What are negatives and why do I need them?
Film developing is the process of turning the exposed film from your camera into negatives. The negatives are then scanned in to a computer, creating a digital image you can view on screen and optionally prints on paper.
Negatives are an archival record of your image that contain much more detail than can be seen in a small print or standard-size scans. It's a good idea to pick up and archive your negatives carefully-- having your images in physical form is one of the great advantages of analog photography.
By holding on to your negatives, you'll always have the option to have the negative re-scanned at high resolution (either by a lab or with a home scanner) or to print the images "the old fashioned way" in a darkroom.
Looking at your negatives can also help diagnose any kind of image quality problem you might be having-- it's easy to tell if they are underexposed (too transparent) or overexposed (too opaque), as well as spotting light leaks, heat or age damage, and other common but tricky issues.
It usually takes 1-2 additional days after the digital scans are sent before negatives are ready for pickup. This allows us to cut, sleeve, and alphabetize your order. We'll send an email as soon as they are ready. Negatives are held for 30 days after the order is complete-- the email we send will include the date your order will be discarded if not picked up.
We can always help with making shipping arrangements and will be happy to work with you if you can't come in right away to get them-- just don't forget to let us know before it's too late!
Why does a robot answer the phone?
We have a fancy phone system which picks up with recorded messages that address the most common inquiries people call with. This helps us spend more time working on your order, and less time telling callers our store hours, location, and pricing. If you need to talk to a person, just press 5!
What resolution are the scans?
For standard 35mm film,
Basic scans - 1,600 x 2,400px
Premium Scans - 2,000 x 3,000px
Pro Scans - 4000x6000px
Maximum Resolution scans - 4,500 x 6500px (35mm), or up to 6700x8700px (6x7cm negative)
For medium format films, pixel dimensions vary with aspect ratio. The smaller dimension will match the 6cm edge of negative.
What payment methods are accepted?
Cash (exact change is preferred), credit/debit card, Apple Pay, and other contactless wallets.
Do you repair cameras?
No, but we help you to assess if a camera is functioning properly or not. We recommend Nippon Photoclinic in Manhattan for repairs.
Why is film so expensive? Why does it cost more at an independent store than online?
Even though it's old-fashioned, film is one of the most high tech chemical products available. It's made from silver, and the market price reflects price trends in the precious metals market and lingering supply chain issues due to the pandemic. We generally expect a price increase from Kodak, Ilford, and Fuji at the beginning of each calendar year. Giant online retailers like B&H or Amazon are often able to offer low prices due to their economies of scale, but as a tiny store we aren't able to purchase from distributors in such large quantities. Generally our cost per roll is about 10-15% higher than major online retailers. We try to keep film prices as low as possible, and to offset the high cost by keeping our developing price lower than most competitors.
What is the return, exchange, and warranty policy on vintage cameras?
All used/vintage cameras have a 30-day warranty. If it develops a fault within 30 days of purchase, we will refund/replace/repair the camera at our sole discretion. The warranty does not cover accidental damage or failure due to improper use or storage. The warranty is void if the camera is brought to the beach, desert, or other sandy/dusty places. We do not accept returns other than warranty claims.
What is the return policy on film?
We do not accept any returns on film, batteries and other consumables.
Please see below for our refund policy on lab services.
Are pets allowed in the store?
YES! Please bring your cats, rabbits, dogs, birds, etc. we love them.
Is it OK to talk on my cell phone while I am being helped at the counter?
No, it is very rude to be on your phone while our staff is trying to help you with your order.
I'm a total beginner and I have no idea where to start.
No problem! After reading through the site, feel free to give us a call or send us an email:
If you have film to get developed and you're not sure what to order.....
There's a very strong chance that it's a roll of 35mm color negative film which uses process C-41. We'd recommend ordering the basic package and will get you digital copies of the images you can view on your computer or phone.
Can you develop disposable cameras?
We sure can! They're priced the same as a standard roll of 35mm film.
How do I mail in film?
Enclose your rolls in a small box or padded envelope and mail them to us at 615 Marcy Ave, Ground Floor Brooklyn, NY 11206
Don't forget to enclose a note with your name, email, phone number, and what services you're requesting. We'll email you an invoice you can pay online when we receive the package.
What is the turnaround time?
Typical turnaround time is about 3 days. All quoted turnaround times are estimates, not guarantees.
E-6 slide film- 2-3 weeks. Film is processed by hand on-site. We do not send film out to other labs.
Specialty Film - 2-4 weeks
Why am I asked to tip at the point of sale?
Tipping is not expected or obligated, but leaving a tip is a nice way to show your appreciation for our hardworking staff of photo experts-- espesically if they go above and beyond a simple transaction. For example, we are always glad to spend extra time making recommendations, helping with cameras, sharing tips and tricks, troubleshooting, and offering technical advice. There is no charge for this service, but a tip is always nice!
What is E-6 slide film?
Typical color and black and white films develop into negatives, which are color and tone-reversed versions of your images that can be scanned to a computer or printed in a darkroom. Slide film (AKA reversal film) develops into positive transparencies, which can be scanned in a computer or mounted in 2x2" frames and shown with a slide projector. The most common slide films are Kodak Ektachrome, Fuji Provia, and Fuji Velvia. Slide film is more expensive to purchase and more difficult to process, but can yield extremely fine grain, beautiful colors, and an authoritative color reference which can be viewed directly-- rather than a negative, which must be interpreted into a digital file or print by a human and/or computer through a variety of processes. With a slide, what the film sees is what you get with no color or exposure correction.
Can you develop film that has gotten wet or "souped film"?
No! When film has been water damaged, the risk of contaminating our machine and chemicals means we can not process it. If you want to use water damage as a creative effect with your photos, it best to hand-develop the film yourself.
Why did my roll come out blank?
The most common reason for a blank roll is a camera loading error. This most commonly occurs when the film leader is not fully attached to the take-up spool, and so the film never advances. It can also be due to a camera problem, like dead batteries, a broken light meter, incorrect settings, or a mechanical problem with the shutter or film transport. When a roll comes out blank, we send a store credit for the cost of scanning ($2.50 for basic scans). If you got a blank roll, feel free to bring your camera by any time and we can go over what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future.
Will my film be handled with care? How frequently do lab errors occur, and what is your policy?
We are experts in our field and treat each roll of film with a great deal of care and attention. We are proud to say that we consistently maintain our rate of success at 99.9% or higher. Though infrequent, lab errors (both human and mechanical) can and do occur in every photo lab. If your film is damaged, destroyed, or lost while in our care we will refund your order and replace the film with an equivalent unexposed film. This is the full extent of our warranty, and the possibility of a lab error is a risk you assume when getting film processed. This policy is standard in our industry. We're not perfect (no lab is) but when something goes wrong we handle the situation with integrity and courtesy.
What does "Pushing" and "Pulling" film mean?
Pushing means to underexpose and overdevelop a roll of film, increasing its effective ISO speed.
Pulling means to overexpose and underdevelop a roll of film, decreasing its effective ISO speed.
I will be traveling on an airplane with film-- can it be damaged by x-rays at security?
Film is easily damaged by airpoprt x-ray scanners. Higher ISO films are particularly susceptible. When flying with film, keep it in its original packaging and put it in a plastic bag in your carryon. At U.S. airports, you can request a hand inspection of your film and they will usually be helpful and cooperative. Foreign airports have varying policies-- generally European countries will not allow hand inspection. Never put film or disposable cameras in checked bags. X-ray damage will cause increased grain, reduced contrast, and wavy patterns in images. The best way to eliminate the risk of x-ray damage is to ship the film to yourself (or direct to the lab) instead of bringing it on the airplane.
What lab equipment do you use?
AGFA dLab.1 (C-41 developing, basic scans, prints up to 8x12)
(Fujifilm C41 & RA4 chemicals)
AGFA FP 1-44 (B&W film developing)
Metal hand tanks & reels (E-6 developing with Arista chemicals)
Noritsu LS-600 & HS-1800 (medium & pro scans)
Durst Sigma (Max res and specialty film scans)
Epson P-5000 (prints up to 17x22)
Epson FF-640 & V700 (scanning prints)
Chromira Prolab (large digital c-prints)