Labs STILL printing from APS (Advantix)

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by ron_r|4, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Hello... It appears that most of the posts here are for "professional"
    processing but thought I might give it a try anyway.

    I use Kodak APS (Advantix) and the lab I use here in Cincinnati used to give
    good results when they were using the Kodak Perfect Touch paper but now that
    they have shifted to Royal paper, it's more hit and miss - I was wondering if
    anyone knew of good labs around the country which still print from APS
    (preferably on Kodak Perfect Touch paper but it really doesn't matter) and give
    high quality results.

    I have uploaded one of the better images which my lab has done - which gives an
    example of the quality I would like to match.

  2. There's no such thing as Perfect Touch paper, it's the tradename of a service that the Kodak labs offer. I think it's really a software feature on the Noritsu digital scanner/printer systems they use.

    The current brand names for Kodak's color papers for "consumer" labs are Kodak Ektacolor Edge Paper and Kodak Royal Digital Paper. Major difference between the two is that Royal has a thicker paper base. Maybe Royal is a little less garish. The exact names keep shifting, but Edge and Royal are the key words.

    If you want much better results, try a pro lab, where wedding photographers take their film and get their prints. They're all over the place. They will use Kodak Portra Endura paper. However, if you like glossy prints, you probably can't get them there. Most only have E and N surface papers, not the F surface glossy. They are mostly only open weekdays during working hours.
  3. Hi - sorry I didn't clarify this before - when I meant Perfect Touch paper I meant the prints which say "Kodak Perfect Touch" on the back of the print versus "Kodak Royal". My lab told me that they still use Perfect Touch processing but the paper is now Royal and not Perfect Touch which is a different paper. Thanks
  4. Ron,

    Sorry I cannot help with your question - I live in the UK and use Fuji Frontier equipped shops for my APS printing, however I am most impressed with your APS photo. Please can you let me know what film and camera you were using?

    I use and enjoy APS very much. I hope it stays with us for a good while yet.

    Regards - and good luck with your search.

    Ian, UK
  5. As far as I am aware, Kodak only makes two flavors of amateur paper, Kodak Edge Generations and Kodak Royal Generations. I think they're pretty similar, Royal just having a thiciker base. If they changed the writing on the bottom or the thickness slightly, that really has no effect on the quality of image. And you're going to run into emulsion "improvements" no matter what, as they continue to optimize papers more and more for digital exposure (so far it hasn't really hurt optical characteristics though, at least from my experience with Edge Generations and opposed to Edge 8, its predecessor).

    I think the problem you're having is that they're scanning the negative and lasering it onto paper. I've had the distinct displesure of having a roll of 110 done that way, about 5 yrs. ago, and it was not worth taking the pictures almost the prints were so bad.

    Find a lab that still prints optically. They'll be using an older machine, there were Kodak Gretags, Konica made machines for APS, and there were several others. You're in a really tight jam because it has to have been made at least in the early '90s so there could at least be the possibility of an *adaptor" for APS available.


  6. I've been shooting APS with a Canon EOS IXE and lots of surplus film that people have given to me. I have used ABC (Mystic people) Lab but they use Fuji paper. Turn around for APS is a but long but they can print full length panoramics if requested. Dale Labs also can do APS and I think they use Kodak paper. Clark uses Kodak paper but I will never use them.
  7. I still print on an optical printer, a Noritsu 2611. We do use Edge Generations glossy and E. So bring your APS film to NC, and I will be happy to print it for you! Nice photo, BTW.
  8. Thanks to all who have answered - very helpful comments. Ian, I use a Kodak Advantix 750 and either Kodak 100 APS or 200HD APS film.
  9. Hi, Ron.
    Every paper type, even from the same manufacturer, responds differently from all others to the exact same exposure to the exact same light. It is quite possible that your lab has not found the correct way to balance their printers to Royal Paper. (BTW, Royal Paper is not just "thicker." It has a deeper color saturation without increasing contrast. That doesn't make it a better paper; some people will like the results; some people will prefer Edge; and some people will prefer paper from a different manufacturer.)
    It is very difficult to balance a printer to APS film . . . that is some small negative. So, even if the lab made the changes to balance corrections for the Royal Paper, it is quite possible they did not make the necessary changes to the APS "channel". (Could you upload a print of the same negative that you do not like?)
    Another question to ask is if they are using the same printers, and the same brand of chemistry (I don't remember if Royal requires different times, temperatures, or chemicals).
    I owned and ran my own lab for 22 years, ending in 2002. Yes, the technology has changed somewhat. I wonder if you would consider switchng to a good-quality digital camera, or a 35mm film camera. In terms of printing, I would suggesting giving the same negative(s) to multiple labs, and see which produces the best results to YOUR eye.
    I hope this helps.
  10. Ron, there's another factor in all of this. The printing method is important; however, I believe the most important factor is the human beings who do the work. When I opened my lab, I decided that I would make quality my marketing theme. Every print we made was made by a human being, viewing the negative, and deciding what corrections, if any, were needed for that negative. Then the person "packaging" the order would review every single print; and if they thought a better print could be made, it was sent back. Most "retail" labs today are run by chains, often as a loss leader, and speed and price are what they market.
    I can't really recommend a pro lab, as their pricing is geared to professionals who are very demanding and require special attention to detail. It is very expensive. I find it hard to imagine an APS negative worth the money. Even 110 negatives produce better pictures. This is a case when size (of negative) counts.
    Thanks again.

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