Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thought Of The Day: Film and Print Service

Where do I get film and print service?

Two places: North Coast Photographic Services and Costco.

North Coast is where I get most of my film developed and scanned. They do an exceptional job. I've never had any issues using them and never had problems with dust. The files I get back have more resolution than I even know what to do with, especially if I'm using a film size larger than 35mm. The scanning does add a small amount of digital noise, but nothing significant. I've also used North Coast to make prints, and their quality is top-notch, but a but expensive. This is where I get odd shaped (such as square) or large prints done at. They ship quickly, too.

The Costco photo center is good for two things. First, if I need film developed and scanned quickly, resolution is not important, and the film requires C-41 (color negative) process, then Costco is my place of choice. I talked more about this here. Second, Costco is where I go for most of my prints. They use Fuji Archive paper and a $50,000 printer. Their quality is excellent (better than some "pro labs" I've used in the past, and not significantly different than North Coast), customer service is first-class, and prices are the lowest. Once the photograph is matted and framed, there is no way of knowing where it was printed, and no one will have a clue that you used a one-hour lab instead of a professional lab. You can get up to 12" x 18" prints in one hour. I rarely have had issues with dust at Costco (don't know how they do it), but when I have, they've gladly reprinted the image at no additional cost.

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