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Labwork: The Black & White Lab

1591 East 22nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44114, United States
Phone: (216)621-7567

  • Does 35mm film development
  • Does 120 (medium format) film development
  • Does black and white film development

Welcome to Labwork. We are a traditional black & white custom photo lab that does things in the time honored way of photography, totally by hand with no digital processing or printing.

As photographers working in a variety of disciplines, such as portraiture, landscape, architectural, product, public relations and industrial, we are well versed in translating your black and white film into high quality photographs that you will be proud of. Our clients include fine artists, commercial photographers, students, libraries and museums, amateurs and lovers of the expressiveness of fine black and white images.

We offer personalized service. All black and white films are custom processed (developed) by hand, as we feel that automatic machine processors can not provide the kind of control we prefer, in addition to the risk of damage to the film from the rollers or uneven development from dip and dunk processors. We use stainless steel reels and tanks for 35mm/120/220 roll film, and Jobo Expert Drums for sheet film from 4×5 through 8×10 which yields superb evenness of development. Each different type of film is processed as per the requirement of that particular emulsion. We can provide custom processing/developing to your specifications if needed, such as push/pull processing, different time, temperature, or agitation requirements and/or different developers.

Labwork can handle odd sized films, as many of the older cameras dating back to the first half of the 20th century and earlier used a variety of different formats, including glass plates, which is something we print from fairly often for clients.

All photographs are custom printed by hand on real silver gelatin black and white photographic paper, both resin coated (RC) and fiber base. Silver gelatin papers produce a look that is unmatched by most other processes, with a depth to the image that is very satisfying, both to the eye and to the feel of the paper itself.

As we do not offer automatic machine prints, every print is given our full attention. We use traditional enlargers only, with the ability to print from all film sizes up to 8×10 for projection printing, and up to 16×20 for contact printing. Ilford Multigrade IV black & white papers in RC and Fiber Base are offered for the finest quality prints. Custom printing is our specialty, all prints are cropped and sized to your specifications, and burned and dodged to get the most from your negatives, to produce the best that is possible for you.

Labwork is proud that we produce work that is accepted by the National Park Service and conforms to the HABS/HAER standards of quality. Historical consultants, archivists, libraries, museums and other organizations that require negatives and prints to be truly archival depend on Labwork to produce the highest quality processing that meets their standards of acceptability.

This follows through in our copy work for the above mentioned institutions, and also for anyone who has a treasured family photograph, for example, who wants to share it with family members but do not have the original negative. Labwork makes 4×5 copy negatives to ensure the highest quality copy will be made of those valuable fragments of history.

Photo credit: clogged

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