There is none! The words "processing" and "developing" - in reference to film - are two different words for the same thing. Both refer to the process of running film through specific chemicals that convert the latent, exposed images on the film and turn them into negatives (or positives in the case of slide film) and make them safe to view in light. Once film has been developed/processed prints, scans, and enlargements can be made!
If you are able to look at your film and see images, then your film has already been developed. If you aren't sure if there are images on your film, OR if your film is inside of a canister or tightly wrapped around a spool, do not expose the film to light! Go ahead and bring it by the shop (or mail it in to us) and we can help determine what services you might want or need.
To push or pull film means to increase (Push) or decrease (Pull) the development time of your film in increments of stops. A stop is a measurement of light that influences your exposure.
There are so many reasons you might consider pushing or pulling your film. If you are interested in creating more contrast or increasing the grain in your images, you could experiment with pushing your film. If you are in a low light situation, you can shoot your film at a faster ISO and then push the film in development in order to achieve the correct exposures. For example, if you only have 400 speed film at a dark concert, you could shoot the film at 3200 and push the film three stops (the difference between ISO 400 and 3200) in processing. If you are looking for less contrast in your images or finer grain, you could experiment with pulling your film.
Pushing or pulling film can get confusing! Give us a call or stop by the shop if you have specific questions about your particular situation.
To cross-process your film is to process it through a batch of chemistry that is unconventional for your film type. The most common kind of cross-processing we see here at the shop is to run color slide film through color negative chemistry. This turns the positive film negative and creates some very dramatic color changes.
Generally, the choice to cross-process is an artistic one. One exception being; if you have very old E-6 film, we highly recommend cross processing in color negative chemistry. This service is the most reliable way to get images from old slide film.
Unfortunately, the chemistry required to process the vivid signature colors of Kodachrome film ceased production in the early 2000s. Don't fret, these rolls are not forever lost in the dark of their canisters! We have carefully created a custom chemical cocktail that will process your Kodachrome for $21!
Be advised: this process will render the images as black and white negatives versus color positives. Results will vary widely based on the age and the storage conditions of the film.
APS (Advanced Photo System) film is a roll film that was designed to stay inside of its unique canister, even after processing. The film was discontinued in 2011. There is a code at the base of the canister that will provide you information about the film: a full circle means that the roll is unexposed, a half circle means that the roll is partially exposed, an X means that the roll has been fully exposed but not yet processed, and a rectangle means that the film has been processed.
We can certainly process undeveloped APS for you, and if you have a developed roll tucked safely inside that can as denoted by the aforementioned code, then we can scan and print it for you too!
When we talk about optical printing, we are referring to analog printing done by optical printing machines. Our machines use real light shown through real lenses to expose real photosensitive paper right through your very own negatives! We are proud to be one of the last labs in the world to offer this color printing option to our customers. Honor your analog images by printing them the way they were intended!
A whopping 12x18 inches! The smallest print size for our optical printing machines is 3x5 inches and we've got so many sizes in between! Exact size options vary based on the film format you are using.
*Technically, our silver gelatin darkroom prints are also optical prints, but those print sizes are much larger and only available for black and white film… scroll down to learn more!
We file out a negative carrier to achieve our signature "sloppy" border look! Sloppy borders are raw and imperfect, sometimes with a bit of the sprocket holes showing. When you choose this border option, your prints will show the full image of your negative with no cropping. Sloppy borders are our signature look - combine that with our house print size of 5x6 inches and you've got the Blue Moon special!
For folks that want a more consistent and sharp aesthetic, we offer clean borders. Our clean borders have a straight, white edge that will slightly crop your images.
We can make optical prints on Glossy, Matte, and Metallic photo papers. Our glossy paper is a true high gloss surface, while our matte has more of a pearl surface with just a bit of shine. Our shimmering metallic papers are only available for enlargements of 8x8 inches or larger.
Nora and Ray are our beloved optical printing machines! Nora is a Noritsu QSS-2301, she handles our 35mm film and the occasional 120 enlargement. Ray is an old Copal ML300-II and he handles all of our more obscure film formats - Minox, 110, 127, 126 - in addition to 35mm and 120. In collaboration with our talented optical printing technicians, these machines create beautiful, rich, analog prints directly from your negative - there's nothing digital about it!
Scan resolutions vary greatly depending on your film format and the level of scan service. For a full table of all our scan resolutions see our Service Pricing page.
We default to JPEG files because they are easier and faster to export and share, but we can scan your film as TIFF files upon request. The two biggest advantages of TIFF files are their greater bit depth and lossless compression. Greater bit depth allows heavier tweaking of image contrast or tonality changes without banding occurring. Meanwhile lossless compression means your images do not degrade with repeated saves as is the case with JPEG files. However, unless you plan to do some serious digital editing of your images, tiff files are generally unnecessary. They do not offer more detail, sharper images, or make better prints than compared to a similar JPEG file.
If you are interested in TIFF files, you must make this request when you place your order with us. It's not a matter of changing the file type after the fact, in order to switch from JPEG to TIFF and get the full benefit, our scanning technicians will need to rescan your film.
Many other labs will simply feed your film in through their scanner and send you the first hyper saturated and dust covered files that come out.
Our scanning technicians go through each order, frame by frame, cleaning up any dust and balancing the color to produce digital files that are as true to the film as possible. Each image is then checked for quality by our lab managers before the files make it back to you. Additionally, the resolution of our Classic scans is comparable to the medium or high resolution scans at many other labs. Our scans are more expensive because they are that much better.
A digital contact scan is a quick flatbed scan of your film that gives you a preview of your whole roll - reminiscent of a darkroom contact sheet. We offer this service for folks who are looking for a general preview of their roll of film, perhaps of a test roll checking for frame spacing issues or to be able to pick and choose which frames will be optically printed.
These scans are of a low resolution and cannot be enlarged into digital prints. If you are looking to make digital prints from your scans, please check out our Classic or Premium scan services.
We can! We have two Howtek Scanmaster 6500 drum scanners capable of extremely high resolution and high detail scans with incredible tonality. These machines are referred to as "wet mount" drum scanners, meaning the film is immersed in a layer of solution during the scan process. This produces richer, deeper scans and is excellent at filling in scratches on the film surface. This is a premiere scanning process and highly sought after for photographers needing to make extreme enlargements or wanting the best quality digital file for offset printing.
To get an idea of resolutions and pricing, refer to our Service Pricing page.
We can offer sizes as small as 4x6 inches, or as large as 40x60 inches. Exact sizes can vary based upon the aspect ratio of the source files but we print all the standard sizes (8x10, 11x4, etc) as well as custom sizes in between.
Prints 16x20 inches and larger require an 8x10 inch proof print to ensure color and print accuracy. These proof prints are included in the price of larger prints but can add a bit of time to order completion.
For a comprehensive list of sizes and prices, visit our Pricing page.
We are proud to offer a selection from Ilford's Galerie line of inkjet papers:
the Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl - much like Ilford's RC Pearl paper, or our optical luster paper; the Ilford Galerie Smooth Gloss - like Ilford's RC Glossy, or our optical glossy paper; and the Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Pearl - similar to glossy fiber darkroom paper, but with a little bit more texture.
Prints that are 24x36 inches and smaller can be printed on all three papers. Prints up to 44 inches on one side will be printed on the Gold Fibre Pearl.
Files should be sized to print dimensions with a resolution of 300dpi. For example; an 8x10 print requires a file that is 8x10 inches at 300dpi. This is equivalent to 2400x3000 pixels. Files that are under the size of the desired print dimensions will create pixelated and low quality prints.
All post-processing should be completed prior to delivering your file for printing. Color and contrast correction as well as any sharpening should be applied and saved. Likewise, if you want a custom border around your image it is best to canvas that around the image yourself.
Ideally, files can be saved in RGB mode and as highest quality JPG. One pro tip is to incorporate the print size in your file name, eg: "Print_This_8x10.jpg".
If you have any questions or special requests, don't hesitate to reach out to us prior to placing a print order.
You've got options! You can email them to us at email@example.com. You can drop them off in person on a USB drive or CD. You can share them via Dropbox or other file transferring services using the firstname.lastname@example.org as the recipient email.
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