A question of volume.....

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by PHOTOTONE, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I wonder if we could say that "The bulk of the prints made of amateur photos-that are not made at home, either digital or film are made on RA-4 paper in mini-labs?" If so, and I think it is so, I wonder what percentage of that market Kodak has, and what percentage of that market Fuji has?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2007
  2. Photo Engineer

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    Yes and about 80% last I looked.

    PE
     
  3. Photo Engineer

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    Qualifier added.....

    Fuji has gained market share due to astute marketing and a slightly better response to digital printers. Kodak is gaining it back with the new paper, and has good distribution of chemicals.

    So it is a see-saw between 60 - 80% for EK.

    PE
     
  4. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Is that true internationally PE? I practically never use minilabs, but you'd certainly get the impression from what I have seen that Fuji Frontier and Fuji Crystal Archive are the defacto standard over here (UK).
     
  5. Photo Engineer

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    It depends on what stores you visit here in the US.

    For example, WalMart has put a lot of pressure on Kodak to sell things to them cut-rate. IDK who they now favor, but some of the stores use Kodak paper exclusively and others use Fuji.

    Kodak production of the Endura and other lines remains high AFAIK, but as I said, it see saws. Kodak had a huge lead in China last I checked. Fuji was getting nowhere, but since they have been making inroads. Kodak is producing a lot of Endura paper at Harrow for some reason.

    Remember that Fuji can undersell Kodak on all RA products as they didn't have to develop the chemistry for the process nor directly do major work on the paper, but simply make something to fit. They did do major research on stable dyes and they did do major research recently on Tellurium sensitization to come out with the CAII papers which they say do not go through the current RA process, so Fuji has finally branched off.

    The original research on RA came from Kodak. The high speed emulsions that develop rapidly without benzyl alcohol were quite a major project.

    PE
     
  6. Heinz_Anderle

    Heinz_Anderle Member

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    If I want prints from my film scans, I want them on Fuji Crystal Archive paper. I do not care if they are compatible to RA-4 or whatsoever. I do care if my relatives can look at them in 50 years with the same joy as I do today.

    It is not a pity that Agfa has gone out of business in this field. Their RA-4 papers were the worst in regard to fading stability - not to mention the fraudulent proprietary crap that they sold in the 1970s. But I won't miss Kodak either and will, in the future, ask only for Fuji paper also for poster enlargements. The only ones doing their homework have been the Fuji people, as documented in Henry Wilhelm's book.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    This is only anecdotal i.e. not based on any real evidence other than my own. We've been having a clear out in the house and came across prints from about 15 years ago to currently. All printed by minilabs All of the older prints were Kodak or Konica which surprised me. Recently all are Fuji. OK the older one came from a variety of labs and the recent ones are all from the local lab which is Fuji.

    Various friends have sent us some prints recently and they are all Fuji also. I have a feeling that most labs in the U.K. are now Fuji but as I say my evidence is too small to make this other than conjecture.

    I want to avoid a Kodak v Fuji war here but I would be interested in hearing Heinz's reason for choosing Fuji. I think it is based on the belief that the new Fuji CA paper will last longer than Kodak's rather than better colours or other qualities. Am I right Heinz?

    I must admit I haven't studied any research from the Wilhelm Institute. Again I cannot claim this as scientific evidence but my limited expenence of both papers is that Kodak is more forgiving in terms of filtration to produce a good print and that Kodak Supra III and then Endura were a seamless continuation of quality whereas Fuji MP and then the new Fuji CA were not. I found Kodak easier to work with in the darkroom.

    In the U.K. now, Kodak paper from a company called MORCO is by far the cheapest RA4 paper for the home darkroom user that I have seen. It may be that for minilabs Kodak cannot or will not try to compete with Fuji. Even if they can compete, once you lose the minilab market place on paper and chems it is probably difficult to get it back without embarking on a no profit or even loss leader strategy which in today's market is never going to give a return even if market share is restored .


    pentaxuser
     
  8. Photo Engineer

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    Having talked to Henry personally for severa hours, and having taken the ICIS short course on image stability, I can say that there is no 'golden' or 'magic' bullet for defining image stability, nor is there a single reasonable test that will 'prove' anything conclusive.

    I have said this before. There are two standards for testing light stability, one involving high intensity light and another involving low intensity light. One simulates office buildings and the other simulates homes. Additional tests involve heat, humidity and pollutants. Every individual testing photo materials gets a different result.

    In the case in point, Wilhelm uses high intensity light and so does Fuji. Kodak tested 10,000 homes world wide for light level and then tested their (and Fuji) products under those conditions. Due to the diffusion rate of gases from air, and reciprocity effects in fading reactions, the Kodak and the Fuji-Wilhelm tests differ greatly. Gas (oxygen, pollutants and water vapor) diffuse slowly. Under high intensity illumination, gas related photo induced reactions are slowed due to rapid gas diffusion, whereas with low intensity illumination, gases are replenished more readily. In rapid tests therefore you see reciprocity.

    Which is right? It depends on how you treat the prints and what your environment is like locally. Hot and humid is bad, high industrial pollution is bad and etc and etc.

    As it now stands, I believe that both Fuji and Kodak products will last for at least 100 - 200 years based on my own dye stability studies while at EK. I don't think either company can throw a stone at the other, because by changing the test conditions I can change the order of the results.

    I should add that Kodak products were the first to incorporate UV absorbers and oxygen barrier process solutions and incorporated antioxidants. So, Kodak can plot a continuous curve of improvements vs innovation. By building on those inventions, Fuji came out with their CA paper, and then Kodak came out with their Endura paper. Both are quantum leaps involving new image forming materials. This is well documented in the ICIS literature and in the ICIS short course.

    PE
     
  9. Photo Engineer

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    On the other subject of who uses what, here in the US, Ritz Photo uses Kodak paper. Most photo stores send their work to a central professional plant that also uses Kodak paper. RIT stocks both brands of paper and film. This being Rochester, you would expect Kodak to dominate, but remember that their NE distribution center for products is not in this city.

    PE
     
  10. Heinz_Anderle

    Heinz_Anderle Member

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    That is the only reason, because I do neither print my negatives in an own analog color darkroom nor have prints made with the film processing. The last time I did so I noticed that the paper the "Kodak Photo Perfect Service" done by our last, but independent color lab here in Austria, was Kodak Royal (no wonder) - but as well printed from the scans of the film strip. When I send a CD with image files to the same lab, I am happy to know that I will get prints on Fuji Crystal Archive Supreme paper.

    Even if Kodak's Professional Endura Supra paper may be more stable than Fuji's crystal archive, I doubt that this paper has been intended for normal mass-volume prints.

    In my family's photo box there are some purple-faded prints from the 1970s, what I want to avoid to happen again.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

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    All Kodak papers now contain the same color forming ingredients. The curve shapes are adjusted appropriately for professional or amateur (photofinishing) purposes and for the equipment used for the exposing. (enlargers vs printers for example)

    Fuji does the same.

    PE
     
  12. Matt5791

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    Fuji seem to have a real strong presence in the UK for paper. A lot of those who used Agfa went over to Fuji.

    The lab I use in Birmingham however is very loyal to Kodak and wont use any FCA, only Endura.

    Any I have just bought a big pile of Endua from Morco for my own use....
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    what about cosmic rays ...
    do they have anything to do with image stability?
    i know even in a freezer the cosmic rays can
    fog your film ...

    thnx
    john
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

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    John;

    AFAIK, no case has been made for cosmic ray effects on the final image. This is probably due to the relative size of the grains and molecules that make up the images. Cosmic rays act on an atomic scale rather than on a molecular scale.

    PE
     
  16. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    There's a few things you'd do well to remember about Henry Wilhelm

    a) He's a paid consultant.
    b) FujiFilm is one of his clients (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Imaging_Research)
    c) Kodak has never been one of his clients

    I would not place my trust in any (any) scientist who licenses his findings for use by commerical concerns, as Wilhelm so obviously does.
     
  17. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    interesting....when I go to the Wikipedia entry on Wilhelm I see this message:

    "This article or section is written like an advertisement.
    Please help rewrite this article from a neutral point of view.
    Mark blatant advertising for speedy deletion, using {{db-spam}}."
     
  18. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Another note about Wilhelm...

    Ultimately, it seems, they ISO ratified ANSI IT 9.9 as ISO18909:2006. If you look on the web you'll come across quite a few mailing list posts that suggest the ASTM (American Society for the Testing of Materials) felt that the ANSI IT 9.9 standard for the use of accelerated testing may not have been reflective of true chemical kinetics. Many groups, however, were increasingly concerned that there was no standard testing methodology available, so the standard was eventually pushed through.

    I'm not defending Kodak's methodology; it seems enormously self-serving.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

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    Read my post above. I heard Henry's first presentation on dye stability in the 80s, when I first met him. I supplied part of the data used by Dr. Tuite at the same session that showed Kodak's POV.

    Henry uses the Fuji test method just about exclusively and this causes his data to look like theirs. The point of my comment here is not to say one is better or worse, but merely that test conditions change the results of image stability by a big amount!

    PE
     
  20. Photo Engineer

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    There is a new ANSI standard under consideration at the present time.

    PE
     
  21. Photo Engineer

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    Kodak testing may seem self serving but it was developed through thousands of hours of experimentation and tests in the real world.

    The same comments positive or negative may be said about Fuji.

    PE
     
  22. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    We have a joke in the consulting world that goes:

    Q: What's the difference between terrorists and methodologists?

    A: You can negotiate with terrorists.
     
  23. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Agreed.

    I don't think there are a lot of people who realize how difficult it is to design an effective experiment. Looking back on my time in graduate school I am reminded of a quote attributed to Thomas Edison:

    Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work.

    I don't claim to know much about the study of archival stability. I do know that there are some who have published work on the phenomena of image degradation at the level of applied physics (activation energies, transition states, etc.) in an effort to explain its mechanisms. I'd be interested to hear what those models predict and how well they agree with Wilhelm's observations. I'd be even more interested to learn whether any of Wilhelm's owns publications cite these works.
     
  24. Heinz_Anderle

    Heinz_Anderle Member

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    The groundbreaking measurements, the article in Science magazine and the Book considered as being the reference work in this topic have all been done 15 to 20 years ago, when e. g. Fuji's color print paper initially performed as poolly as Kodak's. But at the time of the book's publication, Fuji had already begun to improve.

    An office desktop at the workplace requires 500 Lux of illumination, equivalent to about 1/30 s exposure time at f/2,8 and ISO 100/21° (calculated from summer sun at noon ~ 100000 Lux and f/11-16, 1/125 s meter reading).

    120 Lux (Lux is a terrible relative unit based on the eye's sensitivity rather than on the true light energy in J/m2) is practically too dim to read.

    Compare also the film dark storage stability prediction for the latest generation of slide films: Fuji claims almost 100 years at 25 °C and 70 % relative humidity (Astia 100F/Sensia 100, Velvia 100 and 100F, Provia 400X) Kodak 80 years, but at 10 °C and 15 - 25 % r. H. (Elitechrome 100 G/GX) - so for your Fuji slides, you don't need to buy a fridge?

    If underperformers set their own standards, that's suspicious. I do however not see a bias of interest if an expert in science and technology is commissioned by private customers with consulting, product testing, and expert reviews, even if the results aren't intended primarily for publication, as long as the relationships are disclosed.
     
  25. pentaxuser

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    Interesting point about the longevity of Fuji slide film at room temp and normal humidity. It clearly means that no-one should be worried about buying slide film in a shop even if that particular film has been on the shelf for several years which is most unlikely. It raises the question of B&W and colour neg film storage. I have seen comments condemning shops, I think it was a branch of Jessops, who didn't go out to the back and presumably to cold storage unit for the film. It does sound as if this is nonsense, given normal turnaround time for film sale, even if neg film has a much shorter shelf life.

    It may also call into question the issue of the need for storage in a freezer of your favourite film that the XYZ manufacturer has just called time on.

    I'd be interested in any studies on neg film longevity at room conditions and yes I do recognise that in the case of HIE( a special case?) freezer storage may be necessary for long term. Or is this also called into question except for say storage for more than X time period.

    Maybe somebody will specify what this X time is?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  26. Heinz_Anderle

    Heinz_Anderle Member

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    Pardon, all the storage data are about PROCESSED film! Unexposed or processed film, both amateur and professional versions, should always be stored refrigerated, but exposed film should be processed as soon as possible.