As I started taking pictures with my first lomography camera, the Diana F+, one year ago, I didn’t realise at first that it can be quite expensive to get medium format film and to let a photolab develop it. So this is what I did in the course of a long lomographic year in order to reduce my film development costs.
As I started taking pictures with my first lomography camera, the Diana F+, one year ago, I didn’t realise at first that it can be quite expensive to get medium format film and to let a photolab develop it. I always used to send the film to normal supermarket photolabs and was drawing hearts and flowers on the envelope with a little remark saying “I know you normally don’t develop medium format film, but only 35mm film, but maybe you can make an exception for me?” :).
Professional photolabs, however, had no problems developing my medium format film, but they did charge quite a lot for doing so.
So, after thinking about it for a while, I bought the Diana F+ 35mm back, which should make things easier, as you can use 35mm film instead of medium format film with it. 35mm film is cheaper than medium format and you can take more pictures with it, so that’s a real good thing. However, film developing costs are still high: the photolab charges extra when it has to develop film with sprocket holes or panoramic shots (which you can take with the 35mm back)- and some photolabs even charge you twice when you took pictures with the 35mm film mask with which you can shoot panoramic pictures with sprockets ;).
For quite a while, I sneaked my way around these high film developing costs by asking the photolab to just make one contact sheet with all the photos (in miniature size) on one sheet; I then scanned it with a high resolution and had normal-sized digital lomo-pictures on my computer.
and this is one of the pictures I scanned from the contact sheet.
But the more often I shot lomo pictures, especially with sprockets, the more I realised that the solution to my lomographic developing cost problems which is both the easiest and cheapest is to buy a negative scanner. I bought the Epson V330photo- which is really good value for a relatively cheap price.
The problems continued though- there is a scanning mask included, but this mask is too small to scan 35mm negatives with sprockets. Hello, 35mm digitaliza from lomography!
A sprocket negative scanned with the scanning mask which was included
And the sprocket negative scanned “properly” with the digitaliza
So, at the end of the day, after a whole lomographic year, all the film developing problems have basically disappeared now:
- the cheapest 35mm films you can get in supermarkets cost 2 euros; developing negatives only is, depending if it’s a black-and-white-film or a color film, 2-4 euros. That means, I don’t have to spend large sums of money anymore on buying film and having it developed.
- buying a negative scanner made it possible for me to ask the photolab to develop the negatives only, so they can’t charge me extra for panoramic/ sprocket hole pictures
- and the 35mm digitaliza allows me to scan my sprocket hole negatives, yay!
The problems I still have to fight with, however, are:
- my negatives are getting more and more and I still haven’t found a good way of storing them
from time to time
- there’s lots of dust on the scanner glass, which means my photos sometimes have white stains on them if I don’t have the patience to carefully clean the negatives and the scanner glass
But I’m sure I’ll solve these problems as well- and maybe you can help me with solving them by writing another tipster? ;)