Moving to L.A -Advice- : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi to all, July will be the big move for me, from Paris to Los Angeles. Even if I go quite often there, I don't know which are the good places for : -Lab: C41-E6 up to 8x10 and BW. -Furnitures Stores: Samy's, Calumet...What else ?

I'm going to move my lab too. Durst 138 and 184;It's really heavy, 184 is like an artillery piece but anyway I can't live without it. They are all for W220, this is my concern. -Transform them in W110 isn't a problem "IF" I can find there W110 lightbulbs for them ? -Otherwise can I equip my Lab for 220 ? Thank you for any help Guillaume

-- guillaume zuili (, March 17, 2002


As for the voltage question, yes you can equip your lab for 220 volts and 60Htz. Some European motors run at different Htz so you have to be careful, but your light source should be fine...


-- Scott Jones (, March 17, 2002.

You don't say if your lab will be in home, or in an indusrtial district. 220 in a comercial building shouldn't be a problem, pulling 220 into an extra room in an apartment or home, could get expensive. In some areas changes in electrical service in an old home or building can trigger a requirement to upgrade the entire service to current building standards.


-- Neal Shields (, March 17, 2002.

If you don't want to convert the heads to US current or buy new heads all you will need to do is buy a transformer from an electronics store that can handle the current your equipment will require in the US.

BTW, if you are using some things that are calibrated to work properly on 50Hz they will run faster here on 60 Hz. Things like timers, fans, etc.

-- Bob Salomon (, March 17, 2002.

When I lived in the L.A. area, A&I was considered an excellent color lab, with 2 hour E6 turn-around, including Sundays. But, that was 13 years ago. Worth checking into, though.

For camera repair, LF lens cleaning, Mel Pierce. (I think it was on Hollywood Blvd.)

-- neil poulsen (, March 17, 2002.

If you hope to run processes at or near 68 degrees F, include a water chiller in your planning. During summer, our "cold" tap water exits the faucet at up to 82 degrees F.

-- Sal Santamaura (, March 17, 2002.

I looked at this when i moved from the UK toCanada years ago, but didn't bother in the end. We did find a transformer that worked well with my wife's 220v sewing machine that worked well!

I later found that all our laundry dryers and cookers/stoves here work on 220 anyway, so you should be able to talk an electricion in to setting things up for your enlargers.

tim a

-- Tim Atherton (, March 17, 2002.


As for Camera stores, Samy's can't be beat. The main store in Hollywood is a huge 3 floors. The folks who work there know what they are talking about.

As to labs, I use Colortek (which I think used to be A&I). They are in Culver City, on the west side of Los Angeles. They still do 2hr turnaround on E6, and even have Sat. pickup for developed film. On the west side, they are one of the best labs. Everytime I go in, they have lots of 4x5 holders in boxes labeled for processing from their regular pro customers.

I haven't been to Calumet's store in LA.

LA is a huge city. Where are you going to live?

-- Douglas Gould (, March 17, 2002.

Guillaume, Check out Freestyle Sales in Hollywood. They've got lots of LF items, especially good prices on Ilford film under thier own brand name Arista, and chemicals. They may also have W110 lightbulbs.You can check out thier catalog on the web. You might also give Peter Gowland a call or email through his website I'm sure he knows which labs are doing a good job with LF C41-E6, at any rate, he is a great resource of information as well as a builder of pretty unique LF gear. Welcome to the Golden State!

-- John Kasaian (, March 17, 2002.

E6: A&I on Highland, AIM downtown and now in Pasadena. Camera stores: Samy's on Fairfax, Calumet on LaBrea, Samy's in Pasadena, Lee Mac in Pasadena. Rentals: Samy's All locations), Calumet, PRS on Highland Repairs: There are many very qualified tecnicians. Bring as many Durst parts with you as you may need. These are hard to find here. I have an 8X10 enlarger, converted from a Durst 4X5; it takes months to get parts...

-- Per Volquartz (, March 17, 2002.


If you do, prepare to spend half your life stopped in traffic.

-- Wayne Campbell (, March 17, 2002.

Wayne's got a point!!!

-- Per Volquartz (, March 18, 2002.

...And bring plenty of money to pay your electric bills, especially if you're running 220, our Governor decided we should pay more than anybody else for electricity.

-- John Kasaian (, March 18, 2002.

I wouldn't worry too much about local resources. In the US, it is a common practice to use mail-order if you can find cheaper sources elsewhere. Personally I hardly use local camera stores and labs, although there are good ones in my area. Although they are a bit difficult to find, there are high powered 110 to 220 V converters. I use one for a Rollei Twin projector. Beware of the frequency difference that has been mentioned.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, March 18, 2002.


Look for a Sola Hevi Duty step-up transformer of the appropriate VA. Brand-new, they are expensive but you can often find them at much reduced prices at surplus electronics stores. Do a search on Google.

-- Erik X (, March 18, 2002.

I second Mel Pierce for LF repairs. I wanted to have two Rodenstock lenses switched from Sinar DB mounts to Copal shutters. It seemed like I called every repair shop in LA, and Ray at Mel Pierce repair was the only person who understood what I was talking about. He made the switch and calibrated the apertures. He did a great job.

For sales, try Mario Jennings at Mel Pierce. He will take good care of you. Also, talk to John Richardson at Calumet. He is an excellent large format photographer who works in platinum. He will also take very good care of you. Calumet also has a brand new store. It is very nice. In addition to A&I for E-6, if you are in the San Fernando Valley, try Advanced Photo Lab. Talk to Jacob. For rentals, try Calumet, Samy's, and PRS.

-- Dave Karp (, March 19, 2002.

"Ray at Mel Pierce repair"

Except Ray is no longer at Mel Pierce

-- Bob Salomon (, March 19, 2002.


"Except Ray is no longer at Mel Pierce"

Oh no! Is he still in the repair business? Very helpful, does great work.

-- Dave Karp (, March 19, 2002.

Still in the Repair business just not at the old place. Mario should be able to tell you where to reach him now.

-- Bob Salomon (, March 20, 2002.

Thanks Bob.

-- Dave Karp (, March 20, 2002.

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