View Full Version : Where can I get some b&w negs developed and scanned??

16-Apr-2011, 19:42
I'm not quite ready to do my own developing. I have used North Coast Photographic for my development of 135/120 for a while but they don't offer scans of 4x5. Chrome Digital offers "production scans" that seem perfect for what I need but don't do b&w. Short of sending my film to both (I really don't want that) who can I use to both develop my b&w AND scan? Preferably for about $8-$10 per sheet.

Excuse my ignorance as I get all this large format business sorted out :)

16-Apr-2011, 20:05
Location, location, location. Where are you in the whole wide world????

Frank Petronio
16-Apr-2011, 20:13
Edgar Praus does expert lab work and Imacon scans at www.4photolab.com (http://www.4photolab.com) but there is no way he can do them for $10 each lol.

16-Apr-2011, 20:45
Sorry! USA...deep south, no where near any big city unfortunately.

I'm not sure how Chrome charges only $5.50 for "production scans." I'm not sure what they even mean by that*.

*Actually I figured out their nomenclature and I see I won't be getting quality scans for cheap. Well better start looking for that Epson whatever on ebay.

16-Apr-2011, 21:31
I feel sorry that USA is so big so many people asking about processing and scanning film more nowadays, i think i will be in same issue if i were living there, but good we have one lab only not so far even it is a bit far for me but not that much.
I saved myself bucks when i started to develop at home [B&W only] and have a scanner, i use the lab only for color film processing, i even don't use them for drum scanner and i am planning to buy a drum scanner i hope next year or after.

16-Apr-2011, 21:55
Corran, In mid USA, I use Allied Photocolor in ST. Louis. You can access their services and price lists at Alliedphotocolor.com. I have not had them do any scanning, but I've been in their plant and the work on display (and their work ethic) is awesome. Excellent E-6 and B&W processing!!!

16-Apr-2011, 22:05
Thanks guys. This questions was a little dumb because I misunderstood the Chrome site. I see now that cheap 4x5 scans are going to be impossible.

I have a Coolscan 8000 for my 120/220 so I want that level of quality for my 4x5s. I don't want to ask the same old questions about scanning but I might have to, in the appropriate forum. I don't want my 4x5 scans on a cheap scanner to barely equal the resolution from 6x7 scans from the Nikon!

Frank Petronio
16-Apr-2011, 23:06
The Coolscan will outperform a consumer (ie Epson) flatbed in an equal test but the added real estate of 4x5 negates that somewhat... but not necessarily in a cut and dry, linear fashion -- you just have to test and compare. And it really depends what your needs and budget are.

But even people with higher end drum scanners will usually have an Epson 4990/700/750 around if for nothing more than quick proofing. A lot of us, who have budgets and modest needs for smaller (>16x20 prints) can squeak by with one ;-)

The strategy or rationalization I make is that I can scan a lot with the Epson and the real winners can go out for higher end scans as I need them for larger prints or when I become super-famous or something.

Richard Mahoney
17-Apr-2011, 01:06
Dear Corran,

About six months ago my processing costs hit the roof. (I'm taking it New Zealand simply doesn't have the economies of scale to keep things at a reasonable level.) When I was fielding around for alternatives overseas Frank started his usual refrain -- `Praus rules, Praus rules, Praus ...'' It took me a while to get around to sending material to Rochester, but the other day I got the first lot back. And -- surprise, surprise -- Frank is right: the help was great, the film was carefully processed (E6 and TMAX), and the final invoice, postage included, was almost half what I would have had to pay locally. Yes, it took a few days longer, but really, when its one's own work, and when its critical that it's handled properly, the slight delay is irrelevant. Rochester is closer to you than me.

Kind regards,


Greg Blank
17-Apr-2011, 05:13
Use Edgar Praus http://www.4photolab.com or Duggal for the processing http://www.duggal.com.

Then Buy a V750 to do the scans. Having a lab do processing for B&W white is going to limit you to making exposures that work the way the lab processes though. If you want esoteric differences in your images based on developer choice, you will need to process them yourself or find a very specialized lab or person skilled with using many developers.

This subject is highly subjective, the term "better" is relative. Prior to having my V750 I had a Perfection 2450 (maybe four generations of Epson back). The lab I worked at had both a drum scanner they never used and an Imacon for 4x5. I had Imacon scans made of four 4x5 inch images and two were the largest files that they would create for me at 45.00 dollars each, those translated to 16x20 files for Lamda printing. One of the last scans I personally did on my 2450 was a 24x30 inch print. I let the lab output the image, being someone that has made 1,000's of color analog prints I feel I can state now that at a lower resolution one will most likely never see enough difference between a (Insert your high end scanner of choice here) and a V750. to warrant paying someone else to scan and tweek the scan. Certainly low budget customers never will.

Now if one has no ability to work with color or files it does change the outcome.

I'm not quite ready to do my own developing. I have used North Coast Photographic for my development of 135/120 for a while but they don't offer scans of 4x5. Chrome Digital offers "production scans" that seem perfect for what I need but don't do b&w. Short of sending my film to both (I really don't want that) who can I use to both develop my b&w AND scan? Preferably for about $8-$10 per sheet.

Excuse my ignorance as I get all this large format business sorted out :)

Frank Petronio
17-Apr-2011, 05:52
Richard - Thanks, now Edgar owes me a beer, haha. He's an old friend so I am biased but the simple fact is that there are only a handful of good labs left in the world, and I am lucky to have one locally.

Prosumer flatbed scanner plus a quality-minded and skilled individual = mediocre to good results

High-end scanner plus a production-orientated operation = mediocre to good results

High-end scanner plus a quality-minded and skilled individual = best you can ever do

Overall a good flatbed scan will look pretty good and they are amazing compared to what was used 15-20 years ago, no question. A large part of it is that today's photographers have better digital imaging skills -- a scanner operator at a print shop in the late 1980s may have been using a top of the line million-dollar drum scanner but a lot of them still put out crap.

But good scanning skills improved across the board, so now there are people with good "last-generation" drum scanners that will produce really great results. And the various intermediate scanners -- the quality Creo flatbeds, Imacons, etc. are not exactly garbage. If the Lotto dropped in my lap I'd go for a Creo myself.

Where you see the differences is in the shadows and highlights and that you don't have to sharpen nearly as much to achieve "clarity". You can sharpen up a flatbed scan to look pretty darn good, and you can do tricks and Photoshop work to hold tone in the extremities, but it's a lot of work to achieve half of what you can get untouched off the drum scan. Once you compare the same image scanned with the high and low-end scanners the differences are humbling.

Bob Kerner
17-Apr-2011, 06:20
Send it to Rochester! I haven't used them for scanning but if their scanning is half as good as their development skills, it will be fantastic.

I know it sounds like we're pimping Praus, but his shop really is that good. I live 30 mins from New York City, with a few labs still doing 4x5...and I still prefer to mail it to Rochester.

17-Apr-2011, 07:35
I actually used Praus once for some 120. He did great work, I just usually use NCPS because it was faster and cheaper and I don't notice any difference. For some reason USPS Priority gets to California in 2 days, every time. It took longer to NY, for whatever reason.

Also I am totally a hobbyist, but I'm also a die-hard perfectionist which is why I try to get the best quality no matter what.

I think you guys have convinced me to at least give my own development a go. Any suggestions for an all-in-one kit to do 4x5? I don't want to have to piece something together, just a one-shot purchase with everything (sans chemicals maybe). I will have to be in my bathroom...

Peter De Smidt
17-Apr-2011, 09:45
You've already have some good options. Burne Color Lab in Madison, WI is another.

17-Apr-2011, 11:14
Daylight tanks and reels for developing roll film by the hand inversion will deliver superb results with minimal investment and production costs. You can also process B&W 4x5 by hand inversion in daylight tanks and I done so for several years but recently have switched to the Dip-n-Dunk method using Kodak hard rubber tanks and hangers.

Kodak hard rubber tanks appear for sale from time to time on this forum (where I purchased mine) as well as on e-bay and other sources. You'll need at least 4: Developer, Stop (use a water stop), fix, and Hypo Clear. Reuse the stop tank for the final wash and photo-flo application. I process 8x10 B&W in open trays. Since Xtol is my primary developer and must be mixed 5 liters at a time, I store the stock developer in a floating lid tank where it will keep for 6 months.

You will also need a set of graduates and paddles for measuring and mixing the chemistry, a reliable thermometer, and an eyedropper for the photo-flo.

All of the above can be easily stored out of the way in the typical sized bathroom which is where you will probably process your negatives. For hang-drying 120, 4x5, and 8x10 a woman's wardrobe bag works great and cost about $6 at places like WalMart. For drying 135 and 220, I just hang from the ceiling of the bathroom and close the door. You'll need some film clips to hang the film and these can be the ordinary wooden/plastic hangers or regular film hangers with a weighted bottom clip. The latter is preferred and can be purchased for about twenty-five or so cents apiece at local camera swaps or sales. For sheet film I bought 20 sheet film clips from B&H for about $20.