There are numerous reasons why we use film cameras instead of our phones or expensive digital cameras. You get that higher dynamic range feature and the film cameras are more forgiving in terms of taking that “perfect” photos. However, you may find yourself wondering if you’ll be able to develop the films you just took. You may simply ask, what’s the point of taking photos with these analog cameras if I can’t develop them? Well, that’s an appropriate question and there are several other questions you may ask such as where do I go? or how much it’s going to cost me? We hope that this article can ease your questions. To help you out, we’re going to provide some information that can help you with knowing what film to get, where to take it and what it might cost.
Reasons to Use Film
While many people have turned to use their phones and digital cameras for the majority of their pictures, there can be several reasons to choose a film option instead. Some of which, you may not have considered. Some common reasons are:
- Seeking photos with a more vintage look. Some people prefer the overall look of film photos to those created through digital means
- Those who don’t want to risk having their digital camera stolen, lost or broken may choose to send film-using disposable cameras with their children when they go on field trips, vacations or just on a general basis as an inexpensive means to teach them how to take care of a device
- On a similar note, those who worry about having their device broken or stolen might choose to make a disposable film camera on vacation or use them for specific purposes
- Some find the film to be easier to use and aren’t fond of the idea of learning the ins and outs of a digital camera
Where Can You Go?
While it might seem surprising, there are still plenty of methods that you can employ to get the film developed. While it may not be as commonly used as it was years ago, there are still enough people using film for some reason or another to allow a decent number of stores to offer film-developing services even. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the commonly available options today so that you can have a plan in mind when you need to develop your film.
Doing It at Home
One option available is learning how to develop film at home. This may not be the answer for everyone, but for those keen on becoming a professional photographer or picking up the hobby, it can be a great option. All you need is a dark space, the right kinds of equipment and some knowledge of what to do. There are some ways you can learn to develop film online or in your local area. All you have to do is take a look around, and you’ll surely be able to get pointed in the right direction!
Stores that have a focus on camera and camera equipment can be one of the best options when you’re looking to get your film developed. Because these stores are designed to provide for a wide range of cameras, it’s more likely they’ll have quality film-developing services. It may be worth checking with a few local camera stores to ensure they offer the services you need at a cost you’re okay. Associates of these stores are also going to be more likely to be able to answer any other camera related questions or concerns you may have, as well as point you to other pieces of equipment that may be useful in photography.
Film-developing services used to be all over the place, but these days many of the larger stores have pulled out, only offering printing abilities from MicroSD cards and the like. However, you may still be able to get your film developed at stores like CVS and Walgreens. However, this isn’t guaranteed at all locations. Because of that, it’s a good idea to check with your local drugstores and make sure they’ll have the service available before expecting to be able to head in there to get your pictures printed out.
Mailing It In
Another available option is using a mail-in service to have your film developed. There are multiple services out there that can help you, and some even offer free shipping to make the process even more accessible. This is a great way to go about getting your film developed, as you won’t have to wait in a store while it processes, and you get to handle it all right from home. That said, these options may take a little longer, and you may want to opt for a shipping option with a tracking number, just in case. Many of us get concerns about mailing off our memories but rest assured these services are often very reliable.
What About the Cost?
Depending on the option you choose, the prices of getting your film developed can vary. The chemicals used in the developing process at home can sometimes be more expensive than paying to have it done. In stores and online, you may find prices anywhere from $5 to $11, which isn’t too bad. Keep in mind that this can depend on the film you’re using. If it’s a less common format like 220 or 120, then you may expect to pay a little more, but the prices for the standard 35mm films are still pretty affordable.
Going back to a good old 35mm film camera can seem daunting if you don’t know where, or how many films developing services are available at this digital age. It can be helpful to know that there are still plenty of methods out there for ensuring your film gets developed. For this reason, we encourage you to use a film camera and we think it is still a perfectly viable option for those who prefer it. We hope that you enjoy taking photos and share the developed photos with us and your stories!