Goodbye Kodak BW 400CN

Kodak Alaris is discontinuing the BW 400CN.

A very nice film meant to shoot Black & White and have it processed in a regular one hour minilab as it is a C-41 process film.

Now that one hour minilabs are an endangered specie and that it is much easier to find Black & White chemistry than C-41, it was bound to happen. Not sure exactly what to replace it with.

Here are some samples I shot a few years ago:

Beechcraft Expedition #2

Beechcraft Expedition #3

Untitled

Kodak to sell film and imaging division…

Kodak announced the plan to sell the film and imaging division to the UK Kodak Pension Plan in a move to settled debt and going toward exiting chapter 11

The question is whether the pension plan will deal with this asset as the film business or just as financial value? One would think the Kodak Pension Plan knows about Kodak business at its heart…

Time will tell, and I want to be hopeful.

New film products

Early December Ilford announced two new disposable cameras with their black and white film, one with HP5, the other with XP2.

Strangely, disposable cameras still sell well in comparison, and Ilford is just trying to capitalize on this. There is a version with processing included for the HP5 film as it is traditional B&W. The XP2 film can be processed anywhere as it is C-41 process.

End of January, Lomography announced the LomoChrome Purple, a colour negative film design to achieve effects similar to the long discontinued Kodak EIR inversible film. The 35mm version is already sold out, but the 120 will cost you around $60 for a five pack, on pre-order.

It is good to see new niche product like these or like the Fujifilm Baby box.

The Fujifilm Baby box

At a time where people mostly use digital cameras for family pictures, with phone becoming more and more the prevalent tool to snap family memories, Fujifilm is trying to bring the instant film back to fashion, outside of the niche market by offering the Baby Box as Tokyo Camera Style is telling us back in November. The Baby box is meant to help you document the early days of your child.

The box encourages parents to take a photo of their child every day to document their first year of life. Rather than just a bunch of digital files on their mom’s iPhone, these lucky kids will actually end up with an actual album of actual photographs to look back though for the rest of their lives.

Let’s hope people realize the importance of the physical picture that generations discover in shoe boxes and albums – and don’t require the complicated maintenance that electronic archive need.

What Kodak could still learn from Polaroid

Christopher Bonanos write for the Washington Post: What Kodak could still learn from Polaroid. He goes on to explain the mistakes of Polaroid and what Kodak should learn from that to survive and keep film coming. The key argument is right here:

Yes, the remaining buyers of film are weighing this technology against digital methods of image-making. But they’re not choosing film for reasons of economy; it could never compete. They are choosing it for a particular look and feel, and because they want to differentiate themselves. Some are old-school professionals who prefer to work in familiar ways.

Bonanos is the author of Instant: The Story of Polaroid that I recommend.

Home C-41 color negative film processing

Pixelogist talk about Developing C-41 Color Negative Film explain how simply it can be done at home.

Alright, developing C-41 is pretty similar to the black and white process. The equipment is the same, so just check out my previous post on developing equipment to know what you will need. All of it applies – developing tank, beakers, thermometer, timer – all that. The chemistry is different but again, there’s developer, there’s fixer, and there’s something afterwards. The process, while different in order and times, is also very similar to the black and white process, so if you’ve worked black and white before, you should have no trouble with C-41.

My take: it might be harder to obtain the chemicals than to actually do it.

Why I think the M6 is the best Leica rangefinder

Japan Camera Hunter (aka Bellamy Hunt) tells us why he think the M6 is the best Leica RF (digital shooters will disapprove).

I have been through a lot of cameras in my time, and I have owned a few different Leica bodies. I have also got the enviable position of being able to try out more cameras than you can shake a stick at, and I have come to a conclusion that may put a few noses out of joint.

I think that the Leica M6 is the best M-series analogue rangefinder camera that Leica ever made! Now that I have your attention let me explain myself.

Cultivating my Leica envy I have to agree with that specific point, now that we can get them for less than 1400$ on the used market (body only !), even though I am an aperture priority kind of guy. I wish I actually had one.

Leica M6, Summicron 50mm f2 Lens, Top view
Leica M6, Summicron 50mm f2 Lens, Top view by Shawn Hoke