Photographs, Travel

Aalborg on film

I brought my Pentax IQZoom 170SL with me to Denmark. It had a half-shot roll of Fujicolor 200 in it, and I brought a roll of Kosmo Foto Agent Shadow. I promised the fellow behind Kosmo Foto that I’d write a post for his site with the Agent Shadow images, and I’ll link to that when I get around to writing it and he posts it. Here, I’ll share some of the color images.

I made this image the day we landed in Aalborg. We were on our way to an event, but needed to have a bite to eat first. We rode the bus from our hotel to the city center and walked around a little.

Aalborg, Denmark

I wanted to capture the light and shadow on this house. The camera did only a middling job of it.

Aalborg, Denmark

We found a lovely little restaurant in the Møllegården, a small plaza in the city center.

Møllegaarden

Here’s Margaret at our table outside in the middle of the plaza. Notice the heater on the corner of the umbrella. Four square umbrellas spanned all of the outdoor tables, and there was a heater in each corner of each umbrella. We visited this same restaurant another day, which turned out to be rainy and chilly. The heaters were on, and there were blankets at every table to wrap up in. This was a typical setup for outdoor restaurant tables in Aalborg.

Margaret

The event was the DHL Stafetten footrace. Apparently, this is an event that happens in many places across Europe. In each location, local companies form teams of runners who run this race as a relay. Each runner runs 5 kilometers before passing the baton!

DHL Stafetten Aalborg

Each company was able to rent a space where employees could gather. Some spaces were under tents as in this photo; others were in the open. Each company brought food. The people of my company just catered in some sandwiches and beer, but a few companies went all out with giant grills and all kinds of meats.

DHL Stafetten Aalborg

This was a very well attended event — it was a sea of people.

DHL Stafetten Aalborg

Finally, here’s an image of our hotel’s huge back yard. Here in the US, American flags are everywhere and I hardly notice them. Similarly, Danish flags are everywhere in Denmark. But because I’m not used to seeing them, I really noticed them.

Danish flag

The IQZoom performed well and I was very happy to use its 170mm zoom. I wasn’t thrilled with the processing and scanning, however. This film was fresh, but everything just seemed dingy and brown. I was able to remedy that some in Photoshop, thankfully. I got much better results with the black-and-white Agent Shadow film, but you’ll have to wait until that article goes live on Kosmo Foto to see them!

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24 thoughts on “Aalborg on film

  1. P says:

    In addition to the dinginess and brownness of the scans you mentioned you had to correct, there also appears to be emulsion damage scattered all throughout this roll. The grain looks a bit mushy also. None of these issues should exist with fresh Fujifilm C200. I think Roberts messed up.

    • I noticed the emulsion damage too; I don’t know why I didn’t mention it in the article. I use Roberts because they are fast (<= 2 days) and inexpensive. But maybe I shouldn’t use them when the images matter.

      • P says:

        Roberts used to be reasonably priced, but they’ve repeatedly jacked up their prices over the last several years. I think they’ve almost doubled what they charge since I last used them. Aren’t they up to something like $14 a roll for C-41 developing and scanning now, and even more for B&W? And even at those prices, their scans are still only middle of the road in terms of resolution (~6MP). I don’t know about you, but I don’t find that inexpensive at all. On the contrary, I find it absurdly expensive, especially for a consumer lab.

        I last mailed some film to Roberts a few years back, but wasn’t very pleased with what I got back. I’ve not sent them anything since. I think at the time they were charging about $8 a roll for C-41 developing and scanning. At their current prices, even if I thought their quality was on point, I still wouldn’t use them. In my opinion, what they’re now charging is ridiculous and completely uncalled for. Speed is the only thing they’ve got going for them, I’m afraid, and that’s only true if you’re local. Unfortunately, speed is irrelevant if quality is poor or wildly inconsistent.

        While they’re not as common as they used to be, there are still far better labs out there that cost a lot less, labs that truly do care about the quality of their work and aren’t price gouging. I try to support these labs as they actually deserve people’s business.

        • If you’re comparing Roberts price now to n years ago, well, of course they’re expensive now. But compared to other labs I’m aware of today, they’re one of the lower priced ones. The only one I know of that is less expensive is Fulltone Photo — dev & standard 1818×1228 scans is $7 + $4.50 s/h. Man, do I wish their standard scans were larger. Those are mighty small.

          Old School Photo Lab is just short of $20 a roll now. They do wonderful work but zOMG that price. So I use them only when the roll is wicked important.

          Are you aware of other labs that are on the less-expensive side? If so, do share.

        • P says:

          Jim, I’m comparing Roberts’ prices today to their prices maybe three or four years ago. I don’t care what excuses are made, that’s a very short period of time for things to nearly double — entirely unacceptable, in my view. Their return shipping is also severely overpriced and was even when I last used them.

          Let’s be fair to Fulltone. They have free return shipping on orders $15+, and provide a paid label to get your film to them regardless of how many rolls you’re sending in. So, in reality, there are no shipping costs with them if you’re sending in three rolls of 35mm C-41, or two rolls if you opt for “enhanced scans.” And, regarding their “enhanced scans,” if made on their Noritsu (not Frontier), they’re the full 30MP (6774x4492px) the scanner is capable of. They cost $5 extra, making 35mm C-41 developing with 30MP scans $12. The same service for 35mm B&W is $13. For what it is, I still think this is a bit high for a consumer lab, but it’s acceptable only because they cover shipping. If they didn’t cover shipping, it wouldn’t be acceptable and I wouldn’t use them. Also, if their prices go up any more, that too will cause them to lose me as a customer. All that said, Fulltone has always done good C-41 work for me, so I still send them my business. However, their communication skills leave a lot to be desired. Still, I do think they care about the quality of their work and are competent at their jobs, unlike a whole lot of (read: most) labs out there.

          There are several other labs that I could talk about, but for the sake of not writing a book, I’ll just mention one more — Memphis Film Lab. Their prices are fair and I can speak from experience that they truly care about what they do and about satisfying their customers. They’re not in it to rip people off. Most labs absolutely are, whether people realize it or not. Out of all the labs I’ve talked to and dealt with in recent years, these guys are probably the most competent and well-versed in how to properly use their equipment (because they were actually willing to put forth the effort to learn). Simply put, they know their stuff. They’re what a consumer lab should be.

          This is my opinion, so take it or leave it, but Old School Photo Lab is a total rip-off. As is The Darkroom. As is Blue Moon Camera. As are almost all of the other labs people worship and throw absurd amounts of money at for lackluster service/quality. I could list them all, but I won’t. I simply will never understand it…

          Jim, if you want more lab recommendations or my thoughts on any particular lab or their services, email me and I’d be happy to discuss things further. Sorry for the length of this comment (although I’m pretty sure I’ve left far longer ones in the past).

          Take care. :)

        • Solid points about Fulltone’s value in bulk, esp. with the large scans. I have bought both scan types and the scans look materially different so I believe they’re using Frontier for the small scans and Noritsu for the large scans.

          You’ve made abundantly clear in the past what you think about the cost of film dev/scan at most commercial labs. I’m not excited about paying 20 bucks for a roll of C41 either – it’s just too much money, period.. However, OSPL is the ONLY lab I’ve ever used that has NEVER screwed up an order. I’ve used The Darkroom, Dwayne’s, Lumentation, and a couple others I can’t remember and each one has delivered at least one disappointing result.

          Oh, for the days I could mail in a roll of film on Monday and have a CD of scans in my mailbox by Friday. (This was before Dropbox delivery.) Starting about 5 years ago, that timeframe started inching up everywhere and now pretty much every lab has 2 week turnaround minimum. It’s frustrating as hell.

          I’ll check out Memphis Film Lab.

        • “This is my opinion, so take it or leave it, but Old School Photo Lab is a total rip-off. As is The Darkroom. As is Blue Moon Camera. As are almost all of the other labs people worship and throw absurd amounts of money at for lackluster service/quality.”

          Blue Moon is one of my local labs. I don’t use them that often, due to distance from my house and price. (The two labs closer to me, Citizens and Shutterbug, will do C-41 develop and scan for $15 or less). But I would disagree that Blue Moon gives “lackluster service/quality.” And they are the only lab that I know of that will still make optical prints vs. scan and print, not to mention that they’ll still process oddball/dead film formats that other labs won’t touch.

          And no, I don’t enjoy higher prices on film developing. But this is the reality we now find ourselves in. Complaining that x labs price was several dollars cheaper a few years back doesn’t change anything. It reminds me of people who would show up at the hostel I worked at, balk at the current price and comment that they only paid $6 to stay here back in 1988.

        • P says:

          Jim–

          Yes, Fulltone has both Noritsu and Frontier scanners, and I think they do actually use both at times for their “standard” (supremely tiny) scans. At these super low resolutions, I’m mostly indifferent about which is used, but if you want one or the other, I’m sure you could just specify such on your order form. In my experience, their “enhanced” scans always seem to come off the Noritsu, though. It seems you’ve had the same experience. Personally, at appreciable resolutions, I like the aesthetic of Noritsu scans better. They’re also faster than Frontiers, so that’s a benefit to the labs themselves.

          I’m glad OSPL has never let you down, whereas every other lab you’ve used has at one time or another. However, I think that’s more an illustration of the unacceptable failures of other labs and a showing of their incompetency/laziness/lack of caring rather than a show of OSPL’s vast superiority. The truth is that if labs were competent and actually cared, these “letdowns” would be exceedingly rare. There’s simply no excuse they happen as often at they do today. For context, who knows how many hundreds of rolls of film my family had processed at various drugstores (Walgreens, Rite-Aid, etc.), big box stores (Wal-Mart, K-mart, etc.), and local camera shops while I was growing up, in addition to what I myself had processed while I was in college, and do you know how many instances I remember of being “let down” as a result of lab error? None. Zero. Zip. [and yes, even as a child I was paying attention because I loved photography and was always anxiously awaiting picking up our family photos, most of which I still have to this day] That’s because, at least based on my own experiences, once upon a time not that long ago, even the cheapest, bottom-most-of-the-barrel labs were more competent than what’s typical today. Frankly, the situation today is pathetic. The “premium” of today is generally equivalent to the “passable,” “acceptable,” “decent,” or “average” of twenty or thirty years ago. And what’s “passable” today is frankly entirely unacceptable.

          Lumentation screwed up one of my orders so bad it wasn’t even funny. They outright destroyed one of my rolls of film (and didn’t bother to replace it, or even offer to). So, I lost those images entirely as well as the cost of that roll of film. In the same order, they lost part of my negatives for another roll. The negatives I did receive back were all badly scratched. Part of them were poorly washed and had water/chemical marks. I purchased prints, but never received them. And so on… It was a disaster. And I was not impressed by their attitude or the way they handled things, or rather, didn’t handle things. I will never do business with them again. I sure wish Neil hadn’t retired, sold his lab and equipment, and that he was still operating Willow Photo Lab. Sure, he wasn’t top-tier, but he tried really hard and always worked to make things right if there was an issue. And, most importantly, he most certainly wasn’t in it to rip people off. He was in it for the film community.

          I think Dwayne’s is good for E-6 processing if you want mounted slides, but don’t want scans. If you scan your own negatives, then I think their dev-only C-41 or B&W services are fine, too. But their scan quality seems to be all over the map, or at least it used to. It’s been a while, so maybe they’ve fixed these issues. I also haven’t looked at their prices recently, and am not going to right now, so it’s possible they’ve gone up enough that I would no longer recommend them at all.

          I’ve never personally used OSPL or The Darkroom, and I never will. Looking at others’ scans (including yours), I’ve never seen anything from either of them that was anything remarkable or special in terms of scan quality. This is true of Blue Moon Camera and a lot of other labs people rave about also. Based on my observations, the only thing remarkable about any of them is what they charge, and those remarks are not positive ones, I’m afraid.

          Turnaround times have increased substantially at most of the better-known labs. Yes, it is frustrating. Obviously, this is primarily because they’re developing a lot more film than they have in nearly two decades. Based on the amount of film being sold in recent years, one can deduce their business has been steadily increasing for at least five years now, likely even doubling year-over-year at times. This should have driven prices down, but the opposite happened as most labs apparently gave in to greed and chose to exploit their new customers (mostly younger people who have no clue what things should realistically cost) instead of being a true service to the community by offering quality lab services at fair/reasonable prices and making it accessible to all (which would have been the smart move as it would have ensured a large, loyal, and dedicated customer base, not to mention cemented film as a medium that isn’t going anywhere, and thus guaranteed these labs’ long-term survival as, well, profitable film labs).

          Yes, do check out Memphis Film Lab, Jim. They’re in Ohio. I think you’ll be pleased.

          Since I’ve already written several books (so what’s one more paragraph?), and because you asked specifically about labs on the “less-expensive side,” I’ll go ahead and mention one other lab before I go that I think is worthy of people’s business, and that’s Andrew’s Analog Service Center (needfilmdeveloped.com). He develops and scans 35mm C-41 for five bucks. Return shipping is a flat $5 regardless of the number of rolls. For the price, his 35mm scans are of pretty good quality and a decent resolution if you’re just uploading online. The only issue I’ve had with his work is a somewhat higher-than-average amount of dust/debris on my returned negatives. Maybe he’s improved his working space and this is no longer an issue. He’s the kind of person who is always striving to improve his process. His turnaround times can be a bit lengthy, but that’s forgivable considering the small size of his operation (it’s just him and his wife, I believe). I can say this without hesitation, though — Andrew works hard and aims to please. He genuinely cares about the film community and the future survival of film as a medium. He’s definitely worth supporting and giving a chance.

        • P says:

          ADVENTUREPDX–

          Based on other people’s scans I’ve seen from Blue Moon Camera, as well as prior correspondence I had with them inquiring about their services, my opinion is that they’re nothing special in terms of what they offer. At all. In terms of what they provide the customer, they’re what I’d consider completely average and what should be expected of any decent consumer lab. So, yeah, for what they charge, I’d absolutely call these average results “lackluster.” In the end, you have to measure the product/service being offered against the price it’s being offered at. I mean, seriously, they’re not providing 16-bpc Imacon TIFFs or anything that actually sets them apart as a consumer lab. Again, just totally average, run-of-the-mill, typical Noritsu/Frontier minilab quality, in my opinion, but for an exorbitant price. Is their quality better than a lot of labs? Sure. But that’s honestly not saying much today since most labs are a complete joke, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve used a great deal of them.

          Yes, they will print optically, but unless you’re independently wealthy there is no way you’re using that service, certainly not regularly. They charge an arm and a leg for it. And there are other labs that will still make traditional optical enlargements. I have a list somewhere just in case I ever wanted/needed that service. Needless to say, Blue Moon Camera isn’t on that list because their prices are ludicrous. Look, I’m all for optical prints, but realistically, with 4×6 or even 5×7 prints, competently made digital prints on B&W silver-halide or color RA-4 paper are practically indistinguishable from their counterparts made on an optical machine printer. Now, when you get into larger print sizes, yes, there is a noticeable difference. There are also plenty of other labs that will still process old, oddball formats. You clearly haven’t looked around much.

          Look, besides their prices, I have absolutely nothing against Blue Moon Camera. From my limited interactions with them, I know they at least have decent communication skills and customer service (a rarity today), which I appreciate. And I actually think they’re probably very nice people. But I absolutely do find their scanning and printing prices inane. Nothing will change my opinion there.

          In the context of this discussion about lab services, we’re not talking about “several dollars” and we’re not talking about what hostels cost in 1988. You need to look at it in terms of percentages. We’re talking about 50%, 75%, 100%, or in some cases even 200% increases in a relatively short timeframe, percentages that, based on my math and evaluation, are simply not justified by material/operating cost increases. [It’s even worse if we extend the conversation to include film manufacturing and the cost of film itself]. Or, we’re talking about labs that were always overpriced and a rip-off from the get-go, or at least became such once we entered into the mid-to-late 2000’s and they saw an opportunity to become exploitative because so much of their competition had disappeared, leaving the community with limited options.

          You know what doesn’t change anything, and in fact makes things worse? Defending, promoting, and supporting greed. Likewise, apathy and complacency don’t change anything for the better, either, but rather do the exact opposite. Be it in regards to labs, film manufacturers, or whatever, all these mentalities do is guarantee prices will unendingly spin out of control and become unaffordable for the vast majority (we’re already there and it just keeps getting worse). Ultimately, if it continues, it will ruin the industry and film will be no more. Those who do have these mentalities are just giving their permission to be screwed over, exponentially, forever. So, maybe my “complaining” is not changing anything — although I do hope it’s giving people some things to think about — but at least I’m not changing things for the worse by being totally apathetic and complacent, and allowing myself to be ripped off, or, even more ridiculous, celebrating being ripped off as all too many do.

          Everyone is free to do what they want. That said, as with anything else, I will support labs that have fair and reasonable prices, who are competent, and who actually care about what they do and the community they serve. I will not support labs whose rates I deem to be exploitative, who are incompetent, and/or who clearly care more about making lots of money than supporting the film community and trying to grow it to ensure film’s survival long-term.

          There used to be this novel concept called “voting with your dollars.” It was used to keep companies in check. Unfortunately, putting it into practice requires understanding when you’re being taken for a ride, and today most people don’t seem to have a clue.

          These are my opinions. Do with them what you will.

          To each their own.

  2. Tom H says:

    I know how it can feel when the development is under, Jim. Luckily it doesn’t happen too often and good that you have other cameras with you and films to process elsewhere.

    • No, it doesn’t happen too often — thank goodness. A couple of labs I have used have never messed up an order. I know they’re there for me when I must have it right.

  3. In response to “P”, since I can’t seem to nest a comment underneath theirs:

    Okay, I get it. Blue Moon doesn’t meet your standards. That’s fine, not every lab will. I don’t frequently get their optical prints, but it’s nice that’s it’s an option. You may think they are too expensive and there’s other labs around that still will optically print a full roll of film “cheaper”, but they are a local lab to me that still does it. (I’d love to see this list of other labs that do optical printing, by the way.)

    And that’s great that there’s other labs that will do oddball formats. I never said there weren’t. And I’m not bothering to look around for other labs that do other formats, as I’m pretty much 35mm and 120 right now.

    I bring up hostel bed pricing in 1988 because it’s irrelevant to what it is today. Bringing up pricing on processing from even a few years ago is now unfortunately irrelevant. The price right now is the price right now. You may think that it’s unfair at best, and greedy at worst. But that’s not going to change the price.

    The world has changed a lot in the past couple years. Inflation has increased, the cost of things have increased, the cost of living has increased. I’ve mentioned this before, but you don’t seem to believe that this can be a factor. Maybe some labs have dollar signs in their eyes, but I’m guessing many of them are just trying to stay afloat in a world of ever-increasing costs.

    I don’t defend, promote, or support greed. What I do defend, promote, and support is a local business like Blue Moon, a biz that’s supported the film community, here in Portland, and worldwide. I support a business that’s supported me as I’ve re-entered film. When I bought a TLR online that I had trouble figuring out the advance mechanism, they helped me figure it out, even though I didn’t buy it from them. When I still screwed up the first roll, they graciously gave me another roll, gratis. This is something that I’m not going to get from a distant lab that may be cheaper than Blue Moon. (Plus, I’ve found their film prices to be reasonable, sometimes even cheaper than powerhouse retailers like B+H.) And if the extra money they are charging for certain services means that their employees can make a living wage, in a city as expensive as Portland, I’m all for that. That might not be one of your priorities, “P”, but it’s one of mine.

    • P says:

      ADVENTUREPDX–

      This will be my last post here.

      Regarding “the list”: I made a list about five or six years ago containing all the labs I could find that I thought might be worth doing business with. I put them in a spreadsheet and detailed the types of services they offered (such as optical printing and traditional enlargements), what kind of equipment they used (Noritsu, Frontier, Agfa, etcetera), the chemistry they used for different processes, their rates, where they were located, etcetera. Unfortunately, I made this list on my old cell phone (two or three phones ago now), the battery on which has long been completely dead. Foolishly, I don’t think I ever backed it up anywhere else. If I did, I haven’t been able to find it. I didn’t get rid of that phone, though. I still have it, and have meant for a long time to order a new battery and get it installed (a huge pain with modern cell phones). If and when I do, I’ll try to remember to get back to you with the labs I indicated still did traditional darkroom enlargements and/or optical machine prints. Personally, I don’t have much use for the latter. Paying a lot extra for small proof prints made optically on a machine printer just doesn’t make sense to me because, as I said before, you’d be hard-pressed to see a difference between them and competently made digital prints (i.e. made from scans, the paper exposed via laser) of the same size. Now, larger, darkroom prints made with a legit enlarger are a different story. I am interested in that as a service.

      For Jim’s audience (and Jim himself), I think we need to add some context to this discussion…

      $47.70. Not including shipping, that’s what it costs at Blue Moon Camera to get a 36-exposure roll of C-41 developed, scanned (at their lower, most basic resolution), and have a single set of standard 4×6 optical machine prints made. $47.70 for ONE. SINGLE. ROLL. No add-ons, no upgrades, no special requests, no shipping; just dev, ~6MP JPEG Noritsu scans, and basic 4×6 prints if you were to walk in with a 135-36 roll of Kodak Gold, for example. If we were to take a poll of Jim’s audience, my guess is not one single person would think that isn’t absurd. Well, except maybe you and the handful of people who own three or four Leicas and think that’s normal.

      Regarding me not “[seeming] to believe that [inflation/cost of living/etcetera] can be a factor” in what I deem to be inane prices for film and film-related services, I’ve addressed this. Repeatedly, in fact (if we extend this because to prior threads on past posts). To quote myself above:

      “You need to look at it in terms of percentages. We’re talking about 50%, 75%, 100%, or in some cases even 200% increases in a relatively short timeframe, percentages that, based on my math and evaluation, are simply not justified by material/operating cost increases.”

      What exactly do you think I mean when I’m talking about material and operating costs? Seriously now… Have you done any math or evaluated anything based on actual numbers and data, to attempt to estimate what things should realistically cost? Have you looked into how much the developing chemicals labs use have increased (or not) in cost over the years? Have you looked into how much energy costs have increased on average? How about water or other utilities? Have you taken into account the much higher volume of film being processed by most labs today (which means higher efficiency and thus greater profits) due to the greater amount of film being sold in recent years? And so on and so forth… To the best of my abilities, I have, and I hold to what I’ve argued, that, in general, my opinion is that we’re being ripped off by most labs (and at least a couple of film manufacturers–take a guess). And not just a little bit. Severely. It sure seems to me you simply believe costs are justified because those charging them told you they were justified. You merely accept it, blindly. If so, that’s…well, if you can’t see what it is there’s no point in me even trying…

      Stating that the cost of something (anything) yesterday is “irrelevant” to the cost of something today and that it is what it is (to quote you: “The price right now is the price right now.”), and that we just have to accept it, is the very definition of apathy and complacency both. But you’re wrong anyway; what things cost over time (e.g. yesterday, a year ago, five years ago) is a necessary variable (one of the most necessary–critical, in fact) in being able to determine if the current cost of a thing is justified, or if we’re being exploited. Just like I guarantee you that if “your” hostel was overcharging customers severely enough back in the day that it was resulting in them losing enough business that they were left with no choice but to lower their prices back to what’s realistic, the exact same is true today with film labs (and film, and everything else). Again, “voting with your dollars.” But if the hostel customers were ignorant enough to allow themselves to be screwed over by a greedy hostel owner, well, the net result of that is they’ll just end up being screwed over more and more because both that hostel, as well as other hostels watching, know they can get away with it. This is the sad reality of the amoral business practices that are now commonplace. It didn’t used to be this way, though, largely for the very reason that people used to actually put “voting with their dollars” into practice.

      Here’s the rub–the very fact that there are labs that are fair and affordable (relatively speaking), and still do great work (and are in many cases more competent than labs charging asinine prices), is all the evidence necessary to show just how flawed your thinking is, both in terms of what is “acceptable” cost-wise and that we, the film community, have no power to change anything and must simply accept high costs. We don’t have to accept it, and all we have to do to change things is not support labs that charge asinine prices, and support labs that don’t charge asinine prices. Once the former lose enough business, they will have no choice but to stop ripping people off, or go out of business. If you can’t see that, I’m sorry.

      That said, everyone is free to be ripped off, if they so desire.

      Again, like everything else I’ve posted, these are my opinions. Take them or leave them.

      • P, I’m feeling that you’re starting to move towards attacks on my character. “Well, except maybe you and the handful of people who own three or four Leicas and think that’s normal.” For the record, I don’t even own a single Leica, and don’t want one. There’s no need to go there.

        And I admitted in my first comment above that Blue Moon was expensive–please go re-read that comment. As I note, I hardly ever use them for processing, preferring the two other labs I normally frequent, where I can pay $15 for develop/scan, or less. (And one of those labs, The Shutterbug, has 24 hour turnaround for C-41, which I like.) I was more reacting to your “lackluster service/quality” comment about Blue Moon, so I wanted to defend their service and shared about how they’ve been helpful to me. This doesn’t seem to matter to you and that OK, but it matters to me.

        You know nothing about the hostel I worked at, so your claim that the hostel was somehow overcharging folks is baseless. The reality was hostels were severely undercharging folks for too long. They could get away with $6 a night in 1988 because staff generally lived on premises (getting paid in rent vs. actual cash.) And the level of service was a lot lower–most hostels had a “lock out” period, usually 10 AM to 4 PM, where people had to leave the premises. (And they would often have a curfew around 9 or 10 PM where most folks had to be back by then or would be locked out!) And there was no such thing as wi-fi or internet access in 1988, things that do cost money. Towards the end of the time I worked at the hostel in 2018, all of our staff lived offsite, in an expensive city. Salaries had to be competitive. We also got full healthcare and generous time off if we were full-time. And hostellers expected more: full access 24-7, “free” and fast wi-fi, a TV room, and other amenities. This is all going to cost more than $6 a night, and you can’t do a simple “adjust for inflation” to determine the new price. And you can’t pay the workers a fair price if you don’t increase the rates.

        Not everything that involves a sudden price increase means that the company/etc. is “ripping off” folks, it’s entirely possible that it could be a sudden “righting” of costs of fees, fees that had been severely undercharged before. And if it’s the choice between keeping an artificially low price and dying, or adjusting and surviving, well…I am not saying this is the case with film makers or even labs, some of them are probably gouging. But I don’t think it’s everyone. In any case, I heard that Kodak is hiring more people to make film, I hope this both increases supply and lessens prices.

        So P, let’s keep this civil, now and in the future. Don’t make me out to be some sort of automaton because you think I “blindly” accept new costs. Even if I somehow did, no need to punch below the belt. Remember that we are not perfect, and you’ve made errors in the past as well (though we can just assume so, since you choose to remain anonymous.) Let’s not assume the worst in everyone, because they have a differing view from you.

        And really, it would be nice to see all this energy you direct at me and others in the comments towards a blog of your own!

        • P says:

          I was admittedly being blunt, but I’m not trying to attack anyone’s character. Forgive me if I came across that way. I’m just trying to point out the logical fallacies of those who claim that either things are what they are and there’s nothing we can do about it; or, worse, that we should all praise companies for the high costs of their products. I know you’re not doing the latter, but you did very clearly state the former, several times. I also didn’t claim you owned a Leica. In fact, I was pretty sure you didn’t. I said “you and the handful [who do own Leicas],” not “you and the others who do.” I tried to distinguish you from them deliberately. I can see how maybe I wasn’t clear enough in that distinction, however. Tone and context too easily get lost in writing. That said, I mentioned Leica owners on purpose because, in general, they’re the ones who will argue until they’re blue in the face that when film and/or lab services increase by 50%/100%/300% (practically overnight at times), and continue to rise exponentially, it’s just great and dandy, and that we shouldn’t just support and praise such behavior, but be entirely thankful for it. They’re the “latter” group I referred to above. Do you not agree that’s ridiculous? Frankly, it’s this behavior and mentality that is ruining (arguably, has ruined) the film community. At least, that’s my opinion.

          You’re right. I don’t know anything about the hostel you worked at. As such, I did not claim your hostel was overcharging folks. I said “if” they were… I could have used any business as an example, though; it doesn’t matter what the hypothetical business is/was. “If Company A was ripping their customers off so bad they started losing enough business (as a result of people recognizing they were being ripped off) and thus their would-be customers were no longer supporting them (Company A), then Company A would be forced to either lower their prices to what’s fair and reasonable, or go out of business.” The type of business Company A is, is irrelevant. I was just continuing on with what had already been used as an example in this discussion. I don’t know what your hostel was doing, nor did I claim to. It was merely an “if…/then…” example, using them as an example if they were operating in such a manner.

          I, too, hope that if Kodak actually is hiring more employees that it results in better availability and lower prices (much, much lower). The current situation is an unmitigated disaster. So, here’s to hoping, even if I have effectively zero faith in them. Who knows, maybe they’ll surprise me.

          At present, I’m not interested in blogging. Maybe someday, but not today. Even if I had one, I doubt many would read it due to my long-winded nature. I mean, when I start writing, I write books. I know that. :)

          Regarding everything else, the proverbial dead horse is thoroughly beaten…

          And again, before I go (for real this time), I wasn’t trying to attack your character, or anyone else’s. My apologies one more if I came off that way. Yes, we’re all human and we all make mistakes. It seems a mistake I commonly make is failing to properly convey what the tone/context of what I’m writing should be so it’s not taken in an unintended manner.

        • P says:

          Oh, and I was also going to say that it sounds to me like the hostellers who were demanding all kinds of amenities didn’t actually want a hostel at all; they wanted a hotel.

          Okay, that’s it. Take care!

        • I’ve been busy with other things the last few days and am just now catching up on this. This was an awfully intense exchange and if I was on the receiving end of some of your bluntness, P, I would have been pretty put out. I know there are a lot of strong feelings about the state of film processing these days but it’s not like we’re discussing nuclear proliferation or pandemic response here. I ask that when there are disagreements here, that we are okay that others have different perspectives than us.

        • P says:

          Sorry, Jim. While I hold to my views, I was perhaps too blunt with my assertions. My apologies. My guess is that had this conversation taken place in person, it wouldn’t have come off nearly as intense as it did here.

        • I have thought about scanning my own color negs but given the turnaround time to get the negs, it would significantly delay me being able to have scans. Sometimes I think I should invest in a C41 developing kit.

  4. I will sidestep the discussion about film processing labs. But I am fascinated by the small heaters attached to the umbrella ribs. Something that can generate enough heat to be meaningful 3 or 4 feet away yet not be hot enough to burn/melt umbrella fabric is quite an engineering feat.

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