How Much Does Developing Film Cost?
Developing film is a process where photographic film and paper is treated after photographic exposure which produces negative or positive images. This process transforms latent images into visible images, making it permanent, rendering it insensitive to light. Developing film was once the most popular way to print pictures before the advent of digital images being printed on conventional printers. The price for developing film depends on the number of rolls and the company you choose.
How much is it?
- On average, a roll of film is going to cost anywhere from $3 to as much as $50 to get it developed. Most purchases will be within the $5 to $19 price tag range. Most known chains such as Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS can develop film in this price range.
- Depending on type of film, Walmart will process 24 exposure 35mm film for around $6, while 36 exposure 35mm can be processed for around $7.
- According to the site SwanPhotoLabs.com, pictures can be printed for anywhere from $3 to $19 with varied sizes that range from 4×6 to 12×18.
- An online film developing services such as 4PhotoLab.com can develop film in the price range of $3 to $48. This company in particular bases its price on the number of shots to be printed as well as the sizes needed.
- PrepFilm.com offers services for many types of film ranging from $14 to $20 per roll.
- According to the website RangerFinderForum.com, the users on the forum claimed that they had paid anywhere from $1 to as much as $7 per roll. Most users will highly satisfied with the work that Walgreens had done.
What are the extra costs?
- If purchasing from an online retailer, some eCommerce stores may charge a shipping fee that can range from $2 to $5.
- Expedited processing such as 1 to 24 hour development can double or even triple the price depending on what needs to be done.
- Getting the pictures put onto a CD can cost anywhere from $1 to $5 extra. For example, a retailer such as Walgreens will develop older film onto a CD for $5, while a store such as Walmart will do a CD for less than $2 per CD.
- Developing the film in a darkroom setup at home can get rather costly with supplies. See: “How much does a dark room cost?“
What is going to be included?
- When you have your films processed, there are negatives that will be produced as well. The establishment that processed your film will give the negatives to you so that you can use them if you want reprints.
- If a CD is purchased on the side, all the photos will be placed onto the CD. Using this CD, prints can be printed at home, or even at a local photo kiosk.
How can I save money?
- Consider switching to digital imaging, since having pictures printed through this method can greatly reduce the cost of printing. You will also be able to choose the pictures in real time, which lessens the chance of wasted prints.
- Compare at least three stores in the area that process film. Most will be more than happy to give you a quote over the phone or even on their website.