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  1. #11
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    Matt

    I have been using Peak for a good few years now. Their prints from C41 are always good (except some proof prints from 5x4). I use Fuji films, but would expect them to have it calibrated for Kodak.

    Used them for a wedding earlier this year. All parties pleased....

    Have had quality issues with their E6, but not C41.

  2. #12
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Hi Matt, In your area I can recommend Colab U.K. in Coventry they are a good pro lab, I have used for many years for my wedding work their website is being rehashed at the moment their address is -: Colab U.K.
    Herald Way
    Biney
    Coventry
    West Midlands CV3 2NY
    Ph. 024 76440404

    I don't know how close this lab is to you Matt, but it's a great advantage with wedding shots not to entrust them to the post if it can be avoided, I speak from bitter experience
    Ben

  3. #13
    Matt5791's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. I have used colab - but I stopped becuase I didn't like their prints - I thought they were flat a lifeless.

    ........looks like I'm sounding like a pedantic pain in the ass customer.....

    It was a few years ago and it was when I first started using medium format. I shot a number of rolls in Spain (C41) and took some to Colab and some to Peter Gaffney Metro lab in Birmingham. The Birmingham lab seemd to produce prints with real depth, and the Colab prints were, as I say, dull and lifeless.

    Subsequently the Birmingham lab started producing too many errors like lines and uneven print quality across the prints and so I started using a different lab again.

    Now they seem to have variable quality and this latest batch is horrid. They said that they were very busy last week so I'm wondering if they just whipped them through as quick as possible........

    .......thinking about it one of the guys there told me he had printed something like 1200 prints in one day recently - mabey it was another of those days.

    I think it would obviously be worth trying Colab again on the basis of what you are saying Bentley.

    Thanks,
    Matt

  4. #14
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Matt, on the two occasions I have ever been unhappy with Colab's work over the years and have complained, they have reprinted it , their customer service was very helpful, I suggest as you say, give them another try with a film that's less important than a wedding.
    Ben

  5. #15
    MattKing's Avatar
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    It has been a very long time since I worked in a colour lab, but I can certainly remember having the odd bad day. I was doing mostly wedding and portrait proofs, on a machine printer. Mostly, if some work came out substandard, I would catch them and reprint them, but if any slipped through, and the customer brought it to our attention, we would reprint them without question.

    And we really encouraged our customers to bring their concerns to our attention.

    Sometimes, what the customer sees as a bad print, turns out to be the results of photographer's error, or printer's (difficult) choice. Underexposed negatives often yield poor colour, and shots taken with multiple light sources (e.g. flourescent overhead, window light, and flash all at the same time can be quite an adventure) require best guesses from the printer.

    As a printer, if you do a lot of work for a particular photographer, you often get to know that photographer's preferences. One portrait photographer who used us had a style and look that resembled shots taken in candlelight - it was important that his proofs appeared very warm, rather than neutral.

    Unless your work is like that - very similar lighting and subject throughout, I don't know whether having another lab reprint what are in essence proofs is goint to help you - every lab will vary slightly from day to day, and roll to roll. With respect to colour balance and exposure issues, you need to see how they handle a number of rolls, of varying subjects, over a period of time, before you can determine what their quality is like.

    Please note that these observations are limited to colour balance and exposure - evidence of sloppy film handling is a reason to immediately look elsewhere.

    Matt

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt5791
    Thanks for that. I have used colab - but I stopped becuase I didn't like their prints - I thought they were flat a lifeless.

    ........looks like I'm sounding like a pedantic pain in the ass customer.....

    It was a few years ago and it was when I first started using medium format. I shot a number of rolls in Spain (C41) and took some to Colab and some to Peter Gaffney Metro lab in Birmingham. The Birmingham lab seemd to produce prints with real depth, and the Colab prints were, as I say, dull and lifeless.

    Subsequently the Birmingham lab started producing too many errors like lines and uneven print quality across the prints and so I started using a different lab again.

    Now they seem to have variable quality and this latest batch is horrid. They said that they were very busy last week so I'm wondering if they just whipped them through as quick as possible........

    .......thinking about it one of the guys there told me he had printed something like 1200 prints in one day recently - mabey it was another of those days.

    I think it would obviously be worth trying Colab again on the basis of what you are saying Bentley.

    Thanks,
    Matt
    1,200 prints in a day is NOTHING. Even most pro labs are using a minilab set up and not custom printing each individual proof. 1,200 prints equates to 50 rolls of 24 exposures only getting singles.....We could get this done easily in a slow day at my lab with good results....

  7. #17
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    At the lab I used to work at, we used to do over 300 rolls a day, that was a normal day, a busy day we were around 500-600 rolls processed and printed a day and we able to maintain consistantly good results, but we did have to balance the machines everytime we started a new roll of paper, and I know many 1 hour places that don't balance when they start new rolls of paper everytime.

    Dave

  8. #18
    Matt5791's Avatar
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    Well I will see what the other lab turns up.

    I have thought of a good way to get over how the current prints look - like the sort of prints you would expect from a disposable camera.

    Maby I have the figure wrong - the guy from the lab is an experienced printer so mabey it was something like 4000 prints.

    I get the reprints on Monday.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Parker
    At the lab I used to work at, we used to do over 300 rolls a day, that was a normal day, a busy day we were around 500-600 rolls processed and printed a day and we able to maintain consistantly good results, but we did have to balance the machines everytime we started a new roll of paper, and I know many 1 hour places that don't balance when they start new rolls of paper everytime.

    Dave

    which is why i LOVE fuji equipment. Both the SFA and the Frontier that I've worked on have been set up specifically to not allow printing if the balances aren't done!

  10. #20
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I don't know the type of ilm that you are using but find that Nikon meters are biased to Trannie film ie, slight underexposure. Print film handles overexposure much better than underexposure (usually 1 stop under and 3 stops over) will give acceptable results.
    When exposing Fuji NPH or Portra 400 I rate these at 200 in my F100. NPS or Portra 160 go to 100, this will give you a little more punch.

    For outdoor work the VC versions of Portra are more suitable than the NC which are more for studio flash and other controlled situations.
    Hope this is of some help, Cheers
    Tony

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