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Tom Gally's Reading Japanese with a Smile has a nice story in which the author says:

父は、フィルムを現像に回すまで五年かかったのである。

I like the connotation of the rotation here because the film has to be unfurled. However, would something like "フィルムを現像する” work just fine as well?

  • When I hear 'develop' and 'film' together I think of the way old fashioned cameras and photographs worked. I assume this is not what you mean. – Aeon Akechi Feb 24 at 3:36
  • That is what I mean :) – wireman Feb 24 at 3:38
  • A native speaker must confirm this, but I think that for such a camera, you might consider using the word 写真機 instead of カメラ。Both mean "camera", but 写真機 self-describes itself as only being the non-digital kind (however they work?). – user312440 Feb 24 at 20:24
  • Native speaker here. My gut feeling is that 写真機 is, while understandable, quite obsolete and sounds old-fashioned. The usual word for non-digital camera is フィルムカメラ, that is, "film camera", as opposed to デジタルカメラ, or デジカメ. – Hirotaka Sato Feb 24 at 23:53
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"回す" here has another meaning from "to rotate".

明鏡国語辞典(第二版・大修館書店):

回す(廻す):3、順に送り渡す。次に送る。特に、必要とする者のもとへさし向ける。「全員に杯を回す」「経理課に伝票を回す」「仕事を明日に回す」「迎えの車を回す」「社長室に電話を回す」

Normally you can't develop a photographic film by your own, so you give it to a photo shop so they do the job. "回す" has this connotation.

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  • "Normally you can't develop a photographic film by your own" -- how come I can't? – macraf Feb 24 at 18:55
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    @macraf because most people don't have the necessary facilities or expertise to do it themselves...? – Foogod Feb 24 at 22:34
  • This is the "facility" you need to develop a film amazon.co.jp/… with cheaper and more expensive ones available. – macraf Feb 25 at 8:21
  • @macraf: that, and the chemicals (developer, stop, fixer), and a water source, and a thermometer, and a temperature controller for the water source, and a timer, and the darkroom (or at least darkbag) to get the film out of the original canister and into the developer canister. Then there's the knowing of what to do with all the above. :) – Eiríkr Útlendi Feb 29 at 0:35
  • @EiríkrÚtlendi Yes. Not that different from making bread. Yet you don't claim "normally you can't make bread". The correct statement is that people don't develop films on their own. That they can't is incorrect. – macraf Feb 29 at 8:30

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