Ilford Lab Direct branching out to USA/Canada
Very interesting. Based off of the order form it seems to me like The Darkroom might be doing the processing work.
Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time
I noticed their lab is in San Clemente, California, and the order form looks suspiciously like the one used by The Darkroom, which is also located in San Clemente. I wonder if The Darkroom is involved?
Originally Posted by Ektagraphic
"The Darkroom" is, by all appearances, simply an on-line marketing tool of Swan Photo Labs
Originally Posted by Ten301
which is located at 946-A Calle Amanecer, about two miles from my home. I've been a resident of San Clemente for 35 years and can confirm there is no other processing lab in this city. Swan has become the major D&P facility used by stores, camera and otherwise, up and down the US west coast, as many labs closed. With "The Darkroom," it probably captured even more business via mail-in work from around the US. This latest expansion into Ilford branding of its services will likely make Swan even more successful.
I'm struck by the coincidence of across-the-pond HARMAN, which has become my favorite (and almost exclusive) black and white materials supplier, entering into an agreement with a lab right here in my neighborhood. Small world indeed!
Yes, checking all three websites, Swan, The Darkroom and Ilford U.S., that certainly does seem to be the case. Ilford does seem to be somewhat more expensive for comparable services so, other than the fancy boxes and envelopes with "Ilford" printed on them when you get your film back, I wonder if there is any difference in quality? All three use Ilford paper for B&W prints.
Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Swan Labs uses Clayton F76+ film developer.
"Make good art!"
- Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
The WHOIS data for The Darkroom confirms this, as the registrant is one Keith Swan.
I find it funny that The Darkroom tries to present themselves as small and independent, when they're actually owned by one of the largest labs in the US.
"Panic not my child, the Great Yellow Father has your hand"--Larry Dressler
Still, I do see this as a positive step. Any investment in traditional photography is welcome, and Ilford/Harman has done a lot in that regard. Swan being behind all three doesn't bother me, as long as they continue to keep quality up to their current levels (both the Swan and The Darkroom brands). It would kind of suck if the Ilford processing was the same as the others, just with prettier packaging, for a higher price. However, if anything with the Ilford processing is different, then the slightly higher price is justified. Would the average consumer see the difference in film processed in Ilford chemistry as opposed to Clayton? Maybe. Maybe not. But at least it is different, so it would not be an attempt to be deceptive on the part of Swan/The Darkroom/Ilford.
Last edited by Ten301; 08-27-2013 at 03:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Per the Ilford website: "Our film processors are strictly controlled and the black and white machines use ILFORD chemistry."
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
Perhaps they will do a separate run with Ilford chemistry (unlikely) or switch to Ilford (more likely).
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer
Switching to Ilford chemistry is probably part of the deal. F76+ is a capable developer as it is though.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.