no more reliable labs in or around boston. what a waste :(

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by CatLABS, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Just got some 4X5 back from colortek boston. This is the second and last time i will be using them.
    After color services gave me back negs that were just plain bad, i though i should try this place. But heck, its the same crap.
    I am considering just buying bulk chemicals and going back to doing it at home, where i got near perfect results every time, but since i am not longer in school and do not shoot as much, i figured why not let someone else do it for me? how wrong i was.
    And to think there are people out there using these labs not knowing that they get back negs that look oh so so bad...

    My chief complaints, with out being an anal photo nerd:

    Huge halos of higher density around the clamp marks.
    Uneven development.
    Scratches, dust and other dirt visible to the naked eye.
    Some but not all have water dry down sediment marks, that seem to be embedded as i tried to re wash some of them.

    Arrgg... why bother go out shooting, then spend money on film and processing, scanning and so on if its just so bad...???

    Any one know a "real" lab around here that is better? do i really need to send this out to NYC if i do not want to do it myself?
     
  2. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    If you want it done right, do it yourself.
     
  3. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    My cats say the same thing :wink:
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    is spectrum still around ?
    what about panpticon ? ( or do they only do b/w )?
    what about dorian in arlington ?

    you are lucky in boston, at least there is someone to bring sheet film to
    here on rhode island we have to ship it out of state :sad:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2012
  5. Steve Goldstein

    Steve Goldstein Subscriber

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    I think that's "Panopticon", don't know if they're still around. Personally, I've only had good experiences with Color Services in Needham, but I don't shoot a lot of color....
     
  6. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Using the post office, you can pick a quality lab no doubt, then again, doing it yourself may be the ultimate, if you have the time and desire to do so. I have the same problem except I am only near smaller cities. With the price of postage round trip, and developing only cost, it will less expensive for me to do it myself. Although its been awhile since I have done any processing, I am confident that the quality will be on the high end. It definitely adds to the fun of photography, that is, doing the whole process.
     
  7. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Dorian is too far away to be logical to use, and in any case, i did try them twice, no luck there.
    Color services was as bad or worse then colotek.
    Providence has renaissance, behind the PP bus terminal, they are by far the worse of the lot in the area.
    Last time i used spectrum was back in 2005, so i cant say much about them, as everyone was pretty much near perfect not so long ago... :sad:
    I should say, that roll film processing is "OK", not great but hey, i get to get a dry neg with no hassles... so no real complaints. the sheet films are a totally different story...
    Up until last year wheni did my own c-42 the cost was less then a 1$ per roll or 2 sheets of 4X5... if i had larger runs it was even less then that.
    I hate complaining but i am getting tiered of this mess. i am thinking about trading up my imacon and med format gear towards scanning digital back...
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    renaissance is who i used to use, it was a 35minute drive 1 way ..
    they sold their lab and moved to pawtucket to do digital work.
    there was hope that someone would buy the lab ( building ) and lab ( equipment )
    to fill the huge hole they left, but no one did. printmakers in pawtucket is the last lab
    around to process e6 and c41 120 film here in ri ... so if i do e6 or c41 bigger than 120
    i have to mail it somewhere. its too bad you can't travel to / send it to dorian, i have only heard great things
    about them.

    good luck !
    john
     
  9. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Have you considered visiting them and talking to the manager/owner? Explain the situation and try to come to an understanding. They may try to improve if you reach out...
     
  10. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Yeah, i spoke to the guy at color services, and showed him my negatives and asked if i was getting something special, or something personally wrong with me\my negs.
    He said "this is how we do it" and walked away. this was the second time i brought it up. the first time i asked if something had changed, over the years, or did sheets film always come back this way? ( i am sure the answer is no, as not only i had proper film done by them in 05, but many a photographers who used them have full frame prints from sheet film in museums and such...)

    I think they know its crap, but that all they can do really, or there is nothing they can do about it.

    I had a similar talk with someone at colortek, but they did not seem to understand what i was talking about, obviously the neg was developed and there was an image on it, so why was i complaining?

    As someone said, they only heard good things about color services, but as fact would have it, i have few good things to say about them.
    At any rater RI is such a small place, you go out of state everytime you leave your house... :smile:
     
  11. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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  12. clayne

    clayne Member

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    That's a bummer that they had this kind of attitude.

    If it means anything though, I looked at the sample you uploaded and unless you told me what was wrong with it, at the level of resolution available in the upload I would have never guessed any of the problems, honestly.
     
  13. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Me too.
     
  14. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    So did my dog!

    Jeff
     
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    yeah, ri is pretty small ... but still would take less time for you
    to go to dorian, than me :wink:

    maybe they have a courier service work with them.
    it might be worth asking ... "dispatching" your film might cost a few dollars extra
    but not as much as selling your film gear for pennies on the dollar and getting scan backs ...
    i would have to send mine fed-ex or priority which would be even more of a PITA
    so i have decided if it isn't 35mm color i am shooting to coffee-process everything
    and get a b/w image out of it that i can do the hybrid thing .... or just use the nikon i have
    which gives me a pretty dense image ...
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If you don't mind sending the film to the Midwest, I have seen film and prints that come out of this place and can recommend them: http://labwork-bw.com/main.htm
     
  17. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    It is utterly baffling to me why people go to all the trouble and spending to shoot film and then continue to try and use walk in labs that hose their film. I would simply never do that, can not afford to when it pays my bills. I shoot 120 / 220 color neg for special projects, I simply send it out to Dwayne's one state over via my FedEx account, write it all off on my taxes....

    Stop wasting your time, use the mail in system and use a good lab, end of story. You live in Boston for Pete's sake, can you not use one of several good labs in NYC?
     
  18. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    I've only used Color Services once, and my film came back okay. Color Tek really screwed up the last set of sheets I sent--weird spots all over the film, completely unusable, but fortunately nothing real important I couldn't do over. Dorian not much better. I gave them some quickloads and got streaks from the little hole in the sheet. Dorian only runs C-41 a couple of times a week. I may be going back to Praus on my next batch. I've used them before.