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Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by stradibarrius, Aug 22, 2009.
The lab I have been using seems to include a coat of dust on each of my rolls of Ektar 120.
You could drop it by at wal-mart. Not the 1-hour kiosk, the send-off kiosk. You should be able to just drop off the film in an envelope. Put 120 rollfilm in the special instructions box, and whatever size prints you want (if any).
C-41 is standardized, so unless you need push/pull, high-res scans or fast turnaround, it doesn't make sense to use an expensive pro lab in my opinion.
I've only used the famous Dwayne's for my C41 120 film. They did a good job for me with pretty fast turnaround.
Stubblefield photo in my town does a superb job and usually returns everything to me the same day... from 35mm through 8x10.
Use Swan Photo Lab or Dale http://www.swanphotolabs.com/swan08/ www.dalelabs.com
I'll second the vote for Dwayne's. I am currently waiting on a long overdue order with Dale labs. With Dwayne's a roll of E6 I mailed on Monday was back to me on Friday. My order with Dale labs is now 11 days and counting - and they charged my credit card 7 days ago.
I'll report back if the quality was worth the wait.
My recommendations (in alphabetical order): Dwayne's, Precision Imaging (Chicago), River City Silver (San Antonio).
When you use a Dale Mailer their service is slow. If you mail the order in it is speedy. What did you send to them? The process E-6 only a couple of times a week or whenever they get a bunch of E-6.
Richard Photo Lab. http://www.richardphotolab.com/
walmart (eg fuji) is fairly careless with send-out 120 developing. They always include the end of the roll with the staple in it, in the envelope of negs. often results in scratches/impressions on at least one image where it rubs it. Morons.
I had repeated problems with Dwayne's. One example, when I sent them 120 film with photographs of red rock, including arches, the printing person took it on themselves to make the ground [red rock] green! I sent everything back, paying the postage and wasting my time driving to the post office. I included directions not to correct the color. That made it a special order and they had it for two weeks before a supervisor did the work.
After talking with the supervisor, he recommended that I note on the instructions "Do not correct the color". After that have the rolls were done correctly and half the rolls had to be sent back because again they made the ground green. Repeat the process above.
After several go rounds, I gave up on Dwayne's. BTW, that was not the only problem with Dwayne's.
One can do much better than Dwayne's by reading the recommendations in the thread and by checking out APUG's sponsors.
The main reason to shoot MF is because you want a higher quality negative and though Walmart does ok, I would never send important film to them. I am looking for a lab that turns out professional quality processing consistently.
Steve, who do you use now rather than Dwaynes?
Precision imaging in Chicago is one of the suggestions I have heard of before. Who has has experience with Precision??
More expensive but good: A&I http://www.aandi.com/index.html
Color processing [They send black & white to A&I]: Samys http://www.samys.com/
I have not used FreeStyle for processing, but I have not heard of problems: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/index.php They are an APUG sponsor
There must be good processing companies in Atlanta, Washington DC, New York and other major cities on the East Coast.
I have no experience with Precision imaging in Chicago.
There is only one here in Atlanta and I have not been happy with the dust I always get on my negatives. If I am going to mail the film off Chicago, NY, DC or LA are all basically the same.
I use Philadelphia Photographics (www.philadelphiaphotographics.com) for processing and printing. Film always comes back clean and scratch-free. They also do mail-in; just look online for info.
I believe you, Steve, and that sounds awful, but I've never had Dwayne's do prints for me. Just processing.
You mention Freestyle doing processing, but far as I can see, they don't offer any such service. Only equipment sales. Where are you getting this info from?
Did you even read the OP? You don't often run into those kinds of problems at pro labs. Your logic works for snapshooting only, IMO, and does not address mishandling of film, which is the issue here.
I use A and I in Los Angeles. They use Refrema dip and dunk machines. They do all the process control stuff they should do.
My only problems have been with them failing to follow instructions, and never with processing quality or film damage or mistreatment.
They will gladly take your work by mail...though there has to be an equivalent somewhere on the east coast.
Observation. When I am in the Hollywood store, I see people dropping off and picking up film. I have not used their service. Personally, I use Samys for my MF processing and initial prints. Enlargements I have done elsewhere.
Dale Labs is thus far one of my worst experiences in film processing. My order was sent in over two weeks ago and haven't heard a thing after the initial email confirming my order. Credit card was charged immediately though, two weeks ago. Repeated emails go unanswered.
I don't think Coopers Imaging has been suggested yet. I've used them a few times and they're reasonable on prices and fast. I've also had no problems.
The lab is in CT which is close to me so return times can be very quick (within a few days).
Although they are somewhat expensive and the shipping return fees are quite high, I have never had any issues with Reed Photo in Denver. They process all film in dip and dunk systems so there are no scratches and all my film has come back sleeved clean.
I've also used Photocraft in Boulder. Their C41 is done on a roll transport system, but they keep it immaculately clean and I've never seen a single scratch.
Just got my order from Dale Labs. The scans are horrible and the prints - made from the scans and with dust left on them - are equally awful. I don't know about their C-41 work but for E6 they did not meet my expectations. I'll be switching back to Dwaynes.
I don't know if it helps or if we are any closer to you, but we would be happy to do it.
We are in Jacksonville, Fl (32204). I believe Monroe, GA is closer to Hot-Lanta, but if you feel better mailing it somewhere feel free to do so. We are Dip-n-Dunk on plastic reels for B&W, C-41 and E-6 in house.
Jacksonville, FL is certainly closer than New York, but you might want to try LTI Photographic Service. I recently started using them after my previous lab mishandled my film and did not want to take responsibility. LTI has a very good reputation as far as I can tell.
Pro Photo Imaging in Lakeland,FL. is a good lab.They mainly do C-41 B&W and color neg.Having used them for many years,I can tell you they value the customer.I've hardly had problems w/them and they are quick to solve any possible issues.