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  1. #31
    Stephen Frizza's Avatar
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    2F/2f I couldn't agreer with you more on the 'pro lab" and services issue. A pro lab should offer all! it doesn't sound like these folk are talking about true Pro lab.
    Last edited by Stephen Frizza; 06-29-2008 at 12:31 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #32

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    I agree with the previous definition of a pro lab.
    In my opinion a pro lab should also be within walking distance of a good chocolate shop.

  3. #33
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    I don't know if it's still the case, but at one time a lot of pro.labs wouldn't handle amateur work because they had trouble with them accepting that exposure and other errors were theirs, I'm an amateur and I had to be interviewed by one of the directors of the lab, I've now used for more than twenty years now before they would accept mine.
    Ben

  4. #34

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    I haven't had any trouble with labs accepting my work, but I'm sure there are places that will only deal with other businesses. If you have a business license, they will almost certainly deal with you. I don't, but I still have no problems. I usually drop off 5 to 20 rolls of 220, so they do not complain about small volumes either.

    The problem of availability of service is getting worse, particularly in lightly populated areas like this. The nearest place that will process 120 color negative film is in Albuquerque, about 130 miles away. Fortunately, they have an office in Santa Fe (only 40 miles away) where I can drop off and pick up film and have only a slight delay. There is only one lab for E-6 in the area, also in Santa Fe. I haven't tried them yet. Prices for either C-41 or E-6 processing in MF are outrageous. I will probably be processing a lot of my own film.

  5. #35

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    as a mini-lab operator

    I'll start off with a very abridged backstory here I guess...

    My father opened up our shop about 30 years ago now, a mini-lab in this small Georgia town (Statesboro) and I've been working here since I was 13 basically (A bit over 10 years). In that time I've seen film usage drop more in the last two years than it ever has. We process b&w in house with an old wing-lynch processor since the developing on it has dropped so much, the chemicals stay fresh longer in it than our constant run machine (Which is now sitting uselessly in our darkroom). In all honesty it COST us money to continue to offer the service or processing black and white, and just about does for C-41, it certainly would if we relied on medium format, as most all we process lately is one-time use cameras. We have to charge 5 dollars to process 120/220, and around 8 to scan and put that on to a CD(Not very analog of us, but it's not like the machine prints optically anyway). That's just what we have to do to continue to offer processing, and I hate it. I'm honestly one of the few people that does any black and white anyway, but it works out pretty well so that I can use the chemestry and it not just sit idle for the next customer. I shoot mostly Plus-x and tri-x film, and will soon be getting my Hassleblad to do some 120. I know I'm not speaking from a "Pro-lab" perspective, but honestly I feel that most of us in the business feel badly about what we have to charge just to offer the services we do. It's not like the chemicals just stay good forever, and it's certainly not like it doesn't cost us an insane amount of money just to open the doors as a small business these days either. Both of my parents had to recently start driving school buses, leaving me here for most of the day to run the shop, so that they can have health-care for less than 1200 dollars a month.

    I rambled quite a lot there, but I felt like getting it out I suppose...not sure just what it was - but I feel better!

    -Will

  6. #36

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    I work for a company that does MF c-41 and e-6 processing, and I can say for one that we are seeing MUCH more of it today than 5 years ago. The 35mm seems to be declining.

    I for one would point out to any local "pro" lab that they can either have your business or not. It is not your job to keep them in business, and any city with more than one "pro" lab will eventually have one that is willing to do 120, LF, b&w or whatever is reasonable to keep your business. the quantity of MF film that is getting "develop and scan" rather than "develop and print" is increasing and not only us, but other labs in my town have seen this.

  7. #37

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    I certainly wish our MF processing was increasing! Are you in the states, or Europe? We're in a small town - but it's a college town with a pretty decent photography program, so I'm always surprised we don't see more, but it might be that they're just not doing it through us - or doing it themselves.

    As for the "develop and scan" we're the same way here as well. They like that they get color corrected files and index prints as well, since we basically do all we would do if we were going to print them, just....don't print them!

    -Will

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