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Kodak Ends Production of Acetate Base For Photographic Film

timothy posted about a year ago | from the personal-development dept.

Media 137

McGruber writes "According to a report by Rochester, NY CBS affiliate WROC Kodak has ended in-house production of the cellulose acetate base that is the primary component of photographic film. Popular Photography magazine adds that, for more than 100 years, Kodak has made the acetate in house in bulk, providing the structural basis for the company's film. Now, with Kodak in bankruptcy, the company is firing 60 workers and shutting down the acetate machinery. Citing the decline in interest in film photography as a primary cause, Kodak will no longer undertake the time intensive process of acetate production. Thankfully, the company has large stockpiles of the material, and once that runs out they will source it from elsewhere."

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137 comments

Thankfully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43999691)

" Thankfully, the company has large stockpiles of the material, and once that runs out they will source it from elsewhere."

Thankfully, in 20 years we'll have rich trust-fund hipster-kids developing on film "before it was cool."

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Thankfully (3, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year ago | (#43999991)

Thankfully, in 20 years we'll have rich trust-fund hipster-kids developing on film "before it was cool."

Already happening. My local bookstore, unable to make much of a profit on books alone and therefore offering all kinds of hipster items, does a brisk trade in the retro film cameras from Lomography [amazon.com] . Lord knows where they develop the film, though. (Unless setting up your own darkroom is a hipster fad I've overlooked.)

Re:Thankfully (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#44000053)

Lord knows where they develop the film, though. (Unless setting up your own darkroom is a hipster fad I've overlooked.)

Most surviving photography shops I've been in process 120 film. You can also mail it in, but a lab is probably closer than you think.

Re:Thankfully (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44002259)

In any case, it isn't that hard to set up your own darkroom. When I was a teenager, I used a bathroom in my parents' house, with the windows blanked out.

The whole process isn't even that expensive, so long as you don't mind improvising a bit for an enlarger. In my case, I had an old 1940s enlarger that was pretty basic, but its imperfections led to some great effects that I wouldn't have got from more sophisticated or modern models.

I rarely made colour negatives, though; if I ever wanted a colour print, I used to use Cibachrome (now Ilfochrome) paper to make prints from colour transparencies. It involved a bit of work, but I don't believe I have ever seen such vibrant, almost luminous colour in a digital print.

Re:Thankfully (2)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#44000057)

Well, doesn't it make sense that, assuming they have a method for developing film, you've never heard of it?

Re:Thankfully (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#44000063)

I don't know about it being a hipster fad, but setting up your own darkroom is pretty simple. If you don't want to, there are still a good number of labs out there that will process film. You might have to send your film out somewhere rather than ride your fixed-gear bike down to the local Walgreens, but it can be done.

Re:Thankfully (1)

RDW (41497) | about a year ago | (#44000425)

You don't even really need a darkroom, just a light-tight changing bag and a daylight developing tank, $50 for both. Then just scan the negatives...

Re:Thankfully (1)

minkie (814488) | about a year ago | (#44001567)

I'm sure you can get both for a lot less than $50 on Craig's List, or freecycle. I gave my setup away years ago. I only hope the person I gave it to got some use out of it before dumping it in the trash.

Re:Thankfully (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000461)

B&W darkrooms are easy to set up, but C-41 process color film or slide film are generally too much for the home hobbyist. Labs are accessible in most large cities but everyone else probably has to mail it in, or have some local reseller mail it for them.

Re:Thankfully (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#44001017)

B&W darkrooms are easy to set up, but C-41 process color film or slide film are generally too much for the home hobbyist. Labs are accessible in most large cities but everyone else probably has to mail it in, or have some local reseller mail it for them.

The problem with colour film was that it required far more accurate temperature control to get the colour balance et al right.

However, given that the hipsters seem to be intentionally going for wonky, degraded-looking colour (the sort of film-type flaws that processors once tried to avoid like the plague and technologists tried to eliminate), I'd just say "f*** it", start up a hipster-oriented lab and make this some sort of selling point for the people that got into cheap, crappy cameras after a bunch of marketing students licensed the brand and ramped up the price.

Quality control? Not needed... the results of my lousy C41 processing will be "quirky", "charming" and "retro"!

it ain't that hard (4, Informative)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#44001199)

I've done C41 in a bathroom in an average low-rent apartment,no problem. I've set up several tank-based gallon labs for E4 and E6. the only element that is really critical is the color developer, and after that the first developer. everything else can run just fine at room temp, rated temp of 85-105 Fahrenheit, or anything in between.

a temperature/pressure regulated water flow is a must in a larger scale operation. since you can't get one any more from Calumet, get a closeout bath/shower no-scald control. with a good thermometer in the bath, get it to temp and start processing.

on the gallon lines, I used a laundry washtub, PVC pipe for the reels, and an immersion heater on a stick to help pre-heat the bath. at that point, start the water, and go for it.

it is nowhere as hard as you say, unless you are machine processing, and then the temp control will be part of the machine. you can still push-process up to 3 F-stops by fiddling the processor speed.

Kodachrome was a whole 'nother critter, and that's why it's no longer around.

Re:it ain't that hard (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#44001371)

it is nowhere as hard as you say

All *I* (as opposed to the GP) actually said was that it required far more accurate temperature control- which *is* true of some stages. And while it's doable as you describe it, you have to admit that it's still more complicated [reframingphotography.com] than processing black and white, which is pretty straightforward for the amateur.

Re:Thankfully (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year ago | (#44002025)

If you are working with film for a hobby why would you send out for developing.
If all you want do do is take pics then digital is fine.

Re:Thankfully (2)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#44002033)

Eh, 'hipster fad' is just code for 'people doing stuff I do not care about', so if someone likes digital cameras and other people dare to not, well, they must be following a hipster fad otherwise they would do what the speaker is doing.

Personally I have seen quite a bit of interest in film around, some people just happen to really enjoy the process.. and when it comes down to it that is what hobbies are all about, doing what you enjoy. Though I have seen a pretty good economic argument for sticking to film when it comes to medium format stuff. For the price of a digital back you can get a whole lot of film+chemicals and a damn good scanner.

Re:Thankfully (1)

blackest_k (761565) | about a year ago | (#44002547)

you don't need a scanner even a digital compact can do a reasonable job. you need a light source your laptop will do a diffuser for the light or you will see pixels from the monitor , bit of negative envelope will do and something to hold it together i used a clip photo frame with a 35mm hole. i placed a 50mm lens over the negative and used a compact digital to take pictures. Then its largely a case of stitching together inverting and white balance which is simple enough in gimp. The resolution isn't bad either easily higher than a fuji frontier mini lab. Which is what got me in to it being rather annoyed at the scan size on the photo CDs that I got.

Its not that they cant do it but it is much much slower going from 800 prints an hour to around 30 ish
now as the machines stand idle most of the time these days you might be able to get a friendly knowledgeable lab tech to up the scan resolution, and why not if there is no back log.

The digital photography method even with a crude setup shows potential to perform to a high standard.

 

Re:Thankfully (2)

Guido von Guido II (2712421) | about a year ago | (#44000555)

Lord knows where they develop the film, though. (Unless setting up your own darkroom is a hipster fad I've overlooked.)

You don't need a darkroom to develop film and scan it. You just need a changing bag, which is basically a black bag with arm holes. It's designed to keep the light out while allowing your hands to work with whatever's inside. It takes a little practice, but it's easy enough to wind the film around a reel and put it inside a light-proof canister. From there you just pour in whatever developer you're using through a tiny hole at the top.

What you would need a darkroom for is making prints from your negatives. I have actually never done that.

Re:Thankfully (1)

tipo159 (1151047) | about a year ago | (#44001251)

Lord knows where they develop the film, though. (Unless setting up your own darkroom is a hipster fad I've overlooked.)

You don't need a darkroom to develop film and scan it.

What you would need a darkroom for is making prints from your negatives. I have actually never done that.

My darkroom is also called the laundry room. Enlarger and trays fit on top of the washer/dryer and there is a bathroom outside of the room for running water. However, I usually scan my negs anyway.

Re:Thankfully (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#44002099)

If you stick to B&W you don't even need a red light bulb since the darkroom doesn't have to be pitch black. As long you pre-focus the enlarger on plain paper and keep the print paper covered until using it, something like indirect street/moonlight through a laundry window won't do any noticeable harm, but is just bright enough for (young eyes) to see what their doing. If you use 35mm the only kit you need to make prints is an enlarger. Not sure what they are worth these days but they were cheap enough in the 70's to be within the reach of a paper boy's salary. I started with "126" film, it had larger negatives so you could make wallet sized prints with an ordinary picture frame instead of an enlarger.

Re:Thankfully (1)

Omestes (471991) | about a year ago | (#44001435)

Hey, I've got a $10 Holga lens for my mirrorless setup. It was $10 (cheapest lens I own by a large margin), it takes fun pictures at parties, and it was ten dollars. I've been tempted to get a lomo or holga cheap film body for awhile now... Just because it is amusing, and exponentially cheaper than some of the other film cameras I want "for fun" (an old Leica, or Voigtlander Bessa). I say "fun", because I have a full DSLR kit, and a full mirrorless kit, both of these fulfill all my serious and professional needs. Holga and Lomos are for playing around with, and for taking photography back to its simplest principles. They fill the same roll as, and I hate to say this, Instagram.

There are still film labs floating around. Most towns with a college probably have some. Also, and I might be wrong, but I think the Lomography guys will develop film for you. You can ship it out of course, or drop it off at most Costcos or Walgreens. I'm not sure if those last two hold for 120, though.

I actually have a good deal of respect for Lomography, they've been working on keeping film stock alive, which benefits more than just them, or the mythical "hipsters".

Re:Thankfully (5, Funny)

IheatMyAptWithCPUs (978410) | about a year ago | (#44000211)

" Thankfully, the company has large stockpiles of the material, and once that runs out they will source it from elsewhere."

Thankfully, in 20 years we'll have rich trust-fund hipster-kids developing on film "before it was cool."

-- Ethanol-fueled

Thankfully, today's economy should result in fewer trust-fund-hipster-douche-bags.

Re:Thankfully (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44001129)

The particular form today's economy is taking will probably actually produce more of them. It's mostly the poor and middle classes who are being hit, while the rich are doing very well, perhaps better than ever before. Trust-fund hipster kids come from rich families, not poor or middle-class ones, so this market segment looks bullish. As long as the S&P 500 keeps climbing and bonuses keep coming in, their trust funds will stay bankrolled...

Sad, but inevitable. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43999737)

Film has a wonderful look, but the convenience of digital just means this has to happen.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (3, Interesting)

kevkingofthesea (2668309) | about a year ago | (#44000095)

I agree. There's a quality to film that digital has yet to produce.

As a medium for documentation, digital photography is superior, but for artistic purposes, film is still a strong contender. There's something charming about the darkroom process, as well.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000271)

You're one of those people that swears he can hear a difference on his sound system when using a $2000 gold-plated optical TOSLink cable, aren't you?

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#44000289)

Film does have a distinct look that digital doesn't. It is nothing akin to ridiculous audiophile claims.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000999)

Yes, digital has different (but fewer) artifacts. With digital far surpassing film in quality now, it's possible to simulate all aspects of film, and this is routinely done in the movie industry to match the look of CGI and film footage (where the whole process isn't digital already). The claim that film is in some way better than digital is exactly as ridiculous as audiophile claims, and for the same reasons.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#44001257)

All that digital manipulation to make it look like film always looks artificial. It's easy to spot the difference between something actually shot from film with true film grain over artificial grain added to digital. Same with the other "filmic" processing that, for example, the BBC does. So, no, there is still a quality to film that cannot be perfectly replicated yet because it wad perfectly replicated it wouldn't be so easy to spot filmic post-processing done to digital content. And that is why some people still do prefer it.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#44002081)

Well, setting aside the various quirks of the two technologies, it can be argued that digital has not quite caught up with film when it comes to resolution, though it is a tricky argument since both have such a wide range depending on how much you are willing to spend. By price point though, esp at the higher end, I would argue film still has a pretty good buffer.... though at the high end the lenses become cost prohibitive for actually getting any use out of the best film.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44002401)

Well, setting aside the various quirks of the two technologies, it can be argued that digital has not quite caught up with film when it comes to resolution...

Perhaps not any more. When I was a teenager, a 60x60 mm format Rolleiflex (or, if you were wealthy, a Hasselblad) was regarded as a "medium-format" camera, and if you wanted really high resolution in your final prints, it wasn't uncommon to use 5x4" or even 8x10" cameras with low-speed film in order to get the finest size of grain in proportion to that on the final print.

But even the most committed troglodyte has to admit those machines (and all their associated paraphernalia) were pretty fucking cumbersome. For the majority of people who used 35mm format cameras, resolution in even a 5x4" print is pretty poor by comparison with what is available now. (However, if you care about these things, there is the trade-off against colour that I mentioned in an earler post).

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44002911)

Good to know resolution is everything; I'd hate to think the salesman was lying to me!

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (2)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#44001247)

Tube amps do have a distinct sound that silicon doesn't. It is nothing akin to ridiculous videophile claims.

Some people like their artifacts. What can you say?

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#44001289)

Yes some do. But those artifacts are actually real and measurable unlike the phony quality claims made over ridiculously priced cables.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000411)

And you're one of those people who claim you can't hear the difference between a 128 Kbps MP3 and an audio CD, aren't you?

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (5, Insightful)

PhotoJim (813785) | about a year ago | (#44000841)

Negative film has much superior exposure latitude to digital. There wasn't a need for HDR techniques with negative film - you could capture the dynamic range on the film. (Granted there were few ways to get all that range on paper, but there are now thanks to digital manipulation.)

Also, there's the issue of archivability. Black and white negative materials are inherently archival if processed at all well. Furthermore, this archivalness is passive, requiring little to no effort on the behalf of the photographer. Digital requires migration from device to device on a certain schedule, or data loss is inevitable. (Of course, if you do actually migrate it, you have a perfect copy of your data, but you actually have to do it.)

There are a lot of older technologies that have serious advantages over modern ones - I'm not a big fan of vinyl records (CD was more than good enough for me) but I buy CDs in preference to downloaded lossy formats, and even use fountain pens because of their superior anti-fatigue properties compared to ballpoint and gel pens (and their environmental superiority). Just because something is new doesn't mean it's better.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#44000997)

you haven't mentioned that MF film is much cheaper than the digital equivalent. and 4x5 digital? LOL

Lol your username rings a bell...

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

PhotoJim (813785) | about a year ago | (#44001575)

We might know each other... :)

You're right, I was talking about 35mm film. 4x5 and 120 film are different matters entirely.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001087)

The precise exposure of film to capture the full dynamic range of natural scenes is so difficult that it made people famous for getting it right. Modern digital camera sensors far surpass film in sensitivity, and even if the dynamic range doesn't exceed that of film, the dynamic range of a good digital camera is sufficient for capturing even difficult scenes in one shot. Due to the information you get from a digital camera, it is also much easier to use the full dynamic range of the sensor than it was to use the dynamic range of film, and the result isn't laden with artifacts from the nonlinearity that gives film its big dynamic range.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (3, Insightful)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | about a year ago | (#44001167)

Agreed.

I still mainly shoot film, but I'm quite happy to shoot digital when needed (there's no denying the convenience, ability to work at low and high ISOs, and that the quality is good nowadays, particularly for full frame).

But I prefer the tonal reproduction of film (colour negative still handles highlights better than the top-of-the-range Nikon fullframes, having just recently used the D3 and D4 for a couple of weddings), the existence of only one artefact - which can be quite likeable, and much preferable to digital noise, and the spot-on colour accuracy.

I think the overall look with film is more realistic, objects have more depth. Digital gives a more controlled look, which looks like a painting of the scene. Film looks like the actual scene with a thin film of graininess in front of it.

(the problem is getting it processed and scanned somewhere good that will show the full qualities of the medium)

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001777)

I knew it, all of you who are talking about film to digital contrast difference are using Nikons, which are known for their "cool" colors. Grab a Canon and quit your bitching.

could not focus even the OM-2 anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44002643)

Yeah, I really miss my OMs, however, as my eyes became less able to focus, I found that most of my film shots were out-of-focus JUST enough to make most of them not "keepers".
THAT is why I sold all my film photography equipment more than ten years ago, I simply went to digital with autofocus because I could not do it myself anymore.
Tried the adjustable eyepiece on the OM, but it just did not do the trick well enough with any consistency.
I do not take anywhere near the number of photos that I used to, but still catch half a dozen "keepers" every year which I think are worth having quality prints made of, or putting on a good electronic picture frame for display.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#44001423)

Negative film has much superior exposure latitude to digital. There wasn't a need for HDR techniques with negative film - you could capture the dynamic range on the film.

That used to be true, but not so much anymore. With actual >12 stop dynamic range now available at the push of a button from better digital sensors, film is hard-pressed to keep up. Yes, with careful specialized home development of particular black-and-white films for extremely low contrast response, you might still be able to eke out a little more --- but not in color. And no, if you examine most negatives, they aren't capturing a >10 stop dynamic range: the dark areas are unexposed film base (will print to undifferentiated black), and the brightest areas are at maximum density with no detail --- only the soft rolloff of the transition to maximum density gives an appearance of greater dynamic range, by not creating the harsh obvious clipping artifacts sometimes produced by digital systems.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001875)

Take fifteen 10 minute exposures with your digital camera and see how hot it gets. Film just opens the shutter and that is the extent of the power required for the camera to get the picture. Digital can't replace film for everything yet.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#44001955)

Fortunately, compared to typical film with reciprocity failure [wikipedia.org] effects, I can properly expose a dark scene using a much shorter shutter time on digital than film with nominally identical ISO rating (but actually responding with far lower ISO sensitivity in low light). Many low-light situations that require a 10 minute film exposure can be done with a 1 minute digital exposure. Not saying that there aren't some niche applications where film still excels digital (e.g. large format captures, or wherever the particular aesthetic of a film emulsion is artistically desired), but the range of "technically superior" applications for film has shrunk immensely (and is still shrinking). And, now that heat dissipation / efficiency is being taken as a serious design consideration for video work, newer digital sensors are being made to work acceptably even for "continuous use" applications.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44000535)

Also, having analog films is still a proven way of storing media. Despite the fact that digital archives should be transferrable between sotrage technologies as time goes on, we still have little real-world experience with trying to use them to preserve stuff as long as possible (and you know what happened with all those NASA data tapes) so having those things on film can't hurt.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001015)

You know those nasa data tapes were made of acetate, right?

and polyester (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#44001263)

in either event, if they went hog wild with silicone antistick compound, it dissolves the resin base of the tape mix, and all the intelligence comes off in clumps and gobs when you run it. archivists looking at most of the "high performance" tapes tend to bake 'em a couple hours at 140-160 degrees in an oven to cook out the silicone before they make the transfer playback to new media.

the slime will deteriorate the oxide layer long before an evenly-wound tape pack of either base decomposes under good storage.

old 3M 111 tape and its peers has turned out to be the archival medium. not the fancy stuff. look out for Kodak acetate audiotape, though, that stuff shatters at the first loop-and-snap like the old paper tape did.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44001127)

I agree. There's a quality to film that digital has yet to produce.

Why should it?

It looks different. That doesn't mean it looks better.

Much of the "film look" can be replicated easily enough, anyway.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#44001267)

Replicated to a degree. It still looks artificially processed and not like real film.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001187)

Bullshit. Absolute and utter bullshit.

It's the quality and shit you can do in dgital that film cant produce.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#44001315)

What is bullshit? Film and digital have distinct looks and their own artifacts. Claiming that film does not look distinct is the only bullshit.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000111)

I will guarantee you that in a blind test you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a film print and a high-quality print from a good digital camera with the same sensor area as the film.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000359)

I will guarantee you that in a blind test you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a film print and a high-quality print from a good digital camera with the same sensor area as the film.

Ah, but you see, that's the beauty of it! The GP knows of more ways to weasel out of blind tests than you could ever imagine, so that test will never happen! Thus, the point still stands!

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000401)

I could, but I used to analyze satellite data and worked on some digital camera designs. Digital is not the same, never will be. Kodak is the model for all future companies in America when it comes to incompetence and intentional destruction.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#44000487)

Not necessarily true. Digital shots even against high quality film will be cleaner than film at equivalent sensitivity. Grain will always be more apparent from a film shot.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

PhotoJim (813785) | about a year ago | (#44000873)

This is true except at really slow film speeds, where film is equal. But photography isn't just about grain/noise, it's also about tonality.

Besides, even if film photography were inferior in every way (and it isn't), it's still fun. A hand-printed black-and-white enlargement from my darkroom gives me way more pleasure than something I did in Photoshop and printed on an inkjet, no wait, giclee printer.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year ago | (#44001203)

I wasn't making a quality judgement. Simply stating that it is not ad hard to spot the difference as the person claimed.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (3, Interesting)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about a year ago | (#44001205)

And I guarantee you could tell the difference with black and white film. A digital shot will look like the sensor used to take the shot. Unless you use Photoshop to apply 'grain' and tonal changes to the shot it will lack character. That's not to say it will be a bad shot, just that it will be clean, the grain will be digital in nature, and it will have fairly predictable tonal characteristics.

When using film I have massive amounts of control over how my image is reproduced. Using combinations of negative and developer, push and pull processing or even cross processing I can achieve effects that you can only achieve in Photoshop and only as a reasonable approximate assuming it even has an analogue for the process I've used. I can further vary this via my selection of printing paper and even toners within the development baths.

Photoshop has only very basic settings for applying a 'film' grain to an image. B&W negatives on varying film stock developed at differing temperatures in varying developer baths can produce a vast array of results you can only dream of.

e.g. Ilford Delta 400 Pro developed with Rodinal at 20 degrees and printed onto a matte paper stock.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (2)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#44000341)

One thing is for certain, there's alot of things that are alot easier and cheaper to do in digital. I did alot of long exposures and night photography. Trying to get a balance between grainyness and being too dark is challenging when the feedback you get on your settings is a couple weeks later. You can go through a whole roll trying different settings. One time I went to pick up prints and the lab gave me the negatives and said they didn't turn out. I had to point out to them a couple shots on the negatives that were of a little bio-luminescent grub. They were skeptical but went and printed them for me and they turned out fine. That was an entire roll of film just for two pictures.

I also got alot better because I was getting immediate feedback when using manual settings.

It also makes doing timelapse photography feasible on an amateur budget.

What's really odd to me is the digital cameras are not any better at capturing light. I saw a documentary on a large telescope that talked about how much light is not captured by film, and what a huge amount more is captured by a CCD, which is important for imaging faint objects. Maybe they have a better CCD than what you get in cameras.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#44000363)

Not to mention having to keep a notebook on settings you used for each photo so that you could learn what is working.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44000357)

The real downside to this is that film is still the gold standard for autoradiography. Nothing beats the sensitivity and resolution of Kodak Biomax x-ray films.

Re:Sad, but inevitable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000955)

X-Ray film is PET base not acetate.

Don't worry... (5, Insightful)

fluxmov (519552) | about a year ago | (#43999743)

...when the last commercial film runs out, we'll be coating glass plates with home-mixed emulsions!

Re:Don't worry... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000013)

Like what I spray out of my dick into your mom's face?

Re:Don't worry... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000179)

I want that on film.

Re:Don't worry... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000247)

...when the last commercial film runs out, we'll be coating glass plates with home-mixed emulsions!

Some of us are. It's called wet plate collodion and it's a hell of a lot of fun. Film production has drastically declined in the past decade but there are still those photographers among us who shoot primarily with traditional media.

Re:Don't worry... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#44000777)

Watch out, all those "dangerous chemicals" might get you labeled as a terrorist or something. I kid, back in highschool we did exactly that, and learned how to make our own emulsions as well as developing film in a dark room, even how to make our own dark rooms at home. Wasn't all that long ago either, back in the mid-90's. I took a trip up to my old highschool to see if they still did this, and it's a big o'l nope. Now they send the film off for processing, because those chemicals are too dangerous for kids(teenagers) to use.

Re:Don't worry... (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#44000863)

When I was working for a lab, I used to developer big colour enlargements (> 8x10" in a darkroom) from the spent chemicals out of the regular C-41 enlarger/printer. We didn't even need to mix any chemicals for the job.

Company stops producing product that nobody wants. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43999783)

... News at 11.

Re:Company stops producing product that nobody wan (4, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#43999837)

.. News at 11.

But no film.

Re:Company stops producing product that nobody wan (2)

aliquis (678370) | about a year ago | (#43999967)

.. News at 11.

But no film.

Kodak moment.

Re:Company stops producing product that nobody wan (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44000313)

Soon, news at 11 will be replaced by news anytime, if people get all their news online, as opposed to TV

All the one-hour photo places! Noooo! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43999845)

What?!? That's not fair at all! NOW where am I going to go to get supplies for my photo developing shop? If I can't get the acetate base, I can't develop the photos overnight, meaning I can't send copies to the National Sec... I've told you too much already. I'll just take your remaining supply. You will be paid by the United States Treasury in six to eight weeks. Thank you for your cooperation, citizen, and I advise you to forget there was ever an "elsewhere" to source more acetate base from.

Thankfully (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about a year ago | (#43999917)

I hope everyone else is thankful that Kodak still has large stockpiles of a material that there is so little commercial interest in, they're stopping production. Why do we need bullshit remarks at the end of TFS? Just post the story and leave the editorials to the comments.

Re:Thankfully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000025)

Because some people still use film to take pictures?

Bothachrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43999961)

So, I guess that means we won't be able to buy Bothachrome film anymore?

(Don't bother searching the web for the term Bothachrome, it has been scrubbed from most search engines on the Internet. It was the topic of an old late night television comedy skit from the 1980's about a camera film that erased undesired black people's images out of the photos automatically... and was sarcastically named after apartheid South African prime minister P.W. Botha.

Re:Bothachrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000269)

Many Bothas died to bring us this message.

Re:Bothachrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44002205)

"P.W. Botha...white courtesy phone. P.W. Botha... *white* courtesy phone."

DIE ALREADY DAMMIT !! DIE ALREADY !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43999973)

Film is D !! E !! A !! D !! Dead !!

News at eleven !! Not on film !! On Iphone motherfuckers !! Iphone !! Instant !! Looks like crap !! But we dont no no better !! We gots outs Iphone motherfuckers !!

Re:DIE ALREADY DAMMIT !! DIE ALREADY !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000399)

Film is D !! E !! A !! D !! Dead !!

News at eleven !! Not on film !! On Iphone motherfuckers !! Iphone !! Instant !! Looks like crap !! But we dont no no better !! We gots outs Iphone motherfuckers !!

This sounds like a very touchy subject to you. Was your father strangled to death by a crazed Fotomat employee with a roll of film, perhaps?

Kodak vs. stockpile (2)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#43999995)

Who else has money that Kodak will go under first before they exhaust their stockpile?

Granted, they're only in bankruptcy protection, but unless they can kill CCD/CMOS imaging with a new device of their invention, they've got little chance of coming out.

Re:Kodak vs. stockpile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000831)

The irony of course is that CCD/CMOS imaging WAS their invention, and that no one seems to realize that.

Re:Kodak vs. stockpile (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#44001013)

unless they can kill CCD/CMOS imaging with a new device of their invention

Kodak did much of the early work on using CCDs for imaging so they are their invention in a way. It just never fit into their razor blade business model so they licensed out the relevant patents and sat on their heels while the world passed them by.

Polaroid syndrome (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#44001299)

the last plant in Holland continued to make instant film until the last chemicals ran out. the employees then bought it and re-invested the process with new chemistry.

Re:Kodak vs. stockpile (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#44001587)

Who else has money that Kodak will go under first before they exhaust their stockpile?

Kodak *is* pretty much toast at this point, it's just a question of when. Unfortunately, they've really left it too late for the company to restructure and reorient in the way that the more far-sighted Fujifilm did over a decade ago, and ironically it's only bankruptcy proceedings that have (and will) give them the power to do what needs to be done.

Kodak's problem is that there's no real reason for them to exist in their old form- with many legacy operations, obligations and structures- at this stage, and thus no real reason for anyone to buy them whole. Looked at coldly, potential buyers would probably be more likely to buy them if they were split up along the lines of their operations, e.g. while operations relating to the chemical aspects of traditional photography might have some value elsewhere, they probably make little sense being part of a "photography" company in the digital world. (And, actually Kodak *had* spun off Eastman Chemical [slashdot.org] in 1994, *before* digital decimated their mass-market film-based business).

Kodak's other major problem is that they're now selling off the things (patents et al) that they really need to survive long-term, simply to survive in the short term.

The best case scenario is that the business will be radically transformed under bankruptcy protection with much of it being sold off and a *much* smaller core company remaining. The worst case scenario is that the company is totally liquidated, its intellectual and physical assets sold off piecemeal in a way that preserves nothing of the original structure and the "Kodak" name is bought up and whored out for use on arbitrary electronic tat.

Believe me, the name *will* survive if nothing else, used to trade off nostalgia and people's ignorance that the "Kodak" product they bought has nothing to do with the original company and was probably just licensed out by a rights holder. But that isn't "survival" in any meaningful sense.

Re:Kodak vs. stockpile (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44002789)

Unfortunately, they've really left it too late for the company to restructure and reorient in the way that the more far-sighted Fujifilm did over a decade ago

Incidentally, Kodak never really hit my buttons with their colour films to the extent that Agfachrome (RIP 1978) and Fuji did. Agfa was never quite the same after it adopted Kodak's process, but Fuji film (which still seems to be pretty commonly available, at least for now) rocks.

Happy Thursday from the Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000043)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true your a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy Thursday from the Golden Girls! (1)

DeathElk (883654) | about a year ago | (#44001737)

Yeah, those new pink ecstasy tablets are wonderful, aren't they?

still produced by a former part of Kodak (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44000045)

Interestingly, the former chemicals division of Eastman Kodak, spun off in the 1990s as the Eastman Chemical Company, is still one of the major producers of cellulose acetate. While its usage as a film base usage is declining, its usage for lots of things, ranging from cigarette filters to LCD screens, is increasing.

produce your own? (1)

John Da' Baddest (1686670) | about a year ago | (#44000197)

Kodak always was a "scaling" company, not just a niche market thing. WIth the emerging trend towards produce-your-own stuff with 3D printers, can small-scale production of acetates be far behind -- for the few who still want it?

So let me know when you can produce your own 3D molecules small-scale. I have a special order. :-)

Missed headline (0)

tverbeek (457094) | about a year ago | (#44000241)

If Slashdot were just a bit less responsible, the (technically incorrect but misleading) headline on this would be "Kodak stops making film".

Re:Missed headline (1)

PhotoJim (813785) | about a year ago | (#44000923)

Doesn't matter much - Kodak's days in the film business seem numbered.

Thankfully Fujifilm continues to do well, and Ilford is the market leader in black-and-white photography (and even brings out new products occasionally). There are also a few niche B&W fim manufacturers kicking around, like Foma.

Did Kodak just discontinue slide film?! (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#44001695)

Doesn't matter much - Kodak's days in the film business seem numbered.

Is is true that Kodak has stopped making transparency film altogether?

They announced the discontinuation of Ektachrome in particular formats in early 2012, but never actually said "we're stopping making slide film". Yet some people seem to believe that this is effectively what's happened.

Go to their website, visit the "professional films [kodak.com] " section (the "consumer" films [kodak.com] bit only seems to contain a couple of print films) and click on "color reversal films". There's nothing there but the discontinuation notice.

Many people interpreted a press release from Kodak around a year ago as (effectively) signifiying they were discontinuing slide film (e.g. here [typepad.com] ). If this is the case, then Kodak managed to slip a *very* significant announcement through as just yet another downsizing of their film line.

So... has Kodak discontinued slide film, and if so, why didn't more people pick up on it?!

Building 317 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000571)

I subcontracted in that building in the past. It's like 5 football fields side by side with lots of rollers and extruders. They were crazy about everything being clean, we had to wear tyvek suits and booties. The place smelled like a carpet show room from all of the plastics in use. One of the largest building in Kodak park will go un used and off of the tax bill for the town. I'm not surprised by any of this, one less thing for them to produce. There isn't a market for film since everyone is digital these days. With the exception of wedding photo's I cannot remember a time when I have even printed out pictures.

Re:Building 317 (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#44001051)

One of the largest building in Kodak park will go un used and off of the tax bill for the town.

I think they have to tear the building down to get tax relief which is part of why other buildings at KP have been taken down in the past few years.

Re: Building 317 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001459)

Rumorbait: They can't tear it down. Clickety-click-clickety. I just declared it an historic site. Safe!

Well thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000785)

that we have 3D printing to take up the slack. Just press a button and magically a series of precisely chosen chemicals is laid down layer by layer in your living room.

Film (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000881)

Kodak's Portra is an excellent film.

Let me know when I can get a digital camera with the dynamic range of good film in my Pentax 67.

Ever notice on some of the old black and white films how they can capture shadow details in a very dark hallway, as well as the highlights in a full lit room?

Digital tech still can't match that.

No big deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44002137)

Acetate is not the only base for films. There are other base products. Kodak is ceasing the */production/* of acetate, not the use thereof. They will be using acetate from an external supply.

This is a big nothing.

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