News/Views


News and commentary about film and Nikon film SLRs:

Help Save a Film Factory

FILM Ferrania has a unique Kickstarter project: fund them so that they can preserve Trixie, Walter, and Big Boy. 

What are those, you ask? Well, they’re massive sets of equipment used to make the plastic and chemicals in film, plus the coating gear that puts them together. The three sets of equipment are currently in an unused Ferrania plant gathering dust. Ferrania closed its doors in 2010, and the buildings and equipment that made all their film are scheduled to be destroyed soon. FILM Ferrania is a start-up that’s created small batches of film on their own, but now they’re trying to acquire what’s left of the old company so that they can expand. 

What they’re offering as a reward are limited edition 35mm, 120, Super8, and 16mm rolls of a re-engineered ScotchChrome ISO 100 slide/reversal film, products that used to be made by the old Ferrania. 

So, if you’re a film fan and want to help keep some of the old production gear operating, check out their Kickstarter page

CineStill bwXX Film

CineStuff announced a new film for Photokina 2014, the bwXX negative film. This is a repackaging of the old Eastman Double X 5222 film stock, which was used in feature films such as Schindler’s List.

Designed to be exposed at ISO 250 in daylight and 200 under tungsten, the recommended developer is Kodak D-96, though this negative stock can be processed with many black and white developers. CineStill provides the film in 36 exposure film canisters, but note that the canisters are not DX coded, so you’ll have to set ISO manually. This is a limited availability film, and currently costs US$7.49 a roll.

CineStill Web site

Lomography Cine200 Arrives

(news)

Lomography has announced that their Cine2000 Tungsten film is now available in the US and Canada, in limited supply. 

Cine200 is a 36-exposure roll of ISO 200 negative file that is processed in regular C-41 developer. It’s basically a repack of the Kodak Vision3 200 motion picture film stock (see this page for details), and do note that it’s balanced for 3200K, so you’d need an 85B filter to shoot in daylight.

Lomography site

Kodak Film Prices Going Up?

(news & commentary)

Kodak film prices will be going up on June 1st, at least in Japan. It’s unclear whether this is a global price increase or just a delayed response to the yen’s slide against other major currencies. 

The price increases are variable, ranging from 30% to 80% in the T-Max 35mm line. 4x5 users will find T-Max 400 increases 120% for 50 sheets. 

The high percentages of the increases would tend to indicate to me that we’ll see global increases, as they’re more than the yen slide would demand. Indeed, “lower global demand and high raw materials prices” were quoted as reasons for the increases. 

If you do a lot of film shooting, it probably pays to be keeping a reasonable stock in your refrigerator until ideal storage conditions. We’ve had a steady increase in prices and removal of less popular stocks for several years now, and there’s no end to that in sight.  

Two More Fujifilm Films Discontinued

(news)

Fujifilm today announced that they are discontinuing Neopan 400 Presto in 35mm form and Fujicolor Pro 400 in 120 roll film due to insufficient demand. 

Remember also that Fujifilm pricing goes up on April 1st. So consider this a reminder to stock up.

Capture NX-D Nails Nikon Scan Coffin Shut

(news & commentary)

A reader reminded me that Nikon Scan also saves into NEF format. With Nikon now dropping the old Capture NX2 framework for a Silkypix spine, it appears that support for Nikon Scan NEFs is now dead at Nikon, as well as Nikon Scan itself. So much for legacy support. Nikon apparently doesn’t do much of that any more. I suppose it’s possible that Nikon might fix this (Capture NX-D is only in beta at the moment), but I sincerely doubt it. Other aspects of the NEF support in NX-D are also broke and unsupported, and it seems like it would be a big job to put all that back into the new product.

If you’ve got images scanned into NEF format, I suggest that you get them out while you still have the software to do so. Can’t say that DNG would be a better choice. Indeed, it appears that 16-bit TIFF is where you scans probably need to be.

Fujifilm to Increase Film Prices in April

(news)

Fujifilm put out a press release today indicating that they will increase the price of their film products in April 2014 substantially (by double digits). The actual price increase will vary by product, market, and regions. The price increase is attributed to lower demand, though Fujifilm says they remain committed to the film market.

No further information is available at this time.

Fujifilm Closing UK E6 Lab

(news)

Fujifilm UK just gave a one-year advance notice of the closing of their E6 lab in Britain. All pre-paid mail vouchers must be used before November 1st, 2014. 

This seems more like a partnership ending than the closing a facility, though. Fujifilm's E6 processing was done by CC Imaging, and they will continue to process E6 film after November 2014. What's really happening here is that Fujifilm is getting out of mailer business and having their own branded E6 processing. 

And a New Name to Remember...

(news & commentary)

It's Kodak Alaris, apparently. 

That's the name of the new company that will be handling Kodak's old professional imaging business, the one that made all the films and paper we all hope continue on. Under terms of the bankruptcy agreement, the old Eastman Kodak shed this business to the United Kingdom's Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) in exchange for removing the pension obligations. KPP has now created Kodak Alaris, the company that will actually sell the films and papers.

In an article in the British Journal of Photography, the company is quoted as saying that they don't expect to be adding or subtracting any film products in the future.  

The businesses that are now in Kodak Alaris are: retail photo kiosks, dry labs systems, paper and output systems, film products, event imaging solutions, and a document imaging business. Sales of more than US$1.3b are expected this year, and the new company has over 4700 employees worldwide.

Kodak Alaris Web site

Not Exactly a "Film" Camera, but...

(news & commentary)

Fujifilm this week announced the instax mini 90 Neo Classic (is there enough room on the little camera for the name? ;~). 

neo90.jpg

While not a film camera—it's an instant camera that prints credit-card sized photos (46 x 62mm) as its output—it is nice to see that the old analog options haven't completely all gone away, and the joy of "instant" photography hasn't been completely forgotten.

On the other hand, one has to shudder at press releases that have lines in them that say "The new instax mini 90 Neo Classic targets not only women…but now also men." Woo-hoo! 100% more potential purchasers! 

Obviously, I needed to immediately go look and see what the previous instax cameras looked like. Ah, it's color that was the attractor: as in pastel pink, pastel yellow, and pastel blue. 

If you want to see the full instax line, use this link [advertiser link], though note that because of the holidays, B&H hasn't caught up to the Fujifilm announcement as I write this.


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