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  1. #51
    MDR
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    Denise I am a production designer, art historian and photographer by education and a big fan of 1920's and 1930's production design so I am a bit biased towards a certain aesthetic. Agfa Isopan is another great emulsion and was considered by many to be superior to Kodak products of the same time.

    I believe that there was certain philosophy behind every film company Agfa parent company and their chemical production influenced the way emulsions were made at Agfa, Kodak was pretty much independent and bought a lot of their knowledge. Fuji as a japanese company was aided by Agfa during the war some of their early emulsions reflect that influence but they soon seemed to have found their own philosophy. Dr. Schleussner was driven by innovation he had to constantly innovate or he would have perished much sooner. Kodak was a lot bigger than Ilford, Schleussner and Fuji so they didn't have the need for constant innovation.

  2. #52
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    I am glad that there is one of the actual technicians of the film technology giving of himself in this point of life to share the knowledge straight from the horse's mouth. Were it not for that, as these people pass from us, the entire technology would fall into the hands of revisionists. Speaking as an offset printer, a kin trade of photography's, I would not have this roof over my head most likely without the research and distribution of the materials, supplies, and knowledge of these engineers. Thank you.
    Last edited by Tom1956; 10-25-2013 at 06:58 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #53
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    Kodak manufacturing and research drew on people from all over the world and literally dominated the patent literature on analog photography. Research was conducted in France, England, the US, Canada, and Australia during and after the war. You can weed on which did what when. The coating was done more broadly than just these countries.

    Kodak had a series of aim points for speed, contrast, toe, shoulder, grain and sharpness for every product. These were used in the plant and in research. However, in some cases, these aims did differ from plant to plant for two particular reasons. Local populations preferred their photos to look different and local printing and processing equipment varied. Thus, several products were made for the European market with a slightly higher contrast (due to higher average equipment flare for example.)

    To go back to the original formulas, it might be noted that the Adox formulas were also published at the end of the war and became part of the "public" knowledge base. However, Agfa engineers did help Konica set up their first major film and paper plants, and when it was disabled during the war, they helped Fuji.

    After the war, except for Kodachrome work alike color films, the majority of Japanese formulas were still rather Agfa in nature until about 1960 or later.

    PE

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    Gee, you almost made me cry.

    BTW, I get along very well with the GEH crew; don't make unjustified assumptions.

  5. #55
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I think it worth noting that GEH has an excellent display series on the "history" of digital photography. Just for those interested.

    PE

  6. #56
    MDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    I think it worth noting that GEH has an excellent display series on the "history" of digital photography. Just for those interested.

    PE
    Is it called the wall of shame :-)

    Regarding patents the US-patent system is very different to the German for example patentsystem. It's much harder to file for a patent in Germany and a lot of US-Patents wouldn't get a patent outside the US because they don't conform to the minimum standards of the German patents. The very strict rules on how to file for a patent in Germany also hinder innnovation but that's another story and I have to admit that I am envious of the support US companies get from the US Government.

  7. #57
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    The histories of all these companies are fascinating. When you start trying to diagram the connections, with the mergers, the takeovers, the snatching away of top chemists from one company by another, and the industrial espionage and sabotage, it looks something like the family trees and intrigues of the royal families of Europe around the beginning of the 20th century. It would make a great multi-episode soap opera . All the "A" firms run together in my head. It's hard to get facts about Agfa and Ansco, and Adox. I'd love to hear more from Ian and MDR on these. Not to mention the firms that sprang up in eastern Europe when my back was turned. And the connection between 3M and Ferrania (??). Is there any English language publication on Fuji?

    Happily, there are a few really great books on photo technology history. Just the ticket for the reading months of winter. The book "From Dry Plates to Ektachrome Film, A Story of Photographic Research", by C.E. Kenneth Mees, is excellent and easy to read. Even if I weren't a photo history geek I'd love "Memoirs of a Photochemist", by Dr. Fritz Wentzel. And, although not in the memoir genre like the other two, "Silver by the Ton, A History of Ilford Limited 1879-1979", is jam-packed with interesting history of people and technology.
    www.thelightfarm.com
    Dedicated to Handmade Silver Gelatin Paper, Film, and Dry Plates.

  8. #58
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    It is too easy to forget that just about every country has contributed some level of advance to analog photography. The nameplates on offices at EK, as you walked down the halls, attested to this as did the names on patents.

    Kodak got its share of patents in Germany. I have a few myself IIRC. As for Japanese history, it is mainly in Japanese and what I have is personal from the VP of Fuji and the VP of Konishiroku. Unless there is an English version, we may never know the details here.

    As for Mees book, there was a sort of 2nd volume titled "From Ektachrome to Instant" IIRC. It makes for a lot of interesting reading.

    The bottom line is that there is no bottom line, but rather just a series of different Points of View.

    PE

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    The bottom line is that there is no bottom line, but rather just a series of different Points of View.

    PE
    A great subtitle for "The Book of Life"
    www.thelightfarm.com
    Dedicated to Handmade Silver Gelatin Paper, Film, and Dry Plates.

  10. #60
    MDR
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    As much as I love Kodak, Agfa, Fuji etc.. it's often the smaller companies that bought the medium forward. Wratten and Wainwright (first panchromatic emulsions), Dr. Schleussner (first film designed specifically for X-ray use and the first thin emulsion films), the Keystone Dry plate works (first Celluloid film), Lumiére (Autochrome), Perutz (first x-ray plates) and many others that are now only a small footprint in the history of the medium but without whom many advancements would not have been possible. Interesting fact both Schleussner and Agfa started out as paint and lacquer manufacturers

    Our view is unfortunately very much centered on the big western names and less so on the smaller lesser known companies. And I agree with PE post pretty much every country contributed to the advancement of the photographic medium.

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