5 Places to Get 35mm Film Developed in New York City

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5 Places to Get 35mm Film Developed in New York City

In 2020 not many of us are flocking to get our film or disposable camera developed. I remember the time where you could walk into a pharmacy or supermarket with a photo center. Rolls of name brand film lining the isles and long lines of people waiting to purchase their prints. When you had to the wait days to find out how the picture turned out. Those were the days.

Fast forward 20 + years into the digital era. You can take 1000 photos in a second and apply all the filters and Facetune you’d like.

But that doesn’t have to stop you from picking up film photography. I got back into it over 10 years ago in my senior year of college. It was great because I had access to a dark room. Now was stops me is the cost to develop photos and uncertainty of where to go.

Here are 5 places I personally tried or researched. I paid attention to cost, optionality, location, speed to develop, and customer service just to name a few.

CVS, starts at $15

The Deets
  • Located in most neighborhoods
  • You have to drop off in person, then they mail it out.
  • Typical turnaround time is ~ 3 weeks. Corona time is over 2 months.
  • What you get back is a CD of the photos but you don’t get the negatives.
My 2 Cents

Giant thumbs down. Besides the months it took to get back developed photos, I had a brain fart not paying attention to the fact my Mac doesn’t have a CD drive. So I have to find a friend with one where I can download them.

Quality of the photos?

Gowanus Darkroom, starts at $10

The Deets
  • Located in Gowanus, Brooklyn
  • You have to drop off in person or mail it to them.
  • Typical turnaround time is ~ 3 days with a link to your scanned photos.
  • Their offering ranges from just negatives to contact sheets to printing.
My 2 Cents

Giant thumbs up. Invoicing/ payment was contactless and sent same day as drop off. I had the scanned photos for downloaded within 3 days and had 30 days to pick up my negatives.

Gowanus Darkroom Film Development
Intake Form

Communication was amazing. Rachel (owner) responded to all my questions prior to my order, hours of operation and scheduling a pick up of my negatives was seamless. Downloading the scanned photos was the easiest thing.

The quality of photos was pretty good. I tested on a color and b/w roll. See for yourself. There were 24 frames on the b/w roll but they said most were damaged – however, I could see on the contact sheet they were dupes but I have the negatives so I can always get them printed.

My only issue is how far Gowanus is from where I live, but hands down best of all the services I researched. I will be going back to them with more rolls but I will be saving up to do large batches. Yes, this will hurt my pockets but there’s a cost to art!

Bushwick Community Darkroom, starts at $10

The Deets
  • Located in Bushwick, Brooklyn
  • You have to drop off in person or mail it to them.
  • Hours of operation are difficult to understand. On Google Maps it says 6-9pm daily but on the door it says 12-6pm daily/ closed Sunday’s.
  • They do have a drop off located at the mailbox outside of the front door.
  • Typical turnaround time is unclear from there website.
  • Their offering ranges from just negatives to contact sheets to printing.
  • Based on my emailing and the website, I gauge you’ll start somewhere north of $10.
My 2 Cents

Although I didn’t use them – so cannot speak to the quality of the prints – the sheer effort it took to try to get in contact to ask questions as well as show up at 6:30 to find out they were closed. I was not a fan.

Accurate Photo Shop, starts at $6

The Deets
  • Located in Park Slope, Brooklyn
  • You have to drop off in person only, from what I can see on the site.
  • Hours of operation have changed to accomodate COVID guidelines.
  • Typical turnaround time is unclear from there website. <—–
  • Their offering ranges from just negatives to contact sheets to printing.
  • For developing a roll, negatives and scans will run you $12 for color and $17 for b/w.
My 2 Cents

This is hands down my #1 right now.

Right in the heart of Park Slope, it was super easy to get to. When I walked in the entire family is working at the store. In a time like this when people need the business, I’d prefer this spot over a CVS (if it was even good service). They do EVERYTHING in house as well. I love that. When I don’t have to work with a middle man. Make’s

I dropped off 4 rolls (3 color, 1 b/w) for a total of $57.66. When you think of what I paid to the others, $57 for 4 rolls of film isn’t that bad. Plus, before the day was up I had the 3 color roll scans sitting in my inbox ready for download. I was amazed. I am still waiting for the b/w but it is Labor Day Weekend so I’m not stressed about it. They did also mention it would take longer.

The only con for me is distance to where I live. I do need to make a day of it but I think what I’ll do is drop off in bulk. That way when I pick up I can just drop off more.

Bleeker Digital Solutions, starts at $8

The Deets
  • Located in Park Slope, Brooklyn
  • You have to drop off in person only, from what I can see on the site.
  • Hours of operation have changed to accomodate COVID guidelines.
  • Typical turnaround time is unclear from there website. <—–
  • Their offering ranges from just negatives to contact sheets to printing.
  • For developing a roll, negatives and scans will run you $12 for color and $17 for b/w.
My 2 Cents

I didn’t end up using them but the reviews on Google and Yelp speak positively.

Online

These are all mail in ONLY. *Disclaimer* I didn’t personally try any of these so cannot speak to the quality of the prints.

Although film is considering a medium that is “dying out”, there are still places to develop and create. It it pricey though! But, film photography is still here.

Please share any other darkroom recommendations in the comment section you have come across that I should try out.

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