Back to film, what's the cheapest way to buy and develop it?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by casioculture, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. casioculture

    casioculture Guest

    In general, and particularly in the UK.

    I'm missing film. My Praktica Mini is proving to be a revelation, it
    reminded what joy there is in simplicity. I no longer care, at least
    for now, nor want to care about the details of the camera. I want it to
    be as basic as can be, I don't want the camera to distract from the
    activity or the scenes. Image quality is no concern, the fun is all
    that matters, oh, and of course, composition!

    I'm therefore getting this other cheapo.

    Yes, it's a small fixed-focus P&S with manual film rotation. To me
    that's pure zen. I'm getting rid of all my other cameras. I'll just
    keep a basic film, and a basic digital, and of course, my pencils! I'm
    also getting a bike; it's spring now, and it'll soon be summer. The
    bike will take me farther than I can walk.

    What's the cheapest way to buy & develop film, especially in the UK?
    I'm particularly interested in B&W, and perhaps slides. I see no
    advantage in colour negative for me over digital. That said, would it
    be just easier to shoot colour film, scan the prints, and than channel
    mix them? Would you suggest I just shoot B&W and develop it myself (not
    done it since 1980s), just the film, and get a film scanner? Also, what
    particular films may be interesting?
    casioculture, Mar 29, 2006
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  2. casioculture

    casioculture Guest

    casioculture, Mar 30, 2006
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  3. casioculture

    Paul Furman Guest

    Paul Furman, Mar 30, 2006
  4. casioculture

    casioculture Guest

    I liked the idea of the product, a compact 35mm with fixed focus,
    manual film drive and a big viewfinder. Pure simplicity. The lens is a
    fujinon so it must be good enough for a basic usage. It uses AA
    batteries, rather than those camera batteries, and those are only for
    the flash, which is manual. Did I say it's compact? It weights 120gms,
    whereas the Olympus Mju II weighs 185gms.

    But, am I misunderstanding this? it says "Mechanical shutter release,
    fixed at 1/125 seconds shutter speeds". What does this mean? Is it only
    fixed for the flash or is 1/125 the only shutter speed there is? I like
    fixed focus, I don't mind fixed aperture, but fixed shutter too? That's
    a little strange. So all shots would be at 1/125 and f/10 regardless of
    the scene? Hmmm, strange.

    Wait, this could be fun. Fixed exposure. How strange. It reminds me of
    some people who'd shoot all scenes with daylight white balance
    (digital), even indoors. They like things to look as they are.

    It could also be a disaster. I guess the only control one has is what
    film to put in (eg, 100, 200, 400).

    How would you shoot with such camera?

    The more I think about it the less strange and perhaps more intriguing
    it seems. One advantage of fixed focus in such small cameras is that
    it's very predictable. Perhaps fixed exposure is predictable too. Maybe
    this camera would be immune to difficult exposure situations that would
    confuse more expensive ones.
    casioculture, Mar 30, 2006
  5. casioculture

    casioculture Guest

    Indeed. The idea of a fixed-exposure camera startled me at first. But
    now I think I'm starting to like it.

    And then again there's Ken Rockwell

    "They were made on a 50 year old fixed-focus, fixed exposure box camera
    for which I paid $3. This camera is more primitive than today's
    disposables... You need to learn to see and compose. The more time you
    waste worrying about your equipment the less time you'll have to put
    into creating great images. Worry about your images, not your

    Very well said; exactly my intention.

    And then again there's Panoramas. This camera would perhaps be better
    for them than other P&Ss, considering that it's light for trekking and
    hiking, and that exposure would be fixed so that changes in direction
    won't cause the camera to change exposure. Not that I want to shoot any
    panoramas, but just mentioning the point (Nevermind the fact that,
    besides being film, it's also manually driven, so shouldn't need
    batteries, which are used for the flash, and flash won't be needed

    I just want to, as Ken Rockwell put it, only be concerned with content
    and composition, not equipment. I don' t think I'll find a camera more
    basic than this.

    I think it's clear to me now. This camera being so cheap I think will
    be a fun challenge. It's also clear to me now that it's print film that
    I want, as it more forgiving when it comes to fixed exposure than B&W
    and slides.

    I'll go get one today, and if I like it, I'll get another next week
    considering that it's cheap and they seem to have stopped making it.
    It's no longer on the fujifilm UK site.
    casioculture, Mar 30, 2006
  6. The cheapest film is to purchase 35mm film in 100 ft rolls
    and load it into cassettes yourself. Even cheaper if the
    film has expired, slow (<= 100 ASA) film keeps quite well
    past expiration if properly stored -- several years if
    refrigerated. Look for sell offs at camera stores and
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Mar 30, 2006
  7. casioculture

    casioculture Guest

    Got one. Something of an anticlimax. The camera itself is not as small
    as I thought it would be. The viewfinder is big indeed, which is good,
    much more comfortable to look into than the mju ii, much more
    comfortable. I'm not sure I'll keep it. I may take it back to the
    store. I'm almost sure that I wouldn't' be buying a second one even if
    they'd stopped making it.
    casioculture, Mar 30, 2006
  8. casioculture

    zeitgeist Guest

    look at online classified ads or haunt garage sales and flea markets for
    some photographer's old kit of a bulk loader and a bag of empty cassettes.
    buy a 100 foot roll of film and learn to load your own. probably the same
    seller also has a set of stainless steel tanks and reels to develop the
    stuff too.

    Tri-x was the world standard for all things from portraiture to arts. now I
    believe the torch has passed to the former soviet states where they still
    put silver in the film, and not those chemical color couplers and delta

    do they still make IR film? that is guaranteed coolness and artsy
    zeitgeist, Apr 3, 2006
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