As Tom Shay from Fuji pointed
out, film technology is changing so fast that the manufacturers seldom
wait for a show to announce advances or bring out a new film. Consequently,
you may have seen announcements about new films before photokina.
Fuji's newest film, NPH 400 was announced last spring. NPH is
a medium to low contrast film, optimized to give realistic skin tones.
Because of its 4-color layer technology, it responds well to various
lighting situations, including mixed light. The film is available in
135, 120, and 220.
Kodak has been busy. Elite Chrome 100, the consumer slide film is now
updated, with even finer grain and enhanced color reproduction. New
professional slide films introduced were E100G and E100GX. These replace
E100S and E100SW. More information is available on www.kodak.com/go/professional.
In color negative films both Kodak and Agfa had high saturation films:
Portra 400 UC from Kodak and Ultra (ISO 100) from Agfa. Both companies
also updated their color negative films to include recent advances in
Kodak Royal Gold (called Royal Supra in Europe) boasts very fine grain
and increased sharpness. Because the ISO 200 and 400 are so sharp, they
have eliminated ISO 100 from the Royal Gold line.
Agfa incorporated their Eye-vision technology from Vista films into
their Optima Supreme range. Eye-vision matches the color perception
of the human eye very well, and gives a very pleasing color rendition.
And, as is often the case, Agfa also proudly announced a packaging update
for Vista as well.
Ferrania has been updating their films to incorporate any improvements,
but (for once) with no change in name or packaging.
Konica was resting on its laurels with Centuria Super, but as those
laurels included winning an EISA award for the whole Centuria family
of films they can be forgiven.
Polaroid announced new chemistry for their peel-apart materials, but
no samples were available. The new materials will be sharper, with more
accurate color rendition, especially in the skin tones, and although
the recommended development time is 90 sec, the film can be allowed
up to five minutes with no loss in quality.
There is great news for 127 users. Maco is offering both ISO 100 color
slide and black and white negative film for 127 rollfilm cameras. Contact
Maco or Cachet for details.
Only two new black and white films were shown. The most easily available
was Maco Technical Pan TP64c. This is coated on a clear base and can
be used as a conventional negative film or with reversal chemistry,
as a positive film. Foma had an extended-red film, but as far as I could
find out they have no US distribution.
For those who have been waiting for the updated Kodak Tri-X, it will
be released in November. Roger Hicks and I are waiting for samples of
all of the updated films so we can do a comprehensive test with several
Ilford at least had a few samples of conventional films and papers,
but all of their new products were digital. I must admit to being well
impressed with their professional digital output system, but that is
not my part of ship. I will say, though, that if you want to get the
best out of ink jet printing contact Ilford.