Processing by mail?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by wackyvorlon, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. wackyvorlon

    wackyvorlon Member

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    I'm not sure if I'm in the right forum, if you can point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.

    At the local camera store, I just spent $13 canadian to have a 24 exposure roll of Fuji Superia developed. Maybe I'm out of touch, but that seems insane to me. At that price I can't do much photography. Can anyone recommend a place I can buy mailers from, package up my film and send it to them and get a better price than $13?
     
  2. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    There may be Canadian mail-order outfits that are better options, but in the US, I used ABC Photo Lab in Connecticut with good results a few years ago. They charge US$6.95 for a 24-exposure roll, but it's not clear if that includes return postage. Others are even cheaper, such as Clark Color Photo, but quality drops, in my experience. You can also buy prepaid mailers from outfits like B&H. There must be a Canadian supplier for these, too.

    That said, my experience with such things is a bit out of date, since I've done most of my own processing for the past few years. It costs me a dollar or two in chemicals to develop a roll to negatives. I can then scan and get digital prints or do darkroom prints in whatever size I want, and of course I seldom print every frame. Along similar lines, you might check to see if your local minilab offers a develop-only service, or develop-and-CD. You can then select which frames you want to print, which can save money.
     
  3. wackyvorlon

    wackyvorlon Member

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    I've been thinking of doing my own developing of colour. When you go through a lot of rolls, paying someone else gets pretty expensive.
     
  4. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    If you do your own B&W developing, color is pretty similar. The main added complication with color is that you've got to control the temperature at 100F/38C. This can be done pretty inexpensively via a water bath -- fill a dishpan or something similar with water a bit above the target temperature, put the bottles of chemicals in there, and wait a few minutes. With a little tweaking, the temperature will stabilize for long enough to do the processing (3:15 for the C-41 developer, which is the most temperature-critical step).

    There are lots of threads here on APUG about C-41 processing, so search them out and ask more questions, if necessary.
     
  5. Galah

    Galah Member

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    I'm in Oz, and I regularly pay Aus$13-00 to have my films D&P'd (24 exposure, 6"x4" prints, same day service)

    Until relatively recently, there was a D&P service provided by a supermarket chain. You paid Aus$7-00, dropped in your film and picked up the prints about a week later (they went interstate for processing). These were not great, but they were the cheapest.

    Then the business changed hands. The paper they used to print on was so thin, you could see through it. The printing paper used had no watermark or maker's name on it. If you wet the print, you could wipe the image off. If you so much as touched the surface of the print with a finger, you couldn't remove the fingerprint without damaging the image. Sometimes, there were white flecks and faults in the surface of the paper itself. The colours became erratic, and they -obviously- weren't able to cope with the 3:2 format, as either bits were cropped off the negative (in printing), or white borders mysteriously appeared...And the price went up to Aus$10-00.:tongue:

    The Aus$13-00 place uses good quality, relatively thick, trademarked paper. The colours are good. The image does not rub off the prints. They can handle 3:2 format and even do "custom" jobs.

    I don't begrudge them the price.

    Of course, there are places I can get (digi) prints for 15 cents apiece (and don't even have to use film), but I prefer to mess about with old film cameras (while others prefer old cars, wine, women :tongue:, and gambling -not necessarily in that order:D).

    BTW, I too use a lot of Fuji Superia (400 ISO). :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2010
  6. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I've gotten prints like this from a local digital kiosk in a drug store. I believe they use inkjet technology to make the prints -- or maybe it's something else that's equally delicate. In any event, another drug store near me still uses RA-4 for its digital prints, so I go there when I want to get digital prints. (These usually originate on film for me -- prints from slide films or when I just don't have the time to do darkroom prints.) In addition to the quality issue, I figure that generating demand for RA-4 materials from such minilabs will help keep the supply chain alive for my darkroom uses, too.
     
  7. cva6633

    cva6633 Member

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    What store was that? I found out the hard way that Blacks's photo is really expensive.

    I currently get my film done at the Shoppers Drug Mart by work. I've read on forums that this specific location (king and young) does lots of film so I'm not worried. I don't know if all their locations have the same quality of work. They develop and put scans on CD for $2.99 plus tax.

    $13 is quite expensive because even the pro shop that I've used in the past cost $10.50 for developing and a CD.

    Im in Toronto so maybe thats why its a lot cheaper.
     
  8. Galah

    Galah Member

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    I'm in Australia.

    The Aus$13-00 includes prints.
    Developing and a CD (only) is about Aus$10-00. :smile:

    I would say this place qualifies as a "Pro" shop (as well as catering for the general public).
     
  9. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    You can also try York. They are cheap and will send you mailers. I'm not saying they have the best (or worse) developing, you can send a roll there and see for yourself. Ric.
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    If that was roller-transport processing only, it IS insane!!! If processing and prints, bad, but not insanely bad. I pay about $11 U.S. a roll for 36-exp C-41 roller-transport processing and single 4x6 prints.

    If they sent it out for dip and dunk, it is pricey, but not insane. That costs $8 at A and I in L.A., process only, and about $20 with single 4x6 prints.
     
  11. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    IIRC, York and Clark are two names used by a single company -- District Photo, IIRC. They aren't known for quality, but they do have low prices.
     
  12. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    York and Clark in my experience have had very clean film processing but the printing is on and off. Some rolls are better than others with the prints. If something is extremely un critical, I will sometimes send to them.
     
  13. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    The York processing service is great, the printing is not of the finest quality.
    But they also offer a Photo CD Service, or can upload pictures to the website.
    A reasonable service for those not so special photographic moments.
    Unfortunately, I can be a bit too critical at times, send them a roll see how you like.


    Ron
    .
     
  14. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I wonder what they are using for equipment....
     
  15. wackyvorlon

    wackyvorlon Member

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    What about processing and getting a contact print done?
     
  16. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Well...If you use Clark/York..they are the Same company, you might as well just get the set of 4x6 prints which is only like $3. That's better than a contact print.
     
  17. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    I used Blacks for a time but they are so bad, it nearly drove me to digital. I thought I had finally lost my eye and touch. I've not found a place as of yet that is reasonable value and quality in town (Toronto). I do not mind paying a bit more BUT I want a good result.

    Blacks loves to push the fault on the photographer for poor QC and processing. Last time I used them I brought in 4 rolls all shot with my Leica. All the same film from the same brick. One set of negatives came back with every negative 1.2 black and they told me the camera had a severe light leak. I opened the other 3 packs and none had a similar issue and the ruined roll was #2 of the 4 so the 1st, 3rd and 4th roll were fine. I told the kid, the manager, that it defintely was the store's fault as and why my conclusion. He finally offered a replacement roll but, I told him it was not sufficient so we settled on a 4pack.

    Thankfully the roll was not critical for anything or the subject matter could not be reshot. The otehr 3 rolls had scratches, were totally flat and the prints looked like they came from a negative shot with a plastic lens kiddie camera rather than a Leica.