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Back in the day, a disposable camera could be found in almost any tourist’s hand around the world. While they’re not quite as popular today, you can still buy and use them. You might even find an old disposable camera lying around your house.
But after using a disposable camera, how can you develop the film? While you technically can develop it yourself, it’s not easy, so it’s almost always better to take it to a professional film developer.
While it is possible to develop disposable camera photos yourself, it does require a bit of equipment and expertise to complete the job. For starters, you’ll need access to a dark room, developing tank, developer solution, stop solution, fixer solution, wetting agent, agitator, storage container, and scissors.
In short, it’s not for amateurs. But if you really want to develop your disposable camera photos yourself, this is what you need to do. The exact time requirements vary depending on the exact film that you have and the products that you use, so read everything thoroughly.
This complicated process is why most amateurs choose to take their disposable film to a professional developer.
If you develop disposable film the wrong way, it’s not something that you can go back and fix afterward. If you accidentally expose the film to light, you won’t be able to process it at all, and if you develop it the wrong way, you won’t be able to fix your mistake.
If you’re planning on trying to develop disposable camera film yourself, we highly recommend practicing with film that will be okay to mess up. Once you practice and get the process down, you can move on to film that you actually care about.
The cost to develop your disposable camera film will vary depending on where you take it, but it’s not that expensive in most places.
Walgreens charges about $15, and that’s a standard price tag for film development. Keep in mind that these stores don’t typically develop the film in store, though, so the processing time is going to be a bit long because they need to mail it off and wait for it to come back.
Disposable film is not the most common way to process images today. So, it’s only natural to wonder where you can take it for developing! The good news is that more places than you think still offer this service.
If you need to develop disposable film, we highly recommend against trying to do it yourself. There’s a good chance that all you’ll do is ruin the film, and plenty of places still offer professional developing services that can do it for you. Even better, they don’t cost nearly as much as you might think!
Featured Image Credit: Alberico Bartoccini, Unsplash
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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