The Secret to X-Pro


Depending on your lab it can be tough (and expensive) to get your photos cross-processed, but I've found the secret to wicked cross-processed photos.

Credits: lou1sb

My first X-pro.

If your local professional lab is anything like mine, they charge an arm and a leg for anything, and add on charges for anything else – cross processing will cost you, pushing or pulling a film is another surcharge, and they’re already pretty expensive, wouldn’t it be great if your local department store could develop your lomography slide film?

Well, the secret is they can, they just don’t really know it.

You see, most cheap photo labs only have machines to develop C-41 film, so there’s no way they can do anything but cross-process slide film. If you give them slide film, they can only cross-process it.

If you come in with a single canister of 35mm slide film, they might warn you that the colours might come out a bit funky if you develop your film there, just say that’s fine, you’ve developed film there before and you liked the way it turned out (even if it’s not true, it helps!) If you’re a paying customer they won’t refuse!

Other secrets include befriending the staff, offering to pay beforehand (so you’ve paid, even if the photos don’t turn out), saying that you spoke to ‘the other guy’ before and they were fine with it, or just be honest and say you want to see how the photos turn out.

A little warning though, don’t do this with black and white film! A roll of black and white film that isn’t C-41 will come out blank is you put it through a C-41 development! And you don’t want that!

written by lou1sb on 2011-08-17 in #gear #tipster #cheap #x-pro #development #film-processing #secret #lab-rat #quickie


  1. chethong
    chethong ·

    Hi, good idea! Where do you develop films at Melbourne ?

  2. fash_on
    fash_on ·

    nice gallery :)

  3. nerpman
    nerpman ·

    I do this at my CVS right down the street, I'll go in there with a handful of normal color negative rolls with one E-6 roll thrown in the mix. They always process it! Always works just fine, if you don't raise the question it seems like neither do the store workers.

  4. iandevlinphoto
    iandevlinphoto ·

    good idea :)

  5. elimiwa
    elimiwa ·

    Great, I will try to sneak in a little E6 roll with my negatives. :D

  6. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    It seems like every CVS on the island of Oahu (Hawaii) knows not to accept E-6.... D: I've tried respooling slide film into a color neg canister and they've gotten mad, haha.

  7. geiza_dobashi
    geiza_dobashi ·

    My local shop changes the chemicals once a month. So all you should really do is 'just ask' if they can cross-process the film for you.... My jessops will allow 2 a month.
    I refuse to go further down the road to the proper film shop, which charges a tad more, just to xpro my film..... Dont bother with your supermarkets, as the doppy sods behind the till, never know what your on about.......

  8. badjuju
    badjuju ·

    I tell the lab at my local walgreens I want my film cross processed and they have never given me a problem. They always ask if I'm aware they only use c-41 chems and I say yes and thank you.
    Customer is always right! I haven't tried it yet with my 120 at my other lab but I've been pretty chatty with them so hopefully it will work out.

More Interesting Articles

  • Tipster: DIY X-Pro Redscale

    written by rancliffhasenza on 2015-09-27 in #gear #tipster
    Tipster: DIY X-Pro Redscale

    Browsing through the Lomography website, you can find a lot of redscale shots, which are all done on color negative films. I asked myself if it’s possible to redscale a slide or chrome film and then cross process it. (And yes, it is.) In this tipster I’m going to teach you how to create the bloodiest homemade redscale film I've ever come across.

  • Black and White Photography: The Forms of the World

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-01-19 in #world #lifestyle
    Black and White Photography: The Forms of the World

    Colors may be amped to look unreal, like nothing of this world. Shots may be doubled, cross-processed, post-processed, mixed up into collages. The possibilities are infinite, yet some photographers still prefer black and white. Even in 2016, it is an ode to classic values of precision and balance. Light and shadow must be one pleasing dance. And just like in a well-choreographed piece, forms are obvious or playing coy. It all depends on how you're looking.

  • Lomography x LIFE Rumble Winners Announced!

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-10-30 in #world #competitions
    Lomography x LIFE Rumble Winners Announced!

    We had a huge response to the Lomography x Life competition and the Black and White theme showed off what great photographers you all are. It was a tough decision to make but we've finally chosen the winners. Will it be you?

  • Shop News

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    A resurrection from the zenith of Russian premium optics, get the same elegance and classic compact design as its predecessor. — available in small quantities on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Technology Will Save Us x Lomography DIY Rumble

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-12 in #world #news #competitions
    Technology Will Save Us x Lomography DIY Rumble

    When it’s cold outside and the rain is pouring, it can be the perfect time to sit down and build something. Lomography UK has teamed up with Technology Will Save Us, a company that makes build-it-yourself electronic kits, to bring you the perfect DIY Rumble. Get the chance to win a Konstruktor camera and a DIY Instrument Kit. Read on for details on how to enter this fab competition.

  • Lomography x Looper Rumble

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-05-11 in #world #competitions #videos
    Lomography x Looper Rumble

    Looper is a Scottish Indie/Electronic band fronted by former Belle and Sebastian bassist Stuart David. Lomography has teamed up with Looper and Mute, a UK-based record label, to bring you this special rumble where you can win a LomoKino, a Looper bundle which includes a 5-CD Box Set signed by the band, live cassette and badge. On top of this Looper will be selecting their favourite photos to be featured in their latest music video which is aptly called “I’m a Photograph”! You’d be mad not to enter! Read on for details.

  • A Secret of the Cosmos: Launching the Newest Lomography Product

    written by Lomography on 2016-01-19 in #gear #news
    A Secret of the Cosmos: Launching the Newest Lomography Product

    Shh! We've got a secret matter at hand, and it's coming at you at the speed of light! We're being as mysterious as the Cosmos about our new out-of-this world product, constantly orbiting around our big reveal. But the eclipse will pass and soon the stars will align. Until then, there must be some questions floating around in the universe, right? Well, there's no need to look to the stars to find your answer! Stay on Lomography's wavelength as we kick into hyperdrive. Let your imagination skyrocket and see if you can decipher our otherworldly clues!

  • Shop News

    Additional Member of Diana F+ Family is Here!

    Additional Member of Diana F+ Family is Here!

    Snap your happy memories with the medium format Diana F+ Cortina! This special edition camera is a nod to fun winter holidays: snow-capped mountains, skiing and good times with friends and family!

  • 18 Awesome Belair X 6-12 Squares

    written by shhquiet on 2015-03-13 in #gear #news
    18 Awesome Belair X 6-12 Squares

    Having a Belair X 6-12 feels like owning more than just one camera. It's a medium-format camera, but paired with its special accessories you can shoot 35mm or instant photos with it, too! The versatility of its 3 photo formats also offers more options to suit your shooting needs. Here, we present to you some of the most gorgeous Belair X 6-12 photos in classic 6x6 format. Enjoy!

  • Lomography x TOOLSS Photo Rumble - TOOLS in Life

    written by karykary on 2015-08-06 in #world #competitions
    Lomography x TOOLSS Photo Rumble - TOOLS in Life

    Arguably almost anything in life can be used as a tool for us to live better. Join the Lomography x TOOLSS Photo Rumble. Show us your best tools in life and win prizes.

  • The Lomo’Instant Splitzer: the Must-Have Slice and Dice Accessory!

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-03-06 in #gear #lifestyle
    The Lomo’Instant Splitzer: the Must-Have Slice and Dice Accessory!

    What exactly do I feel while waiting for my Lomo'Instant photos to be developed? I have to say I get a mix of "Surprise me, dear Lomo!" but also some "Did I capture it as I wanted?" kind of thought. No matter the school of thought, with the Splitzer you can add so many cool effects to your photos you'll definitely embrace it!

  • Shop News

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    The latest addition to the Lomo’Instant family! Inspired by the Icelandic midnight sky, Get endless creativity, take multiple exposed instant snapshots, experiment with long exposure and light painting shots!

  • Lomography x The Photography Show

    written by gise11e on 2015-02-20 in #world #news #lifestyle #locations #events
    Lomography x The Photography Show

    Lomography UK are excited to announce we will be at the Photography Show 2015 at the NEC in Birmingham on March 21st - 24th. Come by and say hello! There will be workshops and you’ll also be able to test out the newest addition to the family; the Petzval Art Lens. As well as Lomo’Instants to play around with. Read on for details about our workshops and how to get tickets for this exciting event.

  • Optical Illusion Toys and Moving Pictures: The Origins of Filmmaking

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-12 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Optical Illusion Toys and Moving Pictures: The Origins of Filmmaking

    What makes a movie interesting? Today, answers would vary depending on the individual—the story, cinematography, film score, production design, and so on. But in the early years of cinema, movement was all it took to captivate the audience.

  • Lomography X "Dopamine" by Third Eye Blind Exclusive Contest

    written by mike_mytnick on 2015-08-26 in #world #competitions
    Lomography X "Dopamine" by Third Eye Blind Exclusive Contest

    Lomography teams up with acclaimed rock band Third Eye Blind to celebrate the release of its new album, Dopamine, by hosting an exclusive photo contest! The prizes include a La Sardina Camera and Flash Splendour, Dopamine on CD and Dopamine T-Shirts! Read on to see how you can participate in this rumble.