Graflex.org Forum Index Graflex.org
Get help with your Graflex questions here
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Polaroid film.

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Film Help
View previous topic :: View next topic  

Would you use Fuji black and white 5x4 instant film if available
No.
14%
 14%  [ 2 ]
Yes, in pack form.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Yes, in sheet form.
21%
 21%  [ 3 ]
Yes, in both forms.
64%
 64%  [ 9 ]
Total Votes : 14

Author Message
Stephen Furley



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 79
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Polaroid film. Reply with quote

Remaining stocks of 5x4 film seem to be selling faster than expected. Even expired film has been selling for silly prices on Ebay. It seems to me that Polaroid should have made one last large batch, which they could have sold to allow users to stock up after the withdrawal of this material was announced.

There were suggestions that Polaroid might license another manufacturer to make these materials, and rumors that Ilford were going to do so, which seems highly unlikely. If anybody is going to do this then the only likely company would be Fuji, who are still, at present, making their own peel-apart films, in pack form. Polaroid pack holders, both 405 and 550 models, have also been selling for silly prices, presumably to people who hope to continue to use Fuji film after stocks of Polaroid are exhausted. The availability of the Fuji film is welcome, and since they will have the market to themselves soon sales may increase somewhat, and possibly keep it in production for somewhat longer than might otherwise have been the case. However, there are two problems: Firstly, while Fuji make pack film for both sizes of holders, 405 and 550, the black and white material is only available in the smaller size for some reason. The colour material is available in both sizes; it would be nice to have a black and white material available in 5x4 size, do you think it worth some of us writing to Fuji to suggest it? Since they are already making both the black and white film, and the larger film packs the cost of putting the two together shouldn't be that great, and with the possibility of increased sales after the demise of Polaroid film might be justified. I have a 550 holder, if anybody else doesn't, and sees one going cheap, then it might be worth buying it. Until recently they seem to have sold for almost nothing, if at all.

The second problem with the Fuji films of course is that they have only ever been available in pack form, not as sheets for the 500/545.545i and 545 Pro holders, which most large format users have. With the demise of the Polaroid films it would be nice to see film in this form produced, under licence, by Fuji, but I somehow doubt that this will happen.
_________________
Stephen Furley
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
camz



Joined: 15 Apr 2004
Posts: 123
Location: Southern CA

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 1:31 am    Post subject: Polaroid RIP Reply with quote

Stephen,

I thought Ilford were interested in acquiring Polaroid rights? Do you know anything about that?

I've used 3x4, 4x5, and 8x10 Polaroid films for years. I'm not going to speculate on Polaroid's motivation. It was a very nice, and unique product. I have whole portfolios full of nothing but Polaroid. It always impressed my clients.

What I do want to mention to potential Polaroid purchasers is that the quality, or more correctly, the reliability of Polaroid films has fallen off in the last couple of years. I would be very careful about laying out the big bucks for the stuff Polaroid finally pushed out the door.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Stephen Furley



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 79
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I have heard was a statement, I think from Polaroid themselves, that it was hoped that it might be possible to find another manufacturer to continue the production of some of the film products, or words to that effect, and then a rumor, I can't remember where I read it now, that Ilford might be doing so, and that an announcement might be made by the end of March. We have heard no such announcement, and I think it unlikely that Ilford would take this on.

To the best of my knowledge Ilford have never made instant films in the past, and they have always ruled out the possibility of producing their own conventional films in Quickload/Readyload style packets. Other than Cibachrome/Ilfochrome (is that still being made?), and the inkjet products, now sold off separately to the traditional materials business, Ilford have not made colour materials for many years, though they did sell colour film made by somebody else for a short time. I think the 1960s Ilford colour film was actually made by them, but it wasn't very good. Given all of this, I think it is unlikely that they would take on the manufacture of black and white instant films, and highly unlikely that they would produce the colour ones. Ilford have a much better record than Kodak of supporting small-volume existing products, even re-introducing SFX, and making ortho film in several sheet sizes. They make some very good conventional films, and certainly deserve our support, but I really can't see them getting involved in instant materials.

Almost nothing is now left of Agfa; they still seem to make one motion picture print stock, but no negatives or intermediates, and two optical sound recording films, but that seems to be about all. Again, I don't think they have any history of making instant materials, with one exception, mentioned below.

Kodak did make their own instant system for a while of course, but it was an integral consumer type system, not a peel-apart one, was a long time ago now, and Kodak seem to be rapidly losing interest in anything which isn't digital.

Both Kodak and Agfa did make diffusion transfer copying materials in the past (how the office photocopier has evolved since those days!). These processess had something of an extension to their life for proofing and making short-run litho plates, but I don't think they're still made.

I've heard nothing to indicate that any of the smaller manufacturers from central and eastern Europe are interested, nor Lucky in China, who now seem to have some sort of links with Kodak.

That leaves Fuji, who do have a history of making both integral and peel-apart instant films, are currently producing Polaroid-compatible peel-apart films, in both of the main pack formats, though not the small square one. It would be very easy for them to produce their own black and white material in 5x4 packs, apart from printing the packaging for it just about everything else needed is already in production. To produce either of the Fuji materials in sheet form would take a bit more work, but I think is more likely than anybody else making instant film. It would also not be difficult for them to produce the Polaroid emulsions under licence, but with the possible exception of type 55 this might well just draw sales from their own products, rather than increasing the overall market.

If anybody is going to make instant films I think it is going to be Fuji.
_________________
Stephen Furley
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
David A. Goldfarb



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 142
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon R. Galley from Ilford/Harman posted on APUG.org a notice to the effect that they had looked seriously at the possibility of producing black and white instant materials and discussed the technologies with Polaroid, and it just didn't seem feasible, given the declining market and for instant film and the difficulty in manufacturing all the different parts of the system, even with the assistance of people from Polaroid, and the cost of relocating the specialized manufacturing equipment. For a P/N material, that would be a film on a thin perforated base, positive receiving sheet with its own coating, developing pods, and the packet, and if they were going to make the film, they would probably have to continue manufacturing something like a 545 holder.

I know there were some discussions going on about 20x24" Polaroid, which I'm guessing were with Fuji. I don't know if that's happening.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3244
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen, others,
In Polaroid's origional press release they stated that they were discontinuing instant film production and were willing to licence their instant film production to other companies.
As far as AGFA is concerned Lupus is the current licenced distributor for AGFA branded films. Most films being sold are the leftover runs from AgfaPhoto under the direction of Agfa-Gevaert. Some color films are new manifacture but Lupus will not disclose who is manifacturing the films or what formula is being used. Films are currently 35mm. AgfaPhoto Holding won a major trademark dispute with Agfa-Gevaert in mid December 2007.
Agfa photo chemicals are now being manifactured by Saal.
_________________
The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Stephen Furley



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 79
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having had a quick look at the Lupus, Agfaphoto and Agfa-Gevaert sites the whole thing seems to be rather confusing.

Of course, the fact that Polaroid were willing to license production to other companies does not mean that any other company would decide to do so.

David,

Thank you for the information re. Ilford. The future is now looking much brighter for the Ilford products under Harman than it was a couple of years ago. However, what you say basically confirms my assessment of the situation that for Ilford to start production of instant films now would be a non-starter. The only way these materials are likely to be available in future is if Polaroid or Fuji make them. It seems unlikely that Polaroid could be persuaded to resume production, unless a new customer for these materials were to come forward, with a firm order for a regular supply in large quantities over a considerable period; this seems unlikely.

That leaves Fuji as our best bet for being able to obtain materials in future. For the smaller format user things are not too bad, materials are available, though in a more limited range than from Polaroid. However, if Polaroid had continued production then I suspect hat the range would have been reduced. The Fuji products are compatible with the Polaroid ones in the same format, though they have a somewhat different look. With the Polaroid products no longer available it seems likely that at least some users will switch to the Fuji ones, and that therefore the market for these films will expand somewhat, at least in the short to medium term, which may help to secure the future of these films, as far as anything is secure these days.

For the 5x4 user the same colour film is available, but the lack of any black and white one is an obvious problem. I made a few test shots on the smaller format Fuji film, and the impression I got was that while both were different to the Polaroid ones, the difference was less for the black and white film than for the colour one. It is difficult to say how many of the current users of the Polaroid films prefer them to the Fuji ones, and how many have never tried the Fuji ones, and might be equally happy with them, or even prefer them to the Polaroid ones, and therefore be prepared to switch to them in future.

I think the best we can do now is to buy the existing Fuji materials, and try to persuade Fuji to make the black and white material available in 5x4 packs. Given the low cost of setting up to do this, and the likely increase in potential sales since they will not be competing with Polaroid, I think there is a reasonable chance that they might do this; Fuji do seem to have a pretty good record of supporting small volume products n the past.

The big problem of course is that the Fuji products are only available in pack form for the 405 and 550 holders, and cannot be used with the 500/545/545i and 545 Pro holders, which are for more common, and can be used with just about any 5x4 camera, which the pack holders cannot. From the point of view of the consumer it would be a considerable advantage if Fuji were to license the sheet format from Polaroid, and make their products available in this form. However, the cost of doing this would be much greater than simply putting black and white film in the larger packs which they already use for the colour film, and the question is whether the larger market for the sheet films would justify the cost.

The poll which I added to my original post has only had ten replies, so it's difficult to draw any conclusions from it, but so far nobody is interested in pack film only. 20% are not interested in using the material in either form; that leaves 80% who Fuji might be able to sell film to. 60% would use both sheet and pack films, if available, while 20% would use only sheet ones. What this seems to suggest is that while most users would prefer to have sheet films available the increased sales from making them available in this format may not be that great, and may not justify the cost.

Thank you to those who posted replies or responded to the poll. The poll is open for another ten days or so if anybody else wants to respond.
_________________
Stephen Furley
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
camz



Joined: 15 Apr 2004
Posts: 123
Location: Southern CA

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 2:32 pm    Post subject: Timing is everything. Reply with quote

Time is of the essence here. After current stocks of Polaroid are gone, how long will photographers hold onto their Polaroid processing equipment?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Stephen Furley



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 79
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that would be too much of a problem; a lot of these things seem to sit around unused for years. Several of the Graflex Land roll film holders have turned up on Ebay recently; there can't have been many of those made, they have been obsolete for many years, and the film has been unavailable for about twenty years. There are loads of 545 holders available.

If the packets of sheet film are to be made in future, then it would have to be arranged before Polaroid scrap the equipment for producing the various components of the film and the packets; to build new equipment would be totally prohibitive. As far as the pack type films are concerned, Fuji are still producing these, and therefore obviously have the equipment to do so.

I'm still doubtful that it will be viable for anybody to produce the sheet films in future, unless Polaroid change their mind and resume production, which is a pity as the holders are much more readily available than 550 ones for 5x4 pack film.
_________________
Stephen Furley
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Stephen Furley



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 79
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are several Polaroid 550 pack film holders on Ebay at present, including one in England which is less than one pound at the moment, but another in Japan which has bidding up to $195, and another in the USA with ten bids, and currently at $232. This seems to suggest that people do want to continue to use 5x4 instant film after the stocks of Polaroid are all gone.

A few months ago you could hardly give these things away; I should have bought a load of them then, and made my fortune.
_________________
Stephen Furley
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Film Help All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group