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  1. #1

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    Silvano's in Toronto has closed, having a clearance sale.

    http://www.silvanoimaging.com/ closed on 3 Feb 2012.


    See the spreadsheets there for paper, chemistry and equipment on clearance sale.
    Bob

  2. #2
    dxqcanada's Avatar
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    Yup, I have seen that Lambda printer ... and it is too big to fit in my condo.

  3. #3
    CGW
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    Talk about a dog's breakfast. Locals should keep an eye on their dumpsters! Their plant was large and one wonders how they shifted the rest of their processing/printing lines. Suspect they'd already moved out most of it since their business and quality had been in sharp decline for the last 5-6 years.

  4. #4
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I had a tour of this plant two weeks ago by Silvano and his crew, the Lambda and most of the equipment is first rate and if I did not have most of the gear I would have purchased something... 100,000 sq feet operation, basically the world has moved to digital and wedding photographers are not making prints.

    It is not a fire sale by any means and unless you have seen the whole setup , you would not know the genius of Silvano Sr.
    Most of the techs have moved on and the head management team are set to retire in style.

  5. #5
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    I had a tour of this plant two weeks ago by Silvano and his crew, the Lambda and most of the equipment is first rate and if I did not have most of the gear I would have purchased something... 100,000 sq feet operation, basically the world has moved to digital and wedding photographers are not making prints.

    It is not a fire sale by any means and unless you have seen the whole setup , you would not know the genius of Silvano Sr.
    Most of the techs have moved on and the head management team are set to retire in style.
    As a customer, I gave up on them once their processing quality tanked 3-4 years ago. My sense, again as a customer, was that the business had slowed to a weak trickle Their late flirtation with E6 processing--something they'd never done--was a minor disaster.

  6. #6
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Over the last few months I have seen your posts regarding the demise of certain films .. and your sense is correct I believe on the industry and the trends,

    my two cents is that

    Quality loss is a direct result of people not exposing film anymore. The best E6 lab, some would argue *Me* in North America was Colourgenics, followed by Steichanlab, both high quality E6 labs with the best of best Refrema equipment.
    Both labs stopped processing E6 film due to the lack of film required to keep their tight control in line. Today we have Toronto Image Works left as the sole provider of quality processing for E6 and C41. Once Ed decides that the volumes do not warrant the effort to keep the plots in line they too will stop.

    If I was to put on my future telling optics on I would suggest that within 5 years not only will the big custom labs decide keeping top process control is not worth the effort,for both C41 and E6, but an even more disturbing trend is that the mini lab operations are all converting to dry labs... Blacks in our area has already made the switch with all the others soon to follow suit. ** for those not in our area, Blacks is a monster chain of photo stores**
    I had the chance to visit Fuji in Mississauga and was completely blown away by the dry ink lab available that could produce 600 4x6 prints per hour and the quality was outstanding. 10 thousand dollars, which seems like a lot but when compared to a wet Fuji Frontier system or a Noritsu D labsystem is over $250K to get involved > A dry lab i is a piece of cake therefore to get involved with and every Mom and Paw operation will have one within two years.

    Its like the trend in printing, now with inkjet I have noticed there are now over 40 master printers in Toronto now, where years ago there may be three or four, Anyone able to buy a 40 inch printer for under 10 k can offer their prints to the public, you even can put the printer in the living room . And the names of their processes are even more confusing than their stated skills on the internet, and half our time at our front counter or when we talk with photo groups is explaining the differences in processes.

    What will be left , HOME BREW - plain and simple -PE will have to help all those wanting to prepare their E6 and C41 chemicals.

    I still expose a lot of C41 film and we batch process the film on our C41, I am hoping I am wrong about this but we are seeing a disturbing trend of dwindling fresh film, and once the marketing gurus in Kodak and Fuji decide that sales are consistently heading downwards they will cut the product sku's.
    We hope to be one of the last standing labs offering black and white processing, and will continue to process our own personal C41 as long as the chem's and film is available. But we are preparing for the future where mixing from scratch, alternative hand coated prints, and probably making the single largest purchase of Ilford Warmtone will be made by us within the next 3-10 years. At my age , there is a time coming where my clients and I will be forced to make the investment and cold storage 10 years of paper. After that I will be wearing Diapers and watching reruns of Dallas and the Price Is Right and won't give a shit about the industry that has been my friend and supplier of a place to rest my head and feed my family for over 40 years.

    In Silvano's case I believe they did not make the switch to a complete digital workflow soon enough and as you well know 100,000 square ft of space in Toronto is a monster to cover financially. It was a great wedding portrait lab for many years and its sad to see them go.



    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    As a customer, I gave up on them once their processing quality tanked 3-4 years ago. My sense, again as a customer, was that the business had slowed to a weak trickle Their late flirtation with E6 processing--something they'd never done--was a minor disaster.

  7. #7
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    One thing I have never quite understood is that all these pro labs need precise process control, run multiple test strips every so often and need lots of film running through to maintain their quality standards. On the other side you have plenty of home developers reusing E6/C41 kit chems many times over, set to 38°C with flimsy thermometers, chems poured into and out of hand inversion tanks with little reproducibility and still: mostly happy users with workable results.

    Are these home users with their imprecise dev procedures just imbeciles who don't know what good development results should really look like? Are all these pro labs old dinosaurs pursuing a pointlessly optimized procedure with excessive effort? Why is it that I can get E6 kits easier than E6 processing in my home town?
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  8. #8
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    A pro lab that is running over 10k a day in film processing requires precise replenishment and process control,
    Keeping grey balances is quite a step above hand process at home.

    Nothing wrong with doing home process that way, but impossible to make a living with demanding clients who want consistancey and run to run accuracy with their pushes and pulls.

    Most of the good E6 labs are going or gone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
    One thing I have never quite understood is that all these pro labs need precise process control, run multiple test strips every so often and need lots of film running through to maintain their quality standards. On the other side you have plenty of home developers reusing E6/C41 kit chems many times over, set to 38°C with flimsy thermometers, chems poured into and out of hand inversion tanks with little reproducibility and still: mostly happy users with workable results.

    Are these home users with their imprecise dev procedures just imbeciles who don't know what good development results should really look like? Are all these pro labs old dinosaurs pursuing a pointlessly optimized procedure with excessive effort? Why is it that I can get E6 kits easier than E6 processing in my home town?

  9. #9
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    A pro lab that is running over 10k a day in film processing requires precise replenishment and process control,
    Keeping grey balances is quite a step above hand process at home.

    Nothing wrong with doing home process that way, but impossible to make a living with demanding clients who want consistancey and run to run accuracy with their pushes and pulls.
    There was a lot of talk about how Kodak didn't seem to be able to scale down with declining market demand, but pro labs seem to have fared even worse. These labs could have focused on affordable small scale processing but apparently decided to hold on to their 10k a day processing setups. These "demanding clients who want consistency and run to run accuracy" don't seem to exist in meaningful numbers nowadays yet pro labs act like that's the only type of E6 shooter worth their attention.

    Note that this fixation on "consistency and run to run accuracy" made these labs easy prey for the digital juggernaut. As mentioned before: if it is easier to find a brick&mortar store carrying E6 home dev kits than a lab doing E6, the problem can not only be attributed to E6 going out of fashion.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  10. #10
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Or maybe its because every single professional shooter in the GTA switching to digital capture by the year 2004.


    I run a scaled down small batch process for black and white clients who still shoot film, just to give you some scale, 1993- 200 thousand dollars per year in film processing,, 2012-10 -15 thousand a year if its a good year. We still do film processing for our clients as a required service that leads to printing, film processing does not in itself make any profit.

    Survival in our industry is due to joining the juggernaut rather than fighting it. Lots of pro labs (ourself included) are doing fine, just not with film blazing the way.
    We are one of a few that has kept an element of film and enlarger printing alive, 800 sq ft darkroom is fairly large by todays standards.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
    There was a lot of talk about how Kodak didn't seem to be able to scale down with declining market demand, but pro labs seem to have fared even worse. These labs could have focused on affordable small scale processing but apparently decided to hold on to their 10k a day processing setups. These "demanding clients who want consistency and run to run accuracy" don't seem to exist in meaningful numbers nowadays yet pro labs act like that's the only type of E6 shooter worth their attention.

    Note that this fixation on "consistency and run to run accuracy" made these labs easy prey for the digital juggernaut. As mentioned before: if it is easier to find a brick&mortar store carrying E6 home dev kits than a lab doing E6, the problem can not only be attributed to E6 going out of fashion.

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