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For a while now I've wanted to make this blog post / video and its finally happening!
Black and white film is extremely easy to process yourself at home. Not only will this save you time but also will save you a LOT of money in the long run. I've compiled a list of everything you'll need to process black and white film at home and all the equipment will work for color too, just requires different chemicals.
Once you get past the initial cost... chemicals are cheap and drops your cost per roll as low as $1 per roll of film. Below you'll find a list of equipment needed which can be purchased online or for some, can be sourced locally. I'm located in the Bay Area and there are a few stores locally that carry these items including Seawood Photo in San Rafael and Jeremiahs Photo Corner in Santa Rosa. The prices below are based on items on www.freestylephoto.biz
- Paterson Super System 4 with 2 reels -$34.99 (or paterson 3 reel tank and reels)
- Changing Bag - $23.99
- 50ml Graduated Cylinder - $4.99
- 1000ml Graduated Cylinder - $9.99
- 120ml Rodinal Developer - $9.39 (also goes by R09)
- 500ml Ilford Rapid Fixer - $8.49
- LFN Wetting Agent - $12.99
- Funnels - $6.00
- Bottle Opener (I'm assuming you have one)
This totals out to $110.83
Add an Epson V550 scanner for $169.99 and you're totaling out $280.82
This set up (with a 2 reel tank and using 1:50 dilution of rodinal) will give you 24 rolls of film.
Lets assume you get your film developed and scanned by a lab.... Most are around $12-$18 per roll of black and white (with scans). Thats $288 for 24 rolls processed at a lab.... For the same price you can buy the equipment to do it yourself! And after the initial investment, things only get cheaper!
Prices have changed but many things can be acquired second hand if you're patient. Recently was able to get a full darkrooms worth of equipment for free from a generous individual on craigslist. It's worth staying posted on craigslist and being involved in your local photo community.
Here's a video on how to process 35mm black and white film at home.