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Film Processing: That will be £1,600 please

Posted on by Mike Evans

Photo: Eric Kim, presumably digital or we wouldn't have the pleasure of seeing this excess until March 2016.

Photo: Eric Kim, presumably digital or we wouldn't have the pleasure of seeing this excess until March 2016.

Who takes 164 rolls of film in to be processed at the same time? The answer is the irripessible Eric Kim, chief streettog of this parish.  He has often made the point that it pays not to chimp your shots on the fly and that using film is a good way to put some distance between shutterclick  and viewing. And he has often confessed to sitting on his film for a week or a month, just to spin out the anticipation and subsequent satisfaction. 

As he explained this morning, he has been dillying and dallying for a little too long this time: 164 rolls long, in fact. He took this bumper bundle of exposed Kodak Porta 400 into his local Costco in California and raised more than a few discounted eyebrows. Say it slowly: One hundred and sixty four....and then multiply by 36. That's a cool 5,900 frames to sift through when the little packets come home to roost. For the Kimtog, this is nearly a year's output. Some output, some patience.

Sadly, as far as I can tell from the website, Costco UK does not process films so anyone with a shedload of HP4 holiday snaps had better look elsewhere. Try Boots, for instance, and please let me know the reaction. But be prepared for a bill of at least £1,600. It's probably a lot cheaper in California. Or, you could dump the film in the canal and buy a respectable second-hand Leica MP with the cash you'll save.

Mind you, I do admire Eric for his dedication to film and his supreme patience in accumulating all this unprocessed stock. Yet it isn't for me. Today, inspired by news of all this processing at Costco, I took my Neil (the M7) out for a spin and fired off another six frames. Such profligacy and I still have another 24 to go. However, I admit that as soon as I've fired the last shot I'll be round to the chemist in a flash. Just can't wait for anything. 

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