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  1. #41

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    Wow... I've had an account there for years. Call before 2pm and I usually had stuff the next day here 100 miles south of the store (which I never visited)

    Pre-digital I spent $200-$600 a month with them, past few years $800 a year if that?

  2. #42
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Ken, what was the state of the film holder businesses? Were holders being made up until recently? I thought they were long out of production.
    No, not being manufactured recently as far as I know.

    I called Calumet last year when I was looking to buy a new set of 8x10s. Worked my way up through several customer support people over the course of about an hour. The final supervisor person told me that the film holder business had been purchased from a one-man operation. When that person retired, it was sold to Calumet. Sounded similar to Fred Picker.

    At that time they had already stopped all manufacturing for all three consolidated lines. Any of you who hang out on eBay might have noticed a jump in the asking prices for near-mint 8x10 holders. That's why. I now have 17 very good ones, having filled out my set from auctions before the prices rose too much.

    Some may also remember not too long ago that Calumet was advertising new Fidelity 4x5 holders right here on APUG for half-price. Last month I checked and their eBay outlet was still listing individual ones, as well as a huge lot of something like 1,600. (Perhaps a business opportunity for someone now??)

    I was also told that the most recent manufacturing occurred a while back when the price of used online 5x7 holders jumped. At one point they were auctioning for USD $100-$150 each. Calumet cranked up a production run and began offering new ones for around USD $60 each, as I recall. They were supplied in the old 13x18-cm packaging boxes with hand-lettered tape that said 5x7 covering it. That tamed the used market. I had already filled out my 5x7s as well from an APUG seller and now have 15 nice ones.

    Toyo does continue to manufacture 8x10s. Don't know about other formats. But their holders were already considered a little higher quality than Fidelity. And last time I looked that meant they were retailing for around USD $200 each. That hurts...

    Ken
    Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 03-13-2014 at 03:34 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Internet grammer...
    "When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."

    — Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932

  3. #43
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Ben

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by vpwphoto View Post
    Wow... I've had an account there for years. Call before 2pm and I usually had stuff the next day here 100 miles south of the store (which I never visited)

    Pre-digital I spent $200-$600 a month with them, past few years $800 a year if that?
    I wonder how tough it was for a lot of these stores when digital started coming on strong. For the longest time people (especially pros like you) had so many recurring costs in materials that had to be purchased to make photographs. Then today most of those recurring costs have disappeared with the exception of inkjet paper and ink (if prints are made at all), maybe presentation materials - I mean beyond the camera and lighting gadgets that both film and digital have in common.

    Must have been tough to just watch that whole stream of revenue vanish, even though they probably liked the initial commercial boom when everybody switched to digital.

    Like Eric Rose I hope the employees come out of this OK.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #45
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    As for me, I made purchases once in a while for years. What made them less attractive is when they opened some stores in California which required their mail order stores to charge sales taxes and shipping. I didn't want to pay for both. If I wanted to save shipping, I'd pay the sales tax at a local store.
    “We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.
    We are monkeys with money and guns.”

    ― Tom Waits

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Wow.
    “You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  7. #47

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    They used to make/market the "Turbo Filter" and "Hosemaster" that were real-world/real time photoshop filters.
    TB... tough for me to I used to mark up film and processing... I miss that revenue.

    I was talking to them a couple months back about about an upgrade to my Leaf Aptus... good plain talking no BS operation.

  8. #48
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Calumet are one of the supporting partners for APUG. I hope this doesn't cause severe problems here as well.
    Maybe someone should ask if Kodak Alaris would be interested?

    (I'm only half-kidding. If they are serious about selling film, it might not be such a bad idea. They could have a presence here, but without all of the emotion that goes with posting.)



    Ken
    "When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."

    — Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by miha View Post
    Toyo makes holders too.
    That's something. One manufacturer isn't exactly good, but it's better than it would be if it were worse than it is.

    And I see in other posts that the "new" Calumet-made holders were actually NOS, so this isn't as big a change as it sounds like. Still, you gotta think the market is ready for some 3D-printed film holders, don't you?

    This situation sucks. I'm rather blindsided by it as I thought Calumet had a stable business in medium-agnostic things like lighting and filters, but it sounds like they had management problems that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  10. #50

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    It's not surprising to me. The Calumet in San Francisco was a shadow of whatever its former self may have been. Poor selection and TERRIBLE customer service. It had been that way for years. Interestingly, a locally-owned camera store (Looking Glass Photo, in Berkeley) recently expanded and is doing better than ever. They realized that the only thing they can offer that can't be bought more cheaply online is customer service, so they re-organized their business around that concept.

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