Prints or discs

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by ian_humphrey, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Hi
    I have my films processed by a professional processor and have always ordered prints but I have the option of having a disc instead of prints. I use a hasselblad 6x6 usually with 100 iso colour negative and the options I have are standard resolution cd1536x1024, or super resolution 3072x2048 Which costs another £2.5 over standard. Is it worth paying the exra for as I rarely enlarge prins at the moment and will I get significantly less resolution on standard disc as opposed to prints. Also are there any drawbacks having discs instead of prints, considering I will have the negatives if I do want a particular enlargement. I consider that with a disc I could do my own enlargements on my home printer which is an epsom rx520, but be limited to a4.
    Any suggestions gratefully received.
  2. Lab's quite the 'coin toss' of options, isn't it?
    My thoughts have always leaned more toward develop only, with minimal expense preview, prints.
  3. I guess it depends what you usually do with your prints. If your prints end up being put on display / hung on a wall / given to friends and family, then continuing to get prints might be more important. If you find that you are currently scanning your prints/negatives to put images online or send by email, then the disc looks like a good option. Of course, the main thing is to get the negatives, so that's not a concern either way.
    I would suggest that 1536x1024 is only really good enough for prints around 4" x 6" or maybe 5" x 7".
    3072x2048 would be good for sizes double that, i.e. 8" x 12" or maybe slightly larger.
    Also, since the pixel dimensions you mention are for 3:2 aspect ratio images and you are shooting 6x6, it could be worth confirming with the lab exactly what the scan sizes for square-format medium format would be.
  4. I'm just figuring this out myself too. The pro labs I used to use in my areas are mostly gone, now I either have to soup the
    black and white myself, which I've been moving away from because I have some arthritis in my back and some other
    such problems, or send it out at the mercy of the lab. I just bored my wife to the end last night coinsidently explaining to
    her how either I want to go all C41, using Ilford XP2. 400 and Kodak 400 Portra, and shooting less film for economy, or
    just giving up on film except for special projects or assignments where I really want to go that route. I have not used
    Dwayne's recently, I thought I would shoot two rolls of any film and send it out for a test run. I also was going to just send
    a roll through Walmart and see what comes back. Supposedly they will do the 120 if you mark it clearly for the lab. I just
    want process and scan. I heard a rumor that they stopped sending negs back, IDK, I want them back because the scans
    will just be medium resolution I'm pretty sure, and if I want a higher quality I would just send out the one neg for scan and
    print from a custom lab, which there are less and less of.
  5. Dave,
    I can't even begin to think that there is a lab(labs?) out there that would even contemplate not sending back YOUR negatives.
    They certainly wouldn't get any business of mine: they may even be sued!
  6. Apparently Walmart, in at least some of their stores, no longer returns your negatives. (It's possible it also depends on whether you are dropping off C-41 or E-6 film, and 135 or 120 film.) See this thread for example:
    I am guessing that the reasoning behind this is that Walmart are sending films to a central location for processing and scanning, and then electronically transmitting the digital images back to the source store for burning onto CD, with the negatives not being returned to save costs. I imagine Walmart has determined that most customers are happy with this arrangement.
    Personally, I would not use a pharmacy for photo services. I prefer to use a dedicated photography business.
  7. Also, you can be sure that they won't be sued for this. In that thread I linked to, people were also making the point that they are your negatives. You can be sure that in the terms and conditions of availing of Walmart's film processing services that you are giving them permission to not return the negatives. If a customer has a difficulty with the terms and conditions, then it's very simple: Don't use the service.
  8. Earlier I wrote that I wouldn't use a pharmacy for photo services - I was confusing Walmart and Walgreens. (I'm not from the US - there is neither Walmart nor Walgreens where I live.) Anyway, the point is still the same.
  9. Hi
    I live in the uk and send my filrs to freepost. You can download an order form on line and so far no problems about getting negatives or prints back but retun postage per film is .95p so if you send 4 films that is £3.80, but the service is still relatively cheap. If anyone knows of a better or cheaper postal service in the uk I would like to hear from you.
  10. I'm sitting here looking at a drawer full of scanned negs that A&I did for me over the years, as well as the CDs I had them make. There is a heck of a lot of money (spent) sitting in that drawer. As far as the quality, I had excellent results scanning 120 film on a $50 Epson 2450 printer, and outputting it either to online printers or at home. Either way, image quality was "pretty good". I eventually looked at all that money spent, as well as all that quality lost (why was I shooting MF if not for a higher IQ?) and learned to develop my negs in the sink w/ a little plastic tank. Very easy to do, and inexpensive. I like prints, so I'll be wet printing. If you shoot color exclusively this won't work, but you might want to try it if you shoot B&W often. Be sure to back up those scanned files to a couple of hard drives.
  11. I was roughly bouncing the numbers around, using Dwayne's for example and B&H @ $4.09 for XP2. I figured in batches
    of three rolls, it would cost roughly $45 to shoot/process/scan/mail the three rolls. So let's say at this point for personal
    use, the most I chug out would be 30 rolls a year, that's about $450 budget to continue using 120 film within my workflow.
    If I bought the film and chemicals and used the water and little bit of electricity, maybe it would be about half of that?
    It sounds reasonable enough, so I'm going to order up some film and start testing things out. I will report back after some
    trial and error.

    Sorry I had to edit, my math was off, lol.
  12. Ian
    I now only use monochrome film. However, I used Club35 for many years when 'doing' colour. I always found the quality at least good and usually first class. They were also very receptive when occasionally something did go wrong.
    Over the years I tried other companies, but unless you were prepared to pay considerably more, none were as good or consistent as Club 35.
  13. I had been doing the mail order "process/scan/proof prints" thing for a while. Uncorrected proof prints are usually 20-some cents each at the time of processing with most decent (pro) online processors.
    I used to always file the proof prints or put them in family photo albums. But over the last few years, I've begun using Lightroom more as the place where I review prints for potential reprinting (that is, as opposed to my binders full of proof prints). Then I started noticing that the color cast in many of those proof prints was really off, which is to be expected since they're uncorrected, but this made them useless to put in family albums either.
    So now, I just develop/scan my film. I order the enhanced scans from North Coast, across the US from me in California, which are a little expensive but the quality will make them sufficient for any 8x10 or maybe 11x14 enlargements I'd want in the future. Plus, they are absolutely free of dust spots, hair, and scratches, which saves me a lot of mindless cloning-tool time. My goal is to use my color-corrected monitor to ensure colors are how I want them, and then send out select prints to Mpix or someplace for uncorrected 19cent prints that should have the colors I actually want to look at. These prints will be the ones I populate my family photo albums with, or use for proof books or what-not. Or I suppose I could also do the online photo-book-printing thing too, but I haven't fully turned that corner yet.
    I do this for 35 and 120. The quality of these scans is amazing, especially when you've got 6x7 or 6x9 negs. And FWIW, Portra 400 requires almost no color correction for my eyes. I used to think Fuji 160C was so awesome, but after the necessary switch I realized how much time I'd spent tweaking color levels with that film.

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