There *is* less silver in films

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by David Nebenzahl, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. Turns out it's not an unfounded rumor after all.

    But according to this account, it is the "T-grain" films that use less silver
    than conventional films:

    An interesting modern innovation in photographic emulsion technology is
    related to the basic concept of silver halide grain geometry. In a classical
    silver halide crystal, typically a cubic crystal lattice, the structure will
    be relatively symmetrical in that the orientation of the crystal in the
    coated film will always present the same approximate surface area to be
    exposed. Extensive research efforts led to the development of grain
    precipitation processes that produced flatter "tablet" grains in which the
    crystals possessed a more asymmetric geometry, and in which a larger surface
    area was presented for exposure for the same given weight of silver halide
    (Fig. 2). That development resulted in significant improvements in film
    sensitivity and reductions in the amount of silver needed to obtain a given
    sensitivity – and a potentially important reduction in the cost of the film.

    (From a page titled "Chemistry of Photography":
    http://www.cheresources.com/photochem.shtml)


    --
    The most common hoax promoted the false concept that light bulbs
    emitted light; in actuality, these 'light' bulbs actually absorb DARK
    which is then transported back to the power generation stations via
    wire networks. A more descriptive name has now been coined; the new
    scientific name for the device is DARKSUCKER.

    - Flotsam collected from Usenet (probably alt.alien.visitors)
     
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 16, 2003
    #1
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  2. David Nebenzahl

    jjs Guest

    Now David, that's two! If you keep bursting MS's bubbles he's going to
    sink. How about a web page of "I Told You So" to keep tabs on this stuff?
     
    jjs, Oct 16, 2003
    #2
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  3. David Nebenzahl

    lloyd Guest



    oct1603 from Lloyd Erlick,

    "a potentially important reduction in the cost of the film" -- Eh??
    Did anyone see this come to pass? What does it say about the veracity
    of the rest of the statement? Skeptics are holding their breath waitng
    to find out ...

    regards,
    --le
    ______________________________
    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
     
    lloyd, Oct 16, 2003
    #3
  4. David Nebenzahl

    Jorge Omar Guest

    Lloyd

    They've stated in the cost - not in the selling price! ((-:

    Jorge

    wrote in
     
    Jorge Omar, Oct 16, 2003
    #4
  5. Tri-X? The rumour is much less sophisticated than this. The rumour
    syates that Kodak has modified existing products like Tri-X to save
    silver and increase profits. Of course, the research into making the
    T-grains and operating costs for making T-grains have to be paid for,
    and these are as important as raw silver costs.

    In any event, the amount, by weight, of silver in film is trivial. It
    could be cut in half and hardly make a dent in the cost of production.
     
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 16, 2003
    #5
  6. Reducing the cost of film by reducing the amount of silver in it is just
    plain silly. There are only a few grams of silver per square meter of
    film. You get about thirty 36-exposure rolls of 35mm film from a square
    meter. Silver goes for about $4/ounce which is way way more than the few
    grams per square meter. I.e., the silver cost may be of some importance
    to Kodak and other manufacturers, but it is not important compared to
    other costs: labor, capital equipment, advertizing, marketing, (and even
    research in the good old days when they were world leaders at it).
     
    Jean-David Beyer, Oct 16, 2003
    #6
  7. David Nebenzahl

    Mike Marty Guest

    As others have pointed out, I doubt Kodak did this to increase their profits.

    Maybe you've taken your crusade against Scarpitti too far?
     
    Mike Marty, Oct 16, 2003
    #7
  8. David Nebenzahl

    Alexis Neel Guest



    Yes this is true, but I didn't have the documentation to say it
    before. I believe it came about, the research that is, after the Hunt
    Brothers/Silver price fixing scandal. I do know that Kodak, during
    that period, was taking the pieces of film from the sprocket holes of
    35mm and reclaiming the silver from those in another effort to keep
    costs down. The part about reducing the price of film was an
    advertising gimic, but considering how much film manufacturers were
    spending on silver, it did eat into their profits.

    The reflective nature of the T Grain made perfect sense , on a
    business level, and there should be no reason to doubt it. However,
    it didn't produce the highlight seperation that conventional films do,
    so in that area, it has failed. But for the average consumer who
    doesn't know better, they aren't gonna miss it anyway.

    Alexis
    www.alexisneel.com
     
    Alexis Neel, Oct 16, 2003
    #8
  9. David Nebenzahl

    JJS Guest

    Oh, I believe bottom-line dwelling accountants would disagree that it is
    silly. But we digress.
     
    JJS, Oct 16, 2003
    #9
  10. David Nebenzahl

    JJS Guest

    profits.

    The assertion was that there is less silver, and the article proves it true.
    Whether it was for profits is not the issue. Scarpetti was wrong. Again.
    Period.
     
    JJS, Oct 16, 2003
    #10
  11. David Nebenzahl

    Mike Marty Guest


    Although I agree with you guys that Scarpitti is way overly religious
    about his views, several times he has corrected himself by saying that
    Ilford/Kodak doesn't decrease silver content "for the sake of profits".
    Even his latest diatribe says this:

    http://groups.google.com/groups?dq=...om&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search

    Either ignore him, killfile him, whatever. But I think that attacking him
    has gone too far...he does occasionally have useful information to
    contribute...
     
    Mike Marty, Oct 16, 2003
    #11
  12. David Nebenzahl

    Mark A Guest

    In the early 1980's, when silver prices skyrocketed to over $50 an ounce
    (well over $150 in today's dollars), Kodak's business was severely
    threatened and they began research on how to use less silver in films. TMAX
    was born out of that research.

    Today, as Kodak struggles in an emerging digital market, manufacturing costs
    are still important. Whether silver costs are the same or higher than
    advertising costs (I don't see Kodak spending much on B&W conventional
    silver based advertising these days) is really irrelevant. Kodak's cost of
    silver is substantial (in both color and B&W) and anything they can do to
    reduce it is beneficial to their company. If Kodak spends $300 million per
    year in silver (their total annual expenses are about $12-$13 billion) then
    a 33% reduction would save them about $100 million. Pretty soon we are
    talking about real money here.
     
    Mark A, Oct 16, 2003
    #12
  13. I first read about this in the "Journal of Irreproducible Results" some years ago.
    The same applies to fireplaces. There is no such thing as light. All there is is
    dark. The fact that a light bulb is coated inside with dark when it quits working
    and that a fireplace becomes clogged with dark as it burns is proof of this theory.
     
    Patrick Gainer, Oct 16, 2003
    #13
  14. No he wasn't. period. The 'rant' was that Kodak 'has taken the silver
    out of Tri-X'. They haven't. Period.
     
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 16, 2003
    #14
  15. Here's what I was referring to:


    http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=...=uh5vlvsg0aonfjq5pvguop23sh9432pi8k%404ax.com


    "After hearing a 15 Minute rant by a photography instructor about
    Kodak
    and their "vile" ways of increasing profits by removing some of the
    silver in their film ie Tri X and how it is impossible to get good
    detail in shadow areas He mentioned Ilford HP 5 as a replacement for
    Tri X. I shot a roll yesterday and will be in the darkroom tomorrow
    developing it. He is trying an experiment by shooting one exposure on
    the indicated f- stop and another of the same subject +1 and then +2
    f-tops. Anybody out there care to comment on HP-5 and or the "new"
    Tri X.?"

    There is NO truth to this. Period!
     
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 16, 2003
    #15
  16. The cost to PRODUCE T-grains may be more, counting R&D too. The
    'thrust' of the rumour is incorrect.
     
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 16, 2003
    #16
  17. What: Kodak wouldn't decrease their costs to increase their profits?

    Shit; if they didn't, their stockholders would have their heads.
    I don't think so. Not nearly far enough, it appears.


    --
    The most common hoax promoted the false concept that light bulbs
    emitted light; in actuality, these 'light' bulbs actually absorb DARK
    which is then transported back to the power generation stations via
    wire networks. A more descriptive name has now been coined; the new
    scientific name for the device is DARKSUCKER.

    - Flotsam collected from Usenet (probably alt.alien.visitors)
     
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 17, 2003
    #17
  18. The text I quoted may have put it in a misleading kind of way; the "important
    reduction" is *not* in the cost of an individual roll of film (and not even,
    possibly, in the amount of film used by any user during their lifetime), but
    in Kodak's cost of materials.

    Someone else in this thread mentioned how Kodak recovers the silver in the
    sprocket-hold punchouts; this would indicate a certain diligence on their part
    on maximizing resource utilization, and by inference, their interest in
    keeping material costs down as much as possible.


    --
    The most common hoax promoted the false concept that light bulbs
    emitted light; in actuality, these 'light' bulbs actually absorb DARK
    which is then transported back to the power generation stations via
    wire networks. A more descriptive name has now been coined; the new
    scientific name for the device is DARKSUCKER.

    - Flotsam collected from Usenet (probably alt.alien.visitors)
     
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 17, 2003
    #18
  19. David Nebenzahl

    Mike Marty Guest

    If the silver represents, say, < 1% of the manufacturing cost of the final
    product, then the R&D required to re-engineer the product and manufacturing
    process better be damn cheap to amortize it.

    I used to work at a Fortune-50 company involved in manufacturing cell
    phones. There were numerous opportunities to cut costs...however the older,
    wiser engineers always knew better...
     
    Mike Marty, Oct 17, 2003
    #19
  20. Did you read the text I was posting about?

    Here it is:

    "After hearing a 15 Minute rant by a photography instructor about
    Kodak and their "vile" ways of increasing profits by removing some of the
    silver in their film ie Tri X and how it is impossible to get good
    detail in shadow areas He mentioned Ilford HP 5 as a replacement for
    Tri X. I shot a roll yesterday and will be in the darkroom tomorrow
    developing it. He is trying an experiment by shooting one exposure on
    the indicated f- stop and another of the same subject +1 and then +2
    f-tops. Anybody out there care to comment on HP-5 and or the "new"
    Tri X.?"

    What has T-Max crystals to do with this?
     
    Michael Scarpitti, Oct 17, 2003
    #20
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