Clark Color Labs - Have You Tried Them?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by copake_ham, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I'm curious if anyone here has used Clark Color Labs for "consumer-type" film processing?

    My interest started because I've been looking for a place to make up some holiday cards with some of my pics. For that purpose I'll just send them a CD with some scanned shots.

    But I was also wondering if their processing results in "cleaner" negatives than what you get from the "drug store one-hour shops" that love to "enhance" negatives with dust spots, scratches etc.?

    Anyone have any experience with these guys?
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Never tried Clark, but we've had incredibly good experience with Costco for Christmas cards. Quick and economical service, with none of the enhancements that you mention.
     
  3. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Years and years ago I use to send stuff to Clark. All I could remember was that they were not a pro lab but marketed to the masses. Nowadays I go to Dale Labs in Hollywood FL.
     
  4. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Hey Brian,

    Thanks for the info on Costco.

    I don't go there (Costco) from here (NYC) but do go there (Costco) from there (Tucson) and will be out there (Tucson) next week.

    My pic scan files are in TIFF and HUGE (50+ mb) so I need to drop them on a CD or DVD. I'd rather deal with all this "in person", so the Costco thing may work out fine.

    Meanwhile, I'm still curious if Clark can process film in a "clean" manner for general usage.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi george

    the only experience i have with clark is from when i was a kid 30+ years ago
    and my parents mail order film processed. they used to have inserts in
    the sunday paper and it was cheep as dirt.
    we have had holiday cards made locally,
    and through sam's club/wally's
    local was fine, and sammy's was a piece of cake
    and about the same price. we even got coffee mugs made (sam's),
    there was a wait/delay in delivery of the mugs, and they
    ended up being free. i can't believe fuji didn't charge for the mugs ( 10+ of them!)
    countless other people too, no charge ... we will go back this year.
     
  6. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I used Clark a lot about 30 years ago (when I was about 10); as jnanian says, they were (and still are) cheap, which is a big draw when you're 10. I've used them on rare occasion more recently, but not for at least two years, and probably 5 or more. I don't recall any serious problems with the negatives, but I can't really say that they're any better than the average drug store, either.

    FWIW, "Clark Color Labs" is just one name used by a huge photofinishing outfit called District Photo. They operate under other names, such as York Photo. IIRC, they bought up Mystic Color Lab a while back. For a while, they operated it under that name, but they seem to be folding into the York brand. The Mystic employees found themselves out of work but apparently managed to buy their old facilities and now operate it as ABC Photo Lab. I've used them for digital 4x6 prints recently and have no complaints. My memory from when I used mail-order photofinishing was that ABC (and the former Mystic) were much better, but also pricier, than Clark/York.
     
  7. sloveless

    sloveless Member

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    In my experience with Clark, which started about 5 years ago, negatives and 3x5 prints were better than most 1 hour labs. I sent literally hundreds of rolls to them and had no complaints. C-41 B&W film was even printed on real B&W paper.

    A few months ago I sent them 6 or 7 rolls or color print film. While the negs were fine, the prints sucked. They had switched from photographic paper to an HP inkjet system. The paper was so thin that I could see the brand markings (which are on the back) when viewing the front. I can't recommend them any more.
     
  8. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Can Costco handle TIFFs? I use their (Canadian) online print service from time to time (locally at least they print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, which I've heard good things about and, in my limited experience, like), and as I recall the online service only recognized JPGs. But, could be wrong on that...
     
  9. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    I use Clark for all of my color snapshots, and my family's used them for years. I develop my other color stuff myself.

    They are [by no means] a pro lab, but I've had excellent results from them. The negatives are far cleaner and more consistent than anything from a 1 hour shop.

    They are, in my experience, a little slow in getting stuff back, but it's not too bad.
     
  10. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I believe that you are correct.

    Using a 50mb TIFF for a christmas card picture might be pushing the envelope a bit. :wink:
     
  11. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Not to pull open a very old thread but.....I have used them recently and I have been really impressed, especially for the price! It is no pro lab but is much, much better than I can go to a local pharmacy minilab and get. They still do 110 processing although it is not on the mailers any more. I sent in some 10 year old 110 film and looks like it was bought and shot yesterday. I was quite surprised.
     
  12. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    I have used Clark over the years and to paraphrase Forest Gump "Clark is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Some of the the work was very nice and other work was dreadful. I wouldn't use them for anything important. I'm lucky that I have a very good lab right in town. That's Livingston Camera in Livingston, NJ. I believe they accept mail order film too.
     
  13. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I suppose that is true. I too wouldn't use them for things important. I was give a couple of Lomo cameras as gifts and clark is the place that film goes....I wonder if York photo lab quality is different (although yes they are the same and have very close prices)
     
  14. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    They will never admit it. but York and Clark are the same company these days. Personally I have just about given up on York for my film developing. Over the last couple years their developing quality has gone straight to the latrine. They used to develop Black and white,E-6,C-41, and send out Kodachrome for developing. Now all they do is C-41, and as I said the quality just isn't what it used to be.
     
  15. kmallick

    kmallick Subscriber

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    Ditto! I used to use both York and Clark religiously 20 years ago in the film hay days and they were fantastic. I decided to give Clark a shot last year and my experience was downright negative for several 35mm rolls. Turnaround was slow and prints were muddy. I even wrote to them about my dissatisfying experience. They were courteous in response and willing to re-do my prints, but I never sent them my negatives back. I was more upset about how my great memories of Clark's processing and quick service from years gone were ruined. Oh well.
     
  16. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I use to find very muddy prints but these very last few rolls that I look like I paid $15 for the processing. The back of the prints now says "xxxxx.jpg" and before it was different so perhaps they have a new way of printing...