WHY WE DO NOT GIVE YOU THE MEDIUM FORMAT FILM
TO HAVE PROCESSED:
First, so there is no confusion, we will be giving you all the negatives. However, we will have the negatives processed and proofs (pictures) made for you. We then give you both the photographs and the negatives.
Why do we give you the 35mm film for you to have processed, but had the medium format film processed for you? There are many reasons.
1. 35mm film is rewound into a steel protective jacket (the film roll) that is relatively light and moisture resistant. Medium format film after exposure and rewinding is simply covered with a few layers of paper at the end of the film roll when rewound. This makes the film more subject to water damage, light penetration damage and inadvertent tampering. Until film is processed, it is extremely easy to destroy.
2. While there are many hundreds of locations that process 35mm film in the area, there are very few that process medium format or for the public. Those who do, charge very high retail prices.
3. It could be a very unpleasant experience for you. Medium format processing tends to be the technical, artsy and sometimes snooty world of professional photography. Here is an example of how it could go:
At the counter, you say, "I'd like to have some pictures done." A possible crack back at you might be, "Artists paint pictures, we don't do that here."
When you reply, "No, I would like to get this film processed," you could get a seemingly really low quote - but when you pick it up 3 days later only the negatives have been processed. Now they want you pay a per-photograph charge to make photographs from the negatives, only they will be called "proofs".
You would probably be given an information and customer sheet to fill out, asking you technical questions about the film. You might get calls asking what number paper do you want and others. It is difficult to get exact quotes because prices are based upon each stage of processing.
4. You are a one-time customer so have no leverage and they do not really want medium format to be done by non-professionals (how else could the justify high prices and keep the mystique of medium format as something special?_
5. The prices could be very high. By charging very high "retail" prices, they can claim discounts to professionals. Medium format film processing is expensive. It is not quite as expensive for us.
What this also
means in real terms is that you call us in frustration and then we get into a
verbal argument with a processor we otherwise probably have a good relationship
In defense of these processors, they are dealing with professional photographers who can be extremely technical an picky. What seems a beautiful photograph to you might be such unacceptable junk to them they would go to a different processor.
A professional photographer might have tens of thousands of dollars riding on one photograph and for a critical commercial client. The photographs that you see in Chevrolet magazine ads is not discount photography. These processors also do professional 35mm processing by the same techniques and with the same challenges to a consumer - but you do not have to go to them for your 35mm film processing.
We will take of your film processing and overall it will cost you less than if you did it yourself. You will receive your photographs, negatives and a release of copyright in 7-14 days.