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Recommended Film Processing Labs!

AdyB 9 13
7 Sep 2009 5:13PM
Great to see we still have some choices out there - and what's left seem to be the cream.

Digitilab did a fine job, negatives returned sleeved in strips of six in just two days - soundly packaged.

The APX 25 roll was bordering towards thin but I have to accept some responsibility for this given I had sat on this already out-of-date roll for three years after partly exposing it. And at ISO 25 it was never going to be forgiving of vague exposures in low and contrasy light.

The Fuji Neopan 400CN naturally faired much better - and scanned beautifully as always. My preffered choice for weddings.

Have noted the other suggestions - particularly Palm - which I may try out with a roll or two in coming weeks.


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8 Sep 2009 4:55PM
If anyone in Gillingham, Dorset area the photography shop by the famous supermarket does a really good service. Friendly and helpful too. Someone else has recommended the shop in Shaftesbury too
Strobe 10 1.3k United States
8 Sep 2009 5:30PM

Quote:Many of the labs we've tested over the years are still going, so our Processing Test here should be helpful.

Thanks, this is helpful I bought a film camera last week and was wondering about processing.
matt5791 14 747 1 United Kingdom
9 Sep 2009 9:29PM

Quote:I looked at Palm, but couldn't find any kind of price list...

Phone them is the best thing. They use "dip and dunk" processors which require nitrogen for agitation. Plus side of this is the film is suspended in the chemistry, and it is a very clean process, whereas virtually all other labs use roller transport processors. Down side is dip and dunk are more expensive to run due to the nitrogen for one thing - Palm have a tank that is refilled at least once a month. But for the best results, this is the best processor.
Strobe 10 1.3k United States
13 Sep 2009 10:40AM
This might be a silly question but if I have film and want it proceed onto CD, will there be a difference in quality if I have it processed at eg Boots vs a store which specializes in photography?
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
13 Sep 2009 7:44PM
Boots idea of a high quality scan is pretty small, 1840 x 1232 and a file size between 5/600kb or there about.

I have no idea how that would compare to a dedicated film lab.

Edit, just checked ilford and they scan up to 4500 x 3000.
AdyB 9 13
14 Sep 2009 3:45PM
Boots scans are awful - both in terms of resolution and processing.

Every image is 'cleaned', sharpened then compressed to within an inch of its life. You have to pay pounds per frame if you want good scans, such as from the recommended services in these forums.

Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
14 Sep 2009 8:04PM

Quote:Every image is 'cleaned', sharpened then compressed to within an inch of its life

That`s total crap Smile

Even if a cd is not required the negs are scanned anyway, prints are not even made directly from the negative, there printed from a digital file.
AdyB 9 13
15 Sep 2009 12:51AM
It's not total crap! I tried them out a few years ago, comparing reprint results from their supplied JPGs and reprints from the original negative.

The prints were 9x6" and the difference was quite noticeable (to me anyway). I asked why this should be and was told the files I get on the disc are not the same as the digital files they used to print my negatives. The disc files are compressed - presumably to be sure they all go on one the CD!

I also found they employ a form of ICE software and sharpening as a matter of course as did another (independant) local lab that used a different processor. This is just standard mini-lab pratice. But this is done prior to printing to a specific size - at the end of the process when sharpening should be applied.

I know the difference between a scan with and without out 'icing' and that too much sharpening can make working an image later impossible without a artifacts. The Boots files I sampled did have too much sharpening as well as appearing interpolated.

I accept that a lab like this cannot configure scans to suit individual customers but it would nice to get at least the same quality 9x6" from a disc file as from a machine file.
matt5791 14 747 1 United Kingdom
4 Oct 2009 9:23PM

Quote: You have to pay pounds per frame if you want good scans, such as from the recommended services in these forums.


Palm Lab will offer two sorts of scans: Noritsu, which is the standard scan, but nevertheless is excellent quality. And then for the ultimate, Imacon scans.

The Noritsu comes in at about 3.50 a roll at time of processing (for low res - print to about 5x7) The Imacon scans are the ones that you will pay 's per neg.

11 Jan 2010 8:27PM
Amanita05 8 11 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2010 7:58PM
Peak-Imaging also. Very fast turnaround!
Used to go with Transpacolour but sometimes had to wait well over a week for E6 process & Mount. Also, some of the slides were improperly mounted as well.
Snapper Plus
13 4.3k 3 United States Outlying Islands
12 Jan 2010 8:36PM
I haven't used them recently, but always had great service from The Darkroom.
landandlight 12 46 Scotland
13 Jan 2010 8:54AM
Another vote for Ian Scovell or blueskyimages are really good too
dwilkin Plus
11 24.3k United Kingdom
13 Jan 2010 1:15PM
I have my own film scanner now, and the sample images I've run through it have been great - certainly better than 'high street' quality, and at least as good as the 'standard' quality from Peak Imaging.

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