"New" to film: was "Trending", now "Developing.."
Old 02-09-2017   #1
roscoetuff
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"New" to film: was "Trending", now "Developing.."

Eagerly anticipated and helped in the process by folks here, my first real rangefinder is "in the house". Tiny. Did I say small? Leica M4-2 ain't as big as I expected, and the Zeiss ZM 35/F2 is almost microscopic. Will look at it side by side with my Sony A7RII and 35mm Zeiss Loxia for comparison.

But here's the question: I'm seeing B&W developing costs are higher than color 'round the corner at a real lab. Assume that's just the footage demand and C-41, and I'm assuming that though Ilford XP-2 is C-41-able, they're going to charge like it ain't and sock me for B&W. So I'm now wondering whether the whole "don't try this at home" bit will have to get canned, too. But if I'm going to sell that on the home front, it's not going to fly unless it's "green". That's who we are these days! I guess. Selling it to me on the other hand will be more about speed and cost, and not spending eons in a dark room making a mess for someone else to fret over.

Thoughts? Recommendations? Can an old dog learn new tricks... even slowly?
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Old 02-09-2017   #2
Spanik
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Green? GREEEEEEEN?????

Compared to the chemicals and heavy metals used for making semiconductors like hydrogenfluoride, sulfuric acid, epoxy esters, phosphor, tungsten, gold, indium, gallium, arsenic and loads of others, the bit of vinegar, silver salts (with 100% reclaimable silver content) and paper is just neglible. Also the water use to make semiconductors is a multitude larger then than for developping film.

And have you seen what happens when a digital camera is end of life? It is send to some third world country where little kids without eny environmental protection have to take them apart, burn the toxic plastics, grind them into toxic dust without respirators and then treat it with acids to reclaim a bit of the metals in it. All residues get just dumped into the river they use for drinking water.

All that to claim "digital" is greener than a bit of film.... Don't get me started.
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Old 02-09-2017   #3
Ko.Fe.
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Lab will look at the label and process/charge it according to the label. XP-2 is labeled as C-41 process film. This is it.
It is possible to do it green at home. Use caffenol for developing, PhotoFlo is nothing to be worried about and reusable for many times, long period of time. Fixer lasts half-year or longer as working mix and could be discharged once it is not working anymore at local recycle facilities if it is taboo to use drain.
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Old 02-09-2017   #4
Jake Mongey
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Adox even make an "eco" developer - havent looked into it or used it but i know it exists
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Old 02-09-2017   #5
David Hughes
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Hi,

I guess I better ask the obvious question about the lab's charges. Is it for proper B&W film (FP4+ etc) or the new fangled stuff they shove in with the colour negative films?

Regards, David
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Old 02-09-2017   #6
roscoetuff
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Whoooooooooooooooooooooooah, horsey. You guys are seizing on the "green" when I'm trying to focus simply on developing first. Green usually starts with "NIMBY" and moves up the spectrum from there. I'm more interested in minimal handling, simple, and getting it done with a minimum of fuss and hazard.

I'm trusting the biz folks who do this know exactly what they have to do for compliance, OSHA, safety, all that jazz. I'm curious about all that at home. And how to keep my number one native happy.

I'm looking into a Durst M300 enlarger to get a stand for shooting the B&W negatives with my A7II and using digital workflow from there. So yeah... that part's groovy. And of course planned obsolescence is the route of all evil... and the reason I've gone my screwball way of buying 20 year-old lenses and 40-year old cameras... 'cause quirks become me... or something like that.

We DO have a community darkroom about 5 minutes away... and that might be the ticket...
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Old 02-09-2017   #7
sepiareverb
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Do what blows yer skirt up, every choice has a price, so make the choice that makes you happy. In the grand scheme of things what you or I choose won't impact anything.
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Old 02-09-2017   #8
nasmformyzombie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoetuff View Post
...But here's the question: I'm seeing B&W developing costs are higher than color 'round the corner at a real lab. Assume that's just the footage demand and C-41, and I'm assuming that though Ilford XP-2 is C-41-able, they're going to charge like it ain't and sock me for B&W...
C-41 is C-41 no matter if it's B&W or color. XP-2 Super is actually a good place to start with film although some would say it doesn't print as well as B&W in a wet darkroom. But you say you're not going to wet print anyway.

If you're going to scan you can even shoot color film and convert to B&W via your digital workflow.

At any rate, a good article on how to shoot XP-2 Super is here.
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Old 02-09-2017   #9
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If you're looking to develop B/W film at home, the cost and materials investment is very small, and will save you money over having your film lab-processed. The only time you actually need a "dark-room" is when you're loading the film into the tanks, everything else is done in room light. A closet with a light tight door is more than sufficient.

Most chemicals for basic developing are not particularly hazardous, but some folks do develop a skin or breathing sensitivity with prolonged contact. Just use a well-ventilated room when mixing/pouring chemicals and gloves if you like. I've never had any problems in over 40 years, but I'll never get used to the smell of fixer...

The environmental impact from an average home darkroom is miniscule, considering the chemicals are extremely diluted in the sewage/wastewater system by the time they end up anywhere. Working strengths of developer (alkaline) and stop bath (acid) are also so dilute that there's no risk of damage to your home pipes. Impact should also be very small from a community or school darkroom, but some do have a system to recover residual silver from used fixer.

Driving your gas-powered car to work for one day probably has more impact on the environment than developing a roll of film every day for one year.

Commercial labs must comply with disposal regulations due to the volume of waste, and different chemicals used for color processing as well.
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Old 02-09-2017   #10
roscoetuff
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One of the things I see is that developing gives you the ability to recycle the cannisters, which means bulk loading, which adds savings. Virtuous circle and all that. Drives costs down.

What I'm beginning to wonder about though is whether most of us shooting film are shooting B&W or color. I get the impression its B&W but could be wrong. Then it's a question of how many shooting B&W are developing their own film...

Which is all good to a point... but at some point it suggests we're chasing the casual film shooter out from even considering the idea... if you follow where the volumes go in this circle. Just a thought. Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-10-2017   #11
Ko.Fe.
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Why it has to be "most"? To me "how many" never been a criteria.
While "most" are telling stories how impossible it is to do this and that, I did my own thing.
I developed color cinefilm in ECN2 and printed from it on regular bw darkroom paper:

And I developed color cinefilm in bw developer and printed from it as well:

Do what you want, skip most or many.
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Old 02-10-2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoetuff View Post
I'm seeing B&W developing costs are higher than color 'round the corner at a real lab. Assume that's just the footage demand and C-41, and I'm assuming that though Ilford XP-2 is C-41-able, they're going to charge like it ain't and sock me for B&W.
They shouldn't be charging you extra for XP2. If they are, call them out on it. I don't know if you can change them, but it is possible they are doing it by mistake. At least make them aware that you're aware they are over-charging you.

I have a nice local camera store with a good C41 lab and their price for XP2 is the same for all color C41 films. I just have them develop and scan. Works for me. But I'm very fortunate to have this store/lab close by; most people don't have this option locally any more. They also do "traditional" B&W processing but turnaround time is much longer, and I suspect they tend to do it in batches when they have more than just a roll or two to do. So I'm happy with the XP2.
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Old 02-10-2017   #13
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The last time (a good few years ago) that I had C41 black and white film (XP 2 I think) developed and printed the chap in the corner shop doing it explained that the extra cost was for the time it took to manually adjust the machine to print out the black-and-white prints as black-and-white rather than some odd sepia-like shade. The cost of the film developing element was the same for the C41 colour film as it was for C41 black-and-white film.

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Old 02-10-2017   #14
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Just be aware you can't exactly 'cross process' B&W film in C-41 chemistry, doing so usually destroys their processors (or least the chemistry in it, which they would have to completely flush, rather expensive).

But XP2 should say right on the cartridge that it's a c-41 process, it should process no differently thru the machine. They probably see "Black and White" on it, and ignore the fact that Chromogenic (in that context) is C41. Just like Kodak's BW400CN. Far as processing-only goes, it should have no impact one way or another.

I used to home-develop E6 and C41, back when Unicolor still sold the little chemistry kits for short runs in the drum out of Ann Arbor, Michigan on their eBay store. The only parts I had difficulty with on those was 1) having enough rolls shot ahead of time to justify mixing a batch of chemistry for the drum, since it doesn't keep that long) and 2) Keeping the temperature of each step within 1 degree since that seems critical for both E6 and C41 (it's also a much much warmer temperature than B&W typically calls for).

I don't bother with color processing anymore with any of the places around here. What I used to do was just try thru some expired C41 film, and then drop it off at one of the local Meijer for an hour processing-only, and this was only last year. Used to cost $1.75 per roll to do that. But now only one store still has a noritsu processor, and it cost $4 per roll now to do processing only (any other place for C41 has to be sent out and takes a week to do, requiring prints).
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Old 02-10-2017   #15
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XP2 developing should cost the same as any other C41 film. Whether they charge extra for reference prints will vary from lab to lab, but I've never met anyone who does. XP2 prints very well in a wet darkroom: anyone who says otherwise is basing their views either on solid ignorance or on the fact that they aren't much good at printing. When scanned it has the further advantage (as far as I recall, though I've not scanned it in a long time) that you can use Digital Ice dust removal, which again as far as I recall you can't with conventional film. My wife Frances prints from XP2 in the darkroom and loves it.

Most conversions from colour are horrible though SilverFX is pretty good.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 02-10-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
XP2 developing should cost the same as any other C41 film. Whether they charge extra for reference prints will vary from lab to lab, but I've never met anyone who does. XP2 prints very well in a wet darkroom: anyone who says otherwise is basing their views either on solid ignorance or on the fact that they aren't much good at printing. When scanned it has the further advantage (as far as I recall, though I've not scanned it in a long time) that you can use Digital Ice dust removal, which again as far as I recall you can't with conventional film. My wife Frances prints from XP2 in the darkroom and loves it.

Most conversions from colour are horrible though SilverFX is pretty good.

Cheers,

R.
Yea, definitely has that advantage when scanning. I've done the same with Kodak BW400CN, basically the C41 emulsion is 'invisible' to the infrared light used for DigitalICE and similar dust removal technology. Where as traditional B&W, the latent image is not invisible to IR, as a result it gets detected as dust to be removed.

It's basically taking a scan with infrared light, and subtracting the visible parts (usually dust, fingerprint oils, etc) from the previous visible-light scan.
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