Do you offer “process only” for still film?

The short answer: no.  In past we did offer “process only” at a discount of 10% for people who wanted to scan their own film.  We have discontinued this because too often we were having films returned to us that the client was unable to scan due to the condition of the film, that we were able to scan because we are experienced in dealing with scanning very dense or faded negatives. This isn’t to say that your negative won’t be home scannable but we don’t know people capabilities and won’t be responsible for that.  The savings that we were offering for “process only” we feel is easily offset by the security of having  digital files of your pictures on-site here when shipping, and the fact that you get an early preview of your images in a gallery.  Essentially, you can still have process only but if you are unable to scan your film when you get it  back, we will have scans here already so there is no need to send anything back to us.

Here are some reasons why the scanning is often best left to us….

  • Some negatives are “accelerate” which means they are first processed the safest way possible into a B&W negative and then a security scan taken of those B&W images. After, many color films get reprocessed into color which sometime renders a better or more desirable color image than the B&W version of the pictures. But as often as not, the color version will be extremely faded and shifted and in these case we have safely stored the originally processed into B&W versions of the pictures for the client.
  • Some negatives after processing are as dense as welding glass and conventional scanners can not see through them.
  • Some negatives have such an extremely faint image on them they can not be recognized with the preview scan on a conventional scanner making them very difficult to locate your marquee correctly during preview. Auto frame selection will not work on these negatives. Do not assume if you don’t see images upon a quick inspection, there is nothing there.
  • Some films such as GAF cassettes and Triple Print blue label films are processed into an unstable reflective negative that begins fading after processing. Not only do they need to be scanned right away, they are scanned wet because the contrast on the film is much higher when wet and they can not be scanned on a normal scanner because light will not pass through them.