A&I: Sayonara to E6 Processing Next Month!

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by CGW, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. CGW

    CGW Member

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  2. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Tried and never liked A&I. Messed up my Kodachromes more than once. Sad when anyone walks away, but there are better mail-order options out there than A&I, IMHO and experience.

    Dwayne's has never messed up my Kodachromes or E-6 and their turn-around service - at least for me - is blindingly fast. Only 43 hours (timed) between dropping into the mailbox and having the mailman place the finished slides into my hands. (I live outside the Seattle, Washington area.)

    Ken
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Any wonder why Kodak and Fuji have chopped their E6 selections? No demand, obviously.
     
  4. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    My sentiments exactly, Ken. While I hate to see anyone fold (a harbinger of the future we all do not want to think about), there remain other options. For my part, Dwayne's, too, gets the nod. These folks have always done a bang-up job with my (Koda)chromes as well as the small amount of E6 I have sent in. With the job they did on the final Kodachrome blitz, they have earned my everlasting gratitude as well as earned all my future E6 processing (I now shoot E100G and E100VS in 35mm and 2 1/4) . My processing "delay" is similar to yours (I am only an hour or so north - depending on the delay at the border and how fast I happen to be driving); I just accumulate enough film - generally 40 - 50 rolls - and send it in via UPS. :smile:
     
  5. Lionel1972

    Lionel1972 Member

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    I'm a big fan of transparencies, so I'm sad to see it slowly abandonned. I feel slides don't get much support compared to less endangered analog processes like color neg and black and white neg. There's nothing like looking at a color transparency through a good loupe on a bright lighttable. I'm lucky enough to have a local minilab which still processes E6 up to 4x5", but I have no idea how long they will maintain that service (they almost stopped a little while ago when their processor stopped heating up properly, but managed to fix it). I've recently acquired a second hand Jobo processor in order to process E6 at home and started to stock up on slide roll films and sheets. Unfortunately few are the people still enjoying a good projection of slides and since the pros have stopped using them, E6 is more or less a dead man walking to my mind which makes me quite sad.
     
  6. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Yes, I feel the same loyalty toward Dwayne's. They stuck with us - and Kodachrome - when everyone else bailed, including both A&I and Kodak. My final K64 slides looked great. So now I'm sending my E-6 business their way too. Good to hear my turnaround times are typical and not a fluke.

    (Burnaby, BC? We're almost nextdoor neighbors! Except our weather* 120 miles south of you is so MUCH better... not.)

    Ken

    * Heavy rain, high winds, hail, temps just above freezing, lightning and thunder, so dark that the streetlights were on all day long... and that was just yesterday alone.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Bradley:

    I'm surprised you aren't using ABC Photocolour in Vancouver, at least for your 120.

    Same day Dip and Dunk processing, and it is less expensive ($7.00 CDN tax in) then Dwaynes.

    Their scans are more expensive though.
     
  8. bluejeh

    bluejeh Subscriber

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    E-6 processing in Vancouver

    ......and what about The Lab 295 2nd Ave E Vancouver (604) 876-1737 with their 3 hour service! They do a fantastic job for our large and medium format slides.
     
  9. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Me too.

    I sent off two rolls last week and have 3 A&I mailers to use before end of year.

    Their E6 mailers used to be precious and valuable supplies that I always maintained in stock.

    A really funny incident I remember... one day they sent me slides from another Bill Burk (from Los Angeles and I'm up north) I fed-ex'd them back immediately and the real Bill Burk never realized there was a mix-up.

    Good memories from the lab, well wishes going forward.
     
  10. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Lots of E-6 processing possibilites still out there, it seems. One just has to be willing to seek out and patronize the remaining locations, or use the postal services to reach them and then wait a couple of days.

    And as far as the latter goes, isn't that exactly what we all did for decades anyway with Kodachrome? Back then when I worked in the darkroom of a local photo business we all - customers and employees - would drop our Kodachrome films into that little canvas courier bag, wait two days, then pick up our finished slides. Not so different now with E-6.

    If on the other hand you're going to claim that the world's entire E-6 infrastructure has totally collapsed simply becaue you can't get your slides processed on demand in 30 minutes by someone located only 5 minutes from your home, well that's indicitive of a different set of problems, I think.

    The processing infrastructure may indeed eventually collapse. But my definition of "collapse" won't be reached until I can't mail my slides to anyone for development - and I can't purchase the materials to do it myself at home. In fact, I'm fully equipped right now to do it myself at home. The only reason I don't is that there are so many convenient mail order options available at good prices and good turnaround times that it's not worth the time it would take away from my already very tight black-and-white darkroom sessions.

    Ken
     
  11. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    For me, the loss is symbolic. Couple weeks ago I met the owner of a lab near me. So I have somewhere to go. But I will miss my friends.
     
  12. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    A and I didn't process kodachrome, they sent it out. I never had a problem with their work.
     
  13. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    They did process Kodachrome onsite, I went to them for that. My contact there described the process to me but details escape me. Maybe later on they stopped.

    I also never had a problem with their work.
     
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  15. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I was under the impression they used one of those K-Lab units, having heard this from another source. But I - or that source - could very well be mistaken. If they were outlabbing that might help explain the possible quality control issues. Do you have any information regarding the identity of the outlab?

    I suppose we could likely rule out Dwayne's. I do recall that my Kodachrome slides did come back in very reasonable turnaround times, so if they were also sending them out then the secondary lab must have been very, very fast.

    I do also realize that even though my issues occurred more than once, they may well have been statistically isolated cases from quite a few years ago.

    Ken
     
  16. CGW

    CGW Member

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    The processing infrastructure may indeed eventually collapse. But my definition of "collapse" won't be reached until I can't mail my slides to anyone for development - and I can't purchase the materials to do it myself at home. In fact, I'm fully equipped right now to do it myself at home. The only reason I don't is that there are so many convenient mail order options available at good prices and good turnaround times that it's not worth the time it would take away from my already very tight black-and-white darkroom sessions.

    Ken


    Let's see...Kodak killed their small batch E6 kit. Slide film selection is shrinking and prices are rising. The E6 processing options in my immediate area have all but collapsed. High film costs, high processing costs and high shipping costs plus pricey drum scans aren't helping me stay in love with E6 materials. I'm shooting up my stash of 120 E100GX. Hopefully, my go-to E6 lab here in Toronto will stay afloat but I've no plans on buying another roll.
     
  17. airgunr

    airgunr Subscriber

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    I too have changed from A&I to Dwayne's in the last few years. Same issues with time of turn around and quality of the work.
     
  18. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I, and apparently others, seem to have no problem still finding available, affordable and fast mail processing services for E-6. Several, in fact, are APUG advertiser/sponsors. All you have to do is pick one (or two, or three) options and drop your film in the mail. Works for the rest of us. And worked with no complaints for decades back in the heyday of Kodachrome.

    This is not really difficult, you know, unless you choose to make it so...

    Ken

    [Edit: Wait a minute. I thought you've stated in the past that you had NO E-6 processing options in Toronto? Now you state you have a "go-to lab" available, but you're simply choosing to stop using them when your current supply of film is exhausted, even though they are currently still in business?]
     
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  19. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Never shot a roll of Kodachrome. Never liked the look or the processing rigmarole relative to contemporary E6 materials. I still have fast quality local E6 processing through Ed Burtynsky's Toronto Image Works. If/when they scrap their Refrema, then mail order-only processing would be the end of my transparency shooting--too much trouble, expense and time. Those are very real "difficulties" that aren't my making that I don't have to suffer. Suspect the days of E6 materials are numbered, judging from the hard-to-miss handwriting on the walls all round such this thread's subject line.
     
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  20. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Used to go to A&I during my assisting stint in LA. Also used their mailers. They did an amazing job. They processed film for big named photographers the the late Herb Ritz and Mathew Ralston back then. But now is now and I'm sure they didn't process enough E6 to keep the processing lines open. It's sad. A fellow photographer told me that that might be the last man standing with E6. But obviously it's not coming true.
     
  21. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    It's not exactly what you said but you sure make it sound like this.... (sorry for the blatant rip off of the *BSD is dying meme)
     
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  22. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Get it right, Rudeofus. Don't attribute things I never wrote to me. What's the point?
     
  23. silentworld

    silentworld Member

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    I live in Toronto and I would have thought that people in Toronto would be the last ones to complain about the inconvenience of shooting E6 film. There are still several labs in the city to process E6 film. Toronto Image Works still offers 4-hour same day turnaround for E-6 processing. Processing cost is only $6.20 per 120 roll if you prepay (who doesn't as you would have to pay in 4 hrs anyway). Slide film is available from B&H for 2-3 day delivery to Toronto with very reasonable shipping cost. Provia 100 is still selling for $3.79 for a 120 roll even when Japanese Yen vs US$ is at historical high. If this is deemed too inconvenient and too costly to shoot E6, maybe we set our expectation too high.

    I guess it all comes down to whether one feels that he/she can produce the similar quality of work with other medium with less cost and hassel, whether it is negative film or digital. For myself, I will be willing to go through a lot more trouble to keep shooting E6, as, even after all these years of development in DSLR and negative film, I still don't feel that they catch up with slides in terms of color redition for landscape shooting, at least not to my personal liking.
     
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  24. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    My sentiments exactly. As I said, "indicitive of a different set of problems, I think."

    Ken
     
  25. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I managed Colourgenics in the late 80's, Colourgenics and Steichanlab were the two go to labs in Toronto GTA for E6 .There were many other options but these two labs were well above the cut of others. Both these labs stopped E6 due to lack of volume plan and simple, Controlling a high end E6 plot is not for the faint of heart, minimum 8 control strips per day, while I was there we started at 6 am and ran till midnight, Shin Sugino , Westside , and others would book time and run through the night.
    You can not imagine the volumes of film clips and runs that would go on. Sadly The Refrema's require film to keep clean process control,, The major players of this service are dropping it and leaving to one or two per City to hang on as long as there is people wanting to use slide or transparancies in their cameras.
    In Toronto I would only use Toronto Image Works for E6, otherwise ship to New York to a refrema that is busy, not slow.
     
  26. CGW

    CGW Member

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    I love TIW--no complaints whatsoever. Fact is, though, they're about it for speed, cleanliness, and consistency in the GTA. I buy from B&H, thanks. But if TIW folds, I likely won't go mail order for E6 processing, especially to the US. They are only 34 million of us in Canada and transparency shooters aren't exactly multiplying, so Canadian labs aren't either.