Last high quality photo lab closed on the Eastside

Overlake Photo that I have been using for quite some time is going out of business due to digital pressure. No more quality film development close to work :-(. Now I'll have to either use mail order (most probably) or drive all the way to Seattle Photobition (former Ivey Seright). Overlake lab did a good job developing slides of all formats, black-and-white negatives, push/pull processing, cross-processing (i.e. devloping slide film as negative or the other way around). Folks at Overlake haven't been able to make large professional quality prints from slides so for printing I have been using Photobition. However, over the last years with recent developments in scanners, ink jet printers, papers and monitors I began printing more and more myself on my trusty Epson 1280. So I probably added to the Overlake untimely demise...

I do shoot digital, but for art work I still mostly use film. There are few reasons. Reasonably priced digital SLRs still have 1.5x focal lens multiplier so even with 12mm lens I can only get around 20mm equivalent on my EOS D60. Digital does not yet have full panoramic abilities (stitching only works for landscapes since you have to take multiple images so your subjects must be still). I am using Noblex 135U for panoramic work. Digital also does not yet have all movements of a good view camera (well, at a reasonable price at least :-)). Image noise is still a problem with long exposures or at high ISO speeds (1600 film is still better than 1600 ISO setting on digicam). And even 8 megapixels is not enough for 20"x20" print, especially if some cropping is needed. Maybe in a couple more years, when EOS 1D becomes more reasonably priced and a bit smaller and lighter...

Even then, not all film effects can be reproduced in Photoshop. I have yet to see good algorithm for imitation of cross-processing or for infrared film effects.

Comments (3)
  1. Jeff says:

    I had a D60 then a 10D (the improved focus was no-brainer), and I have to say that there’s something about the prints from film that still "feel" better. Granted, I usually do my prints from Ofoto now. While generally pretty good, they seem to have gotten into the habit of deciding what their machines "think" should be the right color balance, which is not good.

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