advice on new york

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by lowprofile, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. lowprofile

    lowprofile Subscriber

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    I'm travelling to Nwe York at the end of this month on business and plan to (a) take my camera and (b) bolt on a couple of days to see some of the city and make some photographs.

    I have reservations, however, regarding the number of x-ray machines my kit will pass during the trip. It therefore makes sense to me to buy film in NY and, if possible, to have it developed before I leave.

    To that end, can anyone, please, recommend:
    (a) suitable outlets for black & white film; and
    (b) competent film processors who would, by preference, process by hand rather than by machine.

    If it helps, I'll be staying at the Hudson Hotel (uptown I believe - though that doesn't mean a lot to me right now).

    Appreciate any suggestions
    LP
     
  2. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    NY outlets

    well of course you are now entering the mecca of photo merchants for the brick and mortar crowd....B+H located on the west side 33 and 9th ave
    Adorama is located on west 18th st and is between 5 and 6 avenues
    leave your credit card at home!!
    someone else must tell you about processing
    have a great time!!
    Best, Peter
     
  3. mhanc

    mhanc Member

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    You can buy many types of film at B&H Photo: www.bhphotovideo.com

    Can't help with processing. At the airport you can request a hand search of your film. I did that in Wyoming last summer. They don't x-ray it but visually inspect it and test for explosive residues. Not 100% sure if you can get this done in NY airports but worth further investigating if you need that option.

    Enjoy your trip! There are many great photos to be taken there...
     
  4. crabby

    crabby Member

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    I don't know who would do b&w in one day. Flatiron Lab will do a nice job but their turnaround time is three days. You can drop off the film and they can mail it to you.

    http://www.flatironny.com/flatiron.pdf

    Your hotel is in a terrific location, near Columbus Circle and Central Park. Many subway and bus routes stop there. Great restaurants all over the area. We would refer to the area as "midtown".

    I'd be happy to show you around.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Be aware that B&H and Adorama are orthodox Jewish business, so they close Friday afternoon and Saturday, but they're open Sunday. Calumet is open Friday afternoon and Saturday.

    I haven't really been to Sixty-Eight Degrees since they moved to their new location a year or two ago, but they could probably turn around B&W in a day. They have a big Refrema dip and dunk filled with Xtol, and they specialize in B&W. It's mechanized, but not roller processing.

    http://www.sixtyeightdegrees.com/

    MV Labs is probably the top end B&W custom lab in town, processes by hand, and can turn around film as fast as you need, for a price (and for an exorbitant price, will even do it on a weekend)--

    http://www.mvlabs.com/
     
  6. pauliej

    pauliej Member

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    Is Cambridge still out there, or did banning them from the camera mags put them out of business? Just wondering.

    paulie
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    They moved once or twice and I think now they're a mail-order only business operating under various names--Cambridge World, Air-Watches, and others.
     
  8. tac

    tac Member

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    If you've never been, go to b&h and plan on spending an hour or two; it's photo-paradise, the big candy store. You'll probably get a little 'attitude,' but that's just NYC. Enjoy.
     
  9. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Can't help with processing advice, but for purchasing film, the three best choices are B&H, Adorama and Calumet. The order is arbitrary - they are equally good.

    The Hudson Hotel is on W. 58th between Broadway and 8th Ave. Its not a long walk to B&H (but in the winter, if the wind is blowing, it could be a cold walk!). My advice would be to go to the nearest subway station (the Columbus Circle station is at 59th and 8th Ave), ask for a map (the hotel concierge may have subway maps), and purchase a Metrocard. Take the A, C or E train from Columbus Circle to 34th Street - B&H is about a block away.

    Adorama and Calumet are further south - the A, C or E trains will also go to the 14th Street Station, from which you will have to walk several blocks to reach those stores.

    As David noted, be aware that B&H and Adorama are closed on Friday afternoon and Saturday, but are open on Sunday. Calumet is the opposite - open Friday afternoon and Saturday, closed on Sunday.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2009
  10. frotog

    frotog Member

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    For film on Fridays and Saturdays go to Calumet on 18th st. or K and M on broadway between Walker and White. As for processing...I'd be wary of places that do hand processing not only because of the high cost but due to increased likelihood that they'll screw it up. But if you must, check out Kelton labs or MV and expect to pay three times what you'd pay elsewhere. Kelton labs is among the best boutique b/w labs in the city. MV is reputably in the same league although I've known a few photographers who've had less than adequate results from this lab. Then there's phototechnica in Brooklyn but that's a bit of a hike. For my time and money I'd go to LTI on 30th and Park where they run Ilford DDX in a refrema dip and dunk. $10 for a roll of 35mm, one day turn-around. Tell Bernard that frotog said Hi.
     
  11. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    B&H is amazing. The conveyor belt system alone is worth the visit.

    A visit there on December 7 was fantastic. The staff were very friendly (except for our checkout person, but she was pleasant enough). I would go again in a heartbeat.
     
  12. lowprofile

    lowprofile Subscriber

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    many thanks for all of the really helpful responses - it's been great.

    appreciate, also, the advice wrt hand v machine process. my experience in the uk perhaps colours my judgement where the processors run all through a machine and what you get back ends up pretty much flat and gray. should not necessarily expect the same result in nyc.

    would it be the consensus that hand developing is not essential or perhaps not even necessary as the named processors can do a good job with their machine developing route?

    thanks again. if i get the opportunity (time and planning may be tight as this is essentially a business trip and photo ops will be very ad hoc) i'll maybe buy beers for those available. next time we're across, i plan to build in more time to relax and see the place/meet the people.

    cheers
    lp
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Custom labs with a Refrema (as opposed to a roller transport machine) dedicated to B&W tend to be pretty serious B&W labs. This is a big, expensive machine that requires its own room and can process a whole roll of film hanging from a rack, rather than spooled on a reel, by dipping it in huge chemistry tanks. Sixty-Eight Degrees was doing good work when I last visited them, but as I say, I haven't been down there in a year or two.

    The advantage of hand processing is you might have more choices of developer, and the person who does the processing might develop by inspection to adjust development time on the fly and make sure you've got printable negs, so long as your exposure is in the ballpark. It requires some experience and judgment to do this well, and not all labs that hand process do it. Some might hand process B&W just because they don't do enough volume in B&W to justify owning a machine.
     
  14. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Calumet is at 22 W. 22nd Street. To get there take the #1 train from 59th St./Columbus Circle station to 23rd St. The #1 train runs down 7th Ave. in that part of town, approximately 1 1/2 blocks west of your destination. Adorama is only four blocks south at 42 W. 18th St. Both stores are on the south sides of their respective streets, between 5th and 6th Aves. B&H is at the corner of 34th St. and 9th Ave. To get there, take the A, C, or E train to 34th St. The A is express and the C and E trains are local, but that doesn't matter. 34th St. is only a few stops away. The station for these trains is on 8th Ave, leaving you one block east of the store.

    Navigating midtown Manhattan between 14th and 59th St. is dead easy. All the streets are in a grid pattern and intersect at right angles. The street numbers increase as you move further north or uptown. Avenue numbers increase from east to west. Broadway is an exception because it traverses the island diagonally from northwest to southeast. I crosses 8th Ave at Columbus Circle, 7th Ave at 45th St., 6th Ave at 34th St., and 5th Ave. at 23rd St. There are a few avenues on the east side, which lie between 3rd and 5th Aves. From east to west these are Lexington, Park, and, above 23rd. St., Madison Ave.

    Any of the stores mentioned will have film for you at very competitive prices. I can't help you with places for processing it since I do that myself. Others here have far better information than I about that. However, one or two passes through the hand baggage x-ray machine should not be a problem.
     
  15. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Why not consider sending your exposed film home in a box via Express Mail or UPS or Fed Ex? I'm not certain that they are x-ray free, but I'd be surprised if there would be a problem as I get my fresh film that way in the first place, and damage by zapping just isn't a concern.

    In any event, visit B&H if you can. I disagree about the "attitude". I've always been treated extremely well there, and Henry Posner of that enterprise checks in here from time to time, and would be likely to be very responsive to any problems you might encounter...but I can't imagine you will. It's a wonderland of gear, and you can expect to experience palpitations at minimum! :wink:
     
  16. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I did exactly as John suggests when I was there last month. I bought a bunch of film at B&H (and later some at Adorama that I forgot to buy at B&H, and I loaded it into a box along with some other stuff (like souvenirs) and shipped it home. We have gotten in the habit of doing this on trips to keep the luggage weight down, but it saved a few x-rays.