My local camera shop, Creve Coeur Camera, raised the price for developing C-41 film by 50% this month.
Now a roll of 35mm costs $7.50 to develop only. Prints and scans are more, naturally enough.
I suppose the economics of what is an increasingly niche process compelled them to raise prices, but the net effect as far as I am concerned is to finally push me into home developing my color film.
I’ve been developing my own black and white for almost a year now. After some trial and error – but surprisingly less than I anticipated when I began – I can confidently develop a roll and get good results. I view developing as no more tricky than dealing with digital images, with an equivalent sense of relief from successful downloading a memory card as with storing a freshly developed film. In truth, having the film in hand is rather more reassuring feeling than having the digital image on my computer, even with backing up multiple times as is my habit. Arguments that digital formats are perhaps less apt for archiving than a strip of cellulose acetate resonate with me.
So an order for a Tetenal C-41 developing kit went into B&H this evening and no longer will I be trekking out to Ladue to drop off my color rolls. I’m sure I will need a little practice to get color right, but I’ll get there, and will have the pleasure of doing it myself. Isn’t photography fun?