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inside the minilab


Introducing The Minilab - the home of film developing and photo printing at Skears Photographic, located on the Wellingborough Road, Northampton.

We're your friendly & local camera shop, specialising in anything analogue. We've been in the trade since 1990, so like to think we know a thing or two! Pop in for a browse, to buy new & used equipment, get your camera repaired, buy film and much more!


Visit for more info! 

buy used film camera skears photographic


Starting out in 1990 as a camera repair workshop in Bailiff Street, Northampton, we soon found a demand for both new and used photographic equipment. So we began to venture into the world of photographic sales.

As demand increased, we found ourselves requiring bigger premises and in 2002 we moved to our current location on the Wellingborough Road. This allowed us to hire more repair technicians and also increase the photographic services on offer, such as onsite developing and printing,

ID photographs, video transfers, photo editing, sensor cleaning and photo gifts... to name just a few.

buy film northampton

Looking to buy film in Northampton?

We stock a wide range of all your favourite films, including Kodak, Fujifilm, Lomography and all B&W film from Ilford.

We've also got a range of disposable cameras and re-useable 'disposable' cameras in store too, so pop down and have a browse.

Looking to buy a film camera?

We have a wide range of used film cameras available to purchase online or in-store. If you're not quite sure what you are after, pop in for a friendly chat and we can certainly find something that will fit your budget and requirements. All cameras are fully serviced by our in-house technicians and warrantied in case of any problems.

You can view our current stock at:


Whilst the lab has been busy developing and printing since 2002, The Minilab website was set up and launched

in 2022 in conjunction with the lab growing. Investments have been made to make it easier to send in your films, new equipment purchased to keep up with growing trends in the industry and investments in technology to ensure

we can continue to run in the future.


We've never been busier and it's great to see the film community continuing to grow, especially with the emergence of so many talented young photographers in our local area. Whether that being the first film shot on a disposable camera at a party, our local college and university students learning the trade, or the regular pro's utilising our services. We love to see you sharing your work, so make sure you tag us

on socials and we'll share the love

scanning at the minilab
Film developing Northampton


Our C41 colour processor has been our trusty workhorse for the past 15 years and is still operating perfectly to this day. Allowing us to process 2 colour films (35mm or 120) at a time, it's fully automated and fully reliable.


The chemical temperatures are kept accurate to 0.2 degrees, plus timing and chemical replenishment is accurately measured to ensure perfect consistency.  

All water used in the lab is filtered through a 4 stage reverse osmosis water filter and only Kodak & Tetenal chemicals are used in both our C41 processor and chemical wet lab.

B&W films are hand processed in our dark room, using Ilford chemistry. As timings for B&W films are all individual, we can happily push/ pull the development - just let us know!



We currently use Noritsu and Imagus lab scanners. Beautiful high quality scans at a range of different resolutions, perfect for uploading to socials, or making stunning large format prints.

35mm JPEG / TIFF Scans

3024 x 2005 // 6048 x 4011 pixels

120 JPEG / TIFF Scans

2988 x 2290 // 2988 x 2988 // 2988 x 3741

2988 x 4145 // 2988 x 4581 // 2988 x 6000 pixels


Looking for high quality printing?

Our prints are produced using the latest technology in digital lab printing. We print on Fujifilm professional photographic papers, delivering beautiful results consistently. You can't beat a true photographic print, so why not set your images free and order prints with your digital scans! Available in Gloss or Lustre. Larger sizes available on request - right upto 12"x48"!

Scanning and photo printing
send in film


Post in your film and we'll send your images straight back to you via WeTransfer, or post back your prints. Select to send back your negatives, or we'll securely destroy them after 6 months. Images are stored safely online for 4 weeks, so plenty of time for you to download them.

Post your film to:

The Minilab

Skears Photographic

203 Wellingborough Road,



mail order film

* IMPORTANT * Please ensure you include your order number in your parcel, so we can match your delivery up with your purchase when it arrives.

Don't forget to check your postage- best to pop them to the post office to ensure you pay the right amount, or pay online and drop off at a Parcel Dropoff.

We strongly recommend using a small box or 'jiffy' style envelope as a minimum to post them in. Please don't use a paper envelope, as we hate having to tell customers their film has been lost! 

If you're local to Northampton, you can always pop into our shop and drop them off. Either pay online and give us your order number, or pay in store if you'd prefer.



It's true. Labs aren't great the environment :(


However, we put in place stringent measures to ensure we can be as responsible as possible.

Chemical waste is processed through a silver recovery system, which then gets collected by a local company.

Packaging is re-used or recycled to maximise its life time. This means that you may receive your film/ prints in previously used packaging - but don't worry we'll make sure they are safely parcelled up.

Disposable cameras are stored and then sent off to be recycled, once batteries have been removed. Batteries are sent off separately to be recycled and disposed of correctly.

Film pots and canisters are stored ready to be re-used. Any that can't be given a new lease of life, are sent to appropriate local recycling companies to work their magic. 

plant a tree northampton


New for 2022, and with the launch of our new website, we're planting a tree for every order placed! Yup, that's right, for every order you place on the website, you automatically plant a tree with our friends at Ecologi! How cool is that! Buy one, you get one tree ;-)

As you've read above, labs aren't great for the environment. We can't solve climate change on our own, but we can try and offset our lab usage just a little bit more, by automatically planting a tree with every order placed on the website. We've partnered with Ecologi who plant trees, supporting reforestation and carbon offsetting ventures around the world. You can read more about their exciting projects here and even view our own little forest, which you've helped plant!


plant a tree northampton
plant a tree northampton
plant a tree northampton
plant a tree northampton
plant a tree northampton


We understand it can be a bit confusing if you've never shot film before! That's why we are trying to make it as easy as possible to order from us. Check out common questions below, or feel free to give us a call or drop us an email anytime! We are always happy to help.

  • How does the loyalty scheme work?
    We all love saving a little bit of money, so we've launched the Minilab Points Scheme to let you collect points and convert them to money off your next purchase. First log in or sign up to become a site member (top right on desktop, or open the menu on mobile) Once signed in to the site, click 'rewards' on the bottom left of your screen. This will display the number of points you've earned and different ways to earn points. Once you've collected 500 points, you can convert your points into money off 🎉 Select Redeem, choose how many points you want to spend and a discount code is created. Just enter your code at checkout to save on your next order! 🎞
  • How do I send in my order?
    Order online and then safely package up your films. Make sure you include your order number in with the films so we can match your order up when it arrives. Post your films into us at: The Minilab Skears Photographic 203 Wellingborough Road Northampton NN1 4ED or don't forget you can always pop along and visit us in person
  • How long before I get my scans/ prints?
    We offer a 24hr processing turnaround on C41 colour film processing (including disposables and Ilford XP2 film). This means you should receive your scans within 24hrs of dropping off your film instore, sometimes on the same day! If posting in film, we aim to have your scans to you within 24hrs of receiving your films. As B&W film is hand processed, turnaround time is usually 7 days, but can often be much quicker. If chosen, prints will be ready to collect once you have received notification that your scans are ready to download. If you have chosen prints only, they will be ready to collect 24hrs after dropping off your film. Pssst, we are closed on Sundays, so if you drop film off at 3.00pm on Saturday, they will be ready 3.00pm on Monday.
  • What films can you develop?
    We can develop all colour C41 35mm and 120 films, along with all B&W 35mm and 120 films. We can develop C41 110 and 126 films, but currently do not offer any scanning options. Unfortunately we do not currently process E6 slide films.
  • Do you develop disposable cameras?
    Absolutely! A 'disposable' camera has normal C41 colour film inside, so just choose C41 colour processing options!
  • I'm new to film photography, can you help me?
    We certainly can! Pop into the shop and we'll be happy to talk you through films, film cameras or anything photography related. You can also purchase films and film cameras in-store or on our shop website at
  • Where are you based?
    We're based in the heart of Northampton, on the Wellingborough Road. Pop in for all your film developing needs, or post in your films to us.
  • I've got a 36 exposure film but have only received 30 images?
    If you've received less images than on your film, that means the frames missed would have been blank and so could not be scanned.
  • Do you send back the negatives?
    Yes we certainly do! Choose your return options at checkout, or if you don't want to pay return postage, there's also an option for us to keep & then destroy your negatives after 6 months
  • Can you push my film?
    We offer push/ pull developing on B&W only. Just include a note to say what you have shot it at and we'll do the rest.
  • What if my film is blank?
    If your film is blank, then we'll happily refund the additional costs that you have paid for (such as your scans or prints). We can't refund the initial cost of developing.
  • Do you cut the negatives?
    We'll always cut your 35mm negatives into strips of 4, or 120 film to fit in a sleeve. If you don't want them cut, just let us know and we'll roll up into a film pot for safe keeping.
  • How do I know how many exposures my film is?
    On the film canister, it will have the number of exposures. This will be either 24 or 36, and if you're shooting a disposable, usually 27 or 39. If you are ordering prints, you'll need to know the number of exposures and select the right option.
  • Can I order digital scans as well as prints?
    Absolutely! At the order page just select 35mm/120 Dev & Prints, and there is an option to add your digital scans as well
  • Do you scan already developed slides and negatives?
    Absolutely! You can currently order prints and/ or scans from cut negatives here Whilst scans/ prints from slides are not currently available to order through The Minilab site (watch this space), you can visit for all the info, or feel free to give us a call and we can chat through the options
  • Can't see the question you are looking for?
    Oh no! Don't hesitate to drop us an email or give us a call on 01604 630675 and we'll try our best to answer as quickly as possible
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