There’s no feeling more exciting than releasing the shutter on the last frame of a roll of film. No matter if you shot the first frame weeks ago, or even just minutes, the patient waiting to see your photos is one of the things we love most about analog photography.
The question that follows rewinding your film is one of the most important in the photographic process: where will you develop your film?
We’ve broken down the best places to develop film in Boston so you’ll be able to find somewhere that suits your needs. Check out the list and a map of their locations.
Our Favorite Places to Develop Film in Boston
Colortek of Boston
Location: 727 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02111
For over 45 years, Colortek of Boston has been providing high-quality services for film photographers.
Dip and dunk processing sets them apart from the majority of other places for film developing in Boston. Not to mention covering the gamut of film formats; 35mm, 120, and large format film are all developed at Colortek, whether C-41 color process, black and white, or E-6 slide film.
You’ll be able to order a variety of printed products, as well as complete any of your in-depth scanning needs. Photo restoration services are also available, which could come in handy if you ever find yourself experimenting with expired film.
For more information, you can visit Colortek of Boston
Hunt’s Photo & Video
Location: Boston: 514 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Cambridge: 99 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Hunt’s Photo & Video operates a staggering eight locations throughout the northeast. A family-owned company, the original Hunt’s was purchased in 1952 as a pharmacy. The owner’s son brought in some photo equipment and by the ’90s, they had shuttered their pharmacy services and began operating solely as a photography store.
Even today, film processing is still offered. You can take your 35mm or 120 film here, whether you shoot color or black and white. We’re not sure if developing still happens in-house, or whether all of their locations’ film is all developed at one lab.
Even if Hunt’s Photo doesn’t necessarily develop film at the location nearest you, their large number of stores makes it a convenient spot for film photographers all across New England.
Aside from film developing, you can also print your photos on just about anything you can imagine, take a class on photography, or sign up for a guided photo walk with other photographers in your area.
For a full list of locations and services, check out Hunt’s Photo & Video.
Location: 369 Congress St #6, Boston, MA 02210
We love to see labs that remain committed to traditional film developing practices. And that’s just what you’ll find at LaPete Labs, a black and white only darkroom in Boston.
As long as it’s black and white film, you can get it developed here. Each roll of film is hand processed, using the developer of your choosing. You can also rent the darkroom equipment if you’d rather do the dirty work yourself.
One of the best parts about going to an old school photo lab like LaPete is the analog prints of your photos. While definitely pricier than digital prints, we’d absolutely recommend getting a darkroom print of one of your photos at some point.
You can learn more at LaPete Labs.
Our Favorite Places to Develop Film in the Boston Area
With the size of Boston, it’s unsurprising that there are only a few places that process film within city limits. We’ve got a few more places if you don’t mind a quick trip, or you live somewhere else in the Boston area.
Location: 85 River St #16, Waltham, MA 02453
Family-owned since 1974, Newtonville Camera is definitely worth checking out if you are a film photographer in Boston.
Film processing services cover both 35mm and 120 medium format film, whether it’s C-41 color, black and white, or E-6 color reversal film.
Aside from their photo lab, Newtonville Camera has a large, used inventory that often contains all sorts of film camera bodies and vintage lenses. They also offer cleaning and repair services, as well as student discounts.
For a list of all of their prices, check out Newtonville Camera.
Apex Photo Lab
Location: 223 Main St, Woburn, MA 01801
Just 11 miles from Boston you can find Apex Photo Lab. After over 30 years in business, they fortunately still offer film developing, along with printing services.
The selection of film they process is limited; 35mm and disposable cameras only, but both color and black and white. While certainly fewer film formats than other spots may offer, you can appreciate that all film is still developed on-site and your photos are all color and density corrected.
If you need any sort of photo printing done, you can also accomplish that at Apex, as they offer a variety of printing services as well as video digitization, scanning, and more.
More information can be found at Apex Photo Lab.
Map of the Best Places to Develop Film
Do you know of any other places for film developing in Boston? Let us know in the comments!