As millenials take up film photography darkrooms see a bright future [article]

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by adelorenzo, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber
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  2. faberryman

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    “We do black and white by hand; when someone drops off black-and-white film right now, we have to say that it takes a week for us to process it,” explained Ms. Mac, adding that “you can’t ask someone to be in a darkroom smelling chemicals for eight hours a day.”

    She's got to be kidding.
     
  3. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member
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    This was in report on Business, the firm is moving to larger quarters to accommodate their installing a B&W processor. that counts as Business news, with marketing and real estate angles.

    "Beyond the costs of moving to the new location, their investment into film services carries a large price tag. The cost of buying and shipping a black-and-white processing machine was well over $100,000, and more staff will have to be hired to operate the machine."
     
  4. cmacd123

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    the current space is decribed as bing the size of a bedroom that would take a double bed, with several staff members in the room at a time, that could be a bit hard for a staff member to take, particularly if they were the only one who could carry out the process.

    (BTW, I have mailed film out to these folks and had reasonably good service.)
     
  5. Bob Carnie

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    This is a first rate company I buy all my chemical supplies and now some papers, 100k machine is nothing to sniff at.

    I talked to Claudia Mac today and there is a huge space being renovated for them in the old Henrys building
     
  6. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member
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    sounds like I should check out what they will send down highway 401 & 416.
     
  7. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    My understanding is that the small space where they have the color processing machine shown in the picture is not the darkroom, but that the darkroom for manually processing black and white is a separate space. Smelling the chemicals is part of the charm of processing your own film and prints. I have spent countless eight hour days in the darkroom, though since shifting to alternative processes I now primarily work with the lights on.
     
  8. RPC

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    Good ventilation can greatly minimize the problem.
     
  9. faberryman

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    Really?
     
  10. RPC

    RPC Member
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    Yes. So what is the problem?
     
  11. wyofilm

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    Who took the film vs. digital quiz at the end of the article? I was right five out of seven times.

    My heart skipped a beat when I saw the behind-the-counter display of film for sale, including large format!
     
  12. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member
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    Toronto is the New York City of Canada.
     
  13. wyofilm

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    No doubt, but still it is nice to see.
     
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  15. Bob Carnie

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    Frank , when I opened my shop in 91 I had a small room for processing, open tanks of D76 and I can assure you nobody wanted the job as film processer 9-5 . I was very lucky my first business partner Brian Oulette took the task on and ran film through the night and I contacted and printed and dealt with customers through the day. When Brian got cancer and had to leave the business, I was never able to successfully replace him in the film room, Eventually I moved to Jobo which was able to run in an open room, less volumne but no stink, This is currently how Downtown Camera is doing it. The good news is the amount of film they are processing is growing to a point that the Owners, Claudia and Harry have decided that there is a ROI for over 100k for the machine and the extra space. This can only be good news for Canadian film photographers, and I will indeed be a drop off and pick up point for their new machine if they want me to be.
     
  16. faberryman

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    The smell of chemicals doesn't bother me. I would think it would be the tedium of hand processing film all day that would be the downside. Obviously, having a self-contained processor for the job would be ideal. Glad there is enough black and white film processing business for them to justify the investment.
     
  17. Bob Carnie

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    The smell does not bother me that much either , but your right being in a dark room popping reels into open deep tanks all day long, and inches away from the fix can over a month get tedious. I went through about 10 assistants before I came to the conclusion I needed to go Jobo to keep decent staff. At one point I had two Alt2300 running pretty much non stop for a few years, then came the digital revolution which pretty much killed film process.

    so this is an interesting move, I have said before on other threads that if I was 10 years younger , my wife and I would have invested in a Technolab to do C41 and BW dip and dunk mail order business. At my age and my history I felt that its a game for more aggressive ownership to succeed, and I really am not that interested in doing one off film runs as it basically a production line that needs to be constantly feed and it does not match my next 10 year plan.

    This dip and dunk machine that Downtown Camera purchased is world class equipment , shipped in new from Europe with training and I can imagine ventilation is a big concern, as there is a lot of chemicals sitting in those tanks. I think they will be very successful as they are close to Ryerson, Centennial , UOT and OCAD, which all have photo programs, and their store is packed with old film cameras that can be bought at a decent price by students.
    They are filling a niche, a block away B3K is selling high end PhaseOne cameras and is filling that niche as well.
    I hope to see some people over time use my space as Artist in Residence , to take advantage of my equipment, and some of my expertise and minimal supervision
     
  18. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Personally I think this is going to be the norm for different countrys, I have always said that someone in Rochester should set up a mail order business, there is some history in doing that I think in Rochester, all we need is bright minds with fortitude and vision to lead the way rather than corporate CFO and CEO's who have never walked a day without a suit and tie .
     
  19. mmerig

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    Within the article, the statement:
    "Taking hundreds of photos on a medium-format camera for an entire wedding would lead to costs well into the five-figure range, . . . . .."

    Why would someone take hundreds of photos at a wedding? Weddings are typically predictable events, so wouldn't a well-planned effort allow for much-less film use?

    Also, the 5-figure estimate appears high. The main difference in cost would be the film, processing and contact sheets, obviously. How could wading through say 300 film images take more time than if digital capture was used?
     
  20. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Local Wedding photographers in the GTA are taking over 2000 images with digital cameras, this was not the case before digital cameras but is the normal now. The standard poses of the bygone day have been replaced with day in the life type of coverage.
     
  21. TheGreatGasMaskMan

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    I'm not so sure, but maybe it's just because of the people I know, but I still say people my own age still prefer digital for cost and ease of use.
     
  22. TheGreatGasMaskMan

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    6 out of 7...
     
  23. faberryman

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    That's 166 rolls of 120 at $6.19 a roll equals ~$1025 plus processing, well shy of five figures. I can't imagine how much time you would spend actually loading 166 rolls of film. You might not have enough time to shoot it before the wedding was over.
     
  24. wyofilm

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    I don't know, I've sat through some pretty looooooong weddings ...
     
  25. MattKing

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    Based on their current website prices, processing and proofing would cost another $2,000 at least at the lab I used to use for weddings.
    Although it isn't clear that they are offering this any more for medium format - only 35mm.
    The other lab I deal with regularly do quote 120 prices - 166 rolls processed and proofed would be about $4,000.00.
    If I had the lab process and provide high quality scans, that would cost about $5,600.00, with proofs being extra.
     
  26. Michael W

    Michael W Subscriber

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    I got 6/7 on the quiz, could mostly tell by the colour of the shadows & DOF.
     
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