Where to Develop Film in 2022

The digitized, internet-connected world has made film photography Easier. As hour-long photo labs began to disappear and many camera stores ditched the darkroom, mail-in photo labs filled the void.

Today’s film labs have websites that offer all the information you need regarding services, prices, times, and more. Some even have printable forms and mailers. No matter where you live, including abroad, film processing is always possible. Digital scans of negatives are the most common output, but some film labs also make darkroom prints of various sizes.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a film lab to process your negatives. Do they even process your type of film? Will they push/pull? What is the resolution of the scans? How do you get your digital files? Do they offer custom color correction? Do they make contact sheets? What print formats are available and on what type of paper?

Unlike drugstore chains that still develop and print film, professional film labs will send your negatives back to you, but it’s always a good idea to check this before sending your film. Find the lab that fits your needs and you’ll have a partner for life.

Photo lab index

The dark room

  • 35mm roll price: $12 (with scanning)
  • Products offered: Development, scanning, printing, DVD/USB
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: thedarkroom.com

The darkroom has deep roots in photo development. Founded in 1976 in Southern California, their photo lab is now one of the most established in the country. They will develop, scan and print a wide range of film types: 35mm, 110, 120, C-41 color negative, E-6 slide and true black and white. There is a dedicated app for iOS and Android that allows photographers to view photos as they are scanned. Competitive pricing and fast turnaround times make The Darkroom a go-to for locals and nationwide with their mail-out process.

Citizens Picture

  • 35mm roll price: $5
  • Products offered: Development, scanning, printing
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: citizensphoto.com

Citizens Photo is based in Portland, Oregon, and has been developing film since 1946. Their services are reliable and they accept domestic and international mail orders. Standing out from the pack, they can print in a variety of sizes, including up to 44 inches wide. Citizens Photo works with just about any type of film in addition to Kodachrome film, E4 slide film and C22 color negative film. Great prices and quick results are offered here, plus they sell second-hand movies and gear.

New Jersey Film Lab

  • 35mm roll price: $6
  • Products offered: Development, scanning, printing, CD
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: njfilmlab.com

After half a century in the film processing business, the New Jersey Film Lab now offers courier processing services. Proud to make film development accessible to everyone, the New Jersey Film Lab will process a reel of film starting at six dollars. Scans and prints (4 by 6 or 4 by 4) are available. They won’t scan or print from already developed negatives, but they will handle odd film types like 127, 828, and 126. Here’s a good option for those on the East Coast.

Blue Moon Camera

  • 35mm roll price: $6.50
  • Products offered: Development, scanning, printing
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: bluemooncamera.com

Dedicated to preserving the art of film processing and printing, Blue Moon Camera offers a full-service catalog of options. They can develop most film formats (with the usual exceptions like Kodachrome), scan them, and print them in the darkroom. Postal orders, including international ones, are gladly accepted here. Blue Moon also sells films, cameras and, yes, old-fashioned typewriters. Visit their International Camera Museum for a glimpse into the past and proof of Blue Moon’s commitment to analog photography.

The research laboratory

  • 35mm roll price: $10
  • Products offered: Development, digitalization
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: thefindlab.ecwid.com

The Find Lab specializes in processing and scanning. Although The Find Lab does not make prints, it offers high quality scans at attractive prices. Send your film for development, scanning and even post-processing. Premium color scans will be corrected according to your color preferences. While you’re at it, browse through their film and film camera offerings.

Tuttle Camera

  • 35mm roll price: $8.25
  • Products offered: Development, scanning, printing
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: tuttlecameras.com

Tuttle Camera opened in 1946 and today continues to process film and sell all manner of photographic equipment, both digital and analog. While other labs offer more specialized services, Tuttle Camera simplifies the mail-in film development process. Knowing that some photographers don’t bother to scan their negatives, Tuttle Camera leaves scans as an option. Prints are another option here, but without all the potentially confusing details. Sometimes the simple approach makes the most sense.

Picture House + The Little Dark Room

  • 35mm roll price: $8
  • Products offered: Development, digitization, contact form
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: picturehousenyc.com

Anyone looking for the highest quality processing and scans in New York can take advantage of Picture House + The Small Darkroom. This is where the pros go, so prices aren’t cheap and mail orders aren’t accepted, but a look at their gallery shows just how powerful this lab really is. In addition to processing a wide range of film types, Picture House + The Small Darkroom uses state-of-the-art drum scanners and offers photo post-processing. They also do fine art prints on a variety of paper types.

Reformed Film Lab

  • 35mm roll price: $12
  • Products offered: Development, scanning, printing
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: reformedfilmlab.com

Reformed Film Lab takes a modern approach to mail-in film development. Like many photo labs these days, they offer processing, scans, and small prints. But to add 21st century convenience, they have an app that will help you place and track orders. Reformed Film Lab also sells a variety of films, cameras, and even “Film Life” products. It proves how relevant film can remain in the digital age.

Miller’s lab

  • 35mm roll price: $8
  • Products offered: Development, digitization, verification
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: millerslab.com

Miller’s Lab bills itself as “the ultimate all-in-one lab for professional photographers.” It has been developing films since 1964. Unlike the other labs on this list, however, Miller’s offers services only for professional photographers. If you make a living from photography, the company offers high quality services for all 35mm, medium format and 4×5 sheet color film. Each image is individually corrected by a trained technician, and the digital files of the scans range from 12 to 20 MB. The turnaround time is just 48 hours.

Mpix

  • 35mm roll price: $12
  • Products offered: Development, scanning, printing
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: mpix.com

Mpix, the consumer arm of Miller’s Lab, processes 35mm and medium format color film and digitizes it for customers, makes the digital results available for download from the photo lab’s website, and returns the negatives to the customer. Scans are available in 4.5MB and 18MB resolutions and prints are sold separately.

Process one

  • 35mm roll price: $5
  • Products offered: Development, scanning, printing, USB
  • Returned film: Yes
  • Website: processonephoto.com

Founded in 1984 and based in Overland Park, Kansas, Process One has decades of experience in processing, printing and scanning. Customers can send 35mm, APS, 120 and 220 film with an order form and have it processed using Fujifilm chemistry and printed on Fuji Crystal Archive paper. Negatives are always returned in archival sleeves and the scan resolution is 2400×3600.

SVC

  • 35mm roll price: $15
  • Products offered: Development, printing
  • Returned film: Nope
  • Website: cvs.com

If you want to go to your local pharmacy to have a film developed and printed, CVS is still a great option for that. Drop in 35mm film or a disposable camera and you’ll have 4×6 prints in about 7-10 days. You can also deposit APS, B&W, 110 and slide films, but the turnaround time for these drops to around 3 weeks. Note that you will not recover your film after it has been processed and printed. Click here to find a store near you.

Walgreens

  • 35mm roll price: $15
  • Products offered: Development, printing, CD
  • Returned film: Nope
  • Website: www.walgreens.com

Walgreens is another drugstore chain that continues to offer film processing. Any location with a photo lab can process standard 35mm color negative film, and some labs can also process APS, 110, 127, negative, and disposable cameras. Customers receive prints and a free CD of digital images within 3-5 business days. Like CVS, Walgreens does not return negatives. Click here to find a location closest to you (and you should call to see if they offer the service you need).

Conclusion

Film photography retains all of its magic even if you can’t smell the chemicals in the darkroom. Some photographers can still drop off their film at a local lab, including the locations listed above. But all film photographers can now have their film developed in a lab using good old fashioned mail. Scans, post-processing, and prints are also often available, and many labs are part of camera stores that sell film and equipment. Some might say filming has never been so convenient.


Got a recommendation for a film lab that was omitted from this list? Leave a comment below and it might be added in a future update!



Picture credits: Pictures from Depositphotos

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