Magazine Article


40 Years of Imaging: From Prints to Pixels

  • Megapixel Digital cameras for consumers and online photofinising services make debuts


  • Konica shows QD-21 digital minilab in New Orleans, LA
  • Online service solutions booming


  • Digital minilabs grab spotlight at PMA Show
  • Noritsu and Kodak team up for QSS-2711DLS system
  • ZBE intros Chromira 30


  • Applied Science Fiction develops dry film process


  • PMA reports sharp declines in photofinishing volumes
  • Industry feels effects after 9/11


  • Phogenix Shows Digital Inkjet minilab at PMA
  • Adobe Photoshop 7.0 introduced
  • Vutek unveils PressVu UV 180EC Digital Press


  • Kisok Kraze at PMA Show
  • Noritsu ships dDP-411 digital dry minilab
  • Camera phones go mainstream


  • Canon Shows 16.7 megapixel digital camera at Photokina '04
  • Digital Camera sales surpass traditional camera sales
  • AgfaPhoto formed
  • InfoTrends reports kiosk usage in the rise


  • Photographic Processing relaunches as Imaging Business

It was 1965, color film was in its infancy as a commercial and consumer product, and the fathers of many of today's digital photo/graphics' producers were making prints on Berkey Omega, Beseler, Durst, and Salzman enlargers in a shop called 'a photo lab.' The Ford Mustang was the hot car, and we were listening to the Beatles and Glen Campbell, and "The Sound of Music" was the number one film at the box office. Photo labs had never heard of suppliers such as Avery-Dennison, Océ, Encad or Mutoh. There were no PCs, minilabs, digital cameras, cell phones or VoIP – reproduction was 100% analog and film-based.

Photographic Processing magazine was launched back in '65 to become the number one publication for dispensing information to the photographic industry's film processors and photo print producers. It was the heyday for photo labs; they had a license to print money.

Moving with the times and the digital age of information and communications, the magazine is relauching this month as Imaging Business (IB). Its new focus is productive digital and hybrid photo technology, and the business of successfully competing for an improved profit picture. Retro may be trendy today among cars and décor, but no one is trying to bring back the enlarger. With the exception of the majors, Agfa Gevaert, Eastman Kodak, and Fuji Photo Film, few secondary traditional photo lab suppliers have survived these 40 years and made the transition from analog to digital. We asked a number of suppliers to take a look back over the last 40 years and to predict where we are headed in the future.

AGL, Advanced Greig Laminators, Inc., dates back prior to IB. Bob Greig started the company in 1947 as Greig Machine, Inc. Corporate names and ownership have evolved over the years, with such names as Marsh, Warman/Greig, to the most current owner, AGL in 1994. Whatever the name and ownership, Bob Greig has always been involved.

Greig talked about his early installations at 3M and Serigraph Inc. in West Bend, WI. Photo labs began acquiring his equipment in the early 70s. He acknowledged his early strong position in the photo lab industry was a result of traveling with Jack McClintock of MacTac, selling and teaching labs how to laminate. Some early Greig users included Dick Weaver of Meteor, Detroit, MI; Chuck Rice of the Color House, Burbank, CA; André Schellenberg of Andrés, Chicago, IL; Paul Gallo of Vista Color, Cleveland, OH; Joe Thompson of Berry & Homer, Philadelphia, PA; and Drew Kalman of Photographic Specialties, Minneapolis, MN.

Bob Greig deserves credit for being the father of mounting and laminating equipment in the U.S. Protech, GBC and Seal all evolved from personnel who were with Greig. Although an octogenarian, he is moving forward with AGL owner, Brian Buisker, and plans to continue engineering equipment for inkjet, the digital age, and perhaps dye-sub finishing.

Colex Imaging, Inc., was a traditional photo-processing equipment supplier since its inception in 1971. However, Werner Waden, Colex president, and founder, entered the processing business in the 60s with Simplex, selling Hostert Fotomata processing equipment. Times may have been rocky during the digital revolution, but like IB, Colex is about reinventing itself. Waden believes that the company can carry on because of its joint marketing venture with Océ Display Graphics, a Chinese connection, plus its own contemporary digital-photo products. Following a successful SGIA, where Colex was in the Océ booth at PMA, Océ will in turn exhibit in the Colex booth at PMA 2005.