Photo Labs & Photo Processing
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Photo Labs & Photo Processing
I need to have copies made of several 8x10 black and white photos of our
photos were taken in the 1930's or 1940's, and seem to be professionally
done, but I
don't know how old the prints are and I don't have the negatives. I know
one option is
to have them scanned and reprinted, and another is to have negatives
made. I am
looking for the option that creates the highest quality reprint at a
(One shop quoted $100 per print to scan and reprint, that seems
amateur photographers out there have a great shop and/or person to
How high quality do they have to be? At Longs (and probably
others), you can scan a b&w photo, do some minor adjustments on
the contrast, etc., and have it printed it out within an hour for
about $1 for a 5x7. It's pretty cheap to give it a try.
Before you spend a fortune, why don't you try to find a friend
who has a printer with a built-in scanner (a common commodity
these days). You can scan your picture and print it out on photo
paper--you may be pleasantly surprised by the results and be able
to forego the professionals altogether. We have done this with a
number of black and white family pictures that are now framed and
displayed in our home. Good luck!
Anyone have a recommendation for a place to have digital photos
developed, either online or a store in or near Berkeley? We
bought a digital camera a year ago & I've never had prints
made. So, I have a zillion kid photos that I need to have
printed. I've heard the quality of digital photos can really
vary depending on who's doing the developing. I'm looking for
decent quality at a decent price. Thanks.
We've been happy with storage of photos AND printing at Kodak Easy
Share. (http://www.kodakgallery.com) From a Mac uploading is a breeze - one or two
quick steps. It can't be that much more difficult from a PC, I don't
think. Also, sharing albums is fun and really easy too.
Don't work for them, just honestly happy with their site -Alison
I love the work they do at elephant pharmacy - and I'm a professional
photographer. Just 30 cents per print. Very Picky
Try Elephant Pharmacy on Shattuck and Cedar Jill
I'm like you and haven't developed as many pictures as I should. I have
used Shutterfly online service and really like it. It's fast. I also
like the way that you can easily send pictures to family through their
service. On a side note I also highly recommend Picassa free software
from Google. It's a great photo management software & it makes it
really easy to view and upload your pictures to different services,
emailing, blogging, etc. Jennifer
If you're a Costco member, I've found the Costco in Richmond does a
great job with digital photos for a great price. You can bring in your
card or upload everything to their website and then pick up the photos
at the store (or pay a little extra and have them mailed to you).
I have had amazing success with Costco's digital photo services. I post
from home and they mail them to me for free in a few days. The quality
is as good as your skills as a photographer. Here is some unsolicited
advice: turn off the flash as much as possible!
I have had success with two different companies.
Ritz Photos has a service that you can submit the pictures on their
website and pick them up at a local store. ritzpix.com The per picture
price is more, but there is no shipping. I have had a few problems with
the data not arriving at the store, but I believe that it was an
employee issue. Ritz makes very nice prints. I have been turned off,
however, by the poor service at the stores.
Shutterfly has been great. It is possible to print whatever you want on
the back of the photo which I find handy for organizing. The website is
easy to use and the pictures always arrive very quickly. I like the
ability to share photo albums on the web.
I develop all of my digi photos on Shutterfly.com. I love it.
Easy to use. Great editing options like applying borders, making photos
black and white and they come on good quality photo paper not the thin
cheap stuff that they give you at other online sites. It is easy to use
and they send you coupons for free shipping and discounts all the time.
I order pics at least
2 times a month since I have a toddler and have never had a problem. I
highly recommend it.
When I asked the same question to my friends, I was told Costco is a
good place (cheap, decent quality) to print digitial photos.
You can upload on the web and then eithe have them mailed or pick them
up if you go shopping there (you need to be a Costco member) Still have
tons of pictures on file!
Try Rite Aid- they have a developing machine for cameras/cell phones.
The associates help you with it. Photos come out nice. Redwood City mama
I've gotten excellent results at decent prices at Shutterfly.com. It's
easy to use, too. pix snappin mama
We've always used Ofoto, which is now Kodak Gallery. Easy to use, good
service, and good quality prints. check it out at www.kodakgallery.com
--digital photographer & scrapbooker
I'm looking for a place to get cd's developed from a film
camera (ordinary 35mm rolls of film, 24 exposures, that sort of
thing, along with the photos themselves). I used to use the
Campus Store, which sent out to Kodak and
did a great job, but they don't have this service anymore. I have
had the Fuji CD's done since, but the pictures on the
CD look very ''grainy'' (they are huge files, but still grainy).
After consulting the Kodak web site, I
took my last roll to Walgreens, they said it would take 11 days,
it is now 12 days and they cannot find my film, so I'm not happy
with this option either. Any suggestions? Close to UC campus
would be best but I'll go farther if necessary.
I had prints and a CD made from a roll of film at that photo shop
on Shattuck just south of Center St--I think it's called Color
Express. I believe it was ready the same or next day, and the
quality seemed fine
Try ''The Looking Glass'' on Telegraph, a block or two north of
Ashby. They're a great camera store, and can probably develop
your film themselves, or give you a reliable recommendation of
who can do a good job with it.
I am desperate to find fantastic photofinishing for color print
film. The first month of my baby's life is not recorded on film
because the shop I used destroyed the negatives...I'm not sure
what they did, but the negatives came back mangled and the
prints were underdeveloped and scratched beyond belief. It was
awful. I've since been using different places in Oakland and
Berkeley, but haven't found the right place yet. Any
suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
You could try scanning the film at a really good digital house. I have used
digitalpickle.com in SF and they scanned very old scratched film and made it like
new. they run a sctrach removal device on it. The underdevelopment may be
hopeless, but its worth a try to fix it digitally. The guys there would be able to tell
you if its saveable and also they can do the work.
Also, I like Action Photo in concord and Photoworks in SF. Spindlers in SF does
wondeful black and white. I'm a professional and I've used all these places.
Here are two photofinishers I recommend without hesitation:
Elephant Pharmacy on Shattuck at Cedar is mid-price and very
Cantoo, at 813 Heinz Ave (west of 7th street and down the
alley) is top quality and premium price but the best in the
I work as a photographer and MUST have beautiful and consistant
results. These labs give both.
I love Montclair Photo (http://www.montclairphoto.com/) on
Antioch Street in Montclair Village - right around the corner
from Peet's. They've done excellent color prints from film and
from digital stuff for me - I've had stuff developed there that
I shot with my little point-and-shoot that came out looking
better than stuff my friend shot with a ''real'' camera. The
staff seems to be friendly and knowledgeable, too.
Lightwaves on Pardee in Berkeley is a professional lab that is used by most of the
photography faculty and students at CCA. They are small, friendly, well-educated in
all things photographic, and they do beautiful work.
I would appreciate hearing some current recommendations for Film
processing (both slide and print- 35mm) in San Francisco and/or
Montclair Photo in Oakland (http://www.montclairphoto.com/) does
a great job with film. I've also had them do slides that turned
out well. Go for the non-one hour option, and you'll get
beautiful prints! Its the only place I take my film.
Hi. I'm not sure if you are looking for color film processing or
black and white, or both. If you are looking for color film and
slide processing, I recommend Tony Moltore, the owner of
Cloneworks. Phone 326-2323.
His shop is on Sacramento and Dwight. He does great custom color
printing and processing at very reasonable prices. He also does
digital printing for larger prints at a great price.
I have had my 35mm film developed at Costco, and have generally been happy
with the results. Prices are reasonable too.
Anyone have any experience in converting old slides to photo prints? I've got maybe
100 slides selected that I'd like to convert to prints. Where would you do it? I've
thought of Sarber's in Montclair, and would love feedback on them if you have any,
as well as any other locations...
I had about 60 slides scanned onto a disk and had
some prints from slides made at Ritz Camera at the top of
Solano. I was very happy with the results. The slides were
from the 1950s and 60s.
Two good places to make photo prints from slides are:
Cantoo at 813 Heinz Ave in Berkeley. (A good, professional lab
that might be a little hard to find without directions.) I
suggest you call them first at 540-0291.
Elephant Pharmacy at Shattuck and Cedar in Berkeley can print
Either lab can print up to 8by10 inches. Both have the new
generation of equipment which saves you about 70% compared with
the old process.
We used to take our black-and-white film to be developed by AAA
Photo in San Francisco, but they are no longer in business. Can
anyone recommend a place, either in San Francisco or the East
Bay, that does quality developing and printing of black-and-
white and color film? Thanks.
I had lots of luck with a small place in Montclair Village
called Montclair 1 Hour Photo, which I had contacted initially
when I was desperate for a fast turn-around on some B&W
photos I needed enlarged. None of the bigger name places
would do it - they all send them out. This place not only did
it right away, they were cheaper than the non-one-hour
prices at the other places and they were totally cool on top of
it all. [339-3686]
PHOTOLAB at 2235 5th Street in Berkeley specializes in
B&W processing. 510/644-1400
If you live in SF, try Bay Photo; they are wonderful. In the East
Bay, I would use Looking Glass, on Telegraph.
I have been happy with the black & white film developing done by
PhotoLab at 2235 Fifth Street near Bancroft Way.
They also have a large informative ad in the yellow pages.
Looking Glass Photo on Telegraph (at Oregon, I think) is the
place to go. Fantastic staff.
In San Francisco, I've used Bay Photo Lab (Arguello &
McAllister) and also Photoworks (Market & Church) for b&w
film processing and enlargements. Both do excellent
quality work; the folks at Bay Photo are particularly friendly.
My dad is a professional photographer (mostly black and white)
and has used Custom Process in Berkeley for years with great
results. I think it's on fifth street.
For black & white I like Photolob at 2235 Fifth St. in Berkeley.
That's all they do, though they send color work out somewhere
else. For color photos Ag Photo at 6034 College Ave.
A comparison: is Kodak much better than Costco?
Someone asked a few days ago for a recommendation for a photo developer. I
have an interesting experience to share with the readers of the UCB
parents digest, which shows that the question is not that simple to
answer. It is obvious that the quality of the pictures depends on three
factors: camera, film, and development. Some half a year ago I bought an
amateur-level SLR Nikon camera instead of my point-and-shoot camera, and
tried out different films and developers to find out if my thousand dollar
investment in a new camera has changed anything in the picture quality. I
bought two types of film, Kodak 200 and Costco-brand film (Kirkland), and
had them developed in three combinations:
Costco film (about $1.30/roll) - Costco development (about $2.50 for one
set of pictures) = about $4 in total
Kodak film (from $2.50 to $4.50/roll) - Costco development = about $6 in
Kodak film - Kodak processing (about $5-7 for 1 set of pictures) = about
$10 in total
I went to a park on a sunny day, and shoot all three rolls, trying to get
more or less identical pictures on each of the films. I ended up with 6-7
triplicates of photographs showing the same landscape/trees/flowers, which
I labelled on the back to remember which is which. Then, I asked 3 of my
friends to arrange each group of three pictures in the order of their
quality. I also compared the results of this test with my prior similar
(but less systematic) experience with a point-and-shoot camera.
With pictures taken with my old Olympus, I never saw any advantage of the
Kodak processing in comparison to more than twice-as-cheap Costco
development. The pictures were always decent, no matter where they were
developed, but never outstanding. In fact, I even liked the Costco
pictures better for their somewhat brighter colors than those I would get
from Kodak or Longs Drugs.
Experiment with pictures taken by Nikon were much more decisive. The
combination Costco-Costco had obviously inferior quality (lower contrast
and noticeably lower color saturation), and were unambiguously rated as
the worst by all three people. Kodak-Costco and Kodak-Kodak were very
close in quality, and the selection of the best picture was somewhat
arbitrary. I guess, in 60-70% of the cases Kodak-Kodak was found better by
my friends, and in 30-40% - Kodak-Costco. It is worth noting that the
comparison of the pictures taken by SLR Nikon and point-and-shoot Olympus
was not an issue: the superiority of the pictures taken by the Nikon in
terms of the accuracy of color rendering, contrast, and sharpness was striking.
This test lead me to an interesting conclusion: it seems that the quality
of pictures is determined by the three above mentioned factors in the
following order: camera - film - photofinishers. Since camera is the
starting point, it determines the limit of quality which can be achieved
by the photofinishers. Therefore, I think that spending money on good film
and development is a waste of money unless you have a good camera. If you
use point-and-shoot camera with a plastic lens, better take your film to
Cotsco and save 60% of the cost. Kodak film with Costco development is a
reasonable compromise between cost and quality for relatively
sophisticated compact cameras. Finally, the expensive Kodak-Kodak
combination is worth going for only if you have an SLR camera and want to
get the most from your pictures.
Another thing to mention: all books on photography recommend to have an
exposed film developed immediately, or kept in a refrigerator until you
can get it developed. The picture quality does degrade a lot with the time
of storage, and I did observe it in my own experience!
High Speed Film
does anyone know if it is possible to buy APS film in speeds higher than
ASA (for example, 800 ASA) and if so, where is a good place to do so?
"Looking Glass" on Telegraph a couple of blocks north of Ashby is one of
the best places for these kind of products.
I am trying to find a reasonably priced place in Berkeley to process
my endless rolls of film.
I have been dropping off all my baby pics at Walgreens for the
last year and a half, having been attracted to their cheap prices
and free doubles, but I am finally fed up of the poor quality.
If any one has any good suggestions I would greatly appreciate them.
Try the Kodak processing at CostCo. More expensive than regular CostCo
(which is cheaper
than Walgreens, I believe) but much higher quality.
Try Looking Glass on Telegraph. They have several different choices, all
quality. Probably a
little more expensive, though
We always used Longs Drugs 'In Store' Photo Processing. They can
individually adjust the
processing or if there's a problem you can also ask them to redo some of
the photos which
I sometimes did and I received them right away.
There are often specials with their coupons in the magazine that you can
pick up in the store.
You can ask for a frequent buyer card, after ten you'll get one processing
The quality is much better if the photos are processed in the store rather
then sent out, even if
it's Kodak. Often cheap processing costs are also related to overuse of
developer liquids and so on.
'The Looking Glass" on Telegraph in Berkeley is what professional
photographers use for film buying and processing. You pay about a dollar
more than at Walgreens/Longs but it is well worth the difference in
quality...you get contact sheets as part of the service and, on Fuji
Film developing, you get those great coupons for FREE enlargements (8''
by 10'') with every roll of film!!
Copying Old Photos
I am looking for a reputable place that will copy old family photos to a
high quality without damaging the original.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
David and Vivienne
Photolab in Berkeley specializes in black and white and does an excellent
job with old photos. However, it is costly to have the new negatives of the
old photos done! Once you do the prints are no more expensive than any other
b/w prints. I've seen cheaper jobs from places like Walgreens and they were
not as good. I think it's worth it to have it done well, but it was not
I would recommend East Bay Photo. 131 Berkeley Square( Shattuck Ave between
Center and Addison in Berkeley.510-848-4246. I had many of my family's old
pictures redone (many were in terrible shape) and I loved the results. Good
Anyone know of any photo booths in Berkeley or I guess a place to make photo
stickers of different sizes? Thanks. Alice.
there's one at the Emeryville Market Hall at the end that
faces toward the movie theater. Linda
I haven't been there in awhile, but there used to be a photo booth at the
Market near the toddler ball room.
On site photo labs
After two bad experiences with developers losing my precious photos
(Photoworks, previously Seattle FilmWorks - which did recover them, and
Embarcadero Pharmacy, which two months later has not), I am reluctant to
entrust my precious Halloween film to another place that sends its photos
off to a lab somewhere else to be developed (i.e. the void). Does anyone
know a place other than a one-hour developer (I want better quality than
that) which does good quality developing on site (Oakland or downtown SF
preferred)? Thank you!!
I like Wolf Camera at the corner of Ashby and Telegraph Avenues in
Berkeley, kitty corner from Whole Foods. They develop on site. I think the
quality is as good as Looking Glass just up the street and, wonder of
wonders, they have a drive-through window (which is great if you have a
napping child in the car). If you pay the membership fee, you get a
discount on developing, which is well worth it if you like to take
I recommend Wolf. There is one at Drum and Sacramento in downtown San
Francisco, and they have other downtown locations as well (on Market and on
Mission I believe). The Wolf at Ashby and Telegraph also develops on site.
They use Kodak Royal Gold paper so the prints usually are great, and if you
don't like the color, they'll redo them for you. You might also try Photo
Express in Embarcadero One, right around the corner from the Embarcadero
Pharmacy that lost your photos.
Brite Ideas on Lakseshore Ave (3 or 4 doors up from Peet's Coffee. My hubby, Zac Wittmer,
is a photographer and he HIGHLY recommends them.
Good luck and thanks for the heads up on Photoworks!
Custom Process on 5th street I believe does their own developing on site.
Also Albany Photo on Solano ( near Ensenada) is a one hour photo place
but they do excellent quality work on the premises.
I use the Long's in Downtown Oakland at 20th and Webster. I have been
extremely happy with their in-house photo lab. I have been taking my film
there since my 4-1/2 year old daughter was born.
this page was last updated: Sep 29, 2007
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