Choosing a Lab | An Australian Film Photographer's Journey

This was an agonizing decision to make! I guess I always just thought I'd send my film to Richard or Photovision but when it came down to it, there were so many things to consider in choosing a lab. Number one being the cost of developing/scanning.

I researched labs in the U.S.A, Australia, and Europe in order to get an idea of the range in pricing, and it was huge (from around $13 to $30 per roll)! I also considered the look I wanted, which scanner/s each lab used, shipping costs, and positives and negatives to each lab. In the end I was tossing up between Atkins Photo Lab in South Australia, and The Find Lab.

I went with The find Lab for a few reasons- they are extremely reasonably priced, even when compared to Australian labs and when considering the shipping costs I'll be paying. Their Basic + scans are perfect for me as they'll provide a little colour correcting to my images, as well as provide feedback on my images in terms of technicality and gear. And, well, hello! Jonathan Canlas! I love what he and his lab stand for in terms of educating film photographers and helping them shoot more film. Their 1 for 1 program means that for every roll I send in, I get a roll back at the wholesale price. For somebody who needs to import film from the US as it is, the fact that I can combine the postage of my negs, prints, and film is a bonus!

Having said all of that, I'm yet to see my first scans (my film is somewhere between Sydney and Utah as we speak). I'm still really keen to try Atkins Lab, so I may send my next lot of film there for comparison.