Commercial processing better than processing at home? (B/W negs)

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by bozovic, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. Hello out there<br><br>
    I'm just wondering if processing a film at home is any better than
    have it processed in a lab nearby. What do you say?<br><br> I usually
    choose Fotofactory (Zurich, Switzerland) and they do a pretty good job
    - although I seldom brought them high-speed films. Because I used to
    develop the negatives on my own occasionally, I know that you can make
    very fine-grained copies from IS0 3200 film if you use special
    developers (for the development of the film). On the other hand, if
    you use the "wrong" developer, the copies come out grainy. <br><br>So,
    therefore my question: Are the labs using some "standard" developer
    for all of the b/w negs (from let's say ISO50 to ISO3200), are they
    taking care of the ISO Number and if you tell them you pushed the
    film, do they adapt their processing to the ISO number you pushed the
    These are things I had to worry about when processing on my own but
    what do actually the labs do?<br> What is your experience?<br><br>
    Thanks in advance for your responses.
  2. I'm under the impression that because commercial labs do a lot of volume they tend to use a generic developer like D-76 or HC-110. I've heard of them using Xtol before. You know that when developing at home you can really fine-tune your own process by setting your own variables (developer choice, developing time, temperature, agitation). Commercial labs batch process films. Unless otherwise told, all the ISO3200 stuff gets souped together for the time that's on the lab's chart, and all the ISO25 stuff gets souped together for the time that's on the lab's chart.<p>

    I prefer doing it all at home where I can choose to develop a roll for an extra minute if I remember that I pushed the film a stop but still underexposed some of the roll.
  3. It's generally better to do it yourself, *especially* with "3200" films. Do a search in for this. You'll find many opinions, many of which suggest that you won't get "fine grain" results with these films (or much shadow detail at 3200), but still better results than almost all labs.

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