Why do Ilford Harman take so long with 120 film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ted_smith, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    With the "dev the fim yourself" comments aside, can I ask what the score is with Ilford Harman Tech?

    Let me say this - I have started to use Ilford Harman here in the UK for my B&W film developing, scanning and printing for about the last 8 months or so because I find their results to be outstanding and consistant. And their staff are always really helpful.

    However, I sent 3 rolls of 120 to them 11 days ago for the first time (only found out they did 120 the other week so have only usedfor 35mm to date). I spoke to them a week ago yesterday (because they rang me to ask about the films I'd sent) and then again last Wednesday to enquire about progress when I was told "Ah yes. If they are roll films they'll pribably be done on Thursday or Friday". Today is Saturday and the postman has been and I still have no prints :-(

    I don't mind really if it takes them a long time for a good reason, but compared to my other lab that I use for colour work, who turn round films of both type usually in less than 4 days (i.e. films posted on Monday, I get the prints back Wed or Thur at the latest), this seems an irritatingly long time. Does anone know why their 120 take so long (when I send them 35mm, they usually get that done in a few days)? Nearly two weeks for 3 rolls is pushing it a bit for my tollernace level.

    Ted
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2013
  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    I will hazard a guess that they do 120 runs less frequently as a matter of efficiency. I'm sure Simon will pop by soon and we will know what's up for sure.
     
  3. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    It's also been New Year. Perhaps they are short staffed or aren't starting any production runs till the week beginning the 7th? A lot of workplaces aren't/weren't running fully the week of New Year.
     
  4. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    desertrat....and odd reply but thanks for doing so regardless.

    "thank the Lord and the Queen that Harman is still interested in developing your orphan film" - Ilford Pan F+ cannot be called orphaned I don't think. And given that Ilford's entire business is the creation of film and development\printing of it, if they weren't interested in dev'ing photographers exposed films, they'd be in a spot of trading bother.

    But yeah...I appreciate the w\c 7th Jan issue but I just thought 11\12 days (it will be two weeks come Monday) was a touch excessive for three rolls of film. I appreciate the "no point dev'ing until we have a big batch" but that doesn't help me especially. Call me selfish, but I want the fruits of my labour ASAP and don't want to wait for two dozen other photographers to get round to posting their endeavors until processing mine.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If I have understood you correctly Ted, Ilford said Thursday or Friday and today is Saturday which is a day later but post on Saturday tends to be limited to half a working day and as others have said we have just passed out of the Xmas period.

    However key to this is whether Ilford ordinarily can match you other lab which you are pleased with. If not then your decision is clear, if speed is king.

    Of course Ilford uses genuine B&W paper. Does your other lab do the same? Many otherwise good labs use RA4 as they are geared up to colour prints.

    Only you can decide to whom to give your business

    pentaxuser
     
  6. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    Ilford is by far my preference for B&W prints. My other lab are pretty good 70% with B&W but I get a fair rate of poorer work so I switched to Ilford for all B&W about 8 months ago. Ilford are spot on every time in my experience with 35mm but never used for 120 before and I am eager to see the results of my playing with Ilford PanF+ at medium format which I have not shot before. It's just they are usually much quicker so I wanted to check this was normal for 120.
     
  7. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I'm perfectly happy to wait two-or-three weeks (or quite a lot longer) if that's what's needed to get Ilford quality, at their reasonable price.

    My last E6 films sent with Jessops pre-paid mailers (to Cewe, in Coventry...looks as though they send them to their lab in Germany) took over three weeks, but were excellent quality processing. Presumably that service will finish with Jessops......guess we have to be thankful that we can still get E6 elsewhere (but more expensive...and for now......).
     
  8. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    there is but one lab (that I know of) here in California who dev and print B&W. They take about two to three weeks for 35mm or 120...doesn't matter. I feel lucky to have them. I would be thrilled to have Ilford service available here.
     
  9. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    Usually only takes me about 30 minutes to get my 120 rolls back from the lab, which is conveniently located in my kitchen sink.
     
  10. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Amen. :laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  11. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Agreed....but at least a top-quaiity reasonably-priced service, like Ilford's, will show what can be done, and maybe encourage users to try darkroom work for themselves. And, OTOH, not everyone has the time, inclination or space to set up a darkroom.
     
  12. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    No darkroom really needed
    If you are satisfied with prints from scans all you need is a tank, a reel, a changing bag, and a clean place to hang the negs to dry.
    Then send the negs to the scanner/printer. Should be cheaper and faster.
     
  13. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Quite right too. I'm sure a lot of folks here just develop and scan. Film processing is really quite easy, takes no space and is very economical (no, I don't work for Patterson!) Nothing beats the thrill of pulling out that freshly developed film from the tank. I don't want to come over all preachey about developing your own negs, but everyone should try it, there will be no going back!
     
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  15. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    The old expression in the Ad world is you can have it good, fast, or cheap. Pick two!

    I think it is great that Ilford offers this.
     
  16. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    At IlfordLab it's actually cheaper to send a roll and have it developed and printed.
     
  17. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Have you asked them?

    You'd might get a more satisfactory answer than guesswork in a thread from those of us who don't work for them
     
  18. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    There is only a SINGLE film developing lab in all of California? That can't be possible!
     
  19. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Please try to read a little more carefully.

    There are still a number of decent labs that do color but there is only one that I know of that does real B&W developing and printing.


    (hint: I do not claim to be omniscient).
     
  20. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    And who is it? Just curious I do my own developing...
     
  21. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    There are more than one... if Los Angeles is to be considered a part of CA. :laugh:

    Real B&W (silver) PRINTING may be a different story, though.

    But this really doesn'thelp out the OP with the "Harmon problem".
     
  22. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I develop and print my own medium and large format but send the tiny stuff out...just too many little negs for me to print. I used E&J in Dublin for years but they're closed. I've been sending 35mm and some 120 rolls to Swan Photo down in San Clemente (I think they go by several names). They do real B&W machine prints on RC paper at reasonable prices...perfect for tiny format snaps. The prepaid mailers from Freestyle go to Swan Photo.
     
  23. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Agreed. There are many places that do fine work but, I've only found one that will make real B&W machine prints. . There may, in fact, be many others...I kinda stopped looking when I found a lab that met my requirements. If you know of any, I'd be interested to her about them...never know when the current lab will follow the others.

    (and, yes, I am aware of several good printers who'll make custom enlargements but, they typically will not D&P a whole roll of snaps)

    True....but, he's got a pretty good problem to have :smile: Wouldn't it be fantastic to be able to send film to Harman for D&P? different topic for a different thread though...
     
  24. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    OK, OK, everyone getting all touchy and "why are you moaning you unappreciative so-and-so"....

    For clarity

    a) I stated "with the dev'ing your own film comments aside" meaning "Don't just suggest I do it myself". I have done it myself before, I have the tanks etc to do so but a) have screwed up one too many of my own films and I had never shot Pan F50 + before, so, given that the three rolls had what I hope to be good shots, I wanted Ilford to do them knowing they are very well placed to do it.

    b) I was comparing my experience of Ilford using 35mm, where they are super good and pretty fast (less than 5 days usually). I had no benchmark to set 120 to, so this is why I asked the question, to see if it was normal. By the sounds of it, it is, and I should rightly be very thankful they are around to do it for me, as others have said.

    c) The comment of "why don't you call them instead of asking here" - having called them twice already I didn't want to ring a third time and sound like a typical moaning customer, given the polite nature of their staff. I am sure there is a valid reason but I don't like to push these things verbally so thought I'd ask folks here.

    So I'm not slagging off Ilford and I'm not a total baboon either. I just found that this time round their timescales with 120 were much slower than in previous instances of 35mm, but there is clearly a good reason.

    Anyway, I think we've discussed the issue enough - hopefully they'll turn up in tomorrows post anyway.
     
  25. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Hi Ted,

    Firstly, thank you for using our Monochrome Process and Print service, and sorry that you have not received the level of service, offered by and expected from HARMAN technology Limited :

    I have spoken to the lab Manager and can hopefully shed some light on the 'delay'.

    The lab closed over the Christmas period ( as per our website info ) as the lab is based at the factory it shares the same holidays etc. Post Christmas is actually one of our busiest times to receive work so we have high demand at present, whilst we have additional trained people we can bring in to help on these occasions we have a 'finite' output capacity which we have been working at for the last 8 working days. We should be 'back to normal' by the end of this week.

    Does 120 take longer ? yes it can do, 35mm printing has a level of automation, 120 is done frame by frame by an operator, and we do tend to 'batch' 120. Normally ( even batching ) it clears within four days of arriving but in this instance it has been a little longer.

    Our lab manager says that if you have an especially important deadline or that it is really urgent ( at any time ) just give them a ring and they will do their level best to get it to you 'ahead of date'.

    So, apologies for this delay, you hopefully should not experience it again.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  26. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    You folks are very lucky to have a company like Ilford. Over here all we have is Kodak who could care less about the film buying public.