Feature photo: @low_aperature_life

Restoring film cameras puts me in touch with hundreds of film photographers, so I learn new things all the time even if it's just common knowledge about things like film development labs. 

Recently, the subject of film development has come up a handful of times, and if photographers' opinions matter, it's apparent that not all photo labs are created equal.

If you're new to the game, or even if you're an old hand, here are some “local” photo labs you might try if you're looking for labs trusted by some of Vancouver's more discerning photographers.

In no particular order:

Canadian Film Lab

Web: canadianfilmlab.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thecanadianfilmlab/

This is was the discovery that prompted this post. A prolific local photographer I know mentioned this is his lab of choice. Given his love for what he does, he's developed a high standard for every stage of the process, not the least of which is his development lab.

He mentioned they do a lot of work for wedding photographers, but they serve all photographers boasting clients from 26 countries worldwide. 

They're located in Hope BC. If you don't feel like making the drive, mail your stuff in. Here's how.  

Prices: canadianfilmlab.com/pricing/

Photo: @low_aperature_life

Rocket Reprographics

Or just “Rocket Repro.”

Web: rocketrepro.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/rocketrepro/

These folks have been around for a while and do trusted work. From film development through to printmaking, their reputation is good. Located in Vancouver's Gastown close to the Waterfront skytrain station, access is easy. They don't develop E-6 (colour positive slide film), but they cover almost everything else.

Prices: rocketrepro.com/pricing

ABC Photo

Web: abcphoto.com

Perhaps the most established of the outfits listed here (1966), this company is an end-to-end finishing operation. Like some of the others on the list, they offer the full range from development to prints.

Located just off Cambie at 15th Ave, it's not as easy to get to as some of the others listed, but they might accept mail-in service. 

Prices: abcphoto.com/film-processing

Photo: @low_aperature_life

The Lab 

Web: www.thelabvancouver.com

That's it. Just “The Lab.”

A simple name for a company that simply does good work. I've been using these guys myself for all my recent film development. They're located in East Vancouver near Main and E. 2nd. Again, they're not far from a skytrain station (Main Street/Science World).

These are the folks Kerrisdale Cameras out-sources to, so if one of their seven locations is near you, drop your film off there and let them sort out the logistics.

Prices: www.thelabvancouver.com/services/film-processing/


I you're a local Vancouver photographer and there's a film development service you think is worthy of a mention, please let us know in the comments below. 


February 19, 2022 — Kevin Shoesmith
Tags: b&w c-41 e-6 film lab

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