On The Film Front

On The Film Front

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 technology.
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 different developers.

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.