F . A . Q
Is the dr5-lab the only Quality B&W transparency [scala film + others] lab? Yes ! We are the only lab 'World-Wide' That produces Quality B&W slides from most ALL B&W films. Outside of Germany, we are the only lab able to run the remaining SCALA-film - Which can still be purchased through our lab http://www.bwslidefilm.com/.
Today's lab production needs to be managed differently. Besides our standard Quality Control policies, We will not run film unless the line is spot-on, the recent huge cost increases of running the lab forced us to make some drastic changes in our operations. We have found our film-lines are much easier to maintain the higher the volume run is, thus, our once a week run schedule. In the slower months we gang the film orders up to have higher volume runs, making dr5 more consistent for you and easier & less costly for us to maintain. Film volumes have gone quite haywire since the digital takeover of commercial imaging. We can no longer guess when our busy or slow months will happen. As a cost saving measure our turn time will depend on several factors. We can always run your film anytime that is required. Rush fees may apply.
AN ADDITIONAL NOTE ON PRODUCTION : dr5 is a highly specialized - hand mixed photo-process, we give absolute attention to excellence. On some occasions you might experience delays in service, there are reasons this might occur, if delay in services is Quality-control related. WE WILL NOT sacrifice getting orders out if Quality is compromised. Please be patient in this occurs.
Why do i need a B&W transparency? There are many answers to this question. Truth is, If you want to make B&W prints in your own darkroom, dr5 may not be for you. IF YOU ARE GOING STRAIGHT TO SCAN a transparency is a must! Your best film scan will be from the positive, not a negative. dr5 has a unique high image-quality, the best possible quality from most all current B&W films. There is a great misconception that you will have a difficult time printing a B&W or color slide, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH ! The new style photo-machines, like the FUJI FRONTIER, LIGHTJET, ETC.. are able to print from ANY medium, negatives, positives or digital files. Small prints are as easily obtained from slides as they are from neg's, AT THE SAME COST. Though R-prints no longer exist, CIBACHROME is still the best direct from positive print available. If you are a contact printer dr5 is a must for creating contact-negatives! Producing enlarged neg's from a dr5 original bypasses an entire step for the contact printer. If you have old negatives that need to be copied or rearchived, the dr5 process produces the best "interpositive/copy-negative" you will ever see. Also; high-end LVT or CRT digital negatives can be produced. This procedure has proven to be the best reproduction quality for producing negatives from the scanned film. Only you can determine how best to capture your images. dr5 offers an extremely versatile archival image that is easily translated to any forum.
having trouble scanning dr5 chromes. This statement-question simply doesn't make sense. If
you or the outside-lab are having problems scanning dr5-chromes, something is defiantly NOT wrong with the chromes! Labs like WESTCOAST IMAGING or other similar shops that say there is no advantage to dr5 chromes, or they want to charge you extra, its just as well you go somewhere else to scan your images. Labs that have such an opinion usually do not have the expert ice needed to scan film. The major perk of dr5 chromes is ease of scanning. A negative cannot compete with a correctly exposed dr5 image. If you need a scanning service, we would be honored to scan your film - www.filmscans.net
Negatives or chromes: There are a few debates across the web about which is best in post. Anyone who scans film on a regular basis will always prefer the slide over the negative. NEGATIVE FILM is for making traditional prints - CHROMES / SLIDES are for scanning - post work.
WHY DONT YOU HAVE MAILERS ? Today, thin mailers are not optimal for protecting film. It is always best to use a small box to send your films.
Digital or dr5 ? Digital capture has it's place. Digital-imaging is one thing, real photography is another.
About outdated & improperly stored films: If you are in need of the best quality, Do not use out dated or improperly stored films. Out of date films sometime render a low dmax. The same holds true for E6 films. Out of date or improperly stored films should be avoided if you are looking for the best image possible. Is it OK to use outdated film for dr5? Sure! If you have cold-stored film or you know what to expect from an outdated film, we will run them. The following problems can be attributed to dr5 while using very old films; Film swelling, causing reticulation or very soft emulsions causing easy scratching, or the emulsion to let go of the film base. Spotting: usually white or pin-point: Films that render these problems have emulsions that are damaged in one way or another. Spots are caused by the emulsion becoming too old & tough for the chemistry to properly process. Black spots - are usually attributed to dust or dirt and defective film. Mottling: in some emulsions can also occur if it is very old. Low DMAX: is the most common problem for old films.
About shipping: go here. An unfortunate necessity.
Is SCALA a slide film? Can it be run as a negative? SCALA film made by AGFA is a high contrast partial-ortho film type optimized to be reverse-processed. If you wanted to run SCALA in a negative developer, yes, it is possible.
Is dr5 the
Kodak-kit process? The SCALA process? NO - both processes are now discontinued. dr5 is optimized to run most ALL B&W films to B&W-slides, and produces a better quality output for scala film over the old AGFA-scala process chemistry.
This is now B&W-slide: Other B&W films you shoot for dr5 [besides scala-film] are totally new films in every sense. They are now chrome / B&W-SLIDE films. It is important you understand, ANY B&W film you have used in the past for negatives, is now a 'slide-film', if you are using dr5 to process them. THE dr5 PROCESS TOTALLY CHANGES THESE FILMS FROM THEIR NEGATIGE COUNTERPART. Your normal negative exposure compensations do not apply here. If you are not certain of exposure. See the FILM REVIEW section of this website for film iso changes & film-type info.
What makes dr5 better? The dr5 process produces the best tonal range you'll see on film, up to 12 stops (some films). Its formulation produces extreme detail in the blackest blacks and the whitest whites, while utilizing the panchromatic properties and enhancement of orthochromatic B&W film. Another key is the superior D-MAX. At normal development, TXP will produce a 4.70 d-max. dr5 processed film is superior in every regard. 4-5 fold over its negative developed counterpart. There is also an infinite range of custom possibilities, over 15 film choices,, with all giving individual unique results. A general observation; dr5 is a unique custom process. It is not like anything else currently on the market. dr5 offers 'user-control'. ISO and film-type changes offer the shooter many shooting options. Go here FACT FILLED TECH PAGE for more tech info.
Archival qualities. dr5chromes are totally archival. More so than the best B&W fiber based prints or negatives.
Why doesn't dr5 push
and pull like e6? & exposure index: B&W film is different from E6 [color-slide]. ISO change enable the shooter to control the dynamic range. Each film type behaves differently away from the dr5-normal iso. B&W filters also aid shooter control over the final image. This is a significant difference to static E6 film & process. Each B&W film run in dr5 is separate and unique, and each film-type will have a different visual range depending on the higher or low iso you use for that particular film. See our FILMREVIEW to pick the best combinations for you. What are the most noticeable effects of push/pulling the film? Push or pulling the film has different
results depending on which film you use. Overall,
push/pull will change the contrast; increase the highlights and change the dynamic.
The amount of tone/shift
will depend on the film and the amount of push or pull. It is important, for normal results, to
expose the film at the recommended dr5 speeds, then experiment from there.
What is Developer-2-sepia ? There are '2' developer choices for dr5 processing, actually 2 separate processes. developer 1-neutral & developer 2-sepia. The neutral developer 1 renders a near neutral B&W image depending on the film choice. The ilford films tend to be cooler than the Kodak films & ROLLEI film is the closest to scala film. Developer 2-sepia renders the cooler films a mild sepia/brown while the warmer based films are golden-brown/black. See the DEV-2 FILMREVIEW for further info. NOTE: DEV-2 is now specified as a specialty service. Because of much lower film volumes for DEV-2, this service is limited. NOTE - DEV2-sepia has proven to be impervious to any damage the environment can dish out to date.
is dr5 so expensive? Simply put, dr5 is NOT expensive. We would be happy to fully explain any and all aspects related to our production costs. We feel that ignorance in this regard hurts us as a service. Rest assured that dr5-lab does not gouge our clients. We have made many sacrifices for our clients to keep our rates as low as possible. If you value our traditional services, this mentality will surely cause us to discontinue our services altogether. The dr5 lab provides superior result, better customer service, at a substantial cost savings over film+print+processing.
Because dr5 is a unique process -[like Kodachrome]- each film has been rigorously tested before we offer to process it as a chrome. As sad as it is to acknowledge, none of the film companies have endorsed dr5 even though it is time-tested for well over 17+years as a service, producing superior image quality over the negative counterpart. Because dr5 is so stable, we can now be certain, if there is a film related problem instead of a process related one - be it from damage, age, operator error, condition or manufacture defect. Part of what we do here, QUALITY-CONTROL [with no help from the film companies or suppliers], is acquire films to test on a continual basis. This is a costly but necessary proposition for us. To-date, we have burdened the effort to inform our clients when there is a film issue & notify the manufacture or supplier of a film problem. If there is a FILM issue - We take no pleasure in notifying clients that their favorite film has a problem. Clients can help us by contacting the manufacture or supplier about sub-quality products.