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Thread: To develop or not to develop

  1. #1
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    Question To develop or not to develop

    I guess for those who are using DSLR camera this is not an issue, but for the film SLR users (like me) one major issue is actually the cost of developing the film, which at 36 exposures per roll is going to hurt the pocket some.

    Actually, I have two questions with regards to the developing of negative and photos.

    1. Where should I go to develop my film? I heard there is a difference, as some shops are more experienced and can do a better job. Or is there a difference? I mean, most shops are using that big machine to process negative (Sorry, I dun know what it is called ) in this everything-also-want-fast world, and I don't really think they wil spend time to actually adjust the settings to optimise the negative processing?

    2. The matter I am more concerned with. Okay, after processing the negatives, should I develop the photos? Sounds like a dumb question, what's the use of photographing stuff if you don't develop them???

    But a while back, when I was looking for a flatbed scanner, I happened to see one CannonScan LIDE 500F, which can scan negatives. I had used that scanner for the first batch of photos I took with my FM2. Is that advisable?

    When I scanned the photos into my PC, the program kinda allows for enhancing, like brigthening some really dark shots to get the details. Is this considered 'cheating' . Of course I do keep a copy of the unedited shot, to remind myself of the 'mistake' but, heck, the enhance photo looked so much better

    The thing is, even after I develop the shots, I will still want to scan them into digital copies, if I want to share them with my friends, or just use as my own PC wallpaper. I just skipped the develop the shots on photo paper and directly scanned the negatives..... and the cost savings! I processed 3 rolls of film and the total cost I spent, $12.00, as opposed to developing the photos, which costed like $0.20 - $0.40 a pop

    Any comments? Is that advisable?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Yes, the old saying is, a photo is not yet a photo until it is developed and printed on paper. Showing the digital file on a monitor is still not yet a photo...
    If I were u, I would develop the rolls, then scan onto CDR, then choose the good ones for prints on paper.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin
    Yes, the old saying is, a photo is not yet a photo until it is developed and printed on paper. Showing the digital file on a monitor is still not yet a photo...
    If I were u, I would develop the rolls, then scan onto CDR, then choose the good ones for prints on paper.
    I think Astin got a point there.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin
    Yes, the old saying is, a photo is not yet a photo until it is developed and printed on paper. Showing the digital file on a monitor is still not yet a photo...
    If I were u, I would develop the rolls, then scan onto CDR, then choose the good ones for prints on paper.
    Agree with Astin.
    This is what I did when I'm fully shooting digital last time.

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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    But develop the prints on paper using the original film, or the digital copy? Not forgetting that I may have enhanced the original pic on PC...

    Although I do admit, I am old fashion and like the good old fashion prints in album. easier to look at, dun have to turn on PC

  6. #6

    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by macdawn
    But develop the prints on paper using the original film, or the digital copy? Not forgetting that I may have enhanced the original pic on PC...

    Although I do admit, I am old fashion and like the good old fashion prints in album. easier to look at, dun have to turn on PC
    Develop the negative and ask for thumbnails. Then print the ones you really like.

  7. #7
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    Develop the negative and ask for thumbnails. Then print the ones you really like.
    The thumbnails is really size's like thumbnails, how to see?

    Ask for contact print size might be better.

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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Some "pro lab" will have staffs to enhance the photos for u before print anyway, unless u specifically tell them "print original, dont touch"!) They also have a monitor before the printing machine, and thats where they "enhance" the photo, eg increase the red, reduce the green, increase the brightness, etc.

    I use to go to Fotohub, they have shops in Bukit Timah, Suntec and some others.
    Pro lab are usually more expensive, but I believe they:
    - have more technical staff to operate the machine
    - change chemicals more regularly
    - will re-print if I am not satisfy

  9. #9
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin
    Some "pro lab" will have staffs to enhance the photos for u before print anyway, unless u specifically tell them "print original, dont touch"!) They also have a monitor before the printing machine, and thats where they "enhance" the photo, eg increase the red, reduce the green, increase the brightness, etc.

    I use to go to Fotohub, they have shops in Bukit Timah, Suntec and some others.
    Pro lab are usually more expensive, but I believe they:
    - have more technical staff to operate the machine
    - change chemicals more regularly
    - will re-print if I am not satisfy
    Yes, even they scan the neg for you, they will do color and density adjustment for the images before write to CD.

  10. #10

    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    KT Digital will process and scan your negs as low-res (1840 X 1232) jpegs for $6.50. Good enough to judge which exposures you want to print and the low-res scans are fine for casual web use.

    Ive tried every lab in Singapore that is claimed to be a "pro lab", and KT's QC beats them all.

  11. #11

    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    The thumbnails is really size's like thumbnails, how to see?
    You mean you don't have a loupe?

    Ah, I understand. It is the digital world!

    But if one do not have a loupe, surely a magnifying glass might do? OR if one does not have a magnifying glass, a lens to use as a magnifying glass?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Hmmm.... so I could process the film, scan them into PC for viewing, then decide on which ones to put to print? I am not breaking any 'photography commandments' or anything?

    Or how much does it cost to scan directly to CD at the 'pro lab'?
    And what are the diff between 'pro lab' and non 'pro lab'
    Sorry if I am asking too many dumb questions
    Last edited by macdawn; 16th September 2005 at 10:39 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by macdawn
    Sorry if I am asking too many dumb questions
    no worries, I am learning as well!

  14. #14
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    You mean you don't have a loupe?

    Ah, I understand. It is the digital world!

    But if one do not have a loupe, surely a magnifying glass might do? OR if one does not have a magnifying glass, a lens to use as a magnifying glass?
    I still keeping a Horseman loupe, but not suitable to view print, only for trans or ground glass.

    Btw, the thumbnails from those lab are very small, most of time is giving you 1/4 size of a 35mm frame, unless you ask for bigger size.

  15. #15

    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin
    Yes, the old saying is, a photo is not yet a photo until it is developed and printed on paper. Showing the digital file on a monitor is still not yet a photo...
    If I were u, I would develop the rolls, then scan onto CDR, then choose the good ones for prints on paper.
    a photo's really just a photo anyway
    but a pict IS just a pict.

    there's many ways to get things done. if printing cost is really bitting ya. then ya're better off not printing them, unless pple wants to see ya prints rather then ya gallery.
    or shld I say, ya want to see e prints, hold it, show it. rather then an online gallery?

    well, it's just a hobby, just do anything ya like. there's really no such thing as cheating aye.
    cut cost or go for personal fulfilment?

    then ya can call darkroom techniques cheating as well!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    i do the same as you do. i just process and scan with no prints. if i decide to later, i just reprint the ones i like. i use hurry photo, and they charge $6.50 as well.

  17. #17

    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by macdawn
    Hmmm.... so I could process the film, scan them into PC for viewing, then decide on which ones to put to print? I am not breaking any 'photography commandments' or anything?

    Or how much does it cost to scan directly to CD at the 'pro lab'?
    And what are the diff between 'pro lab' and non 'pro lab'
    Sorry if I am asking too many dumb questions
    Different labs will charge different prices. In general, it will be cheaper to have a roll scanned at the time of development, when the film is still uncut (less labour).

    The skill and care of the operator in handling your film makes all the difference, and thats what sets labs apart. Its best to find a lab you can have a good relationship with, and that can, over time, establish a predictable style of doing things. Of course, when the lab does the scanning, you lose control over colour jugments, but you can help them deliver what you want by providing a guide print of what you want your images to look like, and indicating your personal preferances (neutral, err on warm, err on cool, highly saturated).

    As far as "pro-labs" go, Ill say this: there are no "pro labs" in Singapore, but that does not mean there aren't good ones nonetheless.

    A truly "pro-lab" would use dip-and-dunk processor to develop film. This is the cleanest way and ensures there are no scratches. Every lab here uses a roller transport style processor that risks scratches, and Ive had plenty of damaged negs from the better-known labs here. Only RGB, before they were taken over by fotohub, had a dip-and-dunk, and that was only for E6.

  18. #18
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by LKSC
    ........................

    As far as "pro-labs" go, Ill say this: there are no "pro labs" in Singapore, but that does not mean there aren't good ones nonetheless.

    A truly "pro-lab" would use dip-and-dunk processor to develop film. This is the cleanest way and ensures there are no scratches. Every lab here uses a roller transport style processor that risks scratches, and Ive had plenty of damaged negs from the better-known labs here. Only RGB, before they were taken over by fotohub, had a dip-and-dunk, and that was only for E6.
    You forgot to mention about Spectra color, I have been using them for many years before I go digital, anyway they alrady closed down also.

    To me: Pro Lab are labs who offer wide range of service, and mainly serve working professional.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Hello,

    Is it possible to like get a film scanner, and develop your own roll of film (using http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=45612 as a guide)? So after scanning, you can edit/review. Then after that, you can print your own image using your printer.

    Not sure if it's feasible, but sounds good. I need to get a scanner.

    PS: Only applies to B&W though, apparently colour negs uses C-41 and it's quite toxic. So yeah. bummer.

    Regards,
    Tim.
    Last edited by LordAeRo; 16th September 2005 at 12:53 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: To develop or not to develop

    Quote Originally Posted by macdawn
    But develop the prints on paper using the original film, or the digital copy? Not forgetting that I may have enhanced the original pic on PC...

    Although I do admit, I am old fashion and like the good old fashion prints in album. easier to look at, dun have to turn on PC
    If it was the PC which turns you off, than actualy by today's optiosn available, there are gazetts out there which allow you to print out your photos without any PC. In fact, digital photos lets you do this much easier, since modern photo printers now offer pictbridge technology, and have their own memory slots for direct printing or via a cable.

    If you still want film. than yeah, like what you already know, you can scan and print them, usually with the help of all-in-one photo printers. I have the epson RX510, but Canon and HP also has similar gazetts, which usually cost about $400-700.
    D300s D200 350D | N18-200VRII N18-70 N50 TK12-24 S70-300 TR18-200

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