I was thinking about how things have changed in film photography since the last time I was doing it (when really it was the only choice, digital cameras were expensive and far-lower resolution…)
But how often would you be buying film anyways? You’d send off your exposed film to Truprint or whoever and they’d sent you a new one back, for free.
I wish I could do a price comparison from those mail order forms, I bet my Mum still has one or two lying around.So anyways, here’s the change, at the end of the halcyon days of film they started to offer the ability to put your pictures on a CD. Which was great, best of both worlds. You’d get the CD, store it somewhere and probably never actually put it into a computer, as you already had the prints or do that once. Save them somewhere and forget all about them when it comes to changing to a new computer. Some of the CD’s had software hiding the images in some program that won’t run on modern OS’s – which is really annoying!
Compare that to these days – I send off my film (I have to pay the postage and provide an envelope…) They email me when they’ve received it (I do quite like this innovation). They develop them and scan them – I usually don’t ask for prints – and instead of posting a CD with the negatives they just post the negatives and e-mail a link to download the photos with. The magic of the internet! I then save them in my various places and upload to my usual cloud service storage and sharing spaces. From which I can edit, order prints if I like.
I miss the SAE’s and ‘free film every time!’ but I know that the economics of it all have changed.
So next up in my plans. I’ve ordered some developing kit. I’m still to order another couple of bits and chemicals and then I can start to process the B&W films myself.Then I will need to buy or get access to some kind of scanner. I think I’ve narrowed it down to two models, both have advantages and disadvantages. The Canoscan 9000F Mark II is able to do medium format as well as 35mm negatives, is a flatbed so it can be used for documents also but is a bit lower resolution than the PlusTek OpticFilm 8100 (or the 8200i SE with built in IR pass for dust removal) which only handles 35mm. The PlusTek also comes with better software, but that can be gotten separately I suppose. All assumes that my aging laptop will be up to the job (I expect so, but may get frustrated – basically it just needs to handle ingesting pictures, I can worry about actual editing later).
Will doing it myself be cheaper? Well…. I guess eventually yes….? I think it will take about 30 odd rolls of film to pay for itself for the kit anyways, the chemicals per roll is a bit trickier to work out.