Hundreds of UK photographers who have sent off AgfaPhoto?s ?process-paid? slide film for processing are being asked to fork out again if they want it done.
Standard Photographic – the Warwickshire-based lab contracted by AgfaPhoto UK to process Agfachrome CT precisa slide films ? says the move is in response to fears that it will not get paid for the work by AgfaPhoto UK which went into administration last month.
The lab, which is based in Warwick, estimates that there are between 30,000-40,000 process-paid films currently in the UK market, either in shops, being used by photographers or waiting to be processed.
Standard Photographic is asking customers to pay separately for processing if they want it carried out or, if the customer wishes, the lab will return the film to the photographer for processing elsewhere.
?We are waiting to hear back from the administrator as to whether, as a creditor, we will be paid,? said spokesman Tim Bott who told us customers normally expect the film to be returned to them within two days under the process-paid service.
Instead of the £7 or £8 that customers normally pay for a process-paid film, they could now end up spending about £6 extra for the film to be processed and returned to them.
Last week there were estimated to be around 1,000 rolls waiting to be processed and returned to customers, a figure Standard Photographic expects to double to 2,000 this week. Given that most customers send in two films, this means that around 1,000 photographers could be affected in total by the end of the week.
Among those hit is AP reader Ian Maclean from Bishopton in Scotland who contacted us to say he has three process-paid films and pointed out that photographers who have bought in bulk will be faced with a ?fairly large bill?.
Standard Photographic charges £5.95 for standard E6 processing of a 35mm film including postage (though this can be cut to £4.57 when buying the lab?s processing voucher booklets).
A spokesman for AgfaPhoto?s customer support centre suggested that AgfaPhoto UK would ?probably close down? by the end of this month. However, this is yet to be confirmed to AP either by AgfaPhoto UK or the administrator.
?The administrators have made us fully aware that there is a problem but we still working with them to try and come up with a solution,? continued Bott.
At the time of writing most customers waiting for their film to be returned had, according to Bott, opted to pay the extra processing cost.
Standard Photographic halted its process-paid service for AgfaPhoto customers a week ago after the scale of the crisis at AgfaPhoto became apparent.
No-one at AgfaPhoto UK?s administrator, Berg Kaprow Lewis, was available for comment.
Standard Photographic can be contacted on 01926 463100.