Posted on: Sun April 4th, 2012
Most photographers will agree that shooting film or analog is a special treat, if not for the better dynamic range or "the look" that film gives you, then at least because of the process which slows one down and results in a much more deliberate and thoughtful approach.
Processing, developing and printing from your film is another story but you will be surprised that there are some good options right here in the UAE that develop and scan film that is affordable. We took them for a test drive and have summarised our findings below
Where: Located on Shk. Zayed Road, in the building right after (towards Abu Dhabi) the Crown Plaza hotel, Kodak Express offers Developing, Printing and Scanning Services for Color and Black+White Film Shooters.
Developing of color film will cost 10 Dhs for 35mm Film and 15 Dhs for 120mm Film. Black+White Film, whether 120mm or 35mm, will cost 30 dhs for developing and generally takes a week to get back.
Following Development, you have the option to have your film scanned in either High or Low resolution. A roll of film, whether it be 35mm or 120mm costs 10dhs to scan for low resolution Images which are provided in JPEG format and are approximately 5mp in resolution (for 120mm film). Click for Low Res Sample Scan.
High Res Scanning:
You could also have the images scanned in Tiff Format, which costs 5dhs per image, but this only changes the format from JPEG to Tiff and doesn’t affect the final resolution of the image.
High-resolution scans are accomplished via Drum Scanning, and costs 1.75 Dhs per Megabyte. A single 120mm image would cost approximately 25 dhs per image. Resolution?
PhotoFast also has several printing options available in variable sizes from 6x4 to 12x24. They use Royal Paper for prints up to 12x16 and Kodak Professional Paper from 12x18 to 12x24 sizes. The prints come out looking great and we were very happy with the results.We would like to mention however, that the prints aren’t made using high grade Fine Art Paper for Exhibition and Gallery Work. So if that’s what you are after, then you should consider getting the negs drum scanned digitally and have them printed.
Contact details for Photo Fast:
Tel:+971 40 3329800
Speaking of Drum Scanning, this would be the place to do it. Located in Al Ghusais industrial area 3 (Click to download the location map), United Color Film has been around in Dubai for over 30 years and provides state-of-the-art printing and imaging services to professionals.
Developing & proofing:
While you can develop film at UCF and even though it costs slightly less than Photo Fast at 20 Dhs per roll, it is only applicable for Black & White film. UCF no longer supports the development of Color Film, whether 35mm or 120mm. Getting low resolution scans made for proofing purposes takes longer as well and cost 15dhs per roll of film.
Drum Scanning & Printing:
The real advantage of UCF comes in when your aim is to get high resolution scans and/or prints of any kind or size, from foot long indoor posters to meter wide outdoor signage. Coming in at 1dhs per MB for a drum scan, makes UCF a lot more cost effective for Ultra-High requirement work or bulk jobs.
With a plethora of printing options and the ability to get ultra high resolution scans on tap, United Color Film is the place to go for when you want to get serious about your film work whether it be getting the highest quality digital scans or large 300dpi prints. The only limitations with UCF are the lack of support for the development of color film and the non-availability of high-grade Fine Art paper.
Stuff You should know:
An important difference in the printing process betwen UCF and Photo fast is that Photo fast can print up to a maximum of 12x36 and does so from the negative directly. In the case of UCF, any print beyond A4 size requires the image to be drum scanned and then printed. If all you want is a print, you dont need to pay for the drum scan, but keep in mind that you should make sure that the scan is done at a high enough resolution to get the best quality from the print.
This is just something to be mindful of when you go to get big prints made from UCF. And speaking of being mindful, do remember to tell both UCF and Photo Fast to give you a true scan from the negative, i.e. not to edit or process it in anyway, otherwise you may not be entirely happy with the fidelity of the scans and/or prints.
Contact details for United Color Film:
Tel:+971 40 2675599, ask for the Lab, contact person: Mr. Sultan
- If you do decide to explore any of the options mentioned above, give Photo Fast and UCF our reference. With enough interest, we can probably explore additional options for a discount.
- If you're looking to learn more or have any question, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively, give us a call on 04-380-8545.
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