Is there a difference in film dev quality?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by elliotjnewman, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. elliotjnewman

    elliotjnewman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have some colour negs - if I take them to get developed in a professional studio would there be a difference in quality to taking it to say jessops or snappy snaps who would offer it cheaper?
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    The film dev quality is pretty much the same. They use pretty much the same machines and chemistry. You get better quality control with a pro lab but the difference in quality is usually hardly noticeable - certainly not visually.
    The difference is down to service - pro labs will do specials, ie pulls and pushes. High street processors won't do it.
    Post processing tends to be better in pro labs. They take more care over your films.
    The main difference is in print quality. Highstreet labs use computerised machines thes days and just bang your film through - errors occur often. Pro labs take more care - they want to keep their customers. And you can get hand printing done.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree with Hertz.

    There are exceptions to the rule though. Talk with the folks who work/run the lab you take your film too. I've found supposed "pro" labs staffed with inexperienced, unconcerned lab hands, and I've found economy, mini labs run by amateur photogs who really did a great job, because they cared about the photos.
     
  4. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Messages:
    8,115
    Likes Received:
    64
    The cheap street labs can be a pain in the bum if you've used filters as well. They'll run it through the machine and normalise your prints removing the lovely orange hue you were going for. You can ask them to run them through without any bells and whistles switched on. Whether they can be bothered is another kettle of pancakes.
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    25,337
    Likes Received:
    2,090
    Location:
    In the mental ward of this forum
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Exactly! You have to know who you're dealing with because the bottom line is going to be who is actually doing the work. There is a pro lab downtown I won't use anymore because of careless handling and bad attitudes, yet this dingy little place around the corner has great people and does perfectly acceptable work. :thumbup:
     
  6. Canon Fan

    Canon Fan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Purgatory, Wisconsin
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I often have found that the general "street" processors do not even know how to turn off the auto-corrections that thier machines are set up to do.; If you shoot with filters or purposely over-under expsoe shots and do not want them "normalized" send it to a pro-lab. For the prints anyway. I agree the negs don't seem to matter much although there does seem to be a higher scratch rate with "street" labs :confused:
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    Never ever ever send your films to the Kodak lab - certainly not the one in England anyway. They use students and have a high turnover - and I think they process the films by chewing them. Every time a film of mine has gone there it has come back with more scratches than an ice rink.
    I use my local chemist for most stuff - they have a machine in house and I know most of the people working there.
    But if I'm doing anything for money then it goes to a pro lab (the client pays anyway).
    As I said - print quality varies enormously but that usually has nothing to do with the negs.
     
  8. elliotjnewman

    elliotjnewman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi everyone, thanks for all the input. - Hertz van Rental -lol!

    The crazy thing is, I went into snappy snaps and got a quote and they are charging more than the pro lab!! So I have just taken them to the pro lab to get processed.

    I had a friend that used to work in Boots, she was a student at the time too, and she used to work with a girl who never used to check negs before they where printed - so they always ended up with dust all over the print. So I guess there is no general "rule" as it relies so much upon the individual thats handling your prints, and knowing the best place to get them done relies on experience, and knowing who it is thats handling your negs - not where it is...
     
  9. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    I agree to definitely get to know your lab people. I used to manage about 12 mini-labs. Most of my guys where advanced amateur photographers. They did a good job printing and making any adjustments when needed.

    As long as the lab is maintaining their equipment, i.e running test strips, watching temps, doing regular cleaning and maintenance, then it is hard to screw up your film.
     
  10. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,449
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    grrr... stupid test strips... (sorry - our printer wouldn't do daily setup on sunday because it said my test strips weren't coming out... and well - they were... grrr)

    I definately agree it depends who's printing your photos... A good company will happily re-print if you aren't happy with the original prints...
     
  11. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Sounds like a sensor was stuck....Hate when that happens ;)
     
  12. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,449
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    probably... and it was a bad day. (the densitometer was telling me that the processor was out of control and not to process) and the printer was playing up. the manager was ****ty at me for going to the wrong door (because i couldn't get in the other door!) and grrrr... I was in a bad mood. lol...

    Worked out okay though. Just didn't do daily setup on the printer... Called my boss & she said the c41 was okay to process... its just playing up... etc.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

difference in film quality