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02-20-2017, 06:55 AM   #1
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Film Developing and Scanning Services

Soon I will have to start getting films developed and scanned onto CD or some other digital media.

When looking at different providers what am I looking out for in terms of getting a good quality developing and scanning ? Does quality vary greatly ?

I am less interested in prints of ever frame at the moment but would like to hear any advice on that too as I may want to get prints of some selectively. When prints are taken from negatives does the modern macinery actually digitise the negative first or taken straight from the negative optically to paper ? If it does is this a problem in terms of potentially introducing a weak link in the chain? Is it still better that prints are done in the old fashioned way ?

Does anyone have any recommendations of providers in the UK ? Preferably if they also offer develop and scanning to digital only service without prints, I have seen some where prints are compulsory which pushes up the cost needlessly.


Last edited by Frosty66; 02-20-2017 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Added missing information.
02-20-2017, 08:20 AM   #2
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Hi there Frosty, check out ProAm (based in Bradford). They have a website and are also available to contact by phone. I bought my K-1 from their camera store and at the same time realised they were a very well known shop for film development.
02-20-2017, 08:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frosty66 Quote
Does quality vary greatly ?
Yes and no.
  • Quality for color negative processing is generally pretty good, though more consistent results are generally had if the shop caters to working pros
  • Quality for b&w film processing is variable since it is often offered as a "done by hand" service
  • Scan quality is most often poor despite claims of high pixel counts. Some labs do a better job than others others.
  • Yes, lab "machine" prints and enlargements are usually made from a digital scan rather than the old-time optical process. The scanner and printer are usually tuned to work together.
  • Quality of machine prints from the digital scan may be equal to or better than a traditional optical print or they may be worse. If you want optical prints, they are still available through some labs, but at a high price. The same is true for B&W prints.
As you might imagine, do-it-yourself is a strong option if high quality is the goal.


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02-20-2017, 10:08 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by HarisF1 Quote
Hi there Frosty, check out ProAm (based in Bradford). They have a website and are also available to contact by phone. I bought my K-1 from their camera store and at the same time realised they were a very well known shop for film development.
Thanks I will take a look, when I was searching I saw Bristol Cameras had some good reviews, has anyone used them ? They seem quite cheap so that may have something to do with it.

---------- Post added 20-02-17 at 10:13 ----------

Yes I thought that might be the case re the variation in quality or scanning etc. It may be an obvious question but are the high street and in store Tesco places considered relatively poor or is it not as simple as that ?

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
As you might imagine, do-it-yourself is a strong option if high quality is the goal.
Yes indeed, I would love to but have never done it and have neither the knowledge or facilities :-(

02-20-2017, 04:50 PM   #5
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What difference do you think I would see between one of the decent scanning shops and if I were to have something like one of these Plustek OpticFilm 35mm scanners?
03-06-2017, 04:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frosty66 Quote
Yes indeed, I would love to but have never done it and have neither the knowledge or facilities :-(
Do you have running water?
There aint much to it. Photojournalists through the 70's processed negatives in hotel bathrooms.
They still sell "press kits".


I developed my first Tri-X Pan 400 when I was 11 years old.
I developed my first paper negative out of a cardboard pinhole camera when I was 8.

I stopped taking film in to be developed when a roll of 120 was destroyed about 7-8 years ago.
I don't print, although I have the equipment. I only scan the good ones.

Developing negatives takes very little investment especially since you can find used stuff for practically nothing.

I'm not being a dick trying to push you around.
Developing film is fun!! You'll really enjoy it.
03-07-2017, 12:15 AM   #7
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I dont know how this is handled in the UK but you might take into consideration the chemical waste which is produced during development. Flushing it down the toilet is a no-no. Here in Germany, they are quiet strict with it (as always in Germany...) We have special disposal locations, though, where you can bring your waste for free in low quantities.

I was thinking about doing some b/w development at home, but this waste topic is a bit... you have to collect it, bring it to the disposal facility, but then I dont drive a car. I am trying out some development/scan labs at the moment to see what they deliver.

An alternative is renting a lab. In Berlin, for example, there are some offers and often they give you a training too. I might do this instead.
03-08-2017, 12:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gashog Quote
I'm not being a dick trying to push you around.
Developing film is fun!! You'll really enjoy it.
No not at all, I was actually thinking of that but then theres the printing or scanning. But I am now able to scan negs so developing myself makes perfect sense, I've never done it though so will need to learn, starting with that video ! If I understand correctly I only need a changing bag and the rest doesnt need darkness is that correct ? Now what do I need to buy that will allow me to do colour and B/W ? Is it mostly the same stuff ?


Last edited by Frosty66; 03-08-2017 at 04:45 PM.
03-10-2017, 11:57 AM   #9
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Start with C-41.
That way you can shoot color or BW
04-04-2017, 03:40 PM   #10
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OK guys so if I want to start developing my own C41 which I will then scan from negatives what do I need to buy, if I got the following two lots have I covered everything or is there anyt6hing I am missing ?

B & W FILM DEVELOPING KIT FOR 35MM & 120 FILM + FILM CHANGING BAG (ALL NEW) | eBay

Fuji Hunt C41 X-Press Kit 5L
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