Slide processing survey

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Tony Spadaro, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. Tony Spadaro

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    It has been suggested that there are many many millions, perhaps billions
    of places about that do 1hour processing of E6 slide film. Since I live in
    an area where 24 hours is a minimum, I'm curious as to what the situation is
    out there in the "real" world. Please take a moment to answer these

    1)Is there any slide processing available in your town?
    2)What is the fastest turnaround time they will do? 1 hour, 2 hours, 24,
    3)What do they charge for the fastest processing?
    4)How long would it take you to drive to the lab -- one way, one trip?
    5)For a total time of -- two round trips?
    I split this last down to two questions as I usually drop off my film on my
    way into town early, and pick it up on my way back home the next day so
    there is little commute time - but if I were to make special trips, things
    would be different.
    6)How long a drive to the nearest one hour C41 processor -- one way one
    7)For a total time of -- two round trips?
    Tony Spadaro, Jan 1, 2004
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  2. Tony Spadaro

    Nick Zentena Guest

    E-6 and scala.
    Rush is 1.5 hours but it'll cost you. Normal is 3 hours.
    I just checked the website and can't find the rush price. 3 hour is C$9.00
    unmounted. Or lets say just under $7 US. 36 exposure.
    Depends on traffic but 30minutes wouldn't be a problem most of the day.
    2x a one way trip.

    OTOH I'm not really sure what the closest E-6 lab is. I bet the local
    consumer film place could handle it and that's maybe 5 minutes each way. But
    they'd end up charging more then the pro lab and have longer turn arounds.

    Less then 5 minute.
    2x a one way trip.

    Nick Zentena, Jan 1, 2004
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  3. I'm in NYC and I can get E6 done in about four hours. Pricing here is around
    A lot of your questions don't apply to NYC. My lab is close to where I work, so
    dropping off is not a big deal.
    steven.sawyer, Jan 1, 2004
  4. Tony Spadaro

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    $8.25/36 mounted
    <5 min
    same lab
    Tom Thackrey, Jan 1, 2004
  5. Where I live now [Melbourne, FL]: Yes
    Where I used to live [Raleigh, NC]: Yes
    FL: 2 hour standard, non-push. Never asked about fast turnaround
    after they tanked a push on me pretty seriously.
    NC: 2 hour standard, non-push. Pushes were usually overnight. They
    did a couple non-push rolls for me once in an hour at my request, no
    additional charge. But I brought them a fair amount of business, and opened
    my account with 22 rolls from a Florida trip (that they told me were
    fantastic - helped keep my business ;-) ).
    FL: $9
    NC: (Last I checked, few years ago) $6.25
    FL: 7-10 minutes. 20 if I biked.
    NC: 15 minutes.
    Aw, man, make me get out my calculator. Lessee, carry the twelve, add
    the remainder, grumble about Alan Browne and his mods, uhhh...

    FL: 28-40 minutes. 80 on the bike. Longer if I saw something to shoot
    on the way.
    NC: 60 minutes.
    Heh! Nearest? Or one that I would hand my film over to without
    threatening with dangerous weapons over what would happen if they did their
    usual handling and produced scratched rolls, miscuts, and truly shitty

    But to stick to your question,

    FL: 7-10 minutes.
    NC: Probably the same. Actually never tried to find it.
    FL: 28-40.

    And now, the answers to the questions you didn't ask:

    8) C-41 labs that can handle film with reasonable care and never produce
    scratches or other evidence of clumsy handling?

    FL: One nearby, out of probably ten in a 5 mile radius. They can
    actually do as I ask, too. Unless I get the newly trained manager that
    insists they don't do 'process only' even though I picked up a roll of
    just-that-service earlier the same day, necessitating a return trip when an
    experienced tech was on duty.

    9) C-41 labs that can produce prints without any exposure or color
    compensation (besides routine film mask), to produce *what I shot*?

    FL: "I don't understand the question?" (This occurred at the 'pro'
    lab, who did not do one-hour turnaround anyway, was the furthest at 8 miles
    away, and charged out the ass for prints).

    NC: Never located one.

    Now, in all seriousness, what's the likelihood of getting all these
    great factors of C-41 to come together at once and produce dependable,
    proper prints, at a decent price, within the framework of a course of
    instruction (I'm assuming your questions mean you can actually accomplish
    all this within a class period), and *still* have it be useful to the
    student who took the pics over the last day or week?

    As opposed to, "Write down the settings and keep it in a notebook
    that I can check at any time, on penalty of immediate failure of the
    course", which will allow them to come back, at any time as long as they
    retained the notebook, and see what they did?

    I spent years shooting on C-41, a significant amount of that time on
    a meterless camera. Taught me very little, and I couldn't understand why
    results varied so much. It wasn't until I worked at a lab that I realized
    just how much negative film was screwed with by the line-processors, and
    how few of the machines could be set to override this and print the
    negative "as is". This explained a lot of my nighttime exposure
    experiments, my worthless color filter experiments, my "Why the hell is
    this print brown?" experiences, and my "Why the hell did my flash burn out
    the faces so bad in this shot but not this one on the same roll in the same
    conditions?" experiences.

    I worked with one wedding photographer down here that did everything
    his pro lab told him to do, including using some really crummy print film
    for weddings that his lab told him "printed the best". They also offered
    digital work, which they provided by making flatbed scans of an 8x10,
    charging him, naturally, for all of this. I managed to demonstrate that a)
    other films were far superior, even processed through his vaunted lab, and
    b) a film scanner produced much better results, including bringing out
    shadow detail. So much for the pro lab advice.

    I argued with a drugstore manager, right there in Chapel Hill, over
    an entire roll of prints with blotches on them. They insisted it was on the
    negative. I knew enough about processing to know exactly what it was, and
    told them. After ten minutes of arguing, I convinced them to reprint the
    roll. It took two weeks, the negs came back scratched, and they tried to
    charge me for them. No splotches this time, by the way.

    Print film teaches people why labs are not to be trusted. Personally,
    I would save my time, and the students', and simply tell them this while
    handing out slide film. They can find it out on their own later on, if they
    really need to see for themselves, and when they have a base of real
    knowledge to work from so they can actually tell.

    And by the way, the results are important enough to me that I now
    mail out my slide film. A truly horrendous wait in this see-it-now digital
    world, unless of course you count:

    a) I go nowhere to do this - the slides come to my mailbox;

    b) The work is so dependable that I have never had any problem other
    than paper dust;

    c) It is the cheapest service by a long shot, most especially
    including pushed rolls;

    d) There is no immediate use for having the slides in my hands right
    right now now! - at only one point in my life have I had someone who wanted
    the pics right away, and was willing to pay for it;

    e) I have *never* had a lab capable of producing decent results (a
    pro lab in quality, not name) offer one-hour service. They all knew this
    was the way to shoddy workmanship;

    f) I learned how to shoot when labs thought three days was fast, and
    coped with that. Partially by writing things down. Mostly by just accepting
    it, like I accept several days for a check to 'clear' and a wait of twenty
    minutes for a decent meal. We won't talk about full moons, sunrises, good
    weather, animals to show, and all the other factors that make a difference
    to my photos. If time is that valuable, don't take up photography. Stick to
    watching TV ;-)

    - Al.
    Al Denelsbeck, Jan 1, 2004
  6. Tony Spadaro

    McLeod Guest

    I live in a hamlet with 17 houses and the fastest turnaround time I can get
    is 45 minutes. I don't have to travel anywhere...but I do have to let the
    chemicals warm up for about an hour before I process them in my old King
    Concepts Enterprise processor.
    McLeod, Jan 1, 2004
  7. Tony Spadaro

    Lourens Smak Guest

    If you're lucky (or ask them) the films will be put into the machine
    straight away, so they will be finished a.s.a.p.; Normal turnaround time
    is about 2 hours.
    Same price! The machine is just always on. Adjusted processing
    (push/pull) is extra.
    It's about 5 km's, or 3 miles. I have to drive through my town so it
    will take up to 15min. or so, usually about 10.
    I would walk for 10 minutes. driving would probably take longer because
    of the parking situation in the city center.

    I can also do C-41 about 50 meters from my home, in a small
    neighbourhood-shop, but that's not a 1h-shop. (but it's often the most
    practical one to use)

    Lourens Smak, Jan 1, 2004
  8. Tony Spadaro

    andrew29 Guest

    10 mins
    Err, 20 mins.
    Same place.

    andrew29, Jan 1, 2004
  9. Tony Spadaro

    Skip M Guest

    There are only 2 "pro" labs in my town of 130,000, one has a 24 hr
    turnaround on slides, the other 1 hr. Both are within a 5 minute drive, one
    way, of my house, the one with 1 hr turnaround is actually the easiest to
    get to, I pass it on my way to and from work, every day, which is dangerous,
    since it is also the only full service camera store within 20 miles.
    San Diego (20 mi. away) has at least 3 labs that do E6 in an hour, plus one
    that does transparencies from digital files in 24 hrs.
    As far as C41, not counting the ubiquitous
    Wahlgrens's/RiteAid/WalMart/Target outfits, the same place that does E6 in
    an hour does C41 in the same time, even less if I look at them pleadingly.
    On a slow day, I've gotten my C41 back in ten to fifteen minutes...
    The nice thing about these last guys, they don't charge extra for the speed.
    Skip M, Jan 1, 2004
  10. I live about 35 minutes from central London. There is a wide range of
    pro labs there. However, I find the time taken to go there just for film
    processing is unacceptable; when my previous choice of lab went bust a
    year or two back I switched to a mail service.
    Joe's (defunct) was 2 hours normal, bit more if busy . You could pay
    extra to jump the queue.

    The place I now use (The Darkroom, Cheltenham) has always returned my
    processed material by return of post - 48 hours. Always. Quite
    Normal at Joe's was (IIRC) about £5. The Darkroom cost is £3.50 per 35mm
    film, return postage included. These prices are unmounted, of course.
    To go to town, takes maybe 2 hours travelling there and back. There
    probably are others nearer in Bromley or Croydon but I've never tried

    To the post box is maybe 45 seconds round trip (!)
    There are C41 processors all over the place - nearest is 5 minutes away
    - but I hardly ever use the stuff, mainly because I could never find one
    who could process and print reliably good stuff.
    I note you didn't ask us about the quality. I can say I have had
    excellent results from The Darkroom (as I did from Joe's). In hundreds
    of films I once had one tiny hanger mark which went about 1mm onto one
    frame - they gave a profuse apology and a credit note for the cost of
    processing that film. I'm not sure I would have noticed unless I had
    done a big print of that frame. Colour fidelity seems uniformly

    I used to do a lot of my own E6 processing, but now, unless I have a
    special need to have a quick turnaround I can't beat the cost and
    begrudge the time spent. ....and if I need a quick turnaround, for the
    last few months, I will probably be using my 10D instead!
    David Littlewood, Jan 1, 2004
  11. Tony Spadaro

    Alan Browne Guest

    Three that I use within 30 minutes. There are at least three in
    Montreal, and two in Laval.
    2 hours is best for E-6, Mon-Fri at two places in Laval (less than 20
    minutes from home; closer to work). Usually I ask for "next day
    post-lunch", eg pickup at about 13:15 regardless of the dropoff time the
    day before. Or drop it off in the morning on the way to work, and pick
    it up that day, late afternoon.

    I've been clock caught. I shot some helo photos on a Saturday that "had
    to be" at the publisher the next day (Sunday). I got them in by 9:00 am
    Monday, dev'd by lunch and they were shipped Mon evening and received at
    the mag on Tue morning. No problem ... got 5 shots pub'd.
    Same as regular time. $5 for push (regardless of number of pushes).
    15, 20, 30 minutes depending on lab chosen.
    I (almost) always combine trips with somehting else ... just double the
    times above otherwise. I try to avoid pickup in the late afternoon to
    avoid traffic.
    10 minute walk. But he does crappy work. 10-15 minute drive to Auteuil
    Photo in Laval for great C-41 dev and printing. They use one of their
    competitors for E-6 and he does crappy work (Fabrique a Photo in
    Laval...avoid, avoid, avoid...unless you like scratches and blobs...
    well at least they can do a triple E-6 push), so I take the E-6 to
    Laplante in Laval (good work, but can't push E-6 more than 1).
    Again, I always combine with other trips.

    Special note: The lab I prefer for E-6 (Laplante in Laval) sell Sensia
    at a special low price with processing included. According to one of
    the sales guys there, this helps keep their machine busy through the week.

    Alan Browne, Jan 1, 2004
  12. Tony Spadaro

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    What I am realising is that I really didn't do a very good job with the
    survey - only people who shoot slides are answering, and for the most part
    they have a lab close - which may be why they shoot slides! I need to figure
    out how to get the C41 people into this and quality should be an issue, but
    I'm not sure how to put it. I get my C41 processed to negatives only - they
    do a fine job - I have no idea how well tehy do with the prints as I never
    have prints made. My wife goes to a drugstor that is one mile from our
    house. They do excellent negative processing and make excellent prints for a
    very low price and in an hour. They would get my buiness too expcept they
    don't have sleeving so I would hav to get my film cut to strips of four --
    this is not acceptable to me so I spent 20 minutes each way to bring my C41
    across town.
    Tony Spadaro, Jan 1, 2004
  13. Tony Spadaro

    Alan Browne Guest

    Alan Browne wrote:

    CAD$8.95 ~~~ about US$7.00
    Alan Browne, Jan 1, 2004
  14. Tony Spadaro

    Jim Guest

    2 hrs
    It's been a long time since I used any of the labs ( I use mailers
    but if I remeber correctly it was about $10-12.
    It was one block from where I worked so it took about 5 minutes to
    walk over and drop it off.
    10 minutes. I drop off either on the way or at lunch then pick up
    at lunch or on the way home.
    Same as for slides.


    * Check-out my web site at: *
    * landscape and travel photographs, featuring sunsets *
    Jim, Jan 1, 2004
  15. Tony Spadaro

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Several choices.
    Under 30 minutes with extra charge, sometimes 20 minutes if unmounted, or just
    roll film (120). Most often, at the lab I use for the majority of my work, the
    turnaround is under 3 hours.
    Current rates are posted at <>. Most similar places
    are close in pricing, though of course there are cheaper rates at some. I am
    happy to pay the higher rates, and be sure to get consistent results. I should
    also mention that I bill out my processing costs, which means I only pay when I
    am experimenting, or working on portfolio items.
    About 10 minutes, but could take longer than that to find parking.
    Depends on if I talk to anyone at the lab, or run into someone I know. I am
    usually not in too much of a hurry, and try to time things so I can get a
    coffee and pastry in nearby Little Italy.
    I usually drop off one day, and pick up the next, unless I am running into a
    Slightly closer, but I never use those places.
    Depends upon which one, and parking usually takes longer than getting there.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Jan 2, 2004
  16. Tony Spadaro

    the letter K Guest

    1)Is there any slide processing available in your town?

    Yes, lots. Fort Worth, Texas. I can think of three labs that I would
    not hesitate to do business with, and there are more with which I am
    not personally familiar.

    The Color Place ( ) advertises two hour service
    between 9am and 4pm. E-6 dropped off after 4pm will be ready by 11am
    the following business day.

    A mounted 36 exposure roll of E-6 costs $7.50. $6.75 if you just want
    it processed and not mounted.

    If I don't go during rush hour traffic, it takes about 10 minutes. I
    am not usually driving anywhere during rush hour traffic, thankfully.

    20-ish minutes

    There's a drug store that processes C-41 film about 15 minutes away.
    It's a much shorter distance, as the crow flies, than the
    aforementioned E-6 lab, but to get there from here I have to traverse
    through several stoplights and a school zone. I've never used their
    services, so I don't know what sort of results to expect for the
    $11.99 they charge for a 36-exposure roll of 35mm negs.

    30-ish minutes.
    the letter K, Jan 4, 2004
  17. Tony Spadaro

    ThomasH Guest

    May I suggest two more questions to your survey as well?
    2h, "rush service" 100min.
    $6.5, twice ($13 total) for the rush service.
    Twice of the (4) I guess ?? Or do we have some impact of theory
    of relativity here? A ride westward contains a sum of the surface
    speed of the earth + our speed, we use less time I guess according
    to Einstein's writings, or was it Dr. Emmet Brown? :)

    The same as for E6. Different kind of film seem not to have any
    impact on the speed of my Benz.

    Same impact of Einstein's relativity theory like in case of E6.

    Additional qurestions:

    8) Push/Pull process

    Yes, no charge. There is something for nothing in this world after all :)

    9) No cut, no mount option (a) available and (b) respected?

    9a) yes!!
    9b) yes!! This only lab in the US where they never cut my film into pieces!!
    Congratulations! I already considered sending my slides to Europe.

    ThomasH, Jan 4, 2004
  18. Tony Spadaro

    stacey Guest

    Which was my point but somehow anyone Tony takes his C41 to does a perfect
    job and he can see what he shot using them!
    stacey, Jan 4, 2004
  19. Tony Spadaro

    stacey Guest

    LOL can't take it even why you LOSE your own survey!

    Face it, any lab worth using does both slide and print film.
    stacey, Jan 4, 2004
  20. Tony Spadaro

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    You are certainly a persistant ass, stace - why do you suppose so few people
    answered the survey - because most people don't use slides perhaps. Or can't
    you even count?
    Tony Spadaro, Jan 4, 2004
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