Advantages High quality, reasonable price, wide range of service
Disadvantages Have to post, sometimes busy
|Value for money|
|Speed of processing|
|Efficency & Reliabilty of service|
|Postage & Packing|
Peak Imaging are on of many postal photo developing companies, but are head and shoulders above most. They were established in 1979 and are based in Sheffield. Despite competition they are regarded as one of the top pro-am photo labs and are regularly recommended in print, on newsgroups and now on Ciao !As a postal service Peak provide you with a small cardboard box (about the size of 2 stacked cigarette cartons (20's) - not that I smoke !), and an order form. You fold up the box and pop your films and the order form into the box - seal the ends with tape and place the postage paid box into the mail. After processing (the number of days varies depending on the service) your prints and negatives or slides are returned in secure packaging to your address.
I have been using Peak for about 6 months for colour slide (35mm and 120), B&W (35mm and 120) and colour prints (120 roll film) and have probably processed 50-60 films with them. I have always received very high quality results, packaging and service. I have also phoned to check on prices and status of my order and despite the fact that they are mail based have an excellent customer service attitiude on the phone.I had previously tried two other companies and have now permanently switched to Peak for all of my work.
So in more detail here is some information on the services that they perform, including sample prices for popular services:Film Processing - just develop your film and return
Process and Print (negative and transparency)
35mm - 36 exp (std) 7.5x5" £11.95
35mm - 36 exp (pro) 7.5x5" £15.64
120 - 12 exp (pro) 8x8" £13.38
Normally 2-3 days
They also have (new) an online digital printing service, although I have not tried it yet.Postage and Packing is 90p for a single film or £1.80 for more than one (you can add to this for return special delivery).
As you can see they are slightly more expensive for prints than the common postal services and mini-labs but the quality of work is substantially higher. If you have any treasured pictures from weddings, events, holidays I would suggest you try them out. For the extra you will really notice the difference.Peak also have a "Peak Points" system 1 point for every pound you spend throughout the year. Then between October and March they run a series of special offers which your points total gives you a discount off against a tiered level (note you don't spend the points - they accumulate and are then reset on 1st April).
Peak also have a website which details their services, and you can request a starter pack of box, order form and catalogue through the email/contact or by calling - they are responsive on email unlike some companies.My only real downside (apart from having to post the films away, although you can reduce the risk by sending special delivery and covering your films for consequential loss) is that sometimes they are so popular that processing times extend by a day. I know they have upgraded equipment and it may not happen this year.
So to summarise a very high quality, convenient and rapid photo lab - head and shoulders above most mini-labs in shops and the well known postal companies. If you want high quality results give Peak a try, you won't be disappointed.
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