Analog photography anyone?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by secretpact, May 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    #1
    I know this is the digital photography section, but I'm wondering if anyone else here shoots analog. I'm sporting a Nikon N80, and I'm looking for tips on developing film cheaply.
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    #2
    We had a thread like this a while ago. I love to shoot film. I have a couple of Nikon SLR's (FE2, F65...) and recently picked up a Hasselblad 500cm(super excited to get the first roll developed).

    Regarding the development: A basic development setup (for b/w) will cost you not much more than 150$, I would say. After that it will pay out more and more with each roll. Hence, if you're sure you'll be shooting film the next years it will be worth it. Also, consider to pick up a set second hand. You can google for more details, there are plenty web sites about this on the web.

    Film is wonderful. One can pick up wonderful, wonderful cameras for very few money now. There are different formats(6x4.5, 6x6/square, 6x7 and so on) and different kind of cameras(SLRs, TLRs, medium format, large format, rangefinder etc.).
     
  3. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #3
    I had that same camera when I experimented with film last year. I learned to process my own b&w film. It's easier than I thought (only hard part was loading the film reel in complete darkness, but I got the hang of it after a while). Doing it yourself is WAY cheaper than processing it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    I did that for years as a teenager. It's dirt cheap. buy the stuff from a place called "freestyle" in Hollywood california. They still catter to studnets and fine ar photographers.

    Get a 100 foot rool of their house brand film (artisia, as I remember), a loader and a box of re-usable plastic screw-top 35mm film cassettes. Then you spool the film using the loader . Each 100 foot roll costs about $30 and makes 30+ rolls of film. So about $1 per roll. The developer is not expensive and you can re-use it. Figure $2 per roll of B&W film if you try or $3 is more normal.

    Then you scan the B&W film.

    Next thing, you start thinking "why 35mm?" and go buy a 4x5 camera. Can old Crown Graphic press camera form the 1940's will out perform any new dSLR in term of image quality for normal day time non-action shots and landscapes. Costs a coule hundred. but 4x5 film is about $1 per exposure.

    Next, the comment about loading the reals is correct. It takes a while to get the hang of it. So practice on an old roll of junk file in the daylight with yur eyes closed. Put the film on, take it off then back on about 20 times.

    EDIT: I just had to look it up. The price is not closer to $40 per 100 foot roll.
    the loader is about $30 and the 35mm cartridges are about $1 each. Maybe budget bout $4 per 36 exposure roll. It
    This is the place
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/c_contact.php
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #5
    I still shoot film, I have a olympus OM10, and Olympus OM1n, and 2 leica R6. I've also got a holga GCFN which I use predominantly, although I'm intending on shooting more 35 mm with the OM10 once I dig it out.

    Luckily I work in a darkroom so can process and print everything myself :D

    I would love a 5X4 or decent 6X7

    [​IMG]
    St Martins Chruch by simbojono, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    img002 by simbojono, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Wool felting by simbojono, on Flickr

    ^ All done on my Holga
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    #6
    I see most of you guys like to shoot in B&W. I like shooting in color, but those b&w pictures are beautiful. Do you guys develop your film at home?
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    #7
    I shoot some 35mm color film and have been satisfied with this website for processing. Initial scan uploads are usually available about a day after they receive your film.

    www.thedarkroom.com
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #8
    You can process C-41 (colour negative) film at home, too, using one of these kits. I've just done my first roll, and it's no harder than developing B&W (easier, even). The only thing to remember is that temperature control is much more important. But the developing time is so short (<4min in developer), that temp fluctuations are minimal.

    Here's a good video on the topic. I highly recommend developing at home. E6 (slide film) can also be done at home in a similar manner, though you'll need the proper chemicals for it.
     
  9. macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #9
    ^ I had no idea they had "home" kits for color. I thought the temperature control was so important that it made it next to impossible.

    For me, all I've developed at home in a bathroom is B&W. It seems easy and forgiving. I've done slide, pyro, and color in a professional lab that belonged to a photographer I used to work for.

    I think it is more time consuming and expensive these days to send off color film. My setup for analog these days would be b&w and a decent scanner to keep costs down, I suppose.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #10
    Just follow the linked video and you'll be fine. You can do ~30 rolls from one kit ( despite what the instructions say).
     
  11. lizardofwoz, May 3, 2013
    Last edited: May 3, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    Processing B&W film is the LEAST part of your project. Paterson make some excellent reels that are easy to load - 35mm and 120. They also have the processing tanks. All inexpensive. You do not need stainless steel tanks and reels. You will need timers and temperature controls.

    Do not forget to filter your water, both for mixing chemicals and washing film. Absolutely essential for any format, but CRITICAL for 35mm.

    Then the real fun starts. Merely processing film is not a lot of fun. The excitement comes when you start to print your own negatives.

    Start looking at greatly increased costs:

    A good enlarger. A good lens for that enlarger. Chemical trays; a wash tray with running water (filtered); a paper dryer - if you do not want crinkly prints. If you are looking at printing several formats, the enlarger and its lenses become more expensive. Often the optics within the enlarger are changed to suit your format. Film holders for the enlarger, and printing frames to hold the paper flat on the enlarger easel... An exposure computer will save you a lot of money in wasted paper. You will most likely need several grades of printing paper from soft to contrasty. Dp not forget the chemicals. Developer, stop bath and fixer for film, and a different developer for paper.

    (Note: a quality lens is essential on your camera. It is just as important on your enlarger.)

    I do not wish to discourage you... far from it, but do not go in blind and expect to turn out good printing for a pittance.

    Effectively, you can forget colour processing and printing. Unless you are processing high volumes it is utterly ineffective, extremely difficult, expensive and time consuming. Give up your life if you want to do colour.

    Good luck, it is a grand adventure :)
     
  12. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12

    YES. Temperature control is critical but it is not hard. What you do is get a big tub or bucket of water and place the bottles of chemical in the water. Then you adjust the temperature of the water in the tub and WAIT. If you do a lot of it you can buy a small pump and a thermostatically controlled heater, like for an aquarium. I used the water bath method even for B&W. It cost nothing, just a bucket and hot and cold running tap water. Fill the bucket and dump in a bottle or two.

    The hard part that takes practice is loading the film on thermals. I like the stainless reals, other hate them and go plastic. Buy both and see which you like.

    Devolopting film is not expensive and you don't need a dark room. A changing bag is enough.

    ----------

    Scan the negatives. There are some really nice ink jet printers on the market now and good paper and good ink. I would not bother with an enlarger. Especially when to "normal" output media today is an electronic screen. Few people even want prints.
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    #13
    I scan my negatives, too. But at some point I would love to make my own prints. Having a print which never touched a computer is truly magical (at least for me). :)

    I can only recommend to make some prints from negatives every now and then. Initially, I tried film just for fun and the 'experience'. When I got the prints from my first roll and was blown away. Since then, I've shot a lot of film. Prints in my opinion are a bit underrated, these days. A quality print does look a lot better than on any computer and might give some extra motivation.



    I use the same procedure. After the development process, one can use the water for washing the film.

    I've never filtered the water and never had a problem myself. How can this affect the negatives or the development process?
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    #14
    I've looked into developing color at home and it's not for me. I do have a film scanner but it is an epson flatbed scanner and the quality of the scans are not as good as I'd like. A dedicated film scanner is expensive. I might switch back to digital, but still gonna stick with analog for now.

    www.thedarkroom.com $10 for one roll?! That's out of my price range. It's less than $5 to get them on a CD at costco. The reason I don't do that is because I don't have a costco card, so everytime I go I need to ask a friend to go with me.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    #15
    Scanning the film is not easy. That being said, I can suggest that you google a bit how scan the film properly with the scanner you have. This can dramatically improve your results. I use a Epson V700 for scanning and there are some settings to be made, for sure. Also, make absolutely sure that the film is lying flat. When I started scanning, I wasn't content and it turned out that it was the film not lying flat(because the film strips tend to 'curl' a bit).

    I have no experience with this particular lab. But, in general the results from a dedicated lab will be significantly better. You can find a lots of people over the web, which say that film were screwed by a supermarket film service and the results improved dramatically by using a 'real' lab. In conclusion, the extra bucks might be worth it, depending on how you shoot and how you want to use your negatives.
    To actually see what a great lab does, I can recommend this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE4P7h0exWY
     
  16. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #16
    I started doing this before anyone outside of a univrsity lab could get an image into a computer. There were no digital cameras when I was in high school. I still have an enlarger packed away some place. But today it is just a novelty and the BIG problem is the enlarger lens, not matter how much you paid for it will never be as sharp as an ink jet printer. Every optical system blurs the image. That is the physic of optics.

    The first time I saw a digital SLR camera was at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Some other guy in the pass box had a Nikon/Kodak SLR. He took some shots then went to a pay phone (remember those?) and took out a phone modem (remember those?) and transmitted the image to the paper. Now days this is routine but in 1984 it was something I had never seen first hand before. I was shooting color negatives.

    To filter or not depends on where you live and if you have rusted pipes in the house or not. If the water is very hard it will make grey spots and the rust can leave crud (dirt and speaks) on the film and paper and also react with the photo chemicals.

    So maybe the advice should be "filter the water or use bottled water unless your tab water is clean." Some places will obviously need filtering some not.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    trsnrtr

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Location:
    Central Illinois, USA
    #17
    I put a Nikon FE in a garage sale today for $50 and got two offers of $10 for it. :)
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Location:
    Australia
    #18
    microscopic particles in the water embed themselves in the soft surface of the film and show up as white dots in your prints. Also... using a squeegee (or fingers) to remove the first water from the film before drying can drag those particles into tramline scratches on the film.
     
  19. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #19
    That is what to expect especially from the people who show up early. They are looking for garage sale items they can re-sell in eBay. That is where much of the stuff on ebay comes from.

    If you are looking to buy a film SLR body, even the later model auto focus models are not that much. So get one of the later ones like the N90, N8080 or even the F4.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #20
  21. macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #21
    I meant sending film off for developing has gotten more expensive. I used to use a jobo tank for E6, pyro, and medium to large format. I didn't like teak reels but I got used to them. I preferred the plastic.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #22
    Ah nice. Was just wondering about an Analog thread. Just picked up a Minolta SRT-SCii. The lenses that came with it seem to be great so according to the flickr photos (28mm, 45mm, 135mm ROKKOR). Can't wait to get the battery and film for it.

    Also, anybody that is interested in a film where the photographer believes he may have witnessed a murder and unwittingly taken photographs of the killing ... Blow-Up
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #23
    I shoot film from time to time, picked up a lovely olly 35rc rangefinder on eBay..
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    #24
    No, skip the auto-everything and get a real classic--an F or an F2. The MF lenses will be cheaper and more reliable, too.

    The real problem with film gear being so cheap now is that it is easy to collect way too much of it. I started with one Nikon and now have a whole shelf of gear from plastic toy cameras to 4x5s. All the stuff I wanted when I was younger but couldn't afford. Don't have the Hassy yet, but I think it is inevitable (the lenses are still a bit pricey).

    There's a good analog photo forum over at apug.org. Cruise over there if you want to see what people are doing with film.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    mustang_dvs

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    #25
    Yup.

    http://thephotosmith.com/about/my-gear/

    Get a patterson 3 reel tank -- that way you can develop both 35mm and 120, if you choose.

    The hard part, for you, is figuring out what developer you want to use, and why.
     

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