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just got back from london and have a question about film developing...

just got back from london and have a question about film developing...

Old Feb 20th, 2001, 09:37 AM
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just got back from london and have a question about film developing...

Hi. I just got back from London and took 8 rolls of pictures with my new camera. I am so excited to develop my pictures, but I haven't had good luck with some of the film developing around me (sometimes it is great, but other times, the pictures come out terribly underdeveloped or overdeveloped, or certain shades of color are poor, etc.) so I am hesitant to go anywhere because I don't want these messed up. Where do you go to get your most meaningful travel pictures developed? Does anyone know of anyone nation-wide developers (i.e. CVS, costco, moto photo, ritz, etc) that are consisently good and not too expensive (I am dreading a $100 developing bill) and with which you are usually always pleased? How about places to avoid? Is it worth the extra money to get "premium" processing? Thanks!!
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 09:47 AM
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I use Penn Camera -- they have several locations around Washington, DC suburbs. When I came back from Paris with 12 roles of film, I asked if I got a discount for having so many -- I think they gave me 20% off. They did a fabulous job, and while I've had single roles developed at other places (like Ritz) it is worth the trek a bit out of my way to use Penn. They also sell cameras -- way more upscale than Ritz or anyone national -- so they have a big professional clientele as well as us amateurs. If there is a camera place similar in your area, you may want to check them out before trusting your special souvenirs to Ritz or Target!
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 10:28 AM
Beth Anderson
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seconds on Penn Camera!

Go to the pro shops. You just spent at least a few grand on a vacation, don't skimp on your pic developing costs - this is a tangible reminder of your trip you waited for so long to take, right?

Pro shops are AMAZING. You will not believe the difference. They look at each negative, one at a time, to determine the best balance to use in developing - which is why you pay extra. You are having a pro work on your prints - not Cecil who is saving to buy a car for his 16th birthday. The extra $$$$ is SO well worth it.

Yes, your bill will be at least 100 bucks - Penn for instance charges around $13-14 per 24 pic roll, if I remember correctly.

That said, I have also been assured by several photographers that as long as they don't severely botch the negative, you can take a negative developed at CVS to a pro shop and they will get good results. (in other words, go through your shoeboxes, look for those other prints which you think would be great if just the developing was a little better - and take the individual negatives to a pro)...

good luck!
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 10:31 AM
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Just do NOT go to Target. I took a roll in there, and when I went back to pick it up, the clerk had exposed the entire roll.
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 10:45 AM
dan woodlief
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You can expect to pay at least around $13 per roll of 36 to get quality processing. As someone else said, as long as they do not really screw up the processing, you should be ok in developing with most. If you ever scan negatives (as I do), avoid the cheapies as well because you may end up with nasty scratches on the negatives, which often will not show on the print. Just try working with a badly scratched negative you have scanned, and you will see what I mean. Printing is one area in which you will really tell a difference between labs, even using standard non-pro film. With color negative film, so many adjustments can be made during printing to get a better product, and the quality of paper used also matters. I can't recommend anyone nationally, as I use non-chain shops almost always. Just please avoid Wal-Mart. What you should look for is a store that will re-print the photos if you are not happy, with no questions asked. This is very important. I would also suggest taking in a couple of the lesser important rolls to the one you choose. If you like the results, then take in the rest. I had a whole trip's worth of slides messed up once because the store's machine happened to malfunction in the few hours mine were in the shop.

Old Feb 20th, 2001, 11:04 AM
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I also have the same problem after each trip. We are leaving for Italy next week and we will probably have about 20 rolls to develop. Only a big problem is we live in the country so our options are very limited. We had a bad ecperince with Eckerd's and don't want to even think about using Wal-Mart. Are there any reputable mail-in developing companies? Please supply their addres or e-mail or 800 number. Thanks
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 11:29 AM
dan woodlief
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I think you both should take a look at www.photo.net. You will find a section on photo developing. Also, in the Community Section (see lefthand menu), you will find lots of comments and ratings by photo.net users regarding photo processors.
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 02:02 PM
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I'm no professional, in fact, I'm looking for a better camera now. I would be careful with sending pictures away though. I made that mistake with a couple rolls from an important trip hoping to save some money (I didn't send all of them thank goodness!) and the company lost them! I'd hate for that to happen to you. I'm still upset!!
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 02:40 PM
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I've used York mail-in developing for years without any problems.
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 04:40 PM
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After spending all that money on the trip, isn't worth spending, say, another $50 for better results? I cherish the pictures from my trips. They are among my most valued possessions. They really are! I wouldn't think of settling for anything less than the best possible results.
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 05:17 PM
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I always send my film to a pro lab (currently Scherling Processing, 1-877-550-9493). These labs look at every neg and the proof is exposed for that negative. I always send my negs. UPS/trackable. Yes, this is more expensive and it will be up to you if the additional cost is worth it (it will run much more than Target!). For those of us who consider the negs. a integral part of our experience; do sent them to someone who cares and can return decent prints. When you send your film to a retail lab you have to ask yourself; do I feel lucky? Well, do you?
I would also like to add: one of the most important pieces of equipment is easily the lead pouch to protect film from X-rays.
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 05:20 PM
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After 100's of rolls (more or less), I've never had a problem with Kodak via K-Mart.

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