View Full Version : Lab closed dammit!

20-Aug-2007, 15:45

Just literally walked over to Photocraft in Portland, OR to drop off my slides from a Saturday morning Mount Hood hike - and they have stopped processing film! Another ludicrous casuality in the mindless march to a digital future.

In one sense I don't mind - they we're generally a bit surly and unpleasant to deal with. But the place was only two-blocks from my office! Now I have to find a mail-order shop and deal with the hassle of shipping.

So okay - any recommendations on where to send my 4x5 slides for processing?

20-Aug-2007, 16:25
Why don't you learn to develop for yourself? (I deleted the rest of the comment, before I made an as...le of myself with a snide, and uncalled for remark.)

Jim Jirka
20-Aug-2007, 16:29

In Seattle

Robert Brummitt
20-Aug-2007, 17:19
I had heard scuttlebutt that Photocraft was going to do this. What about Citzens? Are they still working? Last time I dropped film there and they did a great job.
I'll have to call citizen and see. Luckily I stopped using large format color and use only medium E-6.
Is Pro Photo still doing Medium format C-41?

20-Aug-2007, 17:58
That just plain sucks. I'm new to LF, and I'll tell you, it's great that Fuji has brought back some nice emulsions (Velvia 50) and continues to innovate (Provia 400X), but have they given any thought to where exactly their films are going to be processed in the future. Maybe Fuji should establish their own Pro processing centres throughout the US, Canada and Europe. It may come to this if they hope to continue selling film. Everytime I hear of a lab closing down I question the wisdom of buying into LF, especially when buying lenses brand new. They depreciate 50% upon receipt! O.K. I'm going to look at some chromes now to remind myself why I'm making this effort....

20-Aug-2007, 18:32
(Bill, you should have kept deleting. You still left too much in the message.)

Jack, I feel your pain. I had a great B&W printer close shop about 10 years ago and I haven't had a decent print ever since. (hush, Bill). The color lab I started using a couple of years ago (GREAT processing and prints) takes anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to turn around a couple of rolls. They say the majority of their clients are shooting weddings with digital and they must change with the times. I understand but don't like it. I feel your pain!

20-Aug-2007, 19:47
Sorry to hear about your loss!

It seems that labs all over are suffering from the decrease in film utilization... likewise in our neck of the woods. So, we should ALL shoot MORE film! :)

Lastly, the name, "Photocraft" struck a certain chord in my memory. When I first got involved in photography, I worked for a small camera store called Photocrafts in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It brought back some fond memories. :)


Scott Knowles
21-Aug-2007, 05:44
I'll agree with Jim, Ivey Imaging in Seattle. They're now the only lab left that does all films. A few other labs to some films but not all. Ivey has a one day or less turnaround on any film, including sheet film. It's $2.50 per sheet - any film and any push/pull. One guy there said it's not worth the time to sort the charges out as they do more than enough to balance the costs over the films. They use one b&w developer (D-76?) you can't ask for custom development for that.

John Curran
21-Aug-2007, 12:15
So okay - any recommendations on where to send my 4x5 slides for processing?

I've been using A&I in L.A. (aandi.com). They do great work and show no signs of backing away from LF and film. Decent turn-around times too.

best regards

21-Aug-2007, 13:48
Have any of you thought to try out G. King Photo? They're located in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada.

Here's their website...


Best of all... the prices are in Canuck buck. So, that's approximately 10% savings right off the bat.

And, yes, yes... I hear some of you say, "But, that involves a border crossing!" All I can say is... it's not as complicated as some of you might think.

Give it a try and see for yourselves! :)


Ed K.
21-Aug-2007, 14:24
Sad news to hear. A&I in Los Angeles does do good prints and E6 with decent turn around.

Side comment -

While everyone is quick to point out the obvious decline in chemical based photography labs, there are some other issues that can cause such businesses to "reinvent".

Real estate prices for commercial property are pretty high these days. Labs are often smaller than what the SBA calls a "small business" - they are often micro-businesses. Where the larger employers get tax relief, occupation and building fee waivers, and in some cases, financial assistance to operate, small businesses are frequently saddled with ever-increasing taxes, insurance rates and environmental regulations that have variable fees (such as, in some parts of Oregon, the number of trips on a road that leads to a photo lab).

I have been researching the possibilities of opening a photo business that involves processing in various counties of Oregon. The number of issues to deal with is daunting and well, expensive. It might not even be possible unless I could open the equivalent of a Kodak corporate office. Oregon is strapped for cash in general, so it must try to squeeze every drop out of small business. The digital stuff has higher markup in many cases for the vendor with fewer variables (spoiled prints, etc.) when done right. Environmentally, while there are trash and equipment disposal issues, at least there isn't any wastewater discharge, and the amount of space required for the operation can be pretty small. Add to it that people have Wal Mart kiosks as well as their own printers at home and it's easy to see how one could have a difficult time surviving.

How I wish I could offer some of those nice, honest, regular Oregon folks a job in a high-end photo lab. It just doesn't pencil out so far for darkroom stuff - even a rental darkroom doesn't pencil out. But a "yet another inkjet and teeshirt shop with Internet sales" does pencil out just fine. Go figure.

So sure - film processing options are going down due to film use decline, however small business troubles usually are quite related.

Robert Brummitt
21-Aug-2007, 15:08
I called Citizen Photo and they are the only lab in town that does dip and dunk processing now. The prices for 35mm/36esp $6.55 a roll, 120 is $4.35 a roll and $1.50 per 4x5 sheet.
Their phone number is 503-232-8501 extention 5 for the lab.

Stephen Fritz
21-Aug-2007, 19:58
I've been using Dot Dotson's in Eugene for the last 3 years, which processes 4x5 and 8 x 10 (as well as 35mm and 2 1/4) E6 in a dip and dunk processor. They do E6 daily and C-41 once or twice a week. My results have been consistent and their service is prompt. For E6, in by noon, out by 5PM. (541) 485-1771. I sold my Jobo when I felt their quality was sufficient and now rely on them. I hear they do some mail order business.

23-Aug-2007, 08:09
It's been very tough on the labs. I'm in out of the way rural NH. I've lost three labs over the last several years.

Now I'm mailing out E6. A heck of a lot less convenient, but it's to a good lab and that's what's important.


ronald moravec
28-Aug-2007, 10:12
Worry when you can not get the E6 gallon kit. Jobo and expert drum is my suggestion. Use one shot. Avoid contamination. $60 will allow 12 runs at 10 sheets per run. The lab did not do it for 1/2 buck each. Stay away from 3 step and off brand chems.

Nikon makes some decent digicams! I know it`s not the same.

Mark Sampson
28-Aug-2007, 11:43
Citizen Photo's E6 prices, mentioned above, are almost the same as the custom lab that I used to work for- in 1983. Their profit margins must be razor-thin. I'd love to pay 1983 prices for everything, as long as I have my 2007 salary.

Robert Brummitt
28-Aug-2007, 14:00
That's it! I'm going to do some research and write an article about where and who to send our E-6 film to. I spoke with the folks at the local photo supply store and they agree that its great the film companies make new and /or improve films but what good is it if there isn't anywhere to process the film!
Send me the contact information of labs in your area. I'm going to stockpile the information and then share them with all who love a good chrome!

Kirk Keyes
28-Aug-2007, 14:07
Robert - thanks for looking into Citizen's Prices.

I was talking with a buddy that works at ProPhoto and he said they were going to send their E-6 to K&K. We both cringed when he said that... I guess I'll be sending my E-6 to Citizens. And their price list shows that push/pulls are only $2/rack (8-4x5s).

Robert Brummitt
28-Aug-2007, 14:21
I spoke with one manager at Pro and they had heard the same horror stories regarding K&K. I think they'll not use them. I'm going to contact Ivey as well.

Doug Dolde
28-Aug-2007, 15:44
Mail it to Photo Craft Imaging in Boulder CO. Only $1.40 per 4x5 sheet.


Alan Davenport
29-Aug-2007, 10:04
PhotoVision (just down the 5 in Salem) does both E-6 and C-41 for $1.50 per 4x5 sheet.