Kodak Safety Film

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by dk_perryman_photography, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. I've done a little research on Richard Avedon recently, and I noticed
    that on his contact sheets the film that was listed was called Kodak
    Safety Film. My question is; What Kodak film has replaced this? Is it
    possible to get the same quality from another Kodak film? What would
    be the best film to use instead. This film doesn't still exist? It
    can't its not listed anywhere! Thank you for your time and patience.
     
  2. It's been awhile, but I think all Kodak film from decades ago (like around the 60's and 70's (maybe even before), used to have this designation. I think Plus-X and Tri-X both had this marked on the negative edges.
     
  3. I think they all say 'Kodak Safety Film' ('safety' referring to the fact that the base is acetate, or at least not--kaboom--nitrate). The only negatives I've come across that said nothing else were Kodak HIE (infrared).
     
  4. Kodak Safety Film is what replaced the somewhat explosive nitrate film starting around 1910. They called it safety film since it was not as likely to kill you in a fire. It is still used today, but most people are more interested in the emulsion than in the base, so they refer to it as Tri-X or SuperDoubleX or whatever.
     
  5. Creating a satisfactory film base for roll film is not easy: it needs to be transparent, flexible, and offer a surface that gelatin will adhere to. Celluose nitrate was used for many years. The strong disadvantage of nitrate film base is that it is highly flammable. It was a very real danger in early movie theaters, in which flammable film base was used near very hot light sources. Once nitrate film base starts burning, it is difficult to extinguish. Large quantities of deteriorated nitrate film base in well sealed containers can spontaneously combust. Obviously the replacement with "safety film" (celluose acetate) was major progress. The era of nitrate film is so far in the past that manufacturers no longer need to mark their film as being "safety film".
    Recent expert advice about nitrate film has become much less alarmist about nitrate film that is still in good condition. For example, see two Kodak publications: Safe Handling, Storage, and Destruction of Nitrate - Based Motion Picture Films and Storage and Handling of Processed Nitrate Film. Notice that the first publication divides its advice depending on whether one has more or less than 750 POUNDS of nitrate film.
     
  6. If the contacts are of sheet film, note the notch code. However, you'll have to get a variety of old Kodak data books to decode the notch codes, because the same films have had different codes over the years!
    There was an era when roll films were only marked with a 4-digit numeric code, rather than the film type name. See this page.
     
  7. Safety film? What? You telling us that film is safe to use nowadays? No wonder film sales are in decline - no cheap thrills. Give us Kodak Dangerous Film and maybe some Kodak Slightly Risky Film for beginners.
     
  8. this is real: when there was an old surplus outlet in north newark m where i could get filters, etc. lynn supply company.
    I noticed large rolls of deteriorating film.
    atop them were many bookmatches
    Like 400 foot rolls or movie film, all yellowed and crubbling.
    later the place burned down
    strange but true.
    well the kodak filters for 50 cents was a good deal.
    strange things you see in life. no i was smart enough not to say anything.
     
  9. Sounds like the name of a new Epson Ink: "Death-Defying Black".

    Of course, only one printer in the whole line uses this fantastic new ink, and each cartridge costs $75.
     

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