-20-2016, 03:56 AM   #4
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It's been years since I dev'd my own, but would like to start up again once we move.
It really depends on how frugal you are with your chems. If you batch a bunch of rolls and push your developer to the limit, you can save quite a bit. If you're just doing just a few rolls at a time and tossing/changing chemicals strictly per instructions you might not save a whole lot. But overall, you're in control, and that's worth quite a bit.

06-20-2016, 04:37 AM - 1 Like   #5
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With R09 one-shot at 1:50 doing two rolls at a time, and Ilford Rapid Fixer at 1:4 lasting for five rolls, I reckon it costs me about 0.60/$0.90 per film in chemical costs, which is much better than the 5/$8 I was paying per roll for BW development. If you use a simple changing bag and Paterson two reel system you can probably recoup your equipment costs and start saving money fairly fast.

Then you can spend that money on lenses

Also, being able to get a quick turnaround on your films is great, plus the ability to experiment and get different results depending on developer/time/agitation. If you print or scan too, it's very satisfying having completed the whole process from the first click of the shutter yourself.
06-20-2016, 06:33 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by edmundrt Quote
With R09 one-shot at 1:50 doing two rolls at a time, and Ilford Rapid Fixer at 1:4 lasting for five rolls, I reckon it costs me about 0.60/$0.90 per film in chemical costs, which is much better than the 5/$8 I was paying per roll for BW development. If you use a simple changing bag and Paterson two reel system you can probably recoup your equipment costs and start saving money fairly fast.

Then you can spend that money on lenses

Also, being able to get a quick turnaround on your films is great, plus the ability to experiment and get different results depending on developer/time/agitation. If you print or scan too, it's very satisfying having completed the whole process from the first click of the shutter yourself.
Rodinal clones work ok at 1+100.
Sodium thiosuphate is available for ponds...
Bulk allows use of cine and other emulsions like when speed trap cameras went digital there was a glut of 150' reloads.

For a while the tank and enlarger kits were free to good home as people went to the dark side in droves...

There's good see no lemmings...in this post.
06-20-2016, 06:48 AM   #7
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Wow! Some of you are making a big dent into the cost of film & developing. I purchased 5 rolls of B&W, both of Ilford & Kodak. (@ $5 or $6, - No discount doing it that way) I purchased most of my gear, chemicals & do dats from B&H, Freestyle, & Amazon. @ $160.00.

This weekend I'll be developing my 1st rolls of B&W (4 rolls) Just those 4 rolls would cost me $48.00. I suck at math, but cost of film & Chemicals I should be down to $5 or $6 per roll developed. I'm just doing a ball park figure, but it went from @ $18 to $6 for everything. It went from $1,800 for 100 rolls to $600 for the same doing it myself. It might be more or less, but I'm still saving cash, and getting the prints when I want them developed. I should have a more precise amount once I know what I'm doing.

I agree with Edmundrt, "Then you can spend that money on Lenses"
06-20-2016, 07:25 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
If you're just doing just a few rolls at a time and tossing/changing chemicals strictly per instructions you might not save a whole lot. But overall, you're in control, and that's worth quite a bit.
I had to send a couple of rolls back through the fixer to wash the pink stain off my Tmax 400, so I'm firmly in the toss-and-change camp, but the control aspect is for me worth the extra cost. I'm enough of a beginner right now that I want to rule out stale chemistry as a source of failure.

06-20-2016, 10:07 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by edmundrt Quote
Also, being able to get a quick turnaround on your films is great, plus the ability to experiment and get different results depending on developer/time/agitation. If you print or scan too, it's very satisfying having completed the whole process from the first click of the shutter yourself.
This is where its at IMO. I'd sure like to move. I could easily just start now, but our place is so small and my photography stuff already clutters up the space because we've no room for a dedicated office space. I very much want at least a small basement in which to setup "camp" again. Even now with all my camera bins and bulk film and winders and 2 scanners with accessories - I have dig most of out, set it up and then replace it - it's just far less enjoyable that way so I'm not going to add home dev'ing to that ..... Looking forward though. Even just doing a fair amount of bulk rolling and home scanning saves me a ton - enough to keep shooting 95% film anyhow.
06-20-2016, 02:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
This is where its at IMO. I'd sure like to move. I could easily just start now, but our place is so small and my photography stuff already clutters up the space because we've no room for a dedicated office space. I very much want at least a small basement in which to setup "camp" again. Even now with all my camera bins and bulk film and winders and 2 scanners with accessories - I have dig most of out, set it up and then replace it - it's just far less enjoyable that way so I'm not going to add home dev'ing to that ..... Looking forward though. Even just doing a fair amount of bulk rolling and home scanning saves me a ton - enough to keep shooting 95% film anyhow.
I live alone & moved from a one bedroom to a two bedroom 6 months ago. I turned the full master bedroom & bath into my studio. I've purchased so many things in 6 months that I'm thinking about turning my living room into my studio which is bigger & brighter. Which means, I can buy more stuff until I'm sleeping on the porch.
06-20-2016, 02:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
I live alone & moved from a one bedroom to a two bedroom 6 months ago. I turned the full master bedroom & bath into my studio. I've purchased so many things in 6 months that I'm thinking about turning my living room into my studio which is bigger & brighter. Which means, I can buy more stuff until I'm sleeping on the porch.
Sounds like you're a candidate for good old fashioned artist's loft!
06-20-2016, 03:05 PM   #12
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If you develop large quantities of film you will save lots.
Occasional users like me not so much.
But I'd never want to give up the control - and fun - of doing it myself.

Chris
06-20-2016, 03:23 PM   #13
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I think it works out to less than 75 cents per roll of black and white. The advantages are I know how it is going to be done, there are no local labs that do it and I can get it done quickly if I want to. The only disadvantage is I also develop my wife's black and white film. But at least she prints her own darkroom prints and also prints my digital ones. I do not shoot enough colour to make it worth getting the chemicals, at least not at this time. I think it is about $5 per roll colour processed only do not cut that my lab does for me.
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