losing film advantage in labs

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by deloid, May 25, 2005.

  1. deloid

    deloid Guest

    I still prefer film but have recently found out that my color film is now
    digitized then printed. This process usually loses information (detail,
    saturation). I'm certain there are labs still processing the negatives then
    printing from the negatives rather than a digitized image...aren't there?

    The process above is worse than using digital cameras.

    Fortunately I still process my own B&W and enjoy the range and detail of my
    35mm and medium format prints.

    deloid, May 25, 2005
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  2. Take slides.
    Michael Weinstein, May 25, 2005
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  3. Good digital printing is better than anything you can do in the
    darkroom; at least unless you've still got the materials to do dye
    transfer (and even then digital is *sometimes* better, for some

    Check out, for example, Galen Rowell's article "World's Best Prints"
    from 1999 at <http://www.mountainlight.com/articles.html> (links
    directly to the article seem not to work, but go down to 1999 and find
    that title and you'll have it).
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 25, 2005
  4. deloid

    Steve Guest

    What a load of rubbish. Printing from negs or slides has to be better than
    scanning and printing. You are using the original resolution of the

    Steve, May 25, 2005
  5. Recently, I compared a 75x50cm analog print from a Kodak Portra 160VC
    frame with a 4000dpi (LS-4000) scan of the same frame. As far as I
    can tell, the scan does not really extract more detail from the negative
    than the print.

    So my guess is that if you print 35mm at reasonable sizes with a good
    enlarger, then the film is the limiting factor and not the enlarger.

    With digital, you can certainly boost saturation. Increasing sharpness may
    be tricky, because you are making grain more visible as well.
    Philip Homburg, May 25, 2005
  6. deloid

    nathantw Guest

    Tell me about how good prints are ruined by a "photo" lab. I shot a wedding
    on 120 film. I had the negatives to make a print that I liked before giving
    it to my girlfriend's parents (their wedding). Anyway, I didn't have time to
    print out the photo I liked in my darkroom so I brought it to Adolf Gassers
    (a local pro photography store) in San Francisco. I figured that since they
    cater to photographers and film makers they wouldn't screw up.

    A few days later I picked up the 8x8 print. To my horror the plain suit
    pants I was wearing suddenly had pinstripes! Yes, there were lines from the
    digitizal printer they used. It was terrible and really took any advantage
    that medium format had and threw it out of the window. Absolutely terrible.
    Unfortunately I had to send the negatives away so I couldn't complain. It
    sucked. It made me realize that if I'm going to want something done right I
    need to do it myself or at least find a decent pro lab.
    nathantw, May 25, 2005
  7. Adolph Gassers has always been a rip-off joint....I found that out when they
    were up on Geary street near 25th. Their prices were always too high, and
    their advice was always suspect.....I hear that they have moved.......
    William Graham, May 26, 2005
  8. deloid

    Patrick Guest

    Use a pro lab? Mine prints from negs. I use Photoworks.

    Patrick, May 26, 2005
  9. deloid

    nathantw Guest

    They always had the 2nd St. store, but they ended up closing the Geary store
    a long time ago. That Geary store looked so old and junky. Well, that was my
    impression of it. You're right, they've always been a rip off, but now that
    Brooks Camera is so much smaller (another totally expensive ripoff store),
    Gassers is about the only full service camera store downtown.
    nathantw, May 26, 2005
  10. deloid

    MXP Guest

    When I were in SF I found their 2nd hand prices very high.
    There are a lot of very small fotodealers......side by side....and they sell
    a lot
    of "no brand" stuff. Is it the chinese mafia running these shops?

    MXP, May 26, 2005
  11. Well, I sympathize with their general problem....They have to compete with
    the big mail order houses in New York. And I don't mind paying a little more
    for their individual attention and good advice. But Gasser was a bit
    much.......Their "problem" was that they had an inordinately large amount of
    foot traffic, consisting of amateurs, so they thought they could get away
    with anything......
    William Graham, May 26, 2005
  12. deloid

    BC Guest

    Even the finest enlarging lenses have far less resolution and contrast
    than the optics used in a good drum scanner. After all, the latter
    need only cover a tiny field, so microscope-style objectives can be
    used. So, conventional enlarging will degrade the original more than a
    high quality scan will.

    BC, May 27, 2005
  13. deloid

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Paul Rubin, May 27, 2005
  14. deloid

    BC Guest

    Its on my short list of things to fix!
    BC, May 27, 2005
  15. deloid

    Guest Guest

    I still use 35 for snapshots, prefer it against the shutter lag and
    disappointing fine detail of my little digital point n shoot. I usually
    take my 35 C-41 film to be processed at the nearest one-hour lab. The
    digital minilabs have hugely improved the quality of local quickie-lab
    output. They were almost always out of focus before, sometimes a little
    sometimes a lot, and often poorly exposed. Now, if they would only stop
    putting thumbprints on the negs....
    Guest, May 28, 2005
  16. That Geary store looked so old and junky.

    It never occurs to them to clean up, slap a coat of paint on the front,
    and hire a pretty sales clerk. They go straight from "old and
    unappealing" to "closing the doors". Serves them right, if they have
    no drive, imagination, or business sense.


    The only camera store I've found so far in Tucson AZ seems pretty
    crummy too. I went in expecting to find a local place to buy the kind
    of stuff I usually mail order. But instead, I found a quite rude staff
    (who *fully* brushed me off despite being very obviously not busy), I
    found very little in the way of interesting merchandise -- to be fair,
    there was some interesting darkroom supply stuff. I was looking for
    things like carbon fiber tripods, high-end ball heads, Canon L-series
    lenses. This store didn't have anything of the sort. I was also
    looking for lab services; that is, I wanted someone to make custom
    prints for me and carefully mount them. They treated my questions more
    as an annoyance than what it was meant to be -- the start of an
    interview that should have led to a decent merchandise ticket that day,
    plus a long term relationship.

    I hung around long enough for a customer to walk in, listened to the
    sales guy give misinformation about the Canon Rebel XT, and decided I'd
    had enough.

    I certainly hope Tucson has a camera store. Sunset Photo is supposed
    to be one, but I doubt I'll ever set foot in there again. I walked out
    of there and bought my stuff from B&H. I'm still looking for a lab.
    James Of Tucson, May 29, 2005
  17. I agree, it has been like this for a long time. I remember three years ago
    I got back some print from Jessops at 7x5 cropped, and could actually see
    the sharpening artefacts and less than 300dpi resolution. Since then I have
    tried other places in the hope of finding something better, but have only
    found worse!

    If you want full control over your photograph, you're best to take slides or

    Duncan J Murray, May 30, 2005
  18. deloid

    Father Kodak Guest

    Keeble and Shuchat in Palo Alto?

    Father Kodak, Jun 3, 2005
  19. deloid

    Paul Furman Guest

    That place is muy expensive but they're huge and all sorts of stuff in

    There's a slew of camera shops on Market St. also selling audio &
    electronics gadgets & blue jeans next door & between all that, lots of
    'gentleman's clubs' and booths in recent years. I don't think there's
    any mafia, just a lot of tourists.
    Paul Furman, Jun 3, 2005
  20. You can do immensely more with curve adjustments digitally than you
    can in the darkroom, and you can do a lot more with dodging and
    burning (in the darkroom you're limited by number of hands and
    available time, and reciprocity), and you can really easily do
    contrast masking and unsharp masking that are quite a lot of trouble
    in the darkroom. All of which give digital printing much more
    control; which, for a good printer, will lead to better prints.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jun 4, 2005
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