Every so often, my stat-metrics program will alert me that one of my vintage blog posts got linked somewhere and people are commenting on that old blog post.
Last night, I discovered that one of my photography experiments – specifically, my shooting with vintage Agfachrome – Okay, that’s nice, I tried Agfachrome, it didn’t pan out (Agfachrome uses a proprietary AP-41 development process, which doesn’t exist any more). But someone must have Googled “Agfachrome” and up pops my little blog.
So the piece ended up on a rangefinder camera forum. Nice. In fact, two of my film cameras – my Kodak Medalist II (“Kodak Red”) and my Leica M3 (“Leica Green”) are rangefinder cameras. So I read the forum page…
And then I saw this post.
Oh lord I saw this post.
Rocky Mountain Film Lab … seems to indicate that they can develop to color negative, if you don’t mind the $42.50 per roll!
No. Not them.
Please Lord, not them.
I quickly checked the web address.
Rocky Mountain Film Lab is still in business.
Son of a …
Easy, Chuck. Deep breath.
Nearly six years ago, while wandering through an old antiques store in New Hampshire, I found what appeared to be an exposed roll of camera film inside an old Kodak shooter. A few dollars later, the camera (and the film) were in my car and headed back to the 518.
The original plan was to have the film developed and hopefully identify the subjects or locations in the film. Since the film was shot with an archaic C-22 developing process, a Google search revealed a company called Rocky Mountain Film Lab, who claimed it could develop the film in six to twelve weeks, for $42.50/roll. Okay, fine. One $42.50 money order later, the film was on its way to Colorado.
And it’s still there today. SIX YEARS LATER.
This film has been there so long, it could actually enroll in first grade. It hasn’t been developed. It’s never been developed. I know this. I also know that hundreds of people who sent their film to Rocky Mountain Film Lab received nothing from the company but empty promises and ruined memories.
And Rocky Mountain Film Lab keeps taking money from people and NOT DEVELOPING THEIR FILM.
And a blog post that would have been a waycool piece about finding images in orphan films… turned into a forum for exposing Rocky Mountain Film Lab for its less-than-acceptable business practices.
So let’s get a few things straight.
- Rocky Mountain Film Lab will promise to develop your film, but will not do so.
- Rocky Mountain Film Lab will quote you an estimate of weeks for developing time. They should say “years.” If at all.
- Rocky Mountain Film Lab went bankrupt in 2010; yet their website still exists today.
If you’re looking for a respectable company that will take the time to develop your vintage film, contact my friends at Film Rescue International. I’ve worked with them in the past, they do a great job and they do their best to try to pull something – anything – from old film. Their results speak for themselves.
I wish I could say the same for Rocky Mountain Film Lab. Well, yeah I kinda can. Their record certainly speaks for itself.
So as it is… I’m still waiting for that roll of C-22 127 film to get developed. Still waiting.
I’m a patient man, trust me. But as I’ve said before…
My patience only lasts so long. And after six years … it’s kinda wearing thin.