Kodak Instant film

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by marsbars, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. marsbars

    marsbars Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    Spokane Wa.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Was looking through some old pictures that my mom got from my grandmother. And I found some old polaroid but they were labeled Kodak Instant film. These pictures were dated mid seventies. How long ago was this product discontinued? I have never heard of it and was just curious.
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Mid 1980s, if I recall correctly. Another one of EK's disasters--infringing on another company's patents.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kodak made and sold one instant film, PR-10, produced in the late 70s. It was heavier than the Polaroid instants and plastic in feel. It had a matte surface with rounded corners and a black back. It was discontinued by Kodak when Polaroid won the lawsuit contending that Kodak had infringed their patents. Kodak was ruled to have done so inadvertantly and to have worked diligently to avoid Polaroid patents and so the damages awarded were only about equivalent to royalties on the patents. Damages were not trebled for malicious intent.

    That ended Kodak's entire foray into instant.

    PE
     
  4. airgunr

    airgunr Subscriber

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I believe it was in the very late '80's or early '90's. I've still got one of the cameras. They ran into patent problems with Poloroid I think and had to discontinue production.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Before releasing the product, Kodak hired a group of prominent attorneys to evaluate this very thing. The consensus was that Kodak would not infringe any existing Polaroid patent. The judge ruled otherwise. But, because of this effort, he was unable to find Kodak guilty of any malicious intent to defraud Polaroid or any intent to harm Polaroid and so damages were quite minimal compared to what they would have been otherwise.

    PE
     
  6. marsbars

    marsbars Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    Spokane Wa.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It did have a very different feel from standard Polaroid's that I have handled.
    Thanks for the info. I can see the legal problems in that product. So now I have to wonder how fuji got around patent issues or if they paid through the nose to license it?
     
  7. mabman

    mabman Member

    Messages:
    829
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Fuji licensed it. I don't know if they've divulged if it was "through the nose" or not, but many people seem to think Fuji's product (colour, at least) was more consistent, and many seem to prefer their colour palette to Polaroid's.
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Fuji has a product that is "identical" to Polaroid, but due to their technological superiority it is a far better product as they have better control over all aspects of manufacture and have some innovative technology. Kodak went a different route with direct reversal emulsions and a new kind of RDR chemistry that produced the image.

    In the offing was a 3000 speed film with superb dye stability. Patents on this can be found using the Kodak unique metallized dyes. If they had won the law suit, the instant photo field would have been a big winner for us all. Polaroid cut it off at the knees.

    PE
     
  9. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

    Messages:
    751
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Horsham, PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Fuji also has a product that is compatible with Kodak instant cameras, except for the speed. I forget what it is called, GT-800 or something like that.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am not aware of that, but if they do, it would certainly infringe on both Kodak and Polaroid patents.

    PE
     
  11. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

    Messages:
    2,026
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I recall seeing a few of the Kodak cameras in use in the UK, but i don't think that they took-off to any great degree before the patent problems came up.

    When the film was discontinued, Kodak offered a "trade-in" allowance on the instant cameras against a new "conventional" camera...can't recall the details, but I remember that it seemed quite generous.
     
  12. Aurum

    Aurum Member

    Messages:
    923
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Landrover Ce
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    IIRC when they lost the case, they had to make best efforts to withdraw the cameras from circulation. I remember that they were offering trade in against new point and shoots and possibly disc cameras.
     
  13. Aurum

    Aurum Member

    Messages:
    923
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Landrover Ce
    Shooter:
    Medium Format

    AFAIK there are only two types of fuji product. The FB / FC series, which is compatible with 100 series polaroid packfilm, and the instax product which is sold for use with the fuji branded cameras. If Instax is backwards compatible with the kodak cameras, it would be a surprise

    Edit : I can see where you got the info from Wikipedia but I'm not sure of the veracity, as the rest of the article seems a bit, well lacking in correct details to put it politely
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2009
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. amuderick

    amuderick Member

    Messages:
    283
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Shooter:
    Large Format
  16. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

    Messages:
    668
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Spain
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    As far as I can tell, instax and the kodak's system have the chemicals on the same side. But sizes seem to be a bit different; they might be compatible.
    Got some of kodak's instant snaps from my father, but they are in my grandma's house. Only can compare it with instax from what I remember the last weekend when I seen some of them. I do have an instax shot here in my house. I was surprised at it, I thought it would be a polaroid.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This reference indicates that the material made by Fuji can be used in a Kodak camera by modification of the pack (removing a tab) and using a neutral density filter to adjust for the speed difference in the Fuji product.

    The Kodak chemistries (there were 2) involved heavily patented materials and the patents awarded to Kodak were not voided by the lawsuit.

    One material required direct positive emulsions and the other used negative emulsions, metallized dyes and achieved a camera speed of ISO 3000. This latter product was never sold.

    PE
     
  18. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Sounds like pictures taken with one of the old Colorburst cameras of the 1970s and early 1980s. If you are old enough, you might even remember seeing those REALLY tall and funky looking cameras (they looked MUCH more ridiculous than a polaroid). I should also note that Kodak made an instant camera in the early 1980s that produced a print that was MUCH more like a conventional RA-4 print than a polaroid. I believe they called it the Trimprint series (since the prints were thinner, and advertised as being able to be trimmed with scissors just like RA-4 prints). Of course, as others here have said, this all went away with the Polaroid lawsuit.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kodak did not produce a peel apart product. It was produced internally but never sold on the open market.

    Kodak did produce Ektaflex C and R for prints. They were sold up until the end of the lawsuit with Polaroid.

    I ask one question here. Was the Polaroid win good or bad for us all using hindsight? Was the GAF / Pavell lawsuit good or bad for us all? IMHO, all of them were bad for all concerned.

    PE
     
  20. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,830
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I really preferred the contrast and saturation of the Kodak instant materials as compared to the SX-70 materials.

    I also preferred the rectangular format, as compared to the square format of the SX-70.

    The cameras - they were different.

    Matt
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No kidding!

    I had a special pass to allow me to enter and exit Kodak Park with those cameras in order to avoid a search by the security guards. Kodak didn't want anyone to see these oddball "things". :D IDK if there was any significance, but the pass had brown lettering instead of the usual Kodak stuff. :D

    I used to carry the camera and test film home and back over and over to evaluate it when I was working on the project. At first, the shut down didn't work with the chemistry I was coating/using and I had to peel everything apart. So I have a few peel apart / integral units hereabouts too as well as the camera which got caught in the recall.

    PE
     
  22. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I don't recall seeing this in stores. But I vividly remember advertising for this. Did they actually advertise for something they never sold?
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No advertizements, no sales, no release of product. One run was made and it was destroyed before release. One or two internal tests were made on this production run.

    PR-10 and Ektaflex were the only products sold. Ektaflex was peel apart, but not to be used in-camera. It was an enlarging "paper" only.

    PE
     
  24. nyoung

    nyoung Member

    Messages:
    371
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ektaflex? Yeah. We used to use that for quick color prints back in the 1980's when we were first starting to run daily 4 color in the newspaper.
    Seems you exposed the paper normally in the enlarger then fed it through rollers in a plastic box - blue on top, white on the bottom - and it came out laminated. You pulled it apart to reveal the print after a certain amount of time.
    Made darn good prints without plumbing or water at room temperature as I remember.
    Buddy of mine with more money than sense bought up an entire upright freezer full of the paper and all the chemistry he could get his hands on when it was discontinued.
    I had completely forgotten about this stuff until I saw this thread.
     
  25. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Then what were 'Trimprints'? I'm sure they were instant prints that were supposed to be more like conventional RA-4 prints.
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The pictures shown here: http://kodak.3106.net/index.php?p=201 contain examples of a PR-10 film pack and a non-PR-10 camera. The sad histoy of the peel apart film, never released, was that it use a chromogenic pod which left a stain behind. Therefore there was no public release.

    This film pack was trade trialed only and used at the wedding of the Kodak CEO's daughter (Walt Fallon at that time). He got purple stains on his hands from the pod goo and put a hold on the release of the product. The problem was never solved and that product was never sold. Only PR-10 was sold. (but see below)

    One case of PR-10 and one case of this peel apart product were preserved (by court order IIRC) in a locked refrigerated "safe" in the sub basement of the Research Labs. If the product was ever released, then it was a momentary event and was not general. By that, I mean that pre-release ads were probably drawn up and samples sent out and then recalled. BTW, I have seen the locked freezer, and have a single Polaroid type pack in Kodak trade dress, one of the only left existing. I worked with the people doing the early tests.

    This was a very sad event at Kodak, as the problem was warned against in advance by a good friend of mine. See patetnts by Barr, Bush and Thomas for early Kodak examples of instant materials. These are the classic foundations for the technology you refer to.

    The PR-10 camera was long and relatively and had a V shaped back which contained a set of mirrors to reverse the image due to the format of the PR-10 film and the orientation of the pack. On one model the print came out with a hand crank and on the other the film had a motorized advance.

    Film for the peel apart had a 2 stage manufacturing process with two machines in the plant. One to make the film pack and the other to make the print part and assemble the system. These were RAMs and FAMs (Film Assembly Machines) and were only ramped up for a short time. The PR-10 was produced by one machine called a COMAM or a Continuous Motion Assembly Machine. They were in full production for the entire lifetime of the PR-10.

    For a short time, Kodak manufactured and tested an internal prodct and they prepared plans to sell it. It was to be a product identical to Polaroid, but AFAIK, this was also restricted to testing due to the clear possible infringement problem even though most of the patents had expired and it did use some innovation. I'm not clear on the situation there, but AFAIK it was not in production at the time of the trial, only PR-10 was. Our entire division was disbanded the morning after the decision and everyone concerned (several hundred of us) had to find new jobs.

    PE
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2009