For your consideration, medium format 800T

Cinestill are busy again!  They’ve already started selling repackaged Double-X which is great, now they’re trying to bring 800T to 120 format.  I hope they can get it done.

For some reason that link’s messed up.  Click here.

I don’t understand exactly how they’d do it, if they’re buying bulk stock from Kodak uncut, or just pre-rolled lengths of 65mm in the can and cutting that down (would that be big enough?), but either way it seems pretty labor-intensive.  I don’t actually have a medium format camera that I would use with this film (yet), but went ahead and pledged $75.00 because I think this really needs to happen.  Please take a look and consider backing yourself.

The future of film is not bleak, but bright

I love hearing news from Ferrania.  I’m also glad that, after a 6-month stretch of time when they didn’t let out a peep, they’ve finally started communicating with their future customers.  In the last month they have given us quite a lot of good news, and this hour-long interview is the best so far.

Here are some good things to take away from this:

-The current Ferrania plant was a small self-contained facility set up for test batches; this makes it much more economically sustainable in today’s climate.

-They expect to be able to maintain their manufacturing for the next century.  100 years.  That’s really been my ultimate photographic wish: to be able to shoot film for the rest of my life.  It’s certainly all I want for Christmas.

-Only five companies in the world manufactured color film, ever:
Kodak (USA)
AGFA (Germany)
Ferrania (Italy)
Svema (Ukraine)
Fuji (Japan)

-Film is made from…cotton?  I certainly didn’t know that one.

-The Italian government was far-sighted enough to take responsibility for maintaining/preserving the buildings and manufacturing equipment, as well keeping select employees on retainer.  Wow!  It’s because of this that these people were able to buy the infrastructure necessary and resurrect this plant.  So a big Thank You to the entire country of Italy.

-They inherited all the old 3M/Ferrania emulsion recipes.  First up are the three most-recent Scotch Chrome films in ASA100, 640, and 800/P3200.

-Direct-to-customer sales!  They’re going to sell film directly from their website.  I hope that they don’t completely abandon brick-and-mortar establishments, though.  I support my local camera store as much as possible and would love to see them carry Ferrania.

-A small-scale, self-contained, made-from-scratch film company, they want to be able to supply any material needed for the chemical photographic process.

A few questions I have:

-With Kodak ceasing production of acetate base, will Ferrania then be able to supply Kodak once their stock is depleted?  I’d like that.  They seem to want to be there to pick up the slack of bigger companies when they might find it too expensive to make certain parts or ingredients themselves, when their demand drops below profitability.

-Will Ferrania also supply developing and printing chemicals?

-I’d love to see them bring back Solaris color negative film.  Every time I see it I just love the way it looks.  It’s classic ’90s, something the modern films like Portra and Ektar have gotten away from.  Maybe that’s why I shoot so much Fuji Superia…

-Given that they should have all the necessary manufacturing equipment, is it possible that they could make magnetic tape as well as film?  As far as I know it’s a lot less complicated than film, besides requiring very precise slitting for tape sizes.

edit, one more: It would be nice to have a tungsten-balanced high speed reversal film. edit again: there are three speeds of Scotch Chrome: 100, 640T, and P3200 (true ASA is 800).

Thumbs up, Ferrania.  Film forever.

Family Gathering

This is all from one roll of Tri-X, except the color shot which is Fuji Superia 800.  Along with 8 rolls of film, I took 2 cameras with me to Ohio, and one of them absolutely had to be the Spotmatic SPII.

While I could have wished for more interesting pictures on the Superia I shot, I’m really happy with the look of Tri-X through my 1.8 Takumar lens.  So happy in fact, that I went on a bit of a buying spree, getting 10 more rolls of Tri-X, along with 2 rolls of Fomapan 100, 2 rolls of Cinestill/Eastman Double-X, and 2 rolls of Cinestill/Vision3 800T.  I think I’ll be set for a while.

Due to limited space, I’m sending my black & white film out for processing, etc.  The scans are pretty spot-on, as well, for which I am extremely happy.  If all my results will look like this, I won’t be feeling the absence of a darkroom for quite a while…

How much is a fungusy Minolta Autocord worth?

Evidently it’s worth about $180, according to Goodwill.


Or if you wait three weeks, it’ll be half that.  Of course, I was in Ohio at the time, so I never found out what happened to it.  I really should stop going into Goodwill, it just too depressing to see people who have no idea how to check out a camera think it’s worth whatever the latest idiot on ebay is asking, and even more depressing to think that there are people out there who are willing to spend that kind of money on it.  I don’t know why I keep going in there…

In other news:

Got my film back yesterday, eight rolls.  That’s more than I’ve ever shot at one time.  I spent yesterday at school rescanning a roll of pushed Tri-X that didn’t come out too well.  I pushed it 2 stops and I guess it just wasn’t enough for a couple of the shots, quite underexposed.  What it did do is give me a chance to try out the same place that I send my 120 and slide film to, but I really wasn’t impressed with the scans at all.  They use too high contrast on regularly-processed Tri-X, I wanted to see if they had any control over their scanner settings and requested that they watch the contrast.  So much for that…while I was happy with a couple images, most looked just wrong.  The images yielded up much more detail in rescanning.

00920023 . Kafe Kerouac042

If Cameraworks (my favorite camera store) had been able to handle push-processing, I definitely would have let them handle it all, and I’m seriously considering just having Mike’s process the film and return it to me uncut so I can have it scanned at Cameraworks.  As long as I stay away from expired film, they’ve never disappointed me.

I tried out two new (to me) cameras this summer that I should be able to write some thoughts on, as well as try out different films. That picture at the top?  A $6 Petri 2.8 Color-corrected Super.

Now that I’m back in school I probably won’t be shooting as much.  Remember that Plastic Camera class I was going to take?  I had to switch last-minute to take a class required for my major, which is also a prerequisite for other classes required for my major, and it’s time to stop putting those kind of things off.  So much for more photography classes; maybe next semester.