Analog Solutions to Your Film Developing Condondrum
If you’ve been mourning the closing of Enla photo, the little storefront on Manhattan known for it’s collection of Hello Kitty merch and wide range of photo processing services, rejoice! Film developing still happens in Brooklyn, and now there’s an alternative right here in Greenpoint.
As you may have already heard, a new stationery and photo-developing center, P&P Shipping & Stationers, just opened up on Manhattan avenue. Enla photo was inexpensive, especially compared to Manhattan labs, and offered film processing services that are getting harder to come by these days, such as black and white and medium format. They also had a deep understanding of cross-processing film, a technique in which film used for slides is processed with chemicals used for standard color negative film, resulting in unpredictable, psychedelic color shifts, a deliberate artistic effect used by film photography enthusiasts. And of course it’s also great not to have to leave Brooklyn to get your film developed! P&P charges only $3 to develop a roll of 35mm slide film, 36 exposures total, which is about what Enla charged. A roll of regular color 35mm film costs merely $2 to develop, while a CD of scanned images will set you back only $3. That’s a helluva lot less than the $16-$20 you’d get charged in Manhattan for the same services. Oh, and prints are 30 cents a piece, in case you’re looking for a physical THING to have and touch and put on your walls and whatnot. Conclusion? Developing in Greenpoint is still cheap as fuck. And of course it’s always great not to have to leave Brooklyn, ever.
P&P does not offer medium format or black and white processing yet, but I stopped by and chatted with them some more about the possibility offering it at some point in the near future. From my understanding, they’re planning on offering those service and waiting to bring the right people and equipment on board.
There’s also still Kubus down the street, on Nassau, which offers medium format and black and white film processing again (after a short hiatus), but does not create prints. Which is fine! Where else can you even find medium format and black and white these days? I’ll take it. The tiny shop on Nassau is run by Andrej, who deals primarily with passport photos and the like, but Andrej’s craft is developing film and he’s got years of experience, and will squeeze in any customer no matter how busy his little shop is. Andrej offered $4 for the developing of my roll which, sadly, was completely underexposed, but instead of just taking my money, he urged me to bring in the Diana (a replica of a plastic toy camera from the 1960’s) to help me troubleshoot it and help me figure out what went wrong.
The shop is also filled with all sorts of fantastic vintage cameras and a huge selection of color, slide, black and white and medium format film, as well as disposable cameras.
For the toy camera / Lomography nerds: when I went to P&P, I brought my roll of Kodak Ektachrome, a film made for slides rather than color negatives. They didn’t know I wanted it “cross-processed” so they have me a call to make sure I knew that my film would be developed in the “wrong” chemicals. I explained that I deliberately wanted the film processed “incorrectly” and told them about the “artistic effect,” and we had a laugh about it. Perhaps I have introduced them to cross-processing? In any case, they WILL do it, and well.
Anyway, nerdy film stuff aside, even though the neighborhood’s go-to film developing spot is gone, there are still a ton of options. Especially these days, where everyone’s going digital and film processing is increasingly inaccessible, this is huge. Could Greenpoint be Brooklyn’s photo developing Mecca? We shall see!