nano lab

Please use our online order form and you will get an automatic invoice.

Common questions about processing

What is film processing?

'Processing' refers to the generation of a visible image on the film.
The film, as you receive it from Kodak, is a transparent, flexible, acetate base (made from cotton) with a coating of silver halide crystals suspended in gelatine.  As you run the film through your camera, photons of light become trapped by the silver halide crystals, recording patterns of light as the invisible 'latent image'.  Immersing the film in the developer causes a chain reaction, and crystals holding a photon react to form colour dyes, making the image visible.
If you think about it, you will realise that the places where the most light lands will form the most dye, and thus become the darkest areas on the film.  So the most light parts of the world, become the most dark parts of the film.  This is what is meant by a 'negative'.  After processing, negative film used to be printed to make a positive, however nowadays film is scanned to digital and inverted.  So processing is done first, and then scanning (also called 'digital transfer' or 'telecine') and the digital version is inverted to get back to light things looking light, and dark things looking dark.

What about 16mm film?

Please DO NOT send 16mm film without contacting us first to see whether processing is available.  We offer black and white negative processing for 16mm film.  It costs $55 per 100 foot (30 meter) roll, or $220 for a 400 foot (120 meter) roll.  We don't have this on our order form yet, so send us an email and I will let you know what to do, and what time frames are involved.  Neglab in Sydney process ECN (colour negative) 16mm film.  When they take holidays (usually in July), we also offer colour negative 16mm processing.  For your convenience, if you require scanning of 16mm film we (and Neglab) will send it directly to Memorylab - check the Memorylab website for details.

I have found an old roll, can I send it in?

NO. WE DO NOT PROCESS OLD TYPES OF FILMS from the 1960s to 1990s.  These films require very different chemistry to the films made today.  Do not despair! You can send old films to Film Rescue in Canada.  See What processing services are NOT available? Kodachrome ... below for more info.

I just want a digital file.  Do I need processing as well?

Yes.  The film has to go through processing to put the pictures on it before it can be scanned.

How much does it cost?

All Super 8 and 8mm processing costs $45 per 50' cassette (or roll) including GST.  If you have a tight turnaround to meet, you may need to choose our 'next batch' option which is an extra $30 per roll (so $75 per roll).  This is just the price for processing, for scanning prices, see our scanning options page.

How long does it take?

Our turnaround time for processing, transfer and upload for colour neg these days is around 7 to 10 days.  We also have a 'next batch' service if you are in a specific hurry.  Next batch means you film is processed in the first batch after it arrives at the lab, and is scanned and uploaded ahead of less urgent rolls - it still generally takes 2-3 days.

How do I send my film?

First, fill in our online form.  Then just pop your rolls in a padded bag and send them off to us.  Our address is:
PO Box 559
Vic 3460

How do I pay for processing?

When you fill in the online order form you will automatically receive an invoice by email.  The invoice has our bank details on it.  Please note, if you are an international customer, you may need to ask for a paypal invoice.

What happens to the film after processing and scanning?

If you request return post, your films are returned on plastic spools with white acetate leader on head (2') and tail (1').  Unless you state otherwise, we will use 50', 200' or 400' spools at our discretion.
If you are filming images for immediate consumption and will have no further interest in the film later on, you can choose not to receive your films back in the mail.  They will be kept for a while and for a fee it will generally be possible to have them extracted from storage if you lose your data.  Films left at the lab will eventually be used for testing and other purposes that will result in their destruction.
If you are recording precious memories or doing creative work you really should opt to have the film posted back to you.  It will last much longer than your digital copy, and will be able to be scanned to future digital formats.  Posting usually occurs 2-4 weeks after scanning so that we still have the film here in case an issue occurs that requires the film to be re-scanned.

Processing services we offer:

ECN Colour Negative: 50d, 200t, 500t

and any other stocks Kodak comes up with!  Only in Super 8.  This includes films packaged by Pro8mm (including their 250d film).

Colour Reversal Cross-processing: Ektachrome 100d, 64t and 7240, Wittnerchrome Velvia 50d, Aviphot Chrome 200d.

Please note, we process these colour reversal stocks in colour negative chemistry.  This is a 'cross process'.  The result is a colour negative that yields slightly inaccurate, but usually satisfying colours, perfect for scanning to digital.  It is not suitable for traditional film projection.

Black and White Negative: Tri-X

Tri-X mostly, also Plus-X, ADOX panX, ORWO UN54, Kahl 21.  We also process Double-X and other black and white 16mm films.  Please note, we develop black and white film as black and white NEGATIVE for scanning to a digital positive.  This yields a negative that has a wider exposure latitude than reversal processing and gives excellent results in scanning.  It is not suitable for traditional film projection which requires a film positive.  We cannot process Fomapan 100R, as this film requires reversal processing (see below).

16mm services

Please DO NOT send in 16mm film without contacting us first to find out what services are currently available.  Super 8 processing always takes precedence at nanolab, so in busy periods 16mm may not be able to be processed at all.  We generally offer Black and White negative processing of 16mm films - $55 per 100 foot (30 meters).  You can send us Kodak Double X, Tri-X or Plus-X, and Orwo UN54 or N74.  Note that we only offer negative processing, not reversal processing.  We CANNOT process Fomapan 100R as this stock MUST be reversal processed, see below for details.  Around June/July when Neglab is takes a break we also process ECN colour negative 16mm films.  Contact us for details.  For scanning of 16mm films we recommend Memorylab.

What processing services are NOT available? Kodachrome ...

We do NOT offer processing of old types of film.  If you have found an old roll, we recommend sending it to Film Rescue in Canada.  The most commonly found films that we DO NOT process are:
Kodachrome of any kind or era.  Ektachrome Type G, Ektachrome Type A, 160 ASA Ektachrome, and other pre-1986 Ektachromes.  We do not process anything packaged by AGFA, Focal or Pacific We cannot offer processing of Fomapan 100R as this stock must be reversal processed.

What processing services are NOT available? Reversal

The reversal process yields positive images on the very film that you used in the camera, without requiring printing or a scan.  In the past, all Super 8 film and processing was reversal, and to watch it required a Super 8 film projector.  You would generally only have the one 'copy' of the film (which isn't really a copy at all, as it is the original film - called 'the camera original') which means there is no chance to correct exposure or colour balance of the images.  Projected camera original film is a thing of extraordinary beauty, but only if your exposures in the camera were quite perfect.  See our technical tips page on exposure for more detail about 'exposure latitude' - and why we no longer offer Reversal processing.

Note: we can't be held responsible for items lost in the mail.

menu items