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Processing film isn't as easy as people think it is.  Or maybe with computers and smart phones we just forget the technical, physical and chemical calculations that go into processing that roll of film.   

I want to make it clear that we still process film.   

To process a roll of film is to take the film from a light sensitive state to negatives as we know them. The film leader is pulled out, taped toa card that is then pulled through a very large machine with different tanks of chemistry for very precise amounts of time at precise temperatures.  There's 7 tanks of liquid each with its own "rack" containing a belt that drives the fil. Down, then up, and into the next tank and rack.  

Our film processor is in the back room.  Most people don't ever see it. The machine up front is our Silver halide printer.  

Things happen.   

Theres many moving parts, chemistry and electronics.  The other day a drive belt broke. It happens to every lab. In most situations we can work through glitches - there's even a hand crank in case of power failure. But the film was stuck in developer, and the crank wasn't moving it. Not only that you have to diagnose this in the dark, by sight within seconds or the films been developed too long.   

We do the absolute best we can, we maintain our machines ourselves and have had wonderful results for years. If you have ever had a roll of film lost by any lab, please don't hate the lab.  It's rare, and labs will go to extremes to save film.  But it's film, it's very sensitive.  A streak of light for a 2 thousandth of a second will ruin film. 30 extra seconds of developer may ruin it too.  Labs aren't grossly negligent.

 

so here's me and my sons replacing the belt on Saturday morning at home. 

 

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Rack taken apart to fully gain access to belt.    

Rack taken apart to fully gain access to belt.  

 

New belt installed!  Old belt on left.    

New belt installed!  Old belt on left.  

 

So why are we the only lab ANYWHERE AROUND that still processes film?

Film is declining, big time, but as a local business, We love to provide to service for our film customers, we welcome anyone looking for on site film processing.  

HOWEVER, we must consider the cost.  The new belt cost us $200, the change chemistry costs over $300. We process a roll of film for $14. Eventually we will have to make a hard decision about the processor.   Until then, it's up and running!  So bring your film in and we'll treat you like royalty - search around your house, film looses its color and contrast over years so let us process the for you today.

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