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Bleirer
5-Apr-2016, 07:32
Hi all,
I was calling some local (Cleveland,Ohio) labs to check on processing prices. One lab told me that velvia was no longer an option because the chemistry was to be discontinued. Did I hear him right? If Velvia is gone then what color films negative or positive will be reliably available? Thanks,

Bill

Lachlan 717
5-Apr-2016, 07:59
What chemistry?

For the film manufacture or for processing?

I think s/he is full of the sticky brown smelly stuff either way. I just bought some Velvia and Tetenal is flying strong.

Bleirer
5-Apr-2016, 08:13
He said processing chemistry.

vinny
5-Apr-2016, 08:15
He said processing chemistry.
he's wrong. More than one company makes E6.

Drew Wiley
5-Apr-2016, 08:32
Maybe THEY as a particular business have chosen to discontinue E6 due to reduced demand. The machines need a certain volume of usage to warrant keeping the
chemistry fresh, particularly where sheet film capacity is involved. Or maybe they just don't want to bother sending work out to bigger labs. But it's premature to speak of the outright demise of E6. It's easy to get even 8x10 sheets processed here in the SF Bay area, literally walking distance from my office. But the choice
of chrome films is certainly diminished. Certain Velvia products have been discontinued, not all of them; and Provia is still available in sheets. Kodak has discontinued its line of chrome films entirely.

koh303
5-Apr-2016, 09:21
The machines need a certain volume of usage to warrant keeping the
chemistry fresh...

Should say - SOME machines...

dave_whatever
5-Apr-2016, 10:27
Been a few months since we had a "someone I spoke to said Velvia was discontinued" story, I suppose we were overdue one.

Drew Wiley
5-Apr-2016, 12:12
I held a funeral for chrome film once E100G and Astia 100F were discontinued. Still have a few boxes of 8x10 in the freezer of both. But not much use since Cibachrome is gone too. Velvia was never versatile for actual printmaking.

Bleirer
5-Apr-2016, 13:31
What does the group recommend then, if Velvia isn't?

Drew Wiley
5-Apr-2016, 13:47
The party is over. You can switch to color negative film and hope it stays around awhile. But that is harder to evaluate on a light box, and might be trickier to scan if that is what you have in mind. Or you can shift to the remaining general-purpose chrome sheet film, Provia. Velvia has legitimate applications. I liked it for boosting very low contrast situations. But saturation snap that looks catchy on a lightbox doesn't necessarily translate into good reproduction qualities. The margin
for error in full contrast lighting conditions are razor thin, even sacrificing shadows completely. Of course there are now the added arguments that anybody can
smear as much honey, jam, and corn syrup atop a sugar cube as they wish with Photoshop saturation controls. Guess if your taste is bad enough.

Peter York
5-Apr-2016, 14:01
The E6 party isn't over yet. The cover charge is pretty steep, though. Provia and Velvia 100 are available, and I believe Velvia 50 can still be purchased from Japan. All are excellent films when used properly. You may have to send your film out for developing as the number of labs offering this service has shrunk considerably.

Lachlan 717
5-Apr-2016, 15:10
You can also process it yourself.

koh303
5-Apr-2016, 15:19
and might be trickier to scan if that is what you have in mind.
There is nothing easier then scanning color negative, and nothing harder then scanning slide film.
Since color negatives today offer such excellent base structure tone and contrast, and if it is being scanned anyways, there is almost no reason to shoot reversal.

Wayne
5-Apr-2016, 15:20
Hi all,
I was calling some local (Cleveland,Ohio) labs to check on processing prices. One lab told me that velvia was no longer an option because the chemistry was to be discontinued. Did I hear him right? If Velvia is gone then what color films negative or positive will be reliably available? Thanks,

Bill

I don't think Velvia has been that reliably available for a while, so the answer to what color films will be reliably available is and has been Ektar and Provia. Expensive to buy but cheap to print. I'm putting all my eggs in the cheaper Ektar basket and if you liked Velvia you probably should too. Not that you'll confuse the two, but it is the more contrasty and saturated of the Kodak color negative sheet films.

Drew Wiley
5-Apr-2016, 15:42
Ektar isn't cheaper anymore. In fact, it's doubled in price since I last put some in the freezer. Don't know any solution to that, except shoot 4x5 when I don't actually need an 8x10 shot, and shoot roll film when that will do. But that concept doesn't work too well out on the trail, when I realistically carry only one given
format at a time. It's been a long time since any color sheet film had fully reliable supply. Even when it was routine, and every serious camera store sold a selection of three different brands (Kodak, Fuji, and Agfa), these companies would drive me nuts because they were constantly altering the specifics. Constant "new and improved" implied an endless learning curve for any critical application. And I have always hated anything on acetate base because it isn't dimensionally stable. Ektar has a few distinct color issues, but it is the most versatile color neg film I've ever encountered for non-portrait applications.

B.S.Kumar
5-Apr-2016, 15:56
If Velvia (or any other Japanese brand film) isn't available in your area see this thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?129053-Film-etc-from-Japan).

Kumar

Corran
5-Apr-2016, 16:12
There is nothing easier then scanning color negative, and nothing harder then scanning slide film.

Pretty much everyone says the exact opposite. The only difficulty in scanning slides is having a scanner that can push through the density, while getting accurate colors and a good scan from negative film is more dependent on the scan operator's skill.

And no matter how hard you try, negative films just don't look like chromes.

Choose your tools as you see fit, of course.

Duolab123
5-Apr-2016, 18:48
I'm resigned to Fuji pulling the plug on Fujichrome. I am dreading the day but it's coming, I'm surprised it's lasted this long. The volume required to run these coating lines just isn't there anymore. Suppliers go broke, no one steps in to make some of the exotic chemicals required.
I give it a year, maybe two.
I hope I'm totally wrong, but with Cibachrome gone, I mostly shoot Kodak color negative film it's so easy to make ra-4 prints.
I still have a fall ritual every year of going out and blazing away with my Bronica making 6x6 slides, project them with an old Kindermann projector and listen to my wife ohh and ahh.
My Dad recorded my entire childhood with beautiful Kodachrome slides, I have them all nicely stored in Carousels. Used to make Cibachromes, now I scan with a Nikon Coolscan, never ceases to amaze me at the resolution of ASA 10 Kodachrome, mostly done with an Argus C-3 .
I love to process slides, I started in 9th grade process E-3, a photoflood for the reverse exposure. Now I have a nice Jobo CPP, still great fun..
Enjoy it while we can. And pray for Ferrania and a new generation of kids shooting film
Best Regards Mike

Tim Meisburger
5-Apr-2016, 21:06
I suspect we will see a fall to almost zero as the massive production lines become uneconomical, but hope that when the old machinery is finally abandoned that modern small-batch production techniques will be adopted to make color film at an economical sustainable and sustainable level. With computer controlled production I envision a day when you order up a batch of any old film whose recipe is in the database (even Kodakchrome) and a machine just cranks it out. Maybe I'm living in a pie-in-the-sky dreamworld, but I suspect the future of film is bright, colorful, and vivid.

Fr. Mark
5-Apr-2016, 21:30
I hope to shoot some bigger slides some day even if only MF (NB, I don't own a MF camera yet...nor roll film back yet for the Sinar I have). Mainly, I'm so impressed with old slides projected on the wall that my dad shot and I shot as a kid all 35mm stock a fair amount of it kodachrome that I'd love to see what 6x6 looks like or, better 5x7 or 8x10. At least 4x5. That's gotta be something to have slides you can (start to) appreciate just by holding them up to a well lit wall or on a light table. Maybe I could get part way there by reversal processing some LF Xray film...

dave_whatever
6-Apr-2016, 00:46
Pretty much everyone says the exact opposite. The only difficulty in scanning slides is having a scanner that can push through the density.

+1

Scanning chromes is a doddle. Especially if you expose correctly.

angusparker
6-Apr-2016, 08:20
Pretty much everyone says the exact opposite. The only difficulty in scanning slides is having a scanner that can push through the density, while getting accurate colors and a good scan from negative film is more dependent on the scan operator's skill.

And no matter how hard you try, negative films just don't look like chromes.

Choose your tools as you see fit, of course.

+1 Been my experience too.

StoneNYC
6-Apr-2016, 09:26
Velvia is not discontinued and neither is the chemistry. What was discontinued was the E-6 chemistry by KODAK, but FUJI still makes their version of E-6, the lab you called probably just doesn't order from Fuji and didn't know they could get Chemistry from them.

As far as Velvia sales, normal Velvia100 is available in stores like B&H etc, and Velvia50 can be bought from Japan stores, or eBay, and there are a few of us who organize group buys and distribute them, more info on that by PM only.

So yea Velvia and E-6 is still available. The poor dissemination of info is what kills stuff, people spread false rumors and people panic and switch instead of doing their own homework.

Thanks for asking.

Wayne
6-Apr-2016, 16:39
Ektar isn't cheaper anymore. In fact, it's doubled in price since I last put some in the freezer. Don't know any solution to that, except shoot 4x5 when I don't actually need an 8x10 shot, and shoot roll film when that will do. But that concept doesn't work too well out on the trail, when I realistically carry only one given
format at a time. It's been a long time since any color sheet film had fully reliable supply. Even when it was routine, and every serious camera store sold a selection of three different brands (Kodak, Fuji, and Agfa), these companies would drive me nuts because they were constantly altering the specifics. Constant "new and improved" implied an endless learning curve for any critical application. And I have always hated anything on acetate base because it isn't dimensionally stable. Ektar has a few distinct color issues, but it is the most versatile color neg film I've ever encountered for non-portrait applications.

Ektar IS cheaper..its cheaper than Portra and its the cheapest color negative film available on the US market in medium or large format. That doesn't mean its cheap. Its not. That's why I just ordered a pack of 120, and didn't order any 4x5 at all. Getting close to $4/shot now and that's not good news for me.

But I do think RA-4 printings is still pretty cheap. About 45c per 8x10 if you buy the right chemicals. I hope that little bubble lasts a while.

MultiFormat Shooter
6-Apr-2016, 21:13
Velvia is not discontinued and neither is the chemistry. What was discontinued was the E-6 chemistry by KODAK, but FUJI still makes their version of E-6, the lab you called probably just doesn't order from Fuji and didn't know they could get Chemistry from them.

As far as Velvia sales, normal Velvia100 is available in stores like B&H etc, and Velvia50 can be bought from Japan stores, or eBay, and there are a few of us who organize group buys and distribute them, more info on that by PM only.

So yea Velvia and E-6 is still available. The poor dissemination of info is what kills stuff, people spread false rumors and people panic and switch instead of doing their own homework.

Thanks for asking.

+1,000 /thread

Bleirer
7-Apr-2016, 07:02
So as a beginner in 4x5 what would my options be to get started with velvia? I have darkroom experience in 35mm but no longer have a darkroom. Are there places you can recommend to send out unprocessed film and get scans back (Cleveland area or mail-in)? Should I just set up from the beginning for tank or tray processing? If so where can I send out for scans or is buying a scanner pretty much required? What would be a suitable used scanner? So many questions.

koraks
7-Apr-2016, 07:12
So as a beginner in 4x5 what would my options be to get started with velvia?
Availability is good, but I personally find it quite costly.


I have darkroom experience in 35mm but no longer have a darkroom. Are there places you can recommend to send out unprocessed film and get scans back (Cleveland area or mail-in)?
I'm sure people can recommend local labs to you. I'm on the other side of the planet and around here, I find lab development for E6 sheet film cost prohibitive at € 5 to € 10 per sheet for 4x5 and with 8x10 you're pretty much on your own.


Should I just set up from the beginning for tank or tray processing?
If you consider shooting any volume at all then this will turn out to be the most cost effective solution. Tray development sounds like a rather failure prone approach to me and I'd sooner consider investing in a tank system, possibly even with a thermostat controlled tempering bath and roller system (e.g. one of the Jobo systems). But you could get by with a Mod54 holder and a tub of water at the right temperature, particularly if color accuracy isn't highly critical.


If so where can I send out for scans or is buying a scanner pretty much required? What would be a suitable used scanner? So many questions.
I couldn't recommend a good scanning service, although I understand that there are several drum scanning services. For lower-end purposes (which is fine for me), a flatbed scanner can be adequate for your needs. I personally use an old Epson 4990 and it's fine for my personal needs.

As you can tell, it all depends on your personal requirements - and your budget. There's no golden standard to adhere to.

tgtaylor
7-Apr-2016, 07:19
I'm resigned to Fuji pulling the plug on Fujichrome. I am dreading the day but it's coming, I'm surprised it's lasted this long. The volume required to run these coating lines just isn't there anymore. Suppliers go broke, no one steps in to make some of the exotic chemicals required.
I give it a year, maybe two.
I hope I'm totally wrong, but with Cibachrome gone, I mostly shoot Kodak color negative film it's so easy to make ra-4 prints.
I still have a fall ritual every year of going out and blazing away with my Bronica making 6x6 slides, project them with an old Kindermann projector and listen to my wife ohh and ahh.

As far as printing, nothing beats C-41/RA-4. Color negative film has a far greater dynamic range than slide film and with masking techniques you can selectively change the color. On Horsetail Fall I printed using two different filter packs: one for the sky and the second to enhance the color and texture of the rock. You can't do that with slide - it's WYSIWYG.

Anyone who doesn't have a slide projector is missing out on a real treat. Big screen, dark room and it's like going to the movies. I have 3: A Kodak AMT with Kodak's best lens (at least it's most expensive lens), a Rollie 66, and a Cabin 67Z and boxes of slides to project. Incidentally look at the thread herein below titled Reversal Printing with Kodak D-11.

Thomas

Drew Wiley
7-Apr-2016, 08:27
I realize that darkroom workers didn't typically mask color negs for printing because they "didn't have to". That was once the necessary domain of high quality
jobs from chromes like dye transfer printing and then Cibachrome, a medium quite difficult to tame without routine contrast masking at the very least. But that
mere custom or preconception does not mean that RA4 prints cannot be significantly improved in numerous cases by making supplementary masks to the color
negs themselves. The inherent orange mask helps, but only to a certain degree. No, when somebody just wants to learn RA4 color printings, I would not want to
complicate things by talking about supplementary masking. Let them learn the basics first, and determine their boundaries using existing film and paper choices.
But if someone wants to get into high gear and go beyond those boundaries, and do it fully optically, masking opens a whole new arena of possibilities of control,
including finely-tune contrast increase or decrease, selective balance of hues, or various tricks like Thomas just noted.

Bleirer
7-Apr-2016, 10:28
I'm inclined toward the digital route for starters. I doubt I will ever invest in a darkroom again. What I'd like to know is options or suggestions for how to get my exposed velvia into photoshop, now that I know I can rely on it being available for a while.

Corran
7-Apr-2016, 10:42
A scanner with good DMax.

AtlantaTerry
7-Apr-2016, 21:24
Hi all,
I was calling some local (Cleveland,Ohio) labs to check on processing prices. One lab told me that velvia was no longer an option because the chemistry was to be discontinued. Did I hear him right? If Velvia is gone then what color films negative or positive will be reliably available? Thanks,

Bill

In the Cleveland area, is AC Color Lab still in operation? I know Anthony "Tony" Canada (sp?) died some years ago but I hope the lab is still up and running.

I used Tony's lab in the '70s when I shot over 100 television commercials in the Cleveland market on bulk loaded 35mm Ektachrome Tungsten film.

At the time, I was living in Lorain and commuted to Cleveland to shoot the commercials.

If the lab is still in operation, give them a call about E6 film and processing.

Duolab123
7-Apr-2016, 21:43
In the Cleveland area, is AC Color Lab still in operation? I know Anthony "Tony" Canada (sp?) died some years ago but I hope the lab is still up and running.

I used Tony's lab in the '70s when I shot over 100 television commercials in the Cleveland market on bulk loaded 35mm Ektachrome Tungsten film.

At the time, I was living in Lorain and commuted to Cleveland to shoot the commercials.

If the lab is still in operation, give them a call about E6 film and processing.

Looks like they are long gone. The lab closed before the owner passed away in 2010.

Bleirer
8-Apr-2016, 09:21
So after a lot of calling around I talked to a very nice person at North coast in california. She said they buy chemistry direct from Fuji and they are going strong with lots of e6 coming in. $3.00 to process each 4x5 sheet mail in. I didn't quite understand the scanning prices but they started at $16 each for a 2 MB scan and increased from there. Going to be an expensive hobby.

Kyle M.
8-Apr-2016, 09:36
I don't know their prices because what little E6 I've done has been 120 that I processed at home but Dwayne's Photo, The Darkroom, and Blue Moon Camera all offer E6 processing as well.

Corran
8-Apr-2016, 09:40
I used to use North Coast Photographic for all of my color developing, before I started to do my own. Nice folks, good prices, but I did have one instance of a whole batch of E-6 getting ruined by black particles all over the image. I found out this was simply due to the age of the chemicals (it happens to me too at home if I use mine for a long time). They wanted me to send the film back to inspect it but I declined, as it just wasn't worth the time or effort.

Anyway, $16 each for scanning is ridiculous, and 2MB file size means it's tiny. That's a pointless endeavor and you would just be throwing money away. A simple flatbed scanner will pay for itself in just about 30-40 sheets of film at that rate, or, a lot of local schools or libraries have Epson scanners available for use for free. I would definitely not pay $16 for a piddly scan, and I bet they are using the same Epson scanners anyway.

Edit: There's no way they are 2MB scans. On their site they say 120 scans are 40-80MB, so 4x5 scans are probably 200MB. But they do not give you raw tiff files, just plain jpegs. Either way, you would do well to buy your own scanner and then pay for a good pro scan from a high-end scan tech if you really need it, not every image. I had some 120 scanned by them years and years ago and it was okay but nothing special. Not worth the cash unless you absolutely refuse to learn or take the time to scan your images.

seezee
8-Apr-2016, 11:07
So after a lot of calling around I talked to a very nice person at North coast in california. She said they buy chemistry direct from Fuji and they are going strong with lots of e6 coming in. $3.00 to process each 4x5 sheet mail in. I didn't quite understand the scanning prices but they started at $16 each for a 2 MB scan and increased from there. Going to be an expensive hobby.

The photo lab I use here in Norman, OK, scans my 45 negatives for $5 each at 2400 dpi. I have them export the scans as TIFFs (don't want to introduce any compression).

Having said that, by the time I finish this project, my scanning costs will equal the cost of the Epson v850 they are using. But of course, scanning is a dark art and they are masters at it.

Bleirer
8-Apr-2016, 12:51
Thanks for the hints. DWayne's only goes to 120/220 as far as I could tell. The darkroom develops to 8x10, $4 for 4 x 5 but doesn't look like they scan past 120. Blue moon does black and white sheet film but no color. DIY looking more attractive. Or maybe a nice 50 megapixel Canon 5ds.

What is the name of the place in Norman?

StoneNYC
8-Apr-2016, 13:20
I use Praus, highly recommended for the processing, I believe he only scans 120/35mm however, I would scan yourself, almost all scanning is overpriced for what you get from any lab except the drum scans which are expensive but you get what you pay for at least with those.

http://www.4photolab.com/pricing/

Highly highly recommended!

Bleirer
8-Apr-2016, 14:17
Great suggestion about the library. Cleveland public has free use of an Epson 11000. Yes!

AtlantaTerry
8-Apr-2016, 15:05
The photo lab I use here in Norman, OK, scans my 45 negatives for $5 each at 2400 dpi. I have them export the scans as TIFFs (don't want to introduce any compression).

Having said that, by the time I finish this project, my scanning costs will equal the cost of the Epson v850 they are using. But of course, scanning is a dark art and they are masters at it.

What I find interesting is that you praise the lab but then fail to tell us who they are. :D