Switch to English Language Passer en langue franšaise Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 74,544   Posts: 1,646,145   Online: 815
      
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Olympia, WA USA
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    67

    Color processing as a home-based business for retirement

    I'll be retiring in the next year or two. Color film processing, particularly E-6, is getting hard to find locally as minilabs go out of business. Presumably their old equipment is up for sale somewhere. I'm wondering if it would be a practical part-time business for my retirement. Are these machines a hassle to maintain? How do you handle the disposal of used chemical?

    I wouldn't have to make a lot of money but I also wouldn't want it to tie me down 5 or 6 days a week. I think I'd like to run it maybe three days in a row and offer a week turn-around time and cater to advanced amateurs.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Greg Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Nicholasville, KY
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    1,967
    As a business, there are a lot of Federal EPA codes, local and state regulations and licensing about using and disposing of chemicals used in photography. Don't forget OSHA, HAZMAT, and the IRS. Contact your local government to see what is required.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  3. #3
    Rick A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    north central Pa
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    6,813
    Images
    35
    What Greg said, plus local zoning and licensing for operating a business from the home.
    Rick Allen
    Argentum aevum

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    1,066
    Images
    108
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Davis View Post
    As a business, there are a lot of Federal EPA codes, local and state regulations and licensing about using and disposing of chemicals used in photography.
    Especially anything that has dissolved metallic silver in it. You'll have to monitor that pretty closely. Years ago I worked for a magazine with an in-house prepress shop--traditional halftones and color separations. I had to take samples from the drains and have them lab-tested for silver, and the used chemistry was collected in special jugs and taken away by a commercial hazmat disposal company. Forms and reports to be filed. I had to make sure we had the proper safety equipment and notices available. It's manageable but a hassle. There may be zoning issues where you can have that sort of business.
    "People get bumped off." -- Weegee

  5. #5
    Greg Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Nicholasville, KY
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    1,967
    I think once you see how expensive it is just to be legal, you'll understand why these places can't stay open doing just a few rolls a week.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    1,729
    Quote Originally Posted by hidesert View Post
    I wouldn't have to make a lot of money but I also wouldn't want it to tie me down 5 or 6 days a week. I think I'd like to run it maybe three days in a row and offer a week turn-around time and cater to advanced amateurs.

    Any thoughts?
    If you're going to offer a reliable business service with promised turn-around time, that will inevitably tie you down to some extent. Customers will expect this prompt turn-around, whatever your work-load at the time (which may vary with the season and other factors beyond your control), and you would also need to think how you would cover during your holidays and possible illness (even a few days in bed with flu!).

    The commitment is much higher than, say, a part-time job in employment where the hours and duties are fixed.

  7. #7
    Greg Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Nicholasville, KY
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    1,967
    I should also add that customers are demanding. I do my own C-41 now, but when I used a lab to do it, I would only use a lab that could provide me with the process control strip they ran that day. If they couldn't show me that, then their quality control was questionable and I would go elsewhere.

    Don't let my comments dissuade you from trying, just be aware of what you are getting into.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  8. #8
    Athiril's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    2,791
    Images
    28
    Run a replenished system.

    For anything you do need to throw out, like rinse water and chemicals (neutralise pH first), build a solar still and dump them in there, and collect the distilled water for mixing up more chems and rinsing, some of the chems you may not want to do that as some might distill over too (photoflo, formaldehyde (for old stabiliser), final rinse.. check what chems are volatile).

    Saves on water usage and what chems you need to throw out, you can scrape the dry stuff to throw out in the bin (if legal).

    I'd also invest in that silver magnet thing.

  9. #9
    Domin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Warszawa, Poland
    Shooter
    Med. Format RF
    Posts
    204
    I do not think the replenished system makes sense. If there were enough of films to be processed in a replenished system there would be probably such lab still around.

    I'd go for a rotary processor - you can run different processes and formats in small batches as demanded. Chemistry used as one shot is probably only way to keep good quality at the volume you can expect.

    There is a guy in my city does precisely that - I got interested when the pro lab here closed down dip-and-dunk c41 processor. He does all processing once a week and charges extra for a run at other times. He does E6, C41, b&w (pyro cost extra), reversal b&w and some other funky things. Can't say much about the the quality as I only got done some of the funky stuff.

  10. #10
    Athiril's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    2,791
    Images
    28
    I dont have a problem with running replenished, I have been running 4-5 rolls a day, and sometimes leaving it for a week. But otherwise, my results are all consistent. I can trust it completely, and it is extremely cost effective, far greater value than one shot or one shot kits, though I would probably buy control strips if I were to offer a service.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  Ś   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin