Very interesting. Based off of the order form it seems to me like The Darkroom might be doing the processing work.
I noticed their lab is in San Clemente, California, and the order form looks suspiciously like the one used by The Darkroom, which is also located in San Clemente. I wonder if The Darkroom is involved?
which is located at 946-A Calle Amanecer, about two miles from my home. I've been a resident of San Clemente for 35 years and can confirm there is no other processing lab in this city. Swan has become the major D&P facility used by stores, camera and otherwise, up and down the US west coast, as many labs closed. With "The Darkroom," it probably captured even more business via mail-in work from around the US. This latest expansion into Ilford branding of its services will likely make Swan even more successful.
I'm struck by the coincidence of across-the-pond HARMAN, which has become my favorite (and almost exclusive) black and white materials supplier, entering into an agreement with a lab right here in my neighborhood. Small world indeed!
Swan Labs uses Clayton F76+ film developer.
The WHOIS data for The Darkroom confirms this, as the registrant is one Keith Swan.
I find it funny that The Darkroom tries to present themselves as small and independent, when they're actually owned by one of the largest labs in the US.
Still, I do see this as a positive step. Any investment in traditional photography is welcome, and Ilford/Harman has done a lot in that regard. Swan being behind all three doesn't bother me, as long as they continue to keep quality up to their current levels (both the Swan and The Darkroom brands). It would kind of suck if the Ilford processing was the same as the others, just with prettier packaging, for a higher price. However, if anything with the Ilford processing is different, then the slightly higher price is justified. Would the average consumer see the difference in film processed in Ilford chemistry as opposed to Clayton? Maybe. Maybe not. But at least it is different, so it would not be an attempt to be deceptive on the part of Swan/The Darkroom/Ilford.
Switching to Ilford chemistry is probably part of the deal. F76+ is a capable developer as it is though.