Are there any minilabs left?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by markaudacity, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. markaudacity

    markaudacity Member

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    Are there any brick-and-mortar places you can still get C41 process-only (and get your dang hell negs back!) without having to pay specialist prices?

    Walgreens stores all use a send-out service now that returns a CD and nothing else (which seems like it should be straight-up illegal), just like Wally World. Paying ten bucks for C41 development from a professional lab or a mail-order place irks me. I've been spoiled by the $1.79 process-only option at most minilabs, and I just can't justify paying $15 or more total shoot cost when I'm not getting slides back. I know a pro lab will give me perfect color every time, but I'm not paying the bills with these and I have a scanner, calibration targets, and Photoshop.

    Any hope?

    PS: I'm located in Houston, TX.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  2. James in GA

    James in GA Member

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    My boss gave up in 2005.
     
  3. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    It sounds to me like you are between a rock and a Kodak creditor. I think you should think about developing the film yourself.
     
  4. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    At least one Costco near me does, some others do not.
     
  5. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    My local CVS for the next year, at around $3 a roll. I'm also local to Unique Photo, similar pricing.

    Dan
     
  6. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I think if you want to know about places you can walk into, you'd benefit from giving the country/city/town you're in. I knew a few in London, and some in Australia, but I imagine from the Walgreens talk, you're somewhere in the USA.
     
  7. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Send your film to Livingston Camera in Livingston, NJ.
     
  8. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    We still have a decent local operation. Last time I was in there I found out they had taken their, very nice, previous version Fuji mini lab to the dump. I had meant to mention it here in case somebody wanted it, but didn't realize it was in immediate danger.

    I know that is not what you are asking about, but it seems like someone could start a nice specialty business with one of these cheap setups. This one went up to 5x7 and cost a bunch of $ when it was new. Asking price for something like this is usually around $500, but I don't think there are really any buyers around. Sad times in that regard.
     
  9. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    My town's got PDQ photo which does a roll for $5. They sell cigars and knives and such too, but their fuji photolab machine is the center of the store.
     
  10. markaudacity

    markaudacity Member

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    Oh, duh. I'm in Houston, TX.
     
  11. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    Surely must be a number there. Good luck.
     
  12. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    Can't help ya with Houston. My film goes to a camera store in Springfield, IL. which has a send-out service to a lab in St. Louis. C-41 develop only is around $4/roll. Add $2.99 for a CD at time of developing. If you want cheap 4x6 prints, Wal-Mart will print from the negatives for 25 cents a piece. If you upload the scans to the web site, the 4x6 prints are 19 cents each.

    The cool thing about the lab that does my film is that it takes the same amount of time for them to do 35mm B&W, 35mm E6, and 35mm C-41, unlike most other places which make you wait at least a week longer for B&W or E6.
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Yep, C41 processing is dead easy. Much easier than black and white, in fact. You just have to be very precise. I prefer the results I get from processing at home too. Kits to develop 8-12 rolls are available for about 20-25 bucks online.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2014
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  15. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    Our Walgreen's (Greater Cleveland Area) still returns the negatives. It's not $2 for processing, but it's not expensive. We also have a pro-shop that will develop only. They're a little more expensive than Walgreen's (if you get prints and CD from both), but the quality is much better.
     
  16. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    Ogden, Utah has one place, Imaging Depot, that bought a new, yes NEW, mini-lab a coupla years ago and does very nice c-41. They saw others closing and figured there was a market.

    Plus, Walgreens still does it, and a grocery store just down the street does it. All also return negatives, prints, scans, whatever you want.

    Ogden, Utah -- leading the nation once again.
     
  17. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Here in the Seattle area, most of the minilabs have disappeared, but a few camera shops offer the same service. I know Omega Photo in Bellevue, WA does, as does Kenmore Camera in, you guessed it, Kenmore, WA. In the case of Kenmore Camera, they actually moved the minilab into the main lobby of the store, so you can watch the techs run the equipment.

    *edit* never mind - saw your post. Anyway, check with the local camera shops. One has got to have a photolab inside that will do what you want.

    -J
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  18. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa Member

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    There's a Walgreen close to me at West Gray and Woodhead. I had a roll of XP2 super processed and printed and I received the negatives, too.

    This was 6 weeks ago. $17 for a 36 exposure roll.
     
  19. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    This is the decline of film volume, but C41 is easy to home process with a kit or raw chemicals. Electric kettle tank cbag thermometer bottles and plastic basin.

    Huston Tx will have mini labs lurking like diamond backs, frequent or they will close.

    I got one open on Sundays till 18:00 200meters from where I normally train for home at end of weekend shoot... good quality any service you want, but 5GBP for develop only! The staff are friendly too.

    Lomo Spitalfields Mkt London UK.
     
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    In the UK, most towns have a supermarket with a minilab. Much to my surprise, when our local Tesco demolished their store and built a bigger one, they installed a new minilab. Their quality is good but I know supermarket minilab quality varies quite a bit.


    Steve.
     
  21. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Never been so here. (At least I did come across such). Minilabs in photo-shops are scarce here meanwhile.
     
  23. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Well small town large pharmacies and medium sized supermarkets in UK all had mini labs.

    Medium sized towns dedicated mini lab shops a few blocks apart

    20 mind turn around

    but by 2005 they were vanishing like witches or warlocks.
     
  24. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Happily, I still have three camera stores within 30 miles of my house which have minilabs.
    Except for traveling due north, I am set.

    Haven't had a reason to see what the Walgreens's, CVS's, etc are doing.
     
  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    this thread says stuff that might be helpful
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum172/96379-lab-services.html

    there are a couple of labs that sponsor / advertise on apug that do great work
    darkroom.com
    bluemooncamera.com

    i've never used millers,
    but some here swear by them
    you set up an account, and are good to go ..
    millerslab.com

    if you find a good lab, add it to the lab services thread

    good luck ..

    john

    ps. if you have a RITE AID pharmacy near you, they send out to fuji
    ( or did last year ) but make sure they still give your film back ...
    they hadn't changed over to the "process your film and beam up the files" yet ..
     
  26. markaudacity

    markaudacity Member

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    Thanks for the link. I know about several of the send-out labs, I was hoping to find something closer (and cheaper!)