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  1. #1

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    THE THIRD COLOR FILM COMPANY

    I was wondering if anyone can tell me anything about the company Ferrania in Italy. They do make C-41 type color film. They may make E-6 types also, and possibly b/w. But...they seem to have very little visibility in the USA. Anyone know anything about them?

    Phototone

  2. #2

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    Dear Phototone,

    Ferrania sells most of their film here as store brands. I often find it at Menards in 400. The Dollar Stores are supposed to carry it as well.

    Neal Wydra

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE View Post
    I was wondering if anyone can tell me anything about the company Ferrania in Italy. They do make C-41 type color film. They may make E-6 types also, and possibly b/w. But...they seem to have very little visibility in the USA. Anyone know anything about them?

    Phototone
    They have been around for a very long time -- I used their colour films in the 1970s and maybe even 1960s (I forget) -- but they have appeared under a variety of names including Scotch and 3M, depending on who owned them at the time. They do a very great deal of private label manufacture; even more now Agfa is gone. Their own films are marketed as Solaris. Good films at a good price.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)

  4. #4

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    I believe that most Ferrania film sold in the USA is sold under store brands. The last I checked, Kroger supermarket film, Freestyle's house brand color film (but not their house-brand B&W film), and the film sold by the PhotoWorks photofinisher were all made by Ferrania. K-Mart's house brand was made by 3M (current Ferrania film used to be 3M; its heritage is convoluted) about a decade ago, but I don't know if that's still true. I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones that spring immediately to mind.

    My personal opinion of Ferrania film is that it's similar to the Kodak or Fuji offerings of a decade or two past, particularly in terms of grain size. The Ferrania 400 film, in particular, is much grainier than the ISO 400 offerings from Kodak or Fuji. This grain difference is much more pronounced when scanning than when printing, at least with my equipment. Ferrania films provide a more subdued color palette than the Kodak and Fuji consumer-grade products. I've seen at least one Northern European person say he likes Ferrania film for this reason; apparently his family's light skin tones just reproduce better with Ferrania than with Kodak or Fuji. I don't know if he's tried any professional portrait films from Kodak or Fuji, though.

  5. #5
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    Ferrania was part of 3M back in the 70s and 80s. They purchased it in the 70s IIRC and then cut it loose in the late 80s. It has been having financial difficulties and last I heard was in bankruptcy or was digging its way out.

    PE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Ferrania was part of 3M back in the 70s and 80s. They purchased it in the 70s IIRC and then cut it loose in the late 80s. It has been having financial difficulties and last I heard was in bankruptcy or was digging its way out.

    PE
    Dear PE

    For a while they were kept afloat (illegally) by the Italian government, according to what I heard: they were in the same area as the company that was brought low by an appalling fraud a few years ago -- Parmelat? -- and another major collapse in the area was unthinkable. At photokina they looked reasonably healthy, though appearances can be deceptive.

    Cheers,

    R.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Dear PE

    At photokina they looked reasonably healthy, though appearances can be deceptive.

    Cheers,

    R.
    Well, what I would like to know is, what type of photo films do they produce, other than C-41 color negative stocks. Is that all they make? Surely they make some b/w materials, and possibly slide film? If you saw their booth at Photokina, then perhaps you know.

    Phototone

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    Just found information, google search..seems that Ferrania has a USA manufacturing site in Weatherford, Oklahoma for color negative film. Here is a quote from the website:

    "The Weatherford, Oklahoma site serves as the manufacturing facility and distribution center for color print film, single use cameras and inkjet media. In addition, administrative and financial services are managed at this location."

    This is very interesting, and I am quite puzzled why no one mentions Ferrania.

  9. #9

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    At one time 3M produced E6, but think all that Ferrina makes now is C41.

  10. #10

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    Back in the '80s I shot a roll or two of K-Mart house brand (presumably 3M) Super 8 movie film. I have no idea if they still produce E-6 film or if they ever produced B&W film. Certainly I've seen neither from them for a very long time, just C-41 film.

    As to their Oklahoma facility, that's interesting. A decade or two ago, 3M/Imation/Scotch house-brand film could be identified by "made in USA" on the label. All the Ferrania film I've seen lately, by contrast, is marked "made in Italy." I'd assumed they'd shut down their US manufacturing plant. Perhaps it's still going, but not at sufficient volume to supply all the US market, or maybe they just make some products there, like single-use cameras.

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