Film Developing in the UK

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How do people find scans with Filmdev at the moment ?
I've noticed that they've been aggressively sharpening, despite stating 'no sharpening' on the order form. The sharpening is so bad that it starts introducing grain into things like Ektar.
On another forum I frequent they posted a scan that had some rather aggressive red eye reduction on it also. Another user posted a photo of a box speed HP5 scan that had grain like snow.

I had been sending my C41 to them as they're so cheap, but I won't be in future.
 

excalibur2

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How do people find scans with Filmdev at the moment ?
I've noticed that they've been aggressively sharpening, despite stating 'no sharpening' on the order form. The sharpening is so bad that it starts introducing grain into things like Ektar.
On another forum I frequent they posted a scan that had some rather aggressive red eye reduction on it also. Another user posted a photo of a box speed HP5 scan that had grain like snow.

I had been sending my C41 to them as they're so cheap, but I won't be in future.
H'mm I've been using Tesco then Asda and now filmdev (they use the same Fuji frontier scanner) for about 6 years and posted many shots in that time...although this is a polite forum no one has said they are crap because of grain or artifacts or serious over sharpening etc. Well could it be camera user errors in some of them?
 
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How do people find scans with Filmdev at the moment ?
I've noticed that they've been aggressively sharpening, despite stating 'no sharpening' on the order form. The sharpening is so bad that it starts introducing grain into things like Ektar.
On another forum I frequent they posted a scan that had some rather aggressive red eye reduction on it also. Another user posted a photo of a box speed HP5 scan that had grain like snow.

I had been sending my C41 to them as they're so cheap, but I won't be in future.
Perhaps give AG Photolab a try? I've been using them for about 3 years now and have been happy with their service. You can download a postage paid label from their website (see the How to Order sub-heading on their home page), after that they supply you with a postage-paid padded plastic envelope each time with your negs and scan CD, which is handy for the next time you send them a film or four. https://www.ag-photolab.co.uk/
 

excalibur2

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Nope. Scans I get back from Palm are amazing in comparison.
It's not just me either - on another forum I frequent people are noticing it as well.
Ah! could be that you pay more and the scanner operator can spend more time on the negs..but for me it doesn't matter as I regard all low scans from filmdev as proofs and if I have any winners would scan those negs myself.
 
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How do people find scans with Filmdev at the moment ?
I've noticed that they've been aggressively sharpening, despite stating 'no sharpening' on the order form. The sharpening is so bad that it starts introducing grain into things like Ektar.
On another forum I frequent they posted a scan that had some rather aggressive red eye reduction on it also. Another user posted a photo of a box speed HP5 scan that had grain like snow.

I had been sending my C41 to them as they're so cheap, but I won't be in future.
I complained to them about some scans that looked over-sharpened, despite my asking for no sharpening. They investigated and claimed the scans resulted from some wrong settings on the Noritsu scanner following some maintenance work. They re-processed the scans (rather than scanning them again), and the results were much better.

If you're not happy, talk to them! If they haven't sent the negs back yet, they can re-scan or re-process as they did for me.
 
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I've never tried anyone else for developing only FilmDev. I like the simplicity of scans back via We transfer.

Do AG or Photo Express do similar or do I need to order a CD with the scans on them. Don't have a home scanner, so negs only isn't much use to me.
 
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AG supply a CD with the scans on it, which arrives in the post together with your negatives. To be honest, I prefer this as it means I have a back-up of my photos, unlike a web transfer, where it gets saved to your computer and you have to remember to back it up. If you accidentally delete the file and a couple of weeks have gone by, then you've lost the scans as it will no longer be available for download. However, some people no longer have a CD drive on their computer, so it doesn't suit everyone.
 
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AG supply a CD with the scans on it, which arrives in the post together with your negatives. To be honest, I prefer this as it means I have a back-up of my photos, unlike a web transfer, where it gets saved to your computer and you have to remember to back it up. If you accidentally delete the file and a couple of weeks have gone by, then you've lost the scans as it will no longer be available for download. However, some people no longer have a CD drive on their computer, so it doesn't suit everyone.
Thanks. I may give them a try having never used anyone other than FilmDev, who in fairness I've always been happy with.
 

excalibur2

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Thanks. I may give them a try having never used anyone other than FilmDev, who in fairness I've always been happy with.
Well I can't see the problem unless the negs are lost in the post as you can always scan the negs yourself if you can't download the jpgs...well that is if you have a scanner.
 
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Well I can't see the problem unless the negs are lost in the post as you can always scan the negs yourself if you can't download the jpgs...well that is if you have a scanner.
If you have a scanner as good as the one the film lab has, then you probably won't be paying them to scan your negs in the first place! :)
 
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I've never tried anyone else for developing only FilmDev. I like the simplicity of scans back via We transfer.

Do AG or Photo Express do similar or do I need to order a CD with the scans on them. Don't have a home scanner, so negs only isn't much use to me.
Photo Express do a good job for 35mm C41, scans on a CD they supply, 50p discount for TP members if you quote your forum name (but there's a minimum charge so you need 2 films to benefit). They were fast too, last time I used them, post Monday CD Wednesday quite often.

Check out this nifty price estimator (it's linked from the Film Developing in the UK thread, see the Resources sticky). It's a while since I updated it (*), so check prices, but it will give you an idea.

* I made the mistake of trying to update my local version for 4x5 while also updating prices, and now I've lost the working original and can't get the Excel logic for the new version to work! :(
 
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Photo Express do a good job for 35mm C41, scans on a CD they supply, 50p discount for TP members if you quote your forum name (but there's a minimum charge so you need 2 films to benefit). They were fast too, last time I used them, post Monday CD Wednesday quite often.

Check out this nifty price estimator (it's linked from the Film Developing in the UK thread, see the Resources sticky). It's a while since I updated it (*), so check prices, but it will give you an idea.

* I made the mistake of trying to update my local version for 4x5 while also updating prices, and now I've lost the working original and can't get the Excel logic for the new version to work! :(
Thanks, that's an excellent nifty price estimator.... thanks for sharing
 

excalibur2

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I have a Noritsu scanner at home and it needs extremely careful use for scanning any B & W negatives unless it is XP2. It is impossible to turn all sharpening off with the scanner.

On the other hand it is absolutely superb for colour negative/positive scans and XP2 scans.

The results from the scanner are incredibly sharp and hence the grain on something like HP5 looks horrendous on a scan.

A flatbed scan looks better than the Noritsu scan on B & W films unless the settings are tweaked.
 
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Just thought we should add a couple of references to film labs to this thread:

Just found this place, looks like they do hand developing of 4 x 5 for £3.25, black and white, colour or slide. Might be worth a test run I think.

http://www.tli-processing.com/
That's http://www.tli-processing.com/

I use Exposure Labs - never had a problem.

They store up the negs and post them back in batches, and email me a link to the high-res scans.
That's https://www.exposurefilmlab.com/film-scanning-prices/
 
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I have a Noritsu scanner at home and it needs extremely careful use for scanning any B & W negatives unless it is XP2. It is impossible to turn all sharpening off with the scanner.

On the other hand it is absolutely superb for colour negative/positive scans and XP2 scans.

The results from the scanner are incredibly sharp and hence the grain on something like HP5 looks horrendous on a scan.

A flatbed scan looks better than the Noritsu scan on B & W films unless the settings are tweaked.
Fraser whats your opinion on the quality of XP2 scanned on a flat bed?

I've been using AG up till now for all my XP2 film, but am pondering getting a Fuji C41 X-Press dev kit to develop & scan myself going forward.

Regards
Antony
 
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Hi Anthony,

by far the biggest difference between the C41 processed film and B & W processed film is the ability to be able to get consistent results during the processing and NOT the scanning. Colour/C41 is very very temperature critical and even with a temperature controlled water bath like the Jobo it is still difficult and requires practice. Unless you have very accurate control of the temp you will never get consistent results and the scans no matter what you are using will be poor.

despite what you tube etc say trying to get consistent C41 results in the sink or bath is pointless - you will get a processed film and may get OK results but the next film will be completely different. Different temps cause colour shifts in the pink mask and hence in the photograph.

XP2 is fine on a flatbed but it really is a case of garbage in/garbage out.
 
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excalibur2

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Looking on an advert on the bay and they say about postage..... send film in padded envelope etc and then add:- if the postage is not sufficient then you pay the extra PLUS £3.00 surcharge which the Post Office impose.
Anyone had this surcharge from filmdev or whoever because of incorrect postage?
 
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Fraser whats your opinion on the quality of XP2 scanned on a flat bed?

I've been using AG up till now for all my XP2 film, but am pondering getting a Fuji C41 X-Press dev kit to develop & scan myself going forward.

Regards
Antony
I'd agree with Fraser, that's why I don't develop my own colour film. You don't say what format XP2 you're using, if it's 120 then I get nice looking results from it using my Epson V600 flatbed scanner (which I believe is similar to the V550), for 35mm then a medium or high res lab scan should be noticeably better, however I get reasonable enough looking 35mm scans from my flatbed if scanning at 3200 dpi (at higher res than this and I find the sharpness drops due to interpolation being used). Basically, if it's 120 then I scan it myself, if it's 35mm and I think there might be some good shots on there then I pay for a lab scan, otherwise I go for 'develop only' and scan it myself. Hope this is useful.
 
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I'd agree with Fraser, that's why I don't develop my own colour film. You don't say what format XP2 you're using, if it's 120 then I get nice looking results from it using my Epson V600 flatbed scanner (which I believe is similar to the V550), for 35mm then a medium or high res lab scan should be noticeably better, however I get reasonable enough looking 35mm scans from my flatbed if scanning at 3200 dpi (at higher res than this and I find the sharpness drops due to interpolation being used). Basically, if it's 120 then I scan it myself, if it's 35mm and I think there might be some good shots on there then I pay for a lab scan, otherwise I go for 'develop only' and scan it myself. Hope this is useful.
Just out of interest the following are scans from 35mm HP5 film - one is scanned on a Noritsu and the other was scanned on a very old Epson 3200 photo @2400 dpi: (I'm giving the Epson away for free if someone wants to collect)

img014
by Fraser White, on Flickr

000042660034
by Fraser White, on Flickr

What are your opinions?
 
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Looking on an advert on the bay and they say about postage..... send film in padded envelope etc and then add:- if the postage is not sufficient then you pay the extra PLUS £3.00 surcharge which the Post Office impose.
Anyone had this surcharge from filmdev or whoever because of incorrect postage?
Yes, this has happened to me quite a few times. Royal Fail throw in an extra few days delay as well. But I used to reckon it was £0.90 for a Large Letter stamp, plus I was charged an extra £3 (which Filmdev paid and then recouped from me), which altogether wasn't that much more than the £3.40 I would have paid for Small Parcel. The extra £2.50 as well would have made me think a bit more about it!
 
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Just out of interest the following are scans from 35mm HP5 film - one is scanned on a Noritsu and the other was scanned on a very old Epson 3200 photo @2400 dpi: (I'm giving the Epson away for free if someone wants to collect)

img014
by Fraser White, on Flickr

000042660034
by Fraser White, on Flickr

What are your opinions?
Well, the first one definitely seems less sharp to me (or less kind to the bloke's skin, if you like). But there also seems to be more contrast in the folds of the sleeve on the first. Both of them got a pretty good range of tones, and I don't think I'd be unhappy with either!
 

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Yes, this has happened to me quite a few times. Royal Fail throw in an extra few days delay as well. But I used to reckon it was £0.90 for a Large Letter stamp, plus I was charged an extra £3 (which Filmdev paid and then recouped from me), which altogether wasn't that much more than the £3.40 I would have paid for Small Parcel. The extra £2.50 as well would have made me think a bit more about it!
It's a slow strangulation on filmies with no cheap film anymore and postal charges and even doing dev yourself and chemicals are not cheap :( The only way round to keep costs down is to make every shot count h'mm that would take ages to get thru' 36 exp :rolleyes:
 

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The first seems a little less sharp, but a quick pass through CS2 for sharpening and curves evened out the differences. I have to say that I find the grain objectionable on both (which is why I'm not a fan of 35mm).
 
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On the subject of AG, for those who use their dev only option, have you found your negs to be clean?

I have sent a few rolls of slide to them on two different occasions and on both, some of the negatives have been very dirty - dirtier than my home devs, in less than controlled environments!!

Not quite what I expected tbh.
 
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Just out of interest the following are scans from 35mm HP5 film - one is scanned on a Noritsu and the other was scanned on a very old Epson 3200 photo @2400 dpi: (I'm giving the Epson away for free if someone wants to collect)

img014
by Fraser White, on Flickr

000042660034
by Fraser White, on Flickr

What are your opinions?
The second shot looks sharper to my eye and has better shadow detail or more tonal range.

I think they both look good for 35mm. If anyone finds grain objectionable, don't try scanning medium/fast black & white with a Nikon Coolscan V!!!
 
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On the subject of AG, for those who use their dev only option, have you found your negs to be clean?

I have sent a few rolls of slide to them on two different occasions and on both, some of the negatives have been very dirty - dirtier than my home devs, in less than controlled environments!!

Not quite what I expected tbh.
I've used them twice for E6 in the past 2 months Andy, and didn't have to clean the (unmounted) slides before scanning them.
 
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I've used them twice for E6 in the past 2 months Andy, and didn't have to clean the (unmounted) slides before scanning them.
Perhaps I've been unlucky, but across 3 rolls of 120 E6, quite a few frames were very dirty. It seemed more than just dust. From memory the 35mm was clean. Maybe I was just unlucky!
 
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I've never had a problem with negs from AG (and I've been using them for over 2 years now), they've always been spotless when I've received them (both 35mm and 120 format). When scanning, I give the upper and lower glass of my scanner (an Epson V600 flatbed) a good blast with a rocket blower, and close the lid immediately, I then give the negs a good blast with the blower once I've put them in the film holder, then I load them quickly into the scanner, giving them another blast with the rocket blower before closing the lid. This usually results in a dust free scan.

I find I get more dust issues if rescanning old, previously scanned negs, as the act of taking them in and out of the plastic negative sleeves seems to make them attract more dust (probably due to this causing a build up of static electricity?).
 
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excalibur2

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Filmdev have sent my negs back (and wasn't the usual stiff large cardboard letter but a jiffy bag) and with it was a handy index (y) and is the first time they have done an index.......is this new or have you guys been receiving them for a while?
 
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Filmdev have sent my negs back (and wasn't the usual stiff large cardboard letter but a jiffy bag) and with it was a handy index (y) and is the first time they have done an index.......is this new or have you guys been receiving them for a while?
The upgrade to index prints seems to have been from when they shut down for a couple of weeks in September, so I'm not sure what they actually did then. I think it was ChrisR who pointed out that you could ask for a soft envelope as some people had small letterboxes and the hardback envelopes wouldn't fit.
 
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What have peoples turnaround times been from FilmDev recently? I sent four films in last week, they should have arrived with them on Wednesday and I've had nothing back yet. I'm starting to worry they've got lost in the post
 
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The last lot I sent off on a Monday or probably Tuesday. Paid the extra for 1st class to send them, then got the download email late Thursday.
 
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The last lot I sent off on a Monday or probably Tuesday. Paid the extra for 1st class to send them, then got the download email late Thursday.
This is what's worrying me, they have never taken more than two days to get the scans back to me before and this will be day four. I've sent them an email asking if they've received my parcel. I guess I'd just been hoping they were busier than normal but I'm starting to think my films haven't got there.
 
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I sent a film off last Monday, just got the scans back today... I did email and confirm they had received it and got told there had been a delay due to maintenance work.

They told me on the scans back today that they had been scanned on the Noritsu scanner as the Frontier was under ongoing maintenance. I guess if they're a scanner down there maybe a delay.
 
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My last order took a bit longer than usual too, and like you I was beginning to worry. Posted Friday, scans back Wednesday.

BTW I noticed a tweet today saying you can request 16-bit TIFFs:

"We are trialling full 16bit tiff files from the Noritsu Scanners. We stopped supplying 8 bit tiff files as then benefits were limited over the jpg's. Feedback has been impressive so just add this to the additional notes 16bit tiff required on the order form"

There's no indication (yet) that these are an additional cost...
 

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I posted a roll off on Friday and got my We Transfer link yesterday afternoon.
 
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