Monday, January 30, 2012

Waiting on Film

For most of my life if I wanted pictures from a camera I would need to either develop them myself or send them out. There always was a time of maybe hours, maybe days before I could see how my pictures turned out.  And for me at least there was a tendency of focusing on the frustration of the wait and forgetting the pleasures of finally seeing how things turned out.  A pleasure that I think was increased by the wait.  When digital came along I embraced no longer having to wait.  Still I have never felt the pleasure in seeing my pictures load onto my computer that I remember from seeing negatives come out of the developing tank, or from getting that fat pack of pictures in the mail.

Saturday I had the pleasure of getting some pictures back that I had sent off in the mail a few days before.  The feeling for me is very much like I can remember as a child opening Christmas presents. The films were from a variety of cameras taken over a few months time. Like Christmas I expected there would be both some wonders and disappointments. 

I have heard others report feelings similar to mine about getting film back. Although I haven't often heard such feelings enter into the film vs digital debate.  Instead I think that it is taken for granted that quicker is better.  And maybe sometimes it is.  However if you have never done so before try taking some pictures on film and send it off somewhere that makes you wait a few days.  Then see if when your results come back if you experience a pleasure and excitement that made the wait worthwhile.

One set of negatives I got back was from a roll that I had taken last summer and forgot for a while that it was in the camera.  The camera is an Argus STL 1000 with a Cosinon 50mm f/1.8 lens. The film is Fuji 200.

I also got some results from the Argus Dual HFM II that I have written about in an earlier post. The film is Fuji 200.  Although 200 ISO is the recommmended film for this camera, I suspect the a 400 ISO film would work better.

Last results for today are from the Sawyer's Nomad 620.  Whoever I bought this from had loaded it with a re-spooled roll of Porta 160.  I took a couple of pictures with it when I first got the camera and didn't get around to finishing the roll until this winter.

I got the results from 11 rolls of film from 11 different cameras so this is just a small sample.  I would recommend the place I sent the film to.  They do a good job and are inexpensive.  Sharp's Photo


  1. Thanks for the link to Sharp Photo -- their prices look good. I do my 35mm at Coscto -- inexpensive and convenient. But I've been shopping for a place that can do my 120/620 at a better price, and Sharp looks like a good one to try.

    1. I have sent film to them several times without a problem. They usually process it the same day they get it so it comes back pretty quick.

  2. Yes, there was always the anticipation as you opened the packet of pictures; or slides which I would hold up to the light to get a quick preview.

    I discovered a cheap 35mm camera in my closet over the weekend, that I had long forgotten; with film in it. I need to send it off and see what surprises are on it.