The Benefits of Bulk Loading your own Black and White Film

I wanted to shoot more film, now that I have more experience with lighting I wanted to see how difficult or easy it would be to shoot film again And so far I’m doing great. I researched film cost and found that In order to shoot more film at low cost I had to do my own film loading. I wanted to be able to shoot every single day with 5 to 15 frames and develop same day or at least same week. Current costs for film is:

Ilford HP5 Retail is as follows:

$4.75 Per Roll + $11.25 Develop = $16.00 USD for one single Roll

Illford HP5 Self Loading and Self Developing is as follows:

$54.60 100ft Roll + $11.00 D76 Dev and Fix + (possible $60.00 DarkRoom Tools) = $125.60 USD for 18 rolls

I can get around 18 rolls from a 100ft roll so that would cost around $85.50 if I purchssed retail for film rollos only plus around $288 for developing and scanning. You get the idea, is a lot. 

 On my first roll of 100ft I would have paid a little more by rolling my own film than buying single rolls at retail price. But what I couldn’t get was the ability to load 10 frame rolls and develop same day. Also, I did not have to pay for DarkRoom tools since I already owned them, I only paid film roll and chemicals so it brings the cost down and I bought an Epson Scanner for $185.00 which is less than what I would have spent on processing and scanning alone for 18 rolls.

You could also do your own processing and scanning and this would bring the cost down on buying retail cartridges but as it is, I am only paying about $3.00 dollars per roll, so either way I am saving about $31.50 dollars for every 18 rolls of film and a lot more by developing and scanning my own. 

Finally there are other options like Kentmere 100ft roll that only cost around $40.00 which would bring the cost of each roll to about $2.20

And as far as ease of use when loading and using your own loaded film? Is not difficult. It will require a bit more work than buying preloaded rolls from the manufacturer but if you are shooting film in this digital days, I am sure you aren’t looking at ease of use solutions when shooting film. 

If you would like to learn how to load film, watch my tutorial on YouTube. Quick and to the point. 


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