Newbie tutorials?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by sorry_no_photos, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. So, after a 40 year lapse, I'm going to try my hand at darkroom stuff again (35mm). I just want to process the film, since I'll then be scanning at home and sending any decent digital files to the local photo shop for printing.

    I did a quick search and found this tutorial:
    Does anyone know of any other good tutorials?
    And Max just mentions b&w. Is it possible to use a fairly simple process like this on chromes?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Under the "Learning" tab at the top of the pages are a bunch of film resources,
  3. C41 isn't hard at all, though you have to be more careful with temperatures and times, compared to B&W.
    E6 is enough more work, compared to the price of sending it to a lab, that it is hard to justify.
    I did E6 when I was in college (about 35 years ago) partly for the fun of it, and partly to save money.
    I think you can still have fun, and save a little money with C41, but probably not E6.
  4. Processing chromes is no more difficult than processing B&W with one exception.
    When processing chromes you MUST keep the temperature within a narrow range. The method I used was to fill plastic tubs with water at 110F and place my containers of developer in the tubs. From start (loading the film in tanks) to finish (hanging the developed chrome film up to dry) takes less than 30 minutes.
    When using plastic slide mounts with a little practice you can cut and mount a 36 shot roll in less than 10 minutes.
  5. If you've done B&W before it should come back to you pretty easily.

    C-41 color neg uses three chemicals like B&W but they are developer/blix/stabilizer instead of developer/stop/fix. But the tricky party is that they need to be used at a precise temperature and a high one at that (103F if my memory is correct). Can't do them at any old room temperature like B&W. And that means you need to set up a water bath, preferably with a heater you can control and also a more accurate "process" thermometer rather than the one you use with B&W. You can do it and it's not terribly hard once you get set up for it and used to it. But if you still have a decent one hour place nearby I'd take it to the lab.

    E-6 for chrome involves additional chemicals and while I haven't done it in a while I recall it being even more critical on time and temperature than C-41. Kodak no longer makes slide film, so the options available are dwindling.
  6. for B&W
  7. Unless you're doing a large volume of E6, you'll find it hard to save any costs over sending it to a mail order lab. Unlike B&W, color developers have short shelf life once mixed (two weeks?), so you'll need to exhaust the chemicals in that timeframe. If you don't use them to their full capacity, your effective cost per roll starts to climb rapidly.
    I process B&W at home, and used to do E6 & C41. But the color cost savings (at best, $1-2/roll) wasn't worth the hassle, so now I send that out.

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