Film Photography News — July 2020 Recap

Kodak Asset Sale, Olympus Quits Making Cameras, Nikon Recall, Your Support

5 min read by Dmitri, with image(s) by Betty.
Published on . Updated on .

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This month’s Letter covers Kodak’s assets’ sale to a Hong Kong manufacturer, Olympus’ exit from the camera market, a major Nikon recall, and the Intrepid’s new large format camera. Also: learn how to photograph dark skin tones, a brief update on the upcoming Monochrome zine, and a few ways you can support Analog.Cafe creators.

Kodak’s paper business sale to Sinopromise Holdings.

Kodak is vital to colour film production; this is why the headlines that suggest asset sales come off sounding dreadful. Thankfully, the Rochester factory stays — the sale announcement is limited to the paper chemistry business.

PetaPixel’s article goes into great detail on why this business is so relevant in 2020, and how it’s expected to continue production under the new management. The piece’s author, Ludwig, argues that it’s a good move for Kodak’s solvency overall. Let’s hope he’s right.

Olympus’ exit from the camera market.

The renowned film camera brand will no longer produce consumer photographic equipment.

The name hasn’t appeared on any notable camera in almost two decades; thus, the news isn’t shocking. Olympus’ inability to compete with the exploding smartphone market has finally worn it down. The stuff that made them a legend, like the tiny Olympus XA, pictured, has been out of production since the ‘80s. No hard feelings, I suppose.

Nikon camera recall.

Oops! “Nikon has issued a recall of all Nikon F6 35mm film SLR cameras ‘manufactured and/or sold after July 22, 2019’”

Nikon is one of the few household names that still produces film cameras today. Let’s hope this latest blunder does not give them the wrong motivation to exit our niche. While there’s a tremendous amount of choice for fim photographers when it comes to used cameras, brand-new stuff with big-ticket names and warranty is rare.

Intrepid’s new large format camera.

The new lightweight 5x7 large format camera goes for £380 on the website. The brand has been expanding its offerings ever since their 4x5 launch on Kickstarter back in 2016. Great to see small businesses thrive in a niche many people don’t even know exist. Film photography is awesome!

Photographing dark skin tones.

Imagine if the technology we use every day wasn’t built in the labs staffed predominantly by white male scientists, creating it for themselves. Unfortunately, that’s not the case; the incredible medium of colour film isn’t exempt from the issues created by the historically one-sided narrative of innovation.

The good news is that we can always learn to do better. Aundre Larrow has produced a fourteen-minute video tutorial that teaches how to photograph dark skin tones and a Twitter thread for those who have even less free time. With his insights, you’ll be able to master your understanding of exposure for hair, skin colour temperature, and contrast.

Monochrome zine update.

I must admit that I’ve been struggling with this project. Due to the variety of challenges and tasks piling up, this is taking much longer than expected.

So far, the project is roughly 50% complete in terms of the layout. I also bought three heaps of fantastic recycled paper, got plenty of printer ink, a special thick-stack stapler gun, and a book tape for binding.

There will be about 30 US-Letter-sized pages, filled with tons of fantastic images and essays. I am looking forward to printing and shipping it in about a month from now.

Contributors: I will contact you shortly.

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