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York Film Processing

Michael Brinet , Apr 14, 1997; 10:42 p.m.

Has anybody had any experience with York Photo? (They seem to be doing two weird things: selling their own brand of film (scary) for about 2.30 per roll of 36 exposure 400 film and processing 35mm for about 50% (mailers) of what you'd pay for a Kodak or a Konica mailer. All of this sounds too good to be true -- still.. (I guess I'm just like those suckers who fall for chain letters with "make $50,000 in a day" -- only with me it's "process film at 50% off"


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Nes Suno , Apr 14, 1997; 11:05 p.m.

I have not personally dealt with York Photo, but it sounds exactly what Seattle Filmworks does.

Seattle repackages Hollywood 35mm motion picture film and sells it as "professional" filmstock. Motion picture film is non-archival and degrades very quickly when not frozen (before and after processing).

The film is cheaper to make, cheaper to process. If you use motion picture film, don't expect to see the same images in five years.

Bob Hawley , Apr 15, 1997; 07:45 a.m.

If this stuff is, as Sean suspects, resold motion picture film, keep well away from it. There are simply no bargains anywhere in the photographic world if you want quality....so there!! By the way...it doesn't have rem jet backing does it? your local processor will probably kill you if it has.

Russ Arcuri , Apr 15, 1997; 08:20 a.m.

Another note: the USENET groups are regularly host to horror stories about many of the mail order processing services, York included. For example, I saw a story there recently of someone who sent black & white film in and it was mis-processed in C-41 chemistry, producing totally blank film. Of course, the company blamed the photographer, claiming the film was badly underexposed. But the photographer's roll of C-41 taken the same day turned out fine. Furthermore, the manufacturer's info (near the sprocket holes) was missing as well -- a sure sign of mis-processed film.

Philip Greenspun , Apr 15, 1997; 12:50 p.m.

I've never used York either. I believe that the film they sell is ordinary C41, though. I checked their Web site (http://www.yorkphoto.com) and they seem to be charging $6 for single prints from a 36-exposure roll. People in my Neighbor to Neighbor section seem to think York Photo is OK. Kodalux lost or ruined my last three jobs (one of them done at $17/roll via their "premium" service). So price is not perfectly correlated with quality :-)

Anyway, if you are just fooling around, I don't think there is any reason to trust York less than another high-volume consumer lab.

Paul Parker , Apr 16, 1997; 01:09 p.m.

York and Clark are two econo-labs. I have used each a few times over the past 15 years (as well as kodalux and the local lab one-day and the local lab 2 day service).

1. The film York sells under their name is c-41 process, and the cheap prices that they offer on processing is for c-41. They are not, in this regard, like Seattle Film Works; you may ignore the danger Sean is warning of. C-41 is simply standard color processing.

2. Because its standard c-41 processing, it is not surprising that there are horror stories of them processing black and white in color chemicals. I think their full name is York Color Labs. Any horror stroy having to do with processing black and white film in color chemicals does not seem like a Lab horror story to me.

3. They do have "deals"; I have not checked the website as Phil did, but I do have a 1/2 price mailer -- I think I have never paid more than $5 or so for doubles of the small 3x5 prints

4. You do get what you pay for. Mostly. I use a service like this when I really do not care that the *chances* of a screw up increase. I have had virtually every level of lab (that is, every level of cost) screw up something, sometime.

Use York or Clark if cheap 3 inch prints are okay, and you don't care how they handle the negative. I am presently sending away a roll of Walgreen's film -- surely comparable to the York brand, but not Seattle Film Works -- to them for processing. This cannister came out of a vacation point and shoot two years ago. I think. I would not develop this at the local lab at close to 10 bucks. I will spend under five at York.

My guess is

Russ Arcuri , Apr 16, 1997; 03:39 p.m.

" I think their full name is York Color Labs. Any horror stroy having to do with processing black and white film in color chemicals does not seem like a Lab horror story to me."

It is a horror story of sorts if they claim to handle black and white film as well as color. It's a simple case of operator error -- someone was too lazy or overwhelmed to look at the canister before processing. As you said, you get what you pay for.

Paul Parker , Apr 17, 1997; 01:23 p.m.

I stand corrected by Russ. Their website contains the following Q/A:

What film types do you develop? Is it just prints or do you develop B&W and slides as well? We develop all C-41 films. We also print B&W film for an additional fee of $1.50 per roll. Slides are also an option from slide film for $3.95 per roll of either a 24 or 36 exp. roll. The shipping and handling remains the same for all film types.

I mixed *York Photo* with *Clark Color Labs*. I will continue to use each on occasion for cheap COLOR processing.

As for the film that they sell under their own name (in addition to Kodak), they state it is made by a major manufacturer.

Rob D. , Apr 17, 1997; 03:00 p.m.

The results I've seen from York photo are not bad but not as good as a professional lab. (once again, you get what you pay for) I have gotten a few prints where the blacks were actually dark grey. But I can only speak of their West Virginia lab, because that's the only place I've sent film to. They have different labs is different parts of the country (20 or so) and other York labs may produce different results. The main problem I have is trusting my film to the US Mail. You never know if it's going to show up or not.

JACQUELINE SMITH , May 01, 1997; 12:45 p.m.


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