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Photo Lab FAQ

Frequently asked questions about our photo lab services and processing film.

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COVID-19 Status (1)

Updated 6-30-2020 3:30PM PT
This status will be updated as the situation dictates.

Dear valued customers and friends,
Like you, we are closely following the situation as it continues to develop.

Unfortunately, The Darkroom is currently limiting orders to existing customers due to limited staffing.  New customers will not be able to register online to make a prepaid web order.  If your order is already inbound, we will still process your order normally.  Please keep an eye on this page for updates as to when we plan on reopening to new customers.

All of our core operations are functional, and we are able to continue to accept your mail-in orders. Turnaround times may be increased by at least several days and in flux until we are able to resume normal operations.  In addition, for staff safety and load balancing, additional time (up to 4 working days) is being introduced once your order arrives at our P.O. Box and until your order is entered into lab production.   You will receive an email once your order enters production. You will not receive an email that your order has arrived from the post office, nor can we inform you that it has arrived until it is logged into our production system. Please keep a record of your inbound tracking number.

Remote Customer Service staff will continue to be available throughout this crisis to help with your questions. You may experience additional wait times, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate this unprecedented situation.

Temporary Service Advisories:

  • No International Outbound USPS Shipping with the exception of Canada
  • No Local Dropoff at our facility
  • No Outbound Mailer Requests
  • No APS, 110, 126 Film Format Developing
  • Currently limiting orders to existing customers that have existing TheDarkroom.com accounts

We appreciate your continued support and trust in us, and we will do everything we can to return better than ever before. Our thoughts and well wishes are with you in taking your own precautions to stay vigilant, healthy, and safe. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
The Darkroom

Film Developing (4)

Pushing ISO doubles every time you increase it 1 stop. So if the box speed is 400, then +1 stop would be 800, +2 stops would be 1600, +3 would be 3200. You can also pull your film – it works the same – you’re just cutting the speed in half for each stop you need to pull. So if the box speed is 400, -1 stop would be 200, -2 stops would be 100, and -3 would be 50.

Pushing and pulling will change the look of the film. Pushing is good for lowlight situations – it will add contrast and often make the grain more noticeable. Pulling will take away contrast giving you better detail in your shadows and will make grain less noticeable. Pulling film works great for black and white especially contrasty scenes with a lot of shadow detail.

You will also need let us know how much you push or pull your film so when we develop your film so we can change the developing time to compensate. Write down your push/pull on the order form which is a $2 fee and be sure to write on the film canister itself the push/pull.

Pushing ISO doubles every time you increase it 1 stop. So if the box speed is 400, then +1 stop would be 800, +2 stops would be 1600, +3 would be 3200. You can also pull your film – it works the same – you’re just cutting the speed in half for each stop you need to pull. So if the box speed is 400, -1 stop would be 200, -2 stops would be 100, and -3 would be 50.

Pushing and pulling will change the look of the film. Pushing is good for lowlight situations – it will add contrast and often make the grain more noticeable. Pulling will take away contrast giving you better detail in your shadows and will make grain less noticeable. Pulling film works great for black and white especially contrasty scenes with a lot of shadow detail.

You will also need let us know how much you push or pull your film so when we develop your film so we can change the developing time to compensate. Write down your push/pull on the order form which is a $2 fee and be sure to write on the film canister itself the push/pull.

If you submit a roll to us and it produces no images, we will issue a voucher for future processing.

If you submit a type of film to us that we are unable to develop, (Kodachrome, Triple Print, etc.) we will return the film and you will not be charged for developing.

General information (1)

Make sure you whitelist info@thedarkroom.com so you get our emails.

Gift Cards (1)

We offer eGift Cards here:  Gift Cards

How to order:

1.   Choose amount

2.  Enter recipient’s email address

3.  Enter your name

4.  Enter optional message

5.  Click optional “Postpone Delivery” box to set a future delivery date if desired

6.  Add to cart and checkout

 

No physical card will be mailed to recipient.

Cards don’t have expiration dates or additional fees. The value of your gift card will be reduced when used to make a purchase

E-Gift Cards are non-transferable, non-refundable and are not redeemable for cash

 

TheDarkroom.com gift cards are good for use on all products on TheDarkroom.com, with the following exceptions:

A.  Gift Cards cannot be used to purchase new Gift Cards

B.  Gift Cards currently cannot be used on our digital print ordering application

 

Prints (2)

Our black & white prints are printed on Ilford black & white silver gelatin paper. Our preferred format for this product are 8 bit Greyscale Jpeg’s. Make sure your monitor isn’t too bright as most monitors are too bright at their default settings.

We print color prints on Kodak Royal Paper. It is available in Glossy or Matte/Lustre surface. For the technically inclined, you can read more about Royal Paper here.

If you order True Black & White Silver Gelatin prints, they are printed on ILFORD GALERIE RC DIGITAL SILVER. It is available in Glossy or Pearl (Matte) surface. You can read more about the Galerie paper here.

Prints and Scans from Previously Developed Film (1)

Yes, you can get prints or scans from your negatives! We support 35mm negatives or slides, 120/220, APS, 110 and 120 Format Film. We scan your film negatives or slides, upload them for convenient web download and send you a CD.

Learn more about Reprints, Enlargements and Scans from Previously Developed Film

Scans (1)

Some new computers are being sold without optical drives now.  You can either download your images from our website or you can order the optional USB Thumb Drive.

Another workaround would be to purchase an external CD/DVD drive.  We have seen these on Amazon.com for less than $13.00.

CD’s are still the least expensive way to deliver large quantities of data with the exception of downloads.

Shipping (2)

Almost all film we receive is via the US Postal Service using our free postage paid mailers, or our labels taped to a 6×9 envelope.  Make sure you record your tracking number before mailing.

Instead of using our free postage paid mailers, some customers feel more comfortable using FEDEX, UPS or DHL, as their shipping systems do offer better tracking of your shipment and a guaranteed delivery time to us.  If shipping FEDEX, UPS or DHL, be sure to read the FAQ for FEDEX/UPS as you cannot ship to our P.O. Box, you must use our physical address. https://staging.thedarkroom.com/faqs/shipping-us-via-fed-x-ups/

FOR CRITICAL FILM, WE SUGGEST USING FEDEX OR UPS SHIPPED DIRECTLY TO OUR LAB.

We prefer to receive sheet film in the manufacturers 3 piece boxes.  Film boxes will be returned.

If you do not have access to the boxes, you could use a dark bag made for sheet film.  They are available here.

If you use one of these bags, please pack carefully so it is not cut by postal equipment.

 

 

Video Tape and Home Movie Transfers (5)

Most video orders take 12-19 working days to complete.

Most film orders take 14-21 working days to complete.

Any film or tape that is in poor condition or tapes in PAL format will take longer.

Check out this list of supported devices. Vimeo Players

 

Yes, of course, your materials will be returned with your order.

 

The DarkRoom offers the easiest way to transfer your video tapes. We produce all of our work in our California lab. Nothing is outsourced to offshore companies.

You’ll receive your DVD’s and optional web upload soon after we receive your order.

 

The DVD/Transfer Lab service is a transfer service. Videotapes will not be enhanced. The quality of your transfer cannot be better than the original material submitted. As with other software products, DVD transfer orders are non-refundable.

Web Uploads (3)

Prior to November 2015, The Darkroom used Lifepics, a third party service for images and albums. On October 25, 2016 The Darkroom will be discontinuing support, online print ordering and image hosting for the Lifepics platform.  Users still utilizing the older Lifepics service will need to download their files to avoid image deletion especially if you have misplaced your CD’s.  Currently, users may have received emails from The Darkroom via Lifepics warning of image deletion if you have not logged in within the past 6 months.

 

Access LifePics account to download your photos here: photo.lifepics.com

 

If you have trouble accessing your Lifepics album, please contact support@lifepics.com as they have account access tools that are not available to us at The Darkroom.

In addition to delivering images online, please remember that we have always included a CD with your Standard or Enhanced scans.  We realize online backup is important for your photos also. Dropbox.com is our favorite online storage site and you can store up to 2GB of data for free (that is a lot of photos!).  We would recommend uploading your images to Dropbox for extra safe keeping.

Remember, these changes only affect images stored on our older Lifepics platform, uploaded prior to November 3, 2015.  In the coming months, we will provide an update regarding how long images will remain available on our new system.

To identify which system your images are on, you can tell by the web address.  If the web address includes Lifepics.com, then that is the older Lifepics platform that is being phased out.

You may also order color or black and white prints in various sizes, make photo gifts etc.

You can also transfer them to your Facebook page, Dropbox or share with friends and family.

 

After we have developed and scanned your film, we upload it to your “My Account” password-protected portion of our website. Then you’ll get an email from us that the images are available along with a link to login.

You can then make products including real photographic prints, photo gifts etc.

Additionally, you can download individual images or the whole roll. You can also delete images from your albums.

You will download will be delivered in a .zip format, usually to your Download Folder.  Most Mac computers will unzip automatically.  Most Windows systems will require a right-click to “Extract All”.

We are not an image backup or long term storage service provider. You should always keep backup copies of your photos stored safely on a device or service specifically designated and intended for backup purposes.

The Darkroom requires that you maintain a backup copy of all images and content stored on the Service such that in the event of a catastrophic data loss on the Service, your images will be also be available on your local computer or archived media. The download or upload of any material through the service is done at your own discretion and risk and that you will be solely responsible for any loss or damage to your content or image or any damage to your computer system or loss of data that may result in the download or upload of any material. You are solely responsible for creating back-ups of your digital content.

 

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