What happens after ISO 800 is gone?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by B&Wpositive, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    Apparently, the current ISO 800 color films can be pushed several stops and look ok at EI 6400 when push processed several stops. But what happens once the 800 speed films are discontinued? ISO 400 will be the fastest for color film. I can't imagine how one would get a working EI 6400 out of an ISO 400 film. You'd have to push process it about 6 stops. I wonder if it could tolerate that. Also, how long do we have until ISO 400 is the fastest color film available?

    I'm guessing that 800Z (which was almost discontinued and there are now rumors about being discontinued in 120) and Portra 800 won't be available too much longer. We may be down to Ektar 100, Portra 160 NC/VC, 400 NC/VC, Fuji Reala 100, 160S, 160C, and 400H for color neg film in the near future.

    Maybe Porta 400NC in 120 or 220, rated at EI 6400, and custom pushed (in a Jobo) about 6 or 7 stops will be the answer. Yeah, that's crazy. I wonder how it would even work.

    Maybe digital will be the only way to shoot in low light in several years. Seriously, we need a solution so we're not kicked on our butt when they discontinue the 800 ISO film. Seems like higher ISO color film is a shrinking market.
     
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  2. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    Any suggestions on how to increase the sales of fast color?

    Sure hope I don't get my hand slapped again for saying fast rather than ISOXXX.
     
  3. apconan

    apconan Member

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    Superia Press 800 is still available and haven't heard anything about it being phased out.
    I think Portra 800 is already discontinued? Not sure...
    And also, yes, with the increasing quality of high ISO in digital, I could see film being reduced to ISO400 and lower, as the companies reason that a majority of film shooters don't crucially need high speed color [which I wouldn't argue with].
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    You are already pushing that ISO 800 (really 400) film to 800 to begin with. At least the cheap drug store house brand crap. What's a few more stops amongst friends.
     
  5. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Don't forget there's also Fuji Superia 1600 which is very good shot at box speed. So, 800 is not even the fastest.
     
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Actually I think that "really 400 film" thought, is an urban myth.

    It can't be a push in a practical sense because the process at any normal mini-lab is standard.

    To qualify as a push ya-gotta change the process time.
     
  7. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    Nah, I didn't forget. In fact, I shoot the Fuji 1600 sometimes. But how much longer will the ISO 1600 and 800 color neg films be available? Maybe not much longer.
     
  8. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Well, let shoot the heck out of these then. I guess pushing 400 will be the only option. As I am starting to take more low light, indoor, no flash kind of photos because I like the look of most of them, I am using the Portra 800. I am switching over to a full analog workflow with no scanning and I haven't yet seen any of the 800 done optically. I am interested to see how it will look. I try to use the faster and slower speed films so for me I try to help out both ends of the spectrum. Kodak's message seems to be that if it sells well, they keep it. If it does not sell very good they ax it. Let's shoot :smile:
     
  9. hrst

    hrst Member

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    It starts to be a bit boring people posting here about every week with the same topic; "'SUP, I HAPPEN TO KNOW THAT ALL THE FILMS I USE DIE SOON". Hey come on, it's 2010 now, high-ISO digital cameras have been here for 5 years or so, they who are going to switch are gone years ago, they who shoot film will shoot it. (In addition, there's a growing interest as some people are discovering film for the first time, but that's a different topic.) Biggest decline and most severe discontinuations were in 2004-2005. You are 5 years late in panicking.

    There is a demand for higher ISO color films, they are used by lots of people, people buy them so they are not going anywhere. It's so simple. We may have less choices but the remaining ones are good, generally used ones.

    And well, an answer to your question, what happens after iso 800 is gone, then shoot what is available. It may be iso 1600 or iso 400, or that day may not come in your lifetime, who knows and what does that matter???

    Let's do the speculation when we first have some facts or arguments or interesting viewpoints to speculate about. Please.
     
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  10. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I print both Superia 800 and Superia 1600 optically. Both look very fine. 8x10" prints from 35mm Superia1600 are very nice, graininess is not obstructive at all, and I like the color rendition very much. But well, there's not so much underexposure latitude, so be sure to meter well if you use it at box speed, or shoot at 800 if in doubt.
     
  11. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I am shooting 120 too so that is to my advantage too.
     
  12. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    I used that same line of reasoning myself recently in another thread last week. You're right that digital is nothing new now and those who have switched already did between 2000 and 2008. And that digital is old now...yes, it is. However, it's evident that if anything, the next thing likely to go is going to be color film over ISO 400. The reason is that demand has been low for several years now compared to the lower speed film, and Kodak and Fuji may find it unprofitable to keep making. That is why Fuji almost discontinued 800Z this past Fall.

    And if and when it does happen that ISO 400 is the fastest color film once again, we need an alternate solution so as not to be blindsided. Better to start testing and prepping now, so it won't be an off-guard sort of situation later on, don't you think? That was the reason for posting this.
     
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  13. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    What would make you say this? I know that digital has been replacing the high ISO situation but those who shoot professional thing on film like wedding people, I would assume they use ISO 400 at least. Plus some people like myself may go out shooting for the day and go on an adventure that I have never gone on before so I shoot 400 since I don't know what might come my way.
     
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  15. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    Agreed. Scanned, Superia 1600 is grainier though.
     
  16. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I disagree with you. I cannot see that the next one to go is 800 ISO color neg. I just can't know that. It may be it, but it may not.

    On the other hand, I knew that TXP320 is used a lot less than TXP400 so it was logical that it was discontinued. But I don't see the same with high-speed color negs. There was many substitutes and it was a less used film. But as you say, there are no real substitutes for 800-1600 ISO color negs. My argument is that if they just are used at some level (as they are), there's no point discontinuing them.

    It's all about the size of pool of products to select from. There are a lot of ISO100 & ISO400 films so it's easier to discontinue some of the less-used one. Like it was easy to discontinue TXP320, because TX400, TMAX400 and TMAX3200 remains, let alone the other companies. BUT, there are less ISO800 films and only one ISO1600 film, so they sell better and it's more difficult to discontinue the only ones. This is my logic.
     
  17. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    Because Fuji came very close to disconuing 800Z recently. That tells me that sales of film over ISO 400 are on the brink of not being profitable. It's similar to the situation that Kodachrome was in 5 years ago. This is the difference from being a realist and being overly optimistic. It could happen soon. We need an alternate method.

    ISO 100, 160, and 400 are firmly entrenched in the pro color neg film market. These are very popular speeds. And ironically, Pat, wedding photography is one key area of pro photography where there are lots of film shooters--either holdouts or those who dislike the boring nature or excessive computer time of digital. And ISOs of 160, or even 400 or even 800, don't cut it for low-light wedding work. You really need to get up over EI 1600.
     
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  18. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I even think that there may be a slim possibility that a new, higher-ISO film will be released by Kodak. My arguments;
    1) Digital cameras have high ISO values today and they are used in marketing, so, from a competition point of view, it would be wise.
    2) All the film shooters know very well the advantages of higher ISO. There are lot more film shooters than just landscape shooters, eg. "street" shooters.
    3) KODAK motion picture group has some new high-ISO films like Vision3 500T whose technology was used in Ektar 100. So it isn't impossible at all to see a new high-speed film with this new technology.
    4) Kodak doesn't have ISO 1600 color neg like Fuji. By the release of Ektar100, the selection is now balanced to lower-speed films.
     
  19. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    High speed film, in both color and b&w are in danger and have been for at least a few years. Kodak P3200, for example, is rumored to be on the chopping block. I love that film. I shoot it at EI 6400 most of the time. High ISO is not just a marketing gimmick...it lets you get shots that you can't get with anything else.
     
  20. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Oops. I think I missread and thought you had wrote films ISO 400 and above not above ISO 400 :tongue:
     
  21. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    I'm praying that you're right, or at the very least that the existing high ISO emulsions will stay around. This is what I'm hoping will be for as long as possible. But we need to prepare, just in case...have an alternative in the wings.
     
  22. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I have a couple of rolls and I haven't shot any yet....Good film you say? I am excited to work with it because I have seen a couple of nice shots taken on it. I wish they offered it in 120. This appears to be the ultimate film. Kodak's data said that it can be push processed to ISO 25,000 :surprised: :surprised: :surprised: That's a lot higer than digital can go :wink: I wonder what grain looks like there.
     
  23. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Well, FIRST; don't you know this is one of Fuji's marketing tactics? If they really would need to discontinue a film, they would just do it. I think this is just opposite; this case shows that there was so big of a demand for 800Z that Fuji didn't discontinue it.

    SECONDLY; Fuji has three ISO800 or higher color neg films. If they some day have to discontinue one, there's two left and the sales of the one discontinued will approximately be divided to the remaining two, making them more viable to manufacture. As I said earlier, the selection gets smaller, but as it happens, we have the most universal, well-selling products remaining, and they are hard to discontinue from any viewpoint.
     
  24. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    I disagree. That would be dishonest. Like what the oil people do to increase the going rate. I doubt Fuji is doing that. But even so, the days of oil use are limited. Supplies of oil going to run out, and the pollution problem is real. That is why you see so much emphasis on alternative technology. So why not have an alterative to high-speed film before they disappear?
     
  25. DannyW

    DannyW Member

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    The majority of single-use cameras are loaded with 800 speed film, and I would imagine that Kodak and Fuji are both still selling tons of those things, so some type of 800 speed film will be around for quite awhile.
     
  26. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

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    It could be a chain reaction: One goes, then all of them go. Like what happened to Kodak's slide films recently. Only a small percentage are left now. So 3 out of the 4 Fuji films ISO 800 or higher could easily go in a similar timeframe.

    I'm just hoping that if the Fuji 800Z goes, there is still the Kodak Portra 800, or vice versa. I'd hate for both to go...but it could happen. We saw this sort of thing play out with the tungsten balanced films. All remaining ones went away within about 3 years of time. All that's left is ECN-II. Good luck finding a lab to process it if you want to shoot tungsten film.