There's a small photo shop in my local town with a mini-lab and I sometimes go there to get a film developed. More often than not the film has muck on it, no scratches, just sort of 'debris' I suppose. Pity really as it's a small outfit and a friendly guy runs it. So I normally send my films to Peak Imaging and they're always clean. I would do it myself, but my colour shooting is so small that the chemistry would expire before the second roll was shot.
I recently found out that my local "pro" lab was not getting a large enough film throughput everyday so they began to do there film processing in batches every few days. But after about a year of doing this, they finally had to dump the old Kreonite Dip n' Dunk processor and opted for a processor, Noritsu QSF leader-card driven, roller transport processor, which can handle a lower film output and uses less chemistry and it also doesn't cost a fortune to fix if it breaks (unlike the kreonite).
And you know what?...I have not noticed any scratches on my film whatsoever. I guess I'm just lucky?
BTW, I just noticed that both fujifilm and noritsu no longer list processors that can handle 120 and 220 film. How can labs process film once the machines are no longer made?
EDIT: I just went on Fuji and Noritsu's Japanese websites...Looks like they're still in production!
Looks like (If I can still read Japanese!) all C41 labs have been discontinued for Fuji's line-up in 2009 except for the low-output FP232B which can (luckily) process MF film. And it looks like Noritsu still has a healthy line up of C41 machines, but no E6 ones in sight.
Last edited by AlexG; 01-04-2010 at 04:14 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Revised my text
Yes some UK Minilabs offer E6, but they process the E6 films with a separate processor & then scan and print via their normal Digital minilab machine. I dealt with a franchisee of a major chain, he had 6 shops and just one E6 machine, he personally took the E6 to his main store for processing on his daily tour of ythe stores.
Originally Posted by kraker
Great lab in the UK!
Hi Guys, Just want to tell you all where I get my films developed. They are called Fuji Digital Imaging (www.photofilmprocessing.co.uk) and they're great! Free CD with all film processing and free return postage too. They do all my 35mm and 120mm film processing and I would highly recommend them. Claudio
If I’m not in the mood to process colour at home there’s a small lab in the centre of town that does c41 35mm and 120 dev only, one hour job for £2 a roll. You get the odd finger print every so often but for non critical stuff it does the job.
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I have been involved in wholesale and retail film processing since 1979 and have used a range of film processors. Most mini lab film processors are usualy leader card fed and not roller processors.
The differance is that on a leader card fed processor, the film is butt spliced onto a plastic leader card (using special sticky tape). the card has sprocket holes, usualy running down the middle of it.
The card and film is then loaded into the processor feed section and the lid closed. The processor transport is started, (again usualy automaticly when the sensor "sees" the leader card). The film is then pulled through the processor by the leader card, as it engages with the rubber teeth sprockets of the drive belt.
Now this is the part a lot of people get confussed about. On any leader card fed processor I have ever used, the only part of the machine that touches the film is the guide rollers and because of their concave shape the only part of the film touched by the roller is the film edge (outside the picture area on 120 or outside the sprocket holes on 35mm). Because all rollers are moving at same speed as the film they are unlikely to cause a scratch.
However if the machine is poorly maintained you might get a scratch from the exit roller on the dryer, but again I have never seen this happen.
On all minilab film processors I have used, the chemicals are automaticly replenished per volumn of film processed. If no new chemical is available for the processor it will alarm and shut itself down to prevent any further films being processed. If the level of chemical should drop in the tanks (due to evaporation or low volumns) the machine will alarm and stop processing any further films. If circulation filters get clogged and not replaced again the machine will alarm. Remenber these machines are fairly sophisticated. It is usualy poorly maintained machines that cause the problems, things like no rep pump output calibration and no cross over racks washed each night are the most common problems.
I have seen scratches from dip & dunk processed films and the scratch was caused by poor film handling after it was processed.
So in my opinion it is usualy poor handling of the film post processing that caused most of the problems.
PS. I have used Fuji processors since 1990 and have found that Fuji (Ireland) always gave very good training regarding the use and maintenance of their equipment, and they also supplied ongoing maitenance for the life of the machine.