Level of darkroom stocks in UK photographic retailersgreenspun.com : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread
For those who live in UK, have you notice main photographic chains, (jessops, jacobs) have run down stocks of darkroom chemicals and paper (which makes me think how old is the stuff on the shelves)? Do you think very soon we will have to rely on mail order from places like Silverprint in London or Nova in Warwick?
-- Nigel Craig (Nigel_ Craig@btinternet.com), January 12, 2002
Unless you live in a relatively large city, this is already the case in the States. It is even difficult to find a selection of products in Philadelphia which is the forth or fifth largest city in the US. New York, Chicago and Los Angeles still look pretty good, but only because this is where the largest mail order/internet firms are located.
-- Ed Farmer (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 16, 2002.
You are absolutley right. As far as I can tell most of the larger photographic stores pay lip service to monochome darkroom products. I have looked around a few of the larger stores and found either Ilford or own brand materials for sale. The only places in the UK where you can buy some of the magical traditional materials such as Forte are, as you say, Silverprint and Creative Monochrome. I am finding more and more that I have to rely on dealers like Adorama in New York and Foto Impex in Berlin to get the type of films that I like to use such as Verichrome Pan and Efke R25. I can still get my usual Ilford and Fuji stock from the likes of Jessops but their roll film stocks can be small in the smaller stores. Sometimes I have to go to Manchester. I am serious about monochrome so I am prepared to go through to the trouble of mail order.
-- Adrian Twiss (email@example.com), January 18, 2002.
The good news is that the service from Nova is very good and the delivery "next day". They don't have the widest range, however, but they do cover most of the usual stuff. As for Jessops, they seem intent on pushing digital compacts and camcorders (indeed, they have done for some time). I wonder if that could be anything to do with the fact that these products have a very short life expectancy and will need replacing in 6-12months (by which time they'll be worth almost nothing)? No, it couldn't be that...
-- steve (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 22, 2002.
I live in Berkshire. After a gap of twenty years, i decided to try developing my own black and white photo's again. I visited several photo stores to re-equip myself with a developing tank and chemicals etc. The level of knowledge displayed by the sales staff regarding home developing is pretty poor. I suppose it's a question of supply and demand. When you look at the amount of shelf space given to darkroom supplies, it's obvious that home developing is becoming something of a specialist thing. Thankfully, mail-order is a lot faster and more reliable than it used to be. Also, most mail-order firms are run by people with a real knowledge of their trade. Unlike most shop assistants.
-- mike osborne (email@example.com), February 23, 2002.