End of an Era for Me

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by m._howard_edwards, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. San Francisco Bay Area. Yesterday I took my roll of 35 mm to Walgreens for processing "in just about an hour." I was advised that the service was no longer available. They now send film out for 7 to 10 days and negatives are not returned, but a CD is returned. That was the last place for consumer processing in the area -- no CVS, no WalMart, no COSTCO, Rite Aid, no nothing. Thanks to other posters I knew this was coming, but I was surprised by how quickly.
    This left me with a question -- what on earth happened to all those Frontier processors? There must have been thousands. Sent to landfill?
  2. I do some work for someone still in the printing business. Fuji is always calling him and offering him new machines for almost nothing. They warm up real nice to companies still actually buying supplies for them. I think the last machine came from a walmart.
  3. This left me with a question -- what on earth happened to all those Frontier processors? There must have been thousands. Sent to landfill?​
    Most likely they went to a used equipment dealer. Some sold "as is," and some refurbished. Otherwise, probably to a junk-equipment pool, with parts cannibalized as needed. Finally, scrapped out with some (possibly a lot) going into landfills subject to local laws.
  4. Mostly they were sold as scrap. A friend once bought a large warehouse size catalog studio ful ofBroncolor lighting,Sinar
    cameras, Schneider lenses,Camera stands,C-Stands, and Chera soft boxes - a large moving truck full of expensive photo
    gear in perfect shape and working order for $2,000.00

    The building owner was happy to get that much for it as he was going to pay a scrap metal dealer to come haul it away if
    my friend didn't want it.
  5. Welcome to the city that was built on film and now denies it. There are a few labs close but none in SF.
  6. I now have only one processor left since the local and beloved camera store closed. The remaining one is a Walgreens, but I have no idea whether it is still going since I was there a week ago, and how much longer it will be going. This, in a college town where a lot of students are still shooting film.
    When it goes, I will send my remaining C41 film to someplace like Parsons, KS, and then go back to D76 and Tri-X or whatever B&W film I can get.
    They're not making this any easier.
  7. Why not use the pro lab such as North Coast Photographic Services or The Darkroom?
    Its not a One Hour Photo Service, but offers scanning services and you will STILL get your film back.
    Here are their links:
  8. Why not use the pro lab such as North Coast Photographic Services or The Darkroom?
    Simply because dev/scan for a roll of 35mm C-41 is nearly 20 bucks. I'm lucky. I get the same service from Fujifilm.ca for $5. The OP was lucky it lasted so long. Cheap processing vanished in my area 4 years ago when Costco and others threw in the towel. Still, I'm a little surprised the OP wasn't aware how deeply demand for consumer-grade processing declined.
  9. I shot plenty of film in the era when it was Kodachrome 64 that went off to Kodak for processing, either at the counter at the MIT Coop, or by mail in a PK-36 mailer. We just got very spoiled by the one-hour labs. I do think the one-hour labs increased film sales.
  10. Why not use a pro lab like LTI in New York City?
  11. Try millerslab.com postpaid both ways!
  12. Howard,
    For standard color film developing and printing two places spring to mind:
    Adolph Gasser in San Francisco, and Looking Glass Photo in Berkeley. I am sure that there are others too in the Bay Area.
    Indeed, not one hour, but you get the negatives back!
    I find it actually surprising how long the drug store/ big box one hour develop and print services have lasted. Back in 2008 when I began to go digital, I felt like a film hold-out and it was already rather quiet at the 1 hour counter of the Walgreens (on Spear street down from my office in SF). The counter people at Gasser's started to recognize me as well when I would drop of slide film. Funny, since I am certainly not a prolific or known photographer...
  13. Look at the bright side of things. You held up with film until now and you can get digital camera which is a mature technology now and it's better than 35mm film.
  14. 'Better' is still an opinion.
  15. Time to learn to develop your own. It is not so hard.
  16. I send my film out and get it back in about 3 days. Walgreen and CVS still offer 1 hour photo although it usually takes more than 1 hour...
  17. slowly I am also coming to the idea of developing on my own… the B&W process is easy - I did it once as a kid, but C41 and E-6 are more complicated… especially E-6 is very capricious as far as I know..
    can someone please describe exactly what it is needed for E-6 and where I could find the equipment (ebay link)
  18. The printing systems are still running, as they use them to print from digital. Negatives are scanned, then printed from the scan.
    The disposable cameras might be the main source of film for them by now.
    I think there is still one place in Seattle doing E-6, and not all that expensive. $9 for 35mm (24 or 36). I hope there is enough demand to keep them going.
  19. My local Walgreens still does 1-hour photo which I am happy about, but I don't use them anymore. The last time was in the Spring when I thought I needed some processing done ASAP. Their customer service is pretty terrible and there might/might not be some scam now where they force you to pay for prints if you want your negatives scanned. I'm happy traveling an hour down to Colorado Springs and picking up my film a day or two later. At least the indie camera store down there knows my name, is fine with just processing and scanning, gives me higher res images, and sells affordable used equipment (and plenty of film as well). I'll never go back to a drugstore again.
  20. In San Francisco, Oscar's does a good job developing though I haven't used them in a few years: http://www.oscarsphotolab.com/ .
  21. Citizens Photo in Portland, OR, does all types of film in-house. The whole place exists purely as a film processing shop. I use them, even though I am based in Midwest. They are reasonably priced and even with shipping the cost is OK.
  22. I still have a walgrens and a costco nearby. Don't know how much longer.
  23. I find this hard to believe. In virtually every city I travel to, processing is easy to find. Here on the west coast in Victoria,
    there has to be a dozen labs for a population of 340,000....yet SF, a city of millions has none? I dont believe it.
  24. I second the recommendation for The Darkroom.com. They do excellent work.
  25. The lab I work in is getting slower by each year. We are half as busy as we were even 2 years ago. We still have our C41 processor, but that is getting shut off for ever as of February first. I was always know as the film guy in the lab, as I've been in the lab for pretty much 16 years now. I really don't like dry prints from the current machines, especially our printer. It really doesn't hold up to chemical prints. People noticed the quality difference and we lost business as a result. Our lab's days are numbered, as is my job there.

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