Kodak film quality considerations - LF and ULF included

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Photo Engineer, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    There have been some threads here on film quality and have included Kodak film quality. I thought I might make some comments on this so you would understand it.

    ALL film when coated will have some degree of defects on the 5000 ft 42" master roll or whatever size a given manufacturer produces.

    Kodak scans every square millimeter of coating produced with a surface scan and a scan through the film to look for surface defects and deep defets. This is programmed into a huge software package that maps out the optimum cutting strategy for a given roll, such as 35mm, 120, 220 and etc. when using 5 mil support and LF and ULF formats for 7 mil support. It is designed to include bad spots in the master roll just like formatting a HD detects bad tracks or sectors.

    This program optimizes the yield of film per master roll.

    Now, when someone asks for a custom cut, the software must be changed to included other options in sizes so that waste of the good coating is optimal and low.

    Virtually every square mm of Kodak's bad coatings goes to scrap and all units are optimized to give the best cut for highest yield.

    IDK how others do it, but 100% inspection is carried out at Kodak at the coating stage and at the packaging stage.

    Just an FYI information note.

    PE
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Sounds a lot like the duties of the highest paid individual in a redwood mill -- who is the fellow who determines how a log will be cut to get the most out of a log.

    Vaughn
     
  3. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    For 40 years I never had an issue with Kodak, in any format, in the past year I got 35mm TMax 400 with dust in the emulsion, then last week 2 rolls of 35mm TriX with light flares, mostly on the edge but 1 or 2 frames were flared. The rolls were shot in 2 different camera on 2 different days, developed a week apart in 2 different tanks and reels. I usually use a large tanks and dip and dunk in the dark, but as I only had a few rolls to soup I used a SS reels and and Paterson tank.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Send it back to Kodak Paul.

    They back everything 100% and have a toll free #.

    PE
     
  5. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I only lost 2 frames and I need the remainder of the shots, it was just a surprise to see any QC issues with Kodak, (and back to back) regardless of their market loss. I bought cheap film to shoot around, but always bought Kodak for fame and glory.
     
  6. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    What can you tell us about exactly how this is done? Obviously with some wavelength of non-visible light...

    Ed (who is always fascinated with manufacturing processes...)
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    They use IR laser scanners. One bounces off the moving web and the other penetrates through the film. Both are used to pick up different classes of defect. This includes dust, dirt, hair, bugs and etc. Even though the air is filtered and everyone wears special suits, an occasional fleck of dust or a bug creeps in.

    This method is NOT use for HIE and EIR film for obvious reasons and that extra method is what contributes to the high price of these products. And before you ask, no I am not prepared to discuss that method as I was never introduced to it.

    PE
     
  8. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    I must say the quality control is amazing. I have bought about a half million sqare feet of paper and film and the score has been: zero defects for Kodak, Agfa, Ilford and Fuji. One small light leak (master roll) for Dupont and about four or five very minor film defects for no name products.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Reported here are many defects for some products.

    PE
     
  10. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Because they are no longer in production?
    :D

    Just kidding. Thanks for the info. Very interesting.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    All right Tim. WAS not used.

    PE
     
  12. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    I test every emulsion before I use it on my work. However one defect did creep in, on a few rolls of 120 T max 100 the frame numbers and the word "Kodak" repeatedly show up on the image. Apparently the inked numbers and type on the backing paper was still wet and when it contacted the film when rolled the ink transfered to the emulsion, yielding a shadow that appears on the film. Unfortunately it appears on a portfolio image and at some point I will have to to extensive retouching to correct this. But hey Kodak will generously replace the rolls of film.
     
  13. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I really do find it amazing the amount research and development that has gone into not only the film, but the whole manufacturing process of it. Kodak (and friends, but I'm guessing Kodak really is a step above the rest) seems to have thought of every single facet and investigated it thoroughly, from box manufacturing on down. It really is quite impressive and its a shame that both the film industry is tanking like it is and that I'll never be privy to all the really interesting things that go on behind the scenes...
     
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  15. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Of course they've been doing this for 100 years!:wink:
    Personally I've never had a problem with Kodak quality, be it film, paper or chemicals.
     
  16. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear All,

    As an FYI we at ILFORD Photo use exactly the same IR finishing mapping system for the master rolls : Also we use negative pressure in the coating machine to keep out dust, but like PE says its amazing what still gets in.

    KODAK and FUJI I am sure will have exactly the other QC measures we have as well...PE talked about roll tickets to cut out defects on film but :

    Testing on all the raw materials ( every time )
    Random tests and audits at suppliers
    Tests on all the emulsions during and after they are made and before coating
    Tests on every aspect of each production run of film and paper
    Storage of sample parts ( unprocessed ) of every single master roll
    of paper or film kept for 5 years so as we can always compare with
    any customer complaint on that batch
    Further tests at ageing ( hardening ) stages, before finishing, after
    finishing and then random tests from warehouse stock. If you are a quality
    supplier, you are a quality supplier, its just that KODAK, ILFORD Photo
    and FUJI have to do most QC in the dark...!!!

    Is it 100.00% no....but very nearly.

    We will no doubt have another APUG factory tour next June, you can see QC in action

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Simon;

    See the IR testing? :D But I know what you mean and I left out that entire list you posted as I was just looking at the master coated roll testing. I think the only difference may be hardening. Last I coated, there was no change in hardening after coating. If there was, it would be an error, so there may be a slight difference in testing in that regard. We looked for a given level of hardness on the roll at the end of the coating machine. Then it was just randomly checked at finish time and if different, there was an error.

    We used an abradometer and a swellometer for those tests.

    Thanks for the most interesting post.

    PE
     
  18. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    This thread gives me thought about how much I took for granted the quality of film from both Kodak, Ilford and Fuji. Thank you to everyone at all three companies.
    juan
     
  19. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    Kodak is (was?) an amazing company. There was a time when, if it was photographic, Kodak made it. And almost always in house. In various posts, Ron has affirmed what I had always suspected -- that Kodak controlled the manufacturing process from beginning to end. They made their own silver nitrate, made and printed their own packaging, made their own chemicals (in Tennessee), made their own gelatin. They epitomized both horizontal and vertical integration. The only comparison I'm aware of was, when Henry Ford built the River Rouge plant in Detroit, it was said that coal and iron ore came in one side and cars came out the other. (They say that vertical integration doesn't make economic sense any more, but I'm mildly skeptical...)

    And while Ilford, Agfa, DuPont and others certainly did fundamental research in photography, Kodak was the king, with labs in at least two or three countries.

    The times they are a changing...

    Ed
     
  20. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    At least with Azo, Kodak made their own paper--and I think they made their own paper for all of their other papers. When Paula and I toured the plant, they started us at the beginning of the process--paper making in HUGE vats. We looked down on it from two stories up.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

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    Michael;

    I took the tour from the plant floor, and saw the entire operation from pulp through baryta or titanox and then if RC, the final application of the RC. I also worked with the various tints as we could order out small batches of supports with tints for experiments. Those machines were in the basement of B9 which was just demolished.

    The RC machine ran continuously with RC going in one end and down to a trap to be remelted and reused. When an experiment started the equipment was hot and ready to go. No paper was fed through the double sided hopper until the coating was ready to go.

    It was an amazing sight. And, very HOT due to the calandering process. All papers were hot press with multiple hot rollers and embossing rollers for the various surfaces.

    PE
     
  22. pauliej

    pauliej Member

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    This sounds like a good subject for the tv show "How It's Made". I would love to see a whole half hour program devoted to film/paper making and coating, etc. processes. I just wish they didnt play that silly and very annoying (digital?) music in the background, as it is very distracting.

    Thanks for all the very interesting information presented here.

    Paul
     
  23. CBG

    CBG Member

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    In thirty plus years of work with Kodak film, processing (kodachrome) and materials, I've had exactly one single flaw in Kodak sourced items. A suface ding in a roll of Kodachrome processed long ago, I suspect during processing, since the aforementioned amazing QC would have caught the defect were it in the film originally.

    Overall QC in the photo industry prior to digital is nothing short of amazing. (The numerous bugs in digital software are a glaring exception in QC. Even top end equipment like Sinar has issues.)

    C
     
  24. dslater

    dslater Member

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    Do you know what they did before they had lasers?

    Dan
     
  25. Photo Engineer

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    Infra red lights work just as well with ordinary films. They are less sharp, but do work just fine.

    PE
     
  26. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    :surprised:

    I guess that's the end of speculation that Kodak will get back into the paper business. Seriously, I love Kodak products and always have. I still buy as much Kodak as I can because I trust their QC unlike that of J&C products (for example).