How do I place an order with your laboratory to get my film developed, scanned and/or have prints made?
There are two convenient ways to place your order and then mail your film to us (if you don’t live near our Florida laboratory):
1) Order Online - Visit our BestFilmDeveloping.com site on your computer, cell phone or tablet.
Do you develop all film sizes … 35mm, 120, and Single-Use Cameras?
Yes, we develop roll films from all manufacturers. These include:
How will I will receive my scans, prints and negatives?
We will develop your film first. Then, our technicians will:
What are your turn-around times? From the day I place my roll(s) in the mail how soon should I expect to receive online delivery of my scanned images? How about prints from my film or my negatives?
Turn-around time is dependent on when we receive your exposed film (from the Post Office) and the number of services you request.
Do you charge extra for developing single-use cameras? What is your advice on ways I can get the best photographic results from a single-use camera?
There is no extra charge for sending us your single-use-cameras. We charge the same prices for 27 exposure single-use cameras as we do for a 24-exposure 35mm film roll.
We will treat your photographs with the same care that we do on all 35mm films. (Our approach is to reward and thank you for sending us your film; not penalize you with surcharges for using a single-use camera.)
Our technicians individually correct every single frame on your roll for exposure and color. We also use digital sharpening software that will improve the sharpness of your images. This extra care and superior technology means that scans and prints from your single-use camera will be the best possible from any given roll.
Here are a few tips to get the best photos possible from single-use cameras:
Can I phone Dale Laboratories’ customer service with a question, problem or advice on my order?
Yes, we’re here to help you. Please phone (800) 327-1776 or (954) 925-0103 with any questions or concerns.
What’s the best way for me to contact you … by phone or email?
A phone call to (800) 327-1776 or (954) 925-0103 is the fastest, most direct way of reaching us. Your call will put you in touch with a real, live person.
We answer the phones Monday – Friday from 10AM - 5PM. Saturday hours are from 10AM – 2PM.
You are welcome to email us at [email protected] with detailed questions.
Please allow that our email is checked several times per day but personnel are not permanently assigned on a minute-to-minute basis. So, it may take a short time for us to reply to your emailed questions or comments.
Contacting us by email is a good choice, though, for questions that will require an investigation.
Do you always return my negatives? What if I don’t want them?
Film negatives are the “originals” of pictures you’ve taken. They also represent insurance against the possible “loss” of your images if they’ve been sent to you electronically.
You never know–especially before you’ve actually have seen your images or prints–exactly the visual information your photos contain. You can have an unexpectedly good, “prize-winning” photograph or sometimes–unfortunately–the last photo taken of a loved one during his or her life.
We believe in operating in a cautious way as regards discarding negatives. We never want to be responsible for losing an important image.
So, out of respect to you and the photographic arts that we’ve supported, we always return negatives to our customers. That has been our policy for nearly 50 years …
and many customers have expressed their gratitude to us for consistently following this SOP through the years.
Of course, you’re welcome to discard any negatives you wish to. After all, they are your property. We simply suggest that you may want to wait a little bit before trashing your negatives.
Are there any hidden charges that aren’t listed on your site?
We try to avoid surcharges or extra fees. Rare exceptions might be if some special service is required after normal business hours or if you want an unusual service that requires an extra expenditure on our part.
I belong to a camera club. Can you offer my club members and me an organizational discount? What about student or military discounts?
Will using Dale Laboratories rather than consumer outlets give me better scans and/or prints? Why?
There’s quite a difference between professional film processing, scanning and printing than developing done at a consumer level.
Do you offer free shipping?
Yes, we pay the postage for you to mail us your film … whether with our Business Reply, postage-free, film mailers or the Postage Paid address labels you receive via email when you place your film processing orders on BestFilmDeveloping.com.
On orders of three (3) or more rolls there is no shipping charge for US mail return of your prints or negatives. You’ll also find that our charges for other types of shipping are actually less than the carriers charge us.
I live in South Florida. May I drop off my film at your Hollywood lab, with you uploading my scans and mailing my prints and negatives to me? Conversely, can I mail the rolls to you and then pick up my finished prints and negatives at your lab?
Yes. You can either drop off your film at our laboratory or pick up your prints and negatives, as well as any reprints or enlargements we make for you.
How can I order reprints or enlargements from my developed negatives or scans?
You can order prints from the scans we make and email to you or from your negatives using Dale Laboratories’ online sites (Dale is BestFilmDeveloping.com’s parent company).
Which is better – making prints directly from my negatives or from the scans you email me when you develop my film?
You should get the same quality prints from our laboratory from either our scans or your negatives. Note that prints from negatives are more expensive due to the extra handling the negatives require.
How large a print can I make from your standard scan? From hi-resolution scans?
Standard resolution scans will produce professional quality prints up to 8″x 12″; acceptably sharp prints to 11″ x 14″.
Hi-resolution scans will produce pro quality prints in our laboratory up to 16″ x 24″; acceptably sharp prints up to 20″ x 30″.
Prints made from your negatives have the same sharpness levels as hi-resolution scans.
How do I know if a film roll has been exposed or not?
A good photographic practice is to always rewind fully exposed 35mm film all the way back into the cassette. That serves two good purposes: 1) You won’t be able to load the roll back into your camera, inadvertently getting double exposures and 2) you’ll always know if the film roll has been exposed or not.
Will you charge me if the film comes out blank, with no pictures exposed on it? What if the images on the film are fogged or age-damaged and will not produce useable scans or prints?
There will be a $5 charge to partially cover our costs for labor, chemistry and the postage we pay to cover postage for us to receive your film. We assume that if you are giving us film to process that you understand that costs are involved. The five dollars we charge per roll covers only part of the costs we assume. We hope you can understand our position.
A good way to prevent unexposed rolls is to follow these procedures when you load your camera.
Here are some tips that will virtually eliminate unexposed roll:
1) Be sure that you wind at least one circumference of film onto your camera’s take-up spool. Do a partial film advance to be sure that the film is securely in the slot.
2)After you close the camera back, advance the take-up. Visually check that the take up spool is rotating.
3) Always advance the film to frame #1 before you begin shooting.
4) Check the movement of the take-up spool during your shoots to be sure it’s turning properly.
5) Never try to advance your film past the 24th or 36th frame to get “an extra shot.” That will cause ripped perforations and possibly double-expose your last frame.
1) Be sure to depress the release button on the bottom of your camera. It’s there to release your film so that it can safely be rewound back into the cassette. If you forget to depress the button you can end up with ripped film perforations.
2) Rewind your film fully into the cassette. Don’t leave any leader out … as we’ve explained ... as a good practice to avoid double exposures and blank rolls.
What quality can I expect if I send you very old, expired film?
Film, like food, spoils if it is kept too long beyond its expiration date or is stored in a hot environment. The visual effect is that the base density of the film increases and looks similar to light fog. That age-related fogging causes scans and prints to have lower contrast. With color films you may also have discoloration and color inaccuracies in scanned and printed images. Black and white films age slower and may even yield satisfactory prints twenty years after their expiration date. But, color films discolor and get fogged very quickly. The “thing” about film, though, is that it’s the content of the images rather than the quality that’s often most important to photographers. As a laboratory that leaves our technicians in a bit of a quandary. Should we scan or print badly deteriorated images if they are on old, expired film on the chance that the picture will be important to you? Or ... instead ... should we skip printing because the image quality won’t be very good or might even be poor? The answer is that our policy has to be to print any visible images, even if they are poor. We are in no position to judge how important the content of those images are to you, as the photographer or consumer who has sent the film to us for developing. If you send us film to develop, scan and/or print we have to assume you have some knowledge of what’s on the film and are requesting our paid service to handle the film processing as we’re directed to do.
How about close-dated film that’s being sold at discount prices on the Internet? What are your recommendations?
Experimentation has its place in photography. So, many photographers like the “effects” they get from dated film or sometimes use film that’s not quite correct for the shooting situation. (i.e., Shooting tungsten balanced motion picture film, spooled in a 35mm cassette, under daylight or with flash.) Our only advice is that you should use fresh film for any important family or business-related event. We also recommend using daylight-balanced films if you’re shooting outdoors or inside with flash. We don’t think it’s wise try to save a few bucks on film if the subject is going to a family wedding. But, if you are experimenting to see the effect of using “non-standard” approaches or films we’re 100% on board. Photography should be fun–and there’s certainly a place for experimentation. We will always strive to give you the best possible scans and prints from any film you send us!
What is BestFilmDeveloping.com’s policy on printing nudes?
We are not here to censor your images. Nude and boudoir pictures have always had a place in photography. Our restrictions are that we won’t print, scan or upload images that show sexual penetration or that in any way sexualize children. Of course, we reserve the right for our personnel to use their judgment on what we will or will not print.
What digital printing services does Dale Laboratories offer, whether from my dSLR, cell phone or image files on my computer?
Here’s a list of our various sites:
How can I get answers to questions that don’t appear on this Q & A?
Please phone us at (800) 327-1776 or (954) 925-0103.