Foto Express San Jose Downtown Highly recommended


I went through the Yelp page to find this wonderful film development lab that is in downtown of San Jose. I finally managed to find a local lab to develop my first three rolls of b&w film. For my trial I use Kodak Professional BW400CN that are readily available in Walmart.

kodak professional bw400cn

When I called the store FotoExpress in downtown of San Jose, the owner greeted me with patience and courtesy and I think it was the Henry mentioned in Yelp page by few of the reviewers for the store. Henry is extremely reliable and patient to give me a quote and rough time line for the photo processing. When I arrived at the store, I was treated especially well by both Henry and his staff. The store has all the films in display and Henry spent his courteous and busy store time with me walking through the black & white films, color films, slides and the intriguing 120 films that I wanted to learn in the near future.

The store provides scanning of my first three rolls of film with a nominal fee as a combo package. The scanning service is outstanding to say the least. There is absolute no comparison with those from Ritz and Walmart that I had tried before with disappointment. The cost is a bit more but when I saw the results and the attention to details and great custom service, all is worth. My nostalgic path back to film has an enviable answer -- I got Henry as both my mentor and lab to go to for future services in years to come. I can't find another store that has better service than that in FotoExpress in downtown of San Jose.

Location is on 7th street
next to Hawaiian Drive In
and a Vietnamese Retro around junction with Santa Clara St.
location of foto express san jose on 7th street

By the way, they are actually located on 7th street and it is easy to pass it by on Santa Clara street in downtown of San Jose. Remember 7th street and cross junction with Santa Clara and there is private parking next to the store as well as parking lot for 1 hour parking with super market store nearby. Parking won't be a problem.

FotoExpress downtown San Jose

Regarding the lab, I strongly encourage my readers to look through Yelp and search engine with Google and Yahoo Local and see the film processing labs that take on 35mm in c-41 and perhaps slides with e-6 (I don't remember if this is right as I have never shot slides for fear of falling in addiction). What I do is that I call each one of them and talk to the operator (hopefully the guy or gal who actually process the film) and ask them some newbie and seemingly naive questions and test their patience

  • basic cost in just development without 4x6 print
  • scanning, how much and the resolution
  • what scanning they use and how do they avoid dust and scratches on films
  • what films and slides they recommend for testing a roll of film on a camera that may have issues. What to look for in testing a roll
  • Do they support b&w printing exclusively, do they scan b&w differently than color? What are the reasons
  • Do they support 120mm films, this is important to me as that is one of the ultimate goals for me to go to film? If digital full frame FF is all that special, I welcome the nostalgic path in owning Medium Format MF with 645N now and enjoy the ride with Pentax 645D slated to come in 2010. I call my Pentax 645N my Pentax 645DLol
I really want to thank you to my forum friends in their suggestion to find a dependable local film lab as one of critical steps to enjoy film. I searched really hard and ask around, everyone don't like the Walmart, Target and Costco experience and I then I researched in Yelp listening especially to University students and amateur professionals comment on their experiences on selected photo labs. And I found a small lab that charge a bit more but the service won my heart and soul as the owner explained the film differences, slides and what 120 film to try and what to pay attention in the trial. He is like an mentor when I walk into the lab. He offers me even another local contact that is like Eric equivalent in my area. The owner name is Henry and he refers me to one and only super dude that he knows who is dependable in fixing/repairing film cameras.

Some scanning pictures from my 1st three rolls of film with Pentax SuperProgram and Ricoh xr-p. All pictures below were shot with Ricoh xr-p and Tamron SP 17mm f/3.5 adaptall-2 (51B)

6017014-R1-036-16A by you.

6017014-R1-006-1A by you.

6017014-R3-049-23 by you.

6017014-R1-050-23A by you.

6017014-R1-048-22A by you.

6017014-R1-052-24A by you.


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