Lab Inconsistency: Where do you guys go? : LUSENET : Photography In The Phils. : One Thread

The best 'mall type' labs I go to are the Fuji Labs in Megamall and their main office. As far as negative film is concerned, its still a hit and miss thing. Sometimes they get it right the first time, sometimes they can't get the color filtration and print density right no matter what I do (such as include a correct 5x7 printed by their own machine the first time, write down specific instructions on that little piece of paper they use as a form for negative enlargements). Note that I'm not asking for any localized color balancing/burning/dodging which is impossible with the automatic processors, but rather general color balancing and density control (darkness or lightness of the print), which is possible. While it could be a classic case of 'over-worked and under-paid'syndrome, and I've had more problems of this sort as of late (the mentioned labs were pretty good last year), I must say I'm pretty disappointed.

What labs do you go to and what are your experiences with them?

-- Tommy Zablan (, February 24, 1999


Yes. I guess human factor wasn't much of an issue for me before since I could send in a neg for 8x10 enlargement at the FIM in megamall, maybe wait a while and look through the glass window while the color balancing and density adjustments were being done and give instructions as to what I wanted.

Lately though, the FIM in megamall as well as the main office no longer does 'rush' 8x10 prints (probably due to overloading in the FIM megamall...though I got the impression it maybe was a policy change at the main office), so they make me wait a minimum of three days, wherein you won't be able to oversee the printing. Thus I've had a negative enlarged to 8x10 twice (one at each branch) with the density and color balance (according to what I wanted) wrong. The first I can attribute to my giving insufficient information (though a 5x7 proof of the same neg done on the same machine without any instructions from me was done right), though the second came out wrong (obviously lack of exposure...too light) despite my inclusion of the correct 5x7 print and specific instructions to follow it as closely as possible. This frustrated me given the 4 day wait. In any case, I'm gonna send it in again and hope they get it right.

This doesn't appear in order since the software puts all my responses on top...sorry 'bout that ---Tommy Zablan

-- Tommy Zablan (, February 25, 1999.

This is normal. Photofinishers are just human and everytime they work on something, a little of the previous work sort of remains in their system. That is, when they start work on a roll of over-exposed negatives, or film with a different base color. This I think will most definitely affect their judgement.

You can have a certain picture printed today; have them print it tomorrow, and the day after that. You will see the variations in their interpretation as how the colors should be.

The best solution to this is to get a test print first and use this as the basis for the rest of your prints. Of course there are 1hr photo labs who will hate you for this, and there are some who are willing to do this so as to lessen their waste.

This should help... unless you yourself will have a different taste for color as time goes by.

-- Carlo Ma. Guerrero (, February 25, 1999.

I've always had my prints done at the Island Photo branch in Farmer's Cubao. Been their loyal customer for more than 3 years. They're more consistent there and if I'm not satisfied with the printing, they will always re-print it for me at no extra cost. It's probably also because I speak the same dialect as the staff there and I've never had my prints done anywhere else. I highly recommend that branch, in fact, everyone in my workplace goes to that branch for all their developing needs.

-- Butch N. Talorete (, February 28, 1999.

Only two labs I admired - The Fuji Image Plaza at Pasay Road near Makati Avenue and at Photo Concept at Hidalgo, Quiapo. Pasay Road has the best 3R and 10Rs and Photo Concept if you are not a professional photographer - and one of the cheapest. Good colors and good printing. Puwede pa ang rush jobs.

-- ROLAND R. ROLDAN (, May 03, 1999.

Try Y2K Lab located in front of Isetann Carriedo. Its a newly opened photo lab and so far everything seems fine. I'm also a frequent customer of Photo Concept....before.

-- Alvin S. Granada (, June 13, 1999.

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