Lomography Lomo Lab Review With a Holga 120n & Kodak Ektar
I will begin by saying two things, Lomography has a secret, and I ruined my film.
But is that a bad thing?
Lomography Has A Secret
What is this secret you ask? Simple. Photo labs that process film are on their death beds and Lomography makes their money selling film cameras. You won't buy Lomography's cameras and film if you can't develop your photos! This is a very serious problem for analog photographers and what is Lomography to do about this?
A Photo Lab For Developing Lomo Film
It makes sense that Lomography would come out with a Lomo specific photo lab. It ensures that their film and cameras will be viable for years -- allowing them to fulfill their The Future Is Analog
prophecy. It also guarantees a consistent lomographic experience from camera to printed photo. This is important because a big part of the Lomographic brand cache is the specific look that their cameras and film produce.
Lomo Lab Quality & Info
I'm going to preface this review by saying that I believed that I had sent them a ruined roll of film. It does make for a faulty review, but it also will speak to the Lomo Lab's ability to make quality out of crap. In reality, I imagine that a large number of rolls the LomoLab will receive will contain happy accidents
and other problems.
How The Lomo Lab Works
You buy the processing you want from the Lomography website and a prepaid mailer arrives in the mail. You put your film in the mailer and place a sticker on the roll to identify it as yours. Shipping is included. My prepaid mailer had the address of a post office in New York City on it, allegedly your mailer will be sent to the lab nearest you.
A week or so after I sent my film into the Lomolab, I received an email that said that my film had been received and was being processed. About a week later, I received a followup email saying that my film was ready.
The resulting scan were ok. I shot a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 in my Holga 120n. I had accidentally set the Holga to "bulb" mode which made the images blurry. The scans were ok but not fantastic. The scans I received from The Darkroom in San Clemente were better, cost less and took less time.
I will give the LomoLab high praise for allowing me to download thumbnails of my images before purchasing them. I don't use Lomography.com but I do like that they have done a good job integrating the photo lab services with their social network.