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Thread: Developing negs only: Do labs matter?

  1. #1
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    Question Developing negs only: Do labs matter?

    Pardon me if this sounds silly, but let's say I want to have a roll of Kodak film developed, negatives only. Would there be a difference in output quality of the negs if I send it to different minilabs?

    My plan is that I want to get my own film scanner, but I wonder if I cut costs by having a cheap minilab develop my negs, would it affect the final output after scanning?
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  2. #2
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    definitely it matters.

    one thing,
    if u don't shoot alot,
    why not let the lad scan as well?

    by the time u recover the scan cost,
    its time to change scanner.
    quality usually not as good as well.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by synapseman
    Pardon me if this sounds silly, but let's say I want to have a roll of Kodak film developed, negatives only. Would there be a difference in output quality of the negs if I send it to different minilabs?

    My plan is that I want to get my own film scanner, but I wonder if I cut costs by having a cheap minilab develop my negs, would it affect the final output after scanning?
    Choice of lab is of viatal importance even for just processing film and here's why.

    A cheaper lab may not be doing the volume of work needed to ensure regular chemistry changes (expensive) in the film processor to keep the developer fresh and running at peak effeciency.

    Cheaper labs often run their processors hotter than the norm for C41 and E6 processing, this cuts down on processing times thus reducing costs but it does so at the expense of the quality of the final product.

    Cheaper labs generally use cheaper staff, that is staff that aren't as well trained and thus less likely to be accurate in their work (eg allowing dust and crap on the film, also sloppier in the cutting of film etc).

    All in all I'd only go with a good quality lab, regardless of saving a few cents or a buck or two in the process.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  4. #4
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    i used to do my own scanning with my scanner and send my films to a reputable shop near cathay photo just for developing negatives at low cost..then one day i found out there are scratches on my negatives and the shop said it my own camera/personal faults, not theirs..so that was the last time i sent my negatives to them to develop..

    so it not only a matter of costs..some shops charge u just $3.50 for D/O and u get such replies, and some shops charge u $5-6 just for D/O and maybe u feel better tt ur films in better hands..

    just my personal experiences..

    btw: i move on to digital..scanning took up TOO MUCH TIME! hehe..

  5. #5
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    Hi people. Thanks for the info. I've always had the suspicion that you'd get what you pay for, but never really knew why.

    Now I'm enlightened.

    There is a point about letting the (better) shops do the scans, but one of the reasons for wanting to scan myself is just for the sake of the satisfaction of doing it.
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

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