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Which model is better 2611 or 2301


o2happpy

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I am looking to buy a minilab to start my photo busniess and I am not sure which minilab to buy. I like noritsu but I dont know which model to get. I narrow it down to two models. The noritsu 2301 and the 2611. I dont know too much about the photo business so i am asking for help. If anyone had worked with these machines before, please let me know how good these machines are. Thanks

Sin

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What type of work do you plan to run?  Just digital?  C41?  Service and maintenance is important with running these machines, and for someone new in the business buying a used machine might not be the best thing.  Do you have experience with RA-4 chemistry.  Post  a little more info and lets wee if we can help.

BTW I own a 3302 Pro and a Fujimoto SHP-5080.

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I haven't owned either but have tested a 2611. It's a good machine but be aware that its digital capabilities are fairly limited. It is not really suitable for doing runs of digital prints - due to it being very slow (when printing digital) Its digital capability is really only meant for producing index prints.

Personally, I would not buy any analogue machine, if starting a new lab. Film is decreasing very quickly. If you buy an analogue lab then don't pay any more than

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My business idea is taking portraits of customers with 35mm film. I dont really need digital because my business is mainly with 35mm cameras. I will not be using this machine to print out customers pictures that they may take. This will be a photo studio like sears and not a printing lab like a pharmacy would have. So I guess you guys would recommend the 2611 over the 2301, right? thanks for the info, this helps alot.

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Please take some advice from someone who has spent the last 30 years running studios and labs.

If you are doing this to make money out of the studio then go digital. There is absolutely no rational reason to use 35mm film in a modern studio. Buy a Fuji S2 and use this . Get yourself a Kodak Dye Sub printer and an Epson 7600 large format inkjet.

On the other hand, if you want something to fiddle with in your spare time then by all means get a secondhand RA4 lab. BUT think about the cost of spares. What will you do when a board goes and you need to shell out

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One of the most profitable wedding photographers in our area still shoots film(35mm). We process and scan the film to CD. He uses a Photoshop action to resize the images to low resolution and puts them on a CD for his proofs. There are many business models that work for photography.

Another photographer that is also a very good bookkeeper reports he has saved no money in the last three years shooting digital. What he has saved on film, he has spent on keeping up with technology. He reports he can sell 20% more prints because with digital he shoots more images.

I would think the main disadvantage to using an analogue lab is the cost of electricity and having enough work to keep the chemistry fresh.

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I completely agree with Peter.  If you are planning to get a lab, you can only think about digital.  We have a lab, portrait studio and are wedding/schools photographers.  More and more people are wanting digital files instead of prints - even from portrait sessions and weddings!  You really need a large throughput of films otherwise your film and print processors will be very expensive to maintain.  You will find that proft from photography will be propping up the lab.  Getting people into your studio and parting with money will be the MOST difficult part!

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Thanks for all the responses but you guys dont know how the demand for portrait studio photos are here in my area. There are like 10 stores right now who are doing what I am suggesting and they are making a very good profit selling just portrait studio pictures. No digital service whatsoever. They use the old noritsu machines to do it. one even use the 2201 machines. all I need to ask from you guys is which machine is best to use.  But many thanks for you info and your opinions.

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well, in your instance I think you can draw the conclusion that if you realy want anallogue it must be the 2301, simply because of the versatility (18x12 is a good print). But don't copy your competitors, be one step ahead. The digital side is so much more versatile. you can get a realy good printer (which will give you 18x12 prints) with a foot print a quarter of the size of the Noritsu, cheaper to warm up, cheaper on chemicals, and you only need one size of paper (which will allow you to diversify on paper finishes).

you asked for advice, you have been given some very sound advice from diverse sources.

  I wish you all the best in your venture, and hope that you follow the best advice, to a good sound future.

Photographis

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I believe what you are referring to is the 1 hour portrait market. Since there are that many in your area you are probably talking about the NY, Chicago or California market.

From your posts it also seems that you have never been in business by yourself before.

Running a 1 hour portrait studio with lab is a lot more involved than you think. First of all there is a ton of competition as you already mentioned. They will not just sit there and give market share to you. Expect a tough fight. Which will mean lower profits for everybody. The key is probably to find a location where you will be exposed to as little competition as possible.

Second, you will be selling low margin photos, which means you need A LOT of customers. This in turn will require a good location, which will cost you a lot of rent.

Since you do not know the difference between these machines, it is safe to assume that you could not set  them up, service them, calibrate, repair them yourself with absolute certainty. Almost all of the places that you are talking about have an owner/manager who knows the machines inside out. If you have ever gotten a technician bill you would know what I am talking about.

Unless you have professional knowledge of these machines and photography and chemicals in general, I think you will be in for a big surprise. Please don't take this the wrong way, but assuming that you don't know these machines well and also don't have a lot of business experience, I believe you might underestimate the complexity and cost of what you plan to do.

The thing that I am wondering is, why would you want to invest a lot of hard earned money into something that 10 others are already doing and expose yourself to so much competition and risk??

Just my 2 cents.

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