Many of dollars I’ve spent. Recommendations I have.
Where to drop off/buy film
Aden Camera - 348 Yonge St. (Yonge and Dundas)
Say Hi to Bob for me.
Film can be processed in store, and purchased in store or online.
Toronto Image Works - 80 Spadina Ave #207 (Adelaide & Spadina)
Film can be purchased in store. You can also drop off your film for processing or mail it to them:
Toronto Image Works
80 Spadina Avenue, Suite 207
You must include in your shipment:
Your contact info (name, phone number, return address).
Order instructions (normal or push or pull processing, prints and/or scans).
I like the experience of this place. You walk through a building and there are a couple of galleries, including a Contact gallery right across from the lab. Dropping off your film kind of turns into an outing here.
West Camera - 514 Queen St. W (Bathurst and Queen)
Film can be purchased and processed in store.
Image Foundry - 1581 Dupont St
This place has come as a recommendation to me. I can’t personally vouch for them but they look amazing and I’ll probably use them soon. They do in-house E6 processing.
The first two have a larger selection of film. There is also Amazon, Ebay, Shoppers Drugmart (which only carries Fujifilm), Lomography and many convenience stores that stock film.
There is also Downtown Camera at Queen and something but I’ve had multiple bad experiences so I recommend… not them. Eh-o! You can buy film there though, I’ll allow it.
What to mention when dropping off your film
The easy answer: Ask to have it processed and scanned at 4x6 resolution (or a 4base scan) to disc, no prints.
Now we can get into sub-details.
Would you like your photographs scanned to disc? (Digitized for online use)
Specify what resolution you would like your photographs scanned at. The lowest is 4x6” which is good for online use, decent 4x6 prints and is the least expensive. *I personally prefer a 5x7 scan. 4x6 is ever so slightly grainy (although almost unnoticeable) but it doesn’t allow any room for cropping. After looking at my photographs on the computer I might prefer a tighter crop for one of the photos. 5x7 scan allows some room for that. Some places will use the terms “4base” (1024 x 1038px @ 72 dpi. Good for online use and printing 4x6) or “16base”(2048 x 2076px @ 72 dpi. Good for online use and printing 8×12″).*
Do you want prints of your photographs? *I might not want prints of all of the photographs on the roll. Sometimes I don’t even remember what is on there. So I will get them scanned to disc and then print afterwards.*
Do you want your negatives cut? *This isn’t a popular thing to mention when dropping off film, but it’s something to consider if you plan on doing larger printing in the future. Say you went on a trip, got all of your film developed at a low resolution scan (4x6/5x7) but you actually really love all of the photographs on the roll. So much so that you want to make a photo book and include all of the photos from that roll but your negatives were cut at the initial drop-off. To re-scan a cut roll is costly because they have to scan in multiple sleeves of negatives as oppose to a non-cut roll which can be re-scanned in one piece. So if you have a feeling that the roll you are dropping off is going to have multiple photographs you love that you will wanted printed huge in the future, then you can opt to have your negatives uncut so you have that option in the future. Maybe you are thinking, “Why not have the images scanned at a high resolution when you first drop off your film?” You could, but you would be paying large amounts of money for photos you have not seen the results of yet. You may not like most of them. An example of cost is West Camera. It is $5.50 to scan a roll of uncut film while scanning a roll of cut film it is $18.00.*
If you have “pushed” or “pulled” your film don’t forget to mention what ISO you would like your film developed! *If this doesn’t make sense, you don’t have to worry about it.
Did you shoot slide film? Don’t forget to mention whether you want E6 processing or C41 processing! E6 processing will allow accurate coloring while C41 will cross process the slide film. As mentioned before, Image Foundry does in-house E6 processing. Places like Toronto Image Works may outsource it. *If this doesn’t make sense, you don’t have to worry about it.
Color correcting. Another thing you don’t need to mention but if you are particular, and perhaps you’ve dropped off your film enough you’ve realized that some places color correct in a way that takes the magic of the imperfect out of the film! For example, I shot with an expired roll of film and when I dropped it off at the photo lab they corrected all of the colors in the scan so what should have been trippy colored photos turned out looking realistic. They were trying to “fix” the expired colors.
When to drop off your film
This is a big one in my opinion. If you are car-less it’s a pain in the butt to transit all the way to a print lab only to find out that you have to come back the next day to pick up the film because you’ve missed the cut-off time for developing that day. Also, you might be anxious to see your roll of film and then you realize you have to wait a whole extra dayorweekbecauseYOUDIDN’TDROPITOFFEARLYENOUGH AHHHHH.
Cut off time of 4:00pm for their one hour developing service.
Toronto Image Works
Received by 10am, completed by 6:00pm same day (processing only).
Received after 10am, completed by 6:00pm next day (processing only).
If you want prints or a scanned disc:
Monday – Friday: The following business day after film processing.
Cut off time of 2:00pm
If timing is an issue for you then find out what the lab’s timing is for developing film before you head over. Also, some labs are not always able to develop black and white rolls within a day.
Kitchener/Waterloo locations for developing film?
Mail your film.