View Full Version : Breakin Thru - Gonna dev my own stuff
Im a busy camper right now but Ive made up my mind to start dev my own film pretty soon. B&W is easy, its the color that will be more challenging and I'll have to learn it. At least I'll acheive some quality control.
Any tips that might make dev color film easier? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?
You're probably barking up the wrong tree on the color. Those "mini-lab" machines are pretty damned good. Find a place, like the local Walgreens, where the techs know how to keep things in adjustment, and where they replenish and change the chemicals on schedule, and you should get better C-41 negatives than you can get at home. Maintaining the temperature is going to be your biggest problem at home.
Get friendly with the people that operate the lab, don't ask for a rush unless you really need it at the moment, and Walgreens offers a 10% "pro discount" . All you have to do is ask for it one time. Once it's programmed into their computer it'll show up everytime you go there, and it'll show up at every other Walgreens as well.
B & W as you say is easy and saves plenty of money (here at least-being hand processed, labs charge a LOT). colour 35mm is only AU$2.50 a roll developed at K-Mart (possibly the equivalent to your wal-mart) so it works out cheaper/easier than home processing, for 120 colour i do my own because they charge $10 for it and means a trip to the pro lab in town which means petrol money and time, so its easier to do it myself--unless it was for a client then i get the lab to do them and pass the costs on, not that i have done much in the way of paid work for a while
Al / Chippy,
Thanks for your feedback. Ive decided to process my own B&W and continue taking my color to Walmart unless its an important shoot which I'll take to pro lab.
Thanks again -- Paul
Go for it and get C41 chemicals too. It is just as easy as B&W, except it need higher temperature and probably a bit more agitation (each 15-30 sec), but the dev time is only 3-4 minutes and the rest of the stops arent that critical (nor is really the dev phase).
E6 for slides is a bit longer and you might want to still use a lab if you have a good one that is not too expensive.. But for color negs you can get the processing for less than $1.5 if you can get a friend to buy a 5 liter kit with you or if you are a heavy user and can use all that fast enough. At least the price in Europe can be about 1 EUR for a roll, also for E6.
The chemicals seem to last long and stay good, the stock solutions for at least a year or a bit more and for working solutions even a month or a couple months I guess. We have used soon two 5L kits of E-6 and maybe about 10 liters of C41 at our schools club and everything has been working just great.
My only concern is the longevity with E6. Using 3-bath Tetenal might be a risk. I think we will try Kodak 6-bath next. It should remove the problem... but goes mostly for E6.
For C-41, dont believe anyone who claims it is hard or you can get bad results - it is almost failproof, just like B&W but with more tolerance for the contrast ;). For E6 it might be a different story and I cant yet promise this much, but for me it has worked just great too. For C41 you get some minor color shifts compensated anyway when scanning or manually printing the negs.
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