Clark Color Labs

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by dr._karl_hoppe, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. What has anyone's experience been with Clark Color Labs? I've been using Dwayne's since the local Costco gave up the ghost on scanning negatives and have been satisfied, but I did a cost comparison between Dwayne's and Clark.
    D&P one set of 4x6's of a 36-exposure roll is $6·99 with Dwayne's, yet $4·60 with Clark, a savings of $2·39 (6·64¢/frame). Scanning to a CD is the same ($2·99 vs. $3). The postage with Dwayne's appears cheaper, $4·50 for the first roll, 50¢ each additional, as opposed to Clark, which is $1·95 per roll; however, Clark gives a prepaid business reply label so you don't pay the freight out to them. On balance, Clark is more economical.
    What I am concerned about is the quality of the D&P and how satisfied users have been with the size of the scans to the CDs. Dwayne's come in around 3583 x 2376 pixels.
    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. I only used Clark once, long enough ago that it probably doesn't count.
    I had a roll of 110 in a cheap camera, and wasn't expecting great pictures.
    There are local C41 shops, though, so I can save on postage that way.
     
  3. Glen,
    There are some local shops to save on postage, but the cost can be almost twice that of mail order. Costco was the best, good prices on D&P and cheap CD scans. The local Costco has a great Noritsu minilab and the techs know film and keep the chemistry in good shape. Unfortunately, the CD burner pooped out and management decided not to repair or replace it. They were only running about 25 rolls a week anyway and most customers did not order scans to CDs, most of the rolls were from cheap single-use party cameras.
     
  4. I have used Clark, but like the other person said, it has been a long time ago, so long ago that scans on a CD did not even exist. All I can say is that they have been in business a long time, so that must mean they are doing *something* right. As is usually the case with a thing like this, you really just need to test it out for yourself. Take some "un-important" shots on a 12 exposure roll, send it to Clark, and see what happens and compare with Dwaynes. Have you checked out "The Darkroom"? Their standard service is quite a good service to price ratio in my opinion, and you can get some VERY large scans if you want to pay the extra cost. "North Coast Photographic Services" is also a good lab with some good scans at reasonable cost.
    http://thedarkroom.com
    http://www.northcoastphoto.com
     
  5. Been a while since I've used Clark lab. Like York labs they were a high volume, value-priced lab before digital became popular. I've heard that they can print uploaded digital files. As far scanning to CD they likely would only have one resolution available so you would have to try a roll to see if their results are acceptable. Hopefully their turn around times have improved. It typically took two to three weeks to get an order. Might be faster now, though, with digital printing.
     
  6. If it's the same company, Clark was one of those places that put film mailers into the Sunday newspaper and specialized in super-cheap developing of amateur snapshots with the entire emphasis on price, not quality. That's not to say they did bad work, but it wasnt' a professional-level lab by any means. At $4.60, I would imagine you get what you pay for. But you can try them and see what you get.
     
  7. Thoughts comparing "The Darkroom" Vs "North Coast Photo" as to quality, NOT price?
     
  8. I've used both the darkroom and NCPS quite a bit. As far as the processing is concerned, I can't see much difference between the two, they both do a good job. I haven't found scratches, fingerprints, dust, etc. The darkroom cuts the negatives into strips, but NCPS doesn't unless you pay extra. I think the scans that NCPS supplies are generally better. Their corrections on C-41 seemed to be more consistent and pretty well color-corrected. I usually have to adjust scans from the darkroom. I don't use them for anything other than a proof, to determine which I want to do a scan myself of. The cost at thedarkroom is a little less (last time I ran the numbers anyway), so I use them. On the other hand, I used to put notes on the order form for NCPS like "minimize exposure adjustments please", and at least twice that I remember, some nice person who was doing the processing called to clarify what I did and didn't want adjusted. They were knowledgeable with digital processing and adjustments. If I really cared about the scans, I'd use NCPS.
     
  9. I have used Clark off and on for a while, and even up until the present. They have 2 rolls of mine right now. I think that the quality of the service is on par with Dwayne's. The quality is decent of the prints and the negatives are always very clean a well developed. They are worth a try! Sadly, they will now only accept 35mm color, but I wish that they still had such economical 120 developing!
     
  10. I decided to send in several "non-essential" rolls to Clark for developing, printing and scanning. As was noted above, you get what you pay for.
    The scans are much lower resolution than Dwayne's: 1500 x 1000 (96dpi) vs. 3583 x 2376 (250dpi). The prints are on Kodak paper, which is inferior (IMHO) to Fuji Crystal Archive paper that Dwayne's uses. While the negatives were generally clean without scratching, the prints were terribly inferior to that printed by Dwayne's. They were very washed out with loss of contrast in comparison to the scans of the negatives.
    All in all, definitely not worth the savings in price. Although I'm not that interested in the prints themselves, the low-res scans from Clark are not worth the savings. I'll stick with Dwayne's as long as their quality holds up.
     

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