I recently started shooting transparency film in 120 and 4x5 again. Not a lot, just few rolls or several sheets from time to time. Alas, both of the pro labs that were convenient to me have gone away. Looks like the only way to get processing is to send it out.
Unfortunately, as far as I can see, packaging and shipping costs for the two-way trip will wind up costing me more than the film and processing unless I hold my
film and send larger orders.
Does anybody have any tips for dealing with send-away film processing? What is the cheapest carrier? How can it be made cost effective? I'd rather spend my money on film and processing than on postage.
My mistake. I must have clicked on the new topic button.
Take a peek at my thread "Consider Airborne Express".
Maybe ADMIN can move my thread.
Just moving in a post by Chazz:
Chazz Posted: Oct 15 2002, 06:34 PM
Most of the top professional color labs have a partnership agreement with Ariborne express. You only pay a small portion of the inbound fee. Example: Millers lab charge is $3.00 (your share) for an inbound box. You can send a much work/film as you want. They will return your order usually via UPS ground at NC to you.
Airborne seems to cater to the photography and film industry. They pick up in the afternood and your order will be at the lab the next morning. Assuming that you send you film Mon - Fri.
I've used AB for many many years and never have had a problem.
Another great benefit: They'll deliver boxes and air bills to you at NC!
All the major labs are on this progrom: H&H, Burrell, Millers, North American, Alpha, Listre, and many others.
Ima happy camper.
Before I started doing my own, I used to send all my slides to Fuji using the Fuji Mailers. They did lose one roll out of about 200, but the processing and mounting was done well. I used Kodak mailers also, but the slides always came back smelling of fixer, leading me to think they weren't rinsed as well (though I now understand that rinsing E6 isn't such a sensitive thing, and may even contribute to long archival life as a sacrificial oxidant).
I have color sheet film processed locally, but when I'm not in a rush, I've been sending 35mm and 120 slide film to A&I using their mailers, which offer high quality at a very reasonable price. I usually combine rolls and send them together in a box by Priority Mail, and I seem to get quicker turnaround and to have fewer problems with lost rolls this way.
I drove a couple of rolls of 120 Ektachrome to a lab that was somewhat nearby.
They charged me $7.75 per roll! Geeze, they must have the Queen of England back in the darkroom processing the film by hand! I've got to find a good mail order place.
I checked out the websites of the places that were mentioned in the above posts and they all seemed to be professional wedding and portrait, C-41 process, proof and printing places with a bunch of digital services. I think that one of them might have mentioned E-6 among their services. A&I has reasonable mailers for 35 and 120 if you buy 10 at a time but I don't know what the deal is with 4x5 shipping and I'm a bit concerned about the 6,000 mile round trip. I guess that's kind of silly these days but there must be a place in the Northeast.
Any suggestions gratefully accepted.
About the 6000 mile trip--I'm shipping my film to A&I from New York and I've only lost one roll in the midst of the anthrax mania, and that was before I started combining rolls. They're just as good as the best pro labs in the city, but at half the price. I take my sheet film to Modernage (www.modernage.com), which will process by mail. Very high quality, but not necessarily cheap. Call for a current price schedule, as their website never seems to be up to date when I check it.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David A. Goldfarb @ Oct 17 2002, 03:21 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>About the 6000 mile trip--I'm shipping my film to A&I from New York and I've only lost one roll</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
Thanks for that reassurance. It really helps in the decision making.
I'm in Southeastern NY State. Have you tried Proset in NJ? I haven't used them yet but the prices on their website are great.
Haven't tried Proset and don't know anything about them. If you try them, post and let us know how it goes.
Their site is http://www.proset.com
Years ago, when I worked in the area, I used them as a vendor for seamless, film, chemistry etc. but I've never tried their lab.
I'll send my next couple of rolls to them and let you know how it goes.