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  1. #101
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Sal, thanks. The problem is that in agreeing with you about timing, if I were 2 generations later, I could not have been a photo engineer. Therefore, I couldn't do in the future what I can do now. It is a Catch 22.

    PE

  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Sal, thanks. The problem is that in agreeing with you about timing, if I were 2 generations later, I could not have been a photo engineer. Therefore, I couldn't do in the future what I can do now. It is a Catch 22.

    PE
    Yes, that's what I meant. It's a classic "ahead of your time" problem. Given you are the generation you are, you are a photo engineer and that it'll probably be a couple of generations until what you're trying to transmit will need to be received, how do you ensure the information is available at that time? I can only suggest you forge ahead while establishing some mechanism for reliably preserving/disseminating your work in the future. I don't know how you can best do that. Perhaps others here will chime in with viable approaches.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankB View Post
    More?

    Build a library of formulae and techniques here on APUG. Preserve the knowledge. With today's technology it might be impractical to have a coating plant with consistant quality on a small scale. We don't know what technology will be around at the point in the future if / when we need it.
    Frank has it summed up with his 3 main points, but let's add in this one he made earlier. The time to pool resources to set up coating is further ahead, if there are real indications that the main manufacturers will fail or withdraw. But for the time being it would be very prudent to try to record as much information as possible.

    Although a lot is contained in patent information, it is perhaps more the minutae known to individuals that is worth trying to record and classify - I remember an old story of Kodak employees being pulled out of retirement when the original 'Elite' FB paper was being designed. If there are only 200 engineers with this sort of knowledge, falling off their perches at an increasing rate, putting together a 'road-map' of emulsion technology as they left it would maybe be invaluable in the future.

    Which begs the question, assuming some emulsion chemists and engineers are inclined to be part of this, generally to what extent can they legally divulge information? Perhaps Photo Scientist could advise?

  4. #104
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    We are allowed to show or tell anything in a patent or publicly disclosed.

    However, technique and putting it all together to make it work in a home darkroom is the art of it all. Making it simple is the art. Etc. These we can discuss, as they are our own methods.

    Few, if any of us will discuss this topic. AFAIK, there are only 3 of us posting on the internet.

    PE

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    ...
    Few, if any of us will discuss this topic. AFAIK, there are only 3 of us posting on the internet.
    PE
    Sorry for wrong title, Photo Engineer. Probing a bit further, would you say, then, that to set up coating plant is primarily a budget issue? Given the funding (which I'm sure will be huge), with competent chemists and engineers on board, could production of reasonable quality film be achieved from a standing start without having to buy in expertise and formulations from an existing manufacturer?

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    We are allowed to show or tell anything in a patent or publicly disclosed.

    However, technique and putting it all together to make it work in a home darkroom is the art of it all. Making it simple is the art. Etc. These we can discuss, as they are our own methods.

    Few, if any of us will discuss this topic. AFAIK, there are only 3 of us posting on the internet.

    PE
    This may be part of the problem as well - until recently, there was little interest or research into developing smaller scale commercial production of the highest quality. After all, why would you develop a low volume "Kodak Gold" manufacturing line, if you can make more money with a high volume one?

    Now that there is interest, there are far fewer resources available that could be devoted to it, and far fewer people available with the knowledge and experience who might be able to do it.

    It may be a "magic bullet" type pipedream, but I wonder if it will take a discovery from outside the current technology to save film?

    Matt

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    . . . . . .

    As for using motion picture, I would say that Kodak and others will stay in film as long as film motion picture is around. The minute motion picture film sales start the drop that is being seen in consumer films then motion picture will vanish as well.

    PE
    Thanks for acknowledging Ron. The reason I brought up motion picture films at all is that there are a few preservation operations already active today. One is through UCLA, and I forget where the others are located. Seems to me there is much more interest (and funding) behind such work than there is in doing something about still films. So if the preservation goes to keeping motion pictures still available, whether or not new films are shot, that might be a source for film for still cameras.

    Considering the amount of film used in India, compared to Hollywood, does anyone really see this completely disappearing in a couple decades? There are far more theatres in the world than can afford, or even want, digital projection gear. Also, judging by Sundance and a few other film festivals, colour is at the mercy (and eyesight) of the operator of the latest projectors; i.e. there are numerous problems still with this gear. Reading up on really costly high end HD production indicates this is at least ten years from mainstream (or wider) usage, and all this could change drastically in that time with other resolutions (2K or 4K) and technologies coming in . . . in short, many motion film makers are either doing a final film print, or shooting film as a start to future proof their content.

    So in a world in which all still camera films disappear (which I still don't think is in my lifetime), I still see a need (or want) for motion picture films. Worse case is that several universities take over the preservation and production. So as far as what future generations can accomplish, here is my suggestion: get the universities doing motion picture preservation involved in still photo preservation.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio

  8. #108
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    First off, the largest repository of, and restoration of motion pictures is going on at George Eastman House in Rochester. They have the original film from most Hollywood productions stored, on nitrate base even, right there on the premises on East Avenue along with George Eastman's home. They have a $5M grant for preservation of old photographic technologies, and as such now have a complete copy of George Eastmans notebooks. They have about 8 students now learning wet and dry plate, Daugerrotype and other methods of photography. I have a superb lantern slide made by the instructor that I use in my workshops as a demo with his permission.

    Color motion picture film will have a life as long as there is a market, but B&W is quickly vanishing.

    We cannot make color film at home by any stretch of the imagination. We might be able to coat an Ilfochrome work alike at home. I have hand coated such a material at Kodak and it is rather straight forward.

    Anyone can be taught to make emulsions and coat them using simple chemicals and techniques in a small home darkroom. It is just about as easy as learning how to hand mix developers and fixers. You weigh out chemicals and mix them. The workflow is quite straight forward.

    The cost doing it at home is mainly for the hot plate-stirrer you will need, and a coating blade if you go that route. You will also need a lab balance or scale good to 0.1 gram. You don't need fancy equipment. I did without the hot plate stirrer for a while, but it is a pain, and I did my first coatings by brush and got the expected quality which is not very good.

    Starting from scratch, it takes one day to make and coat about 20 sheets of Azo type paper in normal grade 2 in sizes from 4x5 - 11x14. In 2 days you can have about 40 - 60 sheets of grade 2 and 3, and it will keep for a week or so with no stabilizer. If you have more drying space, you can make more coatings. That 20 sheet limit is mine due to space, nothing more.

    The paper dries and hardens in about 4 hours, and can be processed, but I usually let it go overnight.

    Simple dump and stir. Follow the cookbook stuff really once you are taught a few fundamentals. After that, you can get creative.

    PE

  9. #109

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    Nice to know about George Eastman house. We should only hope for more similar endeavours.

    I can understand the desire of more colour motion picture films than B/W films, so I guess the greatest chance of loss would be B/W emulsions in sprocketed 35mm sizes. Shame to think that all those old 35mm stills cameras might be relegates to colour films only at some point in the future.

    So Ron, here is something you might be able to answer. I know that some commercial printing makes use of photographic like emulsions for printing negatives. This is another large world market. Some of those emulsions are for exposure under controlled light sources out of the visible sprectrum, or by exposure from lasers, though no need to get technical here. Since these commercial printing negatives are often quite large, would that be a source of future larger sheet films? Are the emulsions and films too different for usage in large format cameras?

    Your descriptions of B/W coating operations don't seem that far removed from the platinum processes I learned several years ago, at least in the gymnastics aspects of it. That there are companies committed to many older alternative processes indicates some hope for silver processes in the distant future.

    Thanks again,

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio

  10. #110
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    Gordon;

    Laser emulsions are generally very low speed fine grain emulsions used with high intensity laser exposure. As such they are scanned to create an image line by line with overlap to some extent to prevent lines from forming.

    At least that is my understanding of one type of process using lasers.

    These emulsions would be unsatisfactory for general use due to extremely low speed. There may be others out there, but those are the ones I remember.

    PE



 

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