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View Full Version : Are there any analogue C-41 mini labs still in existence?



Uri A
28-Mar-2013, 04:52
I would ship my 35mm film to the US if there was one... I hate the color and texture of the new scan labs. Defeats the whole purpose of shooting film.

Please let me know if you know of one!

Thank you.

welly
28-Mar-2013, 05:54
Vision Image Lab in Redfern? What are you after?

jslabovitz
28-Mar-2013, 11:17
Blue Moon Camera & Machine (http://bluemooncamera.com), in Portland, Oregon, lovingly maintain a pair of some of the last models of all-optical C41 minilabs. Good folks.

--John

Brian C. Miller
28-Mar-2013, 11:55
IIRC, Panda Labs (http://www.pandalab.com) uses an optical machine for "proof" prints, but you'd need to ask. They do decent work.

To keep this on LF, they develop B&W LF up to 8x10. (I send my color stuff to Praus (http://www.4photolab.com), splendid job)

Drew Wiley
28-Mar-2013, 12:51
Heck, even Costco still does that around here.

Daniel Stone
28-Mar-2013, 14:07
Heck, even Costco still does that around here.

Interesting, if they indeed do OPTICAL enlargements. ALL the Costco's to me run fully digital machines(scan film --> digital exposure to paper).

I have a feeling Uri is referring to the film actually being enlarged, even in an optical sense. Agfa and Noritsu sure did make OPTICAL(just like an enlarger, multiple lenses for each format) minilab machines back "in the day" before scanning entered the scene big time, and when 95% of the normal-shootin public went digital; well, labs had to go "digital" as well w/ newer machines. Thusly, many of these optical film-printing machines are now available for those that want an all-optical workflow:


Uri, here's a reseller/middleman here in the USA who deals in this sort of equipment(and other stuff too):
http://cresimaging.com/opticaloneourlabs.html

cheers,
Dan

Drew Wiley
28-Mar-2013, 16:33
Well, I don't know about one-hour lab setups etc. Never used them because they did wretched work even in chemical days,
and their digitally-output prints nowadays look even worse (that is, having seen other people's prints). My wife still prefers
optical prints and a film point-n'-shoot. The local labs and camera stores still provide the service - someone comes by and
picks up film from the main lab, and one can order either machine or custom prints, just like always. The Costco here still
offers both chem RA-4 and digital from digital. I don't pay much attention because I print all my own shots in my own lab,
and sure as hell have no interest in doing it for anyone else! But 4x5 is generally what I consider as "small format" anyway.

Drew Wiley
29-Mar-2013, 10:15
It occcured to me I didn't answer the question directly. Costco doesn't use a mini-lab. They have some kind of centralized
facility up here all the film goes to, quite affordably, but hardly high-quality. The local camera stores and digital mini-labs
have conventional film picked up by a full-service lab called Lightwaves, which offers both relatively affordable machine prints
as well as full custom RA4 printing services, both optical and digital, as well as C-41 and E6 for all film sizes up to 8x10. So this kind of service still seems alive and well, though it appears to take some kind of centralized operation to afford reasonable economies of scale, keeping all the various machines running all the time. All the "mini" snapshot stuff I've seen,
even with film, does indeed have that annoying mini-booth digi-look to it, salt-and-peppery with bizarre skintones.

Bob Salomon
29-Mar-2013, 12:08
Unique Photo in Fairfield NJ

al olson
29-Mar-2013, 16:54
We have one of these little labs in Pagosa Springs. The equipment has had at least two prior owners that I am aware of. I have asked the current owners if they process 120, since I know that at one time the processor was capable of processing both 135 and 120. They say they don't know anything about 120.

I would be concerned that they keep the chemicals fresh. Since everyone around here (except me) is using digital, I would not believe there is enough business to keep it running 6 days a week, let alone to replenish as required. I don't understand how they can stay in business.

I have to say, though, that in the past when I was in a hurry to develop 120 I would have the prior owners process my film (120) for me with good results.

Uri A
3-Apr-2013, 13:20
Hi everyone,

Thank you all for your feedback and all the great info!

I am talking about 35mm (for me). Obviously there were always plenty of atrocious analogue prints, but I was hoping there was still a couple of skilled operators out there. I think a few old-skool wedding photogs still shoot lots of 35mm, as they drop and pick up - no computer time! So I was hoping for a lead to someone who is skilled and prints good skintones, as I mainly shoot people and the Frontier prints make me want to quit photograpy...

I have a sick baby at the moment, plus work so will review all the links when I get to breathe :)

Appreciate all your input!!

Randy Moe
3-Apr-2013, 14:03
I want to get rid of a Durst RCP 20. Automatic Color Print Processor. I just got it in a darkroom buyout. I think it does 45, 8X10's in one set of chemicals.

I hate color.

Uri A
7-Apr-2013, 04:42
Ive decided to buy Corran's Minolta 35mm scanner and prepare my own files, rather than have some pimply hipster ruin my prints from a 250k scan.

That way I can have my pro lab dip n dunk the film.

Ill let you know how I go.

Larry Kellogg
9-Apr-2013, 01:44
Ive decided to buy Corran's Minolta 35mm scanner and prepare my own files, rather than have some pimply hipster ruin my prints from a 250k scan.

That way I can have my pro lab dip n dunk the film.

Ill let you know how I go.

I think that's the right thing to do. I've never been happy with scans, even from some good places in New York. I don't think that labs have the time to produce good quality scans. I always have contact sheets run though, can you get that at least? For a while, I was paying for processing only, but I regretted that, as I did not have the time to scan everything and produce my own contact sheets.

welly
9-Apr-2013, 02:06
Ive decided to buy Corran's Minolta 35mm scanner and prepare my own files, rather than have some pimply hipster ruin my prints from a 250k scan.

That way I can have my pro lab dip n dunk the film.

Ill let you know how I go.

Pimply hipster? This is Sydney not Melbourne!