Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by carlos_prado|2, Nov 29, 2011.
Where can i send my Color Slide (E6) film for inexpensive and reliable processing?
Where are you?
Knowing where you live may be of help.
I live in Ft. Lauderdale Florida.
However, I was under the impression that the cheapest processing places are usually ones you mail out the film to. That's how they remain inexpensive, by doing bulk orders from all over the country.
The reason I asked is that not everyone here is from the U.S.A.. If you lived in London and I told you to try Wal-Mart send out well that would be wrong. I send my e6 through Wal-Mart or directly to Dwayne's in Parsons Kansas.. Others have favorite places also so I figure they may chime in.
My store outside Chicago has its own E-6 processor, but we used to send E-6 to Dwayne's, which was, of course, the last Kodachrome processor. Dwayne's is a competent, reasonably-priced lab:
Cheap and reliable are a hard combination to find in any sort of film processing. Cheap means low wages and low skills.
Most professional E-6 labs are struggling, because the process goes "out of control" if they don't run enough film through the line. So they spend more money keeping the process in control, which mostly involves using a lot more of the expensive E-6 chemistry. The reality is very few labs can run an E-6 line profitably and high quality. A&I is shutting down their E-6 line.
Dwayne's is probably the largest and busiest E-6 lab in the world, so they probably have less problem keeping the line in control, and they can amortize all of their costs over more rolls of film. So they will be a good value. They presumably run a "cine" type line, which may not provide results quite as perfect as the "dip and dunk" lines that smaller professional labs use. Also, Kodak does not list Dwayne's as using their Q-Lab process auditing service.
Sooner or later, you will need to learn to love C-41 film, particularly Ektar 100.
John Can't I love them both at the same time?
John, Kodak has long since lost any credibility in the area of processing, as Kodak's decent labs, like the Prarie Avenue facility in Chicago, closed decades ago. The last out-lab the store I work at used for E-6 and Kodachrome processing before Dwayne's was Qualex, a Kodak-owned lab in Minneapolis. Qualex was awful. So, I wouldn't put any stock whatsoever in whether a lab gratuitously pays to have its E-6 line certified by Kodak.
Also, I don't agree that dip-and-dunk processors are inherently better than roller processsors. I've seen rolls damaged by too much or not enough agitation in dip-and-dunk machines, etc. That said, the argument is mute. The "smaller professional labs" in DuPage County, Illinois, outside Chicago where my store is located- labs that had dip-and-dunk E-6 lines- went out of business years ago, and my store has the only E-6 processor in a 20-mile radius. If you can still find a lab that does dip-and-dunk E-6, let alone one that does dip-and-dunk at a reasonable price, God bless.
Finally, labs that do dip-and-dunk C-41 processing are as rare as those doing dip-and-dunk E-6. With any film processing, you want to choose a lab with veteran staff, who do the required cleaning of processing machines. I haven't seen a scratched or mis-developed roll come out of any of my store's film developing machines in 20 years.
Just out of curiosity, which contemporary Ektachrome film comes closest to looking like the discontinued Kodachrome?
Will Walmart / a.k.a. Dwaynes, do 120 and 4x5? Their 35mm C41 has been awesome.
Dwayne's will do 120/220 E-6:
The few people I know who still shoot 4x5 transparency film process their own.
No one has mentioned Walmart?
Or you can send it directly to Dwaynes and help the USPS to try to get back into the black again.
http://thelabworks.com/professional-lab/traditional-services/ does dip and dunk for C41 and E6 up to 8x10 and to 4x5 for B&W, they do nice work, they are in Canada, not in the US.
E-6 Days are numbered unfortunately. The best lab we had in San Diego close to me just quit all Silver processing/printing and only prints digitally now.
The good news is there is still one lab in our county that handles tons of E-6/C-41 in multiple sizes by mail order from all over and the lab looks clean.
I have received decent and affordable work from them, with one-day turnaround by USPS.
Give em a try:http://www.northcoastphoto.com/film_developing_scans.html
Here comes the gloom...
... and doom.
I've used Dwayne's, a small place I can't remember the name of, very nice guy though, in Wisconsin; the place that still does the Agfa (r.i.p.) B/W chrome; and North Coast Photo Services in California. Dwayne's is okay and best priced. Best quality by far, by miles, for E6, was NCPS. For anything b/w avoid them -- it's California, Jake, they don't understand b/w. But for e6 they're the best, not least because their scanning is great and even at the cheapest level of scanning you get big files.
DR5 is the one you can't remember... They now have a full service E6 line... it is just that with them they run on their Colorado time... ... Grate slides.. not great communication.... .
Ah geez Larry now you made me look it up. The small place that I couldn't remember is AgX in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan, not Wisconsin but all them places look pretty much the same to me. Sinclair Lewis was from Sault Ste. Marie I believe. It's the locale on which Main Street is based.Anyway AgX is a one man show very nice, prices ok except he only has a drum scanner which costs $10 a frame. For regular scanning he'll take it to Walgreens which ain't very good.
And, speaking of Main Street (by Sinclair Lewis), the place that does Agfa Scala is called Main Photo. They're pretty sophisticated: I know besides the Scala they offer to do E-6 cross processed in C-41, and C-41 cross processed in E-6, with snip tests... Anyway excellent processing but their decent level of scanning is also their highest end version for which they charge $15 per roll, with second or more rolls of same type of film at $10 per roll.
Scanning is a problem with Dwayne's too. They're not terribly good at it as I remember. (I could be wrong, might have been a one-time thing, not gospel...)
Ergo the nod to NCPS. Gorgeous processing and the best scanning. Total for both maybe $16 per roll.
Call Mike, he's the owner. Tons and tons of knowledge, experience and reasonably priced. dip and dunk, and apparently busy enough to keep everything going well. Mike also has a virtual drum scanner.
I don't think there is anyone better developing e6. It's literally all he does, e6 - nothing else.
LOL both of you.... Glad we got that out there...
Well, I certainly lost all respect for Qualex, as anyone who looked at the results did. Qualex was a major contributor to the collapse of Kodachrome sales, they did such a bad job with it. In that black era, A&I and National Geographic were the places to get good Kodachrome processing.
I don't really know if the Kodak Q-Lab certification is any assurance of E-6 quality anymore. Sure looks like only a very small number of labs are willing to pay Kodak's Q-Lab fees.
Kodachrome was a great Idea... it was going to move on and then the EPA and Q unlucky destroyed it.... There we Finer grain Kodachromes with ISO 4000 and pushable in almost production..... Yet... it never happened.... Test runs and samples were sent out......
I'll second the vote North Coast Photo in San Diego. I've been very happy with the 35mm and 120 rolls they've done for me. It's a little expensive when you factor in shipping to/from (I live in the Southeast US) but it's pretty reliable. The "Ken Rockwell" scans they offer are not that great in my opinion, at least for 35mm.
By the way, on carlos' question of anything looking like Kodachrome, the most resemblance I've seen in the color I've shot are outdoor shots with Ektar. I don't get that look consistently with it -- something depends on processing, I'd bet -- but I'm beginning to see that it's best slightly overexposed -- shot at 80 or so. Very beautiful qualities can be achieved with it. Of course since you never see it with light passing through it, you never see what you could with kodachrome, but the tone is sometimes startlingly similar, the look of a make believe world of perfect colors with no oversaturation. there's a kind of peace in it. I remain most passionate about black and white and so relatively inexperienced with color so have no fear of correcting my impression.
1) Theslideprinter.com aka Denver Digital Imaging. scan CD is an option, and they have been doing slide film for 20+ years.
2)Any local Walmart, using the film sendout envelopes. Film goes to Dwaynes for processing. No postage costs either way, but you do have to step foot in a Walmart store. Also, scan CD is not an option thru this route. Walmart also accepts 120/220 film this way, done by Dwaynes.
3)Fuji Slide Film Mailers. Film goes to Dwaynes for processing. You pay postage to Dwaynes only. convenient, but you need to send a few rolls at a time to keep the per roll postage costs down. Scan CD is not an option. mailers now allow 120 slide film to be processed also.
4) send directly Dwaynes Photo, but you pay postage both ways. Highest cost Dwaynes option.
5)North Coast Photo of Ken Rockwell fame. Good option if you want hi rez scans to CD with your slides. Rockwells site has some example scans
Another vote for The Slideprinter.
This outfit is very good:
I've been using Dwayne's for years and have no complaints. Reliable and reasonably-priced.
The cheapes developer I found untill now is Fotoproekt in Moscow, Russia. They develop E6 for 5 USD a roll. But in contradiction to C41processing which costs me 1,50USD ath their lab its even cheaper for me to process slidefilms my own. I regularly spend $1 - 2$ per roll of film on developing with my Jobo tank system by optimisation of use of chemicals and reprocessing films with the same chems.
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