Film Lab Recommendation

I can recommend 'AG Photolab -'

I've chosen to write this post today, to help other film photographers. If you are having problems getting good processing done, then I can recommend AG Photolab here in the UK. I'm not doing this because I have any business or financial interest in AG Photolab, and they haven't asked me to write a review either. I am just doing this because I receive emails all the time asking me where i get my processing done, and I have been using this company now for around 5 years, so I feel I have sufficient experience with them to recommend them.

All my films have been processed by AG Photolab since 2014.

All my films have been processed by AG Photolab since 2014.

I often receive emails from film photographers asking me if I can recommend a processing lab for them. The short story is that good quality processing is becoming harder to come by. Film sales are up, but lab experience is down.

About 5 years ago, I began to notice that many labs weren't producing good results for me and it was becoming a lottery as to what would happen if I sent my films in. I had many films ruined by bad processing. 

This wasn't good enough and so I started to hunt around and ask people for advice. I'm glad I talked to Tim Parkin from On-Landscape magazine as he put me in touch with Matthew Wells company 'AG Photolab' in Birmingham.

I have been using AG Photolab now for around 5 years. The processing has been consistently perfect. No steaks, no strange artefacts in the processing. When I have contacted them about altering my order, or perhaps cutting the films into sections of 3 (for my film scanner tray) they have been very responsive also.

But it's the quality of the processing that has made me stick with them, that and also Matthew Wells (the owner) dedication towards analog film and processing. I've had may conversations with Matthew on the telephone where it's been very clear he is passionate about doing the best processing he can, and has helped me on many occasion with my enquiries.

I know that they can deal with your film processing from overseas if you choose to ship to them. But I would definitely say that if you do - you need to be patient. I find it takes around two weeks to get my films processed and delivered back to me. I take great comfort in this: they have repeatedly stated to me that the reason why it takes so long, is that they don't want to rush things and that they realise that the most important thing to make sure that they keep the quality high.

Should you choose to send film to AG Photolab, I should let you know that they are great at keeping you updated:

1) the first thing that happens is you receive an email from them saying that your films have been received.
2) another email when the films are now being processed
3) and another email when the films are being shipped
4) depending on the carrier you choose, you also get updates on the tracking and where your film is!

Everyone's experiences vary, but I have been recommending AG Photolab to those who ask because they've given me consistency to my processing. Matthew Wells has told me that they often use my transparencies as an example to show other customers because, as he says so himself 'you have a lot of negative space in your images, and that is where you can really see any errors in the processing'. 

AG Photolab -