Where to Develop Film in Tampa in 2023.
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Who doesn’t love the beach?! The wind blowing through your hair, the sand in your toes, the clear blue skies. You’ll definitely want to bring a camera with you and if you’ve ended up on this website, there’s a good chance that it’s going to be a film camera.
Whether you’re on vacation, going to school, or a permanent resident, we’re here to help you find the best place to develop disposable cameras and film in Tampa.
Check out the full list below, including which types of film are developed at each spot and a map.
Dissatisfied with the quality of the photo labs in the area, Coastal Film Lab was started by a photographer who wanted a better place to develop film in Tampa. And that’s exactly what they’ve created.
Coastal develops 35mm and 120 medium format film, for color or black and white. E-6 is also accepted, but just know that its developed less frequently so it might be a bit of a wait to get your photos back.
One thing we love is the choice of different sized scans and the ability to customize scans to your liking with color and density correction done according to your preferences.
Coastal is the type of lab that exists solely for film photographers. Services are bare bones; developing and scanning film. They also run an online shop for film cameras that usually has a pretty sweet selection.
While many photo labs from the heyday of film have closed their doors over time, Max Photo and Decor has been offering film developing in Tampa since 1988.
They offer processing of 35mm, 120, and 4×5 film, whether it is C-41 color or black and white. Additionally, APS, 110, and 126 film can all be developed, if you come across any.
Expect to find standard photo lab services, like printing, scanning, framing, and photo restoration.
With so few places to develop film in Tampa, we searched high and low for any additional options. Located about 25 miles away in St. Petersburg, Zebra Color is another photo lab that still accepts film.
Unfortunately, they’ve stopped developing film in-house, instead sending it elsewhere. Naturally, this has led to pretty decent wait times (around two weeks) to get your film returned to you.
While these are obviously some big caveats, the plus side is that Zebra Color develops every type of film; 35mm, 120, large format, C-41 color, black and white, and E-6 slide film can all be processed.
And it’s worth noting that just because a lab sends their film elsewhere doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get low-quality results. Many times, they are just sending the film to other, comparable labs that have more demand for film processing services.
Map of Where to Develop Film in Tampa
If you’re new to film photography and surprised by how costly things can get, you may be wondering the cheapest way to develop film. While not as common as it once was, some drugstore chains do still process film quite inexpensively.
That said, there are some big downsides to this option – we’re not necessarily recommending going this route, just proving all of the possibilities.
The first, and biggest thing to know is that when bringing your film to the drugstore, you likely will not get your negatives returned to you. This kind of defeats the point of even shooting film in the first place, especially if your scans are done poorly (which is quite common).
It’s also getting harder and harder to find drugstores that even offer the service. Walmart is one of the few drugstore chains that usually still develops film.
These days, many photographers are opting to have their film developed by mail. With just about every other part of life transitioning online, it only makes that a lot of photo labs have hopped on board.
Some spots don’t necessarily advertise this option, but you’d be hard pressed to find a photo lab that won’t accept your film by mail. On the flip side, some spots operate entirely online and make the process super simple, even including prepaid mailers.
We still prefer to drop off in person whenever we can, although we’ve never run into any serious issues from sending rolls in the mail. There are just a few steps to follow to make sure you get your photos back with no hiccups.
Do you know anywhere else to develop film in Tampa? Have you tried any of the labs on our list? Let us know in the comments!