photo labs in Toronto

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by the_peel, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. the_peel

    the_peel TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    I've been using Black's photography as the place to develop my 35mm negatives, print my 4x6's, and enlargements. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on places that may be better than Black's, although I find Black's to be pretty good. I have heard that Henry's is overpriced, so I'm trying to stay away from there, but don't know of anywhere else to go.
     
  2. George W. Bush

    George W. Bush TPF Noob!

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    Hey, sorry I'm no help...but I was wondering the same sort of thing. I remember hearing about a place in toronto that does different borders for your prints (ie. like white borders with burnt edges fading into the picture) but I can't remember what its called. Most places I go I can only get them to do normal white borders and thats it. So anyone know of places in toronto that do other kinds of borders for your prints?

    George
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Your best bet is to find a place where you can talk to the person who is actually doing the printing. Get a repore going and let the person know what you like.

    b.t.w. What exactly are you looking for? If Black's is pretty good then what aren't they doing to be great?
     
  4. the_peel

    the_peel TPF Noob!

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    Well, I'd like to have a bit more control over my shots. From what I've heard, Black's does a lot of post processing. I'm not sure how much control I'd be allowed at Black's. Seeing as how they're pretty mainstream, I would assume they don't really offer the customer too many options such as brightness, contrast, etc..

    Also, I would like to hear from some of the pros out there - in Toronto - what labs they'd prefer, or if the general consensus is that Black's does a decent job for most amature to intermediate level photo enthusiasts.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I take my stuff to Black's here in Edmonton. They sure do a bit of post processing and I usually get the 5 day service so that they have the time to do it.

    I find that I like my prints much better than if I had taken them to Wal-mart or some other one-hour place.

    Of course I'm not a professional...more of an intermediate level photo enthusiast so Black's works for me. If I wanted more control I would probably find a better place...or just shoot slides.
     
  6. photong

    photong Typo Queen

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    I've taken my stuff to Zehrs The Real Canadian Superstore. At least the store I worked at had the same machines and they do the same type of job and use the same type of paper, but theyre way cheaper. I do know that Ive tyaken a file to blacks to get a 4x6 and some parts were..white and washed out, but when I got a 5x7 of that file at Zehrs, it was perfect. Just the way I see it on my computer screen. That's the only problem I've seen at Black's.

    I don't know if other zehrs stores are just as good. I suppose you will have to do some exploring :)

    The only reason I don't go to Black's is for the price. I used to work for Black's (I worked at lot in the lab). I worked for Zehrs but that was in the studio.
     
  7. Bob_McBob

    Bob_McBob TPF Noob!

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    I have all my colour negative film developed at Zehrs. They charge something like C$1.50 for a roll if you don't have prints made, and then I can just scan it like I would anyway. My local Zehrs always does a really good job, but I would try out yours before giving them something important.

    Remember that Zehrs, Loblaws, etc. are all the same company. The photo service is called PhotoLab.
     
  8. AIRIC

    AIRIC TPF Noob!

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    Very interesting as I work for ------ Minilab support in the Toronto area. Always find a lab technician you can talk to. It really dosen't matter how much you pay because it all depends on the person operating the printer. When I worked in the lab I got to know the better photographers and how they wanted their rolls printed so they got a great service. Monday or right after a long weekend is a bad time to drop off film as the labs are busy and push the stuff out fast. The cheaper labs, grocery stores and such give next to no training in quality control, color correction or knowledge of chemistry so you run a higher risk of damage or poor quality prints. My rule is never drop off rolls that are sent off site. I want to strangle the person who messed up my stuff :D If you are working with slides drop them off at a location that processes them on site. Make sure the staff gets to know you and make sure they know you demand quality. A good lab will always take back a redo to please you and keep your business.

    You can take a single negative to 10 stores and it will be printed 10 different ways. If you are doing an elargement always take a proof pic for the lab to color match.

    Anyway, that is all for now. I only joined the site tonight and want to check out more posts. Check out my website to see what I'm all about.

    Cheers,

    Eric
     
  9. Bosscat

    Bosscat TPF Noob!

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    i would be inclined to think a Mom and Pop type place would be better......since a happy customer is a repeat customer

    and yeah......mondays stink in more ways then one........better to be patient for one extra day and drop things off on a tuesday or wednesday
     
  10. AIRIC

    AIRIC TPF Noob!

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    Mom and Pop have no money to upgrade to good equipment and will never dump chemistry or want to do a redo as there is no profit margin anymore. In the 80s a photolab was like printing money but not any more. Have you seen many Mom and Pop locations around recently? At one time they were on every corner but Wallmart and the grocery store did them in. They may be better printers but the one I worked for went under as soon as I left as they thought a photo store would be more fun than a fast food business. Any of the big chains these days offer complete satisfaction or money back, not just in processing. Like I said it only matters who is behind the printer not the store type. Find a good dedicated printer and let them know who you are. Even if they are busy they will take the time on your rolls.

    Eric
     
  11. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    I agree with(the comment about it being busy on mondays and the weekends...

    I have had a reasonable amount of training (and the minilab i work in is in a department store)... However - I would like more training...

    Here in Australia - I think it is common that the photos that are sent away are not post-processed at all - and a lot of people complain about the photos...

    I also believe that people don't realise their photos are post-processed when dropped in.

    Here in Australia - Kmart has just brought in two different types of film processing...

    Value Prints ($6.77 - 24 exp, Gloss, Single set).
    - Unprocessed. (Infact - when its busy - the printer is set to auto - and the film just put in the carrier - and it scans itself and spits it back out ready to have the next inserted.)

    Kodak Prints ($8.77 - 24 exp - Gloss or Matte, single set, plus the choice of white borders, etc. and they also come with an index print)
    - Post-processed and a lot more options in the way of type of paper, etc...

    As this has just come in, many people are under the belief that the cheaper one is the norm. so they all choose that. Then they come back unhappy - and obviously we don't re-do the cheaper prints as the customer has requested they go through the cheaper service and be unprocessed.

    The other day, I had a customer that got a film done through the cheaper - and came back... decided they didn't like them - and got them all reprinted. (Reprints go through post-processing & are charged at 47c/photo)... So the reprints cost around $13. So in the end - going for the cheaper option cost $20...


    Err... Anyway - I don't think that had much to do with it...

    But - if you want your photos left the way they are - tell the staff member to write it on the workbag... Believe me - it is nice when you are busy to see something like that written on it - all you have to do is press start.

    And if you think the photos have been post-processed... Check the backs - our machines here print on the backs of the photos, Neg Number, Changes (Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Darkness) (In that order). they will just say +1 or -1 (replacing one with the equivalent number) if something has been done... So it will look like N N N N if nothing has been done, N N N +1 if it has been darkened...


    hope that helps
    See Ya's
    Alecia
     
  12. AIRIC

    AIRIC TPF Noob!

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    When you hit auto on the printer it will still make corrections but read NNNN on the back of the prints making it look like no corrections were done. It will automaticaly expose the prints with a lightmeter and we know lightmeters can not tell what the subject is or the mood of the photo. However take it to another lab and have no corrections done and it will look different. Lab volume, rep rates, settings and operators on each machine are different. All outlabs and cheaper priced labs pretty much print on auto so all the technician does is load and package, hopefully with out bending negs or prints :x

    Eric
     

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