Negative film supplier in Toronto

I am having trouble locating a negative film supplier for process camera. I am looking for cut sheets and chemicals. I would prefer the area of Toronto, or Ontario or Canada.

But maybe I am just NAIVE to look for a domestic supplier. Perhaps a reputable supplier in the US or order directly from China?

AGFA Alliance Camera CE would be nice …
What are the other brands?


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I buy all of my sheet film nowadays from Freestyle Photography on the Internet.

Things are looking up!
Yesterday, Robert Graff from Camstat came to visit. A friendly and knowledgeable person. A long time in servicing the Graphics Industry. Film and chemicals are available from them. The prices are comparable to the US prices if I factor in the currency exchange, shipping and handling … and convenience.

10x12 is available, but apparently the 12x18 is the most popular size in the lingering non CPT offset circles and it is always in stock and has a more attractive price too. He suggested for me, perhaps cutting it in to 9x12 to be more manageable.

Tomorrow I am checking out the AGFA Repromaster Mark 3 camera for sale. It comes with the AGFA Copyproof CP38 developer. Perhaps I can use that for the film developer portion, and do the rest of the processing in trays.

What kind of a B&W printer should I get for the copy?
1200dpi small printer and shoot 1:1 on to 9x12 film, or
600dpi tabloid printer and camera reduce the image to actual size?
( About 30% reduction. Would that make the image crispier? )
Is HP and HP-RET worth the extra money?

Good that you found a CA supplier!


The Agfa CP38 is for (unavailable) diffusion transfer process, unsuitable for production of film which requires minutes, not seconds, in bath.
You will probably be given a type of rapid access film, and there processing temperature will be critical in getting density usable for relief photopolymer. Especially if you are shooting through the back of the film for image orientation. (I prefer to shoot to the emulsion and then do an E-to-E dupe.)
I’ve laser output 600 dpi at 200%, image flopped, then shot down at 50% on an SST, which is fine for line art, but type loses quality compared to actual film imagesetting.

I often get into “trouble” on these pages over letterpress printing so I’ll go to Offset Lithography here and maybe some Flexographic stuff too. My suppliers of Film are Photo Warehouse in California - I use “Matte” film for photopolymer for the best image. For Offset I use good ole “slick” ortho film. My inks come from Valley Litho Supply is Wisconsin. My photopolymer plates come from Jackson Marking products in Illinois. For photopolymer I use a Hercules exposure unit - I also work with Liquid Photopolymer for Rubber Stamps - however metal back polymer is no problem - the production problem comes with the Durometer of a Polymer to letterpress plate…

Okay. So, the AGFA Repromaster Mark 3 is in my shop! It does not have the vacuum pump for the film ( lost in action ). The rest of the system appears to be functioning properly. It is huge! The first thing I have to do is put it on casters so I can move it out of the way when not needed.
Eventually I might re-work the CP38 to slow speed and add a thermostat to it for the developer. It came with extra rollers. Perhaps split the tank in to two for the fixer too. Then the film would just plop in to a bucket of water.
I also ended up buying a used HP LaserJet P2015 with 93% original toner in it. It has ProRes 1200 dpi resolution.
All together it cost me $60, and we stuffed everything in to a Nissan Versa!
I have both lenses, but why is a usability gap with the 150mm lens? It goes from 25% to 45% then a gap and 220% to 400%. The 210mm lens fills the gap.

Now, I have to re-program my Corel nesting VBA for the cut sheets of film ( if I remember what I did years ago … LOL ). I programmed it for continuous 14” wide film for the image-setter and set it for guillotine cut. I did not wanted to cut corners with the X-acto knife. I might want to rethink that now.
It was pretty much a “push-print” film output. I pre flipped the images, so it can go with the regular offset film. Here are the samples; one is 28” long, the other is 42” long, both 14” wide and contain film for more than 2 jobs.

Some of you might wonder WHY all this. Well, the pre-press guy who did my films passed away two weeks ago at the age of 44. RIP Satesh. He was Raster Image Processor before, now he is Rest In Peace! I miss him as a friend too.
He was a walking distance from me. His sudden departure was a surprise, but I was expecting them to phase out the film output side of their operation because there is not much need for film any more.

image: EPT-07FEB2017-09PM12-FILM.jpg


image: EPT-23AUG2016-03PM12-FILM.jpg


Maybe we’re talking about different CP38s. The one I have just passes sheets through a shallow trough for diffusion transfer processing (CP for Agfa’s CopyProof brand). Only a few inches of material are in the bath at one time, maybe ten seconds immersion; slowing down the movement would result in widely different development time from head to tail.
I don’t have any current use for my CP38 or the larger NuArc PMT processor, but haven’t thrown them away; another printer suggested using his to dampen paper. Might work.
For in-house camera film, I’ve always had a low enough volume for tray processing; materials expire before they are used up. But with higher res imagesetting I’ve had three service bureaus retire on me, leaving just one in town. Since I’m an old Quark guy, I’ll need to improve my pdf ability to get output without font substitution at that last bureau.

hello parallel_imp,
yes, we are talking about the same contraption, but the film processor isn’t just a series of rollers pushing the film trough the various chemical tanks? Some models have more, some models have less number of rollers. Since I have no idea how to process film ( LOL…what I mean: I never did it ), and since I am a tool designer by trade, it would be more natural to me to design and build a film developer than to develop the film itself.
For starters, for sure, I am going to learn the tray development technique. For later, we will see … I did started on the project of direct UV laser printing on to the photo-polymer plate. But that is a totally uncharted territory for now. I consider the camera to be a interim solution, since I had to do something in a hurry.

image: film-processor.jpg


Well, my CP38 is not at all like the diagram above, which is a standard 3-bath film processor. My CP38, like any diffusion transfer or “stat” unit, just has infeed rollers, a shallow bath, and squeegee rollers. Under red light, you feed the camera negative, aligned with the receiver, through the unit. The neg is diverted into the bath, the receiver is then pressed against the neg by the exit rollers, and after a short wait, they are peeled apart with the image transferred onto the receiver.
The only film processor I ever ran fed from cassette, so it was roomlight safe. Maybe 2x3x5 feet in size. The film fed automatically and as the film passed through from bath to bath, ever inch got exactly the same time in the bath. The down side is that it takes time to get up to processing temp, and the chemistry consumption was far higher than with tray development, so was the maintenance time. For most shops, you need to do a fair amount of film to justify the cost of operation. One of the locals offered me his setup cheap, but I’d rather use trays.
I did once see a much smaller RA film processor, maybe 18x18x24”, and it also fed from a cassette (again, roomlight safe).

Okay. This is not important at the moment. I will use trays anyway. But since we are going back and forth regarding the CP38, here is the mock-up of my idea. It needs imagination. I just laid down the pieces. You can see the film snaking trough the unit. There are in-feed rollers to push the film in and there are out-feed rollers to pull and squeegee the film. You can see a symbolic lengthwise divider in the tray. Dividing it in to developer and fixer trays. Two “AB Dick rollers” to hold the film down. All this is just a mock-up, so that I can better convey my idea about reworking the original unit. Instead of the small rollers I imagine side-channel-guides like in a tambour desk guiding the film from one tray to the other above the divider. This way only the film edge would be scratched, because the emulsion side would not touch anything except the in-feed and out-feed roller pairs.
I never intended to use the unit as it was meant to be used by AGFA.

image: mockup.jpg


If you want to make negatives for relief photopolymer, you need to get solid density and still hold detail. Controlled time and temp, with agitation. Believe me, things not obvious under the loupe will result in flaws to the plate, which may not be obvious until proofed. You can waste a lot of time and a lot of material with inadequate negatives. Weak density is a real problem with rapid access film: I have a hard time getting past 2.5 with rapid access in careful tray development with detail retained. 2.5 will work for an offset plate but relief photopolymer specs are 3.5 or 4.0 density, critical if you are working with detailed type. That’s why I dupe the most demanding images.
When I started making relief photopolymer, I used my best lith film, which was halftone film, and had problems with soft edges. Regular line lith film gave better edges, but then Hybrid film came along and was perfect; of course it was discontinued. Now RA HD films are available, sometimes called Hard Dot, and that might be the place to start.