Ilford slow film production info?
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.
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/...6115811391.pdf
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
I forgot that bit.
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.
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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.
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.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
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.
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....
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.
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?