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Hey guys I'm just curious here as to how many of you guys run control strips? I don't post much at all but I do occasionally scan the forums to see what's going on and it seems like there are often times when working tanks are being dumped as a (TEST) to see if it solves a particular problem, when in all actuality a simple control strip could rule out chemistry. I do understand that chemistry is far superior than it was back in the day and that equipment is tighter than ever before with regards to replenishment, circulation, ect. and that there is probably no need for a daily strip run but I always keep strips in the fridge of some unforeseen issue. How about you guys?

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I suspect few new lab owners will have a densitometer and even know how to read a control strip and plot it on a Y55 .... and then understand the cloths lines.. 

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Very few did when it was common practice to read one before processing. I had a guy who kept 3 good ones in his draw and read those each day gaining a Kodak award for consistent process control. The fact the image on the neg was so light the neg mask wouldn't print anything didn't seem to attract his attention

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Beside bing technician for minilabs, in the past I was assigned to monitor E6 process and I run control strip every day and plot the parameters, and correct the process with NaOH and dilute or make more concentrated baths if necessary together with checking the chemistry concentration measuring it for specific gravity, and along that I run C41 and RA4 control strips if needed for some minilab owners. But last time I did it was 10 years ago ;)

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On the other side especially with the demise of lab outlets in the UK with both Asda and Boots pulling out of wet lab and film processing in particular I see a gap for those left processing film. Your arty farty film is best brigade still want to shoot film. Processing the film needs to be done correctly at a Premium price but its no good if your film processor process is poor or scratching due to lack of use. think about offering a bit more than the disposable market wants maybe a dev and digital contact sheet process, most digital labs can scan and print a contact sheet. with upwards of 400 less outlets in the market its worth a shot, start with process control, half the problems you get are due to low utilization so think about only running the machine 2 or 3 times a week rather ran it churning away day in day out turning your Dev into Guinness

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I was at a photographic place in recent times that is still running a wet lab, and was surprised to see a steady footfall of students taking in 35mm film for processing ... Yup there is demand.. Maybe not for "One Hour" but for quality.... 

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Neil I think that as long as we in the labs can keep the equipment under us and can continue to obtain good quality chemicals we can continue to offer this service for  c-41 and e-6 as long as the manufactures continue to provide the film. Taking into mind that volume and utilization is a key. 

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