1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

b/w developing in Boots

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by tone, Feb 26, 2001.



    How easily we are fooled by our hand held meters! I always use my meter at weddings, but as I have adopted the EV system, I have noticed that the settings do not vary much at all. It is all too easy to rely 100% on the meter and ignore your judgement. Using Equivalent Values (EV) one is presented with just one number, usually 13, in shaded summer, so any number that departs more than 2 either way is suspicious!

    Get used to one film speed and one meter, and you will find that one basic reading is all that is required, making minor adjustments in your head for changes in the scene.
  2. stevejay

    stevejay Member

    Just got back my first prints from Ilford XP2 (from Boots - so on colour paper). The prints seem very contrasty and are a nasty dark purple colour (sepia?). Can anyone tell me if this film is generally v. contrasty or is this due to the way the film was processed at Boots?
  3. Clive

    Clive Well-Known Member

    Hopefully the contrasty prints are as a result of the printing and not the developing - the standard C41 process should produce well balanced negatives, but the operator can mess it all up in the production of prints. The results printed properly in a darkroom on good B&W paper could still be very pleasing.
  4. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    I concur with Clive here. You will probably get excellent results if you print the negs yourself onto proper black and white paper. The negatives are probably fine having gone through a standard C41 colour process.. It is just Boot's attempt to create a black and white image on colour paper which has not been a sucess. If your prints are a purple colour it would suggest that the Boots technicians have at least attempted to produce a B/W image by altering the filtration settings on the colour printing machine. Sepia prints are brown and not purple and sepia is usually what you get if the processors do not adjust the colour settings on their printing machinery. Fear not Steve, your prints will be fine if you have them printed properly. (why not have a go at it yourself, see my earlier posting Feb.27th)
  5. Raz

    Raz Well-Known Member

    yes fear not. just look at the negs and i think you'll see they are fine, i use xp2 more than i use anyhting else, its crazy some of the results ive got from many differnt labs.. i wouldnt worry.. the only lab thats ever printed them well was a local fuji lab, beautiful deatiled sepia prints, but thats their machines not the technicians. you usealy get crap.. especiasly from boots, boots are expensive and absolutly awefull for processing, try anywhere else (apart from llyods) and you'll be fine.. although some labs print them yellow, and thats even worse that boots purple. i've had green and white.. red and white.. literlly black and white (like lith film) so i wouslnt worry. just get yorself to a darkroom

  6. David Stout

    David Stout Well-Known Member

    I wonder what paper they are using? It sounds like they've got something which gives bold punchy colours (ie. contrasty) but doesn't do a lot for your negs. For the same reason, I always use (when I'm not shooting digital that is) Kodak Portra NC film since this handles contrast very well (and hence better skin tones) than run-of-the-mill consumer films. I would guess that Boots has a Fuji Frontier system and use Fuji paper. Because there is no colour, there sometimes can be an apparent loss of contrast - plain surfaces with pale colours look OK in colour but sometimes look like a bleached out white in B&W.

    XP2 has a fairly wide exposure tolerance but it's best to expose it at 320 ISO - the shadow areas might look a bit dense but the detail will be there. However, this approach won't solve the Boots problem and applies best when you do your own printing. Maybe you should try another processor. I've certainly had good results (some with 'brown' sepia and some 'proper' B&W on colour paper) from labs that know what they are doing.

  7. stevejay

    stevejay Member

    They are printed on FUJI Paper.
    On closer inspection I can definately see what you mean about the highlights. At first I thought it was a problem with the film processing, but on futher inspection it seems that all the areas of a certain colour (very pale yellow I think) are washed out and have almost no detail. Very odd. I'll try printing in the darkroom on B&W paper.
    Meanwhile, I just popped into Boots to collect another (B&W) batch of prints and it seems they've lost them (and the negs!).
    I give up with Boots.
  8. David Stout

    David Stout Well-Known Member

    Reminds me of a school friend who had a Saturday job on the photo processing counter of a department store (before the days of mini-labs). He couldn't find the negatives and prints for a woman customer who was getting quite irate because they were overdue by a fortnight already.

    To placate the woman, he said he would report the matter to the manager to see what he could do. Her asked for her name and she replied 'BASTARD'.

    He looked up from the counter where he was scribbling down notes for the manager and said "Well, there's no need to be like that!"

    She looked him straight in the eye and said "That's my name - Bastard"

    He wished he was somewhere else at that moment.

    (True story)

  9. Emmadw

    Emmadw Member

    I know you posted this rather a while ago; and I'm not sure which side of Farnham you are - but I have had a couple of BW films processed in Alton Photographic -and have been pleased with the results.
  10. Mario

    Mario Well-Known Member

    Indeed, I have had the same results from boots.. most films left overnight or longer and special services (big enlargments, B&W etc) are sent to Reading. The black and white services I found was very poor.. I tried my local camera shop and they sent film to Kodak... again not very pleasing results... The only place I have ever been satisfied with was Excel through mail order.

    Mario Greppi.
    Visit the Dreamphotos web site at: http://dreamphotos.tripod.com
  11. Reading

    Reading Well-Known Member

    I have just returned a B&W film to Boots in Reading. The pictures were all washed out and looked like they had been drasticly bleached. All detail was lost from not just the highlights, but even the mid-tones.

    Because one or two had been bracketed /- 1 stop, and still looked the same, I knew it wasnt overexposure of the film, so I scanned one negative on a £200 flatbed, did no manipulation, and printed on a £50 Epson printer on plain paper.

    There was no comparison. Film has been returned to be reprinted.

    I was told that the film had been done by Kodak as this is where all the true B&W stuff goes. So the earlier post by someone about their B&W film going to Reading Boots is incorrect - maybe the colour does. It therefore does not surprise me that going to an independant who sends to Kodak is the same!

    I love boots for Colour and if you dont get the student(sorry to all students) they are good for Chromogenics - but I need to find someone else for B&W. Besides they will only do 6*4 for B&W.
  12. perkeo

    perkeo Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, unless you send your b/w films to a pro commercial lab you are never going to realise the true potential of your negs. Even then it's only when you have established a rapport with the printer that you will really be satisfied with what's being produced.
    Machine printing by Boots, Kodak or anybody else b/w or colour is a compromise, even at the best of times.
    There was a brief comment in AP recently to the effect that - if the cost of commercial processing had gone up in line with inflation over the past 20 odd years or so - the cost of processing a 35/36 print film would be around £78 !

    So, when it's around £5 or so .....you get what you pay for, and not even that sometimes, I'm afraid.


Share This Page