The craft of photography is a mature industrial process. While individually we may have a lot to learn about this craft, there is truly very little that is unknown by the collective. This is especially true of "off the shelf products".
There is no question in "Kodak's" mind about how TX or TXP or Portra react to given inputs, none.
I actually spent 8-years in underground mining. Got to see first hand the unpredictability. The "wild cards" there are two fold.
First is that we craftspersons/miners could not see through the rock so we were occasionally surprised by what we found, the engineers weren't. The exploration had been done years before, the properties of the rocks and the general position in the world were all knowns. These were minor variations and there were established ways to deal with the changes, basically just an "ask your boss" situation.
Second, and by far the more dangerous, are the people around us. Sure the guy sitting in the powder magazine having his "last cigarette" because his wife just dumped him, or the guy that isn't at his best because of his hangover and lack of sleep, were definitely problems, but respectively rare and minor ones. The bigger issue is management pushing the known technical limits to meet the contract/profit requirements regardless of the risks.
Not a happy industrial accident here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crandall_Canyon_Mine
Different industry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster
The happy accidents scientists and engineers have, when they find something unexpected because of research along a different line, are more interesting and benefits may ensue and as with the light bulb can be pretty benign, but happy isn't the rule.
Dying as Marie Curie did wasn't http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie
When photography was "newer" there was much true experimentation and the side effect of the chemicals involved weren't known. Today we use "Pyro's" pretty safely, but "we" killed and sickend a fair numbers of people to learn those lessons.
Even "your" Russian camera, like my Holga and shutterless Petzval can be learned and even mastered for effect as we build experience with the tool.