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Things to keep in mind if you’re still using film

Foto Flash

August 1, 2009

Some people remember the old days when we used to use film instead of digital cameras to make pictures, way back in the old days of the early 2000s.

Most people have moved on to digital cameras, but many still prefer the good old film camera that has served them well for years. Hey, if it's not broke, don't fix it, but you do have several things you need to consider if you want to continue to use film.

First, remember that film does have a use by date so make sure you check the expiration date on the box when you buy film. Since film is not selling like it used to, make sure the film has not expired or is going to expire by the time you plan to use it. The date on the film is not an exact date but a recommended date to use it by.

If you find yourself with out-of-date film, use it up as soon as practical and store your undeveloped film in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight.

When and where to get your film processed is another thing to consider.

Make sure you have your film processed by a lab that monitors its processing chemicals daily. Since processors are not getting as much film as before, the chemicals used to develop your film has to be watched very carefully or your film can be ruined.

A lot of major chains are dropping film processing since the chemicals have to be monitored and replaced much more frequently than before and because the employees don't have the training or experience to keep the processing equipment within control limits.

Even if you have switched to a digital camera, you may have rolls of undeveloped film lying around the house. Unlike fine wine, film doesn't get better with age so gather up that old film and get it processed as soon as possible. I'll have to say I haven't used film for a long time and we print many more digital prints than film prints in our lab, but film still has a place for the time being.

Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo Center in Elkins. He is a Master Photographer as well as a Certified Professional Photographer.



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