Analogue WonderLab FAQs

Thank you for your interest in the Analogue WonderLab! If you have any questions about our plans for our film developing, scanning, and printing lab then have a look through the below:

What is development and what does it include?

Film development is when we use chemistry to turn your exposed film into negatives that can be scanned and used for printing your images.

If you order development you will only receive your physical negatives back. If you require digital images that can be viewed on your computer or phone then please select one of our scanning services. See our other scanning FAQs below for more information.

Do you print photos from my films?

We do not currently offer a photo printing service but please keep checking back for updates as it is something we plan to offer in the future (with something rather special...)

What is scanning?

Scanning is how we turn your negatives into digital images. We offer three scanning resolutions, which one to choose depends on the end use of your images. Please see more information on scanning resolution FAQs - below.

All our scans are sent via wetransfer.com direct to your contact email address where the download link will be valid for 3 months.

What scanning resolutions do you offer? What is the best for my film?

We offer three resolution options:

 

Scan type Resolution File Size File Type
Standard 3637 x 2433 pixels 1-2 MB JPEG
Premium 5444 x 3648 pixels 4-5 MB JPEG
Premium TIFF 5444 x 3648 pixels 50-60 MB TIFF


Standard scans will be absolutely fine for posting on social media, personal websites, emailing to friends/family, and for making prints up to size A4

Premium scans are bigger and can also be used for posting on websites that can accept larger files (and won't simply compress that back down like Instagram or Facebook) - and they can make print up to size A3

TIFF scans are much bigger file sizes, so prepare for a longer download time and more computer memory needed! The bonus of this is that they contain much more information within the same number of pixels as the Premium JPEG scans, so you can edit them yourself (in Photoshop or similar) and get much better results with strong edits.

TIFF is a 'lossless' format, so hasn't had any compression applied by software before arriving in your inbox. It also means that even though the pixel resolution is the same as the Premium scan, you should be able to print slightly larger without loss of meaningful detail - up to size A2.

What are sprockets?

Sprocket scanning is when the film is scanned with the perforations or sprocket holes to be part of the image. We offer this service at an additional cost and it will add up to 2 days to your film turnaround time as it is a very manual process.

What are your turnaround times?

We commit to turning your colour film around within 5 working days and your Black & White film within 7 working days.

*If you order Sprocket Scanning please note that the turnaround time will be up to 2 days longer*

This may fluctuate, particularly as it is difficult to anticipate busy periods, but if we are running later than normal then we will always let you know.

If you require a special turnaround to hit a specific deadline then please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate. This may come with an additional cost, depending on the volume and the deadline, which will be clearly laid out in advance of your final decision.

How do I send in my films?

1 - Purchase the number of films you need processing across 35mm, 120 and 110 and proceed through checkout. Remember to add any order notes at this point e.g. to push/pull film, request how you want the film cut etc.

2 - Once you have placed your development order you will receive an email containing a link to generate a FREE TRACKED postage label, specific to your order 🙌🏼

Please note: our free postage service is only valid for one trip so please collate all your film together and send them in one parcel when they are all shot. This also helps to reduce waste and benefits the environment too!

3 - When you are ready to send us your 35mm films, print out the postage label (it can also be printed at a local Post Office for free), and make a note of the unique tracking number that will print just under the barcode - see example image below.

4 - Pack up your film securely with a note of your Analogue Wonderland order number, and pop the whole package into a postbox or parcel drop-off.

For sustainability purposes please use recycled and recyclable packaging for this stage ♻️ If you happen to have some Analogue Wonderland boxes on hand then they are perfect! We have designed them to last >8 journeys through the post for this very reason.

5 - You can follow your parcel's journey to the WonderLab by entering your unique tracking number (example circled below) at https://www.royalmail.com/track-your-item - so now all you need to do is relax, put up your feet, and await your scans!

6 - While you wait we advise storing your film in a dark, dry place until it is ready to send in.

Tracking number example

Circled in pink - an example of the tracking number unique to your parcel. This can be entered at https://www.royalmail.com/track-your-item to follow along with your film's journey, after you've popped it in the post!

How does the free return postage work to send my film in?

Using the link on your order confirmation email you can generate a personalised postage label for free tracked postage. The label will auto populate your order number and return address which means we know exactly who’s order has arrived with us and saves you having to include any other information with your order.

Remember that the postage label covers the cost of one parcel only so if you have more than one development on your order please wait until you have finished shooting all of your film before posting them to us. Remember to make a note of your tracking number too so you can check if it has been delivered to us.

As soon as we have developed or scanned your film it will be packaged up and sent back to you using Royal Mail’s 1st class service which aims to deliver next working day including Saturdays.

What is the best way to pack my films and send them to you?

Please pack your parcel with the environment in mind and reuse any packaging you may already have. Our Analogue Wonderland boxes are designed to be reused and will protect your film without any other packaging or if you still have the film case or box your film arrived in this will be sufficient to protect it in transit.

We also enjoy seeing how creative you can be so don’t shy away from using what you can find around your house but nothing too big please!

What if I have more than one development on my order but haven’t shot all my film yet?

Our free postage service is only valid for one trip so please collate all your film together and send them in one parcel when they are all shot. This also helps to reduce waste and benefits the environment too!

While you wait we advise storing your film in a dark, dry place until it is ready to send in.

How do I know my films have been received?

Once your film is received at Analogue HQ, we will send you an email notification to let you know it has arrived safely. By using our tracked royal mail service you can also follow its progress online.

Can I drop my films off at your lab/collect my order in person?

Absolutely!

Analogue Wonderland HQ’s opening hours are 10am-4pm Monday to Friday

Please make sure you have already placed your order online and you have your order number written out for us when you hand the film over.

If you also want to collect your order please leave a note when you drop off to make sure we don’t post them out to you.

How will I receive my scans?

Once your film is scanned it will be sent to your email via WeTransfer. You will have 3 months to download the images before they are deleted.

Can I check my order status once it is received?

Yes - you will receive multiple email notifications as your film goes through our lab:

1 - when your film has been safely received and prepped

2 - when your film has reached the front of the queue and is about to be developed/scanned in line with your order

3 - when your film has been processed in line with your order, and is about to be sent back to you

These emails will also contain up-to-date expected turnaround times for each stage, and if you have requested scans then they will arrive between emails 2 and 3 from this list

Can I gift somebody film development?

Absolutely! Just remember to provide their contact email and address so the developed film and scans will be sent to the gift recipient instead of you.

If you want them to receive digital images please add a scanning service onto your order.

Alternatively you can purchase a gift card from our store - and pass it on to the lucky recipient.

How will my film get cut and sleeved?

As standard we cut film into strips of 4 frames but if you request it we can cut your film into strips of 6 frames and use archival negative sleeves free of charge.

Please specify if you want them cut differently in your order notes when you checkout.

What equipment do you use?

We use the following specialist equipment to process and scan your film:

Film Processor

1. FujiFilm FP 563SCAL (Colour Films)

2. JOBO ATL 1500 (Black & White)

 

Scanning

1. FujiFilm Sp3000

We scan all of your films using a FujiFilm Sp3000 which allows us to work on your pictures frame by frame. The Frontier scanner renders images with a beautiful tone and retains great detail on highlights using advanced highlight recovery algorithms. It has a smooth grain and enables a strong contrast on your images.

2. Epson V850 Pro

Our Epson V850 Pro scans with excellent tones and ensures the brightest and darkest areas of your images are replicated allowing impressive detail and range.

We will only be using our flatbed scanner in case that we need to scan large formats on 120 films such as (6x9,6x17, 6x24), large film formats 4x5, 5x7, 8x10 or special requirements such as Sprocket scanning + Panoramic Shots.

Helena with our JOBO ATL 1500 🤩

What chemistry do you use?

For colour chemistry we use: FujiFilm CN16S

For Black & White chemistry we use: Kodak XTOL for the vast majority of films, or Kodak HC110 when needed for special films

What happens if my film comes out blank?

If there are no visible images on your film after developing, we will get in touch with you directly via email or phone and will refund any scanning costs you have already paid.

Unfortunately we will not be able to refund you the developing cost - as we will already have performed that service - but our lab technicians will be happy to discuss possible causes with you to avoid future disappointments. We've all been here before!

What are your prices for 'development only'?

 

 

Colour (C-41)

Black & White

35mm Film

£6.00

£6.00

110 Film

£7.00

-

120 Film

£7.00

£7.00


More chemistry and format options will come soon

Can you develop expired films?

If your film type is one that we can develop then we will happily process your film.

We cannot guarantee the quality of the negatives or scans you will receive though due to the unpredictable nature of expired film.

Do you offer a discount on bulk developing/scanning?

No - but we have a generous reward scheme that will allow you to quickly convert your orders into significant savings on future development (or new film!)

Head here to read all about WonderPoints

What are the films you cannot develop?

Formats and chemistries that we cannot currently process (but are in our plans) include:

  • 127, APS, 5x4, 5x7, 8x10, 620, 220
  • E-6 colour slide film
  • ECN-2 colour cinema film
  • B&W reversal films (Fomapan R or Adox Scala reversal)
  • Adox CMS specialty
  • Washi speciality films (specifically W, V, R, I, F)

 

Over time we plan to one day be able to develop all of the film types that we sell online so please stay tuned through social media or our website for updates on this.

Do you develop Black & White film?

Yes, we can develop Black & White film in the following formats; 35mm and 120 film.

Do you process slide film (E-6) or Black & White reversal film

No, we do not currently develop these film types but we hope to offer this service in the future so please keep in touch via social media or our website for updates.

Can you develop disposable cameras?

Yes! Please remember to add on scanning to your development in order to receive digital images as we do not currently offer a photo printing service.

How long will you store my digital images?

We send your scanned images through wetransfer.com where you will have 3 months to download them before the link is deleted.

Please ensure you check your inbox and spam folder when you are expecting to receive any scans.

Can you push/pull film?

Yes, please add any notes to push/pull your film when you place your order. Alternatively you can add a note when you post the film back to us.

Please note that we do not charge extra for this service 😊

Can you scan panoramic shots?

Yes, we absolutely can but you will need to purchase sprockets in addition to scanning when you place your order. This is because they will need to be scanned with the flatbed scanner.

Please also add a note to say your images are panoramic so we know you only want the image and not the sprockets as well.

How do I prevent my film from getting light leaks?

Please always make sure you fully wind your film back into the casing when you are finished shooting.

If you have 120 film, ensure that it’s wrapped tightly and secured with tape or an elastic band to prevent it unravelling in transit.

What if I'm not happy with the results?

Please get in contact with the lab team as soon as you can! They will be more than happy to discuss the results with you, what you're not happy about, and advise on how to avoid future disappointment.

What are your sustainability goals? ♻️

We laid out our detailed intentions in a past article that you can read here. A quick reminder that there are two main stages to our plans:

Stage One - launch the WonderLab with all the best practices from labs around the world while guaranteeing top quality dev and scan results for our customers from day one!

Stage Two - push the boundaries of technology, partnerships and new ideas to improve on those best practices - over the coming weeks, months and years

So, how are we doing so far - specifically against the intentions laid out in our original article?

  • We will recommend from the beginning on sending the films to the lab in a more sustainable way. This simply means that customers will be encouraged to reuse the boxes they already have and not to use plastic when sending them - Yes! Please do re-use Analogue Wonderland boxes or similar if you can - they're build to survive multiple trips through the postal system 💪🏼

 

  • Use chemicals that contain components with the lowest possible level of toxicity. This means using chemicals that are free of hydroquinone, metal and sulphites - we're using Kodak Xtol for B&W which is an ascorbic-acid based film developer so is lower-impact than many. However it does still contains sulphite so the next step is to source and rigorously test other options in the market. There's a very promising formulation made by a company in the US, but it will need fully checking with all films here in the WonderLab before we are able to recommend for customers' films. It may be that we can move some films to this developer faster than others - the next few months will tell.

 

  • Create a system in which plastic film pots, 120 spools, and disposable cameras are returned to the production line. (This is going to be a tricky one but I know it is not impossible) - conversations are ongoing! In the meantime we are separating everything that comes to us back into individual components for local re-use, local recycling, or temporary storage until the conversations are finalised.

 

  • Degrade the toxicity of the waste chemicals as much as possible before they are sent to a responsible disposal company. (Ideally I would love to be able to do this process in the lab and reuse the chemicals for something else but... I don't know if that's feasible yet, I hope so) - accounts set up with a verified responsible disposable company. We're also attending a workshop in November specifically designed to assess how much chemical waste dilution or disposal can be brought 'in-house' for greater control and oversight

 

  • Use fixers made from sodium thiosulphate instead of ammonium sulphate - currently using ammonium hyposulphite - we're also testing sodum thiosulphate fixers against each emulsion but are not yet ready to recommend. Similar to the developer in point two, it may be that some emulsions can be moved to the new fixer sooner than others - the next few months will tell.

 

  • Extending the life of the fixer by silver recovery. This silver recovery process could extend the life of the fixer by up to three times. That's more than 100 films that can be fixed without the need for the fixer to be discarded as soon as it is completely exhausted! - Our initial plan wasn't workable due to the required machine size from current set-ups 😢 However we have an ongoing project with Sustainable Darkroom to better understand their research and see how it can be reapplied on an appropriate scale (there are promising early tests with electrolysis!)

 

  • Use more respectful packaging when shipping orders. It should be from recycled sources and be recyclable or biodegradable. This includes envelopes for negatives, negative sleeves and large envelopes for larger prints - Yes all good, with exception of negative sleeves - we can't get the volume at present on rolls as needed, as soon as our supplier can get it sorted we'll make the switch