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discontinued Kodak film stocks?


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#1 Jerry Murrel

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 12:59 AM

I recently read on the Kodak cinematography website that two of my favorite
film stocks have been discontinued.

Kodak's 5248 EXR-100T was a wonderful stock to shoot daylight exteriors-
fine grain, lot of latitude and it intercut well with interiors shot in 5279 (Vision
500T). I am going to miss this film stock dearly. Does anyone know why
it was discontinued, and what Kodak stock serves as a decent replacement?

Also, I've heard nothing but great things about Kodak's 5289 (Vision 800T) and
had plans to shoot some night exterior pickup shots with the stock. Why
would Kodak discontinue this stock? Will it be replaced by a Vision2 stock?
Surely we are losing a valuable cinematic tool here and I find its sudden
disappearance alarming. Is anyone taking note?

-Jerry Murrel
cinematographer and camera assistant
Orange Coast Productions
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 01:24 AM

Kodak's 5248 EXR-100T was a wonderful stock to shoot daylight exteriors-
fine grain, lot of latitude and it intercut well with interiors shot in 5279 (Vision
500T).  I am going to miss this film stock dearly.  Does anyone know why
it was discontinued, and what Kodak stock serves as a decent replacement?

Also, I've heard nothing but great things about Kodak's 5289 (Vision 800T) and
had plans to shoot some night exterior pickup shots with the stock.  Why
would Kodak discontinue this stock?  Will it be replaced by a Vision2 stock?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


EXR 100T is being replaced by Vision-2 100T, for which there are Vision-2 200T, 250D, and 500T companions of similar contrast, saturation, etc. So in some ways, Kodak is finally offering you a 100T stock of the same generation as the 500T stock, whereas EXR 100T and Vision 500T ('79) were of two different generations, although they matched OK (EXR 100T was much finer-grained than '79, while Vision-2 100T and Vision-2 500T are a closer match in grain.)

But some people will miss the snappier look of '48 over its replacement, '12.

But in terms of the "why", the new 100T is finer-grained and sharper than EXR 100T, with a wider exposure latitude, that's the "why". Also, slow-speed stocks don't sell as well as fast ones, so it is harder for Kodak to justify multiple 100 ASA stocks compared to multiple 500 ASA stock, their best sellers.

As for 800T, the new 500T pushed to 1000 ASA is finer-grained than 800T, so there wasn't much reason to keep making 800T except for people who liked a grainy stock on the market and didn't want to have to push-process to get more grain.

Frankly, we live in an age of excess in terms of the number of stocks available. In previous generations, one product line pushed out another. It's still that way with Fuji -- their new Eterna 500T will soon completely replace the old 500T. They won't keep both lines in production.

When I was in film school in the late 1980's, there were two Kodak 16mm color negative stocks, 91 and 92, which replaced 47 and 94 respectively in 16mm (but not in 35mm, where there never was a 91 and 92.) And before 1980, there was just one Kodak color negative stock on the market at a time, except in the period of overlap from the old to the new.

The main reason Kodak got into the trap of keeping some of the previous generations of color neg stock available is because some people just didn't want to switch, but mainly because many TV producers didn't want to pay more for the new stocks. Hence why you had the EXR and Vision lines in co-existence. Which means more manufacturing lines at work, but as long as sales were up, they lived with it. But at some point, they had to do something to start knocking back the number of stocks being made, so the lower-usage ones were the first to go. Now that we have one more generation beyond Vision -- Vision-2 -- the EXR line is being eliminated, except (hopefully) EXR 50D, which is still the finest-grained stock made and has no equivalent Vision-2 version yet.

Basically, I think the only reason 5279 (Vision 500T) is still around is because some TV shows don't want to pay for 5218 (Vision-2 500T) and enough people still like it to keep the orders up, but 5248 is not as big a seller as 5279 as far as I know.
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#3 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 09:57 AM

Speak with your local Kodak rep and express which stock you'd really like to shoot with. I did a short in December of last year and the LA rep made it possible to shoot the whole show on 5293 (EXR 200), which has been discontinued for a few years now. Apparently they'd made a special order for a production and had some they could afford to give to us.

No harm in asking.
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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 01:57 PM

Speak with your local Kodak rep and express which stock you'd really like to shoot with.  I did a short in December of last year and the LA rep made it possible to shoot the whole show on 5293 (EXR 200), which has been discontinued for a few years now.  Apparently they'd made a special order for a production and had some they could afford to give to us.

No harm in asking.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Even after Kodak stops making a particular film, some usually remains "in the pipeline" for a few months, or even a year. If a particular distribution center is out of that stock, the Kodak sales personnel can usually check to see if rolls remain in inventory elsewhere in the distribution system. As Jayson says, "no harm in asking".
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