Black and White Developers

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by AlRohrer, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Who develops black and white film at a professional level? Have no desire to develop it myself. Mailing it in and being returned by mail is my preference.
  2. I don't know if you're looking for a person here who does it for others or if you're looking for a lab, but there are several labs to choose from. Knowing where you are might help, but there's Blue Moon Camera and Machine in Portland, OR and Praus Productions in Rochester, NY. I used to use A and I in CA, but they do mostly B&W and I do my own now (the others do it all). I know "The Darkroom" (not sure where) advertises on Photrio and might be an option.
    If you aren't in the US, I don't know who to suggest other than Ilford.
  3. Easiest is to use XP-2, which uses the C-41 process that is still available in many places.

    XP-2 costs about the same as many other black and white films.

    Of the labs that will process other black and white films, many charge more than C-41.

    Professional labs that do C-41 will usually do a develop only, or develop and scan, for fairly
    reasonable prices. There are still some drug stores with mini-labs in house, too.
  4. Appreciate the responses. We're needing a lab to do processing and the rolls my daughter is taking that we found stored in the bottom of my freezer for probably the last nine years.
  5. Around here, getting custom B&W developing is expensive.

    A chromogentic B&W like the XP2 (C-41 'color'processing) mentioned is a handier alternative. It is a lovely film, BTW. No real grain, and great flexibility in which ISOs you can use, even on the same roll.

    Unfortunately my town no longer has anyone doing film development locally, so DIY processing is the only "quick" alternative.

    Ilford XP2 with 100% crop inset
  6. SCL


    If you aren't willing to do it yourself, plan to open your wallet, as costs have skyrocketed due to local competition of "mini-marts" having dried up with the major shift toward digital. Another thought is to see if a local camera club or class at a local community college might be willing to take on the project as an educational enhancement.
  7. Black and white prices went up many years ago, as big C-41 labs got their prices down.

    Around 1992, I needed a roll of black and white processed, and it cost more than the usual C-41 at the time.

    And if you compare the prices of C-41 today to the prices of C-22 50 years ago, they are about the same without inflation adjustment.

    I remember when I first got into photography in 1967, the prices for reprints were USD 0.07 for black and white, and USD 0.22 for color.
    I believe over USD 10.00 for C-22 develop and print, single prints 3.5x5 inch, for 135-36.
    (Those were the prices that convinced me to do my own darkroom work)

    Today it is fairly easy to get prints from JPEG files for less than USD 0.22, with 50 years of inflation in between!

    Inflation adjusted E6 is likely less than E4 40 years ago, or E2 60 years ago.

    Today, I have a nearby (15 minute drive) lab that does C-41 (develop only) for USD 7.50 (135-36),
    and E6 mounted for USD 11.00. (Plus tax).

    It used to be that I could mail film to Kodak labs, and they could mail slides back, for the 2 ounce postage rate.
    That doesn't work anymore (non-machinable surcharge on the film, and some other rate for the slides).

    If you mail 5 rolls together, maybe the shipping isn't so bad now, though.
  8. Nine year old black and white film should be fine after nine years, even not frozen.

    Because of shipping costs, it is better to send in many rolls at once.

    Dwayne's charges USD 5.00 for shipping the first roll back, but only USD 0.50 for subsequent rolls.

    USPS costs for you to send them in will have similar discounts.

    Note the various surcharges that USPS puts on unusual sized packages.
    (For good reason, but they didn't always do that.)

    You don't say if you want prints, scan, or both.

    It looks like Dwayne's charges about the same for black and white.
    Many labs will charge more, as there is less demand, and the demand that there
    is wants a higher quality product.
  9. More specifically, Dwayne's charges the same to develop only C-41 and black and white film.

    Prints from black and white are more expensive, I presume on real black and white paper.
    (Note that Kodak discontinued making black and white paper some years ago.)

    You can send JPEGs in to the usual places, and get "color" prints without any color, using
    either wet or dry processing. (Dye sublimation is popular these days.)

    Shutterfly often has sales for 4x6 prints, free, just pay shipping. (Where the shipping
    might be priced high enough to cover their costs.)

    Walgreens and Target have labs in many stores that will do them for easy pick-up.
  10. I have been using Ilford Labs U S, in San Clemente, California.
  11. Thanks everyone. We'll check all of these out before we really need to send anything in. We don't have anything that there is a rush on, all personal stuff, so we can take our time. Again, thanks to all of you for the assistance.
  12. I've done it professionally in the newspaper business and for others for many years. I still have a darkroom set up and 35mm and 120 reels ready to go. It's not that expensive, easy to do. I can probably do it at about $3 per roll including a contact sheet.

    Rick H.

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