Ferrania Film Update(Sort of): Dave Bias Interview

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by c_watson|1, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. I wish they posted a transcript.
    FILM Ferrania is not iffy at all. They have the plant, they have the engineers, they have a lot of documentation and knowledge on how to make film. There is a market for E6 now that Fuji is the sole supplier, everything makes perfect sense.
    They have my full support!!
  2. Perhaps their plan is to make and sell film by special order, much like Ilford's annual ULF sheet film program. Otherwise, I'm skeptical about their grasp of demand for film materials, especially orphan formats like 110/126/127. That demand for E-6 materials cratered in N. America is best revealed by the steady collapse of E-6 labs. Delays and interviews like this one aren't making me very confident about the venture.
  3. ted_marcus|1

    ted_marcus|1 Ted R. Marcus

    Is the collapse of E-6 labs purely a response to the lack of demand for E-6 film, or a contributing factor to the "cratering"? It looks like the same vicious cycle of increasing processing inconvenience that accelerated the demise of Kodachrome.
    That said, I don't imagine that E-6 could ever be anything other than a specialized (and probably very costly) niche product in a digital world.
  4. Not the best production value on the podcast, but about 30 minutes in are the details we want.
    100ASA E6 in 35mm & 120 format still film, and Super8 & 116mm cini film on initial release (sounds like this fall, early next year).
    Probably to be followed by a small run next year of 127.
    They have the capability to produce 126, double8.
    The host asked about 220 B&W. The long winded answer was that since the existing B&W players are already providing lots of B&W, Ferrania isn't going into that direction. They have the capability to do it, but are focusing on the Chrome market for now due to lack of competition. They apparently have a 220 machine, but haven't turned it on yet.

    They are also focusing on getting a 400 ASA & high speed (~800-3200ASA) Chrome going. They have the recipes.
    They are working out of the old R&D building (LRF), but currently have access to the machinery in the old full scale factory. They are buying up as much of that equipment as they can, but those buildings are scaled for demolition in ~1 year.
  5. Is the collapse of E-6 labs purely a response to the lack of demand for E-6 film, or a contributing factor to the "cratering"? It looks like the same vicious cycle of increasing processing inconvenience that accelerated the demise of Kodachrome.
    What else? Pros kept the quality E-6 lines running for the rest of us. When they shifted to digital the clock began running out for amateurs who later ditched E-6 in droves. E-6 lines are expensive to run and require traffic to be profitable. Kodachrome began circling the drain when Velvia knocked it off photo editors' light tables in the mid-90s. Anyone regularly shooting E-6 materials now either is lucky and has a local lab or is into survivalist mode and processing at home. In either case, we're probably looking at very small numbers. If/when Fujifilm cuts E-6 materials, the residual market may be too small even for Ferrania.
  6. A year ago, I could get E-6 processing in my local camera store. Now there is no local camera store, but E-6 processing went first, and we are a college community with lots of people still shooting film.
    Now Walgreens is my last local C41 processor, but who knows for how long.
    That one-hour processing sure made it easier to shoot film, than sending it off to Kansas, or wherever.
    I wish the efforts well, but I never liked color processing much when I was still doing it. It's way too picky for my slap-dash darkroom procedures (whatever temperature it's at, and 8 minutes). Given the wait for mail-order processing, I may just shoot whatever B&W film is available, when the commercial processing goes away.
  7. Meh, on the local processing thing.
    I haven't used (or had access to) good local processing in a decade. And I've been sending film out to mail order places for twice that long. USPS takes 2 days via Priority Mail to reach most places in the US. 2 days out, one at the lab, and 2 days back, and I have my film done within a week. That's plenty fast enough for me.
    In the early 2000s I did some home processing of E6, but eventually decided I couldn't make the economics work in such a way that the hassle was worth it. If I recall correctly, the Tetanol kit ended up being ~$5/film, and I could get mail order processing for ~$1 more. I'm currently paying $7/135mm and $6/120mm, so inflation hasn't changed the economics. Sure, I can't conveniently shoot and process a single roll. But home processing doesn't solve that problem either.

    Those of us who love film make it work. The fastest and (often) most convenient photo technology is digital. Film adds something tangible that's worth any minor hassle. I know when Ferrania releases their inital E6, I'll be ordering a brick to try it out.
  8. What you imply is true enough. I do not love film, at least not the current ones, but I do love old film cameras.
    If they had ever made the digital insert for film cameras that was an April Fool's joke a few years ago, I confess I would use it, just as I'd probably use Kodachrome 25 and Polaroid Type 52 if they were still available.
  9. I always thought it was the amateurs that kept things going, and at an affordable price, for the pros.
    I did my own E6 when I was in college, with Unicolor kits. I did two kits, so 16 rolls. Partly to same money, and partly for the fun of doing it.
    If Ferrania makes 126 or 110, I would probably try some.
    (When I was first starting in photography, my father had the book:
    As well as I remember it, though, that was some years before 1969. I believe before E4.
  10. The biggest blow to my slide shooting has been the demise of Jessops over here (UK) & their process paid E6 mailers. They were around £6 to buy & for that you got good developing with the slides mounted. I haven't shot a slide film since they went under as the cost of getting it done elsewhere has more than doubled.
    Wonder whether there is a market for such mailers still if someone else bought them out? It would hopefully mean that the lab that they went to would see an increased volume of film going through it?
    Have just bought my first three slide films for a couple of years & will be looking for somewhere to get them developed. May ask in my local Snappy Snaps to see if they can help. Have been very happy with their C41.

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