Dwayne's K64 Processing Issue

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Steve Roberts, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Near Tavisto
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi All,

    I just received back a roll of K64 (35mm) that has been sent on the trek from England to Lausanne to "Dwayne's" and home again. Earlier rolls took three weeks, which was too long for my liking, but presumably things have been streamlined and I can just about live with the current two weeks turn around. However, yesterday's returned slides had a ridiculous amount of surface dust and crud, some of which could be brushed off and some of which was stuck firmly to the slide. There were also drying marks that shouldn't have been there.

    It would be unfortunate if the final nail in Kodachrome's coffin was one caused by poor processing standards, for however good a film stock is, it might as well be Orwochrome if the processing isn't up to scratch (fortunately none of those!) At the moment my feeling is that once my current stock of K64 is gone I shall not be buying any more. My recent experiences with Fuji's film and service lead me to think that that's the way forward.

    Just venting my spleen, really.

    Best wishes,

    Steve
     
  2. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

    Messages:
    475
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Location:
    Woking, Surr
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The last batch I received back, about a month ago, were the first Kodachromes I've ever seen with drying marks. Admittedly, it was three slides out of four films, but it spoiled a perfect record.

    I'm not keen on cardboard mounts either, which I'm sure are the source of the dust which needed to be carefully brushed off of every slide :-(

    Not so keen on the Fuji transparency films that I've tried, but after running out of K64 in Florence and buying the closest available equivalent - Elite Chrome 100 - have been pleasantly surprised by the results. It also scans a hell of a lot better on my not too great scanner. Not to mention perfect processing by return of post courtesy of Peak Imaging.

    Much as I hate to admit it, I'm also considering abandoning Kodachrome :-(

    Ian
     
  3. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,124
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Aye, processing aside, I'm thinking Kodachrome isn't in my future either. I just hate how hard it is to scan it properly even with a good-ish Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED scanner and Vuescan software.

    But it projects nice. :smile:
     
  4. Moopheus

    Moopheus Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    My last batch came back unmounted in a sleeve (I asked) and there was still some dust--from the sleeve, I think. Though there didn't seem to be anything that couldn't be easily brushed off, nothing like what Steve describes.

    I suppose you could always complain to them--they won't be motivated to do anything about it if they never hear from anyone.
     
  5. paullgj

    paullgj Member

    Messages:
    30
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Location:
    Brownsville,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Two years ago my last rolls of KR25 were sent to Dwayne's via Wal-Mart. I had written no-mounts, but they came back in those cardboard frames that I hate. The slides had lots of specks, cardboard dust, and glue spots.
    It took me hrs. to remove the dust - both physically and in Photoshop after scanning. That was the last time I used Kodachrome.

    Since then my preferred films are Astia 100F (cut and sleeved) from the Slideprinter (now Denver Digital Imaging) and Kodak 400UC negative film (scans real well).
     
  6. paullgj

    paullgj Member

    Messages:
    30
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Location:
    Brownsville,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Two years ago my last rolls of KR25 were sent to Dwayne's via Wal-Mart. I had written no-mounts, but they came back in those cardboard frames that I hate. The slides had lots of specks, cardboard dust, and glue spots.
    It took me hrs. to remove the dust - both physically and in Photoshop after scanning. That was the last time I used Kodachrome.

    Since then my preferred films are Astia 100F (cut and sleeved) from the Slideprinter (now Denver Digital Imaging) and Kodak 400UC negative film (scans real well).
     
  7. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

    Messages:
    2,243
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Aurora, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's sad as Dwayne is about the only place in the world to process Kodachome.
     
  8. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

    Messages:
    4,090
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    NYC or Copak
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's also sad since Dwayne's is where all Fujichrome prepaid mailers in the US are now forwarded too!

    I really hope the OP's experience was a one-off problem.
     
  9. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

    Messages:
    2,004
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Enroute
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well folks, they do care about feedback, so you need to write in attention Grant Steinle, Dwayne Steinle's son, the current manager / owner and tell him what you found:

    http://dwaynesphoto.com/newsite2006/customer-service.html

    I had lunch with him as I passed through Parsons, KS last month and he was an upstanding guy, wrote in a notebook when I spoke of quality control and the future of the last days of Kodachrome.

    Once it is gone, it is history. Now whether you want to be a part of that history or not is up to you, but there is a time limit as to how long we can get this film souped. I don't think Dwayne's plans on shutting down as soon as Kodachrome is gone so customer service / quality control is important to them.

    I am going to forward the thread to his personal attention....
     
  10. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

    Messages:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    Adelaide, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I got a stack of Kodachrome back from them a few months ago and there weren't any problems. But this sorta thing makes me a bit wary to send my E6 film there to save a few bucks on what it costs locally.
     
  11. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

    Messages:
    4,090
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    NYC or Copak
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Since you say you have the man's ear (so to speak) let me be bluntly honest with you.

    I used to be a "Paul Simonesque" Kodachrome freak. But I've long ago given up that "dope" and can live with out K64. :wink:

    What really concerns me is that Dwayne's is now the "forward on" processor for Fujichrome 35mm mailers - of which I have bunch remaining. If their QC is going down the toilet then I am screwed on pre-purchased processing!

    Please ask Mr. Steinle (Dad and/or Son) this question: Their Fujichrome pre-paid mailer processing contract started a year ago (July 2006). Is this additional workload what's causing the breakdown in Kodachrome QC?

    And as a follow-up:

    What is the termination date of their contract to process Fujichrome mailers?

    It would be really helpful if we had a hell of a lot more transparency about the remaining availability of "mainstream" film processing!
     
  12. dmr

    dmr Member

    Messages:
    494
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    That is good to hear. The first few messages in this thread kind of gave me a sinking feeling. I haven't had any trouble yet, but I haven't sent of any Kodachrome for a couple months now. I do have 3 rolls left, so I will be sending them more in the near future.
     
  13. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,238
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For what it's worth: I'll add another positive experience, just as a counterbalance.

    Received mounted slides last month from Dwayne's (via the Kodak Lausanne route); all perfect. Shooting the next roll right now, so more news in a few weeks. Accidents can and will happen, but in general: I have full trust in Dwayne's.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,227
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't use Kodachrome any more (haven't for at least 20 years) and never used Fujichrome or Dwaynes, so I have no vested interest. But I am getting the impression that this thread ought to be moved to the "APUG KILLS FILM" forum.

    p.s. I understand the last Dodo bird really died when the zookeeper hit him/her with a stick trying to get him/her to fly. :wink:
     
  16. PatTrent

    PatTrent Member

    Messages:
    408
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Brentwood, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've sent them 4-5 rolls recently (I don't shoot much color) and everything came back clean.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,467
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My film has alway come back clean - B&W and color.

    Steve
     
  18. Iskra 2

    Iskra 2 Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Location:
    Gitchee Gumm
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No problems with my K200 and K64 stuff. Dust on cardboard mounts, always has been some. Ask for plastic mounts next time. These guys are good, they pay attention to details. Ask them for some special handling, they can do it. If you haven't used K for many years try some again. Be careful, it takes careful metering to get good K slides and many complaints are due to poor metering technique. :D Regards.
     
  19. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Near Tavisto
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Sorry, but I (OP) and indeed those who say all is well for them can only tell it like it is. I would be delighted to hear that the thread had been brought to the attention of Dwayne's and the appropriate corrective action taken, but I'm not going to throw money and effort at something that's not up to par for purely sentimental reasons.

    Steve
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i haven't used any kodachrome in a long time,
    but i just got some 120 flm processed+printed via
    dwaynes via sam's club (fuji labs)
    and they did a great job. no issues ..
    they have processed a lot of my film over the last few years,
    and i have never had a problem ...

    sorry to hear of the troubles you have had :sad:

    -john
     
  21. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,227
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No apologies needed, Steve. But if you want to bring a QC issue to Dwayne's attention, a letter or phone call might be a more direct method.
     
  22. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Near Tavisto
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Certainly Brian, if I had had the same problems with Kodak in the good old days of processing in the UK at Box 14, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP2 7EH (later 7EY!) I would have written, but having a problem with a firm 6,000 miles away is a different matter. I hoped to gauge from replies to my post whether the problems I experienced were unusual or not and in the event it looks as if the whole spectrum of impressions of Dwayne's service - good and bad - will be brought to the firm's attention rather than just the disgruntlement of a single Brit.

    Best wishes,

    Steve
     
  23. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Location:
    Near Tavisto
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Dear PKM-25,

    Just wondered whether you did in fact forward the thread to Grant Steinle?
    If so, what was his reaction?

    I ask because last night I projected another batch of K64 that I've received since my original posting and they suffer from all the same problems as well as "tramline" scratches. (Those could conceivably be due to light-trap contamination and nothing to do with the processing. Other manufacturers' films shot in the same camera and processed elsewhere show no problems.)

    I spent a while last night brushing ridiculous amounts of dust from the slides to make them presentable, but frankly the state in which they were returned to me was disgraceful. Had I been discussing this in the pub and not on a public forum, I would have been hard-pressed not to have inserted an expletive in between "was" and "disgraceful".

    If Mr Steinle hasn't seen the thread and/or hasn't replied, then I'll email his QC department as has been suggested (and perhaps Kodak's as well, though much good may it do me!)

    Meanwhile, I can see no point in shooting my remaining rolls of Kodachrome and unless things at Dwayne's improve, I see my slide-taking future in a green box, not in a yellow one.

    Disgruntled of Devon
    (aka Steve)
     
  24. tzillman

    tzillman Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one to have this sort of problem. With the time it takes to have chromes processed these days, I thought I'd buy a batch of Provia and Fuji mailers and give that route a try. For the past twenty some years I've been able to get E-6 processing done overnight at reasonable prices locally. (I'm in the Chicago area). Lately it's been taking a week or more to have them processed and the processing cost keeps getting higher. Anyway, I sent 10 36 exposure rolls to Dwayne's in Fuji mailers and they all came back with not only a considerable amount of dust, but also with all kinds of specks that had hardened into the emulsion. I guess one can't expect a whole lot when one uses $5 mailers. Fortunately, there's a camera store/lab in the Chicago suburbs (PJ's in Glen Ellyn) that has recently started doing E-6 processing, so I guess my film will go there.
     
  25. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

    Messages:
    914
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ont
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This does not bode well for K64 if these QC issues persist. There isn't much of an option out there for K-14 development and I have a few rolls left to shoot.
     
  26. 3Dfan

    3Dfan Member

    Messages:
    218
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I think Duggal will process k-14. The site (http://www.duggal.com/01photo.htm) states, "Turnaround: In by 4 p.m., ready by noon next day. Rush service available." Such a fast turnaround implies that they don't farm it out to Dwaynes.