191 Lynch Creek Way
Petaluma, CA. 94954
Lab visits by appointment only
Color E-6, C-41, and B&W Film Processing by Mail
Mail your E-6 slides, C-41 color negatives, and black and white negative film to us to be developed and scanned. We handle all film development, scanning, and printing in house in our darkroom and do not send film out to be handled by a third party.
Step 1 – Start Your Order Online
Standard Film Develop and Straight Scan
E-6, C-41, and B&W Film develop and straight scan with no post processing. 35mm, 120 roll supported. Free film return by mail.
If you prefer to do it the old fashioned way or want more advanced control over the process, you can also download our order form here, print it out and send it in with your film.
Step 2 – Mail Your Film to Us
If you paid online, just drop your film into a padded mailer and mail it to:
Simple Photography Services
ATTN: Film Developing
1390 N. McDowell Blvd. Ste. G, PMB274
Petaluma, CA. 94954
If you didn’t pay online or want custom film development, then download our order form here, print it out and send it in with your film. If you already paid online, just indicate so on the order form. You can pay via credit/debit card, PayPal, or Square Invoice via the downloadable order form.
If you are in the Bay Area, you can generally drop film off to be processed at the lab if you call ahead to make sure somebody will be there. Since we also do portraits and headshots, we may not always be available, but call ahead of time and within reason, as long as we know you’re coming, you can drop film off.
Film Scan Technical Information
We offer straight scans, basic scans, and premium scans. The only difference between the scans is the amount of post processing we do to them. The straight scan is exactly that, no other post processing is done. The basic scan includes a basic spotting of dust at a reasonable enlargement level, and exposure/WB adjustment. The premium scan includes spotting all the visible dust at 1:1 enlargement in addition to everything you get with the basic scan.
All roll films are scanned at the same resolution. Our film scanner has a 6000×4000 pixel native sensor, so all film is digitized and delivered to you at that source resolution.
We deliver Adobe DNG files of your scanned roll film. 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 16 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 and digitizing 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 were generated with this tool. You can also check out the film tech sheets section, as I make sample DNG files available for most of the films listed there.
At some point, I may release this tool for usage by others, however, since it’s currently actively being revised and improved upon over time, 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.
Straight and basic scans are delivered via a link to download the files to the email address for your account.
After scanning, your developed film is cut and sleeved in printfile film sleeves then returned to you via the shipping options selected at checkout. We use stiff cardboard photo mailing sleeves for delivery, or a flat box for large processing orders.
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 for most orders. If you send in a large number of rolls at one time, it may take longer.
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. 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.
Processing Old/Out of Date Film
We do accept old and out of date film to develop and scan (except Kodachrome) as long as we can handle the film format, however, no promises or guarantee can be made as to how the film will come out because old and out of date film tends to have color casts and such happen due to age and storage/keeping conditions before processing. We’ll make reasonable efforts to deliver usable images, however, depending on the age of the film and the deterioration of the color, we may not be able to do much to make it look normal.