We won’t beat around the bush – there aren’t many choices when it comes to developing film in Sacramento. That said, most people should still be able to use one of the labs in town.
Check out the list of everywhere to develop film in Sacramento, including which services they each offer and a map of their locations.
Since there are so few choices, we’ve also included some additional options like photo labs in the nearby Bay Area and sending your film for developing by mail. Find that after the list.
Location: 2200 J St, Sacramento, CA 95816
Mike’s Camera is a chain of full-service photo shops with 10 locations across California and Colorado. Fortunately, their photo lab still develops film.
They accept any size or type of film – 35mm, 120, or large format, whether it is C-41 color, black and white, or E-6. That said, not every type of film can be developed at every store.
At the minimum, know that C-41 color film is processed 7 days a week at every location.
Other types may be sent to an off site lab, although there aren’t any other places in town that develop E-6/B&W. So, either way, your film’s going in the mail.
Mike’s Camera sells any/every piece of gear or photo accessory you could ever need. They also offer a “smile club” membership which, among other things, gets you a discount on film processing services.
Location: 6346 Elvas Ave, Sacramento, CA 95819
Photo Source is one of the few places that still develops disposable cameras and film in Sacramento. While their offerings for processing are limited, they still have plenty that may interest film photographers.
Film developing is limited to C-41 color, both 35mm and 120 medium format. Service time is usually 3-4 business days.
Outside of the lab, Photo Source has an extensive inventory of used film cameras and lenses. They sell fresh film stocks, darkroom supplies, and also offer printing and scanning services.
Cox Black & White Lab
15 miles east of Sacramento lives Cox Black & White Lab, a small, family owned business that’s been around since 1990. If you shoot B&W film, the drive is certainly worth it.
This spot is dedicated to the art of black and white photography, offering museum-quality prints and dip and dunk processing.
Any size film from 35mm to large format can be developed, so long as it is traditional black and white film (no C-41).
Their website says that they prefer you to make an appointment and to give them a call if you’ve never worked with them. They can give you an idea of pricing when you call.
Map of Film Developing in Sacramento
With only a few choices, you may still be looking for more options to develop your film in Sacramento. These are the other routes you could go:
Developing Film in the Bay Area
While it’s definitely ideal to have a photo lab near you, it may be worth holding onto your film if you go to the Bay Area frequently. There are over 20 photo labs that develop film in the area with a handful of options in the North and East Bay.
With email links to your scans becoming the norm, developing your film out of town has become easier than ever before. Just make sure to check how long the lab holds on to negatives. Worst case scenario, you can usually pay a few bucks to get them sent back to you.
If you’re interested, below you can find the full list of photo labs in the Bay Area and info on which types of film they accept.
Developing Film by Mail
As you’re probably aware, developing film by mail is all the rage these days. Already on the rise, COVID restrictions really solidified online film developing as the new norm.
Sending your first roll of film in the mail can be nerve wracking – we’ve been there too. Luckily, issues with film in the mail seem to be few and far between. With some very simple precautions, you should feel perfectly confident.
Almost every lab processes film by mail in 2021. If you have a favorite spot in another part of the country (or world for that matter), they’ll most likely be able to develop your film, no matter where you live.
There are also plenty of labs these days that operate online only. They usually have easy ordering and some even provide prepaid film mailers.
Check out the article for the full rundown.
Developing Film at the Drugstore
Do drug stores like CVS and Walgreens still develop film? Kind of…
Just about every chain drug store has stopped developing film in-store – only a few stores still accept film at all. Those that do send your film to another lab and there are some major downsides.
We don’t usually recommend bringing your film to a drugstore chain, but if you’re considering the option, at least make sure you’re up to speed on all of the details.
Do you know any other places to develop film in Sacramento? Which lab do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.