Simple Film Lab

191 Lynch Creek Way
Suite 102B
Petaluma, CA. 94954

Lab visits by appointment only, please mail your film to the address on the film processing order form as that route is more secure.

Black & White Film Processing

Located in Petaluma, CA. in the heart of Sonoma County and wine country, we operate a Film Lab for your film processing needs.

Mail your black and white film to us to be developed and scanned in. Color C-41 processing and scanning is coming soon.

Download the order form here, print it out and send it in with your film.

Please check the list of film tech pages here for exposure guidance and technical information about each film that we’ve reviewed, also, check out our development process as it should provide answers to some questions you may or may not have. If not, then just ask.

We accept all black and white negative film emulsions in 135 (35mm) format, 120 format, and 4×5 sheet format to be developed and scanned in.

Pricing

Roll Film (135 and 120 format)

  • Develop only: $10 per roll
  • Develop and straight scan: $15 per roll
  • Develop and basic scan: $20 per roll
  • Develop and premium scan: $30 per roll

4×5 Sheet Film (no sheet minimum)

  • Develop only: $10 per sheet
  • Develop and scan: $15 per sheet

Scan Information

Resolution

All roll films are scanned at the same resolution. Our film scanner has a 6000×4000 pixel sensor, so all film is digitized and delivered to you at that source resolution, except sheet film, that is scanned in as 4 separate quadrants and digitally stitched together to produce one much larger 16 bit TIFF file. The exact resolution will vary, but it is based on 4 6000×4000 images stitched together.

File Format

We deliver Adobe DNG files of your scan. Imagine that! A digital negative of your film negative. If you’re an Adobe Lightroom user, just add the scanned DNG files directly into your catalog and have the full power of Lightroom’s Develop Module at your fingertips to do as much or as little post processing as you desire. For a hybrid workflow, it’s the best of both worlds. If you don’t use Lightroom and none of your software supports reading Adobe DNG files, we can also provide your scans as TIFF files, or optionally, jpeg files.

The Adobe DNG files contain a positive image of your negative film in 32 bit floating point scene referred linear light space. Basically, the highest supported sample precision you can get. Your software will need to support at least the DNG 1.4 spec. Most recent versions of Lightroom do so with no issues.

We linearize the film’s characteristic curve via a variety of well known contrast indexes and can scan film in and get it linearized over a pretty wide range of emulsion contrast levels.

The software tool that we use to do this linearization/color space transformation is called Simple Image Tools and is custom developed specifically for scanning in film. Most images run through this tool are tagged with the tag “simple_image_tools” so you can search most image sharing sites for that tag to see output from the tool. It’s really good and I’m constantly working to improve it, as I use it for all of my own images.

See images on Flickr that where generated with this tool: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/simpleimagetools

At some point, I may release this tool for usage by others, however, since it’s currently actively being revised and improved upon, for now, the only way to get scanned images with this tool, is via Simple Film Lab.

The upside to this workflow is that it actually doesn’t matter what scanner you use as long as you can get raw untouched sample data from the scanner. All images are conformed from the raw scanner sample data to the ProPhoto color space that is native to the Adobe Digital Negative specification via a generated profile for that film/scanner combination.

Scan Types

The scan types are categorized and priced based on how much post processing work you want to do to your scans vs. how much post processing work you’d prefer to pay Simple Film Lab to do to your scans. At it’s most basic, after the film is developed and the initial Adobe DNG is created from the raw scanner samples, your film isn’t actually any different than an image you shot on a digital camera and imported the raw file into Lightroom as a DNG, so from that point forward, it’s all time spent in Lightroom’s Develop Module. We all know time is money, so if you’d rather save yourself some money, go for the basics, otherwise, pick a more premium option.

Straight Scan

This is exactly what it sounds like, as is the least expensive option. We develop the film, scan it in as a linearized Adobe DNG and send it to you with no further corrections. It will be up to you to spot the film for dust, adjust the exposure, rotate the image if needed, and do any other post processing tasks. You receive the full scanner resolution 32-bit floating point linearized DNG files of your film with all of Adobe Lightroom’s post processing power at your fingertips. This option is great for budget minded shooters that like to do their own post processing.

Basic Scan

The basic scan is a step up from the straight scan and is slightly more expensive. You get the straight scan, plus, we look at each frame at a reasonable enlargement level and spot it for the most obviously visible dust/fibers. We also if needed, do a basic exposure correction, contrast index correction, image rotation, and if color film, white balance correction. This option is great for the shooters that shoot more film and need to receive reasonably clean and well exposed images that they can select images from to make prints or selectively tweak a handful of images for further processing.

Premium Scan

The premium scan is a step up from the basic scan. You get everything in the basic scan, plus, we look at each frame at a 2:1 enlargement level and spot all the visible dust/fibers. Additionally, the premium scan is where you can request any other post processing tasks (within reason) you would like us to do before delivering your scanned images to you. The premium scan is well suited for the shooter that needs to receive finished images that they can do a basic review of and either print or send on the their clients with little to no post processing done on their part.

Scan Delivery

Straight and basic scans are delivered via a link to download the files to the email address supplied on the order form. With the premium scan option, you can request files be sent via Dropbox if you want them that way.

Film Delivery

After scanning, your developed film is cut and sleeved in printfile film sleeves then returned to you via the shipping options below. We use stiff cardboard photo mailing sleeves for delivery.

Shipping/Mailing

You’ll need to pay for postage to mail your film to us, however, return delivery of your sleeved film via USPS is built into the development/scan fees.

Turn Around Time

This can vary a lot depending on how busy we are, however, normal times are 5 business days from the time we confirm receipt of your film for delivery of your scans.

Credit Card Processing

We process all orders via Square credit card processing. Your information is never shared with anyone for any reason.

Limit of Liability

Even though we take every precaution and treat your film as if it is our film, Simple Photography Services (and Simple Film Lab) is not legally liable for anything that happens to your film while it is in our possession. Yes, we recognize that this sucks, however this policy is standard business practice. However, with that being said, we are customer service oriented, so even though accidents can happen because nobody is perfect, we’ll do what we can to make things right if that ever happens. Hopefully it never does.