High demand for film processing

Discussion in 'Australia' started by tomalophicon, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    I was in Big W to get some colour film processed. It was a Saturday.
    They usually are able to get my film within an hour, but on that particular day the attendant said they were over come with orders to process film and couldn't get it finished until late on Sunday.
    I could see a very large amount of prints getting ejected and the machine working like crazy.

    I think it's a good sign :cool:

    They still stock a massive amount of fuji and kodak 'basic' negative film.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It may be that they are the only store actually processing film in the area. It's reached a point now here where I live in Turkey that many of the smaller labs don't process C41 films at all, all input is via digital media.

    The same had happened where I come from in the UK, only only maybe two of the processors handles films now, as a consequence they are very much busier. Three supermarkets offered a 1 hour film service, that's all stopped in the last year, no processing counters or minilab on display, justdigital kiosks.

    The good sign is it makes the smaller number of stores still doing C41 more viable.

    Ian
     
  3. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Nope there are still plenty of stores doing c41 processing here. For a small town we even have a couple that will do slide film and one will do black and white.
     
  4. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    This is unusual, but the story is encouraging. I dropped into a local camera store last weekend (at least the most local camera store around, about 2 hours north from me) and the owner said he had sold more film and chemicals in the past six months than in the past two years.

    Perhaps we've hit the bottom for now, and we can reach a reasonable equilibrium of stable sales.
     
  5. tac

    tac Member

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    WallyWorld sells film here (I bought some today) but doesn't process it (eh?) And I bought Tri-X for my sons to use, from the local shop, the shop guys I have known for about 40 years. No B/W process there, E-6 once a week (!) and C-41. Gotta support the local shops!
    I asked if they had any HC110 or TMax- no go, just powders. OK, I've used D76 longer than I can recall, so I guess I will continue
     
  6. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    The WallyWorlds here sell C-41 film, but not B&W (they do have the C-41 B&W).

    The CVS stores invariably have Kodak Tri-X 135-24 that's overpriced. But I buy one a month just to keep the inventory tickled in the big computer in the sky. I figure if 500 people a month buy one roll of film in a CVS store they'll keep it in inventory.

    Yea, I know I can buy three rolls of Arista Premium 135-36 for the price on one CVS roll of Tri-X 135-24. I realize that completely. But one roll of film per month won't break me (skip McD's one day), and we need to shoot film if we want them to keep making film. Kodak, Ilford, ADOX, and whoever else you want to name don't sell charm. They sell film.
     
  7. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    Tomalophicon where are you based, Im in Sydney Australia. It is so uplifting to hear my lab isn't the only lab down here busy processing film.
     
  8. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    I'm in Camden. Local camera store still processes C-41 in APS, 35mm and 120 as well as XP2. He has to send normal B&W out for processing - sends it to me, I do it at home then he does the printing, and he runs a credit/debit account with me so I can just go in and get stuff from him and he contra's it off my account. Neat!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2010
  9. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Stephen, I'm in Canberra. Yes, it's a good thing.
     
  10. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    That's pretty cool.
     
  11. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    In my town, I have three stores, all within 200 paces of each other, who do C41 processing. Two of them do rollfilm too.
     
  12. SteveR

    SteveR Member

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    That's great to hear! To be honest, I actually hadn't thought of heading to Big W for film processing, haven't gone to one of them in, well, a long time! What are they charging for dev + print these days?

    Steve, have been meaning to get in touch with you re developing too, would be interested to find out what you're charging too.
     
  13. foc

    foc Member

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    I did a quick check on my own shop/labs stats. For the first 6 months of 2010 our film processing, C41, was down 37% on the same period for 2009.

    From the 1st of July to today it is down 30%, so you could say it has had a 7% increase!!

    I was talking to our Fuji engineer a few weeks ago, he was down to service our machines, and he told me that a lot of the mini labs in Dublin and the like are only running their C41 processor 2 or 3 times a week. This I find odd, its like catch 22. If you dont offer the service on a daily basis then you wont get the through put. I think 2 or 3 times a weeks will put people off leaving in their films.

    We also do our own B&W processing by hand and that has kept constant, an average of 3 to 4 films a month over the last two years
     
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  15. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    SteveR, it's 6.99 for either 24 or 36 exposures with prints. I think you get a discount if you go over 3 rolls of film.
     
  16. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    That's a bit better (2-3 x a week) than the high street dig here in Geelong, that only fires up its E6 machinery on Friday mornings, making everybody wait. "Nobody uses that [E6] film any more", says he. Bollocks!! I gave up their caper ages ago and now get it done in Melbourne, and much cheaper to boot.
     
  17. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    yea its like $7 bucks for a 24exposure roll process and print. I don't want to crush my own business by saying this but I feel for what you pay them and the result you get, the service is value for money.

    That being said if a film gets slightly scratched or there is a dust mark on a print or if the colour is slightly out well thats the price to pay for a cheaper service. I did an experiment I took a few rolls of colour film to woolworths and a few other labs. All films had the same images shot on them so i could compare processing and printing. What came back did surprise me. I thought the results of the cheap woolworths service came back good and that any general punter would be more than happy. in some cases the woolworths prints were better than some more local privately owned minilabs.
     
  18. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Stephen F, it's good for the price you pay.

    I use colour for snapshots though so I'm not discerning when it comes to print quaility.
     
  19. Andrea McLaughlin

    Andrea McLaughlin Advertiser

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    We're swamped with film processing too here in the San Francisco Bay Area where there are already lots of photographers shooting film or returning to film or shooting film and digital side by side. Our lab is seeing lots of both color and b&w 120 film from toy camera shooters and from landscape/nature photographers. I wonder if some of the cool iPhone apps like Hipstamatic make people long for a real film camera!
     
  20. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    I've talked to quite a few shooters out there and they're all having a film craze. I think digital is at a point where people are just sick of the usual crap with refreshes every 12-18 months for the same old bull and throwing money down the drain. Lots have figured out that they can use their old film cameras and actually do better work while having a great time again. I know I have my freezer stocked up and have been buying up a storm (and shooting more than ever). And, yes, Andrea is correct. Apps like Hipstamatic are actually making people long for film again. Hey, I bought a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye after playing with that :smile:
     
  21. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Recently I needed some pictures for insurance purposes and took the roll of print film to Wal-Mart for processing. They have gotten rid of all their machines in store and now can only offer a 7 day turn around. They were kind enough to point me to a local drug chain which still offers 60 min turn arnound. Sounds rather ominous to me!
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I like your signature. Was this obscure?

    Steve
     
  23. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Jerry,

    I don't know about ominous. Unfortunately, the quality output of all these places has been down the tubes for a while. I stopped taking any C41 to the various Costco, Wal-Mart, CVS, etc. All I get back is horribly scratched, poorly processed negs. The "lab technicians" at these places, (if you can even call them that), are inept and the machines likely poorly maintained. This means that there will probably be, once again, opportunities for smaller labs and entrepreneurs looking to fill in voids and offer quality work, albeit at a slightly higher price. It all works out in the end.

    Max
     
  24. SteveR

    SteveR Member

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    That's great, I think the last time I got a roll of 35mm C41 done it was about 16-18 with standard 6x4 prints (that came back in gloss, not matte like I requested)...
     
  25. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Yep it's bloody good and they give you matte if you ask :smile:
     
  26. Glenn Mathison

    Glenn Mathison Member

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    Highway robbery. My local BigW does great work for around $7/roll of 6x4's and around $14 for 5x7's. I wonder if you have a BigW or Kmart there that you could try?