Where do you get your film processed?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by houdel, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. houdel

    houdel Member

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    I'm trying to find a good professional lab to get my film processed. I want someplace better than the local Walgreens, Walmart or Meijers 1 hour photo lab; a place that can develop film correctly and give me good, high resolution scans of my film. I live in Michigan and have been sending my film to a lab in San Francisco for processing.

    I have no complaints with the lab; I am satisfied with the results and my 35mm images come back as ~18mb TIFFs. The problem is the turn around time, averaging 17 days. The lab turn around is only 2-3 days but the mail service is taking about a week in each direction.

    Can anyone recommend a good, professional lab in the mid-west or east coast where I can get a faster turn around?
     
  2. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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  3. jmccl@yahoo.com

    jmccl@yahoo.com Member

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    I use TheDarkroom

    www.thedarkroom.com

    I get about 1 week turnaround. Once processed, pick up digital images on-line.

    Jim
     
  4. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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  5. Brian Puccio

    Brian Puccio Member

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    I could not be happier with http://4photolab.com/ Edgar Praus in Rochester, NY for my E6 processing. I live just outside of NYC, so while they may be in NY, they're actually closer to you than they are to me. If I mail it out on a Monday, I usually get it back by Friday, sometimes Saturday. USPS Priority Mail both ways.
     
  6. houdel

    houdel Member

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    Thanks all, you have been a big help!

    Wildbill - When I saw your picture of the Mackinac bridge I wondered if you were a Yooper or a Troll, I guess Cross Village makes you a Troll like me, lol! Does AGX do C-41 processing? I only saw mention of E-6 processing on their site. Do you do most of your work with transparencies?
     
  7. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    U.P. yours!
    I've never used agx but only heard good things about them and seen some of their work.
    I process all of my film at home, More e6 than c41 when it comes to color.
     
  8. houdel

    houdel Member

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    Got to give you a lot of respect for that, processing color is not easy. As a teen I used to process B&W in the bathroom of my parents house, but that was a half century ago. I never did color, too complex for me at the time. Plus it was too time consuming, we only had one bathroom & my parents wouldn't let me tie up the bathroom that long. Any color labs left in GR?
     
  9. Moopheus

    Moopheus Member

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    I also have used Praus for color processing; they're dependable and good turnaround. However, I don't believe they offer roll-scanning service. They'll do Imacon scans, priced per image.
     
  10. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    Judging by the responses you're getting here, I think you can see that film ain't dead yet.

    My first thought is to talk to the lab manager in San Francisco. Rather than abandoning them since you like their work, ask the guy if there's anything he can do to speed up their return process.

    Failing that, in Chicago there's Gamma Photo Lab based on East Erie Street. I use them for specialized work especially when I can pass the cost along to clients cause they're pricey. http://gammaphoto.com/ But I have to say since about 1970, they've never screwed up any of my jobs, never lost a negative, never scratched anything and always follow special instructions.

    I also like Swan Photo in San Clemente California. http://www.swanphotolabs.com/swan08/ and in San Francisco http://www.oscarsphotolab.com/ and Duggal Photo Lab in New York is also top shelf with excellent turn-around times. http://duggal.com/e-6-c-41-and-bandw.aspx

    One lab to avoid is Bay Photo outside of SFO in Scotts Valley CA. No bueno. Drop me a PM if you would like to know my opinion of those guys.

    Mark
     
  11. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Livingston Camera in Livingston, NJ.
     
  12. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    I'll second what Mark said - talk to your current lab and see if there's anything that can speed things up. Failing that, I've been very happy with the speed of thedarkroom.com and the scans have been good.

    One sad note - my local lab seems indifferent to whether they are used or not. Their support for film is as low as possible while still making some money from it. There are great film people there, but the management is pro digital. You may get the shrug from your current lab, and if so, remember there are still film folks who want your business. I tried thedarkroom.com because they are an APUG supporter and because I can't develop my own APS film. They have pleased me greatly.
     
  13. houdel

    houdel Member

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    First off, thanks to all for the help. I have a great list of labs to work with now.

    To address what both Mark and Wolfeye mentioned, I DID email both the Customer Service and Mail Order departments at Photoworks. I told them I was OK with their turnaround time but not with the mail service. I pointed out they spent $6.95 to send my prints back regular mail in THEIR padded envelope when they could have spent $5.70 (with an on line account) and get the padded envelope for FREE from the Post Office. They could have made another $2.05 in profit (figuring $0.80 for the padded envelope) and I would have had my pics 4 days faster.

    Usually when you tell a business how to boost their profit margin 10% (on my $20 order) and improve customer satisfaction at the same time they are glad to hear it. However, I sent my email July 13th and have not received a response. Maybe the issue is what Wolfeye mentioned in the last part of his message, they see the big profit in digital and only tolerate film as a way to keep employees busy between digital orders. That may explain why my film spent 3 days in-house, not exactly bad but not exactly industry leading either. But thanks to all of you I've got plenty of options now!
     
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  15. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    I totally agree and I know they are glad to hear those things. Problem is you want to make sure you get it to the right person. If I have a suggestion that might benefit either the lab or me or both, I just do an end-run on customer service and get it to either the owner of the lab or the manager and let it flow downhill from there.

    I should also mention if you ship back and forth to labs regularly, it makes it soooooooooooooo much easier to have something like a UPS, DHL and/or Fed-Ex account. Small biz owners can benefit from big discounts on regular accounts. They come and go like clockwork. For UPS, if you're on a regular pick-up schedule, I hang a reversible sign in the window that says UPS YES or NO on the back side. 2 Day afternoon delivery air UPS in my mind is actually cheaper than priority mail. Check around for shipping deals then have the lab bill your account or send them return shipping labels. That should definitely speed things up.
    Mark
    M.
     
  16. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    with a jobo, it's all easy.
    yes. I haven't used them though. I assume they're still practicing some work in the dark.
    http://www.alliedphoto.com/content/film-developing-scanning
     
  17. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I've been pleased with them also. If you're going to make prints, get the hi-res scan. Costs a little more, but worth it.
    The other one that I like is Bison Photo http://www.bisonphoto.com/
     
  18. warrenbruce

    warrenbruce Member

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    i use ncps in southern cal. for all my color and will develop the film and do a high res. scan onto a cd. if you mail it in and they get it before four p.m. it will get done overnight and go out in the next days mail. they are very good and do all of hollywoods film shoots as well as ad copy and treats everybody the same. warrenbruce
     
  19. warrenbruce

    warrenbruce Member

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    i live in texas and have had rolls of film sent out in the mornings mail and got it back two days later, they are faster than the local labs and cheaper and more consistent too warrenbruce
     
  20. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Miller's Professional Imaging is great. They are about $8 a roll for process, print, and scan to CD of a 120 12exp roll. They also give free return overnight shipping. It is a really great service and the quality is top notch. www.millerslab.com
     
  21. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    I'm in the UK, and am coming to the conclusion the best way is to do your own processing. (at least for b&w & colour neg). Labs here are getting increasingly expensive and turn around times longer.
    You don't need much equipment for home precessing, and the money spent would soon be recouped on saved lab charges.
     
  22. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    I use Sappy Snaps in the UK and they have fast turn-around - I usually pick up the following day but that is down to my convenience. They charge £5.50 to develop and scan to CD which I don't think is bad.

    Having said that, I develop my own monochrome at home.
     
  23. Josef

    Josef Member

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    Samy's camera here in Southern California. Price for 120 B&W and C41 is $5, 220 C41 is $8.
     
  24. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    As a loss leader, that's a great price to get you to come into the store and buy something else, probably as you wander to the rear of the store to get to the film counter. Kind of like why the markets put the milk in the back of the store rather than the front.

    But if you really like the quality of the work you're getting at that price, that's great and you're pleased with the ways they handle your negs, that's excellent too. When I work in L.A., I like Isgo Lepegian's labs although I'm not a huge fan of A&I.

    But otoh, if Samy's is using roller transport equip. to process film, to that I say Nay Nay ! I generally recommend to go with a lab that uses dip and dunk equipment for film so the risk of harm to your film during processing is lessened substantially.
    Mark
     
  25. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    I'm within 20mi. of Allied Photo and when I did weddings they did all my processing and printing. They were a professional lab with super customer service. I never looked anywhere else, but I know they weren't the cheapest game in town. Of course, if I'm getting great service and results I/clients like, then I'm willing to pay just a tad more. A happy brides mother also makes me happy! I always dealt with Joy at the front desk and she was first rate and very smart on their services and knew exactly what they could do. Now, this was all about ten years ago so I don't have a clue about now. According to the link they are still developing both B&W and Color film. If you give them a call ask to see if Joy is still there. She can be a big help if you need it. I don't shoot much color anymore, but if I did and it was important stuff, I'd use them. Now it's mainly B&W, which is in-house by me. JohnW
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2013
  26. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I use Ag Photographic in Birmingham U.K., and I'm very happy with their work.