Where to get the chemistry in Canada

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Skygeezer, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Skygeezer

    Skygeezer Member

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    We have moved back to our country house for retirement after suffering a few years in the city. I am debating setting up my darkroom again. I had a depressing talk with our local supplier for film and chemistry. He doubts that they will be carrying any film or chemistry a year from now. Is there another source for colour film and paper developer in North America? I am in Canada, so as local as possible would be best.

    DonM
     
  2. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Where are you located? Henry's is pretty good in Canada either in store shopping or mail order and I've also had good luck shipping stuff from Adorama and B&H in the states. B&H has Purolator Ground shipping for Canada now which can even prepay the HST for you and being ground it means they can ship some chemicals which are restricted for air shipping.

    Edit: Henry's doesn't seem to have any color chems in stock though I buy B&W stuff from them. I have to order color stuff from the states. There was a thread about a place is Mississauga where you can pick up color chems but I haven't tried it yet.
     
  3. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    It might help if we knew where "local" is. You can add your location to your profile.
     
  4. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    For any post of this nature, especially in the Product Availability forum, it is really, really helpful to indicate where you are.

    I've sent a request to the fine, generous people :wink: who act as APUG moderators to have "(Canada)" added to the thread title, because I've been trying to keep track of this sort of info for my purposes.
     
  6. Skygeezer

    Skygeezer Member

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    Sorry, local is Manitoba. I added this to my profile. I was using Don's Photo but their price climbed out of sight and they just didn't want to bring in darkroom supplies anymore. I am reluctant to try the US since UPS and Purloator add huge "brokerage fees" to the shipping cost, which I think is a major ripoff. USPS does not add extra fees, but it is a problem shipping chemistry by mail. I will try some of the links that have been posted.
     
  7. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Henrys does have two locations in Winnipeg. They don't stock color chems but they list some for special order on the website.

    UPS has brokerage fees which can be a problem if you choose the wrong shipping method. Generally there are international shipping methods which include the brokerage up front which is cheaper.

    Some chemistry, dry powder can generally be sent fine by mail. Liquids can leak so they are wary of them.
     
  8. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Talk to The Banana (I have not seen post from John for a while though) or Colin Corneau. They are both in Brandon area, and they will tell you where they get thier supplies.
     
  9. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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  10. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    I used to work at Don's and it is mainly a volume issue; not enough people order which means they need to jack up the price to make it worth their while to bring in. Almost everything is special order since they don't keep chemistry or paper in stock except for some Pearl RC paper and D-76 developer; there was one month when I still had my staff discount, I personally accounted for almost 50% of the month's analogue gear for the whole chain (I stocked up on 120 film, some paper, printing filters and chemistry right before I left but was still under $500).

    These days, I order a bunch from http://www.darkroomcentral.ca who I have had great customer experience or I get my family to go to Beau Photo in Vancouver and send it to me. Darkroom Central is actually Photo Central which is based in Winnipeg as well.
     
  11. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Am I missing it? I don't see any color chems either of those stores for film or paper.
     
  12. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    Colour chemicals when I was at Don's was non-existent - as in, besides the material we used in our store, we had a single customer who ran a C-41 machine in his garage and came in 2-3 times a year for supplies (he was a former lab tech who was given the Fuji machine when his lab shut down); most of the time we just sold him some of our material, since he had a similar machine to us and we were the only supplier for Southern Saskatchewan. Other than him, we didn't have a single person ask for colour chemistry in the 17 months I worked there, including the SIAST/university students of the now defunct photography program. I remember joking with one of our buyers about an E-6 kit which I found sitting in the sun; it had been passed around the warehouses for 2-3 years trying to sell but nobody wanted it (of course, it sitting in the sun had nothing to do with that).

    Don's can get you any chemistry you want but you would need to order it by name (supply number is even better) and assume it will take a while to reach you; Don's gets daily deliveries from Canon/Nikon, weekly from Pentax, monthly from Ilford and quarterly from Kodak. If the warehouse in Winnipeg has some sitting there, you will get it quickly but if it is unique, it is not uncommon to wait 2-3 months for delivery.
     
  13. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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  15. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Kodak RA4 chemistry is in stock at Photo Central in Winnipeg. Also under the Paper-Colour button on the darkroomcentral.ca website
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2011
  16. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    When I lived in Manitoba (not Winnipeg -- about 2 hours north) I did my shopping at Photo Central in Winnipeg -- the guys there are great. They have a decent (though far from exhaustive) selection of darkroom chemicals and paper. However, if there is something you are interested in ordering, they're very good about it.

    However, no matter where I've lived in the world (several towns and cities in Canada, France, Japan) I usually do most of my shopping online from Freestyle Photographic. And with the Canadian dollar almost at par with the US dollar, it's a pretty good deal -- even with shipping and customs included. There are just some things in Canada that are hard to find, or extremely expensive, even in big cities like Vancouver and Toronto.
     
  17. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    Another satisfied customer of Darkroom Central.

    I also order from Freestyle (if they don't have it no one does) but there are two issues: one is their expensive shipping and handling charges, and the other is the inordinate amount of time it takes to clear customs in Canada. That may be less if you use a courier instead of the US Postal Service, but I'm not willing to take a chance on being charged an exhorbitant amount to have some paper walked through customs.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2011
  18. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Crazy website, RA4 chems under the color paper section but no color paper!

    I still don't see any C41 development kits either, just E6 and B&W.
     
  19. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Ground shipping from Cali takes forever unfortunately and most of the color stuff is ground ship only other than the powder C41 kit.

    B&H ships Purolator Ground out of New York which is much faster! I ordered Sunday, it was put together in the warehouse on Monday, went the truck Tuesday and is in Guelph today (Wednesday). You prepay the HST and duty so it flies through customs; I don't know why UPS doesn't have this option but its more than twice as expensive and not much faster anyways. You need an account with B&H for this option however.
     
  20. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    I don't keep Kodak colour chemistry in stock, but just checked the distributor website. They seem to have everything listed, which means I can order it.

    Send me an email if you like with a list of items and I'll get the pricing for you. skeoch@sympatico.ca

    -Rob from Bigcameraworkshops.com
     
  21. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Thanks Rob! Do you have lists of what is on offer? I'm interested in C41 and RA4 kits but if I ask you for stuff listed at Freestyle it might not match up. Email sent.
     
  22. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    As far as I have heard, Fuji Canada don't stock cut sheet RA4 paper and Kodak have discontinued all of theirs. :sad: Photo/Darkroom Central always had Kodak colour paper in the fridge until there was no more available from their suppliers. The students at the local university weren't happy about it either. :sad: :sad:
     
  23. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Just rolls of Fuji Crystal Archive eh? Guess that will have to be ordered up as well then, assuming we can get some RA-4 chems from Rob or Henrys or Unisource since it appears that officially at least you can't get RA-4 chems shipped up from Freestyle or B&H, not all of it anyways though people keep telling me you can the websites seem to say otherwise.
     
  24. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    One thing to watch for, Kodak and their distributors only ship the 10 liter kits as 4 sets per carton. Adorama, Photo Central, etc, break up the four pack sets and sell you a single 10 liter kit. Yep, truck freight $$$$ only for hazmat materials shipped from the US to Canada.
     
  25. mabman

    mabman Member

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    I'm another happy customer of Darkroom/Photo Central. Last time I looked at their film fridge (a few weeks ago) they still had some Kodak colour paper of some kind (I only glanced at it as I don't use it) in the bottom of the fridge - might be worth calling them if interested. Don's and Henry's in Wpg are OK if you know exactly what you want and it's fairly common - they stock some Ilford, Kodak and a bit of Fuji film as well, and to their credit Henry's (at least on Regent) does have some Ilford paper and various chems on some shelves, but the retail staff there doesn't have much knowledge about it.

    Interesting note: it appears Henry's has some sort of a relationship with Freestyle - they stock (or can get) Arista Premium 400 in 35mm (Freestyle's rebranded Kodak Tri-X). Prior to that, when they first came to Winnipeg a couple of years ago, they had some Arista II on the shelf.

    I think I posted this in another thread, but if you want a 1 L liquid C-41 kit (as opposed to the larger quantities Kodak now sells them in), Photographer's Formularly repackages them into 1 L kits and will ship to Canada by ground. Not cheap, though - quoting myself: "The kit is US$28.95 plus US$35.75 for shipping (via USPS). Assuming 16 rolls x 36 exp (same listed capacity as the Unicolor kits), that's $4.04/36 exp. roll - not fantastic vs. dev-only prices locally."

    I asked Andrew at Photo Central to see if his Canadian Rollei film distributor could get the 1 L Rollei-branded Fuji-Hunt C-41 kits, but apparently they can't.

    Photo Central did have a few E6 kits in stock the last time I was in - not sure if they can get them regularly now or not.

    Also, if you're within driving distance of Winnipeg, you might want to send neelin a message - he's involved with a local art charity, who were recently donated some Konica (liquid/tablet) minilab C-41 chemistry. He's figured out how to make it usable in a small tank environment - I've devved a couple of rolls with it and it seems to work just fine so far. He *might* have a source for more of it for home use, but you'd have to ask him.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2011
  26. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    The Tetenal kits are light because they're powder, no shipping of heavy liquids. B&H to me for example 3 1L kits are $20 each plus $8 Purolator Ground shipping which is $68 plus $14 duty and HST (prepaid so you don't need to pay at the door and it flies through customs) for a total of $82. Assuming you get 16 rolls out of each 1L kit that would be 48 rolls for $82 which is $1.70/roll which is pretty good

    Even with the California cancer and birth defects warnings it goes through customs quick.