When I first got into photography in 1997, only the news agencies and papers with the biggest budgets were using digital. There were a huge number of films available. Kodak, Fujifilm, Agfa, Konica, and Scotch all made color film for the US market.
Fuji's product lineup honestly was not that much different than theirs today. They had a few more specialist products, such as duplicating film and interneg film, as well as a 1600 speed Provia, but other than these, it was very similar to today.
Kodak, on the other hand, sells a fraction of the types of color film they did 13 years ago.
This was Kodak's color film lineup around the middle of 1997:
Ektachrome slide film:
Ektachrome Elite II 50
Ektachrome Elite II 100
Ektachrome Elite II 200
Ektachrome Elite II 400
Pro Ektachrome slide film:
Ektachrome 100 Plus
Ektachrome Lumiere 100
Kodachrome slide film:
Pro Kodachrome slide film:
Kodachrome 25 Professional
Kodachrome 64 Professional
Kodachrome 200 Professional
Color negative film:
Royal Gold 25
Royal Gold 100
Royal Gold 200
Pro 400 PMC
Pro 400 PPF
Royal Gold 400
Royal Gold 1000
Pro 1000 PMZ
There were other more obscure color films not mentioned also, such as VR 200, VR400, etc, etc...
And some films, such as Gold 1600, Lumiere 50, Ektachrome 64x, Kodachrome 40, etc. had existed during the earlier 1990s, but had been discontinued prior to 1997. I was very young at the time and didn't get to use many of the films listed in this post.
B&W was very similar to today, except that Technical Pan, Verichrome Pan, HIE, and and an orthochromatic film existed. (And TMY was on its first version). Even in 1997, your choices were basically Plus-X, Tri-X, 3 speeds of T-Max, or a chromogenic ISO 400 film.
Last edited by B&Wpositive; 01-02-2010 at 06:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
You may want to include Fuji, Agfa and Ilford products. You may also want to include replacements.
When were Tri-X filmpacks discontinued? I have a Kodak Black and White Darkroom Dataguide from about 1990 and these are still listed as available. I was just wondering if anyone remembered.
Wow Thanks B&WPositive for the list of Kodak films from 97. I wish I had the chance to use Ektachrome 320T, Ektachrome 400x, Ektachrome P1600, Ektachrome Infrared, and Ektachrome Elite II 50. What exactly was Ektachrome Lumiere 100?
Originally Posted by MattKing
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Blimey. That line-up looked ripe for rationalization. Did we really honestly honestly need that many films? There must have been huge "use overlap".
Originally Posted by B&Wpositive
Kodak's modern line-up is fairly clean and uniform. An experienced photographer can decide exactly which film he needs for a given situation. I couldn't honestly say that with that 1997 list. How many of those were just rubbish... sorry... obsolete zombie films clogging up the line-up?
Last edited by Admbws; 01-03-2010 at 05:15 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: I wrote out a list of today's films. It seemed pointless, so I cut it.
Possibly; and there have been film technology improvements in the last 12/13 years which may compensate for more limited product choice. However, there are films on that list such as neutral E6 films and 25 ISO colour negative stock that do not have direct equivalents.
Originally Posted by Admbws
From the UK point of view until the early 70's Kodak were very strong in B&W paper, I think it was Ilford launching the technologically superior Multigrade which pushed them onto the back foot, & they never recovered from this.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
One or two industry experts of my acquaintance stated many years ago that Kodak would NEVER cease marketing B&W papers, whatever the volume dwindled to, as that would be releasing a larger section of market they had tied up, into the hands of the competition. Until a certain date they must have taken B&W paper very seriously indeed & wanted to retain it, as at one point about 10 years ago there was a deal on the table for Kodak to buy Ilford. Kodak retreated from the deal just before signature, which must pinpoint a U turn in their planning.
From looking at the back of various ILFORD paper boxes they seem to have changed hands rather often; although my earliest usage is only covered by 'ILFORD Imaging (UK) Ltd' circa 2003. Interesting to note that Harman still ships paper with the www.ilford.com URL on the label.
I can remember trying `Kodak Elite Fine-Art` B&W paper. Although it was not to everyone`s liking, I thought it was an excellent paper, but it suddenly disappeared before I had a chance to stock-up.
Originally Posted by Martin Reed