Film Developing Nightmare

Ah, what can I say? After going through the laborious process of making the Dirkon and Rubikon pinhole cameras and shooting with them, my film developers completely let me down. Here is a play-by-play of exactly what happened. Keep in mind that they close at 8 p.m and advertise 1-hour film development.

Friday, around 6:30 p.m.- I give a lady working there three rolls of film to develop (one was the Dirkon, the other the Rubikon and the other was from the Sardina). She told me to come back Saturday afternoon and I understood since it was close to closing time.

Saturday, around 1:00 p.m.- I come back and the same lady from the day before is there. She tells me that they’re almost done and to come back later.

Saturday, around 5:00 p.m.- This time I speak to a man. He tells me that he’s very sorry but they’re still not ready. He offers to call me when they’re done but I was on my way to a party and it would be too late to pick up after. He then tells me to return on Sunday.

Sunday, around 11:30 a.m.- This time the man from before tells me that there was a problem with the machine. He shows me some of the film strips and explains that not all of the photos came out. I didn’t have such high hopes for the pinhole cameras since I knew that it wasn’t guaranteed to work but I still wanted to see the results. So, I asked him to print whatever he could.

Sunday, around 4:00 p.m- You can imagine how my irritation was growing in intensity with each visit. However, I’m not a confrontational person…although looking back, I really wish I was. He gave me the prints and the C.D. and he made me pay $45.00! $45.00 for 1-hour film development that took three days.

You have no idea how much I wish I was joking or at least exaggerating…but no, this all happened. I know that the process costs money and I was expecting to pay, but certainly not full price. He could’ve offered me a discount or maybe thrown in a free roll of film…but I got nothing. My only consolation is knowing that I will never return.

Well, now that I got that off my chest, here are the pictures! The following is the Dirkon.




Yeah. Here are the Rubikon pictures:





I’m very pleased with the Rubikon photos. Of course, they aren’t perfect. But the fact that they came from a camera I made is just incredible. I will definitely be experimenting again with both cameras. Next time I’ll be patient enough to wait for a sunny day, I’ll change the exposure time, and check both cameras for light leaks. But, first and foremost, I will change the developer!


2 thoughts on “Film Developing Nightmare

  1. I can’t believe a film lab would treat their customer like this, especially when film photographers like you help to keep revenue coming in. My local lab isn’t 1hr but if a roll is messed up or something happens to their machine I usually don’t have to pay full price. Anyway, sorry to hear about the experience.

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