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  1. #1
    Mr.3D's Avatar
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    Kodak Comeback, Quick Read

    Greetings,


    From another photo forum, quite interesting! Posted today....


    I just attended (last night) a SMPTE meeting of the Hollywood Chapter. The subject was "The Technology and History of Film, presented by Beverly Pasterczyk of Eastman Kodak Co." Ms. Pasterczyk is a chemist with film R & D at Kodak, and she mentioned that Kodak Research is currently engaged in the continuing design and implementation of new emulsions, such as the new version of the Vision III product.

    Regarding consumer films, she said that they are considering restructuring a new approach aimed at producing these at a reasonable cost in much smaller volumes than in the past. She said that new technology will permit them to continue to produce these in "boutique quantities" using single coating machines rather than the huge multiple coaters of the past. She said that basically, as long as they had sufficient orders for a minimum of a single master roll "54 inches (almost 1-1/2 meters) wide by whatever length - no minimum stated", they would consider examining production in terms of the economics involved. Future production would primarily be on an "on demand" basis.

    This would include the infrastructure for processing, probably at a single lab, either in Rochester NY, or sub-contracted.

    "On demand" could conceivably include any film that Kodak has ever manufactured. Someone in the audience asked the inevitable question: "Including Kodachrome?" Her answer: "Yes, including Kodachrome". She added that while small runs of Kodachrome were unlikely, it was not out of the question, since they have had numerous inquiries.

    To the question "How could this be made possible?" her answer was intriguing. "Volume is the answer. Consumer groups of large numbers of individuals could petition for the return of a specific film. This would include not only large companies, but also individuals banded together such as camera clubs, especially those with a large enough base such that they could collectively join on a national or even international basis".

    Lots to think about.

  2. #2
    CGW
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    Any chance of sharing the URL for this???

    Parts of this seem possible but some of it is a bit speculative.

  3. #3
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Wow.

    I hope regular common films (Tri-X, TMY-2, Portra 400 and Ektar 100 cover it for me, barring a return of E100G and VS) would be made regularly without users having to scare up the demand - more likely for TXT, TMY-2 and Potra I think.)

    This could be bad if even the common films have to be ordered a year in advance, or it COULD be wonderful news with the common stuff still common and long lamented emulsions available again, at least periodically.

    Kodachrome would also, of course, have to address the processing. Wonder if Dwayne's would be ready to fire back up if the materials were available?

    Hell, if they can do what this sounds like, we might even see 120 or, conceivably even 4x5 Kodachrome again!

  4. #4

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    Heck, Roger, I'd vote for 8X10 Kodachrome. But could I ever spend fifty bucks a sheet for film and
    processing?

  5. #5
    Curt's Avatar
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    One word. Panatomic-X.

    Large sheets in addition to rolls.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  6. #6

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    If they could do it without making undesirable changes in the product, that would be great, if it meant the film could always be made. One thing I have to give Kodak credit for, through all the cuts and all the other problems, they've never sacrificed the quality of the film products they continue to sell. Some companies, when faced with similar issues, might cut quality control or otherwise cheapen a product to keep it on sale, but Kodak hasn't done that.

  7. #7

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    I thought the problem with Kodachrome was the complex, 14 step processing. That it had to be controlled carefully and with enough volume to make it worth keeping the line running.

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    If the coating division of Kodak gets free of the Eastman Kodak shackles and rids it's obligations to past employes it may well rise from the ashes. Sounds like things may be possible

    Is there a reason why Kodak couldn't begin making B&W papers again ? It maybe they need to work with partners in the future perhaps having niche films made by Fuji or Ilford, not such a wild idea.

    Ian

  9. #9
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pen s View Post
    I thought the problem with Kodachrome was the complex, 14 step processing. That it had to be controlled carefully and with enough volume to make it worth keeping the line running.
    There were smaller volume machines made so it is vaguely possible.

    Ian

  10. #10
    CGW
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    $$$ Wonder if film prices will spike, especially if its sold with processing included. Be careful what you wish for...

    How far away is April 1?

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