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Mail order D&P or high street

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by CircleOfConfusion, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. CircleOfConfusion

    CircleOfConfusion Well-Known Member

    Hello all, it's been a long time since I lasted posted, but I've been off traveling and now got rather a lot of films I need to get developed (49!).

    I oraginally wanted to send the better qaulity films off to Peak Imaging because they used to offer 25% discount with 25+ films, but now it looks like they are only giving 15% off :( My "cheaper" films I was going to take into Asda but now I'm not sure whether to take them all to some where like Asda, or whether a high street D&P would be better (especially as I won't need to worry about them getting lost in the post)? Does anyone know a good lab in the Bedfordshire area? also has anyone used www.thephotoshoponline.co.uk? as the're only £5 a film and most of my films are Fuji pro 160 and 400.
  2. Mojo_66

    Mojo_66 Well-Known Member

    I've used the Photoshop several times for colour print, 35mm and 120, mainly Fuji 160C and Reala. The results are pretty stunning as far as colour balance goes. They're very fast too, turnaround about 3 days or so. I usually get 5x7 as I like something I can see!
  3. Per

    Per Well-Known Member

    I've just switched to Peak Imaging and they've sent me some 12x8 prints with massive (inch long) hair marks on them!

    So they will go back. I don't care how much AP readers rate them but that is a poor result for 'professional quality'!

    Sorry to rant, but I can't believe any effective quality control is at work at Peak Imaging.
  4. CircleOfConfusion

    CircleOfConfusion Well-Known Member

    I've only used Peak imaging a couple of times and not had any problem, but when I phoned them they wouldn't budge any more than the 15% discount, and with that many films it would be £110+ more than paying £5 a film on the high street (not inc. P&P).

    I decided to take them to Photo Finish in Letchworth in the end who gave a reasonable price of £4.99 a film and an extra 10% off for bulk discount! I am a bit worried that they might not be as good as somewhere like The Photoshop, especially as they seem to be a Kodak focused lab and most my films are Fuji (has anyone noticed a difference in qaulity depending on the labs brand of equipment being different to the film brand? or am I just worrying too much :D ) But I decided I'd prefer to have someone I could talk to face to face (and complain to if needed!) than a distant mail order firm.

    oh well, fingers crossed, and I'll find out tomorrow when I get the 1700+ prints back tomorrow!
  5. Mojo_66

    Mojo_66 Well-Known Member

    Just have to hope the lab doesn't burn down overnight ;)
  6. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    That unfortunately, is my recent experience with them as well. I used to send them all my E6 with no problems, but a trial C41 and Gold Archive Quality CD order was a disaster.
  7. CircleOfConfusion

    CircleOfConfusion Well-Known Member

    Well I got them all back (the whole card board box full of them!), but I have to say I'm not too impressed :(

    lots of them have long thin white printing lines across them, others have gunk on them (white marks, as camera dust would be black wouldnt it?) the coulours seem pretty washed out on some of them and alot of snow scenes that I've over exposed for are looking a bit grey. Not to mention the majority of them look horribly soft where I know the camera was sharply focused. and when I took one neg strip out to have a look I noticed it had nice big scratches across it

    I suppose its my own fault, and I shouldn't expect too much from 4.99 D&P. But when I compare prints from Peak Imaging (same film, camera etc.) I'm begining to wish I just forked out the extra.

    This should just be down to the printing side of things? so when I scan them or get inlargments done, some where else, they'll be as good as the same film I've had D&P'ed previously?
  8. The Circle Of Confusion

    The Circle Of Confusion Well-Known Member

    1700 shots Wow!

    Cheap labs don't always change their soup or keep the machines quite as clean as they should. However colour neg film is pretty robust so I'd expect you'll still get good results from your scans or reprints.

    If you've not already got them, it might be worth investing in a powerful airblower and an antistatic brush as I expect you might get a few "dust bunnies" on the negs.
  9. CircleOfConfusion

    CircleOfConfusion Well-Known Member

    Well I need to invest in a good scanner first, as I think its going to be the only way I'm going to see the photos the way they should be.

    However, on closer inspection of what I thought were printing errors. I've now realised a large number of my negs have lovely long scratch marks across them (long thin scratches running over several frames) :mad: I know these can be caused by crap in the camera, however I've only seen 2 or 3 photos out of all of them that show any sign of dust on the film at the time of capture (plus some scratches don't run along the film plane, making me think the film wind direction wouldn't have caused them). The worst of them seem to be on the back of the film, although the emulsion side (dull side) is not without a few.

    Should I take them back and complain? or is there any point as there's little they can do to fix it now and they'll likley say its from crap in my camera (not that I've ever had this problem before), I also imagine theres no way to prove it was them?

    I'm just so angry with my self for taking them there in the first place! :mad:
  10. starside

    starside Active Member

    I'm sorry to hear about your problems, but you must remember the cardinal rule:

    Thou shalt always use Peak Imaging.
  11. The Circle Of Confusion

    The Circle Of Confusion Well-Known Member

    I've had those long scratches on negs once or twice. It's hard to prove if it's the camera or the processing so you're probably stuck with it. Prepare to become very familiar with the clone brush!
  12. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    This is part of the problem with any C41 processd film...your prints are at the mercy of someone behind the screen choosing what colours you're going to get. S'why i shoot slide film most of the time, or just get process only and scan negs in.

    If you get a scanner, you can do small scans of all of them pretty quickly, then do high rez scans of ones you like. Then just get those digitally printed, cheaper in the long run as you only print what you like.

    Peak do all my colour processing....and have to say.....never had any problems at all with the quality or service. Had an issue once that their printer had offset some images and cut one side off......but because they keep the images I sent in storage for a while they were able to re-print and send out same day.

    I also like them because they x-process for only an extra quid, and do my colour infrared slide films or same price as standard films too.
  13. CircleOfConfusion

    CircleOfConfusion Well-Known Member

    In the future I'll probably be doing alot more development only and then scanning the negs (should be getting a Nikon coolscan V soon, which will keep me busy with 49 films to go through!).

    As for the High street D&P, my other half has been paying them a visit and they've agreed to have another go at any we think need to be printed again. so after alot of sorting through, we dropped off a box of prints and negs that are a bit substandard. I doubt they can do much about the scratches, but alot need printing again because of a tonal diference that runs down the center of the photos. plus some snow scenes etc that have been printed to dark. We dropped them off today so its another case of wait and see!
  14. Per

    Per Well-Known Member

    Regarding my mini rant about Peak Imaging, I should follow up by saying that I sent them an email explaining the issue and that they responded very quickly and professionally, saying that they would 'investigate and hopefully repair the hole in the net'.

    I'll let you know how this works out shortly.
  15. CircleOfConfusion

    CircleOfConfusion Well-Known Member

    Got all the photos back now from the shop (a shoe box full of them!) and I have to admit that the staff at the shop have been very helpful and understanding. As I thought they couldn't do anything about the scratches but they did reprint all those that had white marks from scanner dust. they also reprinted the snow scenes that they'd printed too dark. also the reason I've had to wait a while is because they've had their whole film printing machine in pieces to try and sort out the problem of the two tone photos I had (noticeable with blue sky's with one half lighter/darker than the other). although they couldn't completely fix it so the ended up scanning the negs and printing them on their digital media printer, where they've turned out ok (although slightly grainy).

    All in all, they've been very good in sorting out the problems and the quality of the prints is probably what I should expect for cheap D&P.
  16. Per

    Per Well-Known Member

    Peak Imaging have indeed reprinted the affected images and followed up with an email to check everything was satisfactory - good service.
  17. alexham36

    alexham36 Well-Known Member

    I have always used Directfoto and Bonusprint. I don't think you can get cheaper than those two and the prints were rather good as were the CDs. Have you considered going digital? Then you would be in complete control and you would save a fortune on processing.
  18. CircleOfConfusion

    CircleOfConfusion Well-Known Member

    I'm as digital as I want to be now with a new film scanner, and I'm certainly impressed with some 12x8 prints I ordered online using the digital files, at only £1.15 each too! looks like this might be the way to go
  19. alexham36

    alexham36 Well-Known Member

    That is very interesting, but can you tell us more? How do prints scanned from negatives compare with those taken with a digital camera?

  20. CircleOfConfusion

    CircleOfConfusion Well-Known Member

    well I don't have a digital SLR to make a comparison with but the scanner I'm using gives out a 22MP picture from a 35mm frame so there's a lot of information there to play with. So far the quality of the prints I've had done have been perfect, but I've only gone as big as 12"x8" so far.

    Btw THIS is the scanner I'm using, I know some other people on here use the same scanner and they might be better placed to make a comparison

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