God the price at indie is about right. Do you get monstrous scratches? That could make it doable.
I have not used them myself, since I am in the same town currently as Icon.
However, there are quite a few professional wedding and portrait shooters who use IFL for their processing and scanning.
A top-notch lab will keep their equipment in tip top shape. With a roller transport processor that means cleaning the racks and rollers EVERY DAY. And depending on your volume of processing, sometimes multiple times/day.
A film processing lab that scratches their customers film doesn't stay in business for long...
I have NOTHING against roller transport processors in general, but if given the option between that and dip-n-dunk development (or rotary, like with a Jobo), I'd prefer DnD.
However, there are some downsides to DnD processing too:
·With rollfilm (especially 35mm or 220, especially with E-6(slide) processing, you can have density differences from the ends of the roll to the middle of the roll. Usually not much, but since the ends of the roll are in longer (1St in, last out) than the middle, you can sometimes see a slight difference in density/contrast when composting the end to the middle frames.
·Same thing with sheet film. With C-41, the total ”normal” developing time is 3:15mins. NOT long. So the slightest change in timing %age wise will affect density vs traditional b/w and E6 processes. With LF you can also get into issues regarding insufficient agitation, usually during development and the bleach steps (w/C-41 being the most problematic, especially when you are talking 4x5 and larger sheet formats. With E-6 your bath times ate longer, so you technically have more ”fudge” room than with C-41.
Whichever lab you use, make sure that the lab gives you what you PAY FOR. This means CLEAN FILM, CLEAN SCANS and great customer service.
Please don't let any if my above writings deter you from shooting film. I'm just relaying some of the most critical points I've found that have aided me in finding great labs who deliver what they are selling 100%, EVERY TIME.
Lastly, with digital post-production these days (even with shooting film), there is a great deal of control one has vs the traditional darkroom (although I still enjoy making handmade RA-4 prints from my color negs). But just like with everything film, getting it in-camera(at least to me) makes post so much easier and more enjoyable than fumbling around in Photoshop trying to correct things after the fact.