Ilford quickload/readyload (question for Simon G. I guess)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by michael_r, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Perhaps this has been brought up before, but how about a 4x5 readyload/quickload thing for a few Ilford films: I'm thinking Delta 100, but FP4+ and potentially HP5+ could be very useful too.

    Any interest in this out there?
     
  2. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    Both Readyload and Quickload were dumped due to lack of sales, the same reason that Fuji dumped the 4x5 instant films, and of course why Polaroid went out of business.

    Notice a trend?

    Personally, I really like the products, and I would buy them. But there's a lot of manufacturing infrastructure which must be in place, and it's questionable if there is enough demand to make it profitable. If anybody can come up with a Quickload/Readyload product, it would either be New55 or Impossible Project. I don't see that happening.
     
  3. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Too bad. I'd use Ilford readyloads/quickloads pretty much exclusively if they existed. Oh well.
     
  4. rwhawkins

    rwhawkins Member

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    Readyloads are a whole different market than Polaroid IMHO. I definitely miss the assurance that my skies will be dust and lint free! I would buy 100% of my film as Readyloads if available. Still testing which I like better Delta or FP4+.
     
  5. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Bob at New55 has already said they're not going to do it. It would just be too expensive.
     
  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Ditto, rwhawkins! (and both Delta 100 and FP4 are awesome). :smile:

    I don't know what this has to do with Polaroid or other instant films though. I have no interest in any of that.
     
  7. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Discontinuance had little to do with actual interest. These systems got traction slowly because early
    versions worked poorly. Fuji came out with one for use in Polaroid holders which was quite dependable by held focal plane poorly. Then Kodak came out with a double-sheet version of Readyload, and this had lots of light leaks. Holders themselves were so-so. Finally, the single-sheet
    Readyloads and Fuji Quickloads were a big improvement. I loved them for travel and esp for backpacking. Kodak's packaging of these was done by Polaroid, and when they went still, the
    product ran out. Fuji's drop was more a marketing decision at the bottom of the recession, when all
    kinds of mfg industries were under heavy mgt pressure to thin selection and reduce inventories.
    It was premature. Digital MF is still a long ways from the convenience of sheet film in the field,
    and still a harsh investment with rapid obsolesence. Lightweight filmholders have been tried (Mido)
    but were rather tempermental themselves. Film tents aren't difficult to use - but when you're planning a two-week long backpack at high altitude with large format gear, like I am, already in my 60's - every pound counts!
     
  8. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    IIRC, Kodak's Readyload was actually outsourced to Polaroid in the Netherlands. So it would be logical for New55 to do it, as it's really a Polaroid without the chemical pack. Maybe there's another solution to make a package that fits the holder.
     
  9. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I've heard the same as what Drew said about the Kodak readyloads though - ie they were problematic. The late Fuji quickloads were apparently a lot better.

    I guess my question has always been - why wouldn't everyone shooting sheet film use a good quickload/readyload system rather than film holders?

    I still think Ilford should do it.
     
  10. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear Michael R et al.....

    We have never produced a 'readyload' option on our sheet film products. Even back in the 90's it was not viable for us to invest in the required finishing equipment. Highly automated, sophisticated and boutique finishing equipment ( designed for operation in the dark ) is eye wateringly expensive.....believe me. We did investigate third party finishing of readyloads but we were unable to contract to do this.

    Having given the answer why we did'nt its probably fair to say we never will, if you have readyloads then you split the sales between them and standard boxed product, then you have to recover the cost of the readyload itself, you then come up with an age old balance where customers say 'yup I would really like to use readyloads, but I'm not paying 30% / 40% or even 50% more, I will load them myself' . The result is you have more products (SKU's), less sales per product and thats before you have to sell this new line to the re-sellers to stock.

    As an aside, since readyloads are no longer available you would need to re-establish the supply chain for raw materials, these papers, cards, adhesives and sleeves are not 'off the shelf' they need to be manufactured with materials that will not affect the photo sensitive material contained within, this will require minimum order quantities probably unsustainable for one manufacturer to commit to.

    So, whilst it would be nice to have, its not going to happen. We will continue to strive to maintain our own market doctrine which is to maintain every single product in our catalog, film, paper, chemistry and accessories as our way of taking forward analog photography.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  11. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Thanks for the feedback as always, Simon. I'll continue to manually load my Ilford film. This was just one of those dreams I have... (Delta 50 etc....) :smile:

    Thanks
    Michael
     
  12. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Thank you.

    Nothing wrong with dreaming...and as we all know sometimes dreams do come true.

    Thnaks you for buying, using and valuing ILFORD Photo products.

    Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited
     
  13. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    China, they could do it in a week, the same way they copy everything else.
     
  14. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    The Quickloads and Readyloads were twice the price per shot as regular film. And the holders never
    held the film flat at the insertion side. All you had to do is hold a loaded piece of film toward something like a rectangular fluourescent fixture to see how wavy it was. I got around that problem
    by customizing my own holder. And now I only half enough of these films for one or two more backpack trips. So I'm experimenting with rollfilm backs, which is marginally OK for black and white
    printing, but pretty disappointing for color enlargement. The long-term strategy is to find a sucker,
    a hiking companion willing to carry either the film tent or extra holders. Climbing all over the peaks
    with a ninety pound pack was fairly straightforward when I was a teenager in my mid-40's, but is
    getting a little problematic now.
     
  15. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    Sure, China could do it in a week. But the paper envelope would react with the film after 12 months, because someone substituted cheaper paper, or added Melamine to it. The aluminum bar would fall off. Etc.
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    And here are the reasons everyone didn't do it.

    What might be more feasible would be for someone to come up with a system that could be loaded and re-loaded (like conventional film holders, but with cheaper "holders") and offer to load any film, dust free, or resell a few popular films loaded into their holders. The film makers (Ilford, whoever) still make their money, and consumers get a choice with another company having a chance to make some coin. I'd pay a premium, definitely 2x per shot not sure about 3x, if I could buy pre-loaded film that was dust free. I don't get a lot of dust but do get some - and if you look close enough you can almost always find it somewhere on any self loaded film outside a complete clean room. (Of course, unless people view your prints with a loupe you needn't really look so hard you always find it, if you don't want to. I feel a lot better when I don't!) Drew has this facility, apparently, but others don't. I run the air cleaner in my darkroom for an hour, wipe down the table with a damp cloth, and even wear a long sleeve, vinyl jacket (even when it's hot) - clean my holders and dark slides thoroughly with a a cleaning roller followed by antistatic brush, zap the light traps and holders with canned air, zap again with canned air when loaded, tap the back side then insert the dark slide - and I don't get a lot of dust but still do sometimes. I wouldn't even try to load film in the field in a bag. Some people do but either the outdoors is a lot cleaner where they are or they aren't as bothered by dust or they're just plain way luckier than I am.