What would you do?
I live here in Shanghai China and send off my film to a small lab run buy a group of young kids who are passionately into film. They run a REAL professional shop and until I found them, I almost gave up on shooting film here in China. The results I was getting from other labs all gave me horribly scratched negatives. I have not seen a SINGLE scratch from the lab I use now so I am very happy with them. Further, their scans are just wonderful. I have sent them 50 rolls or more in the last 4-5 months at least.
So, I got a call from this lab. Earlier this week I sent them 17 rolls of film from my trip to Japan last week. Was there a problem? I was worried that my vacation photos were lost! No problem. In fact, they said that the images that they were seeing from my film were so good that they were calling to ask for permission to publish some of them on their shop's web site. They were asking for my permission and camera details!
I dont know if it was the right thing to do, but I said yes, go ahead and use my images. This young company does a lot to support film use here in Shanghai (actually all of China; they get film sent to them for developing from all across the nation) and if publishing a few of my images helps them out, it helps everyone who shoots film.
I have not seen my images yet so as you can imagine, I am VERY excited to see what they find so interesting.
Would you say yes if you were in my shoes?
Since they've done such a good job for you I see no problem on what you did. You should ask to be given credit though I might consider copyrighting the most special ones so someone else can't use them without your permission.
Yes, make sure you still own the copyright and they don't take it over. You're happy with their service anyway, but they still should not get something for nothing, so maybe they should somehow directly or indirectly pay you something.
I will be the photographer credited with the images on their site. No transfer of any copyright at all.
Congrats. I would share the lab's info for all film shooters to keep in mind in case they ever find themselves in the area.
I actually might take the Mamiya 7ii along knowing this!
Mamiya 7 ii
4x5 and 8x10 large format
And for those non film moments a Fuji X-Pro 1 and Nikon D4 and D800E.
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It might be a cultural thing, in China at least, to come across so very friendly and enthusiastically; I'm sure I remember this in Beijing in 2004.
But I would caution that you maintain "professional distance" (or "arm's length") from all labs; at the moment obviously things are going very well for you, but what happens if things do not go so well; you, as well as they, get upset?
You have to adopt a professional, discretionary stance and realise amongst all probabilities, nobody is perfect, mistakes will happens, neglect can creap in, lack of responsibility for a job, scratched negatives (maybe even "accidentally cut") negatives... It could all happen at this lab, maybe a lot more. I don't regard kids "passionate about film" as being any more careful or reliable than a professional of 20 years' experience: they are still human!
At a minimum, you could allow them to use two or three images and wait for them to appear on the web where you can appraise their work. The copyright of the images is owned by you unless formally re-assigned. I think it is foolhardy to agree to handing over all your images for use. You do have to maintain some sense of proprietary and self-preservation: you never know what could happen.
None of my films were processed in China; they were all express posted back hom from a stopover in Hong Kong.
Canon EOS1N ('Brutus', 1993—), TS-E 24mm f3.5L, 20mm f2.8, 17-40 f4L, 70-200 f2.8L
Pentax 67 ('Pentaximus', 2010—) + SMCP 45mm f4, 55mm f4 & 165mm f4LS;
Zero Image 6x9 multi-format pinhole (2008—); Sekonic L758D;
Olympus XA, Nikon Coolpix P7700
"If you're not having fun, then you're not doing it right!"
Well, they dont speak English so all my contact with them (Mr. Film) is through my wife. She has been to their location and has seen how they work. They are incredibly professional in their dealing with her and from the volume of business that they do, it is clear that they have a large following. As I said before, they get film sent to them from all across China, not just the Shanghai area. Of course they are still human, as we all are. But compared to the other labs I dealt with, this place is light years ahead.
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour
I love this lab. I can specify any b & W developer that I want, out of 6 or 6 to choose from. Here is one of their pages:
You will need help as they only speak Chinese. If you have someone that can assist you, then I heartily recommend Mr. Film.
Originally Posted by msk2193
Here is their taobao site:
I dont have a taobao account. I just mail them cash with my negatives. They are that honest. Turn around time is 4-5 days usually. It costs only $2 to overnight the film to their office and $2 back. Free if you send them 6 rolls or more.
I would require some kind of release, or I would have bargained with them to have them give you a huge deal on the cost of processing Make sure they sign a release agreement saying they are only to be used on their website, and any additional use is a re-negotiation from you. and copywrite and credit that stuff for sure!
wonder what the $1 is ... haha
Originally Posted by RattyMouse