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This month’s Letter covers a new film format, new prices, and factory tour dates from Kodak, a re-opened Film Ferrania P30 shop, and good news from Lomography. Below, you’ll also find a brief “year in review” note along with the holiday wishes from me to you.
The twenty-first century’s most important film manufacturer, Kodak, reported significant sales growth this year. This is yet another sign of the analogue medium’s resurgence in the world of aggressively expanding digital prominence. Clearly, there’s still value/magic to the chemical way of light capture as it competes for survival with 100-megapixel phone cameras and WiFi toasters.
The company managed to deliver the newly-formulated 35mm slide film by the end of 2018. Their considerable investment paid off, yielding more production efforts. As of this writing, Ektachrome E100 is making its way to the store shelves in medium and sheet film formats.
☝︎Recap: In 2018, Kodak took the risk of reformulating Ektachrome 100 and making it available again. 2019 brought them financial rewards, along with the photographic community’s appreciation and support. 2020 is the year the company is doubling down with product line expansion and a price increase.
For the consumer, Kodak’s advances signal a guarantee that we’ll be able to shoot and process film for the decades that follow. Unfortunately, the news come with a price increase, which is in tandem with the second largest film producer’s actions, Fujifilm. Should you wonder what it may cost you, consider reading the 35mm Film Price Guide and Film Photography Costs and Prices.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for more ways to spend money on your photography this coming year, consider taking a guided tour of the Kodak factory. The Rochester, NY facility is opening its doors again for new tour dates. Just like before, tickets are $300 and worth the trip if you’ve got the cash.
The working vintage camera supplies for willing photographers are inevitably drying up, along with the rising prices on chemicals; we are in for a costlier film future. For the economically conscious, new competition could be the answer.
Film Ferrania is an ongoing project to restore an Italian photochemical factory to become the third major film producer. Currently, they’re about five years behind schedule, however, unlike the infamous others, the brand is open about their shortcomings and willing to press on.
Following the campaign announcement for “the first new C-41 formulation on the market in over a decade,” Lomography is ahead of schedule for the first round of product shipments.
If you haven’t had a chance to participate in the Kickstarter campaign, you may order your film directly on the Lomography website. Otherwise, look for new film in your inbox. Kickstarter backers from the EU are lucky enough to be the first recipients, followed by US folks. In Canada, I’m patiently waiting for mine.
2019 has been a game-changing year for this tiny website.
The readership has grown three-fold. The most popular piece turned out to be the 47-minute read, A Beginner’s Guide to Film Photography, having been accessed over 20,000 times as of this writing. There’s now a way for anyone to get an account and take advantage of free downloads, bookmark favourite reads, and get exclusive deals.
A special Thank-You! to all the authors who helped make Analog.Cafe the unique repository of diverse talents and experiences that it is. In order of appearance: Kent, Kenneth Wajda, Andre Thibault, rick davy, luvazq, olli thomson, Natali Herrera-Pacheco, Emily Bradshaw, Anita Krisko, benedetta.ristori, Kent, Bertie Taylor, Andrej Spilevoj, Elouise Antonina, Paulo Monteiro, Seb’s, Brian Purdy, Justino Lourenço, and Kevan Wilkinson.
Analog.Cafe would not be the same without you.