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Willow Photo Lab News


Dear Customers,

BIG NEWS!  Willow Photo Lab is moving!  Effective December 15th, we will no longer be receiving new orders at our present location! Willow Photo Lab is going to a new location in Somerville, Mass, and we expect it to be on line about January 15th.  We are very happy about this move, and are looking forward to the transition to “acting our ages” and enjoying whatever time we have left. The lab will be under tha very able operation of three dedicated film enthusiasts, who are adding this operation to their present production company.  Of those who presented opportunities to us, they are by far the best qualified in my opinion!

What can you as a customer look forward to?  More of the same, caring service and probably faster turn around only possible with younger, enthusiastic people! For those of you in the Boston area, you may want to check in with them! Same familiar name, same Noritsu lab equipment and quality Kodak chemistry and paper, and of course the same web address!

Continuing Operations  As highlighted above, we have been in negotiations with a group of persons who we feel would be good stewards of Willow Photo Lab, and continue along the same philosophical lines, using real, wet processing and AgX paper. At this point in time, negotiations are completed, and I personally feel that the perfect solution has been identified, and now that a transition time has been set, rest easily film lovers! You will be well served for the foreseeable future!


Please Visit us at www.willowphotolab.com to see what else has changed! There are now services listed which we previously only offered on our Special Services menu, which we are now presenting in a way to allow a wider number of options. Naturally, we will be encouraging all customers to come to us through our web site. As time goes on, we will have some new images (there is only so much creativity you can have with pictures of rolls of film, I know.) There are also general instructions on removing film from single use cameras safely, and saving a ton of postage.


With introduction of the more economical Snapshot Scan  service, we are now burning a couple of hundred CDs a week. We no longer furnish our higher resolution (HR) scans except when special ordered, As this is a premium priced service for those who really need the increased resolution. This is also a premium priced service, and is now offered as an individual item, develop and scan HR, including index prints. We are still trying to determine what a realistic price would be, and are researching the time added factor. The extra time by the way, is eaten up by the added 6 or 7 minutes of machine time needed to format the higher resolution, which is why most in-store labs rightly want nothing to do with it. Naturally, we’re burning HR CDs when ordered.  For those requiring our highest resolution on their scans, please be very patient! Each machine is able to do no more than 7 rolls of 36 exposures per hour at that resolution, and of course requires an operator in attendance at all times. Considering the extra machine time and labor involved, there will be a significant added cost of $3 per roll for HR scanning and saving.  We’re currently continuing our strategy of making all of our prices realistic in light of the time and materials required. Negatives, Thick and Thin: On occasion, we get our share of both, and once in a great while, a customer is disappointed with the results, of course, sometimes telling us that the film was over/under developed. The cause can be any of many things; for dense negatives, the most common cause is fogging of the film, almost always caused by storage conditions (too warm) and/or the age of the film. Undeveloped film fades upon long storage, and the fog level causes the entire strip of negatives to fog over all, not just the images. When scanning, this condition takes considerably longer to do, as the film must move much more slowly through the machine. Thin negatives are nearly always due to underexposure, or film not promptly developed. (In this case “promptly” means within a year at maximum, but stored in cold conditions) To better understand this, you need to know how modern lab equipment operates. Color film is all made to develop with critical control on the time and temperature of the solutions, especially the developer, which must be 100.5 degrees F. +/- ½ degree. The negatives are drawn by the film processing machine through all of the solutions at a fixed and exact speed by a uniform transport arrangement, with the length of time in each solution determined by how long the path the film takes is. Solutions are automatically replenished, depending on the amount of film developed. To be certain, we run a standard test strip through the film processor at the beginning of each processing day, and compare it to a standard, which comes with each roll of 100 test strips, using a densitometer. While this sounds like a lot of extra trouble, remember that film developing is the one process that cannot be easily remedied! If the developer step is spot on, a later step can be re-done if it fails!

Double Prints

We are now offering double prints in lieu of regular, single prints from 35mm half frame rolls, and at the same price for double prints or for half frame prints. Just select and purchase the half frame offer, and send your film in. We will figure it out when we see the negatives! You get up to 72 prints either way.

willowphotolab@gmail.com is our permanent e-mail address, and our web site is www.willowphotolab.com  The email address is possibly going to change ISP, but there will be a transition time, in which I will forward all messages as needed. For those who have become personal friends, I’ll give you my personal email address.

If you really want to be BIG We are now offering develop and print with an 8x10 print of each printable frame, for an affordable price of $19.90 for a roll of up to 24 exposures, or $22.00 for a 36 exposure roll. Shipping is extra, with a price of $6.00 per order, which may also include other items without further shipping expense.

A final note:  As all three of us here at Willow Photo Lab are in our seventies, we need to slow down a bit, and going into the traditional slow season seems like a good time. So, effective December 15, We will no longer be shipping orders from our present location. For our faithful regulars, it might take as long as another week or so to deliver your order. Please keep us in mind!  We still enjoy the process, and will likely continue to do so as long as the Lord allows us to. Orders placed after December 15, will go to the new location, and any film received here in Missouri will be promptly sent to the new lab, and you will be notified by us.

Since Writing the Above,  Things have taken a slight turn for the worse for myself, which came to the forefront with a middle of the night 911 call, and a few days in the hospital. Fortunately, all is now much better, and we are back to work. Plans at present are to fulfill all of the orders on the books (mostly they have ordered but not as yet sent their film in.) We will definitely be accepting and processing orders from our loyal film fan “frequent flyers” for as far into the future as we are able to…we love film photography that much! Don’t look for any more price increases from us in the future, with the exception of shipping costs. We have on hand a goodly stock of paper in the popular widths and surfaces, plus a large stock of the chemistry we use, all well within the “use by” dates.  The web site will change slightly by the end of this year, giving returning customers a chance to sign in to go to their order screen. All regular customers will have a permanent ID number sent them. Presently these are in the range of 1000 to 1525 or so. We are now beginning to send out sheets of 1x1 stickers to our regular and new customers, with their name and account number on them. There are 80 per sheet, ask if you need more. These are intended to be stuck on each roll of film, which will expedite check in, as well as giving that much more identity of each roll. Please use these, and write on each one the number of rolls in your order.

Thanks again and again, Neil                                                                                                                                  cust.news.12.2017.docx