20 exposure film

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by greg_miller|10, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Does anyone here know the story behind and also when most film manufacturers move to packing their film in 24 exposure rolls instead of 20? My guess is that this all came about in the early 80s late 70s. Any insight would be appreciated.
  2. Your estimate of the time is probably correct; but I have no idea what might have caused it.
  3. About the same time they introduced 12 exposure film. I guess it makes the 3 sizes equally apart in length.
  4. I don't recall exactly but late 70s/early 80s sounds right. But 12-exposure was never a mainstream size for 35mm. 12 was standard for most rollfilm sizes plus 126 and maybe 110. In 35mm, I believe there were 12-exposure rolls aimed at two targeted markets -- police and real estate. The theory was that a police officer making shots at a crime scene or a realtor who needed shots of a house didn't need even 20 frames but needed the film developed soon soon to wait until they finished the longer roll.
  5. Late 70's/early 80's is right. 12 exposure rolls were around well before that.
  6. I remember buying some slide film in the early 80s that had 20 exposures. My late fathers Nikon F has that indicator on the advance lever. The slide carousels that were made for the Sawyer slide projectors had 100 slots, vs. Kodak that had 80 and eventually 140. I guess all are numbered evenly for 20 exposure rolls.
  7. I was just reading the manual for the Rollei XF 35. It states that 12, 20, and 36 frame film can be used. No mention of

    Production of the XF was 1974 to 1980. I don't see a copyright year of the manual.
  8. My Kodak carousel has 80 but the projector can also take 140. So perhaps it is from the era of 20 exposures.
  9. My crystal clear memory of it was that a few film makers started packaging a few extra shots on the roll, then all the competitors had to do the same until there wasn't any 20-exposure film any more.
    However, my memory of exactly WHEN that was is not so crystal clear. I could try to Google™ it but I'm not that bored right now. :|
  10. 12-exposure ('press rolls') predated 24 exposure rolls by several decades. In fact, the 12 exposure packaging was being phased out in the early 1970's, while the 24 exposure packaging became popular in the late 1970's.
    As to why 24 exposure packaging - - - I recall reading some kind of justification in PopPhoto at the time, and thinking that it sounded like typical MBA marketing BS. Don't recall the details, but I'm pretty sure it was a marketing justification and not a technical reason.
  11. The 24-exposure roll was a win-win-win proposition. Consumers got 20% more frames for a price that was 10% higher than for 20-exposure rolls. Manufacturers got more profit because the increase in manufacturing cost was less than 10%. Photofinshers got to sell more prints in each order.
    As for timing, I believe the 24 exposure roll arrived before Ektar film which was introduced in 1981.
  12. I think Ansco experimented with 12 exposure rolls for a while. Also, early Kodachrome could be had in 18 or 36
  13. I have never seen a 20 exp roll but the Fuji 24 rolls seem to be generously wound and often I get 28 shots with careful loading.
  14. Kodachrome was available in 20 and 36 exposure rolls for years. When consumers (many would not be considered as enthusiasts) used film more economically it often came down to how soon do you want to see results. And on a vacation trip the choice might be influenced by how many rolls do you want to have to pack in your luggage.
  15. Thanks all...a lot of good debate here.
  16. I worked in a large volume photofinishing lab c late 70's early 80's. As I recall the 24 exposure rolls came along around 1980. The camera manufacturers changed the frame counters around this time too.
  17. Kodacolor was available in early 1978.
    Here is an ad.
  18. Fujicolor film in 24 exposure roll was available in 1978 or 1979.
    Some of the Kodak films transitioned to 24 exposure rolls in early 1980's.
    Here is a 1981 ad.
  19. It was marketing, not for technical reasons, and was initiated by Kodak. Their marketing research indicated that consumers wished they had "just a few extra shots" on a 20 exp. roll, as they sometimes felt that 20 wasn't quite enough when photographing the usually family events. So, in the late '70s, Kodak ditched 20 exp. rolls and replaced them with 24. Fuji, Konica and Agfa immediately followed Kodak's lead. I remember reading this explanation in one of the photography mags about the time of the transition. I'm sure someone was also making money from it but, of course, they would never mention that :)

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