Pro lab in Detroit city

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by 2F/2F, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    In my search for a local lab, I was directed to Woodward Camera, outside Detroit proper, on Woodward and 14 Mile.

    Is this a good place to get quality color processing? I have an E-6 roll I would like to get processed and mounted before I leave town. On the phone they said they do it in house in two hours. Not bad for some place that is mainly a camera store! However, if it is poor quality, I would like to hear some alternatives.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    I have no experience with them, and don't know where they send it.

    Try contacting Titan Photo in Troy - one of the last ones standing;

    http://www.titanphotolab.com/Pages/Film Processing.html

    Bob
     
  3. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Titan is good, Tri-color (http://www.tricolorlab.com/) in Royal Oak is also good. There is also Spectrum (http://spectrumfoto.com/aboutus.html) in Berkely MI. Woodward Camera is more of a consumer place, but I've never heard anything bad about them. I'm 3 years out form having had any work done in the metro area.
     
  4. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Not likely. Are you certain the person on the phone understood this is E-6?
    Too many clerks these days think all film processes in their C-41 machines. I have gotten the same story from other stores before, only to find out they only do C-41. You might want to verify.

    Bob
     
  5. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    E6 can be done well within 2 hours -- dry to mounted -- if done in-house.
     
  6. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    OK - confirmed per their website, they actually do E-6:

    http://www.woodwardcamera.com/

    I do not want to be accused of maligning them.....

    Past experience with other camera stores (won't mention names here) they said they could process my 120 E-6. "O, you mean SLIDE film - we don't do that" :rolleyes:
     
  7. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    They've done a fair bit of C-41 for myself and others. They are good people. They will also cross-process for free too for those so inclined.

    The E-6 processing should be good. They run a ton of film there (in fact they just added a second mini-lab earlier this year).
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thank you, everyone.

    This is my first time checking back since the OP. I did not have access to a computer till now.

    I ended up going to Titan in Troy. In addition to the roll of E-6 I needed done, I also happened to shoot a news event in Detroit shortly after I made my post, and wanted to submit the pix ASAP...since news is like that. :D

    In order for what I shot to be salable, I needed it back post haste. On the phone, the fellow to whom I spoke told me there was only a 1/2 day turnaround for black and white processing and proofsheets, which is very acceptable for film, and would allow me to submit pix in a timely enough fashion for the weekly publications I was aiming for. When I drove from Dearborn to Troy, the lady at the counter said it would take six days to get the black and white back! WHAT!?

    What a piss off. She told me that their color (E-6 and C-41) is roller transport, so can be run any time, but their b/w is dip and dunk, so they wait until they have a large enough batch to run the machine.

    Since they are apparently the only "pro" lab in the area, I felt that I had no choice. ("Titan Professional Lab" is what they are called, I believe, and they were the only listing under professional photo labs in the Yellow Pages.)

    I feel that a "pro" lab should not be running *any* film in roller transport processors, and that they should be open seven days a week, and provide no more than a one day turnaround *standard*, without a rush. Perhaps I am crazy in thinking this way, but because of this, I would not call Titan a "pro" lab. Even when I inquired about the rush fee, they told me it would still be a four day wait; not worth an extra $100.

    This being said, the lady (I assume she is the owner or co owner) was very nice, and the quality of the b/w processing was excellent, as were the proofsheets.

    Of course, the roller transported film was much worse in quality. Scratches all over my slides, for one.....

    In short, $114 spent on six rolls of film, and I doubt I will be getting any of it back with sales of pix, due simply to the horrendous turnaround time.

    Thanks for the info. I enjoyed Detroit immensely, and hope to return soon...though I will not be sending any color film to Titan. I was very pleased with the b/w, however, and would go back, despite the turnaround time. Most times that is not an issue, but this time it really was.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2009
  9. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Since I run all my own film, I don't use any of these folks. BTW, all the 'pro' labs in this area which I have been familiar, were 5 day a week operations as far back as I can remember. There may have been 7 day labs, but I was not aware of them. Film volume in Detroit is so low I'm surprised there are any left at all. The biggest users here were commercial car shooters, and since they all went digital, most of the labs went out of business. A few stayed alive by being fast enough to switch to making large digital display prints. In the current economy, no one is shooting cars either, and the big car studios are going out of business now.

    Bob
     
  10. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Wow that sucks. Titan has done high res scans for me, but I've never used them for film processing -- I guess I should not have 2nd Bob's recommendation, but they did have a good rep and my exp was always good. Tri color has done a ton of processing for me all same day (if dropped off early enough) and they have a dip & dunk, they are or ,were when I was last in Metro Detroit, *the* pro lab. Tri color may be out of the E6 business though. Spectrum has/had dip and dunk as well and have also done lots of work for me (I set up their digital side). Roller transport is not necessarily bad and I've had dip dunk at a pro lab (GK photo who was doing Nat Geo processing at the time I used them) leave all manner of crud embedded in my emulsion, nor have I ever known a pro lab to be open 7 days a week and generally they were only open on Saturday for pick-up drop off, but not processing. It must be different in LA.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I guess I am spoiled by being born and raised in a metro area of over 10 million people that is also home to a lot of major photography-based businesses.

    Thanks for the tips anyhow. Like I said, I loved their b/w developing and proofsheets, but this is one instance when turnaround killed me. The biggest issue was the difference between the turnaround quoted on the phone and the turnaround quoted on site. If I had a residence there (which I may as soon as next year), I would have had my darkroom stuff and would have done it myself, but alas...