Bad day in Milwaukee
The last commercial lab in Milwaukee (1.5 million population, metro) who did E6 and C41 sheet film has stopped due to the demise of their film processor..Evan Clarke
I have never had the luxury of a local lab for processing any kind of sheet film., thus I have always processed it all myself for the 30 years I have been conducting business in my community as a commercial photographer. Closest sheet-film lab (in the good old days) was 120 miles away. I, therefore have a different perspective on this "lab closing" thing. Since I never used an external lab it hasn't impacted me. I shot and processed 300 sheets of 4x5 Ektachrome in the last 3 weeks for one of my jobs. In addition to that in the last month I have shot and processed about 100 sheets 4x5 and 100 sheets 5x7 b/w film for a personal ongoing project. I was processing 35mm, roll and sheet film in my home bathroom while I was a sophomore in high school.
In my opinion, ALL analog photographers should know how to process the film they shoot. It makes you a better photographer.
Now, while I am on this rant...
Some of you who do photography for a living will say..but I am not making any money if I am processing, rather than shooting. Well, you CAN make money processing your own work if you charge a profit on your film and processing, and scanning. Profit does not just come from shooting.
Film capture, these days, needs to be thought of as the "premium" service, providing more resolution, more archival qualities, more exclusivitiy than the average digital work. Treat it as a premium service.
Last edited by PHOTOTONE; 11-14-2007 at 12:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: more info
Sad indeed. There were probably no parts available to fix the beast, therefore...
A local lab is great. Mine was just across town and did all sizes of C-41 (I never cared for E-6, but there is a niche), retouching/spotting and wallets looked the same as a 20x24. Beautiful work, but they closed in '03; sign of the times, I'm afraid.
Oh, I do develop my own but only photograph in B&W. I should have included the fact that 5 years ago we had at least 10 places who processed sheet film. Don't hold your breath for E6s long life...EC
Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE
With two manufacturers still making several emulsions of E-6 compatible films, (Kodak and Fuji) I don't see any immediate danger of availability. On the other hand, if you are referring to the longevity of the processed transparencies, then modern E-6 films have excellent longevity if processed and archived properly. After all, transparencies for reproduction are normally dark stored in archival sleeves unless being scanned. I have 4x5 and 8x10 color transparencies from my professional start in 1976 that are just as good as new. If you process yourself, you can guarantee that the film is processed to factory standards.
Originally Posted by eclarke
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I've gotten into developing my own b&w, but for C-41 and E-6 I'm a little concerned about handling anything containing formaldehyde (and no, I don't smoke either )...
Add to that the C-41 and E-6 kits seem to be hard to come by in Canada for some reason (and restrictions on shipping liquid chems cross-border make importing them difficult, as well). And, as I understand it both processes are more particular about specific temperatures.
So, I'm OK with paying $3-6 for "develop only" service for now, although some day it might be interesting to play with.
No formaldehyde in E-6 chems.
Honestly, people have such "out of date" information. There hasn't been any formaldehyde in Kodak E-6 chemistry in oh...five years or more, possibly longer. They now use a "proprietary" stabilizer in the final rinse. No formaldehyde, nada, zip. You can tell, as the smell is gone.
Originally Posted by mabman
Also, C-41 chemistry, from Kodak for the last decade has used a very low formaldehyde stabilizer.
I have been developing Kodak color materials professionally since 1970, and personally since 1965. I smoke. I have not suffered any ill effects from working with the chemistry.
Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE
Crap! I was hoping the formaldehyde would make me last longer!
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
It's sad to see another go away. We're clearly going to see less and less as time goes by. Here in Madison, WI we still have Burne Photo imaging, which always does an excellent job with e6 and c41 for me. I know they've been getting more and more work from around the state as other labs close