So I live in NYC and I've been shooting Super 8 as a fairly serious hobby since last summer. I love it. This forum has been a source of so much info. I've already bought several cameras, shot vacations, field trips, events, etc. Problem obviously is it ain't cheap! And even more of an issue is minimums. Given that I don't normally shoot 4+ rolls at a time, I've been forced to wait for weeks if not months while I slowly shoot more rolls until I meet the minimums.
I've gotten developing from Spectra with their film+processing packs for ~$40/roll but that of course doesn't include shipping to/from costs then I have to ship it out for HD telecine unless I do it somewhere in NYC but to be honest, I prefer the pro places as their quality and turnaround is been way better than local in my opinion. Moving on, I've also just bought film locally at B&H/Adorama for ~$38/roll or Du-All for ~$32/roll then sending for processing/scanning at CineLab. That's probably my cheapest method I've found since Spectra scanning is pricey!!
Anyways, even with that, I run into the minimum issue with CineLab and Spectra. With $ minimums around 200ft for processing and $150 for HD scanning, that's around 6 or even 8+ rolls before I hit the minimum. I've gotten as low as 6 rolls telecined at CineLab for around $125 which is below their minimum but I guess they just shrugged their shoulders and did it when I mailed the package. All in all, if done right and hitting minimums, I can get a roll bought/processed/scanned for around $70 if not a little less including all the shipping.
I know Spectra has their "Rank-A-Roll" packages but those are pretty steep in price in comparison to doing it normally. (~$105/roll) And Yale has its "Reel Deal" packages which are $125/roll. I've also (early on in my tests) gotten 2 rolls developed and scanned as a "Test Roll" from CineLab for around $90 but I'm not sure they'd let me do that every time.
So all that to say... you guys have any advice as far as best quality/price balance for low volume Super 8? Does no one else run into this issue? You guys just always shooting 10 rolls at a time? haha. Help a budget filmmaker/enthusiast out!! I know I'm kinda asking for the moon here with film costs these days but the cheaper I can get my methods, the more I will shoot! And I'm always itching to shoot more film! (Also I am very eager to hear more details about Kodak's new S8 packages in the fall. Seems like that would fix my issues if the price is right)
Sorry for the wall of text. Slow day at work haha.