How you get your film processed – does it really matter? It should.
If it matters to you how your C41 film is handled and processed, then how you get your film processed is a question you should be asking. Using a dip & dunk film processor is the best option for you.
We constantly see film that has suffered at the hands of poor handling and bad processing. That is why we started processing film again and why we chose to do it in a dip and dunk machine.
A dip & dunk film processor has two main and extremely important advantages over a roller-transport processor.
- The lack of contact between the film and the processor. Unlike “full-contact” roller-transport machines, only chemistry and water touch the film in a dip & dunk machine. It is the constant contact of film in a roller transport machine that can cause long scratches in the film and can also cause dirt to penetrate into the emulsion.
- The second is the number of washing steps and washing techniques. Some roller transport processors have fresh water running in their machines, but most don’t, and some have no wash at all!! Doubts arise as to the archival keeping qualities of colour negative film processed this way.
Dip & dunk processors pretty much work as their name describes: film is loaded onto a metal rack, then loaded into place for the processor to lift and dip into a line of chemistry and wash tanks.
Starting with a clean, scratch free film is the best way to achieve a clean scratch free print if producing a darkroom hand print , or a clean scratch free high resolution scan if producing a digital print.
So if someone asks you how you get your film processed, you should be telling them Dip and dunk is the only way to go.