With the emergence of digital photography, it may have seemed as though film took a back seat to this new form of capturing photos. Though a number of film labs have been displaced by digital alternatives, there are still some amazing places for artists to find refuge. The film community is still very much alive and thanks to some great stores and companies, film enthusiasts everywhere are able to process their film. Check out some of our recommendations on where to get your film developed.
If you’re looking for speed, a nearby retailer with a roller transport processor machine is often the quickest option. Your local drug or grocery story can be an quick, low cost way to get roll film developed.
- CVS Pharmacy will develop 35mm film or a disposable camera with your prints; ready in 7-10 business days. If you’re interested in Advanced Photo System (APS), Black and White, 110, or slide film, CVS will take care of you and prints will be ready in only 3 weeks!
- Walgreens will happily process your film, negatives, or disposable cameras and can have prints ready for pickup in 3-5 business days.
- Walmart can also help with your film development. It's affordable and the turnaround time takes approximately 1 week.
Pro Tip: if a roller transport machine isn’t carefully maintained it can scratch film. If you have multiple important rolls, consider submitting a test roll before you give a lab all your film. This can save you hours of retouching.
While less prevalent, there are still some fine professional photo labs offering conventional developing & printing services. ‘Dip and Dunk’ film processing machines (which are gentler on your precious film) are typically only found at pro processors. If you want to have color, large format negatives developed you need to go with a D&D processor.
- Duggal has been in business for over 50 years providing a range of services, including film processing. They are the originators of automated Dip & Dunk processing. This process is used to eliminate the scratches and defects caused by traditional means of film processing, ensuring that your negatives retain their quality.
Development Companies by mail
If there are no processing labs at a location near you, you can always send your film by mail to one of these trusted companies!
If you are a fan of black and white photos, you can trust this lab. They specialize in black and white film and developing all 35mm and 120mm films.
Located in sunny California, The Darkroom specializes in film processing. From 35mm to sheet film, they can handle all of your needs. Their lab is also equipped to test newer films and infrared films!
Another reputable online photo lab is Old School Photo Lab. With free shipping included, they will handle all of your developing needs. They specialize in developing, scanning, and printing; everything from 35mm to 126 film and offer negative and slide film processing for bigger formats, including sheet film. They also return your negatives!
For over 40 years, Richard Photo Lab has specialized in scanning and processing film. All you need to do is select your service and send for processing. They use the Dip & Dunk technology to insure quality and consistency.
If you’re feeling extra independent, why not do it yourself? Developing your own film will be a great learning experience and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you had your hand in the process from beginning to end.
- If you don’t have the luxury of using your home, try finding a Local DarkRoom
- Check out what Ilford has to offer! Not only does Ilford manufacture great film, they make a wide range of developing chemicals and photographic paper.
- Read The Darkroom Cookbook - Now in it’s fourth edition, Steve Anchell’s book is an authoritative guide to developing chemistry.
Do you know of any film processing labs? Share them with us! We would love to add to this list!