View Full Version : I need some old negatives developed

8-Aug-2012, 14:33
I have some very old negatives that I found in my grandmother's things and I want to get them developed.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to whom to get to develop them, or do any of you have the credentials
that I can send them to you and let you do it. I am very afraid that they will get lost or spoiled and I will never
get to have them back. I joined this forum to find someone like you all who know what you are talking about in this field.
Please give me some insight.
Thank you so much,
A digital head,

Marc B.
8-Aug-2012, 15:10
Might help to know 'where' on our little blue marble you live.
Also, exactly how many images are we talking about? Color or B&W?

Film is film, until you have the exposed film 'developed' into 'negatives.'
Negatives are then printed onto photo paper, in a dark room,
or scanned into the digital world and then printed by an ink-jet printer.

I'm assuming you're asking for someone to 'scan' your negatives?
This is the 'Large Format' Photography Forum.
That means 'sheet film'; ie...4 X 5 inches, 8 X 10 inches, or larger negatives.
People here will need to know what size negatives you have.

You will probably just want an initial, lower quality/lower cost scan,
so that you can see what's on the negatives, (no printing at this point).
Then, for those images you like, decide if they justify the cost of
higher quality scans, and/or printing.


8-Aug-2012, 15:35
Try contacting Gene M on photo.net. He does these, but I think he has a substantial backlog. He may be able to give you advice, if nothing else.


Tim Meisburger
8-Aug-2012, 17:20
If the film needs to be developed (i.e. picture were taken, but the film was never processed and remains in a light tight box or roll), that is possible to do. But old film degrades over time, and you may not be able to get usable negatives from very old film.

If, on the other hand, you have "negatives" (film that has already been processed and on which you can see a negative image), you can either scan those and invert them, or you can find someone with an appropriate enlarger and ask them to make prints the old fashioned way.

If you are looking at the film, it is exposed, so go ahead and measure it and tell us the size.

Best, Tim

8-Aug-2012, 23:24
I suspect you mean you want them printed? Undeveloped negatives are light-sensitive and have no visible image on them, so a "digital head" probably wouldn't recognise them as negatives and if they did, they'd be ruined by looking at them.

If you have negs in a box (unopened) that you're sure are exposed, they can be developed and scanned or printed.

If you have (most likely I think) negs that are developed, i.e. you can see an inverted grey image on them, they just need printing or scanning. Would help to know where in the world you are... But there are commercial services like scancafe.com that will scan for you and should treat them professionally. And any pro photo lab should be able to scan them, but the prices will be high.

Edit: if you have already-developed negatives, there is no hurry. They last a couple centuries without much attention if you just keep them well away from moisture and fire. You can find good archival storage options by googling, e.g. polyethylene or buffered-paper sleeves and some dessicant.

9-Aug-2012, 08:19
First, sorry for my vagueness, but I'm new to forums. I am on one of the hot spots of this "blue marble" as one of you put is, here in Phoenix, AZ.
I am sure I have exposed film, negatives. there are 12, two on each strip. The strip is just under 2.5 inches wide and just under 5 inches long. :cool:Originally they would have had to be in black and white because I know at this time, color film would not have been available. I can tell by looking at them that they are my grandfather and what he is doing.
What I would like is to have high quality prints made of them so that I can have them framed and displayed for me and my father and sister. You would think there would be a lot of local places to go, but I have been calling around and all people want to do is send them out. It makes me nervous. I can send them out, but I want to make sure if I HAVE to do that, one of you tell me where I can trust to send them out.

Tim Meisburger
9-Aug-2012, 08:52
Call Photomart in Scottsdale. Tell them you want to scan and print medium format negatives and ask them if they do that. If they don't, ask them to recommend a local shop that does do that. There should be plenty, as Phoenix is also a photography "hot spot".

Best, Tim

9-Aug-2012, 09:08
Thanks, Tim. I called Photo Mart and they led me to Tempe Camera who has a full service lab in house and I wont have to send my negatives out to anyone. I feel so much better because my goods will stay here in AZ and they can actually make the photos look like they did many many years ago when they were first developed. I'm excited to go get the negatives made into prints and surprise my father with the pics of his father and grandfather.

Marc B.
10-Aug-2012, 15:23
Another possible option for you, initially, could be what are called contact prints.

The negatives are arranged directly on photo paper, yielding prints the exact same size as the negatives.
To reduce printing costs, several negatives/images can be arraigned on one piece of photo paper.
This might be the lowest cost option to preview the images. From the contact printed images,
you can then choose the images you will want individual enlargements printed from.

The contact printing process is also a valuable tool for the lab to determine exactly how
to enhance or optimize the final printing of those images you do choose to enlarge.
The technicians at the lab will be able to further discuss and advise you on this option/decision.