Frequently Asked Questions
Here at The Photo Dept, the safety and quality of your film is the number one priority. We decided to process all film by hands in batches, using B's rotary developers and Paterson tanks for consistency, stability, and repeatability.
For C-41, we use the excellent Fuji Hunt C-41 X-Press chemistry, which is the industry standard for a lot of really incredible labs.
For E-6, we use Bellini's E-6 chemistry.
All of our B+W film is stand processed using Kodak HC-110. We like HC-110 for its fine grain, smooth tonality, and stability.
For ECN-2, we are currently using the QWD ECN-2 kit, but will be moving to a liquid based chemistry process in the near future.
About stand development:
Stand Development is a process that uses a very dilute development solution and longer development times at room temperature, up to an hour and a half. The film is then agitated very little, and left to "stand" until development is done.
This process allows for the preservation of highlights and greater detail in shadow areas. You can read more about how this process works at the links below.
All film is scanned with a Canon 5DSR camera, a 96+ CRI light source balanced at 5600K, and Negative Supply film carriers and accessories. Scans are all RAW quality, with varying sizes, chosen at checkout.
After being open for a few weeks and trying things a few ways, I wanted to clarify my scanning process to help you decide if my scanning service is right for you.
Most labs that have expensive scanners, support staff, and the bandwidth for hundreds or thousands of rolls of film a week, usually have the ability to spend time with each roll of film while scanning to produce a "finished" look.
My goal with this lab has always been to provide the best files with the most latitude so that you, as the photographer, can take your scans and edit them to your taste and preference. That way, no matter what film you shoot or how, your final images will always have your unique "look".
Scanning with the Negative Supply carriers and 5DSR is relatively fast, setup, conversion in Lightroom, dust removal, and individual color balancing takes up a massive amount of time. I'm looking for ways to streamline that process, but as of now, the only option is to clone myself and I can't do that just yet.
As of right now, all scans are delivered as a flat, high dynamic range JPEG file that allows a good range of post editing latitude. All files are individually adjusted for minor color balance and exposure issues.
HALF FRAME: Currently, we scan half frame rolls as diptychs (two frames at once) and return negatives uncut. There is no additional cost for half frame rolls.
Absolutely! We currently only offer push processing for color film. There is a per-roll charge for pushing, you can choose what you'd like in the drop down on the order page. We don't offer any options for pulling film at this time.
We don't offer any push/pull options for B&W at the moment, as all B&W film is stand developed, which is a process that allows for the preservation of highlights and greater detail in the shadows. This also allows for all types of B&W film stocks to be developed together and at the same development time.
We love using all sorts of black and white developers for very specific results. We chose HC-110 for our standard development as it allows us a wide latitude for a huge variety of films without imparting too much of its own character, which allows a great deal of consistency.
If you would prefer to have your black and white film developed with a specific type of developer, please reach out via the Contact page so we can talk about it!
We accept almost all disposable cameras. Please choose 35mm color or 35mm B+W when ordering.
Eventually, we will phase out support for processing disposable cameras, we feel they go against our philosophy of sustainability and responsibility to our environment in the face of climate change.
We heard a lot of feedback about clients wanting a rush option for their film and scans. We decided to add a new option on the order page for you to leave the turnaround time as Standard, or choose Next Day service.
Next Day service is $10 per roll, regardless of format or type.
Next Day service excludes Sunday and Monday, and starts when the lab receives the film.
The shipping price that you are charged at checkout is the flat rate we use to ship your negatives back to you. You will need to purchase a shipping label separately to send us your film.
If you don't want your negatives shipped back to you, please select "Pick up" at the checkout screen so that you aren't charged for return shipping, and let us know in the notes section.
We are in the process of looking into prepaid labels to send to customers so they just need to slap it on their box and drop their film in the mail, no other steps needed. We are hoping to implement that asap.
When sending 4x5, it's always going to be cheapest and easiest to put your exposed 4x5 sheets back into the original box, or other similar 4x5 box and seal it with tape. Please be sure to clearly mark the film stock on the box.
If you would prefer to send your sheets in film holders, be sure to pack them well so they don't experience any light leaks.
We will most likely not be accepting international film orders.
Negatives are shipped out the following Friday after scanning. For drop offs, you can pick your negatives up whenever you receive your email with the download link for your scans.
If you want us to hold your negatives for you, we will hold them for 30 days, at which time we will notify you that we are disposing them. If you need us to store your negatives for longer, please reach out via the Contact page so we can work with you to find a solution.
Yes! Our lab hours are Tuesday through Friday 11am-4pm, Saturday 12pm-4pm, and we are closed Sunday and Monday. When you fill out your order online, choose "Pick Up" in the shipping section of checkout.
We have a buzzer keypad next to the front door. Please input "201" and hit call, then we can buzz you in.
We do! The drop-box is available 24/7 for clients who cant make it to the lab during regular business hours.