Miller's Color Film Processing

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by ParkerSmithPhoto, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    In a world of shrinking options for film processing, Miller's Lab out of Pittsburg still processes color negative film in 35mm, 120 and 4x5. They also offer printing and scanning from these negatives.

    I have worked with Miller's for years and they are the best in the biz, with excellent customer service. Give them a call.
     
  2. argyrotype

    argyrotype Member

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    I just signed up,talked to the person who answered the 800 number,, VERY reasonable cost for developing 120 color neg film!! WIll give them a try and see what kind of work they do....
     
  3. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    I hope I get approved to join the "club".

    Have to sign up in order to view prices? Strange.
     
  4. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    Miller's is a professional lab that caters to portrait and wedding photographers. Protecting their pricing is a service to the pros, as is their requirement that you sign up. As I said, they are top notch and very focused on quality and customer service. Atlanta no longer has any C41 labs so I was delighted to discover that one of my favorite suppliers still handled it.
     
  5. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    Fair enough, but they did let me in with minimum proof. I'm still starting out, so I don't have a big online presence. I'll definitely try them out.
     
  6. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Protecting their pricing? How? At first I thought to make it more difficult for their competitors but that cannot be, you state there are none in Atlanta. I guess it does not matter anyway. Just wonder about the logic.
     
  7. SWphoto

    SWphoto Member

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    Perhaps by not allowing end-customers to see how much the photographer actually paid for the printing of an image, vs the marked-up price.
     
  8. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    But wouldn't that go out the window with all the other shops that do print their prices? Plus most clients who are that picky about pricing would probably go to Walmart or Walgreens.
     
  9. SWphoto

    SWphoto Member

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    At least in the past, when you deal with many "pros", they'd sell you finished prints at a markup which reflects materials, time, and talent. This doesn't get broken down, you want an 11x14 of your portrait, the price is X. If people knew the lab charges the pro $5 for the print, it's hard to accept that the price the pro quotes may be $200.

    But who really knows why Miller's does it, other than Miller's? :smile:
     
  10. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Many places that cater to professional trades, in a variety of industries, do not make their prices public. And I believe it's to avoid seeing the markup - however justified it may be. Probably an anachronism now when price information is so available online, but it persists.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thanks for the link parker

    before reading the rest of this thread i went to their website and poked around ..
    then i called to find their prices. i couldn't get through to c/s so i emailed them
    and the person who wrote back said without being a customer i can't get prices ...

    i called, and i was going to "sign up" to get their prices
    but decided if they can't give their prices to a pro who
    emails them there really isn't a point.

    to be honest, i have never heard of a pro lab or any lab who refuses work
    but by forbidding regular people to get prices or to be their customer,
    ( even if that regular person is a out of state professional! )
    they have really painted themselves into a corner.

    i am sure people know how much
    it costs $$ to get a professional to photograph, retouch and oversee the production prints, after all it isn't just the print that
    the professional is charging 25$ / 8x10 it is his / her expertise, overhead, insurance &c.
    its funny, my plumber used to have a note on their invoices that explained why their prices might seem "high"
    it was because they had a boatload of overhead.

    the thing is if it costs 1.70 / roll of 120 to be processed
    it must cost the lab about 20¢ :wink: I'M OUTRAGED ! LOL
    i think i'll just get my cat labs kit and process the film myself ...
     
  12. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    Bingo.

    They have a consumer friendly division called MPIX that does publish prices on line. Most truly professional service Providers want to deal with pros only as it saves everyone time and money.

    I just wanted to provide another great option for film processing. If it's too much trouble to sign up you can use one of the three Atlanta labs that closed their doors last year. :cool:
     
  13. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    I think their price is $2.60 a roll. All.of the pro labs ask you to open an account. All of them.
     
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  15. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    ALL of the "pro" labs I've used here in LA don't play the hide-n-seek game with their pricing. Nor have any of them required I 'start an account' before doing business. They're brick and mortar establishments(I'm talking Icon, Richard Photo Lab, A&I, etc...) and have a large walk-in customer base, and most also have an equally large(if not larger) mail-order business.

    If they want to extend discounts to their "regular" customers, that's their perogative. But for an average joe like me, they quote me the price stated on their site(as they should?!), and that's the price I(and most others) pay them for their services rendered

    Anyhow, I have to no dog in this fight. I've never used Miller's before, and frankly, if they think they're protecting their business, or their customers business by hiding prices from the regular public(or their customers end clients), well we can agree to disagree on their decision to do such :wink:

    Happy days, at least they're still processing film
     
  16. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Millers is really great. I send them all of my color stuff. The negatives are always extremely clean and the prints look great! Their develop, print, (and scan) price can't be beat. Plus, you get free overnight return shipping! They do dip and dunk and process 35mm through 4x5. I had thought that the reason that you had to have an account to access the pricing is so photographer's clients could not find out what it was costing them to have their stuff developed.
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thanks parker ..

    sorry for my extreme crankiness but ...

    in 26 years maybe one other lab made me sign up to reveal their prices ...
    i never used them. most ever pro lab i have ever used
    ( 2 different commercial markets - imagemakers, abar, spectrum, renaissance, colortek, dorian, black+white, panopticon, zona, hahn &c )
    had walk in service they didn't check id at the door and they had a "menu board " with all their prices.
    they processed film for whoever wanted it processed, professional, or amateur

    if people are naive enough to think that lab is "better" because they don't publish their prices online
    to "protect" their professional clients that's kind of funny...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2014
  18. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    Perhaps I should clarify here: when I say ProLab that is the generally accepted vernacular for the Portrait and Wedding Labs that sold film to photographers, then processed it, proofed it, printed it, etc. Of course, there are always labs such as you describe that have catered to not only the professional photographers but also the walk-in public (what I call pro-sumer labs).

    The Portrait and Wedding Labs were always strictly to the trade, and being such, required you to sign up for an account, especially as they would extend credit to their clients. "Opening an account" is as difficult as providing someone with your contact details which you will need to do with every decent provider of services from film processing to lawn maintenance.

    Between the Pro-Lab and Pro-Sumer business models we had about three dozen choices here in Atlanta a decade ago. They are all now gone.

    As they say, don't make mountains out of molehills. If you need a good mail order film lab, Miller's is terrific. If you still can and like to drive across town to get your film developed that's terrific, too. It's not terribly complicated. :pouty:
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    ....
     
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  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi parker
    thanks for your insights ... and pouty face emoticons :smile:

    rather than stoop to your level ( i guess?) and suggest that not all pro labs make their customer base lie about what they do, or that maybe if a lab deals with the off the street consumer as well as the 10k$ day rate pro they are more than just a " prosumer lab "
    to think they have to hide their prices from working pros because regular people might realize it doesnt cost $50 for a machine print?

    i think people already know they are getting ripped off when lifetouch
    will give them a 8x10 & 4 5x7s for 10$ and the quality is better than the pro.

    thanks for reminding me why people call film photographers elitist snobs ..
     
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  21. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    John:

    The pro labs around my way used to provide additional services to their professional customers, and offer them lower prices.

    In order to get the benefit of those services and prices, I used to have to supply a business licence, a tax number and some evidence of both a photographic business and some competence.

    The additional services included a variety of masks that permitted a photographer to crop negatives but still obtain high quality, low cost machine prints with individual colour correction.

    The lower prices worked for the labs because professional photographers tended to have higher volumes, and if the photographers were competent, the labs could put high quality work through more efficiently.

    Unless I was able to qualify for a professional account, I wasn't able to get access to the special professional list of services/price list.

    That business model is long gone, but I expect Millers just hasn't changed their system.
     
  22. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    This is just childish. I mean, seriously, I had to set up an account to get on SPOTIFY. Am I supposed to cry like a baby because they asked for my contact info so I could use their (free) service? Wah! It's a conspiracy perpetrated by The Man to keep Homie down.

    What in the world that I said can be construed as elitist? The fact that some labs prefer to work ONLY with professional photographers? Wow. Besides that, 95% of my work is digital these days, so what is your point?
     
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  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    ,,,
     
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  24. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Millers has the right to set their prices and business structure any way they choose - and you have the right not to do business with them if you choose.

    Enough said!
     
  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    did i ever say they didn't have a right to do whatever they want?
    i said i don't agree with a policy of elitism which promotes snobs
    and people who lie about who they are so they can obtain a price list.

    are you going to call me names too professor pixel ? :whistling:

    john
     
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  26. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    As in the case of Miller's pricing policies, everyone here will make their own decision.