Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/10/21

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Subject: Re: slide film & labs
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 22:55:50 -0700

At 01:16 PM 10/22/97 +1000, you wrote:
> -------
>Kodachrome 64
> - Rich and well balanced.  Saturated at a third to 1 stop under it can
>Kodachrome 200
> - Don't know if I'm talking through my hat here but this film does
>nothing for me.  The contrast range and colour saturation of the K64
>Agfa RSX 50
> - If it was still the 70's and brown was the fashionable avante guard
>colour of the moment this film could be king.  The colour is well
>Agfa RSX 100
> - Comments similar to RSX 50 but washed out in comparison.  Use RSX 50.
>Fuji Velvia
> - I was determined not to hop on the Velvia bus.
>My favourite slide of my trip is with Velvia.
> -  For an orgy of landscape photography I would be content if I had a
>mix of K64 and Velvia with me.  Their colour, liveliness and contrast
>latitude are great, and a third to one stop underexposed make you sit up
>and pay attention.  For a peppering of people shots I would add some
>Agfa RSX 50, but would not be upset if it wasn't in my bag.
> ----------
> >  Rob.

Hi Rob...

I think you just verified what the industry has been doing. Kodak sent me
two rolls of K64 and asked me to shoot it along side my normal film. I shot
it along side Velvia and sent sample results back to them. The Velvia was
better in five out of six situations. K64 was equal in the sixth, not
better. They are sending me 20 rolls of E100s for my trouble... I have a
feeling that they are poking around with some new K formulas. And with the
new K-Mini-processor... one never knows... One of the questions was "would
you agree to test new products if they came available" so maybe we will
have a K film that can compete with Velvia. And be processed by a
professional lab in just a few hours. I'm so used to getting E6 in two
hours and having grainless brilliant colors, that it's going to take a lot
to get me to switch. But I like the stability of the Kodachrome process. I
guess we'll see if Kodak is going to try and win back all of it's ex
Kodachrome users. Let's face it, if you sell your labs which then give
lousy service & quality, then close down most of them, to where it takes a
week to get your Kodachrome processed, and you don't know where it's been.
After investing time, energy, and much money in a shoot, I do not want to
send my film across the country, or to another country, via those "usually
trustworthy" package carriers. There's enough to worry about in the lab
without worrying about getting it there and back. So unless Kodak can get
all of the pro/commercial labs to sign-up for the K-mini-processor, I
suspect they will still have trouble pushing into the Velvia/Provia domain.

I am very very lucky. I live ten minutes from one of the best labs on the
west coast, Calypso Imaging. All film services are 2 hours. All print
services are 24 hours. I can get a new Ilfochrome test print every 24
hours, which means, I can make a final, corrected print, in 48 or 72 hours.
Re-prints are always just 24 hours away. Great service. You can shoot in
the morning, process, order a print, and the print will be ready the next
day. Any size up to 30x40. 40x50 through 48x120 take 48 hours.

I don't know about you, but when returning from a shoot, I'm so anxious to
get the film processed that that's all I can think about. Ain't no way I'm
going to send it off across the country.

Sorry this degraded to a discussion about labs, Kodak, Kodachrome vs
Velvia. It must have been on my mind, and Rob's report triggered it.

Thanks for your ear,