Calypso - Changes to E6 Processing (not good news)

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by roteague, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. roteague

    roteague Member

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    From Calypso:

    Calypso Imaging, Inc. continues to be one of the best sources of professional E6 transparency processing in the United States. We use the tightest densitometric control parameters to maintain consistency and spot on color in our Olympic Refrema dip and dunk processor. Never- the- less the reality is that film usage is declining in all areas and Calypso needs to make appropriate adjustments. Starting immediately:

    1. We will run E6 on Mondays and Thursdays and ship film on Tuesdays and Fridays.
    2. Pricing will increase as follows:

    E6 Sleeved Plastic Mounts

    135-24 6.67/roll 7.86/roll
    135-36 6.67/roll 8.96/roll
    120 5.10/roll n/a
    220 10.00/roll n/a
    4x5 1.75/sheet n/a
    8x10 6.00/sheet n/a
     
  2. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    Thankfully, my local pro lab (a Kodak Q-lab facility) still has a turnaround of four hours for E6, and the charges are only slightly higher (e.g., 4x5 is 2.15/sheet).

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed.



    Best wishes,
    Sanjay
     
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Same for me at one of my local labs... but I worry it will change any day now. Just a couple of months ago one of our local E-6 processors was shut down for good; they didn't have enough volume to make it worthwhile.
     
  4. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I can't get E6 processed anywhere on the island of Puerto Rico anymore. :sad:
     
  5. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    im based in australia and my E-6 process or runs 12 hours a day 7 days a week with a volume high enough to warrant such a schedule, I have always been led to believe that the E-6 process is one that requires a constant high volume of material to be processed through it or otherwise the stagnation will lead to a higher chance of the chemistry drifting. My machine has never been idle to see this effect. If a machine is only processing 2 days a week does this open the doorway for a whole heap of control issues?

    I would love to hear form fellow pro lab owners on this as I have no experience with giving tanked machines down time.

    ~Steve Frizza
    The Lighthouse Lab
     
  6. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    The bottom line is using control strips and the proper evaluation of them before running any customer film. If your process is "in control" then there are no worries. If it is "out of control" then there are measures you can take to bring it back into "control". I wouldn't worry about a top quality "pro" lab with a skilled darkroom technician running and evaluating the process, rather it is the cheap, mini-lab type of operations that do not have the skill to know what to do when the process is out-of-whack.
     
  7. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Thanks for sharing this news Robert...it's not that bad all things considered. Seems that they are trying to keep prices reasonable.

    I have met a few of the folks at calypso...including a couple of "the film guys"....for the most part, a great bunch of folks. One of them even has a license plate..."4 by 5" or something like that....:smile:
     
  8. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    At least they are still running it and keeping the prices reasonable. AFAIK, there is only one left in the Detroit area that still runs E-6 (last price quote was $2/4x5 sheet). I still run my own, and at least one local shop stocks the E6 5L kits at a lower price than Calumet.

    Bob
     
  9. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Stephen

    I am with you on this one, You are very lucky and probably very talented to be running your machine at such volumes, I managed an E6 lab in my past life , where we ran the volumes that you speak, no problem on control as the process loves the volume.
    Unfortunately when volume drops , your anxiety levels will increase to a point where you will have to make tough decisions.
    The advant of inkjet in Toronto pretty well killed my Ciba process volume to a point where I only develop Cibas 3-4 times a year. Complete dump, complete process control and then run as much paper as clients can feed me. Once I have finished the last order dump and wait till volumne increases.
    This is also happening with the E6 lines in Toronto, one of the best just said f.... it and retired rather than battle keeping the machine in proper control.
    Toronto has one of the largest concentration of Digital Capture Professional Photographers than any other city that I am aware of in % of shooters.
    This decline started in the late 90' with the advent of phase and inkjet. I was lucky enough to not have a dip and dunk refrema line going but rather I delibertly set up Jobos and one shot chem for B&W and Colour neg.
    I decided against E6 as I reliezed there were two kick ass labs in town specializing in E6 and I did not see my involvement. I am now very glad of this decision.
    All I can say Stephan is try to gather as much business as you can and keep it , because once the volume lowers , life gets very painful. I would look into mail order to you as a niche player so that you can feed your machine.Anything to feed the machine would be my course of action,
    Running 2 days a week will be an absolute f.... nightmare so do not go down that road if you can avoid it.
    Bob


     
  10. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    Thanks Bob

    Hi Bob

    Thanks so much for the feed back, I agree with your post entirely!
    I also agree with the earlier post about checking processes with control
    strips and enforce that any good lab should run at least 2 controls a day to see how there process is running.

    However on the subject of control strips and monitoring the process it is my guess that a constantly active processor would be a lot more stable than one with down time. And this would be preferable compared to having to check a control strip and spiking the system back to where it needs to be before any clients film is run.

    sorry if I seem pedantic I have had it drilled into me that the optimum way of running E-6 is to not keep it idol and with E-6 processing theres no forgiving. Many thanks for the replies.
     
  11. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    You are right Stephen , control strips will keep a basic balance but if you have to spike your line it will show up at the worst time.

     
  12. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I'm not troubled by the price increase or the turnaround times as much as I am just the fact they are having to scale back to two times a week. I just don't see digital as a replacement for transparencies, and I'm afraid that someday I may have to go that route for small camera work (which I may just give up in that case).

    I'm thankful they are still processing E6; they stopped doing C41 not long ago.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2007
  13. tjaded

    tjaded Subscriber

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    One of the real problems, beside the obvious lower volume, is that Kodak has been forced to increase chemistry prices/control strips/etc., prices of sleeves have gone up, slide mounts have gone way up. In addition to prices going up on supplies, more and more supplies are disappearing completely. The number of companies making slide mounts is diminishing at a staggering rate, which wouldn't be such a big deal if all mounting machines took the same kind. So if the brand of slide mounts a lab uses disappears, they probably don't have the volume to justify buying a whole new mounting machine (or multiple machines in the case of our lab.) I think more and more labs are being forced into price increases...not because they want to, it's either that or quit running E-6 period. Discounting is something that is possible with quantities, but the quantities are just not there for most labs. As more and more little ones disappear, it will somewhat stabilize for the larger labs (hopefully) and we should all make it through this nasty drought (film shooters, I mean.) I just hope that economics doesn't kill E-6.
     
  14. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Doom and Gloom = BULLSHIT

    Just looking at this problem about labs closing down and from my personal experience I have some observations.

    I think that anyone now thinking it is the right time to start a small dedicated film processing and printing business would be right.
    The big labs will only look at the numbers vs space and labour and get out.
    The existing E6 labs will now say shit I made my money I'm getting out.
    There will be E6,C41,B&W chemicals as long as there are folks willing to shoot film cameras. So what if digital is taking a lions share, believe me Ilford is not in the film game because they think its dead, they have just adjusted to the market place , and at the end of the financial day are doing quite well thankyou very much.


    Today is the time of the NICHE player, become the very best and people will find you. As these labs shut down their hours and runs, you increase your hours.availability, ease of service.
    I would become like the small feeder fish that float beside the large whales , gladly taking all the extras that the whale does not gobble up.

    -find the cheapest space for rent but with good good power and drainage.
    - scour the inter net for a couple of small machines for active use , parts .
    - find out where there are some technicians unhappy where they are working , make sure they are top notch and willing to go the distance with you.
    -get intouch with Ilford, Fuji or Kodak for tech help.
    - organize a kick ass internet mail order system.
    - let every camera shop in a 300 mile radius know you are in business and willing to give them a deal.

    then work your butt off to make it all happen.
    so any of you young APUGers watching this thread and wondering WTF , its all doom and gloom, I say bullshit , I already know two or three young techs in my area willing to do this as well others I have met through APUG or from clients coming to my Lab.

    Every time I get on a thread like this it makes me think back to the days I started Silver Shack a small black and white lab only , I made lots of mistakes and went through a couple of unfortunate partner situations.But the ride has been worth it . I have only one skill set. *PHOTOGRAPHY* therefore I made it work in the area of the world I call home.

    Recognize an Niche opportunity , and the time is now. If you don't have the skill sets but have the money* and I am pretty sure there are lots of APUGers * with good coin , find a young tech willing to partner with and make it happen.
    Elevator has a strong digital service area as some may observe, but it allows me to be better in the wet side and the hybrid opportunities are incredible in this fast pace world.

    Start off very small with modest dreams and build one block at a time and do not burn bridges with lousy service or quality, You can always get a good price if you offer good service and quality. This will never change.
     
  15. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Now there's the type of niche market business that I would like to see revived!
     
  16. mark

    mark Member

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    Can I get an Amen for pastor Bob.

    For any Coloradans, there is a guy in Durango doing just what Bob is saying and he does good work. Anyone in Durango know the guy's name and company name? He did some processing for me last year and my dad takes all of his stuff to the guy.
     
  17. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    Hi bob as a man who has done exactly what you have said I can say AMEN to that i own a niche lab in bondi Australia and its going great!!! if any gloom and doomers came here they would be made to eat their words.


    ~steve
    The Lighthouse Lab
     
  18. tjaded

    tjaded Subscriber

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    I'm not sure if the doom and gloom was directed at me or not, but I wasn't trying to be doom and gloom. I was just trying to point out some of the difficulties our lab is having right now. We built up the lab during the "good old days" and are doing our best to keep going with a smaller amount of film coming in. We currently have 4 mounting machines in use, but there are no parts suppliers out there for when they break. We bought up what we could as far as parts go in hopes that the demand will still be there, even in its smaller degree. As with every other business out there, cost of goods/supplies is always an issue. Everyone is raising the prices of everything...not just due to lower demand. Everyone is charging more...fuel surcharges tagged on to every order, etc. As of right now it is still possible to keep running at the same prices, but I wouldn't bemoan businesses that do raise their prices. I would much rather pay a little more to have a local lab than have that option disappear. What I guess I am trying to say is that having Calypso cut the number of runs and raise prices is a hell of a lot better than if they had to close their doors completely. While the news is not the best, it is a hell of a lot better than it could have been. It's the same thing many of us have said about various aspects of analog photography...use it or lose it. If we all keep supporting local labs (if you have one to support) we can get though this drought. I feel like I've been down this road before with records/vinyl. It got really hard there for a few years, but things are most definitely on the up swing. Two years ago vinyl sales increased 1000%, and last year they were up 5000%. This will happen with film, we just have to help it get there sooner rather than later!
     
  19. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    I agree tjaded, shoot it or loose it, respect to any lab that goes to any lengths to continue analog services.