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  1. #1

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    Please Suggest a Good, Reliable Photo Lab

    As per my comments in my "Black Specs on Prints" thread (posted today), could anyone suggest a reliable photo lab?

    I have been grappling with this issue for years, and will probably need to switch labs again. I found black specs on a couple of important prints. Processing errors are terribly unnerving (for details, see the aforementioned thread). I am close to giving up. It is just very deflating to work hard on a shot and then have it ruined. While cost is not a huge factor, reasonable rates would be nice, too. I would need a lab in the continental US, and mail order is okay. Professionalism, accountability, and honesty are paramount.

  2. #2

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    I guess good photos labs no longer exist? I would have to agree with this view, as, after several years of searching, I have yet to find one. They all make mistakes (usually with the best shot on the roll), and none are willing to admit their errors. It seems they do not even know enough about photography and lenses in order to speak intelligently about developing and printing.

    Film equipment may be alive, but film processing (which is just as important) would seem to be dead. I thank digital for letting me have so many cheap, beautiful cameras, but, as it stands, I have no use for these cameras if I cannot get good, reliable developing and printing.
    Last edited by FilmOnly; 07-23-2010 at 02:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    http://www.northcoastphoto.com/



    they've never let me down, flawless professional quality work.

  4. #4
    fotch's Avatar
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    I never send out, but if I did, 2 that might be worth a try as follows:

    Freestyle
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/c2901-...rs-BandW-Print

    B&H
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...r.html#reviews
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  5. #5
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Though I've never used them, I've heard good things about Richards Photo Lab in L.A.

    http://www.richardphotolab.com/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzanneR View Post
    Though I've never used them, I've heard good things about Richards Photo Lab in L.A.

    http://www.richardphotolab.com/
    I have and the experience has always been stellar!
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #7
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I would guess you do not no shit from shinola.

    Quote Originally Posted by FilmOnly View Post
    I guess good photos labs no longer exist? I would have to agree with this view, as, after several years of searching, I have yet to find one. They all make mistakes (usually with the best shot on the roll), and none are willing to admit their errors. It seems they do not even know enough about photography and lenses in order to speak intelligently about developing and printing.

    Film equipment may be alive, but film processing (which is just as important) would seem to be dead. I thank digital for letting me have so many cheap, beautiful cameras, but, as it stands, I have no use for these cameras if I cannot get good, reliable developing and printing.

  8. #8
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    THE BEST photo lab for the highest quality optical printing jobs I have come across is Blue Moon Camera and Machine. They only work with up to 11x14 right now but the quality and customer service can't be beat at another lab for develop and totally optical (NO Scanning) proofs. For enlargements I also use Superior Custom Color. Jim has made the best custom enlargements I have ever had made by anyone. Both of these people happen to support APUG as they adverise here. You won't go wrong with Blue Moon or Superior!!!!!!! Both are very honest timely and offer extreme quality. Give them a call. Both places do NO digital work and have a passion for agalog.

    http://bluemooncamera.com/

    http://superiorcustomcolorlab.com/
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    I never send out, but if I did, 2 that might be worth a try as follows:

    Freestyle
    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/c2901-...rs-BandW-Print

    B&H
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...r.html#reviews
    Freestyle actually sends out to Swan Photo Labs (at least in the case of my B&W 120 stuff), which does a pretty good job in my experience. You can deal with them directly: http://www.swanphotolabs.com (Not that I have anything against Freestyle, but if you're not dropping your film off, why send to them and have them send it again?)

    I've also heard great things about A&I (http://www.aandi.com) here in LA, but they are a little more expensive than Freestyle/Swan. I have yet to try them for the sole reason that it was easier for me to get to Freestyle and drop my film on my way home.

    (I haven't read the OP's thread yet, so if either of these was the cause of the issue...ignore my comments, I guess.)
    Pentax: 6x7 MLU
    Olympus: OM-1n
    Graflex: Miniature (2x3) Speed Graphic

  10. #10
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FilmOnly View Post
    I guess good photos labs no longer exist? I would have to agree with this view, as, after several years of searching, I have yet to find one. They all make mistakes (usually with the best shot on the roll), and none are willing to admit their errors. It seems they do not even know enough about photography and lenses in order to speak intelligently about developing and printing.

    Film equipment may be alive, but film processing (which is just as important) would seem to be dead. I thank digital for letting me have so many cheap, beautiful cameras, but, as it stands, I have no use for these cameras if I cannot get good, reliable developing and printing.
    Anytime you like, you can come to my universe.

    Let us know where you live, and someone near by will have a lab for you.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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