Film processing and scanning at Costco
I checked around town. Costco and Walmart seem to be the only game in town for scanning. The girl at Walmart had no idea what resolution their scans were and warned that film processing will end at Walmart within a month. No need to give them a try.
Costco offers film processing and scanning for $2.99 complete without prints, only a contact sheet and the scans. I gave them a try with some Fuji 200, the only game in town for color negatives too, from a quick look. Costco doesn't even sell film any more. Got a four roll pack from Walmart.
I asked the girls at the Costco counter about resolution and neither of them knew, had never been asked about it before, but did have a sheet with several resolutions on it. I left the roll to give it a try and asked them to call me back if they found anything more detailed. Another girl called who knows how to change the resolution settings of the machine and said they always scan at the highest resolution. Probably no reason not to.
I got the roll back later today. It had JPG files that ran about 4 mg each, which translates to a 3088x2048 image file. That is roughly equivalent to an 18 mg tiff image file that I save from my Nikon Scan 4 software when scanning the same negative with my Cool Scan V ed film scanner at a considerably lower resolution than the scanner is capable of. So I would judge the scans to be usably high resolution, though less than a third the potential size of my high end film scanner. It produces scans that would print as big as a wall, though. So, if you can get Costco to scan at full resolution it is adequate. Why don't I just scan everything myself. Try a film scanner some time and see what kind of a time commitment you are into.
I was not satisfied with the processing, though. The scans and the negatives, including scans I produced with my scanner, are way way pushed when it comes to saturation and contrast. They are about the hotest image files I've ever attempted to use.
So, I have a question, what is wrong here. Is the film processing just plain off. Is the scanning too contrasty with both scanners. I can't tell a thing by looking at the negatives. Are such hot images characteristic of that particular film.
I have more of the film coming cheap from B&H so hope it will give me decent performance. I also have some Fuji Pro 160 coming. Will it be flatter and easier to manage saturation and contrast with. I don't think I remember such contrasty images back in my film days even with transparancies. The highlights and shadows were just unmanageable.
What recommendations would you make for me. What I want to do is to shoot, process, scan and go on with image files like always. That might be a film violation, but it is what I intend to do. Probably a lot of other folks with the same direction, I would guess.