BW Develop/Print/Scan

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Henry Halifax, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Henry Halifax

    Henry Halifax Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    For reasons of work and geography I cannot process my own film nor scan it and I cannot do anything darkroom related. I am totally reliant on external develop, print, and scan, and with film I only shoot true B&W.

    I used to use a small shop near my parents place, but they moved into assisted living and the lab closed. My father taught me to shoot BW and I always did with my Minolta SLR. I've never given it up. I used to send my rolls home to my father and he'd get them processed locally, literally around the corner. Last I receipt I have it was $17+tax for true B&W 35mm with 4x6 prints and a scan good enough for web sharing which is important if you're really living out of a suitcase for most of your work.

    I tried the Kodak 400CN film but did not like it, nor the paper. I looked at what most of mine and my Dad's were for years and it was an Ilford RC stock. Very nice stuff. For color I shoot digital, mostly snapshot stuff. But I see in BW when I want to compose. I just prefer BW photo paper and would like to continue if affordable. The scans are my backup copy and what I use to share with family who are scattered. I don't edit on a computer. I spend enough time in the field in front of a screen. I expose properly the first time and edit the 4x6's thumbs up, thumbs down. I guess for a fellow in his late 20's I am old school because I use photo albums!

    Is there anything like what Ilford Lab Direct does in North America? Their prices aren't great but I presume the quality is there, but the shipping is total madness. I'd hate to have to give up BW shooting due to affordability.

    I do see a link to a place called "The Darkroom" in the APUG banner.

    Anyone have experience with this place?

    http://thedarkroom.com/black-and-whi...lm-developing/

    Looks promising because their prices are reasonable, but I'd like to know if anyone has used their services and the quality of their product. Going from local to mail order requires some diligence.

    I shoot only 35mm and usually use the T-Max 400 or the Ilford equivalent, although I have used Tri-X and 100 speed film from time to time. I may go through 15-25 rolls per year.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Henry Halifax

    Henry Halifax Member

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    Anyone?
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's a bit off topic on APUG. howver I think there's a few labs in the US offerering a similar service to Ilford, try looking on the Ilford website.

    Ian
     
  4. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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  5. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    A lot of folks here may not have experience with "The Darkroom" as most do their own B&W.

    You may want to consider Ilford's color process B&W, XP2. It's closer to a traditional B&W film than Kodak's product which uses an orange mask similar to color film for compatibility with minilab color printers. XP2 doesn't have the orange mask. You would be able to get the film processed and scanned at any color minilab, and then have traditional darkroom prints made for the "keepers" by sending off only those negs.
     
  6. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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  7. Henry Halifax

    Henry Halifax Member

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    Thanks for the link. At $33/roll for BW I start to balk at the cost. That's 2x what I was paying with my old lab.

    These prices are scaring me straight to digital, sadly.

    I'll try XP2 from Ilford.

    Ian Grant, I do not understand this comment:

    "It's a bit off topic on APUG. howver I think there's a few labs in the US offerering a similar service to Ilford, try looking on the Ilford website."

    Labs are banner ads on APUG. Not everyone has a darkroom or can ever have one. Or is APUG restricted to those who do not use labs and can comment only on darkroom ownership?

    Call me confused.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  8. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    APUG certainly isn't restriced to people who do their own work.
    I think what Ian meant is that the scanning and digital output is generally off topic for APUG. That stuff is open discussion for the hybrid sister site dpug.org.

    The costs are one reason most do their own b&W. The pricing you're seeing may be oriented to people looking for high-end custom work.

    One alternative for you may be to hook up with other members in your area who might be willing to do some processing for you. You could try posting a note in the Canadian regional forum.
     
  9. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I do my own B&W but the other day someone told me about Kodak's print svcs. From your file they will print on silver-halide paper. The prices seem reasonable and just checking their website -- they have a join and get $10 off your first order plus 50 free prints. They offer other options as well. I'm not aware that Ilford has a similar svc. (personally I use Ilford film and paper)

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  10. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Guy wants to continue using film, but that's an off-topic topic? Arghhh. Apug drives me nuts sometimes.

    I've not used the lab you mention. But if you are willing to ship it to the US, NCPS (northcoastphoto.com) does B&W, decent scans, and prints. Developing is $5.75/roll, scans are either $7 or $12 per roll. The $7 scans are 3000x2000, the $12 ones are larger. Personally, the $7 scans (the 'budget' ones) are plenty good enough - I'd save the $5/roll for something else. That gets you down to $13/roll plus shipping. I've never gotten prints from them. But I would imagine the prints are done straight from the scans, so if you have a local place that does prints from digital files, just get your stuff dev'd and scanned, pick out the keepers, and then take those files to your local place and get the prints done. You'll likely save a lot of money that way. The people at NCPS are very nice and if the first batch of scans comes back to contrasty or something not to your liking, include a note in the next batch and/or call them and I'm sure they'll work with you to get something you are happy with.

    What I do is just get the scans for my color (I do my own B&W at home). If I need prints, I do it at one of the many online places like MPix or WHCC, etc. Then you get a choice of output papers, Kodak, Fuji, etc. Some places even offer prints on B&W photo paper, RC or FB, from digital files.

    Lastly, I'm sure Bob at Elevator does wonderful work. I'm not sure how much it would cost you though :smile:
     
  11. CGW

    CGW Member

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    That's helpful and might be what the OP's after.

    With respect, Carnie's Elevator is not a hi-volume/low cost lab and I'm surprised people--mostly non-customers, I guess--recommend him as such. Frankly, there just aren't that many--if any--labs left in Canada now doing the sort of B&W service the OP wants. Places like Silvano or Toronto Image Works will usually develop for a reasonable(sic)price. Scanning and proofing are another matter and can get pricey fast.
     
  12. Henry Halifax

    Henry Halifax Member

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    Since the sponsor ads all advertise scanning as a main draw towards the use of film, I cannot see how this could be off-topic for APUG. They advertise the service on APUG as a complement to analog service. Without scanning I would not even be using film at all. Without scanning I doubt they would even be in business at all.

    I cannot find anywhere on APUG where lab services are discussed, compared, evaluated, and so on. That would be very useful. It would have to include some comparison of scanning as bundled services are what some offer so that's intrinsic to the value. I would think this discussion would be helpful to sponsors and healthy for their industry. I would not use their products otherwise, and I find hunting for this information tedious. The odd firewall here about scanning is at odds with the sponsor's services. When it comes down to it, I'd rather support the lab than APUG ;-)

    I don't necessarily need a Canada supplier as some places appear to offer great shipping anywhere in North America, which is a terrific business innovation.

    I'll try The Darkroom and this place:

    http://www.oldschoolphotolab.com/35mm.html

    Prices are reasonable for my volume, scans look good, and they print B&W to RC paper. I'll try the Ilford C-41 BW film as well. Never liked the Kodak stuff. Maybe it was the paper. Always came out bluish even when I tried different labs.

    Ilford put me on to this place:

    http://www.trueblackandwhiteprints.com/

    Scans are pricey but the rest not.

    It's really good to see industry stepping up to accommodate the mail order and traditional services. I guess they are really struggling to keep costs down so volumes are not horribly affected. If I can get 25 rolls done for $400/year I am good. It's when it gets above that that film stops being an option. I think without lab users like me this will have a bad outcome for all film shooters. That's why I asked about Ilford's central processing in North America. The insane shipping costs aside, that model would keep me shooting film for the foreseeable future.

    Tim gray, thanks a lot. I'll check that place as well. Their scans are more than adequate for 4x6. I really appreciate the cost/benefit analysis.

    Thanks to all again.
     
  13. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    No problem. I can send you some links to their scans that they've done for me.
     
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  15. Henry Halifax

    Henry Halifax Member

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    Please. PM is fine.

    If anyone has comments on The Darkroom or the oldschoolphotolab.com I'd love to hear some reviews via PM.

    I just ordered some XP2 Super. I read from a few it scans well. Good to hear.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Discussion of scanning/digital output is supposed to be off topic on APUG, that's why there's a sister forum DPUG.

    My own view is there's a need in case like yours for some discussion but Moderators have been known to close threads like this one hence my comments.

    Have a look at this website which is mentioned on Ilfords own website, I assume they also dev & scan as they sell films.

    Ian
     
  17. CGW

    CGW Member

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    One of these days APUG's Mods will drop their guard on scanning and digital output--after all, it's 2011. So long as image capture is analog, why object to these discussions? BTW, how do pix get posted here? DPUG is moribund relative to APUG. The action's here.
     
  18. Monito

    Monito Member

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    Are you up north permanently? Or is it a renewable term job or some other arrangement that lets you come down south, say to Halifax, from time to time for a few weeks. If so, ship your film to a drop point you can pick it up from and then you can develop it yourself in a few big sessions. Kind of does the "no instant gratification" thing real big!
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I think there has to be a slight compromise, the OP's questions are towards the analog side and with commercial D&P Colour and B&W there has to be an acceptance that route is now mainly digital with analogue output.

    Speaking for myself I've never had any issues of how works produced, I use both but happen to prefer analog.

    The debate opens up when you get into the realms of manipulation. That's a seperatye issue.

    Ian
     
  20. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    If APUG shut down a thread like this for such pathetic reasons I would inform the sponsors of the ads that my biz would go elsewhere as a result of such censorship. The analog world doesn't need this silliness dividing a shrinking market. Film companies have gone from being key Olympic sponsors to a mere presence on a niche website. They'll get it.

    Like the OP I too depend on labs, those labs scan, they advertise they scan on the banner ad, so it's a facilitation by APUG. I'm staring at one as I type.
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's not my policy. Take it up with the moderators etc.

    It's not a big deal but there has been a need to stop attempts at hijacking the forum. We had a hybrid section to cover these areas that became a seperate Forum, hybridphoto.com - now renamed DPUG.org

    Is it ideal, I don't think so, I fully understand the OP and others points and the fact that to just post images here we need to have digital imaging skills. But these things evolve from threads like this.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2011
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    FWIW ....

    I don't think that this thread was ever in danger of being shut down if it remained on (the OP's) topic.

    But as Ian pointed out above, any time that issues of scanning are tangential to a thread, they can and sometimes do become the primary focus of the thread, in which case the thread is vulnerable to being shut down.

    As an example, if the thread became about which lab does the best scans, it would probably be shut down.

    APUG's exclusionary rules do serve a purpose, but they also have an attendant cost. The balancing act continues.
     
  23. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Fine by me, provided everyone keeps their sticks on the ice--mods included.
     
  24. Monito

    Monito Member

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    Repeating my post so that it doesn't get lost among the vitally interesting discussion of forum policy. (If anything happens perhaps the off-topic posts will get split off and exiled to the site-related forum.)

    Monito wrote: "Are you up north permanently? Or is it a renewable term job or some other arrangement that lets you come down south, say to Halifax, from time to time for a few weeks. If so, ship your film to a drop point you can pick it up from and then you can develop it yourself in a few big sessions. Kind of does the "no instant gratification" thing real big!"
     
  25. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    Which is totally ridiculous. That's a fact.

    Scanning is what labs mostly do now. It's their core business model with regards to film. They advertise on APUG with banners that say so. I'm staring at one again as I type.

    The whole concept behind APUG is facilitate analog film use in a digital age. If APUG throws a moderation barrier between a potential customer of an analog lab and a customer because the s*** word is over-used, that is a surefire way to drive people away not from APUG, but from the lab.

    The relationship between a photog and a lab is maybe more important now than ever for well-known economic reasons, so to limit discussions about what a lab does via APUG threads is a disservice to the lab, a turn-off to potential customers, and is ultimately self-estructive to the analog photographic community. I want to know which labs do dip and dunk vs roller, which do true black and white paper versus color, and what their scan resolutions are comparatively, and what prices. They offer packages so should be discussed as a package for value and quality. That's the whole reason they advertise here.

    A sidebar discussion about a lab's scan quality is not only healthy, but it drives business. I see the word "scan" in an APUG ad and I think I should ask on APUG about that service package, hear about the value from others here. After all, that's where the ad is, driving that synergy.

    Clearly the advertisers on APUG "get it" while some other types here I guess do not. The whole idea that a thread could get shut down for such talk is only a means to drive a wedge between the customer and APUG advertisers. That's the opposite of facilitation. I already described what that is.

    I have been over to DPUG and it's a wasteland. The action is here but the way spook posters here about scanning is certainly not doing the advertising labs and Ilford etc. any favors.
     
  26. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Sorry, this is incorrect - from the very top of the page: "APUG.ORG is an international community of like minded individuals devoted to traditional (non-digital) photographic processes."

    I'm not disagreeing with you about the value of discussions about labs and scanning. It just that APUG has decided for very good reasons not to go there. The issue has been revisited many times, and the same decision has been made each time.

    And throughout that process, APUG has continued to grow and prosper.