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Why doesn't kodak update their B&W Stocks?


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#1 John Butler

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 01:46 AM

It appears that the black and white emulsions offered by kodak for cine use are decades old and do not incorporate any modern film technology. Why doesn't kodak release an updated T-Grain/2 Electron sensitization black and white film? Would it be too expensive considering the low demand for black and white?
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 02:39 AM

It appears that the black and white emulsions offered by kodak for cine use are decades old and do not incorporate any modern film technology. Why doesn't kodak release an updated T-Grain/2 Electron sensitization black and white film? Would it be too expensive considering the low demand for black and white?


Hi,

Demand for B&W stocks is fairly low & Kodak is rather short of cash at the moment, they are still solvent but not in a healthy position.

Stephen
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#3 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 03:12 AM

Just two years ago, Kodak actually updated their reversal B&W Plus-X and Tri-X lines from 7276 and 7278 to 7265 and 7266 with Super 16 and Super 8 cinematography in mind.

The progress in respect to smaller grain size and finer texture (though not Vision2/3-like grainlessness due to T-grain-on-steroids), tonality, latitude and the achievable "grayscale" while retaining some form of harsh "noir" contrast when lit well, is absolutely visible: when projected and when scanned.

Personally, I think the new 7265 Plus-X is a major jump forward from 7276 for a variey of filming situations, and I actually choose this film stock for an entire project. While Kodak can be rightly accused of not being terribly involved with marketing and promoting cine-film (as John Holland will gladly point out at any given daytime ;) ) or figuring out a sustainable business strategy that uses existing synergies of all its divisions in a meaningful way (and with lowered liquidity, that'll be more and more difficult to do), their R&D is still churning out substantial products, even for niche-in-niche markets, which B&W reversal really is.
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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:14 AM

It appears that the black and white emulsions offered by kodak for cine use are decades old and do not incorporate any modern film technology. Why doesn't kodak release an updated T-Grain/2 Electron sensitization black and white film? Would it be too expensive considering the low demand for black and white?


Apparently they did some tests with making a Tgrain stock and the results were fairly horrible and boring.

Plus-X is an incredible stock.
I'm glad they are not messing with the magic there.
Maybe if they want to mess about with double-x I will forgive them but leave the plus-x alone!

I like stocks that have their own character.
I also like grain.

I don't want another stock that looks closer to video. :(
Lets keep and celebrate the magic.

love

Freya
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#5 John Butler

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:18 AM

The updated Plus-x sounds intriguing. I know that Kodak's t max stocks aren't as popular as their grainier, older brethren because despite great grain, they are just not that pretty. I know a lot of their developments for color dye efficiency (which would result in smaller grains in a color film) obviously couldn't be used for this type of product (duh), but I would figure a black and white equivalent of a vision2 film would be pretty amazing.
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#6 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:39 AM

B/W stocks are great. Being that commercially they are almost never used and that these are very lean times for Kodak, one should be happy there are B/W stocks simply available for sale, let alone that they are updated regularly, some of which have been (as it is pointed out).
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 03:59 PM

Even the still stocks are old enough to drink now, with the exception of T-Max 400, which they FINALLY updated last year.

I'm certain you could get this film with MP perforations. . .

. . .if you bought 100,000 feet of it in 35mm.

There's nothing at all wrong with the T-Max film, 100, 400, or P3200, it's just that they don't tend to look as nice if you over- or under-expose them. They do have the earliest form of T-grain technology though, so they have noticeably finer grain and much higher resolution.

Fuji and Ilford make comparable film products, Neopan and Delta, respectively, as well as Tri-X & Plus-X equivalents; you might be able to convice Fuji to make a similar special order run. I doubt that Ilford could do it, although they have the nicest all around selection of B&W; they're a B&W-only smaller company and they discontinued their offerings of B&W cine film several years ago because they couldn't get the perfs right.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 04:18 PM

From what I had heard of Illford, they do do specialty runs of film if you ask, though generally it's for odd sizes, like 7x9 or whatever, for home-made contraptions; though no idea the cost.
And their Delta 3200 rated @ 3200 is beautiful, though quite grainy! I have some examples of it on my picasa http://picasaweb.goo...238/GrittyNight for an idea if you wished to investigate that route.
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:52 PM

From what I had heard of Illford, they do do specialty runs of film if you ask, though generally it's for odd sizes, like 7x9 or whatever, for home-made contraptions; though no idea the cost.
And their Delta 3200 rated @ 3200 is beautiful, though quite grainy! I have some examples of it on my picasa http://picasaweb.goo...238/GrittyNight for an idea if you wished to investigate that route.


Yeah, but they still don't make even common formats like 220 still film.

They are NOT going to start making movie film again; they've made that clear.
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#10 Nate Downes

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:05 PM

Yeah, but they still don't make even common formats like 220 still film.

They are NOT going to start making movie film again; they've made that clear.

Not what they told me. They said for a special order they would consider it. But yes, would be talking tens of thousands of feet minimum.

(and what are you talking about, I have a roll of Ilford 220 in my hand)
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#11 K Borowski

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:22 PM

Not what they told me. They said for a special order they would consider it. But yes, would be talking tens of thousands of feet minimum.

(and what are you talking about, I have a roll of Ilford 220 in my hand)


The reason they originally discontinued production of 16- and 35mm MP stock was because of jittery perfs. Their perforating dies were not that good. They discontinued the service because they could not afford an upgrade. So if you get a special order expect jittery perfs.

From the CEO's mouth they have discontinued 220 film because of the cost of upgrading the 220 machine for spooling the film was not justifyable by the volume they were selling. Try buying a new roll of 220 from them if you don't believe me.

Don't get me wrong, I love Ilford film, but they are a small company without the resources of "King Kong" Kodak or "Big Green" Fujifilm.
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#12 Jim Carlile

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:45 PM

Fuji and Ilford make comparable film products, Neopan and Delta, respectively, as well as Tri-X & Plus-X equivalents; you might be able to convice Fuji to make a similar special order run. I doubt that Ilford could do it, although they have the nicest all around selection of B&W; they're a B&W-only smaller company and they discontinued their offerings of B&W cine film several years ago because they couldn't get the perfs right.


Fuji makes B/W MP film but they won't sell it in the U.S. Don't know why, but their Neopan is available elsewhere they say in 16mm.

Ilford got rid of their MP B/W, they never had the distribution in the U.S. for it any more. Unless Freestyle was willing to order lots of it! That's about the only place that was (is) still selling Ilford here.
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 06:03 PM

Fuji makes B/W MP film but they won't sell it in the U.S. Don't know why, but their Neopan is available elsewhere they say in 16mm.


I'm sure you could probably get Fuji B&W MP film here in the states if you pulled some strings Jim.

Ilford would probably do a run with a large enough minimum order (they're quite flexible when it comes to doing special runs), but with unsteady perfs, why would you bother?

Didn't they only offer their HP5 & FP4 films anyway? These are akin to Tri-X (so grainier than XX) and Plus-X.

And of course, as far as I know, only Kodak makes print stock and intermediate stocks, maybe Fuji does too?
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#14 Max Jacoby

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 06:55 PM

I really like the look of 5222, but I wish they also has a 400ASA B&W stock.
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#15 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 06:34 AM

We once shot high-speed sequences with 7222 for a documentary on the 1997 Tour de France. It was intercut with 7245, and I must say the combo looked gourgeous. Never shot with it since, though.

It's a bit of a shame that Kodak did not replace their 4-X family with an advanced version. I think that an upgraded 5224 would round-up the B&W film stocks on offer.

Has anyone ever shot here with Agfa Scala photofilm? I loved that, plus Polaroid's Instant Slide Films... mono and colour ... ... enough sentimentality, now :rolleyes: , back to work.
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#16 Tim Terner

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 07:39 AM

Perhaps a silly question, but why is Kodak --22 rated at 200 in daylight but 250 under tungsten ?
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#17 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:19 AM

Perhaps a silly question, but why is Kodak --22 rated at 200 in daylight but 250 under tungsten ?


Actually, Kodak Double-X (7222 / 5222) is rated ISO 200 T / 250 D for its exposure index.
It's the other way round, Tim :) .

If you asked about the "why" for the difference of the EI:

All B&W film stocks lose film speed in the absence of blue and UV light, hence the higher-rated daylight film speed. For example, Kodak Plus-X (7265) is ISO 80 T / 100 D, and Tri-X (7266) is ISO 160 T / 200 D.

This is also related to the recommendation that when you shoot in daylight, one should use at least a medium yellow filter in order to compensate for the film's inherently high sensitivity to blue that is at the heart of the normally caused loss of cloud and sky detail into a soup of awash greyish-white. Go further into red to enhance contrast.

Super 8 cameras are quite handy here as the built-in Wratten 85 conversion filter can double with its amber as an intermediate yellow-to-red filter. Leitz and Beaulieu constructed the filter switchgear so that it could be handled in this way, independent of Kodak's compliance-request for the SMPTE 166 standard notch coding which demands cancellation of the conversion filter with B&W-containing Super 8 cartridges.
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#18 Tim Terner

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:43 AM

Thanks Michael, that makes complete sense (and yep, I did get it the wrong way round :o ). I've shot several rolls of Foma 100 B&W recently (Handy as I'm based here in the CZ) and have not allowed for this, and the results still look pleasing, but I suppose the small difference in exposure (even with reversal film) is hard to notice. Thanks again
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#19 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 12:16 PM

Well, it's a fifth of an f-stop...

I would have to think hard when I had a shooting situation that necessitated fifth f-stop accuracy... ... ... :) ... --- ... . Nothing springs to mind, so nothing I would get too anal about, I guess B) .

But a technical accurary with film stocks should be maintained, of course! Image Kodak printing on the specs: "yeah, you can expose it whateeva ya like, somewhere in the range of 100 to 200, but actually, don't bothaaa." ;)

Greetings to CZ (66% family homestead, so that would be 2/3 of an f-stop of me :D ),

-Michael
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#20 Freya Black

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 01:51 PM

And of course, as far as I know, only Kodak makes print stock and intermediate stocks, maybe Fuji does too?


Kodak, Fuji and Agfa all sell those kind of stocks, although in the case of the latter "make" might not be that accurate. ;)

love

Freya
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