FAQ

Film Developing (4)

How long to get my stuff?

Most orders are shipped within 1-3 business days after we receive it. We are located in Southern California so mail takes 2-5 days to reach us from almost everywhere in the country. Occasionally we run a bit longer, especially after holidays.

Since we are about a block from the post office, we make several pick ups and drop offs per day. The folks at the post office know us by name and put our stuff in the front of the line!

Also, you’ll get your web uploads approximately 1-3 business days after your order goes into production.

Please note there are some exceptions. Super Scan orders typically take 3-6 business days. Film shot in a non-standard format will take some extra time due to manual scanning. This includes 110 and 126 format, mini-Dianas, panoramic formats and sprocket hole rolls etc. Additionally, any film that arrives damaged (torn sprockets, overlapped frames, uneven frames) will take longer due to manual scanning.

Do I get my negatives back? Quick answer… Yes, always!

Yes, of course you get your negs back with your order. Negatives are returned cut and archival quality sleeved.

What kind of film do you accept?

Almost anything, including C-41, E-6 and Black & White processes.

We can also do all types of black & white infrared and E-6 slide infrared films.
Be sure to write on the package that it contains IR film.

Black and white films are processed using the manufacturers suggested times ( then adjusted based on film type trends ) as a normal process.

35mm Slide Film is mounted in GEPE plastic mounts.

If you send in C-22 film, it will be processed as black & white. The chemicals necessary for this color process were discontinued many years ago.

We cannot develop any Kodachrome, Disc film or 5247 Seattle Film Works film.

If you send it to us, and we can’t do it, we’ll let you know.

How do I get my film to you?

3 Ways…

1.

Download the order form and prepaid mailing label here:

Create Order From and Printing Label

 

Then fill out the form, including payment info, put in padded envelope, tape mailing label on the outside.

It will look something like this before mailing:

self mailer

OR

2.

Request mailer packet from us here:

Request Mailer

OR (the best way)

3.

Prepay online and follow the instructions on your receipt page.  You will also get a link to your postage paid label and have immediate access to your account dashboard. Remember, the shipping method you choose at checkout is for return shipping back to you.

Pay Online

 

Also, its a great idea to wrap a return address label around your film, just in case your envelope rips during shipping.  See shipping FAQ’s for further info.

General information (2)

I use a Spam Blocker. How can I get your emails?

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

How do I pay you?

If you are sending in film to be processed, you can enclose a check, money order or credit card information. The best way, however, is to use the on-line prepay option. Our system will even remember your credit card details. It’s also faster because your order goes right into production bypassing other orders being manually logged and and charged. Additionally, online payment via credit card or Paypal is the most secure payment option.

If ordering stuff online (prints, photo gifts etc.), you’ll need to pay with a credit card or Paypal.

Prints (2)

What kind of paper do you print on?

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 EXPRESS B/W Paper or ILFORD GALERIE RC DIGITAL SILVER. It is available in Glossy or Pearl (Matte) surface. You can read more about the Galerie paper here.

How should my files be setup for B/W Silver Gelatin Prints

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.

Prints and Scans from Previously Developed Film (1)

Can you make prints and scans from my old film?

Yes, please see our page on prints and scans from previously developed film here

Scans (2)

My computer doesn’t have a CD drive. How can I view my scans?

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.

What kind of scans do I get back?

This is, by far, our most requested question. Its kinda complex and has some exceptions so bear with us.

Here at The Darkroom, we do many kinds of scans –Standard and Enhanced are the most common. If you have film that requires the sprocket holes to be scanned or have panoramic images, please see those faq’s.

Our standard scan is a 1024×1536 pixel scan. This equals 4.5 MB when opened in an image editing program like PhotoShop. These scans come as jpegs so they will look small in the file browser but will “puff” up when opened. Depending on your subject matter, some images will compress more than others. This scan is great for prints up to 5×7, emailing, Facebook etc. We have produced tens of millions of these scans in the past several years.

Example of a “Standard” Scan:

standard_e

Our enhanced scan is a 2048×3072 pixel scan. This equals 18.1 MB when opened in an image editing program like PhotoShop. These scans come as jpegs so they will look small in the file browser, but will “puff” up when opened. Depending on your subject matter some images will compress more than others. This scan is perfect for prints up to 12×18. It’s just 5 bucks extra for these scans.

Example of an “Enhanced” Scan:

enhanced_e

 

Our new, super scan is perfect for those who want professional resolution or to never worry if you have enough resolution for current and future projects.

It works very well for advertising, giant prints and large posters.

Scan Sizes 35mm Film – 4492×6774 pixels – 87.1 mb Medium Format 645 – 3533×4824 pixels – 48.8 mb Medium Format 6×6 – 4760×4760 pixels – 64.8 mb Medium Format 6×7 – 4815×5902 pixels – 81.3 mb

Super Scans are 4492×6774 pixels or 87.1 MB when opened in an image editing program like Photoshop. Remember that the file size will appear much smaller until you open it up in an image editing program like Photoshop.

button-scan-example

For more information, please see our scan page.

A couple of disclaimers:  If you have a square format, the scans will default to the short dimension. The standard scan is 1024×1024, and the enhanced is 2048×2048. What we are trying to state is that, if you do not have a 2×3 aspect ratio original, your scan size will vary.

Our standard scan and enhanced scan are 72 dpi. It sounds low, but it’s not because the pixel dimensions that count, not dpi. If you get your scans and are still concerned, convert them to 300dpi in PhotoShop. Make sure you uncheck the “Resample Image” checkbox. You’ll see the image stays the same.

Shipping (8)

How do I send my sheet film to you?

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.

 

 

My once-in-a-lifetime shot of Bigfoot AND a UFO is on my roll. How can I guarantee it gets to you?

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.

How does my stuff get back to me?

You can choose various methods for return shipping.

US MAIL FIRST CLASS – This usually takes 2-5 days to reach most parts of the country from our California Lab. You will receive a tracking number when the shipment leaves the lab.

US MAIL PRIORITY MAIL. This usually takes 1-3 days to reach most parts of the country. You will receive a tracking number when the shipment leaves the lab.

UPS GROUND. Usually takes 2-5 days to reach most parts of the country. You will receive a tracking number when the shipment leaves the lab.  Not available to Canada, Alaska or Hawaii.

UPS 2nd DAY. Takes 2 days to reach almost all destinations in the 48 states. You will receive a tracking number when the shipment leaves the lab – not available to Canada, Alaska or Hawaii.

UPS OVERNIGHT. Next day delivery. You will receive a tracking number when the shipment leaves the lab – not available to Canada, Alaska or Hawaii.

CANADA – US Mail/Canada Post. Will take 3-10 days to reach most areas of Canada. You will receive a tracking number when the shipment leaves the lab.

INTERNATIONAL – US Mail/Your Mail/Post. Might take awhile. That’s the best part of the Uploads.  You’ll see your shots before your film is back on the boat (or plane).

How do I send my film to you?

3 Ways…

1.

Download the order form and prepaid mailing label here:

Create Order From and Printing Label

 

Then fill out the form, including payment info, put in padded envelope, tape mailing label on the outside.

It will look something like this before mailing:

self mailer

OR

2.

Request mailer packet from us here:

Request Mailer

OR (the best way)

3.

Prepay online and follow the instructions on your receipt page.  You will also get a link to your postage paid label and have immediate access to your account dashboard. Remember, the shipping method you choose at checkout is for return shipping back to you.

Pay Online

 

Also, its a great idea to wrap a return address label around your film, just in case your envelope rips during shipping.  See shipping FAQ’s for further info.

How will I know when you receive my order?

You will receive an email notification when we receive your order. Also, you will receive an email if we have any questions about your order before it enters production.

I live in Canada where it’s too cold to go outside. May I ship my film to you?

That’s wasn’t real question, we just made it up. It usually appears cold to us up there in Canada. In fact, here in California, we turn our furnace on when it drops below 60 degrees. That’s Fahrenheit by the way. We get confused by your Celsius temps.

Yes, we can ship to our Northern friends. You will need to apply the correct postage because our prepaid mailers only work in the U.S. Then select the Canada shipping for return shipping. Just in case, we put your flag next to your country name.

Your package will arrive back via US Mail / Canada Post.

Shipping to us via Fed-X or UPS?

If you prefer to ship to us using Fed-X , UPS or DHL, you will need to ship to our street address and not to our P.O. Box address.

The Darkroom

946 Calle Amanecer, Suite A

San Clemente, CA 92673

Note that the postage paid inbound labels are only for USPS. The shipping choices on the order form or online are for RETURN shipping only.

Do you ship outside the U.S.?

Yes, we can ship outside our little 50 states (and our other places like Guam and Puerto Rico). If you are not in the US or Canada,  just select the “international” shipping option on the order form. It’s the one with the globe.

Video Tape and Home Movie Transfers (11)

What is the turnaround time for Video tapes or Film to DVD?

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.

Can you transfer movies, tv shows, or my Jane Fonda* work-out tapes?

No, we cannot transfer copyrighted material. If you do not own the copyright, it is illegal to make copies. If you are the copyright holder and can provide written verification or have a copyright waiver signed by the copyright owner giving you express permission, then we can proceed with a transfer.

*Check Amazon.com for Jane Fonda work-out tapes.

Can you transfer video of our wedding that was taken by a professional videographer.

We can transfer professionally recorded footage, but we must follow the US Copyright Laws when transferring all professional footage.

If you have a wedding video or a video recorded by a professional, you must obtain their permission for us to transfer the footage. Please send a signed release along with your order.

Why should I trust The Darkroom with MY videos?

We have been handling customer’s film for over 35 years and handling video transfers for over 10 years. Once your order arrives at our facility, it is tagged and entered into our computer system for internal tracking. You will receive an email when your order arrives, when it is uploaded and when it ships. Our team of experienced video technicians handle every order with care and will transfer all your timeless moments to production-grade digital videos that you will be able to share and enjoy for years.

What if my video tape is blank?

Blank tapes are returned at no charge.

Can you improve the quality of my video tapes?

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.

Why Should I Transfer my Vintage Videos to Digital with The DarkRoom?

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.

 

Are My Video Tapes Returned?

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

 

Can I Get More Info On What Devices I Can View Online?

Check out this list of supported devices. Vimeo Players

 

Web Uploads (2)

How do the web uploads work?

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.

 

What may I do with the web uploads?

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.

 

Here’s how our photo cropper works

cropper3