For reasons of work and geography I cannot process my own film nor scan it and I cannot do anything darkroom related. I am totally reliant on external develop, print, and scan, and with film I only shoot true B&W.
I used to use a small shop near my parents place, but they moved into assisted living and the lab closed. My father taught me to shoot BW and I always did with my Minolta SLR. I've never given it up. I used to send my rolls home to my father and he'd get them processed locally, literally around the corner. Last I receipt I have it was $17+tax for true B&W 35mm with 4x6 prints and a scan good enough for web sharing which is important if you're really living out of a suitcase for most of your work.
I tried the Kodak 400CN film but did not like it, nor the paper. I looked at what most of mine and my Dad's were for years and it was an Ilford RC stock. Very nice stuff. For color I shoot digital, mostly snapshot stuff. But I see in BW when I want to compose. I just prefer BW photo paper and would like to continue if affordable. The scans are my backup copy and what I use to share with family who are scattered. I don't edit on a computer. I spend enough time in the field in front of a screen. I expose properly the first time and edit the 4x6's thumbs up, thumbs down. I guess for a fellow in his late 20's I am old school because I use photo albums!
Is there anything like what Ilford Lab Direct does in North America? Their prices aren't great but I presume the quality is there, but the shipping is total madness. I'd hate to have to give up BW shooting due to affordability.
I do see a link to a place called "The Darkroom" in the APUG banner.
Anyone have experience with this place?
Looks promising because their prices are reasonable, but I'd like to know if anyone has used their services and the quality of their product. Going from local to mail order requires some diligence.
I shoot only 35mm and usually use the T-Max 400 or the Ilford equivalent, although I have used Tri-X and 100 speed film from time to time. I may go through 15-25 rolls per year.