Darkroom Lab / Ilford USA
Old 12-10-2018   #1
stevebarry
Registered User
 
stevebarry is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 7
Darkroom Lab / Ilford USA

I have always developed/printed all my own film. In the past year I have found myself not enjoying the process any longer, and have started looking for places to develop my film for me.

Has anyone had any luck with the darkroom labs/Ilford? I have tried 3x almost 30 rolls of film and the prints/scans come back super dark and way too contrasty (and I lean towards dark and contrasty, so).

In addition this last batch is scratched to hell. I tried emailing them but got a pretty surprising response back.

I could just have them develop the film and print/scan everything myself, but that's more work than developing the film.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-10-2018   #2
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 7,591
They suck. I stopped using them a long time ago after they ruined film and did not give an explanation after I asked what happened.

I use northcoastphoto or thefindlab, but most the time now I get it developed locally and then scan it myself with my digicam.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-10-2018   #3
ptpdprinter
Registered User
 
ptpdprinter is offline
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebarry View Post
I have always developed/printed all my own film. In the past year I have found myself not enjoying the process any longer, and have started looking for places to develop my film for me.

Has anyone had any luck with the darkroom labs/Ilford? I have tried 3x almost 30 rolls of film and the prints/scans come back super dark and way too contrasty (and I lean towards dark and contrasty, so).

In addition this last batch is scratched to hell. I tried emailing them but got a pretty surprising response back.

I could just have them develop the film and print/scan everything myself, but that's more work than developing the film.
Time to move to digital?
__________________
ambientlightcollection.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-10-2018   #4
markjwyatt
Registered User
 
markjwyatt's Avatar
 
markjwyatt is offline
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Southern California
Posts: 592
Are you talking about The Darkroom in San Clemente, CA (or the Ilford Lab they appear to be running)? I use The Darkroom, and so far so good.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-10-2018   #5
Bill Clark
Registered User
 
Bill Clark's Avatar
 
Bill Clark is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minnetonka, Minnesota
Age: 71
Posts: 2,533
I haven’t used this source but I notice they advertise here on rangefinder:

https://www.precision-camera.com/rff...solution-scans

Like you, I’m using my darkroom less and less. I only use film for black & white.
__________________
I make photographs as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-10-2018   #6
olifaunt
Registered User
 
olifaunt is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 246
I’ve tried the Findlab and Indie Film Lab for (pushed) b&w, develop and scan (no prints though). Both are professional in their work (no scratches, etc.) though I think the tech at Indie had a better eye for tones so I’d probably use Indie again. Unfortunately though, I’m finding myself limited in how much b&w I can afford to do because they are so expensive.
  Reply With Quote

the darkroom
Old 12-10-2018   #7
stevebarry
Registered User
 
stevebarry is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 7
the darkroom

I've used both The Darkroom https://thedarkroom.com/ in CA, as well as ilford USA.

This time around, I mailed my film to the darkroom, and got an email confirmation they had received my film from Ilford. I had read on here they were the same place, so no big surprise, even though the Ilford prices are quite a bit higher if you order from them.

I'll check out the other suggestions and maybe try them. Guess its going to be hit or miss at best though. All depending on who is actually doing the work that day at whenever you send it.

There does not seem to be one place that does a decent job, that everyone can agree does a decent job anyhow.

I'm having a back and forth email battle with some anonymous tech at the darkroom right now, who is insisting a clear scratch on the example I sent him is a scanner line. here is a link to full size scan

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xMd...ew?usp=sharing

obviously a scratch, but he keeps saying its a scanner line.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-10-2018   #8
ChipMcD
Registered User
 
ChipMcD is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Coast USA
Posts: 476
Those look like scratches to me. Ive used Ilford a fair amount, and have not had a problem with the negs or scans.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-10-2018   #9
farlymac
PF McFarland
 
farlymac's Avatar
 
farlymac is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 6,206
Yeah, scanner lines are straight, those are scratches. Time to switch labs. I'm looking to find another one after the first three panned out.


PF
__________________
Waiting for the light
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-11-2018   #10
olifaunt
Registered User
 
olifaunt is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebarry View Post
I've used both The Darkroom https://thedarkroom.com/ in CA, as well as ilford USA.

This time around, I mailed my film to the darkroom, and got an email confirmation they had received my film from Ilford. I had read on here they were the same place, so no big surprise, even though the Ilford prices are quite a bit higher if you order from them.

I'll check out the other suggestions and maybe try them. Guess its going to be hit or miss at best though. All depending on who is actually doing the work that day at whenever you send it.

There does not seem to be one place that does a decent job, that everyone can agree does a decent job anyhow.

I'm having a back and forth email battle with some anonymous tech at the darkroom right now, who is insisting a clear scratch on the example I sent him is a scanner line. here is a link to full size scan

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xMd...ew?usp=sharing

obviously a scratch, but he keeps saying its a scanner line.
That scan looks wretched and not just because of the scratch. Either Indie or Findlab will give you much better quality IME.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-11-2018   #11
stevierose
Ann Arbor, Michigan
 
stevierose is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 131
I have had good luck with PhotoVision in Salem, Oregon. I found them because I asked a fellow on a FB photography group who always posts wonderful scans how he developed and scanned his shots with his Rollei TLR and he uses them. $14/roll for develop and scan with light dusting included.

http://photovisionprints.com/

I've also had good luck with Adrian Bacon who is a photographer that provides lab services in N. California: https://adrianbacon.com/simple-photo...mple-film-lab/ He usually develops your film in a Jobo with Xtol, but also offers the ability to use almost any developer or technique in terms of manual inversion tanks, etc.. He then "scans" the negatives using a DSLR set up, inverts the images with software he has developed himself, and provides DNG files to the customer. Reasonable prices.

When I asked him what developers he could offer he replied "I currently have D-76 stock, XTOL stock, Rodinal, HC110, Ilfosol, DD-X, and Microphen on hand in addition to my bottle of replenished XTOL. My biggest tank can hold almost two gallons of total solution, so you can request some pretty crazy dilution levels if that's your thing."

Hope this helps.

Steve Rosenblum
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-15-2018   #12
stevebarry
Registered User
 
stevebarry is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 7
OK I will give them a try in salem. I just got done scanning the 8 rolls I got back from darkroom, and there is more dust and scratches than I have ever seen from myself or any lab I've ever used. More than when I started developing film and did it in my kitchen and let it dry there.

I had an email exchange with one of the owners of darkroom and he assured me, a scratch was impossible from his lab. Started by saying I needed a CLA on my camera (told him this film was from 3 cameras), that it could be a scanner line (he said the fan in the scanner can blow dust and create a curving line LOL) (i then told him no matter how many times I scan the film the scratch is identical, that I can see it in a loupe, and enlarger, etc. etc. etc. But never once did he say anything like "hey you know, we develop alot of film it happens and I apologize". Just kept on with the - there is no way a scratch could happen in our lab.

Look, I would not even second guess it if there was a scratched frame per roll or something, but at least 50% of the frames have frame length scratches. Wont be sending my film there again.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-15-2018   #13
Bill Clark
Registered User
 
Bill Clark's Avatar
 
Bill Clark is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minnetonka, Minnesota
Age: 71
Posts: 2,533
From reading this thread, just a thought, maybe consider going back and developing your own film.

I enjoy film developing much more than printing. Once the film is in the tank I can do something else while having the tank on a table by me for agitation. Printing in the darkroom, I find the waste basket is my friend!

I have waaay too many photographs! Kinda like this song by Bruce Springsteen:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/57_C..._Nothin%27_On))
__________________
I make photographs as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-15-2018   #14
willwright
Registered User
 
willwright is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 38
Try Precision...takes awhile, but I've done 100 plus rolls with them..perfect processing and superb scans
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-15-2018   #15
stevebarry
Registered User
 
stevebarry is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 7
Hey Bill, I do still develop my own film, been doing it for 20 years, I just develop straight and print straight though so not much to do other than repeat a simple recipe.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-17-2019   #16
stevebarry
Registered User
 
stevebarry is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 7
I gave Precision a try, and while it did take a while (almost 3 weeks) I got the dropbox link to the photos today and they are right on point. Development is great, scans appear great too. No scratches, very little dust....I will use them from now on. I should have prints and CDs tomorrow.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-17-2019   #17
ColSebastianMoran
( IRL Richard Karash )
 
ColSebastianMoran's Avatar
 
ColSebastianMoran is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
I havenít used this source but I notice they advertise here on rangefinder:

https://www.precision-camera.com/rff...solution-scans

Like you, Iím using my darkroom less and less. I only use film for black & white.
I've used Precision with excellent results for C-41; they have an attractive offer for RFF members. That said, if you are shooting B&W, I suggest checking first with them.

Another I can highly recommend is North Coast Photographic Services in Calif. Last I used them, they did B&W developing in house.
__________________
Col. Sebastian Moran, ret. (not really)

In Classifieds Now: Nothing.
Use this link to leave feedback for me.

Named "Best heavy-game shooter in the Eastern Empire." Clubs: Anglo-Indian, Tankerville, and Bagatelle Card Club.
Sony E/FE, Nikon dSLR, and iPhone digital. Misc film.
Birds, portraits, events, family. Mindfulness, reflection, creativity, and stance.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-19-2019   #18
stevebarry
Registered User
 
stevebarry is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 7
I did give Precision a try. The development/scanning/printing was significantly better than the darkroom. It did take 3 weeks, and I did not receive the ultra-high res scans that I paid for. Hopefully they refund the $12/roll and I will try again with them.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:18.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.