Ilford slow film production info?

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by craigclu, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    Does anyone have any inside info on the validity of Ilford's development of a slow, ultra-fine grain emulsion? This was alluded to in the last year and I've not seen any mention since.
     
  2. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    http://www.ilford.com/Webfiles/2006216115811391.pdf
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Unfortunately that's not the right website now, as Ilford and Ilford Photo (Harman Technology) are now separate companies.

    The index page does however provide the link to both, but alas not to the PDF file.

    But add the photo to Ilfordphoto.com gets you the link http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/2006216115811391.pdf

    Ian
     
  4. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Sorry Ian,
    I forgot that bit.
    Cheers.
     
  5. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Pan F+ is a wonderful fine-grained film with fabulous tonality, but I think what Craig was referring to was the possibility of Ilford designing a new, slower (ISO 25 or less), even finer-grained film to replace the discontinued Tech Pan from Big Yellow.

    I haven't heard anything further on the subject, but we probably wouldn't until it was actually released - assuming, that is, that Ilford is even working on it. Doing so, and bringing it to market, would require considerable resources, however. While I'd love to see it (35mm and 120 rolls and at least 4x5 sheets, please), the relatively limited market for such a "specialty" film might not make its development feasible.

    I'd be tempted to call it Pan T+, but that might get some people's knickers in a knot. :wink:
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I have information that Ilford has laid off most or all of their research staff. If this is true, then if there are to be any new products like this, they would have to have developed them before the layoff.

    If not, then I suspect that there will be little future new products from Ilford.

    Of course, the information I have may be wrong as well, but it came from a reliable source.

    PE
     
  7. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    This was widely reported at the outset of the reorganization. However, under the Harman management, Ilford has already released two new developers and announced a selenium toner, and Simon Galley has responded elsewhere that they are considering the request for a new slow film, but that they can't promise it will happen, for all the obvious reasons.

    Now it takes a lot less R&D to formulate a new paper developer or toner than it does a new film, but who knows what technical resources Harman actually has available at this point, whether on staff or via contract? Best to let Simon respond when he has a chance, I think. I'm sure that if they conclude that there is no possibility, he will say so; but by the same token, if he says they're still considering it seriously, the technical resources must exist somewhere.
     
  8. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I would imagine that it would generate some very good short term reaction/sales but it's likely a very iffy long-term segment of the market. If they have a way of modifying the basics of Delta 100 and perhaps a specialty developer that coordinates well with a new version of emulsion, it would perhaps be one more niche in an industry that is headed toward a collection of niches anyway? Even TechPan, with years of market exposure, glowing reports by users, etc., couldn't be rationalized by Kodak. Some of that may be due to the film base material production ceasing, I suppose. This is an industry that will need to reinvent itself to have financial viability and downsizing of coating equipment is a likely step. This may prove to be a good thing for analog folks, though as it will make it easier to maintain products that can run on machinery that doesn't need massive run quantities to make hitting the switch and making out so many paychecks necessary....
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There is a big difference between Research and Development and R&D. These are 3 different distinct divisions in making a new film.

    Research involves making fundamental discoveries in imaging science.

    R&D is the process of turning these discoveries into usable marketable materials.

    Development is the act of taking existing marketable materials and turning them into improved versions or variants, by known means.

    It is my understanding that the Research and R&D emulsion arm of Ilford is virtually gone! This means that only Development remains, and that will limit the options coming out of Ilford to modifications of existing materials within known parameters. How far this can be taken is known only to them.

    In other words, there are no more emulsion makers at Ilford except those in the plant making and maintaining current products or making modifications within certain limits to create variants on those products with improved characteristics.

    PE
     
  10. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    What other industries could the ex-Ilford staff move into using their emulsion science knowledge and experience, or are they all 65 years old and coming up for retirement?
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If they are anything like EK emulsion research people, they are about 45 - 85 years old and mostly all laid off, retired or in digital photo research.

    Those that remain at EK fit the description I gave above for Ilford. They are mostly development people applying known internal improvements to existing products. An example would be the application of the 2 electron sensitization to new consumer color films.

    PE
     
  12. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Hello,

    Simon Galley has mentioned in a previous thread that they are working on a Delta 25. I spoke briefly with him at the UK Focus in Imaging show last month and he confirmed that they are still working on it but it's at least a year away. The main thread where this was discussed originally was http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=20862 It's a very long thread and Simon talks about Ilford's plans on page 3.

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  13. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    A group of us from APUG are going up to Mobberley in June for a tour of Ilford so we'll keep an eye open for any very old grey bearded scientists who look like they're doing research!

    Cheers

    Mike
     
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  15. tom_bw

    tom_bw Member

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    Just out of curiosity, given that we have Pan F... What would one want to see over and above Pan F in this rumoured film? Would it bet (yet) finer grain, greater sharpness, different tonality??
     
  16. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    Personally, I'd like to see APX-100 tonality, with a neutral-toned base that could be used to make B&W Slides. The ability to build contrast, so that flat scenes could have the tones pulled apart without becoming objectionally grainy wouldn't hurt either.

    OTOH, the extended Red of Tech-Pan was frequently useful, and it would be nice to have that available again, preferably in a film that could be run in standard developers.

    While I shoot quite a bit hand-held these days, a glacially slow film with good mid-tone separation would fit certain of my needs nicely, especially in 120 or sheets. In the short term, I suppose it's time to spend more time with T-Max 100, and a little bit of optimization.
     
  17. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear Photo Engineer,

    As one who always reads your well informed and knowledgeble contributions with interest and respect, I am pleased to inform you that your source is very, very incorrect, yes our resources were depleted by our administration in August 2004, and we have just announced the loss of 12 jobs ( out of 375 ) but I can assure we have a creative, active, dedicated and capable R&D team for product development and manufacturing R&D FOR MONOCHROME products ( and some other other products as well ), and in line with our strategy of continuing to be the supplier with the widest range of monochrome products in the World...bar none.

    With Kind Regards

    Simon Galley ( Director ) ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited
     
  18. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Now that's one time I am really happy Mr. Engineer is wrong.
    Thank you Simon for making my day!
     
  19. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Me too me too.

    David.
     
  20. photobum

    photobum Member

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    Simon, I really like to hear you talk that way. I sure would like some access to plain old Pan F in sheet size. Not much R&D in that. Not much competition either.
     
  21. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear Photobum,

    Its not an R&D issue ( although it would need some ) it would need to be coated on a different ( new ) base, the volume we would have to buy would not make it viable from a business point of view, I am really sorry.

    Simon.
     
  22. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    Hi Simon,

    Is there a supply problem with 120 Pan F at present as Gunns in Dublin have been out of stock for about a month now and they are usually well stocked up on traditional materials.

    Peter
     
  23. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear Peter,

    We have no stock outs on PAN F 120 ( we have 7,912 in stock as of 4.56pm today ): We have just changed distributor though, speak to Gunns and they should speak to our distributor and they can get it in.

    Regards

    Simon
     
  24. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    Thanks Simon,

    I will try them again at the weekend. They have commented to me before that supplies from Ilford are always very slow to come in so hopefully this new distributor will improve the service.

    Peter
     
  25. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Learn something new every day -- the Pan F couldn't be coated on the sheet base that's currently in use for FP4+ and HP5+ sheet sizes?
     
  26. Photo Engineer

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    Dear Simon;

    This is one of the occasions when I am glad to hear that I am totally wrong!

    Thanks for setting the record straight. It is never my intent to post an incorrect comment here, so correction is always good.

    I use and enjoy Ilford products and always have. Thank you also for your nice comment. I wish Kodak were as informative and as in-tune with the customer base as Ilford is! Tony Perez and his staff could learn something from Ilford.

    PE