The East Coast Film Lab Mantra

In years past, getting your film processed was as simple as popping down to the local drugstore, or the local professional lab. Sadly, today most of those professional labs are gone, and the local drugstore employee may not even know what film looks like.

Even if they do accept your film for processing, they won’t do it there… Your film goes on another journey all its own, traveling through trucks and planes (and potentially damaging X-Ray scanners) before finally landing at some clearinghouse, to be run in a batch with other nameless, faceless rolls. Quality control is typically acceptable, usually hovering around “middle of the road” consistency, because keeping perfect control requires a meticulous and time-consuming approach. Once it’s processed, your film runs through a scanner, turning your beautiful, organic analogue film into ones and zeros.

And then your negatives are destroyed.

Perhaps they’re recycled for their petroleum content. Maybe they’re turned into playground mulch. Maybe they’re just recycled into new base for someone else’s film, but the sad reality is that your negatives no longer become negatives, the bits and pieces that live in a shoebox to be discovered by the next generation after the ones and zeros of today have been upgraded into oblivion.

We are big fans of environmental protection, but we’re huge fans of history and archiving.

We will never destroy your negatives unless you explicitly request it.

That being said, we do have some customers that are not interested in the film itself, but prefer a hybrid digital process. After all, a film camera can be purchased (along with plenty of film and processing) for a fraction of the cost of a new digital camera, and you can also feel better knowing that your camera, itself a work of art with a potentially amazing history, is rescued from becoming a shelf queen or another piece of “waste” cast aside in a landfill. So if you want to shoot film, have it professionally processed with exacting precision, scanned at nearly any resolution, and delivered digitally with a quick turnaround, we’re here for you. And if you really don’t want your negatives, we’ll recycle them.

But despite the archival aspect of keeping negatives, there is also the continual advancement of technology. Digital cameras keep improving, but so does scanning technology. You might not want your negatives now, and you may be content with a high resolution scan, but tomorrow’s high resolution scan will surpass today’s technology, so you can always get a larger file. Try that with pictures from your Nikon D70 or Canon 10D.

Follow us on Social Media

If you want to see what’s going on in the lab day to day, we’re all about social media.  We’re on instagram and facebook throughout the day updating on what’s new and exciting at the lab.  We will be offering darkroom classes throughout the year. You can find details on the classes, schedules and pricing on our facebook page.