Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post
It depends on the specific lab, whether it's in a Rite Aid, respected camera shop, or wherever. If the people running it pay attention and operate things correctly, then your film will be fine. Unfortunately, it's hard to know if your only choice is giving them a roll of film and waiting for the results.
I can't agree more. I have a pro-lab and a CVS within a mile of each other. The "pro-lab" (they say they are a pro lab, but won't push/pull color film and don't process E6) costs twice as much and is at least twice as long to get my processed C41 back. When asked about the age of chemicals, the CVS clerk told me that "the Kodak guy comes and does that stuff on some schedule". I was happy with this reply. I was skeptical but first brought them a test roll before anything I cared about, and got beautiful results. The clerk also told me that their particular machine is outdated, and that at other CVS stores in big cities they have new machines that process the film much faster, use less chemicals, and are extremely efficient. He even demonstrated his process to me and seemed pleased that someone actually appreciated his (simple/boring) task. I felt comfortable not with his limited knowledge but the fact that he did express a small interest...at least he cares, if only a little. Apathy is quality's biggest threat, in almost every situation.

Find a cheap place with people that care and you'll probably always get good results. Stick with them, develop a customer-relationship with the people that work there. I'm sorry you got burned, but it's not the norm (in my limited experience).