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Desktop Film Developer

lunchbox-size device that develops conventional photographic film
  [vote for,

In a case no larger than a lunch box, a miniaturized photo processing laboratory applies developing chemicals to standard photographic film. The developed film is washed and dried internally, and dispensed when the process is complete. I think it's even possible with current technology to cut the film strip into 5-frame lengths, if desired, in the case of 35mm or 110 film; APS, of course, would be rerolled into the cartridge.

Of course this matches the other photographer's desktop appliance, the "mini/sub-mini" (110/35mm/APS) film scanner/printer (negative/slide scanner/printer that prints on "plain paper" 3"X5" or 4"X6" index cards). I know, I know, it's nearly "baked" already, but I can't buy one for under $100 at WalMart yet.

"Why not simply use a digital camera?" you may ask.

Because photography is an analog process, and because, to duplicate the richness and resolution that an inexpensive 35mm camera can produce, let alone 6X6 or 6X9 medium format, I would have to spend many thousands of dollars on "upper end" pro digital equipment- and it still wouldn't be "analog."

whlanteigne, Nov 15 2003

JOBO atl 1500 film and print processor http://www.jobo.com...oducts/atl1500.html
Nearly baked; doesn't seem to dry. [HaltAndCatchFire, May 13 2006]


       You're fighting a losing battle, I'm afraid. Those who care about the "richness and resolution" and resolution of film also care enough to have full-sized darkrooms. (Btw, in terms of resolution, digital is pretty much there. Contrast depth still sucks, of course.)
DrCurry, Nov 15 2003

       "Because photography is an analog process.."
Nah. It only seems like it is.
phoenix, Nov 15 2003

       True, to a certain extent film is a 'digital' medium, but to some degree that's because light itself is a digital medium. An object giving off a certain amount of light will only put a finite number of photons through a given lens in a given time. These quantum limits are much less of a problem with visible light photography than with x-rays, but they still exist.   

       If someone were to try to use holographic film to take conventional pictures, the level of detail would be far beyond anything digital cameras will be able to do in the foreseeable future. Of course, that would require use of very good optics and generous exposure times, but the resolution would allow levels of magnification that would make digital photos look like legos by comparison.
supercat, Nov 16 2003

       I was just about to post an idea like this, so I did a search using a popular brand of search injun, and this was the top link, would you believe.   

       I totally agree - this is a product with a niche. A not huge niche, but a significant one among people who shoot film and scan it on what is increasingly becoming an impressively capable level of price/performance of film-capable flatbed scanner. I think there's a sizeable market of people who shoot film (120 in my case) and are only interested in developing it without printing it, as an integral part of their workflow: Shoot, dev, scan, enjoy.   

       The idea I was to post was not dissimilar in any way other than the cutting, but added two features - CIP (a term I've seen used in relation to breweries), and inter-frame EXIF optical data (which would be fairly restricted, but useful). A completely reliable 'clean-in-place' design would enable it, once drained, to be flushed with water from a domestic tap, until the entire unit is clean and rinsed, without requiring dismantling and tedious cleaning of all parts. Of course, it wouldn't need cleaning after each use - it would have a drip replenishment design. It would require dev and blix replacement every now and then, though, and if this were made easy the product would gain a following.
Ian Tindale, May 12 2006

       I remember reading awhile ago about someone who had a "gigapixel" camera. It used large-format film, which was then scanned digitally. IIRC, he took a wide-angle photograph of a baseball game from center field (wide enough to show First and Third Base) and, under magnification, there was enough detail to print an identifiable photograph of all the individual specators in the stands.
supercat, May 14 2006

       it's a nice idea, but you've still got to get the film out of the case, and onto a spindle, so you'd need the whole thing in a slightly bigger dark box, wouldn't you ?
neilp, May 14 2006


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