If you use a subminiature camera, you are faced with dilemmas that the typical shutterbug never even thinks about. One of these is the issue of film processing. Depending on the camera that you use, you may have no other alternative than to "do-it-yourself" -- you may not be able to find anyone who will do the work (or at least for a price that won't break the bank). Other people realize that, even though they have a place that will do the work, the results don't seem that great. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the lack of success with the smaller formats -- people don't learn how to use their subminiature cameras properly, then they got average processing.  The results are pretty bad. The fact is that even if you don't HAVE to do your own processing, you can do a better job that just about anyone else. Why is this? Because you know what you like and don't like -- the gal at the lab doesn't.  You can take to time to get things right.  The guy at the lab is on a schedule, and you're small potatoes.  So give home processing some serious thought:  
  1. You'll save money.  
  2. The quality of your results will improve.
  3. You can make all of the creative decisions yourself. 
  4. You'll discover an enjoyable pastime.  

But there are several obstacles to doing your own processing:  

Many of use lack at least one of the required items listed above. But if you have all of these at your disposal, you will find that the results are rewarding. Keep in mind that there are several different levels of involvement in the darkroom, to suit your needs. For example, you can process your own film, but not make your own enlargements (have someone else do the enlargements). Not only do you save money, but you make sure that the negatives are the way you want. There are also people who send off their film to be processed, but do the enlargements themselves (cropping, sizing and filtration are their decision).  Similarly, you can buy prepackaged chemicals that are easy to mix or you can purchase the raw chemicals and save a lot of money. In short, you can slice the pie in whatever way works best for your situation.

Below, we break out the different areas in which you can become involved.

If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments about these pages, please contact the Sub Club at the FRONT DESK.

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