I’ve had a total of two 8mm projects sent off to labs, the first to Pro8mm and the second to Cinelab. While I was quite happy with the results, I’m shopping around to see just what my options are and just how low I can get on price, mostly based around total cost of shooting one roll of super 8 film. And what a plethora of choices there are! I don’t know everything, and there are probably developing labs and scanning houses I don’t know about, but these seem to be the main ones. All values rounded up to the nearest dollar. Prices for D94 and ECN-2 developing, no E6. Shipping prices not included as they vary, the same with hard drives, but it must be said that those are extra expenses that must be taken into account. These are all labs and scanning houses located in the continental USA.
FULL PACKAGE DEALS (film/processing/scanning)
Pro8mm: 2K $98, 5K $118
Spectra: HD $125
(Now #1 thing is that the cheapest place to buy film is directly from Kodak, especially if you’re a student like me because there is a 30% discount, but also because there’s almost always a markup with retail sellers)
PROCESS AND SCAN PACKAGE DEALS (including cost of film from Kodak)
Cinelab (student rates): 2K $67, 4K $84
Cinelab: 2K $82, 4K $102
Pro8mm (student rate): 2K $96, 5K $109
Pro8mm: 2K $105, 5K $118
And then the old “PROCESS AT ONE LAB AND SCAN AT ANOTHER” (including cost of film from Kodak)
Spectra/Coyle (student rate & no telecine prep): 2K $53
Cinelab/Coyle (student rate): 2K $58
Cinelab/FPP (student rate): 2K $63, 4K $63
Spectra/Coyle: 2K $62 (no telecine prep)
Pro8mm/FPP (student rate): 2K $66, 4K $66
Cinelab/Coyle: 2K $67
Cinelab/Gamma Ray (student & cheapest rate): 2K $71
Cinelab/FPP: 2K $72, 4K $72
Pro8mm/FPP: 2K $75, 4K $75
Pro8mm/Cinelab: $85, 4K/5K $110
Cinelab/Gamma Ray (student rate): 2K $89, 5K $105
Cinelab/Gamma Ray: 2K $95, 5K $114
PROCESSING ALONE (without film or scanning, with telecine prep)
Dwayne’s Photo: $12 (E6 only, I’m listing because it’s the best price I’ve seen)
Spectra: $17 (no prep for telecine)
Kodak Film Lab NY: $25
Spectra: $41 (includes minimum $24 prep for telecine, assuming one is shooting 8 or more rolls of film that cost is $20 per roll)
Yale: $47 (includes minimum $25 prep for telecine, I think that’s ~$24 per roll on volume but is listed as $50 per hour, no other info)
Nicholas Coyle Film Film & Video Transfer: 2K $15
Film Photography Project: 2K $20, 4K $20
Gamma Ray (cheapest scans): $28 (SDR, ProRes422QH)
Cinelab (student rate): 2K $30, 4K $50 ($.60, $1 per foot)
Cinelab: 2K $30, 4K/5K $55 ($.60, $1.10 per foot)
Gamma Ray: 2K $43, 5K $62 (HDR ProRes4444HQ)
Spectra: HD $80
Pro8mm: 2K $100, 5K $125 (all have 2 roll minimum, so that’s $1, $1.25 per foot)
There are volume discounts applicable for each place I think, I didn’t take that into consideration as much because I’ve never shot enough for that to matter…yet. Still, I doubt that it’s likely to change the labs’ placement here. All film processing costs include the prep for telecine. I consider 2K to be the lowest acceptable resolution, and have also included the maximum resolution available, either 4K or 5K.
Special thanks to the members of the Super 8mm group on Facebook who have chimed in on a few options that slipped by me. I’m taking most of my information off these companies’ websites where pricing is advertised, though special mention should go to Gamma Ray Digital for taking the initiative and providing me with a PDF of their prices, they are very active on social media and usually respond to questions extremely quickly. There seems to be an option for everyone with them (and they have a reputation as the best scanning house on the East Coast, if not the country). I’ve put up a few different options but it’s based mostly on what options personally interest me.
Some things of which to take note:
-Cinelab has some pretty good pricing, cutting some especially good deals for students that get the develop & scan package. However, I know from experience that they are not very communicative and can make mistakes scanning. I’m also hearing a lot from people that they take a long time to scan the film; a good problem I suppose, meaning that just that many people are shooting it! A lot of people will have their film developed at Cinelab and sent to Gamma Ray Digital for scanning, as they are both located in Massachusetts about an hour away from each other. That said, it’s still in the same ballpark price-wise as the package deals I listed.
-The Film Photography Project just recently announced their scanning service and it seems like a crazy good deal: $20 to scan any roll of super 8 film whether in HD, 2K, or 4K (that’s not advertised but I have confirmation from Michael Raso). I think I’m going to give them a try next time.
-There was a film lab in Denver called Cinemalab, maybe 2 hours away from me but unfortunately it closed down between my first and second projects. One of Cinemalab’s former employees, Nicholas Coyle, inherited some of their equipment and has built his own scanner from that, and can offer 2K super 8 scans at $15 a roll. He also pointed out to me that one doesn’t necessarily need to get Spectra’s prep for telecine, so for one roll of film without it, that’s only $17, and that makes it probably the most affordable option, though quality may vary.