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08-22-2008, 11:07 AM   #1
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cost of film developing

using todays costs of chemicals, and the initial cost of the equipment necessary

is it advantageous to process film ones self or just forget about it and give it to a 3rd party?

08-22-2008, 11:10 AM   #2
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I don't know about colour, but I'm pretty sure processing B&W yourself is still cheaper.
08-22-2008, 11:19 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
using todays costs of chemicals, and the initial cost of the equipment necessary

is it advantageous to process film ones self or just forget about it and give it to a 3rd party?
Color or B&W?

Locally, I can get color processed for about what it would cost me to do it so I have it done.

B&W is a different story. No local lab handles it so it is all sent out, you have no choice of developer ( they usually use something like D-76 or a commercial concentrate), and ANY requested modifications to processing cost a fortune. So I process all of my B&W.

The cost of the equipment for basic B&W is minimal if you buy used and there are tons of it available on ebay. Chemistry cost is a bit trickier. The basic stuff is not expensive and cost per roll can be good IF you process eenough that the stuff doesn't sit around and go bad.

Jeff
08-22-2008, 11:25 AM   #4
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this will be primarily for B&W at the moment.

i dont mind doing bulk so as to not waste chemicals

my only concern though is ISO selection, do i have to use different chemicals for different ISO's?

is there a crash course on developing out on the net that someone could recomend.

i have processed film before... but i was 9 years old, hehehe.

08-22-2008, 11:27 AM   #5
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Let's assume an initial setup cost of $80 for the equipment and chemicals.

Last time I dropped off a roll of 120 B&W at the local store (for local 'develop only') it was something like $3.99 - I was pleasantly surprised. So call it $4 for a roll of film, developed only, by someone in town.

80/4 = 20 rolls break even. I'm not counting the time I'd spend cursing at the damn film not going into the damn reel...

After that, it's just the chemicals cost, and the equation starts to favor home developing.

Or that's the story I tell myself anyway...
08-22-2008, 11:42 AM   #6
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just thinking ahead, would i need a different tank/reel for 120 film than for 35mm? (the LBA/CBA has bit me so hard, i'm currently in the market for a MF camera... ahhhhhhh)
08-22-2008, 11:51 AM   #7
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The reel I will get if I get one, the Jobo, is a size that takes 2 35mm reels or 1 120. And the reel adjusts & has big ears to guide the film. When I last developed something 25 years ago I used Paterson tanks and reels... no way could you get me to do the (s)he-man metal contraptions.
08-22-2008, 01:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
my only concern though is ISO selection, do i have to use different chemicals for different ISO's?

is there a crash course on developing out on the net that someone could recomend.
You might find that you prefer different developers for different films. I worked out my system to two different films that I develop in Rodinal. Once I was satisfied with my results, I bought 100 rolls of each and froze them. Should last me until I retire.

There are lots of intros to developing. One I know of is:

Beginner's Guide to B&W Processing - APUG

You might find some of the APUG site interesting also.

Jeff

08-22-2008, 02:18 PM   #9
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You can have my B&W chemicals too LOL

and it's best to do your own B&W especially the film processing.
08-22-2008, 02:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clicker Quote
You can have my B&W chemicals too LOL

and it's best to do your own B&W especially the film processing.
why do you think its best (other than cost)


i mean, if i have it down to a science maybe, but for a beginner?
08-22-2008, 02:30 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
why do you think its best (other than cost)


i mean, if i have it down to a science maybe, but for a beginner?
You can process the film the way you like; normal, pushed, pulled to achieve the final print that you hope to get. It's especially useful if you have graded paper vs a multigrade to get that final look you are aiming for.
08-22-2008, 02:45 PM   #12
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Developing your own B&W is cheap and easy. You need a dev canister, get a double 35mm, so you can do 2 35mm rolls or 1 120 roll, and reels. You can find these cheep used. Find a closet to load the film, and the rest is done in the light. Unless you plan to do a few roll a week, I wouldn't recommend buying chemicals in bulk, they go bad too fast. With 500ml bottles It's about a buck to develop a canister, ie. two 35mm or one 120. It's better to do youself for the cost, and also because you can control the contrast of the negs. Adjusting the exposure in the camera effects the shadows more, while dev time changes the highlights more. Pretty soon you'll have a dedicared room and an enlarger.
Good luck, Ryan
08-22-2008, 09:53 PM   #13
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Check out the Massive Dev Chart to match film to developers with regard to time and temp
08-23-2008, 01:24 AM   #14
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I just started to develope my own film.

It was easier to do then I expected. I like that I don't need to make the trip to the lab. I like that it is a process I am learning to fine tune.

The tank and chemicals cost me less then $100.00. At the lab I used, each frame cost about $0.50 to develope and scan (roll of 24 cost about 12 bucks). So, it will take 9 rolls of 24 to cover my initial costs. If I want to cover the cost of my scanner, I need to go through another 15 roles or so. I expect I will have covered my costs in the next three months.
08-23-2008, 06:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
I just started to develope my own film.

It was easier to do then I expected. I like that I don't need to make the trip to the lab. I like that it is a process I am learning to fine tune.

The tank and chemicals cost me less then $100.00. At the lab I used, each frame cost about $0.50 to develope and scan (roll of 24 cost about 12 bucks). So, it will take 9 rolls of 24 to cover my initial costs. If I want to cover the cost of my scanner, I need to go through another 15 roles or so. I expect I will have covered my costs in the next three months.
Look around for an enlarger, trays and you're all setup to do your own B&&W prints and some filters if they're not built in.
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