Ilford quickload/readyload (question for Simon G. I guess)
Perhaps this has been brought up before, but how about a 4x5 readyload/quickload thing for a few Ilford films: I'm thinking Delta 100, but FP4+ and potentially HP5+ could be very useful too.
Any interest in this out there?
Both Readyload and Quickload were dumped due to lack of sales, the same reason that Fuji dumped the 4x5 instant films, and of course why Polaroid went out of business.
Notice a trend?
Personally, I really like the products, and I would buy them. But there's a lot of manufacturing infrastructure which must be in place, and it's questionable if there is enough demand to make it profitable. If anybody can come up with a Quickload/Readyload product, it would either be New55 or Impossible Project. I don't see that happening.
Too bad. I'd use Ilford readyloads/quickloads pretty much exclusively if they existed. Oh well.
Readyloads are a whole different market than Polaroid IMHO. I definitely miss the assurance that my skies will be dust and lint free! I would buy 100% of my film as Readyloads if available. Still testing which I like better Delta or FP4+.
Bob at New55 has already said they're not going to do it. It would just be too expensive.
Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller
"People get bumped off." -- Weegee
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Ditto, rwhawkins! (and both Delta 100 and FP4 are awesome).
I don't know what this has to do with Polaroid or other instant films though. I have no interest in any of that.
Discontinuance had little to do with actual interest. These systems got traction slowly because early
versions worked poorly. Fuji came out with one for use in Polaroid holders which was quite dependable by held focal plane poorly. Then Kodak came out with a double-sheet version of Readyload, and this had lots of light leaks. Holders themselves were so-so. Finally, the single-sheet
Readyloads and Fuji Quickloads were a big improvement. I loved them for travel and esp for backpacking. Kodak's packaging of these was done by Polaroid, and when they went still, the
product ran out. Fuji's drop was more a marketing decision at the bottom of the recession, when all
kinds of mfg industries were under heavy mgt pressure to thin selection and reduce inventories.
It was premature. Digital MF is still a long ways from the convenience of sheet film in the field,
and still a harsh investment with rapid obsolesence. Lightweight filmholders have been tried (Mido)
but were rather tempermental themselves. Film tents aren't difficult to use - but when you're planning a two-week long backpack at high altitude with large format gear, like I am, already in my 60's - every pound counts!
IIRC, Kodak's Readyload was actually outsourced to Polaroid in the Netherlands. So it would be logical for New55 to do it, as it's really a Polaroid without the chemical pack. Maybe there's another solution to make a package that fits the holder.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
I've heard the same as what Drew said about the Kodak readyloads though - ie they were problematic. The late Fuji quickloads were apparently a lot better.
I guess my question has always been - why wouldn't everyone shooting sheet film use a good quickload/readyload system rather than film holders?
I still think Ilford should do it.
Dear Michael R et al.....
We have never produced a 'readyload' option on our sheet film products. Even back in the 90's it was not viable for us to invest in the required finishing equipment. Highly automated, sophisticated and boutique finishing equipment ( designed for operation in the dark ) is eye wateringly expensive.....believe me. We did investigate third party finishing of readyloads but we were unable to contract to do this.
Having given the answer why we did'nt its probably fair to say we never will, if you have readyloads then you split the sales between them and standard boxed product, then you have to recover the cost of the readyload itself, you then come up with an age old balance where customers say 'yup I would really like to use readyloads, but I'm not paying 30% / 40% or even 50% more, I will load them myself' . The result is you have more products (SKU's), less sales per product and thats before you have to sell this new line to the re-sellers to stock.
As an aside, since readyloads are no longer available you would need to re-establish the supply chain for raw materials, these papers, cards, adhesives and sleeves are not 'off the shelf' they need to be manufactured with materials that will not affect the photo sensitive material contained within, this will require minimum order quantities probably unsustainable for one manufacturer to commit to.
So, whilst it would be nice to have, its not going to happen. We will continue to strive to maintain our own market doctrine which is to maintain every single product in our catalog, film, paper, chemistry and accessories as our way of taking forward analog photography.
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :