Craftsmen of a dying breed. Where can I find them?
June 10, 2010 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Where to get film developed in NYC? Colour, black and white; 35mm, 120.

I've seen some of the older threads--this one, for example, about 120 film--but the Decline of Film has been so rapid that a thread from 2006 is probably... well, about as much use as a 2006 thread about which digital camera to buy.*

I'm looking for processing, printing, and scanning to CD. If you can give rough prices that'd be great--I don't mind if it's a bit expensive so long as the quality is good. (In Britain I've found that standards have dropped shockingly fast in the last couple of years, even at professional places.) And I'd be very grateful if you could explain why you're recommending a particular place.

Thanks very much!

*But the 2010 threads on this were quite handy.
posted by lapsangsouchong to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
There is a place on Chambers near Church that does this, but I can not recall their actual name.
posted by vrakatar at 6:09 PM on June 10, 2010

That would be trilogy photo.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:44 PM on June 10, 2010

I can't speak to their quality, but I know PrintspaceNYC does c-41 dip & dunk, and 68 degrees does b&w. Have you considered developing black and white yourself? It's fairly simple to do, you can get everything you need from Freestyle Photo or locally, B&H.
posted by inertia at 6:44 PM on June 10, 2010

C-Lab on Broadway has always done me okay. Not stellar or anything but no disasters either. Glowing review I know...
posted by johnnybeggs at 7:10 PM on June 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

LTINY is our go to, they are on the higher end but one of the best labs in the city, we've been sending them film for professional jobs even before they took over Diapositive, another great lab that shut down years ago. You can always trust them with your film, completely.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 7:37 PM on June 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

C-Lab was OK until one day my husband spotted vermin running around the store.

Since then, we've trusted Luster Labs on Avenue A. I usually shoot 35mm slide film, cross-processed. My husband usually shoots 120 black & white or 120 slide film (without cross-processing). It's a family business who are passionate about photography and know what they're talking about. They do nearly all of their processing in house and have pretty fast turnaround. We only develop there, though, we don't get prints or scan usually.

Lomography's retail location on West 8th also offers developing and scanning services now.
posted by kathryn at 8:24 PM on June 10, 2010

Ask again on APUG. And seconding the "do it yourself" if it's B&W - very easy, often better results than labs, full control over the results.
posted by polyglot at 4:29 AM on June 11, 2010

Go to any commercial camera store where processing is done. My local "Wolf Camera" store processed my 120 film and gave me a CD. I think many places will do this. I think I dropped off 6 rolls of 120 and it cost me less than $20 to process and get a CD. I'm in Chicago.

I will not recommend processing yourself. Processing times are tied to agitation, and there's no way your hands are going to be as reliable as whatever machine a lab uses. Besides, photo chemicals are nasty, and processing is cheap.
posted by xammerboy at 6:54 AM on June 11, 2010

Go to Duggal on 23rd between 5th and 6th. They do everything, every day. Used by professionals, artists, students. I don't know their scanning prices because I do my own, but process-only, no cut on a roll of C-41 120 film is around $8. They have a student discount too, if you happen to be one or have an undated school ID.
posted by xo at 7:11 AM on June 11, 2010

B&W is always going to be done better yourself unless you're willing to pay upwards of $10-15/roll for custom development in a dip and dunk tank. Having been a lab monkey at one point and an avid black and white photographer (then and now), at-home development will almost always produce better quality black and white material, to say nothing of the control that you have (controlling negative characteristics through development techniques). Color, however, will almost always be done better in a prolab unless you've got some serious time, money, and patience.
posted by speedgraphic at 9:15 AM on June 11, 2010

You can also develop at home without a real darkroom. I bought a negative scanner for $30 on Craigslist and bought about $50 worth of equipment (changing bag, dev tanks, etc.) -- it now costs me less than 50 cents to develop a roll of film. Considering what labs cost, it very quickly becomes cost-effective to DIY.
posted by zvs at 11:50 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all! I'll be trying Luster Labs this week, partly because the reviews are numerous, mostly positive/very positive, and less polarized (sorry pun) than for other places, and partly because it's near a friend's house where I'd be going anyway.

About developing my own black and whites: I've done this a bit before and will certainly be doing it a lot more in future, but right now I'm in the US on the sort of long-term-but-temporary stay which is long enough to accumulate quite a few undeveloped rolls but not long enough to make it worth my while accumulating the necessary equipment and chemicals. I'd have mentioned this, but I didn't want to make the original question too long, and saying it briefly ("Don't tell me to develop my own, thanks") would have seemed snippy. All the same, you've encouraged me to dig out all that processing stuff I've got in a box somewhere once I get back to Britain, and the APUG link will be very helpful at that point too. Cheers!
posted by lapsangsouchong at 2:52 PM on June 11, 2010

See also and the like for more info on top of apug, they have a darkroom section. Plus may folks at rangefinderforum are still clinging to film. (I mail my stuff out because I don't live in the city and a train ticket in costs more than it would to mail. I use Samy's and pay $5/roll for E-6.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 7:49 AM on June 12, 2010

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