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Thread: Mr Lim Swee Say's Vietnam Digital Experience

  1. #1

    Default Mr Lim Swee Say's Vietnam Digital Experience

    http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/sin...36619,00.html?

    "A TINY photo-processing shop in Vietnam, with an employee who hardly spoke English, has left an indelible mark on Environment Minister Lim Swee Say.

    It stunned him by developing pictures that were superior to what Mr Lim was accustomed to in Singapore.
    .
    .
    Its secret was a digital processor, he added, confessing that the Singapore photo shop he goes to still uses an older analog machine."

    Will we be expecting all photo shops in Singapore to go digital after this ?

    I agree digital photos look better with the USM and increased saturation, but the USM and digital printing takes away the look of film and makes the photo look like a digital shot.

    "Even more impressive was the price: half of what he pays here." Any MO to develop photos in Vietnam ?

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    And to think even ministers can't grasp the concept of "standard of living", "exchange rates" etc. Sheesh. Of course cheaper lah.

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    Considering the setup costs of doing business and other high incidental expenses; not to mention high labour costs in Singapore, can any of the labs in Singapore charge the rates comparable to those in Vietnam??

  4. #4

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    We should request him to post the 2 shots, one from singapore, the other from vietnam.

    then we can start pointng the blame to the photographer, the film, the settings used, the lighting conditions, instead of blaming the labs.


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    Quote Originally Posted by PLRBEAR
    And to think even ministers can't grasp the concept of "standard of living", "exchange rates" etc. Sheesh. Of course cheaper lah.
    haha .... that's very true.
    Luckily he is juz the environment minister.
    if he is the trade or finance minister, then Singapore finished liao.

  6. #6

    Default Digital is better?

    I'm not sure Digital is better, a lot of people still think a silver halide print, esp. on B&W enlargements, is a work of art and certainly much prettier than a Lightjet print.

    I'm particularly unhappy when the lab scans my B&W negs and prints them digitally.

    Not a Luddite-- I use and print digital too. It's fun, fast and convenient, and perhaps a lot easier for less-skilled workers to use (computer lab can automate everything, right?), whereas a beautiful "analog" print requires a good enlarger lens, clean darkroom and a master of burning, dodging and toning to create the work of art.

    But for Mr Lim to say that digital is better than analog-- without the context, it's really hard to justify.

    Wai Leong
    ===
    Quote Originally Posted by reno77
    http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/sin...36619,00.html?

    "A TINY photo-processing shop in Vietnam, with an employee who hardly spoke English, has left an indelible mark on Environment Minister Lim Swee Say.

    It stunned him by developing pictures that were superior to what Mr Lim was accustomed to in Singapore.
    .
    .
    Its secret was a digital processor, he added, confessing that the Singapore photo shop he goes to still uses an older analog machine."

    Will we be expecting all photo shops in Singapore to go digital after this ?

    I agree digital photos look better with the USM and increased saturation, but the USM and digital printing takes away the look of film and makes the photo look like a digital shot.

    "Even more impressive was the price: half of what he pays here." Any MO to develop photos in Vietnam ?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by reno77
    http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/sin...36619,00.html?

    "A TINY photo-processing shop in Vietnam, with an employee who hardly spoke English, has left an indelible mark on Environment Minister Lim Swee Say.

    It stunned him by developing pictures that were superior to what Mr Lim was accustomed to in Singapore.
    .
    .
    Its secret was a digital processor, he added, confessing that the Singapore photo shop he goes to still uses an older analog machine."

    Will we be expecting all photo shops in Singapore to go digital after this ?

    I agree digital photos look better with the USM and increased saturation, but the USM and digital printing takes away the look of film and makes the photo look like a digital shot.

    "Even more impressive was the price: half of what he pays here." Any MO to develop photos in Vietnam ?
    There are 2 important points Mr Lim has missed out:
    1) did he use the same digital files to print in both countires? Did he use the same Matt/Glossy prints for both?
    2) How much did he pay for the print in Singapore? $0-80, $0-50? or $0-30? Did he pay $5 extra for development fee or $0-00 in many other shops in Sg?
    I really doubt the Vietnam shop can charge $0-15 for a 4R, with $0-00 DF.

    About the digital and analog: did he realise that in the most developed countries like America and EU, many places are still using telephone wires and cables (includ Sg) wherelse in China and some other less developed countries they are using satellite and digital signals? What does this tell us?

  8. #8

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    Does he also know that for the same $300k, In singapore you can only "RENT" a flat from the HDB while in Vietnam you can practically live like a king, a full fledge 5000sq ft house completed with garden?

    Come to think of it, does he knows anything about the cost of living?

  9. #9

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    I don't mean any offence to Mr Lim but seriously, what do some of these ministers know about the reality? They travel overseas, see something they've never seen b4, and make some remarks that cause you to go DUH?!!

    What irked me was when PM Goh CT made a remark about how a salon in China opened till past midnight for some Singaporean tourists some time back. He urged in his speech that Singaporeans should work in like manner too. I thot that was the most 'larffable' observation and conclusion one could make. Use just a lttle thinking and you can see why this sort of comparison is illogical or biased. And he started using derogatory terms on people who leave singapore in search of a different, if not better life, as Quitters while exhorting foreigners to come, come to Singapore! DUH!!! Wish I could lash out more if this were not a clean public photo forum.

    Back to Mr Lim's case. In the first place, I don't see why not speaking English has anything to do with producing high quality prints or work for that matter. And yes, as some have rightly pointed out here, you don't expect to live in high-cost Singapore and pay stuffs the same price as in Thailand or Vietnam!

    Just recently on an overseas conference involving Asian participants, most of them remark at how 'lucky' I am to be in Singapore.. Wahh, so rich, got this and that state-of-the-art equipment. I was beaming with pride until reality dawned upon me quickly...Sheesh, I don't own all those stuffs! And I don't benefit too. The irony is that, some of the asian participants live in houses the size of our semi-Ds here, have no probs owning cars... Me? Paying bills after bills and I don't even own a flat yet! DUH!

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    let's relax, he's not that knowledgeable about the more pro-oriented chaps like us on CS. he was saying that from his experience as a layman photographer - since if you know where you want your prints to be done locally, you can select the shop via film or digital printing in the first place. there wasn't any mention whether he knows of the availabilty of digital print studios in singapore, so let's chill

  11. #11

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    true.

    I do know the minister himself, and I know he comes across as someone who is very earnest and sincere, and often uses simple anecdotes to connect with people around him, especially with the heartlanders living in the likes of tampines.

    His film story is obviously not targeted at the film processing industry in singapore, but using the story as a platform to drive the larger picture across which is true : whether or not our cost of living is high, one thing is clear. Price matters on the global market, especially when the quality difference is negligible. Its a situation that is simply facing Singapore right now.

    We clubsnappers can always challenge him for the prints to be posted online though....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefen
    His film story is obviously not targeted at the film processing industry in singapore, but using the story as a platform to drive the larger picture across which is true : whether or not our cost of living is high, one thing is clear. Price matters on the global market, especially when the quality difference is negligible. Its a situation that is simply facing Singapore right now.
    However the quote he gave was not really a fair one to Singapore as I believe Sg is VERY competitive in this aspect. Maybe someone can post the various charges of film developing in various countries and I am very sure that the $0-30 for a 4R (digital file) print or $0-25 for a normal 4R film by many Sg studios charge are among the lowest, if not the lowest. Anyone got the figures?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefen
    true.

    I do know the minister himself, and I know he comes across as someone who is very earnest and sincere, and often uses simple anecdotes to connect with people around him, especially with the heartlanders living in the likes of tampines.

    His film story is obviously not targeted at the film processing industry in singapore, but using the story as a platform to drive the larger picture across which is true : whether or not our cost of living is high, one thing is clear. Price matters on the global market, especially when the quality difference is negligible. Its a situation that is simply facing Singapore right now.

    We clubsnappers can always challenge him for the prints to be posted online though....
    I have no problem understanding the big picture. However, where this particular example is concerned, i don't think i'll be headed for Vietnam to print 4Rs anytime soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PLRBEAR
    I have no problem understanding the big picture. However, where this particular example is concerned, i don't think i'll be headed for Vietnam to print 4Rs anytime soon.
    do you remember the Germans who come to Singapore for their healtcheck, dentures, etc, for LESS money than back home, and a FREE holiday thrown-in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy
    do you remember the Germans who come to Singapore for their healtcheck, dentures, etc, for LESS money than back home, and a FREE holiday thrown-in.
    What i'm trying to say is that it depends on the service. Health Services are competitve worldwide, no doubt about that. Go down to Gleneagles Hospital any day of the year and you'll see hoardes of Indonesians there, because they love the place and the fact that it's a private hospital. Same thing can be said for Mount E.

    On a similar note, throw in a free holiday for me in Vietnam and i MIGHT go and print my digitals there. Would you like to provide that service as a business? Healthchecks and dentures for less money than back home, could still provide a healthy (no pun intended) profit margin for the organizers over here, therefore no loss to the people on this side. Great. However, how much do you think you can squeeze out of digital printing? Which side does the exchange rate favour? Could the differences in quality be due to machine settings? Operator error (or bo chapness)? What if the small shop knew that Mr Lim was a minister from a foreign country, and decided to put their best foot forward?

    There are many things we don't know. Again, i still don't see this example as a driving force for the point Mr Lim is trying to make. The example on health checks and dentures doesn't push my buttons either. Why? Because people who need health checks and dentures are USUALLY old folk. The average lifespan for a man is about 76yrs. If i knew of a package deal like that that would give me a good time and a new set of chompers, i'd dive right into it before i croak.

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    like someone said earlier, Swee Say was using a simple anecdote to get his message across. we don't have to pick it apart. my point being: don't just get the tree and miss the forest

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy
    like someone said earlier, Swee Say was using a simple anecdote to get his message across. we don't have to pick it apart. my point being: don't just get the tree and miss the forest
    Small clarification about digital printing: The final output is still a silver halide print. It is not some funky inkjet/dyesub print. The difference is that, instead of an enlarger/projector-type exposure mechanism, the digital minilabs uses laser-printing technology to expose the photo paper, which is then developed in the traditional way using the colour print chemicals within the machine.

    Regards
    CK

  18. #18

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    However, how much do you think you can squeeze out of digital printing?
    I thinks it a multi billion dollar industry, and its the volume sales that count....

    I believe the german example was to show that despite having an operation that is reputed to be world class, residents of germany can still afford a full holiday and yet enjoy lower expediture than what is at home.

    It does go to show that some industries in Singapore are competitively priced on a global platform, while some, not necessarily film industry, will still need to pull up their socks as their competitors are fast catching up.

    These competitors are definitely a threat, as despite being ill adapted to international languages, services like this trancends languages barriers and eagerness to compete are better weapons than mere talking.

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    I guess the surprise which Environment Minister Lim Swee Say is more of how we can lose the competitions if other developing countries catch up. Is he fair by not considering other factors? Well, how to define fairness? In this global market, if the less developed country catch up in producing something better, cost is their main advantage. Singapore just got to always be evolving to stay ahead.

    Personally, I don't think going digital has made colour less real to life. Having it in digital probably makes things easier to adjust and preview. USM and saturation is some of the tools of the trade. If it's use properly, I think it produces good results. Film has the look of how things are remembered as a bit fuzzy, not very clear. Every media has it's pros and cons. It is more of a personal preference, hard to say which is better.

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