Saving E6 in New Zealand
Im concerned about the closure of E6 labs in NZ and what that may mean for photographers using E6 films here.
Kens has recently ceased processing E6, but Wellington photographics is taking over and bought their machine.
What should we suggest as a way of keeping E6 alive as long as possible here?
I dont know, but something needs to be done, myself have actually just started shooting it in the last 12 months, perhaps
a website could be started that helps promote shooting E6 films?
Would be great to hear any suggestions.
You need to encourage people to use it, unfortunately. Too many people take E6 for granted, IMO - or just plain never use it and hence don't actually have that much experience with slides, needing their minds to be opened if you will.
The other problem is that Aotearoa is actually Maori for '25$ a roll'.
On my last trip to Christchurch in 2009, I found the place in Papanui to have ceased offering E6 processing; as a result, all my work had to be taken through umpteen X-Rays (which I hate doing) for the return trip home. Post-earthquake, I don't think that store exists now. Surely there are other E6 photographers around New Zealand; I can think of semi-regular APUG posters that come to mind? Your best option might be to mail over E6 jobbing to Melbourne or Sydney. It will be an exercise in patience and trust, but if E6 really does end in New Zealand, you've got to think outside the square, taking it wherever and whenever it is still available. Could be quite costly with postage, but you must exhaust all options before throwing in the towel.
And even then, you should still be able to process it at home fairly easily.
Yes i could end up processing it by hand, although ive never dont it before, and dont have any temperature controlled heaters to keep everything at the right temperature.
Ive also read that its quite common to get colour shifts with the tental kits in particular.
I dont know if X-rays are an issue, but i will obviously have to send to Australia if that ever happens.
The biggest annoyance for me is scanning the film, i dont have a film scanner, i get my strips scanned when processed, and that costs almost as much as the developing, whats a good model of scanner that i should be on the lookout for? I dont want to pay the earth for one since im not doing anything at a professional level yet, but would want good resolution scans.
Epson V700 with Betterscan nega/transparency holders. Still not as a pro-lab drum scan for quite large prints. It has a full auto mode and you can choose between a basic or more advanced visual interface e.g. to control contrast, RGB, etc. Needs software to post-op images ex scanner (e.g. if creating print-ready files from scanner). Educate yourself in colourimetrics/profiling and be prepared for early disappointments along the knowledge curve. Take notes!!
Re X-Rays; my family went on a one month tour to Vancouver/BC/Alaska in June. Total count of X-ray machines passed through was 22 (!), including cruise terminals, Air Canada trips etc. I'm really not going to guess what affect that many passes would have on films, but there were also problems with digital images on memory cards becoming corrupt or unopenable; they got around this by requesting copies of the images from the shop in Victoria/BC where the pics were unloaded onto a CD. Interesting; possibility of x-rays affecting SD cards, or something else? Also happened to 6 other people on the same tour. No explanation found.
Photo Warehouse still does it at their Great North Road, Auckland shop. I had a couple rolls done about a month ago. I know for myself, the price of getting it processed reduces the number of rolls I shoot compared to b&w.
Imagelab in Wellington seem to process most of the E6 from this area, though the cleanliness has not always been as good as it could be.
I seem to recall there's a place in Palmerston North that also does E6.
Problem is, the volumes are down, so the prices go up, which causes the volumes to drop....It works out pretty expensive when shooting large format, and shooting 220 doesn't work out any cheaper per frame than 120.
Because of the cost of getting E6 developed, I tend to shoot B&W and develop at home, or shoot colour neg.
Would you do it at home if it cost you 5USD a roll in chemicals? Or even better, 1.75USD per roll? Tetenal 5L E6 is around 100USD. Obviously shipping will cost but it won't cost more than 50USD. You need an aquarium heater and a small cooler for a water bath. Chems should be ~38C for FD and CD steps. The rest are less critical. You can hand process this (plenty of people do) and think about all the saved money you could use to buy more slide film.
I get all my C41 and E6 processed at filmsoup.co.nz
Excellent quality and she can do up to 4x5 I believe.
I highly recommend Film Soup.