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 #gear #tutorials #secret #lab-rat #tipster #cheap #development #x-pro #quickie #film-processing


  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.

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