Where do you get your photos developed?

   27 January 2006, early morning

pketh asks, in response to my complaints about developing film downtown:

So where do you go to get the film developed, and how much is it? Iím still looking for a good developer actually, crazy expensive to shoot film nowadays sadly.

I get my film developed in Scarborough, at the Shopper’s Drugmart at Woodside Square. When they first opened up, I was pretty impressed with the photolab. I wasn’t super impressed because they had a bad habit of scratching my negatives. I pay $7 Shopper’s $7 to develop my photos, print them, and burn them all onto a CD. They do all that in an hour. I have yet to find a store downtown that comes even close to doing all that for the price.

Recently I have been disappointed with the results I’ve been getting from them, but I think this probably has a lot to do with the fact I push a lot of the film I use. They say they’ll push process it, but I don’t think anyone in the photolab actually knows what that means. I suspect they develop it normally, and then compensate for the underexposed shots when printing. That’s why I always seem to end up with high-contrast super-grainy photos. West Camera did an amazing job developing my slide film, but I think it must have cost me something like $24 dollars to do 36 exposures. (Mind you, Shopper’s couldn’t develop slide film period, so I suppose that is a moot point.)

Other places worth checking out if you want quality prints are Pikto and ImageWorks. If you want prints on the cheap, like myself, then I think Shopper’s might be your best bet.



  1. Thanks for the detailed response :)

    The irony is, I used to work at a Shoppers for 3 years. I guess all of them really are much different though.

    In ours (it was at Younge and Carleton, across the street from College Park), I think it was 7$ to develop them and like an extra 5 or 10$ for the picture CD.

    Also we’d send all our film rolls off to an external company (called Quantex or something) for developing offsite. So the woodside one, develops it in store? Does that also mean then it’s 1hour developing?

    I’ll definetely check it out though.

    (Btw, a friend gave me a tip a while back about another good place called Photo215 (?) around 215 Spadina Rd (or was it 250). She forgot to mention the prices, but also seemed determined they were pretty good quality. Any experience with them?)

  2. Woodside Square’s does it all in house. (There are a few Shopper’s with on-site photolabs.) It’s one-hour service which is also a plus. The Shopper’s at 360 Bloor St. West also has an on-site photolab. I might try them out tonight. I haven’t heard of Photo215.

  3. Costco is cheap I heard.

  4. I’ve been using the photolab at the bayview village loblaws recently… they’re decent depending on the part timer on duty at the time. The part-timers, mostly being student’s, are more likely to know what you mean when you tell them to “push process” your film.

    How many stops do u push your film tho usually?

  5. Usually just one, from ISO 400 to ISO 800. Bayview Village is a bit out of the way. The shoppers at Bloor and Spadina looks promising. I’ll get the next roll from my K1000 developed there to see how good a job they do.

  6. it’s a shame shopper’s doesn’t list locations with labs on their homepage or anything

    thanks though

  7. You can use the store locator to search for stores with photolabs. That is how I found one at Bloor.

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