Film processing

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by tonyturley, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    212
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    I haven't shot film in a long time . . . 15 years or better. I have about a half dozen exposed rolls I never got around to developing, that have to be at least that old, or older. I finally dug them out of the drawers and boxes where they had been stashed. Is there any hope for getting them processed? Any good online labs? All of our local camera stores have closed, and I don't trust WM or any of the drug store chains to get it right. I have thought about dragging out my old Minolta XR, but don't know the best places for processing.

    Tony
     
  2. edwardconde

    edwardconde FF Regular

    56
    Mar 24, 2015
    Edward Conde
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  3. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. FF Regular

    85
    Mar 24, 2015
    Larry
    As someone who worked in professional photo labs for years, I would want to make sure that the machines being used were dip and dunk, not roller transport, as there is less likelihood of anything coming in contact with the film during processing with the former. I'd want to know that the chemistry was well maintained and tested, and that test strips were run frequently, and then plotted. Most places won't mention any of that in their adds (Ilford, which uses Refrema dip and dunk machines (which are GOOD) being an exception), but I don't think it is inappropriate to ask. Asking to see the chemistry plots of a local lab is not, as far as I'm concerned, out of bounds. If you do, you want things within the dotted red lines, well within and without wild ups and downs being preferable.

    These is probably the anal instincts of someone who processes his own black and white and who for years worked in the labs that processed his E-6 and C-41 color film. Nonetheless, the consequences of a film processor not chemically in control can be real and devastating. Color shifts can be permanent and irrecoverable through filtration because the shifts will not necessarily be the same on every color layer.

    Blah blah. Sorry for the lecture. But do make sure that inexpensive processing isn't cutting corners in monitoring chemistry or cleaning machines.
     
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  4. edwardconde

    edwardconde FF Regular

    56
    Mar 24, 2015
    Edward Conde
    Well its been great for me so far. They communicate with me on my orders and let me know when they are shipped. Customer services is important. And so far, they have been great. I know they only use Kodak Chem… which is good to know as that is mostly what I shoot. You can write him an email if you want.. he will explain his whole setup.. In fact he has sent me docs on how he runs things there… Willowphotolab@gmail.com. His name is Neil and i am sure he will answer any of your questions. Tell him Edward Conde sent ya!
     
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  5. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. FF Regular

    85
    Mar 24, 2015
    Larry
    Edward, I wasn't challenging your film processing choices, and I know for a fact that there was a local Walgreens here -- before they stopped doing film -- that ran a very tight ship and was quite inexpensive. If your guy does a good job and is reasonably priced, all the better. In the past, though, and I assume some places today, some of the discount places did some pretty awful things to film especially color film. (And costing a lot is not guarantee a place won't be awful.) The local Walmart specialized in developing C-41 negatives that printed with a strong green color cast. And putting them in an enlarger and making a professional print helped but did not really fix the problem which was in the color layers of the negative. If I shoot some color I'll give your guy a try, but I do all my own black and white and will continue to do so until I'm too feeble to continue. So -- my lecture wasn't directed at Willow or you, but was a general "buyer beware" about some of the things that can go wrong in film processing. I spent so many years worrying about such things 40 hours a week that it's hard not to sound the alarm.
     
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  6. Qppoiz

    Qppoiz FF Regular

    31
    Mar 24, 2015
    If you are truly concerned about getting images out of those rolls, you may want to try Film Rescue. I've never used them myself but they specialize in old developed rolls of film, although they are pricey.

    Otherwise, if you aren't too concerned about preserving the images and you just want them developed, I recommend The Darkroom. They might be able to accommodate you if you let them know the rolls have sat undeveloped for that long.
     
  7. tonyturley

    tonyturley FF Veteran

    212
    Mar 24, 2015
    Tony
    Thanks for the input, folks. I'll look into those places, and maybe try a roll or two at each one to see which one I like best.

    Tony
     
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  8. edwardconde

    edwardconde FF Regular

    56
    Mar 24, 2015
    Edward Conde
    Didn't think of it that way Lawrence… No Worries… Cheers!
     
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