View Full Version : Shipping out to Richard Photo Lab (or other US labs)

10-27-2011, 11:27 AM
Hi all,

I'm going to start shipping out my film to Richard Photo Labs in California soon as I found that trying to scan 10+ rolls of film on my Epson V700 to be very labor intensive(time-wise)! Especially with Digital ICE on.

Anyways, I'm looking into sending out my stuff and am thinking Canada Post. My one greatest fear is putting all of a client's film into a package that gets sent out but get lost forever while in transit!! Ugh, I'm sure my clients would be extremely upset as I would be having to break the news!

Curious if there are things I can do to "ensure" the package is delivered properly? Does expedited parcel make things more secure?

10-27-2011, 11:42 AM
The late great portrait photographer Arnold Newman used to shoot each situation on at least two rolls of film. Then he'd send two packages with near identical takes in case one got lost or the lab messed things up. He figured the lab may make a mistake from time to time, but not a day later!! I would make sure the package can be tracked. And turn off the digital ice... it's a nightmare for scanning film!

10-27-2011, 12:52 PM
I think that expedited shipping helps in that it involves less handling, and those packages get the most attention because of the delivery guarantees. But, costs go up dramatically the more it gets expidited. It may be the only way to get door to door tracking however, especially for Canada Post/USPS.

It would probably be worthwhile to call the lab and see what they recommend.

10-27-2011, 12:59 PM
I hope you are using colour neg film, digital ICE just doesn't work on negatives with silver in them. It tries to remove the metallic dust. :(

Is there a Blacks store nearby? They will do a 2x3k scan when processing 35mm C41 film, there is an extra charge for it, their code for it is 20710, 16 Base Scan Upcharge, according to a processing label sitting beside me.

10-27-2011, 01:18 PM
hmm... shooting two rolls of an event doesn't sound too bad. I normally shoot color and B&W in a single situation so usually have two rolls of film covering the events.

And yes, I do use Digital ICE on color film. Actually, I find it does a fantastic job in removing all the little dust spots and I also like how I don't have to "re-scan" in case the dust is so bad that I have to re-do it (which sometimes happens on my black and white film - no Digital ICE). However, Digital ICE makes the scanning times a lot longer.

Hmm... I may just send out my color (C41, etc.) to Richard Photo Labs and maybe do B&W in-house.

I've had labs do my scanning before but I've been very dissatisfied with the quality and also the price. The whole reason I bought my own scanner was to get much better quality scans. But now that it looks like I may have a high volume load, Richard Photo Labs sounds like the place to go :)

10-27-2011, 01:40 PM
I rarely do color but it seems like most film processors also can put the films on a cd. That may not be the desired quality as compared to a scan but at least it is a backup. When you think about the huge volume the PO or shipper handles, a very tiny percentage of loss or damage translates to quite a few parcels. I had an experience with FedEx once where a roll of transparency film was lost despite being sent overnight and with the tracking showing that it was at their facility. The pictures I had taken could not be retaken. I still use that service but don't forget Murphy's Law.

Scanning a roll of 35mm film on the 700 shouldn't take an incredible length of time if you are not doing manipulation. You might consider scanning the most important frames just in case.


11-17-2011, 12:37 AM
I am using the Epson V500. It does 12 frames at once which does NOT take a lot of time @ 1200 DPI for a 36 frame roll. And XXXX on the Digital ICE for B&W.

11-18-2011, 03:00 PM
Turned off Digital ICE and figured out how to use the "heal tool" in Lightroom. Makes a big difference :) Film scanning no longer takes forever (just a portion of. hehe). That being said, I'd like to still send out to RPL as I think it would save me a ton of time.

If only there was some way to guarantee that the film wouldn't be lost in transit (short of taking a plane over there and dropping off by hand). For those who ship out film... do you drop it all into one packet and perhaps split into multiple packets?