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About The Darkroom (Film Lab)
Old 08-09-2015   #1
SolaresLarrave
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Smile About The Darkroom (Film Lab)

I wish I could recall where or how I got a recommendation for The Darkroom, a film lab located in San Clemente, CA. I sent them the film I used in my recent trip to Europe (with a Leica M4 and some other glass), knowing it'd be at least good...

But it was an excellent job of developing, scanning, uploading to the web and shipping. I gave them precise instructions about identifying the final product (negs and CD) with the same number of the roll (written on the canister on masking tape), and they did all of it.

I intend to use them more often. The total per roll was $15 (I ordered the medium size scans), but it was worth every penny!

Hence, I can recommend this lab for those of you who don't want to spend hours developing and scanning your film. BTW, they also work on E-6 and C-41.

Interested? HERE is their site.

You all have a very nice day!
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Old 08-09-2015   #2
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I second your recommendation. I've used them for a few years. Good people.
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Old 08-09-2015   #3
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I've used them too. I definitely recommend springing for the higher resolution scans. The default scan option is just too low-res.

I really like the communication from this lab, and the instant online availability of scans once your film is developed and scanned.

The price is rather good for what you get as well. For me, I need to do developing and scanning at home due to volume.
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Old 08-09-2015   #4
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I third the recommendation. Superb service. Excellent quality.
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Old 08-09-2015   #5
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I was thinking about using the lowest-priced option for scans, but then I recalled that Walgreens used to do that, and unless you're printing 2X3s or 4X6s, it's not really good. I went for the middle one and I'm very happy with the results.

Also, they stay in touch with you throughout the process. I liked that shortly after letting me know they had received my film, they posted the scans on their photo site. Also, you can download them ahead of time (for those who may be a bit impatient, like me).

In short, I'll use their service again. I have a batch of undeveloped travel film that's been sitting there for some time, so they'll get it as well.

For those interested, click on their site and check them out. They seem to be very devoted to film and printing... even doing professional wet prints!
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Old 08-09-2015   #6
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They do a great job and it is where I get my B/W work done. If you want prints they do it on real black and white paper. They are also a good outlet for half frame work.
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Old 08-09-2015   #7
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I've used The Darkroom for 4 years now and I unhesitatingly recommend them. And I send mine across the Continent from Canada!
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Old 08-09-2015   #8
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I have given up using The Darkroom and use real pro labs after having numerous scanning issues from them, having their online delivery service go down for a week so I could not get my images (and that is why they cost more than real pro labs like NCPS), and having hi rez scans with fine linen like lines on them which they could not explain.
p.s when their dropbox account went down they did not offer any recompense apart from an "I'm sorry.." I get higher quality scanned to DVDs back quicker and cheaper from NCPS than The Darkroom.

Right now I have multiple rolls with Thefindlab.com to see how they are. They come highly recommended from pro photographers, and the examples I have seen from them are stunning.

Anyway, for my business I cannot afford to have the results that I have got from thedarkroom.
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Old 08-09-2015   #9
SolaresLarrave
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BTW, I'm not getting anything in exchange for posting this recommendation. I simply want to share the good results I got from them. There are other good labs out there, but this time I wanted to try their services and I am very pleasantly surprised.

Knowing that this forum is composed of a large group of film users, inevitably I had to share my news.

Just FYI.
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Old 08-09-2015   #10
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p.s The Darkroom is actually just Swan Photo Labs but under a different name for marketing reasons. Swan is maybe the largest consumer level photo processing outfit in the US.
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Old 08-10-2015   #11
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I've had great service from TheDarkroom. I've used them for a dozen or so BW 35mm films this year, with medium scans. Excellent online experience, quick service and good quality.

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Old 08-10-2015   #12
mdwsta4
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and Ilford Labs is also the Darkroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
p.s The Darkroom is actually just Swan Photo Labs but under a different name for marketing reasons. Swan is maybe the largest consumer level photo processing outfit in the US.
I'm also a huge fan of the Darkroom and use them exclusively to develop my film. I'm able to send them rolls, have them scanned/developed, uploaded online, and negatives back in my hand in less than a week. Granted, I'm only an hour and a half north in Los Angeles, but still. Excellent communication, price, and of course results. Having tried some of the other 'popular' labs *cough* Indie Film Labs *cough*, I came away extremely disappointed in the results. That hasn't happened once with the Darkroom. I try to recommend them to everyone that asks.
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Old 08-13-2015   #13
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Off topic, but I just checked out your Flickr thread Matt. Great shots there!
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