Welcome to Gamma Black & White
San Francisco, CA

Black & White Specialists

Black and white custom processing and printing is both a craft and an art. We at Gamma find pride in the craft and joy in the art. We are a custom lab that is small enough to offer a person to person relationship with the client, yet large enough to handle volume work.

Since 1975, we have been doing this work because it is what we love. While the world of photography goes more and more digital, we have elected to concentrate on the traditional processes of the wet darkroom.

We believe in hand processing of roll film in small tanks and tray processing of sheet film because there are so many wonderful combinations of film and developer that are impossible to achieve with machine processing.

Custom enlarging allows the skill of the printer to mesh with that of the shooter. If it is true, as Ansel Adams said, that the negative is like a musical score and the print like the performance, then we are photographic musicians.

Ansel Adams

Photo of Ansel Adams by Bob Rowan

Custom Film Processing

A wide range of films and film developers is still available to us today, a range that allows for many exciting combinations. In order to make the fullest use of that range, we process roll film on Nikkor reels in small tanks by hand.

For sheet film, we have created our own development system that allows for tray processing without the danger of scratched film. 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 sheets of film are attached to rigid rectangles of plastic by means of metal hoops. The film is held at each corner so that it does not move as the chemicals in the tray flow evenly over the emulsion. One advantage of this system is that sheet film can be printed from edge to edge without showing the clip marks that would be seen with dip and dunk processes. For sheets larger than 8 x 10, we tray process the film one sheet at a time.

stimson whitely
Fred Stimson Mark Whiteley
Fine Art Printing

The art of the gelatin silver fine print is essentially a quest. It is a search for that ephemeral perfection that one feels is just beyond ones reach. There are many paths toward that goal, many techniques that can help us find the perfect print for each negative. In addition to the more common techniques such as the choice of paper, burning, dodging and cropping, there are others such as diffusion, bleaching and toning which can add to the impact made by the fine print.

We offer three tiers of printing to fit the needs of different photographers.

Custom Printing
We crop, burn and dodge to create a good quality print.

Exhibition Printing
We spend additional time to bring out the subtleties of a great print. Diffusion and highlight bleaching are included as appropriate. Selenium toning for archival permanence is included.

Portfolio Printing
We create the ultimate print. We work with you one-on-one to meet even the most exacting requirements.

mitchell1 stimson
Margaretta Mitchell Fred Stimson
dellert grierson
Joe Dellert Merideth Grierson

The visual and emotional impact of black & white photography is greatly increased with the addition of color. We specialize in hand coloring and chemical toning with selenium, sepia, gold, red, blue, copper, polysulfide and thiocarbamide.

Toning can add to the archival life of a print. The grains of silver in a gelatin silver print bond easily with elements in the atmosphere. The brownish spots sometimes seen on older black and white prints show the reaction of silver with hydrogen sulfide to form silver sulfide. This reaction, when controlled, is the same process we call sepia toning. The most common archival toner, selenium, reacts with the silver to form silver selenide.

Creating these chemical bonds reduces the possibility that the silver in the print will randomly combine with other atmospheric elements. This greatly increases the chemical stability of the print.

For this reason, we include selenium toning on all our exhibition quality prints.

Margaretta Mitchell Tricia Donnelly Peter Fairfield
Jurij Strutynsky
Historical Photography

For many years, photographers had no choice but to create black & white images. The techniques they used include paper negatives, daguerrotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes and glass negatives. Today, the printabilty of these artifacts varies widely. Our familiarity with all these materials is essential to our success in working with older images.

Institutions using our services include:
National Archives
National Park Service
California Historical Society
Society of California Pioneers
History Center, San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco State University Labor Archives

Photo courtesy of Alex Deleuse Photo courtesy National Park Service

The Historic American Building Survey - Historic American Engineering Record is a program created to document structures and sites of particular historic significance. Creation of such a record is often legally required when changes to an historic structure are contemplated. Because of the proven archival qualities of properly processed black & white sheet film and selenium toned black & white paper, the archives that hold such records, such as the Library of Congress, require the use of the techniques in which we specialize.

For more information, go to

Brian Grogan Frank Deras

Film Processing
Contacts and Proofs
Flatbed scans
RC Workprints
RC Custom Prints
Fiber Custom Prints
Fiber Exhibition Prints

Portfolio Prints
Machine Prints
Additional Services
General Information
Limits of Liability

Roll film - standard developers 11.50
Roll Film - Non standard developers 17.50
4x5 film processing - standard developers 5.50
4x5 film processing - Non standard developer 6.65
8x10 film processing - standard developer 11.00
8x10 film processing - Non-standard developer 13.00
Holder download .75
Page Sleeving - per page .75
Minimum Sheet Film Processing 15.00

Standard developers: D-76, HC-100, Rodinal & Xtol.

Other developers include: Microdol, Pyro, FG7 and most commercially available developers.

No additional charge for Push / Pull Processing.


8.5 x 11 RC Contact sheet 6.50
Additional 8.5 x 11 RC Contact Sheet 4.00
11 x 14 RC Enlarged Proof 34.00
Additional 11 x 14 RC Enlarged Proof 17.00
16 x 20 RC Enlarged Proof 45.00
Additional 16 x 20 RC Enlarged Proof 22.50
4x5 Fiber Contact 13.25
Additional 4x5 Fiber Contact 6.75
8x10 Fiber Contact 16.00
Additional 8x10 Fiber Contact 8.00
Fiber Contacts meet HABS/HAER requirements
From B&W or color flat artwork up to 16x20
4 x 5 Copy / Internegative 28.00
From B&W or color flat artwork up to 8.5X11
     Up to 20 MbTiff file 15.00
Full frame with borders - no burning or dodging
5 x 7 RC 10.35
      additional 5.30
8 x 10 RC 13.25
      additional 6.65
8.5 x 11 RC 16.00
      additional 13.85
  4 x 6 5 x 7 8 x 10








  8.5 x 11 11 x 14 16 x 20 20 x 24
1 28.65 35.00 77.50 140.00
add'l 21.75 28.75 56.75 105.00
  5 x 7 8 x 10 11 x 14 16 x 20 20 x 24
1 30.00 45.00 60.00 125.00 165.00
add'l 22.50 33.75 45.00 115.00 150.00
  5 x 7 8 x 10 11 x 14 16 x 20 20 x 24
1 40.00 60.00 90.00 160.00 210.00
add'l 30.00 45.00 70.00 120.00 155.00
Fiber Custom Prints
Selenium toning Add 20%
Sepia - minimum charge $30 Add 50%
Gold, Thiocarbamide, Other Toners Quote
Fiber Exhibition Prints
Selenium toning and/or bleaching for maximum tonal range Included
Sepia - minimum charge $30 Add 50%
Gold, Thiocarbamide, Other Toners Quote
Suite of three prints. Client may work directly with printer in darkroom for maximum personal service
5 x 7 8 x 10 11 x 14 16 x 20 20 x 24
100.00 135.00 165.00 350.00 450.00
At time of processing
4x6 from 135 .50
4x5 from 120 645 .80
5x5 from 120 6X6 1.00
Burn scans to CDR/DVD 10.00
4x6 from 135 1.55
4x5 from 120 645 1.90
5x5 from 120 6X6 1.90
Numbering or text on reverse .15
Whole roll at time of processing
4 MB file size Cut Uncut
135 - up to 36 exposure 12.00 20.00
120 12.00 20.00
220 20.00 28.00
18 MB file size
135 - up to 36 exposure 20.00 32.00
120 20.00 32.00
220 30.00 40.00
Economy scanning from single image
135 16 MB 6.00  
120 16 MB 6.00  
4x5 20 MB Raw 12.00  
4x5 20 MB Custom 20.00  
Machine printing and scanning are services offered on an outlab basis
Prints from color, glass or larger than 4x5 negatives Add 50%
Prints on non-stock paper Add 25%
Rough black borders Add 10%
Exact sizing Add 10%
Trimming Add 10%
Per hour 95.00
RC Prints:
Normal 48 hours
100% Rush 24 hours
200% Rush Same Day
Print orders requiring copy work:
Normal 72 hours
50% Rush 48 hours
100% Rush 24 hours
200% Rush Same Day
Fiber Prints 5 to 10 days

Applications for Open Accounts are processed as soon as possible. Open Account terms are Net 30 days.

A service charge of 1.5% per month (18% per year) may be applied to past due balances.

Any account not paid within 60 days will be automatically placed on C.O.D. status.

Prepayment is required on all C.O.D. orders under $150. A Minimum deposit of $100 is required on all C.O.D. orders over $150.

Minimum invoice 10.00

24-hr security drop-off to the left of the front entrance.

Prices subject to change without notice.

Delivery service is available anywhere.



Submission to Gamma Black & White of any photographs, negative, prints, artwork or any other material constitutes an AGREEMENT with you that Gamma will not be responsible for damage to the material submitted, or for loss of same by Gamma or its agents due to any reason, including but not limited to negligence or other fault, fire, flood, storm, theft or mechanical failure, or for the cost of replacement and recovery of any incidental or consequential damage. in the case of exposed film, liability is limited to the cost of unexposed film of like type and size. Client further agrees to hold harmless and indemnify Gamma Black & White, its officers, employees or agents, from any legal action concerning copyright infringement. This limitation of liability is a part of every order accepted by Gamma Black & White and the client agrees to such limitation. No other warranty is offered, expressed or implied.

Negatives stored at client's risk.



Monday - Friday 10:00am to 6:00pm



Tuesday - Thursday 12:30pm to 6:00pm


2014 Oakdale Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94124

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