Research and Development of film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by madgardener, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    I was looking through my Freestyle catalog, and it got me to wondering if there was any ongoing research and development of new film emulsions? My own feelings are that if there is, its very little. I seriously doubt Kodak is right now with the bankruptcy, Ilford might be,Fuji again might be, I suspect ADOX is out of necessity. I have no idea about Lucky. That's my take on it, any other feelings or observations?
     
  2. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Why really.. The film from Kodak/Ilford/Fuji is absolutely awesome. It needs marketing to develop new customer bases more than new products.

    Then when there is a healthier market, it might be worthwhile to make some new stuff.

    New55 has been a new film product, but it's not new film, but rather a new system. It a cool product in need of a customer base.

    Ilford has come out with the newish art300 paper, which is fabulous, and their positive paper, and their pinhole camera.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

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    The answer to the OP is NO! No research. A tiny bit of development is going on to update a few products as we see in the new archival MP Print film. Otherwise none.

    Even TIP is not really research, just a bit of development to restart the instant products. The development portion is to replace old chemistry with new chemistry.

    Even Ilford is pretty much restricted to development.

    PE
     
  4. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Right now, probably not. About six years ago I talked to someone associated with the Fuji R&D lab, I thought they would be doing only color, be he said a little bit of B&W development was going on, too. He carefully did not say for what.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

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    I talked to Tadeki Tani head of the Fuji labs, and there is little I could see going on there in 2006.

    PE
     
  6. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    I could care less about development, as long as production continues!
     
  7. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    We have two areas of R&D, pure R&D and manufacturing R&D.

    HARMAN R&D have a wide range of active projects in hand, whilst some are inkjet related most are related to silver but they are not primarily photo related. eg Silver as a antimicrobial agent.

    Manufacturing R&D work on the development, maintenance and improvement of the products and the manuacturing process, primarily in relation to raw materials, much has been made of various raw materials no longer being made or in volumes not required, if that happens you have to source and specify other products, or indeed make them yourself, we now do a significant amount of this.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology LImited :
     
  8. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    HARMAN doing this and Simon openly posting about it are the two big reasons why, whenever and wherever appropriate, one should advise anyone listening to SUPPORT ILFORD! :D
     
  9. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    I DO support Ilford. As well as Adox and Foma (through Freestyle's Arista EDU film) and Kodak color and black and white products. I think we all do. But I was supporting Efke as well and look where they ended up.
     
  10. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    I did not and would not advise anyone to support a less than first-tier quality manufacturer. Fotokemika quality was anything but first tier.
     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Foma quality seems to be pretty good of late. And I've had nothing but great results from Adox papers (the newer ones coated in Germany, MCC 110 and MCP 312 in my case, not the older ones coated by Fotokemika which I have no experience with.)

    However, I have to agree about supporting Ilford. Great company, great products, they deserve our support.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

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    I see a problem in definitions here.

    At EK, development, maintenance and improvement of products (as Simon notes above) was classed as Development at Kodak more than Research. If it was an existing product, process or machine, and the work was done outside of the Research labs, it was classed as Development work.

    Research and development were both conducted in the Research Labs however, and Development was also conducted in the Photographic Technology Labs which was later folded into KRL.

    PE
     
  13. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    I am completely unconcerned with what it's called, as long as Ilford does whatever's necessary to continue producing its current product line. No improvements desired. :smile:
     
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  15. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    I must disagree here. Improvement is desired. If a product is not being improved, it risks getting stale, and eventually eclipsed. On another thread several weeks ago, a lot of us begged Simon of Ilford to look into an IR820 infrared type of film. A product like that could take a lot of research in order to bring it to market affordably. I hope he is looking in to the possibility, because I would hate to see infrared film go by the wayside.
    While the products we currently have are very, very good, what about tomorrow, will we still be satisfied?
     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    We'll be satisfied if it's all we have. Digital has already eclipsed 35mm film and full frame 35mm sensors can give MF a run for its money in terms of pure, objective quality. Most people shooting film are doing so for other reasons. Better films would be nice but realistically, keeping what we have is a lot more likely. There's always room for something like an infrared film which might not be all the new anyway, just from another company now that Efke is going away.

    While they're at it, it would be very nice if the pipe dream Ilford IR film were more like HIE than like IR820.
     
  17. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    When Kodak is gone, Fuji abandons film and lower-tier manufacturers have followed Fotokemika into the history books, I will still be very, very satisfied with Ilford's current products. And those from Adox, which I expect to also be around.

    Let digital eclipse those stale, unimproved products for the masses. As long as today's offerings remain, all will be fine in the analog photography world.
     
  18. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

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    I totally disagree with that. My personal experience shows 135 film scanned with a 4000 ppi tabletop scanner to provide a quality which, as far as sheer resolution is concerned, is at least on par with a 20 megapixel camera (I say "at least" because the scanner gives 20 mp of real resolution both as luminance signal and as crominance signal, while a 20mp digital has 20mp luminance signal and a Bayer interpolation for crominance) and is otherwise WAY better than film as far as highlight rendition and dynamic range is concerned.

    Not everybody shooting film does it merely for "other reasons". People like me do it because it delivers better overall quality. There are "other reasons" as well, but quality is the first and foremost reason here.

    If this forum were more devoted to scanning technique (ahem, ... cough... cough.. :whistling: ) forum participants would be more aware of the great quality which is delivered by the small format in hybrid use (which is de facto field where the comparison with digital capture would be measured).

    Digital wins hands down for speed and convenience. It still lags behind, in my opinion, as far as image quality is concerned, and that is 135 versus 135.
     
  19. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Even if you do think the quality is better today (and I disagree when you're talking 35mm, at least at the upper end of digital) you won't tomorrow. Well maybe not tomorrow but next month or next year or whenever, and it won't be long.
     
  20. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Sigh.... Photo Tech was a GREAT place to work!
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Of course! Only second best to KRL!!!!

    Val tried to get me to move to PT, but I got Bill to move to KRL! :D :D

    PE
     
  22. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Yes you did, and it turned out to be a good fit for Bill.
     
  23. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I find that the best full frame digital is about the same quality as 645 film, maybe very slightly less. That assumes a good tripod and mirror lockup. 645 digital is awesome, but also $16000. Film camera resolution is a function of both lens resolution and film resolution, which depend on and affect contrast. Digital is a bit different, more or less giving you the minimum of lens resolution or pixel resolution. The pixel game can become meaningless as lens resolution becomes a factor. A very good general purpose lens will only resolve 120 lines per mm for a high contrast subject. Most resolve less. For a 24X36 sensor, that's only 2880X4320, or 12.4 megapixels. The combination of film and lens usually only gets you about 80 lines per mm, maybe 95 with the best equipment and common film.
     
  24. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    so basically there is very little to none, as far as R&D goes on new emulsions.

    As long as there is some, its better than none at all. At least it seems ADOX is coming out with new films. I would love to get my hands on some Silvermax
     
  25. Pioneer

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    +1 - I wonder when it will be available?
     
  26. Diapositivo

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    The idea that resolution is limited by lens resolution and that the good general purpose lens will only resolve 120 lines per mm (line pairs, probably) would lead IMO, following this reasoning, to saying that FF digital cameras with more than 12.4 mp don't have a higher resolution than those with 12.4 mp. If the lens doesn't resolve more than 120 lp/mm, and that must be true for digital and film, why would FF digital camera have so many pixel?

    (it goes without saying that all this reasoning implies tripod, mirror lock-up etc).

    That seems to be contradicting not just what the industry does (that might be due to marketing hype and consumer irrationality, although I don't think a consumer of a 4000 Euro camera behaves irrationally often) and the general experience of photographers (who do use high-mp sensors mainly to be able to crop the image without going below a certain mp threshold, which means it does make a difference) but also the original affirmation.

    I don't understand how this affirmation would stand with the other, "I find that the best full frame digital is about the same quality as 645 film, maybe very slightly less". It is my impression that according to the "120 lines per mm" reasoning, a FF (24x36) digital should not go beyond 12.4 mp (your figure, unless I misunderstand what you say) and I do believe that a scan from a 6x4.5 film image can give you much, much more than that.
    You seem to apply your "120 lp/mm reasoning" only to scan from film and not to FF digital.

    My affirmation that I do get more than 20mp of real resolution from film stems from daily "pixel peeping" at my scans, for professional reasons (I have to inspect at real pixel size any image that I send to agencies). Sometimes I "blow up" details so that each pixel is a "square" on the monitor, to see how the pixels build the image and if there is some "wasted", redundant pixel, and I can clearly see oblique lines and edges where all pixels "play a role".

    If the real resolution were lower than the nominal resolution (given by the pixel dimensions) I would see clusters of pixels with basically the same value where I should instead see an edge, the typical case would be oblique lines where I should see a saw edge. When you inspect images at real pixel size (or, let's say, at 1000% pixel size or so, so that you see any pixel as a solid block) you can clearly see if the real resolution matches the nominal resolution.

    More in general, "resolution" is a different concept than resolving line pairs on a mire and this kind of tests do have a role in assessing lens performance but should never be taken as if they were "science". For instance, the general lens has a much better behaviour when focused at infinite than when focused at let's say 1 metre but, as you imagine, resolution patterns are photographed at 1 m (or 2 or what) not at infinite.

    When I have time and if anybody is interested (being an hybrid point) I can post some very high magnification crops showing how "no pixel is wasted" in my 4000 ppi scans which leads to a true 20mp resolution from a 135 film. The proof is in the pudding, reasoning about theoretical resolution and lp/mm is no pudding.

    As a side note I would like to stress that I scan my images with 16 passes for each location and 2 overall passes with 2 lamp intensities ("multiexposure") so that each pixel is actually the result of 32 passes by the scanner. That "squeezes" 20mp of real useful non-duplicated pixels out of my slides (tripod, mirror lock-up, very good Minolta fixed focal length lenses).

    I can see them and all the mathematics in the world will not convince me that my system does not reach that resolution :wink:. Too much lp/mm reasoning leads to the situation where to two Dominicans find themselves when Galileo invites them to look inside the telescope to see the "Medicean planets" and the two Dominicans refuse to look because philosophy is superior to sensorial experience, you know*.

    * That's a scene from "Life of Galileo" by Brecht, I don't deem it unlikely something like that really happened.

    *** EDIT. Mmh, I looked at a table with lp/mm resolution expressed as ppi resolution.
    It says that 80 lp/mm (which you indicate as achievable with good lens, good film and good technique) equals 4096 ppi. So I do accept that my scans have a resolution of 80 lp/mm.
    But it follows as a consequence that they do yield > 20mp on 135!
     
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