Magazine Article


It's All Digital At PMA 2004

Agfas new d-lab.2plus offers greater output than its previous incarnation, the d-lab.3.

AGFA: d-lab.1s Added To Line; A Digital Lab w/o Film Processor

Agfa has re-cast its d-lab.1 digital minilab, a single step unit designed primarily with the mass merchant and chain store user in mind. The unit will now be offered without the film processor as the d-lab.1s to meet the needs of a huge base of independent minilab dealers with Agfa MSC optical labs who already own a film processor and want to get into the digital business without spending the big bucks for a full capacity digital system.

Wayne Strobel, Agfas senior marketing manager, said the new unit would have the same specifications as its companion (except its footprint is 15-sq. ft.) but would be selling for about $5,000-$6,000 less. It gets the independent dealer into a complete digital system without sacrificing the high volume output of the optical MSC he already owns.

Shipments will begin mid-2004.

Agfa will also be showing its new d-lab.2plus digital lab that was first shown at PhotoPlus Expo in New York last Fall. This model is replacing the d-lab.3 but offers greater output capacity at about 1,700, 4R/hr. It has two 12-inch paper magazines and utilizes Agfas new easy box 110 chemical replenishment system. Price: about $180,000.

All models of the Agfa digital minilab line will be on display: d-lab.1, d.lab-1s, d-lab.2 and d.lab-2plus.

Also being shown by Agfa is its new Pixtasy 5.0 work station. Wayne said the upgraded system has new software, will accept all media cards and has an additional 250 new templates. The cost remains the same at $12,500.

Agfa is unveiling a new version of its Image Box kiosk which earlier replaced its e-box kiosk. The system includes a scanner and 4x6 (or 6x8 and 6x9) dye-sub printer and will be sold for about $6,000. May availability. The Image Box can also be connected to an Agfa digital lab for photo print output.

The Image Box will be equipped with Bluetooth and infrared technology to accept wireless images from a camera phone.

Other items that are being offered by Agfa: a CD-burning robot dedicated to the output of CDs from digital media and connects as plug-and-play to a work station, for about $1,500; two new photo papers.

KONICA MINOLTA: Souped-Up R-1 Digital Minilab And New R-2 Series With 10-Inch Paper Capability

Konica Minolta is unveiling at PMA the R-I Super 1400 digital minilab, first seen at the Tokyo Lab Show last Fall. The highlight of the system, according to Todd Tereshko, VP on-site and tech services, is a revised print head which will allow an hourly output from a film source of 1,400, 1,100 and 450 of 3R, 4R and 8R prints, respectively. Interestingly, it is said that the output from a digital image source, usually somewhat lower than from film, is rated to be about the same.

Available in April, Todd said the R-I Super 1400 will list at about $116,000, compared with the lower capacity R-1 which was introduced over a year ago for about $100,000. Both are 8-inch machines.

Konica Minolta is also introducing a pair of new digital minilabs at PMA, the R-2 series, both 10-inch paper models. Todd said the R-2 models, visually and dimensionally, are similar to the R-1, and can be operated from either sitting or standing positions. One important difference from the R-1 is a new exposure engine from Minolta technology that uses a Halogen light source instead of the fluorescent/LED light which he said results in a very stable light source. The system also has a 400 dpi exposure, instead of the former 300.

The new models have an output of 4R prints of 700 and 1,000 prints/hr., respectively. Pricing is tentatively set at about $80,000 and $105,000, according to Todd.