1. 5thumbs

    5thumbs

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    I've just bought a film camera (Canon AE-1) after using digital for the last 20 years. Partly a bit of nostalgia but also I'd like to go back to a more 'considered' way of shooting rather than firing off dozens off shots without really thinking.

    A couple of question around how people process their images.

    Do people tend to get the full film printed as-is? ( I must admit I miss looking at physical photos, a feeling shared by many of my family and friends)

    Or do people get scans done which they then edit in photoshop etc? If so doesn't this negate the reasons for shooting film in the first place?

    Really interested in what approach people take so any feedback appreciated
     
  2. RaglanSurf

    RaglanSurf Forum Idiot'13/14 FPOTY'17

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    I like the hybrid approach, I shoot film, scan it and tweak in Lightroom. And no it doesn’t negate my reasons for shooting film, it might bother some people but for me it’s my preferred method of making photos. In an ideal world I’d have a darkroom but o don’t have the space, time or patience for a full on, 100% film based approach so I’ll stick to my hybrid method.

    I also get low res scans done by Filmdev and then rescan the negs at a higher resolution once I get them back.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  3. simon ess

    simon ess Keeper of The List

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    I'm not sure how your first point is negated by your second point.

    Anyway... I use B+W film, develop myself, scan and edit in Lightroom, but there are many ways to approach it. Having it developed at a lab and getting prints has appeal, certainly.

    Worth remembering though that the lab scans and applies corrective editing.
     
  4. Carl Hall

    Carl Hall

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    If this is the reason you want to use film, then no, there's nothing wrong with getting scans and editing in Photoshop. It's still slowing you down and making you think before each shot. (y)

    Most people in the F&C section use a hybrid workflow and post scanned photos for others to see. Some home develop black and white film and others use colour negative which gets sent to a lab.

    If you chose to get prints of your film photos from a lab, I'm almost certain that they will just scan the film and print digitally anyway.
     
  5. 5thumbs

    5thumbs

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    Forgive my ignorance:

    I also get low res scans done by Filmdev and then rescan the negs at a higher resolution once I get them back.

    Can you explain how you do this please? I assume you send the film to Filmdev and they return negatives and jpegs? How does the second part of the process then work? How do you scan the negatives? (I presume this also involves some image editing prior to publishing or getting prints done)?

    I know I'm being a bit thick butiIt is many years since I processed an actual film!
     
  6. john.margetts

    john.margetts

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    There are many reasons for using film. I scan all my negatives but that does not turn them into digital images.
    Reasons for using film:
    1) it is fun.
    2) I get to use a leaf shutter which has a subtle effect on the image quality versus using a focal plane shutter.
    3) I get negatives up to 6 cm by 9 cm which scan into massive digital files. Short of buying a digital Hasselblad, I cannot get that sort of image quality form a digital camera.
    4) digital cameras use a dead flat sensor where all the image is on the same exact plane while film is thick. It is a subtle difference but is much the same as vinyl versus CD music. The digital version can just be too clean and perfect - much the same as a painter using a pallet knife instead of a fine camel-hair brush. And no, it cannot be imitated by using Photoshop.
    5) the response of film to light is not linear. I get to choose whether I use the toe, middle or shoulder of the intensity/density curve. Absolutely not possible with digital.
    6) most of my film cameras are just so much better designed than any digital camera. No menus, very few buttons, no screen
    7) it is fun.
     
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  7. john.margetts

    john.margetts

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    You put the negative strip into a film scanner and click on 'scan'. I use a Plustek Opticfilm 8100 scanner for 35 mm film - pretty good quality and not too expensive. Also have an Epson flatbed scanner (Perfection V550 Photo) for medium format negatives.

    The scanner software has editing options not too dissimilar from what Adobe's Lightroom offers. You can alter brightness, contrast, sharpness, and a few other things.
     
  8. Carl Hall

    Carl Hall

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    You post your film to Filmdev with an order form attached, then they develop and scan the negatives for you. They then send you an email with a download link to get your images and also an invoice to pay via PayPal. A few days later your negatives are posted back to you so that you can file them away or whatever.

    The images are pretty much finished when you download them, it's just whether you want to edit them further or crop etc. I don't usually need to do any editing apart from maybe a slight crop.
     
  9. Woodsy

    Woodsy POTY Winner 2009

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    This is what I do as well. B&W film from 35mm to 5x4 I do at home and then scan, while colour gets sent to Peak Imaging for dev only. As with Nick, I'd love a darkroom, but space does not permit. I'd also love a drum scanner, but the same issue prevents this :(.

    I never understand the point that scanning negates the point of shooting film. That's like saying that, just because you digitise it after the fact, one somehow looses all the characteristics of shooting on film and it makes it look indistinguishable from a digitally shot photo in the first instance. Utter nonsense! :)

    Personally I shoot film, specifically large format, because it not only offers far superior tonal graduation over digital, but also the camera movements make the format clearly superior to digital in these specific aspects.
     
  10. StephenM

    StephenM I know a Blithering Idiot

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    I develop my own films then scan (Epson flatbed scanner usually) and print digitally.

    I use film mainly for John's reason 3

    but in my case I'm using large format film so the differences in image quality are even greater.

    My other reason is that I don't like using eye level cameras, where I'm effectively viewing a scene normally, but just through one eye. I find that I compose more carefully, and miss a lot less that should be seen before exposure, using a waist level finder or a view camera. A tilt screen on the back of a digital camera isn't quite the same effect.

    I print digitally for the simple reason that I can produce better prints than I can in a darkroom by conventional printing. If I wanted to go back to darkroom printing, my darkroom still exists with a couple of enlargers on the bench; all I would have to do would be to take the Nova print processor out of a cupboard, set it on the bench and fill with chemicals. I'm saying this to indicate that my choice isn't driven by necessity as I have the means to darkroom print quite easily if I so chose.
     
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  11. 5thumbs

    5thumbs

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    Ok I think I'm starting to understand this. Few more stupid questions:

    If I assume that I send my film to Filmdev they willdevelop and scan the negatives - I assume the link they send me gives me access to jpegs - yes?

    I would then be able to edit the jpegs as with any digital file (PS/lightroom etc)

    Is there anywhere that would print the negs for me AND send me jpegs? The reason I ask is that the straight out of camera 7x5 physical photos may suffice for the majority of the images and I may want to edit only a selective few for say 10x8 enalrgements (if that makes sense).

    I think what I am trying to achieve here is probably a more basic process than some of the replies above. If I have understood correctly, a number of people use the film method of producing a digital image in order to get a higher quality digital file to work on and one which has the intrinsic character of a film image rather than a digital image.

    Thanks for your input and patience!
     
  12. john.margetts

    john.margetts

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    Snappy Snaps will certainly develop, print and scan if you want them to.
     
  13. 5thumbs

    5thumbs

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    thanks - none near me unfortunately - they seem to be mainly southern based (I'm between Leeds/Manchester) but I'll keep on looking .
     
  14. simon ess

    simon ess Keeper of The List

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    I just tried a google search

    film processing near Leeds

    and got a few options you might want to check out.
     
  15. RaglanSurf

    RaglanSurf Forum Idiot'13/14 FPOTY'17

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  16. Fraser Euan White

    Fraser Euan White

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    I think Ilford have also got a service to develop and print in a nice package?

    I develop all my own film (colour & B & W) - I went back to film because the 'magic' is seeing the negatives appear from the processor - the excitement holds something that digital can't match because you see the results instantly with digital. (I probably pay more doing colour at home than if I sent it away but it is a large part of the hobby for me.)

    However - usually I am disappointed because I was sure when I pressed the shutter release on my film camera it was going to be the best photo ever and when the film is developed it's crap - but still as exciting as a 7 year old at Christmas (Or maybe I'm just immature?) watching the film 'peel off' the tank spiral and the first glimpse of those lovely negatives/positives.

    Scanning the negatives is also an art form that you have to learn - it's the same as taking another picture and great fun learning and seeing the different results.

    For me a Hobby should be challenging to keep your interest - I get bored quickly!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  17. Teflon-Mike

    Teflon-Mike

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    Oh-Kay... MY methodology... if there is a method in this ma-a-adness...

    The history goes thus; I started with a camera; then I was given a fancy camera; I took lots of photo's, thought there has to be more to it than this; snapping away, sending films to tru-print or boots.... bought a 'starter' E6 dev kit with 3 slide films... bought dev tank (Probably the wrong order that!), started shooting slide; went to night-school to learn 'something'.. bought an enlarger; started developing & printing my own B&W.. tried colour.. failed... did some more B&W, tried tinting and toning, and trying everything else in the Dark-Room handbook.... etc etc etc.

    THEN, 1/4 century ago, I started doing an OU course in Info-Tech; bought a multi-media PC... and so the ma-a-dness went even more ma-a-ad!

    "Digital" was still somewhat in the pioneering arena of theory rather than practice. Direct to Digital cameras were not in the high-street; BUT, there was this document 'scanner' thing the secretary used in the office....

    My first digitised photo's were then made on that, from Boots Prints, after OU Summer-School, mainly so I could post them on the course bulatin board.

    Follow-on, was discovering the MicroGrapFX software that had come with that office scanner, and deciding to see what it could do, and concluding that it could do most of what I did in the dark-room under my stairs.... more slowly! BUT with less mess, and without spending so much money in Jessops!

    Around '98, marriage loomed, and the dark-room was NOT a kiddie freindly bit of house-space.... plus babies begged me running to and from ASDA to buy Nappies in bulk, leaving little to spend on printing paper at Jessops...

    The Digi-Dark-Room, was then a way to do the much-the-same thing with less spend and space.

    In Y2K, early direct Digi SLR's were starting to appear on the market; I was not impressed, either by the potential IQ and less, the exhorbitant price tag.

    Consequently, I bought another a bulk length of E6 Slide film and chemicals, and a rather expensive 35mm SCSI 'Scanner'.. an Acer Scanwit 2720, as it happens.... cost about £500 then, and I still use it.

    Takes 35mm film or slide, makes aprox 10MPix full frame scans in 64bit colour-depth; great widget.. just took all night to scan 4 frames.... then the PC would blue-screen! Lol.

    However... it chucked out scans at higher resolution than almost any direct-digi camera for a decade, and I still got negs to archive; could mess with images to hearts desire in Digi-Dark-Room, and print them without the enlarger on a desk-jet... as winter-net came into popular use, allowed photo's to be shared on line and used on Forums etc.

    This 'Hybrid' work-flow... then is nothing all that new, and was from the early days of wigital a convenience, IF you wanted all the advantages of digi-dark-room, without space, mess or hassle.... and with modern PC's not 'so' want to blue-screen in the over-load of digi-bits... I can scan maybe four frames in maybe an hour, now!

    So, I only bought a direct-Digi SLR about five years ago, when they fell to under £500 price range.

    MEANWHILE... drop a film into Boots or ASDA; mini-lab tech had pretty much mirrored what I had been doing at home for a decade, as H&S regs went mad, and enviro-mental-ists complained about the water consumption and stuff.

    The Dry-to-Dry mini-lab, has been making 'Digital' prints for probably twenty years; film developed as conventionally in chemicals, drawn through the tanks; then scanned as it comes out, and the prints you get in the packet made not from projecting light through the film onto photo-sensitive paper, but printed elecronically, with a thermal printer; some-what higher resolution than a desk-jet... but still pixilised.

    A-N-D most contemprary commercial film Dev & Print services STILL use such 'hybrid' process. Tradidional 'Wet' prints are still available, B-U-T they tend to be aa frame by frame, premium service, at a price, not a 'bulk' one for a whole roll.

    SO, even if you try using a film camera as in days of old, and getting an envelope of prints from the Mini-Lab they will most likely still be a hybrid Digi-Print, not a wet-one.

    Little renaisance in photography about the time I bought that Digi-SLR, and Daughter started studying GCSE Photo at school.

    SHE wanted to 'Do something with Film'.. and dug my old Zenit off the top of the wardrobe and threatening to hit me with it (I'm convinced it was a Soviet Weapon of Mass Destruction!); So I bought some out-of-date Kodak print film off e-bay, and took her out to shoot a roll or three, whilst I snapped away with the Digi.

    On the way home, we stopped at ASDA to drop her films in to be D&P'd, and pick up some donuts and stuff for tea. Rather remarkeably, she was looking at her envelope of snaps, in the car, before we got home.... I just about had the SD card uploaded to PC and was able to look at them, maybe an hour later after tea..... So much for the 'Instant' photo's promiced by Digital! Lol.

    ASDA.....

    ANYWAY, films dropped into ASDA; mini-lab, an extra 50p bought a CD and for 50p per film, up to three films worth of the scans could be saved to it, and provided with the prints.

    Cost something like £10 a film.... which probably isn't too much more than it used to cost 20 years ago, a-n-d, in analysis of how much I have spent on digi-kit in the last decade, would probably still have been cheaper to have films processed than buy all the digi-chit!... but still...

    That's one way of organising Film-Photo 'work-flo' in modern age.

    Have to say that I was not particularly impressed by either mini-lab prints, or scans.. or the cost....

    Back to original 'plan', to some degree. And home developing film, and home scanning it.

    B&W is a doddle; chems do many many films, if you batch them up, and I can still get HQ scans off the negs via that old Scanwit.

    E6 Slide? Films tend to be rather pricey; and Chems more so and are one shot, so I dont think I have shot a slide-film in probably 15 years.

    Colour-Print film, is more widely and cheaply available; C41 chems are more available and more reasonably priced, so make more 'sense' for colour photo, especially if they are going to be digitised, anyway.

    BUT, ASDA... will develop 'only' for £1 a film!

    So for colour, that's the go-to solution, saves mixing any up, buying chems, having them go off once bottle opened, or mess in the kitchen, or wondering if I need chance the battery in the kitchen clock again!

    Negs collected from the counter, un-cut, rolled into original film bottle; I bring them home, chop to six-frame lengths (Rather than 4's, as I get more in my archive binder pages, and can scan 6 at a time not just 4), then slap strips into the scanner carrier and press the button.

    THAT is the 'work-flo', in modern parlance.

    I could still make wet prints for B&W if I wanted under the enlarger.. I couldn't do colour 20-years ago... had the hardware... had the know-how... just not the skill! So, I tend to do neither! Once developed they go Digital, and get looked at on-screen. I dont think that I have even printed any via desk-jet for half a decade.

    Actually the last prints I made like that, were to stick in a photo-frame clock in the living-room. They are actually an acceptable quality for that, or even larger frame display, and under-glass, remarkeably few folk ever even notice that they aren't conventional 'wet' prints.

    As such the tactile pleasure of opening an envelope of prints, is rather an expensive one, and when you have flipped through 35 bits of paper, and not been so 'wowed' by them, I personally find rather underwhelming.

    Get the film, scan it to PC, look at them on screen, more little delights seeing a thumbnail and 'ooh! that looks interesting!' clicking it and opening up a full screen version, to see just how really dissapointing it is.... BUT.. I have something like 10,ooo 'film' pictures on the PC, they take up a heck of a lot less space sat on the hard drive than in a shoe box or carrier bag or in albums on the shelf. They are there, and almnost instantly accessible to view, and bigger; organised into folders, much easier to find than random prints wherever they have been dumped. Its oh-so-convenient... A-N-D I can, as hintimated, make prints, IF I want them, either as for the clock or window-sill frames, via desk-jet, or under the enlarger, or by taking neg into Boots.

    I really dont 'see' any sort of hypocracy shooting film, and viewing digital, I have been doing it that way for a long time, since before direct-to-digital cameras were on the high-street, let alone 'as good' as a digitised film photo.

    It's really a question of how you would like to do it.

    1/4 century ago, there was a lot of lore and seriouse snappers deriding commercial process and print, suggesting that if you wanted to 'take control' of your photo's you should do it all from start to finish, and develop and print your own pictures...

    But even then, how far do you go? I mean, that would suggest you are deligating big chunks of the job, using commercial film stock and printing papers, or chemicals.

    When I first set up the dark room, my Gran actually got quite interested in it all; she had been a qualified chemist before WWII, and she started telling me about when she was a child, and her mother, watching at her elbow after being sent to collect the eggs from the chickn coops and hedge, and her mum sorted out the bad ones, and seperated yokes and whites, not to make merangue, but the base emulsion to mix up with silver nitrate and stuff, to smear on bits of picture glass, to make photo-plates for her home made camera! I mean THAT is taking control of the whole process from end to end!

    SO, how do you want to go about it? Whats your objectives? What 'bits' of the job interest you?

    The technology, puts tools on the table you can choose to use, or not; its entirely up to you. Digital, just gives you a few more tools to choose from; and these days many do.

    BUT, debate over Digital, reminds me of my old Wood-Work teacher spending a term teaching us to use a hand saw, and refusing to cut anything on the electric band saw, insisting that power tools let the crafts man craft more, or let fools eff-up-faster.... which was quite audaciouse when I was 11, to hear a 70 year old tortiose of a teacher use the 'eff' word, long before Gordon Ramsey came along!
    But had wisdom in it. There's no such thing as the "Wrong Tool" just the "Wrong USE" for a tool...

    Back to you... HOW do you want to do the job? Pick the most apropriate tool to do it!
     
  18. ChrisR

    ChrisR

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    For my colour negative filme, I get the medium res scans from Filmdev, and almost never have to rescan them. Do my own black and white processing using a Rondinax "daylight" tank. In the old days colour processing from a lab was much more expensive than black and white printing; now the reverse is true, but black and white processing at home is much cheaper, probably well under a pound a roll.

    The thread in the resources section that Nick (@RaglanSurf) pointed you to is rather long. In the first post there's a link to nifty price estimator for 35mm & 120 Dev + Scan on Google Docs [*] that I put together. Prices not guaranteed to be accurate, but a useful guide. Many (most? majority?) of the labs listed will do process and print, but be warned, this is really process, scan and print, and the scan will only be sufficient for the print size you get. So if you order 6*4" prints and the associated scans you'll get 1200 pixel per inch scans, which means a 2 Mpixel file; a bit inflexible for cropping!

    * this is overdue an upgrade, but foolishly i have been trying to adapt the master Excel file to give prices for 4x5 sheets as well, and I've screwed up the arcane Excel formulae so that it's giving errors even if you put zero 4x5 sheets in! Grrrr. I might have to abandon it and try to pull an earlier version out of Time Machine... Copy the master before editing it? No of course I didn't need to do that, it'll just be a quick edit! :(:(:(
     
  19. ChrisR

    ChrisR

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    I recently went for a workshop with John @thedarkshed in which we printed a 8x10 enlargement of one of my negatives using his dark...shed. Admittedly he was teaching a complete novice, but I think it took over 3 hours and we could probably have done with one more print (but then maybe one more after that...). I really enjoyed it, and love the result, but overall I'll probably stick with a hybrid workflow, printing the occasional print on my consumer Canon printer. John however does all his printing that way, and sells individually handcrafted wet prints for ridiculously low prices via his web site.
     
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  20. joxby

    joxby

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    You have to enjoy the thrill of the chase, but at the same time know when to stop.
    Sometimes its like painting a ceiling, the more you look at.....it the patchier it looks...:D
     
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  21. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk

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    Keep in mind that even prints straight from the lab are, in fact, from digital images (i.e., scans) nowadays, as most labs do not print optically anymore.

    Personally I have the lab scan my photographs and then send only the pics I like to DSCL for printing.

    Using a better lab should mean that you don't need to do much editing to your photographs, as they've already been corrected for exposure, colour, contrast, etc. (some labs will let you specific your preferences for these).
     
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  22. thedarkshed

    thedarkshed

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    Whatever your workflow I would say definitely print! Going back to film has certainly changed how I shoot (more considered etc.) but printing has also been a big influence.
    Generally, I use a hybrid approach where I shoot film, scan to digital, use the computer to select favourite images then wet print those (although they are not always the ones that print the best) but actually seeing and holding a print helps me analyse the image more and spend more time with it. (Hopefully) this then feeds back into my photography.
     
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  23. sirch

    sirch Official Forum Numpty 2015

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    If it has been mentioned already Peak Imaging are also good IME
     
  24. raathistle

    raathistle

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    I completely agree, looking at an image on a monitor intensely while processing is completely different to living with a print for a period of weeks or months.

    I often find the images I like most are those that don't jump out and grab my attention on screen, but are the ones I keep looking at on the wall on my desk.
     
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  25. 5thumbs

    5thumbs

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    Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. Lots to think about there....
     
  26. pentaxpete

    pentaxpete

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    There is NO 'ASDA' around here that does any kind of FILM Processing --I keep reading about ASDA processing but where are the branches that do it ? Not in Essex.
     
  27. Andysnap

    Andysnap POTY (Film) 2015

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    I think that they are slowly fading out film processing in Asda, ours no longer even has a photo section.
     
  28. dmb

    dmb

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    ASDA outsourced film processing to CEWE - as kit broke down in store it was not replaced and only option was send away, they still offer that on web site. The gotcha is - dev and a DVD for 35mm up to 40 frames £3 but no negatives returned. If you cough up £5.75 you get your negs back. Confusingly the film dev option hides under Digital Transfer. https://www.asda-photo.co.uk/category/628-film-developing--printing
     
  29. TheBigYin

    TheBigYin Staff Member

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    Personally, I develop my own B&W film at home, kitchen sink, daylight tank and a few bottles of chemicals.

    Used to do the same with colour C41 and E6 but these days I shoot so little film that it's not economic - the chemicals go off before i've used them enough to fully deplete them. So, I use the very wonderful Peak Imaging for developing on the colour stuff.

    Then, once i've got the developing over with by whatever means, I home scan the negs/slides - Canon Canonscan 8800F (i'm a bit of a rarity hereabouts, as everyone else seems to be using the Epson V500/550 or later variants - but at the time of purchase I had a very good deal offered on the Canon, and, in fariness, it's been bloody brilliant.

    Software for the scanner is the incredibly user-hostile Silverfast v6.6 (probably a few versions behind the curve, but it does what I need, albeit in a manner that betrays its Germanic origins...)

    Post-processing, well, it's pretty much what I'd do with shots from digital if I'm honest - I try to keep a degree of sensitivity towards the "look and feel" of film - I certainly don't go overboard on things like noise reduction and I'm pretty careful when it comes to sharpening within Photoshop - as it seems that algorithms that work fine on digital can sometimes result in grain the size of hailstones on film images.

    As with many people on here, I'd actually quite like a darkroom setup for B&W printing, but, if I'm honest, it's probably 95% nostalgia driven, and I'm also 95% sure that I'd not be able to produce end result wet-printed products that had the same level of finish that I can with a hybrid process. And thats for B&W - for Colour, forget it, not a chance.
     
    StephenM likes this.
  30. Quendil

    Quendil

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    I have been developing my own B&W film for about 6 months now and have just setup a little dark room so I can do my own prints. I have only taken 1 roll of colour film since starting back up with film photography this year and I sent it off to be processed for negatives and a CD of the scanned negatives. I need to get a new negative scanner at some point so I can scan in my B&W ones. Also at some point next year I will try developing my own colour negatives.
     
  31. pentaxpete

    pentaxpete

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    COSCO Lakeside Essex has closed it;s FILM and Digital Processing -- it used to do loads of packets of prints for Customers but no more.
     

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