Breaking the Bank in Canada

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by JohnMeadows, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. JohnMeadows

    JohnMeadows Subscriber

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    Rant/Frustration begins:

    Is it possible to do pure alternative process (e.g. no digital negatives) in Canada without breaking the bank? The pain point seems to be getting the proper film stock for creating the enlarged digital negative. I was all set to buy 50 sheets of some 8x10 direct positive film from a supplier in the U.S. until I found out that the USPS delivery charge would turn my $50 order into a $100 order :sad:

    Does anyone know of a source in Canada that sells the appropriate sheet film?

    In the meantime it's back to the Hybrid process with Pictorio ... with the prices I am facing I can't afford to maintain pure analog karma.
     
  2. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I'm not sure about Canada but I have been using x-ray duplicating film for many years to enlarge negatives for pt/pd printing. Kodak dental x-ray duplicating film XOMAT-2 with Kodak GBX chemistry. The film is not cheap but maybe your dentist can help you find it. 50 sheets approx. $130.
    It is an excellent film for that purpose as well as to dup x-rays. It stores well under refrigeration.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  3. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    I got tired very quickly of digital negatives (my printer seemed incapable of any consistency). I aquired an old 8x10 (spent more money on 6 film holders than I did on the camera) and do analogue alt prints (cyano, pt/pd, gum, combo prints, and am working on carbon) with both my 4x5 and 8x10 negs. I try to avoid buying from the States, not just because of the cost of shipping, but due to the crap shoot of Canada customs.
     
  4. JohnMeadows

    JohnMeadows Subscriber

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    I hear what you're saying, but my favourite camera for shooting is a 645 that I can handhold; going with an 8x10 (or even a 4x5) does place a limit on the kind of shot you can do.

    I'm happy with the pictorio negatives and I guess I will keep going with that process unless I luck into a stash of film that doesn't quadruple my cost. Personally, since my workflow is analog at both ends (with the digital process in the middle) I don't feel I'm being disloyal to the analog process (I just can't post my work on APUG).
     
  5. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I have made many Pictorico negatives as well as many with the duplicating film. Both have yielded excellent results but the dup film to my eye gives me a better print. It is more work and you can not do as much manipulation as with PS. The Pictorico does cost about half though. I'm using an Epson 2200 for the Pictrico and maybe a newer printer would be somewhat better?
     
  6. JohnMeadows

    JohnMeadows Subscriber

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    For me cost is a definite consideration; I'm in the doghouse at home much of the time for the price of my hobby :-(
     
  7. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    When I find the time... (Yes, a joke of a busy guy with two active sons, and busy wife.) I expose what ever format of original neg onto old lithographic film. If you can find a print shop, they may still have some from the 'old days'. It is speed wise not unlike enlarging paper, and ortho, so develop in a tray by inspection under a brightish red safelight. Use a low developing agent formula to bring contrast gamma down to pictorial levels.

    Either direct reversal process it, or contact print it to yield the enlarged negative, and then develop it to the gamma and Dmax your particular alt process needs.

    Litho film can be quite large; I cut down the big stuff, or just use the 17x21 or whatever it is stuff full sized, and trim it later after processing to fit into the contact frame.

    The edge few inches of the old stuff can be fogged, and the emulsion itself can be kind of soft compared to mordern film, so this approach is most handy.
     
  8. JohnMeadows

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    I wonder what will happen when all the old stocks are either gone, or really really expensive :-(
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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  10. MattKing

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  11. JohnMeadows

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    Thanks Matt! I will investigate further over the next few days and post my findings here.
     
  12. JohnMeadows

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    I agree that $50 is gouging; I suppose one option is getting it mailed to a friend in Buffalo and driving down ... but gas ain't cheap either :-(

    I just wish there were more Canadian retailers for this kind of thing. :-(
     
  13. peeniwali

    peeniwali Member

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    John I feel your pain. I recently bought out of the US, paid $55 to ship $250 worth of supplies. I now find I have a FedEx bill over and above this for $42. Unfortunately, this FedEx bill came 6 weeks later and I have placed a similar order in the meantime and expect the same treatment again from FedEx. I too wish I could buy locally. If I do buy local it is from Beau Photo in Vancouver and I ship ground to Calgary.
    As an aside, if you are looking to buy chemicals that cannot be shipped direct from the US Beau will bring in ORMD stock from Photographers Formulary, add a handling fee and ship to you. Speak to Dennis.

    -Dave
     
  14. JohnMeadows

    JohnMeadows Subscriber

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    Thanks Dave!

    Sometimes I wonder if there is enough demand in Canada to make a business of this ...
     
  15. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Postal Stamps are the true indicators of how an country handles the art. I am collecting them with best possible examples. After 70s , you can see how art modernised and lost the creativity , expressness.

    I listened many unheard canadian jazz rock groups and they play like a devil until the 80s. Than they all dissappear. Now , Canadian Post prints peoples own digital files as stamps , dog , cat , your new car , your new lover. Unbeliviable.

    Look at Rush at 70s and 00s. What a hell of difference.

    I dont think , at any part of Earth , people are dying for to see a BW print.
     
  16. peeniwali

    peeniwali Member

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    John,

    When I lived in Vancouver and a small BC town near the border I would have US goods shipped to a place on the other side of the line. When it suited me I would drive across, do my thing, pick up my stuff and go home. This may or may not work for you. You may also consider finding like minded folks in your area who are willing to share the cost of shipping across the line. If I knew folks like that in Calgary I would try and order a large parcel and split the shipping and brokerage costs by weight.

    My 2 cents.

    -Dave
     
  17. lal350

    lal350 Member

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    I think you are referring to UPS or FedEx brokerage charges, if the supplier will ship USPS (United States Postal Service), there will be no brokerage or "extra" charges, except possably HST coming into Canada (up to customs). I do this all the time, just confirm with the supplier that they will ship USPS only!.
     
  18. JohnMeadows

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    I know all about the UPS brokerage charges, trust me :-( The $50 was for USPS, which is completely crazy.
     
  19. JohnMeadows

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    I think what I may do is post something in the appropriate regional forum here to set something up; I can't be the only one feeling gouged!
     
  20. JohnMeadows

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    There are still good Canadian bands; you just need to know where to look :smile:

    We can't give up; maybe we need a "show someone a real print" day, to prove that pixels on a screen does not = silver in your hands :smile:
     
  21. segedi

    segedi Member

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    Not sure what film you are looking for, but if B&H has it, they now ship via purolator. Customs is collected at time of purchase so no surprises. I've bought from them with this method after having UPS charge $193 on a $403 order!
     
  22. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I found a smoking pipe tobacco house in Chicago which is the oldest of USA and wanted 85 dollars postage for 50 grams of tobacco.

    I think cargo prices are the biggest obstacle for online sellers worldwide.

    I paid 60 dollars for Leica Mini and 60 dollars postage and it came to istanbul from ny in 3 days.

    I bought two books from alibris and they came with ship cargo in 4 months for 12 dollars.

    I think OPs best bet , buying from APUG and send with partial shipment by truck.

    But when you turn to China , 1 tons of cargo comes in 15 dollars.

    May be best way is to buy from Singapore , Hong Kong , Shangai with ship cargo , immensely cheap.

    May be Japanese Post is more reasonable because their money is cheaper.

    Short , try Japan. There are many active APUG members at Japan and contact with them.

    Umut
     
  23. segedi

    segedi Member

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    I think Umut is on to something. We need to buy enough in bulk to fill a cargo ship!
    Any volunteers for Captain?
     
  24. JohnMeadows

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    That sounds about tight for UPS; greedy SOB's!
     
  25. JohnMeadows

    JohnMeadows Subscriber

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    For some reason the theme from Gilligans's Island started going through my head :smile: