Processing by mail?
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?
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That said, my experience with such things is a bit out of date, since I've done most of my own processing for the past few years.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.
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.
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.
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)
Originally Posted by wackyvorlon
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.
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 , and gambling -not necessarily in that order).
BTW, I too use a lot of Fuji Superia (400 ISO).
Last edited by Galah; 07-25-2010 at 08:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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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.
Originally Posted by Galah
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.
I'm in Australia.
Originally Posted by cva6633
The Aus$13-00 includes prints.
Developing and a CD (only) is about Aus$10-00.
I would say this place qualifies as a "Pro" shop (as well as catering for the general public).
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.
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.
Originally Posted by wackyvorlon
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.
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