Where to Develop Film in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2023.
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There’s no question that San Francisco is a photogenic city. Whether you live in the Bay Area or find yourself visiting, it’s a fantastic place to be a photographer.
While 1-Hour Photo labs used to be plentiful, just like everything else in the city, that’s changed pretty drastically. Most labs from the pre-digital camera era have closed their doors for good.
Luckily, some places have weathered the storm and new labs have opened as the film resurgence continues to grow.
We’ve found over 20 places to develop film in the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether you’re in Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, Napa, or anywhere in between, you can find somewhere to develop your film.
Check out the list below, as well as a map of their locations.
- San Francisco
- Oakland / East Bay
- The Peninsula
- South Bay
- North Bay
- Map of Where to Develop Film in the Bay Area
Where to Develop Film in San Francisco
Here are the photo labs where you can develop disposable cameras and film in SF.
Founded in 1982, Oscar’s Photo Lab is one of the oldest Bay Area photo labs still in business.
While many labs have shifted to simpler, automated film processing techniques as the technology has become available, Oscar’s has maintained a careful, thoughtful approach to developing film.
Every roll of film is processed dip and dunk and just about any film format is accepted. Whether you shoot 35mm, 120, or large format, you can bring your C-41 color, black and white, and even E6 slide film to Oscar’s.
If you find yourself with some expired film, or maybe a box of old family photos, it’s worth noting that Oscar’s also offers retouching and restoration services.
In a city that’s changing faster than the blink of an eye, it’s nice to see that so many photo labs in the Bay Area have been around since SF could be considered “affordable”.
Opened in the heyday of film photography over three decades ago, Photo Works has been owner-operated in the same neighborhood the entire time.
Unless you’re experimenting with some obscure film formats, Photo Works will likely be able to develop your film.
35mm, 120, and 4×5 film are all processed in-house, whether it’s color, black and white, or slide film.
When you end up with one of your favorite shots, Photo Works can help you take that photo to the next level with a variety of printing services and custom framing.
If the name didn’t give it away, Dickerman Prints is, first and foremost, a high-end print shop.
Although their focus may be printing, we love when these type of labs maintain their film processing services.
35mm, 120, and large format film are all processed; the only service they don’t offer is E-6 slide film processing.
As you could probably guess, printing, mounting, and framing are all offered here and executed with great care and attention to detail.
A nice addition is the display of local photographers’ work, further showing a commitment to the local art scene.
While technically film isn’t developed at Glass Key Photo, they’ve partnered with Underdog Film Lab in the East Bay to provide a convenient option for those located in central SF.
Underdog develops every modern film format, so you’ll be able to drop off any type of film at Glass Key. 35mm, 120, and large format film can all be processed – color, black and white, and E-6.
And while they don’t develop film themselves, Glass Key is an analog-focused photo shop with a great selection of used film cameras, darkroom supplies, and, of course, fresh film stocks.
Where to Develop Film in Oakland / The East Bay
There may be just as many labs to develop film in Oakland and Concord as there are in San Francisco. Here are your options for film developing in the East Bay.
When a bunch of analog-obsessive photographers get together to start a photo lab, you end up with a business that is truly run with photographers in mind.
The folks behind Underdog Film Lab set out to create a spot that provides the highest quality services, without marking up the price to match.
As could be expected, the offerings are thorough; 35mm, 120, and large format film are all processed in-house, whether it is C-41 color, black and white, or E-6 color reversal.
While dropping off at Underdog is a convenient option for film photographers in West Oakland, you can also drop off film at Glass Key Photo if you’re in San Francisco.
Undoubtedly the most featured lab on this list, Mike’s Camera operates 10 stores throughout Northern California and Colorado. Several locations across the Bay make this a convenient spot to develop your film.
The most common film formats are accepted for developing – 35mm, and 120 film can be processed in C-41 color, black and white, and E-6.
As you could’ve guessed with the number of locations, Mike’s Camera is somewhat of a photography superstore, offering just about anything you need to create images.
The used inventory is always worth browsing, and they even offer a variety of photography classes.
The oldest photoshop on our list, Action Photo Service has been in business since 1963!
Fully surviving the digital camera revolution is a feat in itself, and we always love the chance to support photo labs that have stood the test of time.
The majority of photographers could use Action Photo for their film processing needs; 35mm, 120, and 4×5 large format film are all developed. Color, black and white, and even E-6 slide film can all be processed.
While film processing is the main game, you can still handle any printing needs or transfer analog video to digital.
“1-Hour Photo” labs are getting harder and harder to find, and even when you do, the “1-Hour” part of is often just a relic of the past. We were excited to find that Monclair still offers one hour developing for color film.
35mm and 120 are both developed in-house. C-41, black and white, and slide film can all be processed.
If you have some obscure film to develop, you may want to check out Montclair – they also develop 110, 126, and APS film.
As with most any old-school photoshop, you can also get prints of your photos and pick up a few rolls of fresh film to replenish your stash.
A1 Photo and Video Lab operate two locations in the San Francisco Bay area; Concord and Berkley.
The most common film formats are accepted – 35mm and 120 medium format film can be developed whether it’s C-41 color or black and white.
Standard photo lab services like printing and scanning are available, and as you could likely guess from the name, they also offer video digitization.
Where to Develop Film in Berkley
Even without leaving Berkley, you’ll have your pick of photo labs to develop disposable cameras or film. No matter what type of film you like to shoot, one of these labs should be able able to help you develop it.
Established in 1970 and still operating with the least original name imaginable, Photo Lab offers film developing in Berkley.
All sorts of film photographers can have their film developed at Photo Lab; 35mm, 120, and 4×5 are all developed, in C-41 color, black and white, and E-6 slide film.
Some unique printing services include canvas prints, as well as true darkroom silver gelatin prints of your black and white images.
Catering to the Berkley community, photo workshops are offered, along with exhibitions of local photographers’ work.
A1 Photo & Video operates 2 locations in the SF Bay Area (the other location is in the East Bay, in Concord).
You can bring your 35mm and medium format film to A1 for developing if it is C-41 color process or black and white.
Aside from the film processing services, you’ll find your standard photo lab offerings, such as printing, photo restoration, and video digitization.
While they don’t develop film onsite, Looking Glass Photo accepts film for out-lab processing. Your rolls will still be processed in town and transported by courier to save time and avoid mix ups in the mail.
A thorough list of film processing services includes 35mm, 120, and 4×5 film, developed whether C-41 color, black and white, or E-6 slide film.
The photoshop itself is also a great destination for film photographers, with a selection of used film cameras, and photography classes.
You can also have your film camera cleaned or have the foam replaced.
Where to Develop Film in the Peninsula
Since 1957, Kaufman’s Cameras has been providing film developing in the Peninsula. They’ve never stopped offering the service.
You’ll be able to drop off your 35mm and 120 film, both C-41 color and black and white.
As with most photo labs, you can also handle any printing needs at Kaufman’s camera. We also like the selection of used gear, which has been known to include some nice film cameras and vintage lenses.
Where to Develop Film in the South Bay
If you’re looking for film developing in the South Bay, check out your options below, both located in San Jose.
The consensus seems to be: Foto Express is the best place to develop film in San Jose.
The spot is owned and operated by a man named Henry who is beloved for his kind spirit and excellent work developing people’s images.
35mm and 120 film are both processed, whether C-41 color, black and white, or E-6 slide film.
Film is for sale, and you can get passport photos, but this is really just a straightforward, no-frills lab. You know…like the ones you used to find all over the place. I mean, they don’t even have a website.
K&H Digital Photo is another photo lab that offers film developing in San Jose.
35mm and 120 medium format film can both be developed, C-41 color or black and white. Advantix is also accepted, in case you happen to come across any rolls.
Nothing else out of the ordinary; scanning services, printing, and passport photos can all be handled at K&H.
Where to Develop Film in the North Bay
Last, but not least, there are some great options for developing film in the North Bay. Check out where to develop film in Napa and Santa Rosa below. There is also a Mike’s Camera location in Mill Valley.
Serving the North Bay since 1987, The LAB is the only spot in the North Bay that develops E-6 and large format sheet film.
No matter what kind of camera you like to shoot with, you should be good to go at The LAB – 35mm, 120 and large format are all developed. C-41 color, black and white, or slide film.
On top of standard printing services, you can also have photos mounted or print custom photo books.
If you find yourself shooting film in Napa (sounds lovely), you’re going to want to check out Photo Pro. This is the only spot in town that develops color film.
Both color film, as well as black and white are processed. 35mm or 120 medium format.
Most other photo-related needs can be addressed: printing, scanning, restoration, and fresh film for sale.
Shutterbug is the only spot in the North Bay that develops film and is also a full service camera shop. If you need any type of gear, it can be nice to drop your film off while you’re there.
You can bring your 35mm and 120 film to Shutterbug if it’s C-41 color or black and white.
Aside from general camera gear (batteries, tripods, straps, etc.), Shutterbug offers camera repairs and cleaning, and even hosts occasional photography classes.
This last entry on the list is for a very specific type of photographer, but it’s worth noting.
North Bay is a professional lab that specializes in silver gelatin darkroom printing. Black and white darkroom prints express the full capability of film more than any other way you can see an image – it’s worth getting one of your images printed this way at some point.
You can rent time in their high-end darkroom if you know how to develop your own film. As they are a silver lab, it’ll be black and white only.
Map of Where to Develop Film in the San Francisco Bay Area
Do you know of anywhere else for film developing in San Francisco or anywhere else in the Bay Area? Let us know in the comments!