Film supplies

I’ve been spending rather too much on film lately. I seem to be amassing a large stock as, invariably, the film you want to use — depending on, say, weather conditions, indoor/outdoors, desired effect — is not one you have. Or you have one for that occasion but if you use it there’ll be no spare.

So I’ve decided to calm down a little and experiment with cheap film. I’ve heard of people getting generic brands for 99c but I think in Brtain it’s hard to get anything cheaper than Boots 200 colour print film in packs of five and then buy three packs for the price of two (a permanent offer). This got me 15 rolls for about £17, around £1.15 per roll.

Now what to do with them. They’re not the most interesting or versatile films. To keep costs down I could develop them myself in black and white chemicals. I’ve yet to try but I expect this to give low contrast monochrome images with a brownish hue.

I could redscale them. This involves reversing the film and shooting through the backing layer, which makes it 2 stops less sensitive. Redscaling also tends to benefit from overexposure so I’d be looking at setting my Olympus Trip to 25 ISO, which is pretty low for even for daylight shooting but worth a try on a sunny day.

I could also try cross-processing as slide film. This will be fairly expensive, will involve sending it away, and probaby won’t yield great results, though they could be interesting.

Finally, if I want colour, I could just try overexposing by about a stop and developing normally. This should saturate the colours a little, though won’t do anything whacky. I might add to this my new technique for getting that semi-vintage washed out feel: rewind the film with the camera back open, in low light conditions. This will give a yellow/orange ‘wash’ similar to redscaling, except the original exposures will be in the correct colours. The trick is getting the right amount of exposure through the back of the film, but at £1.15 a roll I can afford to experiment a little.

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