After briefly mentioned about Darkroom8 KL in my older blog posts, I have people requesting me to review about the process.
So here it is.
Prior to the launch of their new website http://darkroom8malaysia.com , Darkroom8 only has a Facebook page so there wasn’t a detailed information on how to send the films to them.
Now, it’s easier with more details stated on their official website such as methods & addresses to send, the payment modes and how to receive the photos.
To be honest, I hesitated for a long time (months) before deciding to try Darkroom8. Why?
- First, I already have a reliable lab in Singapore, just that it’s cheaper to send to KL.
- Second, there isn’t much samples online to showcase Darkroom 8’s works.
- Third, I am very comfortable with my usual go-to: Triple D & Photocity Bangkok.
- Last and most importantly, there’s always some risks to send the films via mail.
After months of procrastination, I have decided to give it a go. Just like a hair salon, we will never know their work if we never let the stylist cut our hair.
A. Pack your films
I read a blogpost on how to pack your films from my favourite Carmencita Film Lab (never try them, but love their scans) few months back.
They advise not to use paper envelope to mail your films because it’s not enough to protect them.
I can imagine a heavier parcel sitting on the paper envelope and compressing my films and crack the cassettes open. BOOM. Your films are exposed, gone.
So, they suggest to pack your films in a box. For this, I went to Singpost to buy an XS-sized box for SGD 2.90. Actually, I think any box will do.
B. Use a ziplock bag and bubble wrap
For extra protection, I will use ziplock bag just in case there’s liquid leakage from other parcels. Then, bubble wrap serves as extra cushion.
C. Write your details
You just need to give your name, email address and phone number.
D. Send the parcel & pricing
The total weight for a box with 9 films was about 280+ grams. With tracking (registered mail), the mailing cost was SGD 5.80.
E. Turnover rate
I sent the films and it took 11 days to reach their hands. Then, I received an invoice a few days later and I paid via PayPal.
After payment, I got my photos via WeTransfer.
In total, it took about 2 weeks from the day I sent the films to receiving the photos.
F. Price range of Darkroom8
C-41 developing + scanning : RM14.80/roll
D76 developing + scanning: RM14.80/roll
ECN2 developing + scanning: RM16.80/roll
In my case, I sent TWO ECN2 (motion film) processing + scanning & SEVEN C-41 processing + scanning, I pay a total of RM137.20, which is about SGD 46+.
With delivery and purchase of box, I spent a total of $54.70
Is it worth it?
Yes if you send in a lot of films. No if you only mail 1-2 films, develop them in Singapore might be cheaper.
Furthermore, it makes me worry occasionally that my mail might not reach them or get damaged etc…
And I made a mistake of only sending 7 rolls of C-41 so I didn’t get the ‘8 rolls get 1 free’ promotion.
Will I send to Darkroom8 again? Yes, I will.
Oh, Yanheng from Darkroom8 is also very humble and nice 🙂