Photographic film

Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent plastic film base coated on one side with a gelatin emulsion containing microscopically small light-sensitive silver halide crystals. The sizes and other characteristics of the crystals determine the sensitivity, contrast and resolution of the film.[1]

The emulsion will gradually darken if left exposed to light, but the process is too slow and incomplete to be of any practical use. Instead, a very short exposure to the image formed by a camera lens is used to produce only a very slight chemical change, proportional to the amount of light absorbed by each crystal. This creates an invisible latent image in the emulsion, which can be chemically developed into a visible photograph. In addition to visible light, all films are sensitive to ultraviolet, X-rays and high-energy particles. Unmodified silver halide crystals are sensitive only to the blue part of the visible spectrum, producing unnatural-looking renditions of some colored subjects. This problem was resolved with the discovery that certain dyes, called sensitizing dyes, when adsorbed onto the silver halide crystals made them respond to other colors as well. First orthochromatic (sensitive to blue and green) and finally panchromatic (sensitive to all visible colors) films were developed. Panchromatic film renders all colors in shades of gray approximately matching their subjective brightness. By similar techniques, special-purpose films can be made sensitive to the infrared (IR) region of the spectrum.[2]

In black-and-white photographic film, there is usually one layer of silver halide crystals. When the exposed silver halide grains are developed, the silver halide crystals are converted to metallic silver, which blocks light and appears as the black part of the film negative. Color film has at least three sensitive layers, incorporating different combinations of sensitizing dyes. Typically the blue-sensitive layer is on top, followed by a yellow filter layer to stop any remaining blue light from affecting the layers below. Next comes a green-and-blue sensitive layer, and a red-and-blue sensitive layer, which record the green and red images respectively. During development, the exposed silver halide crystals are converted to metallic silver, just as with black-and-white film. But in a color film, the by-products of the development reaction simultaneously combine with chemicals known as color couplers that are included either in the film itself or in the developer solution to form colored dyes. Because the by-products are created in direct proportion to the amount of exposure and development, the dye clouds formed are also in proportion to the exposure and development. Following development, the silver is converted back to silver halide crystals in the bleach step. It is removed from the film during the process of fixing the image on the film with a solution of ammonium thiosulfate or sodium thiosulfate (hypo or fixer).[3] Fixing leaves behind only the formed color dyes, which combine to make up the colored visible image. Later color films, like Kodacolor II, have as many as 12 emulsion layers,[4] with upwards of 20 different chemicals in each layer.

Undeveloped film
Undeveloped 35 mm, ISO 125/22°, black and white negative film

History of film

The earliest practical photographic process was the daguerreotype; it was introduced in 1839 and did not use film. The light-sensitive chemicals were formed on the surface of a silver-plated copper sheet.[5] The calotype process produced paper negatives.[6] Beginning in the 1850s, thin glass plates coated with photographic emulsion became the standard material for use in the camera. Although fragile and relatively heavy, the glass used for photographic plates was of better optical quality than early transparent plastics and was, at first, less expensive. Glass plates continued to be used long after the introduction of film, and were used for astrophotography[7] and electron micrography until the early 2000s, when they were supplanted by digital recording methods. Ilford continues to manufacture glass plates for special scientific applications.[8]

The first flexible photographic roll film was sold by George Eastman in 1885,[9] but this original "film" was actually a coating on a paper base. As part of the processing, the image-bearing layer was stripped from the paper and attached to a sheet of hardened clear gelatin. The first transparent plastic roll film followed in 1889.[10] It was made from highly flammable nitrocellulose ("celluloid"), now usually called "nitrate film".

Although cellulose acetate or "safety film" had been introduced by Kodak in 1908,[11] at first it found only a few special applications as an alternative to the hazardous nitrate film, which had the advantages of being considerably tougher, slightly more transparent, and cheaper. The changeover was completed for X-ray films in 1933, but although safety film was always used for 16 mm and 8 mm home movies, nitrate film remained standard for theatrical 35 mm films until it was finally discontinued in 1951.[12]

Hurter and Driffield began pioneering work on the light sensitivity of photographic emulsions in 1876. Their work enabled the first quantitative measure of film speed to be devised.[13] They developed H&D curves, which are specific for each film and paper. These curves plot the photographic density against the log of the exposure, to determine sensitivity or speed of the emulsion and enabling correct exposure.[14]

Spectral sensitivity

Early photographic plates and films were usefully sensitive only to blue, violet and ultraviolet light. As a result, the relative tonal values in a scene registered roughly as they would appear if viewed through a piece of deep blue glass. Blue skies with interesting cloud formations photographed as a white blank. Any detail visible in masses of green foliage was due mainly to the colorless surface gloss. Bright yellows and reds appeared nearly black. Most skin tones came out unnaturally dark, and uneven or freckled complexions were exaggerated. Photographers sometimes compensated by adding in skies from separate negatives that had been exposed and processed to optimize the visibility of the clouds, by manually retouching their negatives to adjust problematic tonal values, and by heavily powdering the faces of their portrait sitters.

In 1873, Hermann Wilhelm Vogel discovered that the spectral sensitivity could be extended to green and yellow light by adding very small quantities of certain dyes to the emulsion. The instability of early sensitizing dyes and their tendency to rapidly cause fogging initially confined their use to the laboratory, but in 1883 the first commercially dye-sensitized plates appeared on the market. These early products, described as isochromatic or orthochromatic depending on the manufacturer, made possible a more accurate rendering of colored subject matter into a black-and-white image. Because they were still disproportionately sensitive to blue, the use of a yellow filter and a consequently longer exposure time were required to take full advantage of their extended sensitivity.

In 1894, the Lumière Brothers introduced their Lumière Panchromatic plate, which was made sensitive, although very unequally, to all colors including red. New and improved sensitizing dyes were developed, and in 1902 the much more evenly color-sensitive Perchromo panchromatic plate was being sold by the German manufacturer Perutz. The commercial availability of highly panchromatic black-and-white emulsions also accelerated the progress of practical color photography, which requires good sensitivity to all the colors of the spectrum for the red, green and blue channels of color information to all be captured with reasonable exposure times.

However, all of these were glass-based plate products. Panchromatic emulsions on a film base were not commercially available until the 1910s and did not come into general use until much later. Many photographers who did their own darkroom work preferred to go without the seeming luxury of sensitivity to red—a rare color in nature and uncommon even in man-made objects—rather than be forced to abandon the traditional red darkroom safelight and process their exposed film in complete darkness. Kodak's popular Verichrome black-and-white snapshot film, introduced in 1931, remained a red-insensitive orthochromatic product until 1956, when it was replaced by Verichrome Pan. Amateur darkroom enthusiasts then had to handle the undeveloped film by the sense of touch alone.

Color

Experiments with color photography began almost as early as photography itself, but the three-color principle underlying all practical processes was not set forth until 1855, not demonstrated until 1861, and not generally accepted as "real" color photography until it had become an undeniable commercial reality in the early 20th century. Although color photographs of good quality were being made by the 1890s, they required special equipment, long exposures, complex printing or display procedures and highly specialized skills, so they were then exceedingly rare.

The first practical and commercially successful color "film" was the Lumière Autochrome, a glass plate product introduced in 1907. It was expensive and not sensitive enough for hand-held "snapshot" use. Film-based versions were introduced in the early 1930s and the sensitivity was later improved. These were "mosaic screen" additive color products, which used a simple layer of black-and-white emulsion in combination with a layer of microscopically small color filter elements. The resulting transparencies or "slides" were very dark because the color filter mosaic layer absorbed most of the light passing through. The last films of this type were discontinued in the 1950s, but Polachrome "instant" slide film, introduced in 1983, temporarily revived the technology.

"Color film" in the modern sense of a subtractive color product with a multi-layered emulsion was born with the introduction of Kodachrome for home movies in 1935 and as lengths of 35 mm film for still cameras in 1936, however it required a complex development process, with multiple dyeing steps as each color layer was processed separately.[15] 1936 also saw the launch of Agfa Color Neu, the first subtractive three color reversal film for movie and still camera use to incorporate color dye couplers, which could be processed at the same time by a single color developer. The film had some 278 patents. [16]. The incorporation of color couplers formed the basis of subsequent colour film design, with the Agfa process initialy adopted by Ferrania, Fuji and Konica and lasting until the late 70s/early 1980s in the West and 1990s in Eastern Europe. The process used dye forming chemicals that terminated with sulfonic acid groups and had to be coated one layer at a time. It was a further innovation by Kodak, using dye forming chemicals which terminated in 'fatty' tails which permitted multiple layers to coated at the same time in a single pass, reducing production time and cost that later became universally adopted along with the Kodak C-41 process.

Despite greater availability of color film after WWII during the next several decades, it remained much more expensive than black-and-white and required much more light, factors which combined the greater cost of processing and printing delayed its widespread adoption. Decreasing cost, increasing sensitivity and standardised processing gradually overcame these impediments. By the 1970s, color film predominated in the consumer market, while the use of black-and-white film was increasingly confined to photojournalism and fine art photography.

Effect on lens and equipment design

Photographic lenses and equipment are designed around the film to be used. Although the earliest photographic materials were sensitive only to the blue-violet end of the spectrum, partially color-corrected achromatic lenses were normally used, so that when the photographer brought the visually brightest yellow rays to a sharp focus, the visually dimmest but photographically most active violet rays would be correctly focused, too. The introduction of orthochromatic emulsions required the whole range of colors from yellow to blue to be brought to an adequate focus. Most plates and films described as orthochromatic or isochromatic were practically insensitive to red, so the correct focus of red light was unimportant; a red window could be used to view the frame numbers on the paper backing of roll film, as any red light which leaked around the backing would not fog the film; and red lighting could be used in darkrooms. With the introduction of panchromatic film, the whole visible spectrum needed to be brought to an acceptably sharp focus. In all cases a color cast in the lens glass or faint colored reflections in the image were of no consequence as they would merely change the contrast a little. This was no longer acceptable when using color film. More highly corrected lenses for newer emulsions could be used with older emulsion types, but the converse was not true.

The progression of lens design for later emulsions is of practical importance when considering the use of old lenses, still often used on large-format equipment; a lens designed for orthochromatic film may have visible defects with a color emulsion; a lens for panchromatic film will be better but not as good as later designs.

The filters used were different for the different film types.

Film basics

Photographic Film 135
Layers of 35mm color film: 1. Film base; 2. Subbing layer; 3. Red light sensitive layer; 4. Green light sensitive layer; 5. Yellow filter; 6. Blue light sensitive layer; 7. UV Filter; 8. Protective layer; 9. (Visible light exposing film).

There are several types of photographic film, including:

  • Print film, when developed, yields transparent negatives with the light and dark areas and colors (if color film is used) inverted to their respective complementary colors. This type of film is designed to be printed onto photographic paper, usually by means of an enlarger but in some cases by contact printing. The paper is then itself developed. The second inversion that results restores light, shade and color to their normal appearance. Color negatives incorporate an orange color correction mask that compensates for unwanted dye absorptions and improves color accuracy in the prints. Although color processing is more complex and temperature-sensitive than black-and-white processing, the wide availability of commercial color processing and scarcity of service for black-and-white prompted the design of some black-and-white films which are processed in exactly the same way as standard color film.
  • Color reversal film produces positive transparencies, also known as diapositives. Transparencies can be reviewed with the aid of a magnifying loupe and a lightbox. If mounted in small metal, plastic or cardboard frames for use in a slide projector or slide viewer they are commonly called slides. Reversal film is often marketed as "slide film". Large-format color reversal sheet film is used by some professional photographers, typically to originate very-high-resolution imagery for digital scanning into color separations for mass photomechanical reproduction. Photographic prints can be produced from reversal film transparencies, but positive-to-positive print materials for doing this directly (e.g. Ektachrome paper, Cibachrome/Ilfochrome) have all been discontinued, so that it now requires the use of an internegative to convert the positive transparency image into a negative transparency, which is then printed as a positive print.[17]
  • Black-and-white reversal film exists but is very uncommon. Conventional black-and-white negative film can be reversal-processed to produce black-and-white slides, as by dr5 Chrome.[18] Although kits of chemicals for black-and-white reversal processing may no longer be available to amateur darkroom enthusiasts, an acid bleaching solution, the only unusual component which is essential, is easily prepared from scratch. Black-and-white transparencies may also be produced by printing negatives onto special positive print film, still available from some specialty photographic supply dealers.[19]

In order to produce a usable image, the film needs to be exposed properly. The amount of exposure variation that a given film can tolerate, while still producing an acceptable level of quality, is called its exposure latitude. Color print film generally has greater exposure latitude than other types of film. Additionally, because print film must be printed to be viewed, after-the-fact corrections for imperfect exposure are possible during the printing process.

Foto-wiki-Balance-Film-Speed
Plot of image density (D) vs. log exposure (H), yields a characteristic S-curve (H&D curve) for each type of film to determine its sensitivity. Changing the emulsion properties or the processing parameters will move the curve to the left or right. Changing the exposure will move along the curve, helping to determine what exposure is needed for a given film. Note the non-linear response at the far left ("toe") and right ("shoulder") of the curve.[20]

The concentration of dyes or silver halide crystals remaining on the film after development is referred to as optical density, or simply density; the optical density is proportional to the logarithm of the optical transmission coefficient of the developed film. A dark image on the negative is of higher density than a more transparent image.

Most films are affected by the physics of silver grain activation (which sets a minimum amount of light required to expose a single grain) and by the statistics of random grain activation by photons. The film requires a minimum amount of light before it begins to expose, and then responds by progressive darkening over a wide dynamic range of exposure until all of the grains are exposed, and the film achieves (after development) its maximum optical density.

Over the active dynamic range of most films, the density of the developed film is proportional to the logarithm of the total amount of light to which the film was exposed, so the transmission coefficient of the developed film is proportional to a power of the reciprocal of the brightness of the original exposure. The plot of the density of the film image against the log of the exposure is known as an H&D curve.[14] This effect is due to the statistics of grain activation: as the film becomes progressively more exposed, each incident photon is less likely to impact a still-unexposed grain, yielding the logarithmic behavior. A simple, idealized statistical model yields the equation density = 1 - ( 1 - k) light, where light is proportional to the number of photons hitting a unit area of film, k is the probability of a single photon striking a grain (based on the size of the grains and how closely spaced they are), and density is the proportion of grains that have been hit by at least one photon. The relationship between density and log exposure is linear for photographic films except at the extreme ranges of maximum exposure (D-max) and minimum exposure (D-min) on an H&D curve, so the curve is characteristically S-shaped (as opposed to digital camera sensors which have a linear response through the effective exposure range.[21] The sensitivity (i.e., the ISO speed) of a film can be affected by changing the length or temperature of development, which would move the H&D curve to the left or right (see figure).[22][23]

If parts of the image are exposed heavily enough to approach the maximum density possible for a print film, then they will begin losing the ability to show tonal variations in the final print. Usually those areas will be considered overexposed and will appear as featureless white on the print. Some subject matter is tolerant of very heavy exposure. For example, sources of brilliant light, such as a light bulb or the sun, generally appear best as a featureless white on the print.

Likewise, if part of an image receives less than the beginning threshold level of exposure, which depends upon the film's sensitivity to light—or speed—the film there will have no appreciable image density, and will appear on the print as a featureless black. Some photographers use their knowledge of these limits to determine the optimum exposure for a photograph; for one example, see the Zone System. Most automatic cameras instead try to achieve a particular average density.

Film speed

A roll of 400 speed Kodak 35mm film.

Film speed describes a film's threshold sensitivity to light. The international standard for rating film speed is the ISO scale, which combines both the ASA speed and the DIN speed in the format ASA/DIN. Using ISO convention film with an ASA speed of 400 would be labeled 400/27°.[24] A fourth naming standard is GOST, developed by the Russian standards authority. See the film speed article for a table of conversions between ASA, DIN, and GOST film speeds.

Common film speeds include ISO 25, 50, 64, 100, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, and 6400. Consumer print films are usually in the ISO 100 to ISO 800 range. Some films, like Kodak's Technical Pan,[25] are not ISO rated and therefore careful examination of the film's properties must be made by the photographer before exposure and development. ISO 25 film is very "slow", as it requires much more exposure to produce a usable image than "fast" ISO 800 film. Films of ISO 800 and greater are thus better suited to low-light situations and action shots (where the short exposure time limits the total light received). The benefit of slower film is that it usually has finer grain and better color rendition than fast film. Professional photographers of static subjects such as portraits or landscapes usually seek these qualities, and therefore require a tripod to stabilize the camera for a longer exposure. A professional photographing subjects such as rapidly moving sports or in low-light conditions will inevitably choose a faster film.

A film with a particular ISO rating can be push-processed, or "pushed", to behave like a film with a higher ISO, by developing for a longer amount of time or at a higher temperature than usual.[26]:160 More rarely, a film can be "pulled" to behave like a "slower" film. Pushing generally coarsens grain and increases contrast, reducing dynamic range, to the detriment of overall quality. Nevertheless, it can be a useful tradeoff in difficult shooting environments, if the alternative is no usable shot at all.

Special films

Instant photography, as popularized by Polaroid, uses a special type of camera and film that automates and integrates development, without the need of further equipment or chemicals. This process is carried out immediately after exposure, as opposed to regular film, which is developed afterwards and requires additional chemicals. See instant film.

Films can be made to record non-visible ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation. These films generally require special equipment; for example, most photographic lenses are made of glass and will therefore filter out most ultraviolet light. Instead, expensive lenses made of quartz must be used. Infrared films may be shot in standard cameras using an infrared band- or long-pass filter, although the infrared focal point must be compensated for.

Exposure and focusing are difficult when using UV or IR film with a camera and lens designed for visible light. The ISO standard for film speed only applies to visible light, so visual-spectrum light meters are nearly useless. Film manufacturers can supply suggested equivalent film speeds under different conditions, and recommend heavy bracketing (e.g., with a certain filter, assume ISO 25 under daylight and ISO 64 under tungsten lighting). This allows a light meter to be used to estimate an exposure. The focal point for IR is slightly farther away from the camera than visible light, and UV slightly closer; this must be compensated for when focusing. Apochromatic lenses are sometimes recommended due to their improved focusing across the spectrum.

Film optimized for sensing X-ray radiation is commonly used for medical imaging by placing the subject between the film and a source of X-rays, without a lens, as if a translucent object were imaged by being placed between a light source and standard film. Unlike other types of film, X-ray film has a sensitive emulsion on both sides of the carrier material. This reduces the X-ray exposure for an acceptable image – a desirable feature in medical radiography. The film is usually placed in contact with a thin layer of lead which also enhances its sensitivity.

Film optimized for sensing X-rays and for gamma rays is sometimes used for radiation dosimetry and personal monitoring.

Film has a number of disadvantages as a scientific detector: it is difficult to calibrate for photometry, it is not re-usable, it requires careful handling (including temperature and humidity control) for best calibration, and the film must physically be returned to the laboratory and processed. Against this, photographic film can be made with a higher spatial resolution than any other type of imaging detector, and, because of its logarithmic response to light, has a wider dynamic range than most digital detectors. For example, Agfa 10E56 holographic film has a resolution of over 4,000 lines/mm—equivalent to a pixel size of 0.125 micrometers—and an active dynamic range of over five orders of magnitude in brightness, compared to typical scientific CCDs that might have pixels of about 10 micrometers and a dynamic range of 3–4 orders of magnitude.[27]

Special films are used for the long exposures required by astrophotography.[28]

Decline

Film remained the dominant form of photography until the early 21st century, when advances in digital photography drew consumers to digital formats. The first consumer electronic camera, the Sony Mavica was released in 1981, the first digital camera, the Fuji DS-X released in 1989,[29] coupled with advances in software such as Adobe Photoshop which was released in 1989, improvements in consumer level digital color printers and increasingly widespread computers in households during the late 20th century facilitated uptake of digital photography by consumers.[21] Although modern photography is dominated by digital users, film continues to be used by enthusiasts. Film remains the preference of some photographers because of its distinctive "look".[a]

Renewed interest in recent years

Despite the fact that digital cameras are by far the most commonly-used photographic tool and that the selection of available photographic films is much smaller than it once was, sales of photographic film have been on a steady upward trend. Kodak (which was under bankruptcy protection from January 2012 to September 2013) and other companies have noticed this upward trend, the president of Kodak Alaris' film, paper and photo chemical's division Dennis Olbrich stating that sales of their photographic films have been growing over the past 3 or 4 years. UK-based Ilford have confirmed this trend and conducted extensive research on this subject matter, their research showing that 60% of current film users had only started using film in the past five years and that 30% of current film users were under 35 years old. [32]

In 2013 Ferrania, a Italy-based film manufacturer which ceased production of photographic films between the years 2009 and 2010, was acquired by the new Film Ferrania S.R.L taking over the old company's manufacturing facilities, and re-employed some workers who had been laid off 3 years earlier when the company stopped production of film. In November of the same year, the company started a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising $250,000 to buy tooling and machines from the old factory, with the intention of putting some of the films that had been discontinued back into production, the campaign succeeded and in October 2014 was ended with over $320,000 being raised.

In February 2017, Film Ferrania unveiled their "P30" 80 ASA, Panchromatic black and white film, in 35mm format.

Kodak announced on January 5th, 2017, that Ektachrome, one of Kodak's most well known transparency films that was discontinued between 2012 and 2013, would be reformulated and manufactured once again, in 35mm still and Super 8 motion picture film formats. [33]

Japan-based Fujifilm's instant film "Instax" cameras and paper have also proven to be very successful, and have replaced traditional photographic films as Fujifilm's main film products, while they continue to offer traditional photographic films in various formats and types.[34]

DX codes

Dx135can
135 Film Cartridge with DX barcode (top) and DX CAS code on the black and white grid below the barcode. The CAS code shows the ISO, number of exposures, exposure latitude (+3/−1 for print film).
Dx-film-edge-barcode
DX film edge barcode

DX Encoding (Digital indeX), or DX coding was initially developed by Kodak in the 1980s, and eventually adapted by all camera and film manufacturers.[35] It provides information on both the film cassette and on the film regarding the type of film, number of exposures, speed (ISO/ASA rating) of the film. It consists of three types of identification. First is a barcode near the film opening of the cassette, identifying the manufacturer, film type and processing method (see image below left). This is used by photofinishing equipment during film processing. The second part is a barcode on the edge of the film (see image below right), used also during processing, which indicates the image film type, manufacturer, frame number and synchronizes the position of the frame. The third part of DX coding, known as the DX Camera Auto Sensing (CAS) code, consists of a series of 12 metal contacts on the film cassette, which beginning with cameras manufactured after 1985 could detect the type of film, number of exposures and ISO of the film, and use that information to automatically adjust the camera settings for the speed of the film.[35][36][37]

Common sizes of film

Source:[38]

Film Designation Film width (mm) Image size (mm) Number of images Reasons
110 16 13 × 17 12/20 Single perforations, cartridge loaded
APS/IX240 24 17 × 30 15/25/40

e.g., Kodak "Advantix", different aspect ratios possible, data recorded on magnetic strip, processed film remains in cartridge

126 35 26 × 26 12 or 20 Single perforations, cartridge loaded, e.g., Kodak Instamatic camera
135 35 24 × 36 (1.0 x 1.5 in.) 12–36 Double perforations, cassette loaded, "35 mm film"
127 46 40 x 40 (also 40 x 30 or 60 8-16 Unperforated, rolled in backing paper.
120 62 45 × 60 16 or 15 Unperforated, rolled in backing paper. For medium format photography
60 × 60 12
60 × 70 10
60 × 90 8
220 62 45 × 60 32 or 31 Same as 120, but rolled with no backing paper, allowing for double the number of images. Unperforated film with leader and trailer.
60 × 60 24
60 × 70 20
60 × 90 16
Sheet film 2 ¼ x 3 ¼ to 20 x 24 in. 1 Individual sheets of film, notched in corner for identification, for large format photography
Disc film 10 × 8 mm 15
Motion picture films 8 mm, 16 mm, 35 mm and 70 mm Double perforations, cassette loaded

Companies

In production

Make Headquarters Coating Plant B&W B&WR CN CR Comment
ADOX Germany Marly, Switz - - First production coating at Marly in 2018 (former Ilford Imaging test coater). Installing former Agfa (Leverkusen) coater at Bad Saarow, Germany. Also converts Agfa-Gevaert micro and aerial films for still camera use.
Agfa-Gevaert Belgium Mortsel - - - Business to business manufacturer of B&W aerial and micro films
Bergger France Out-sourced - - - B&W still film brand
Cinestill USA Out-sourced - - Converts Kodak movie film (color and B&W) for still camera use.
FILM Ferrania Italy Ferrania, Liguria - - - B&W still film. Established using former Ferrania research coater.
Foma Bohemia Czech Rep. Hradec Králové - - B&W still, movie film, X-Ray and Industrial films
Fujifilm Japan Tokyo - - Color still and B&W and Color instant films
Ilford UK Mobberley, Cheshire - - - B&W still film
Inoviscoat Germany Monheim am Rhein - - - - Business to business. Still and industrial films. Established with former Agfa (Leverkusen) coater. Supplier to Polaroid.
Kodak USA Rochester, NY - B&W & Color still and movie films, Still film distribution by Kodak Alaris (UK)
Lomography Austria Out-sourced - Products produced by Kodak and Foma Bohemia
Lucky China Baoding, Hebei province - - - B&W still film
ORWO Germany Out-sourced - - - B&W movie film
Polaroid Originals Netherlands Enschede - - - - B&W and color Instant film
Shanghai China Shanghai - - - B&W still film
Tasma Russia Kazan - - - Business to business manufacturer of aerial & industrial films

Key: B&W - Black and white negative, B&WR - Black and white reversal, CN - Color Negative, CR- Color Reversal.

Discontinued

Image gallery

Minox film packages

9.5mm film

Mycro film

Mycro 17.5mm film

16mm film

Kodak Agfa 16mm film

120 film

120 film

35mm film

35mm film

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The distinctively "look" of film based photographs compared to digital images is likely due to a combination of factors, including (1) differences in spectral and tonal sensitivity (S-shaped density to exposure with film, vs. linear response curve for digital CCD sensors c.f.[30]) (2) resolution (3) continuity of tone [31]

References

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  2. ^ Rogers, David (2007). The Chemistry of Photography: From Classical to Digital Technologies. Cambridge, UK: The Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN 978-0-85404-273-9.
  3. ^ Anchell, Steve (2008). The Darkroom Cookbook p.103-105. Elsevier, Oxford OX2 8DP, UK. ISBN 978-0-240-81055-3
  4. ^ Osterman, Mark (2007). "Technical Evolution of Photography". In Peres, Michael. The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: Focal Press. pp. 28 et. seq. ISBN 978-024080740-9.
  5. ^ Lynne, Warren (2006). The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Photography. Routledge. pp. 515–520. ISBN 978-1-57958-393-4.
  6. ^ "The Harvard College Observatory Astronomical Plate Stacks". SMITHSONIAN ASTROPHYSICAL OBSERVATORY. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Scientific Products". Ilford Photo. Archived from the original on 5 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  8. ^ "1878-1929". Eastman Kodak. 2015. Archived from the original on 23 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  9. ^ Hannavy John (2013). Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. Routledge. p. 251.
  10. ^ "1878-1929". Eastman Kodak. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
  11. ^ "www.loc.gov". loc.gov. 2014. Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  12. ^ Day Lance McNeil Ian (2002). Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology. Routledge. p. 631. ISBN 1134650205.
  13. ^ a b Peres, Michael (2007). The Focal encyclopedia of photography: digital imaging, theory and applications, history, and science (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Focal Press. ISBN 978-024080740-9.
  14. ^ Jacobson 2000, p. 266.
  15. ^ https://www.agfa.com/corporate/about-us/history/
  16. ^ Langford, Michael (2010). Langford’s Basic Photography: The guide for serious photographers, 9th ed. Oxford, UK: Focal Press. ISBN 978-0-240-52168-8.
  17. ^ "dr5CHROME B&W reversal process information". Archived from the original on 2010-08-08.
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  20. ^ a b Peres, Michael R. (2008). The concise Focal encyclopedia of photography : from the first photo on paper to the digital revolution. Burlington, Mass.: Focal Press/Elsevier. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-240-80998-4.
  21. ^ Jacobson 2000, pp. 306–309.
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  23. ^ Jacobson 2000, p. 306.
  24. ^ "KODAK PROFESSIONAL Technical Pan Film Technical Data Sheet" (PDF). Eastman Kodak Company. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  25. ^ London, Barbara; Upton, John (1998). Photography (6th ed.). New York: Longman. ISBN 0321011082.
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Bibliography

  • Jacobson, Ralph E. (2000). The Focal Manual of Photography: Photographic and Digital Imaging (9th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Focal Press. ISBN 978-0-240-51574-8.

External links

135 film

135 is photographic film in a film format used for still photography. It is a cartridge film with a film gauge of 35 mm (1.4 in), typically used for hand-held photography in 35 mm film cameras. Its engineering standard for the film is controlled by ISO 1007.The term 135 (ISO 1007) was introduced by Kodak in 1934 as a designation for the cassette for 35 mm film, specifically for still photography. It quickly grew in popularity, surpassing 120 film by the late 1960s to become the most popular photographic film size. Despite competition from formats such as 828, 126, 110, and APS, it remains so today.

135 camera film always comes perforated with Kodak Standard perforations.

The size of the 135 film frame has been adopted by many high-end digital single-lens reflex and digital mirrorless cameras, commonly referred to as "full frame". Even though the format is much smaller than historical medium format and large format film, it is much larger than image sensors in most compact cameras and smart phone cameras.

Agfa-Gevaert

Agfa-Gevaert N.V. (Agfa) is a Belgian-German multinational corporation that develops, manufactures, and distributes analogue and digital imaging products and systems, as well as IT solutions. The company has three divisions. Agfa Graphics offers integrated prepress and industrial inkjet systems to the printing and graphics industries. Agfa HealthCare supplies hospitals and other care organisations with imaging products and systems, as well as information systems. Agfa Specialty Products supplies products to various industrial markets. It is part of the Agfa Materials organization. In addition to the Agfa Specialty Products activities, Agfa Materials also supplies film and related products to Agfa Graphics and Agfa HealthCare.

Agfa film and cameras were once prominent consumer products. However, in 2004, the consumer imaging division was sold to a company founded via management buyout. AgfaPhoto GmbH, as the new company was called, filed for bankruptcy after just one year. The brands are now licensed to other companies by AgfaPhoto Holding GmbH, a holding firm. Following this sale, Agfa-Gevaert's commerce today is 100% business-to-business.

C-22 process

Introduced by Kodak in the 1950s, C-22 is an obsolete process for developing colour film, superseded by the C-41 process in 1972 for the launch of 110 film and in 1973 for all other formats.

The development of the film material is carried out at temperatures of around 75°F (24°C), making the process incompatible with the more modern C-41 process, which uses a temperature of 100°F (38°C).

The most common film requiring this process is Kodacolor-X.

C-41 process

C-41 is a chromogenic color print film developing process introduced by Kodak in 1972, superseding the C-22 process. C-41, also known as CN-16 by Fuji, CNK-4 by Konica, and AP-70 by AGFA, is the most popular film process in use, with most photofinishing labs devoting at least one machine to this development process.

Processed C-41 negatives, as with all color films, consist of an image formed of dye. Due to the long-term instability of dyes, C-41 negatives can fade or color-shift over time. This was a significant problem with early films; whether the newer films are archival or not is a subject of some debate.

Cross processing

Cross processing (sometimes abbreviated to Xpro) is the deliberate processing of photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film. The effect was discovered independently by many different photographers often by mistake in the days of C-22 and E-4. Color cross processed photographs are often characterized by unnatural colors and high contrast. The results of cross processing differ from case to case, as the results are determined by many factors such as the make and type of the film used, the amount of light exposed onto the film and the chemical used to develop the film. Similar effects can also be achieved with digital filter effects.

Dye coupler

Dye coupler is present in chromogenic film and paper used in photography, primarily color photography. When color developer reduces ionized (exposed) silver-halide crystals, the developer is oxidized, and the oxidized molecules react with dye coupler molecules to form dye in situ. The silver image is removed by subsequent bleach and fix processes, so the final image will consist of the dye image.

Dye coupler technology has seen considerable advancement since the beginning of modern color photography. Major film and paper manufacturers have continually improved the stability of the image dye by improving couplers, particularly since the 1980s, so that archival properties of images are enhanced in newer color papers and films. Generally speaking, dye couplers for paper use are given more emphasis on the image permanence than those for film use, but some modern films (such as Fujichrome Provia films) use variants of couplers that were originally designed for paper use to further improve the image permanence.

E-6 process

The E-6 process (often abbreviated to E-6) is a chromogenic photographic process for developing Ektachrome, Fujichrome and other color reversal (also called slide or transparency) photographic film.

Unlike some color reversal processes (such as Kodachrome K-14) that produce positive transparencies, E-6 processing can be performed by individual users with the same equipment that is used for processing black and white negative film or C-41 color negative film. The process is highly sensitive to temperature variations: A heated water bath is mandatory to stabilize the temperature at 100.0 °F (37.8 °C) for the first developer and first wash to maintain process tolerances.

Eastman Color Negative

Eastman Color Negative (ECN) is a photographic processing system created by Kodak in the 1950s for the development of monopack color negative motion picture film stock.

The original process, known as ECN-1, was used from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, and involved development at approximately 25°C for around 7–9 minutes. Later research enabled faster development and environmentally friendlier film and process (and thus quicker photo lab turnaround time).

This process allowed a higher development temperature of 41.1°C for around three minutes. This new environmentally friendly development process is known as ECN-2. It is the standard development process for all modern motion picture color negative developing, including Fujifilm and other non-Kodak film manufacturers. All film stocks are specifically created for a particular development process, thus ECN-1 film could not be put into an ECN-2 development bath since the designs are incompatible.

Film grain

Film grain or granularity is the random optical texture of processed photographic film due to the presence of small particles of a metallic silver, or dye clouds, developed from silver halide that have received enough photons. While film grain is a function of such particles (or dye clouds) it is not the same thing as such. It is an optical effect, the magnitude of which (amount of grain) depends on both the film stock and the definition at which it is observed. It can be objectionably noticeable in an over-enlarged photographic film photograph.

Film scanner

A film scanner is a device made for scanning photographic film directly into a computer without the use of any intermediate printmaking. It provides several benefits over using a flatbed scanner to scan in a print of any size: the photographer has direct control over cropping and aspect ratio from the original, unmolested image on film; and many film scanners have special software or hardware that removes scratches and film grain and improves color reproduction from film.

Film scanners can accept either strips of 35 mm or 120 film, or individual slides. Low-end scanners typically only take 35mm film strips, while medium- and high-end film scanners often have interchangeable film loaders. This allows the one scanning platform to be used for different sizes and packaging. For example, some allow microscope slides to be loaded for scanning, while mechanised slide loaders allow many individual slides to be batch scanned unattended.

Fujifilm

Fujifilm Holdings Corporation (富士フイルム株式会社, Fujifuirumu Kabushiki-kaisha), trading as Fujifilm (stylized as FUJiFILM), or simply Fuji, is a Japanese multinational photography and imaging company headquartered in Tokyo.

Fujifilm's principal activities are the development, production, sale and servicing of business document solutions, medical imaging and diagnostics equipment, cosmetics, regenerative medicine, stem cells, biologics manufacturing, optical films for flat panel displays, optical devices, photocopiers and printers, digital cameras, color film, color paper, photofinishing equipment, photofinishing chemicals, graphic arts equipment and materials.

Hindustan Photo Films

Hindustan Photo Films Manufacturing Company Limited (HPF) is an Indian-based public sector manufacturer of photographic films, cine films, X-ray films, graphic arts films, photographic paper, and chemistry. It is based at Udhagamandalam, a hill station in Tamil Nadu. Their photographic films are sold under the name "Indu", which means "silver" in Sanskrit (silver halides are used in film).

Hindustan Photo Films Ltd, which employed over 714 employees as of 31 March 2012, was declared bankrupt by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction in 1996. In March 2013, a Rs 181 crore VRS package for employees of the ailing PSU Hindustan Photo Films based on notional pay scales of 2007.

HINDUSTAN PHOTO FILMS MANUFACTURING CO. LTD. had losses of Rs2,885.75 crores in 2016-17; Rs 2,496.50 in 2015-16; Rs 2,132.95 in 2014-15

ISO 732

ISO 732 is an ISO standard for medium format photographic film. The second (1982) edition of the standard specified the dimensions for 127, 120 and 620 roll film, backing paper and film spools. The third (1991) edition dropped specifications for the 127 and 620 roll films, which had become largely obsolete in the photography industry and added specifications for 220 roll film. The current (2000) edition incorporates the now withdrawn standard ISO 1048 on identification of exposed roll films.

120, 220, and 620 film are closely related formats, using film rolls of the same width, while 127 film is smaller in width. The formats and their names predate ISO standardization and were developed by Kodak.

K-14 process

K-14 was the most recent version of the developing process for Kodak's Kodachrome transparency film before its discontinuation (the last revision having been designated Process K-14M.) It superseded previous versions of the Kodachrome process used with older films (such as K-12 for Kodachrome II and Kodachrome-X).The K-14 process differed significantly from its contemporary, the E-6 process, in both complexity and length. Kodachrome film has no integral color couplers; dyes are produced during processing (each color in a separate step) by the reaction of the color couplers with the oxidised developer. Due to declining sales, Kodak discontinued production of all K-14 chemistry in 2009, concurrently with Kodachrome 64 film. Dwayne's Photo, which operated the last K-14 line in the world, discontinued sales on December 30, 2010; the last roll was processed on January 18, 2011. At least one group of photographers has been assessing the possibility of recreating a K-14 line using orphaned hardware and new chemicals. In 2012, photographer Steven Frizza had documented success in reproducing the K-14 process manually, noting its difficulty and expense, as have other photographers since.

Kodak

The Eastman Kodak Company (referred to simply as Kodak ) is an American technology company that produces camera-related products with its historic basis on photography. The company is headquartered in Rochester, New York, and is incorporated in New Jersey. Kodak provides packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services for businesses around the world. Its main business segments are Print Systems, Enterprise Inkjet Systems, Micro 3D Printing and Packaging, Software and Solutions, and Consumer and Film. It is best known for photographic film products.

Kodak was founded by George Eastman and Henry A. Strong on September 4, 1888. During most of the 20th century, Kodak held a dominant position in photographic film. The company's ubiquity was such that its "Kodak moment" tagline entered the common lexicon to describe a personal event that was demanded to be recorded for posterity. Kodak began to struggle financially in the late 1990s, as a result of the decline in sales of photographic film and its slowness in transitioning to digital photography, despite developing the first self-contained digital camera. As a part of a turnaround strategy, Kodak began to focus on digital photography and digital printing, and attempted to generate revenues through aggressive patent litigation.In January 2012, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.In February 2012, Kodak announced that it would stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames and focus on the corporate digital imaging market. Digital cameras are still sold under the Kodak brand by JK Imaging Ltd thanks to an agreement with Kodak.

In August 2012, Kodak announced its intention to sell its photographic film, commercial scanners and kiosk operations, as a measure to emerge from bankruptcy, but not its motion picture film operations. In January 2013, the Court approved financing for Kodak to emerge from bankruptcy by mid 2013. Kodak sold many of its patents for approximately $525,000,000 to a group of companies (including Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, Adobe Systems, and HTC) under the names Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation. On September 3, 2013, the company emerged from bankruptcy having shed its large legacy liabilities and exited several businesses. Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging are now part of Kodak Alaris, a separate company owned by the UK-based Kodak Pension Plan.

Negative (photography)

In photography, a negative is an image, usually on a strip or sheet of transparent plastic film, in which the lightest areas of the photographed subject appear darkest and the darkest areas appear lightest. This reversed order occurs because the extremely light-sensitive chemicals a camera film must use to capture an image quickly enough for ordinary picture-taking are darkened, rather than bleached, by exposure to light and subsequent photographic processing.

In the case of color negatives, the colors are also reversed into their respective complementary colors. Typical color negatives have an overall dull orange tint due to an automatic color-masking feature that ultimately results in improved color reproduction.

Negatives are normally used to make positive prints on photographic paper by projecting the negative onto the paper with a photographic enlarger or making a contact print. The paper is also darkened in proportion to its exposure to light, so a second reversal results which restores light and dark to their normal order.

Negatives were once commonly made on a thin sheet of glass rather than a plastic film, and some of the earliest negatives were made on paper.

It is incorrect to call an image a negative solely because it is on a transparent material. Transparent prints can be made by printing a negative onto special positive film, as is done to make traditional motion picture film prints for use in theaters. Some films used in cameras are designed to be developed by reversal processing, which produces the final positive, instead of a negative, on the original film. Positives on film or glass are known as transparencies or diapositives, and if mounted in small frames designed for use in a slide projector or magnifying viewer they are commonly called slides.

Panchromatic film

Panchromatic emulsion is a type of black-and-white photographic emulsion that is sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light.

Plastic film

Plastic film is a thin continuous polymeric material. Thicker plastic material is often called a "sheet". These thin plastic membranes are used to separate areas or volumes, to hold items, to act as barriers, or as printable surfaces.

Plastic films are used in a wide variety of applications. These include: packaging, plastic bags, labels, building construction, landscaping, electrical fabrication, photographic film, film stock for movies, video tape, etc.

Reversal film

In photography, reversal film is a type of photographic film that produces a positive image on a transparent base. The film is processed to produce transparencies or diapositives (abbreviated as "diafilm" in many countries) instead of negatives and prints. Reversal film is produced in various sizes, from 35 mm roll film to 8×10 inch sheet film.

A slide is a specially mounted individual transparency intended for projection onto a screen using a slide projector. This allows the photograph to be viewed by a large audience at once. The most common form is the 35 mm slide, with the image framed in a 2×2 inch cardboard or plastic mount. Some specialized labs produce photographic slides from digital camera images in formats such as JPEG, from computer-generated presentation graphics, and from a wide variety of physical source material such as fingerprints, microscopic sections, paper documents, astronomical images, etc.

Reversal film is sometimes used as motion picture film, mostly in the 16 mm, Super 8 and 8 mm "cine" formats, to yield a positive image on the camera original. This avoids the expense of using negative film, which requires additional film and processing to create a positive film print for projection.

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