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Subject: Obsolescence of photographic film

Obsolescence of photographic film

From: M. Susan Barger <sbarger>
Date: Thursday, October 9, 2003
Frank A. Reynolds <fr0c [at] andrew__cmu__edu> writes

>Does anyone have a really "practical estimate" of when Kodak (and/or
>other major photographic film manufactures) will drop or scale down
>their involvement in professional films?

I put this question to Dou Corbin from the new Kodak Austin
Division, formerly a company called Advanced Science Fiction that was
purchased this spring by Kodak and that has been working on the
Kiosk film and digital combinations that you will see soon. Doug is
a former emulsion chemist who has worked at Kodak, Polaroid, and
Itek. Here is his response to my query (which I am sending without
permission):

   "Film is just like Mark Twain.... the reports of it's demise are
    greatly exaggerated!

    Kodak isn't phasing out film! But they're cutting back on film
    R&D quite a bit. I think all the film manufacturers are doing
    this. They're all putting more emphasis on output (paper,
    dye-sub, ink jet, CDs, etc) since output is common to both film
    and digital capture.

    As far as the ultimate stability goes, I would always make
    hardcopy of any digital file to a print material made by a major
    photo company (the people that really think about print
    stability). You can always scan the hardcopy later but you may
    not be able to decode an obsolete or corrupted picture file.
    I'll take my chances with fading dyes and redox blemishes. Those
    things are fairly restorable if not too bad.

    Believe me, Kodak will keep film going as long as possible since
    it's a top money maker for them. Part of buying us [Advanced
    Science Fiction] was to keep film alive longer. If you can go to
    a kiosk and get your film developed into prints and a CD of
    digital files in 10 min, that will add some digital pizzazz and
    instant gratification to film."

M. Susan Barger, Ph.D.
Small Museum Development Consultant
Statewide Traveling Exhibitions Partnership Program
TREX, Museum of New Mexico
PO Box 2087
Santa Fe, NM 87504
505-476-5089
Fax: 505-476-5102


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Received on Thursday, 9 October, 2003

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