What on earth is Kodak thinking?

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by rob, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. rob

    rob Guest

    In message <vw8kc.765$> - "Andrew
    :>
    :>I recently checked into replenishing my supply of Kodak Royal Gold 400,
    :>which I heard had been renamed as "High Definition 400". OK, so they
    :>changed its name because they think people have too much brand loyalty or
    :>something. Anyway, after hunting around a bit, I discovered that they no
    :>longer make 36-exposure rolls, only 24 exposures!
    :>
    :>Curiosity piqued, I looked at the Kodak website. I was particularly
    :>interested in seeing what they have to offer in terms of high-resolution
    :>35mm print films. They are nice enough to publish a "print grain index", a
    :>number that is claimed to be calibrated so that a change of 4 is just
    :>noticeable. Here's the lineup:
    :>
    :>HD 200: 32
    :>HD 400: 39
    :>Portra 160 NC: 36
    :>Portra 160 VC: 40
    :>Portra 400 NC: 44
    :>Portra 400 VC: 48
    :>Portra 800: 48
    :>UC 100 : 31
    :>UC 400 : 40
    :>Gold 100: 45
    :>Gold 200: 47
    :>Max 400: 48
    :>Max 800: 48
    :>
    :>In other words, HD 400 blows away everything but UC 400 if you're looking
    :>for fine grain. And I suspect that UC 400 is much contrastier, hence
    :>requires more accurate exposure, etc.
    :>
    :>So why on earth have they discontinued 36-exposure rolls? Are they *trying*
    :>to shed customers?
    :>
    :>

    I thought I saw 36 exp HD film listed at B&H (USA). I think the "new" HD films
    are actually the "old" Supra" line. The tech sheets are identical between HD &
    Supra.

    Rob
     
    rob, Apr 29, 2004
    #1
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  2. I recently checked into replenishing my supply of Kodak Royal Gold 400,
    which I heard had been renamed as "High Definition 400". OK, so they
    changed its name because they think people have too much brand loyalty or
    something. Anyway, after hunting around a bit, I discovered that they no
    longer make 36-exposure rolls, only 24 exposures!

    Curiosity piqued, I looked at the Kodak website. I was particularly
    interested in seeing what they have to offer in terms of high-resolution
    35mm print films. They are nice enough to publish a "print grain index", a
    number that is claimed to be calibrated so that a change of 4 is just
    noticeable. Here's the lineup:

    HD 200: 32
    HD 400: 39
    Portra 160 NC: 36
    Portra 160 VC: 40
    Portra 400 NC: 44
    Portra 400 VC: 48
    Portra 800: 48
    UC 100 : 31
    UC 400 : 40
    Gold 100: 45
    Gold 200: 47
    Max 400: 48
    Max 800: 48

    In other words, HD 400 blows away everything but UC 400 if you're looking
    for fine grain. And I suspect that UC 400 is much contrastier, hence
    requires more accurate exposure, etc.

    So why on earth have they discontinued 36-exposure rolls? Are they *trying*
    to shed customers?
     
    Andrew Koenig, Apr 29, 2004
    #2
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  3. rob

    Bowzer Guest

    I think the answer lies in pricing. Check out the response curves for HD400
    and UC400, and see if you can find a difference. Now check the costs per
    roll. Surprise! If you want 36 exposure rolls, you pay. And, I find their
    PGI figures, at times, inaccurate. To my eyes, it looks like Portra NC 160
    is finer grained and much sharper than HD 200.

    I would agree that the Gold and Max films are utter crap, though.
     
    Bowzer, Apr 29, 2004
    #3
  4. rob

    The Dave© Guest

    Just my own little idiosyncracy, but I prefer smaller roles. I feel
    too "locked in" to a particular film when I have a 36-frame roll in the
    camera. I know it costs more, but I'd rather change rolls more often
    just so I can have more flexibility. Hell, I wish 12-frame rolls would
    come back.
     
    The Dave©, Apr 29, 2004
    #4
  5. rob

    Alan Browne Guest

    I suspect that Kodak's thinking is something like:

    24 exp - consumer/P&S
    36 exp - serious amateurs/pros

    The HD films are aimed at the consumer market. The Portra's are all
    available in 36; the slide films are available in 36.

    Fuji Superia is available in 24 (36?) and that is a good GP P&S film.

    Whether this is right, wrong, smart, stupid, offensive, market tuned,
    uncaring or whatever is up to you...

    I was shooting a horse and trainer the other day in prep for a more
    serious costumed shooting scheduled for next week. After 20 or so shots
    I was really wondering what to do with the rest of the roll. It was
    slide, so I just banged out very odd perspectives and snapshots through
    the end of the roll... but had the roll been 24, I would have been done
    right there...

    MF 120/220 cameras are limited to 12 - 24 frames (6x6)... these are used
    by serious amateurs/pros and they live hapilly with the shorter 'rolls'
    despite needing to shoot more frames/day than the average person.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Apr 29, 2004
    #5
  6. Eh? At B&H, HD400 is 3 24-exp rolls for $10, 400UC is 2 36-exp rolls (same
    total number of exposures) for $9. Those prices are for USA film in both
    cases.
     
    Andrew Koenig, Apr 29, 2004
    #6
  7. rob

    Alan Browne Guest

    You won't get a larger role unless you go to the right acting schools.
    I've managed to buy 8-frame Kodak 200 film for some experiments.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Apr 29, 2004
    #7
  8. rob

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    They must measure PGI using the grays of Rochester overcast weather,
    because these numbers bear no correspondence to reality for most colors.
    HD 400 has *very* grainy skin tones. Any amateur Kodak film has a PGI
    about 20% lower than it should be, except Gold 100, which isn't bad.
    The pro films have PGIs that are too high in most cases. HD is amateur.
    Yes, I think so. And get this: HD 200 is available only in 36 rolls,
    not 24, and yet it's an amateur film.

    My recommendations are 160NC if you want low contrast for portraiture,
    400UC if you want a great general-purpose film, and maybe Gold 100 if
    you want a high-saturation film and don't like Agfa Ultra 100.

    Fuji NPH is also an excellent general-purpose film, but harder to scan
    than 400UC. Oddly, Fuji NPS matches the palette of 400UC quite well;
    both have pinkish skin tones. NPS @ 125 could replace 160NC if you're
    fed up with Kodak.
     
    Bill Tuthill, Apr 29, 2004
    #8
  9. rob

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: "Andrew Koenig"
    Probably most of the customers for this film are casual amateurs and even a 24
    shot roll will last a long time for them ... talk to anyone who worked at a
    1-hour type lab (where film like this is often processed) and you hear stories
    about one 24 frame roll having Halloween shots, Christmas shots and Easter
    shots :)
     
    Bill Hilton, Apr 29, 2004
    #9
  10. rob

    Nick Zentena Guest

    And halloween again-))

    Nick
     
    Nick Zentena, Apr 29, 2004
    #10
  11. That theory doesn't explain why HD 200 is available only in 36 exposures.
     
    Andrew Koenig, Apr 29, 2004
    #11
  12. When I first read your posting, I thought you must be calling "Portra 400 UC"
    by a nickname "UC 400". But then I went to Kodak's website and noticed they
    have dropped Portra 400 UC and introduced a new film called UC 400.
    Just last week, I bought ten rolls of Portra 400 UC -- I guess my last ones.
    I guess "UC 400" is probably a re-badged "Portra 400 UC" with no
    significant changes, but who knows...

    Anyway, I've read here and elsewhere that HD 400 is essentially the same
    as Portra 400 UC. My own limited experience tends to support this.
    They have very similar fine grain, high saturation, and somewhat garish
    contrast. I don't find that one has more contrast or exposure latitude
    than the other, though I haven't done extensive tests. The most
    significant difference I can note is that the film base for Portra
    tends to lie a bit flatter than the very slightly curled HD 400
    base, but this could be an artifact of processing.

    So my point was going to be, if you want 36 exposure rolls of HD 400,
    buy Portra 400 UC. For practical purposes, it's the same emulsion in
    36 exposure rolls. Now, if UC 400 is the same as Portra 400 UC, then
    my suggestion still stands, just buy UC 400. But I'm not sure if UC 400
    is the same as Portra 400 UC.

    I do believe that the Kodak marketing folks are desparately trying to
    do everything they can to kill off all film sales and destroy any
    hint of customer loyalty by changing things around so much and so
    often. I was hoping when Kodak announced it was discontinuing
    film R&D that we would finally see some stability in Kodak film
    offerings, but alas... I'm about ready to jump to Fuji or
    Ilford.

    Anyway, I find Portra 400 UC/HD 400 is an excellent snapshot
    film. I love the look in my Olympus Stylus Epic, and I
    also use them in my Nikons when I need the speed.

    --Rich
     
    Richard Cochran, Apr 29, 2004
    #12
  13. rob

    Patrick May Guest

    Switch to medium format. ;-)

    pjm
     
    Patrick May, Apr 29, 2004
    #13
  14. rob

    Alan Browne Guest

    I never said it could explain everthing. You can always write to Kodak
    and I'm sure their marketing geniuses will take their fingers out of
    their ass long enough to write a meaningless reply.
     
    Alan Browne, Apr 29, 2004
    #14
  15. rob

    Alan Browne Guest

    Sometimes twice over...
     
    Alan Browne, Apr 29, 2004
    #15
  16. rob

    The Dave© Guest

    I have one. A Yashica-mat LM in very nice condition. I don't use it
    very much, though. :-( I keep intending to, but just don't.
     
    The Dave©, Apr 29, 2004
    #16
  17. rob

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: What on earth is Kodak thinking?
    I would disagree here. Gold 200 gives natural skin tones (as good as if not
    better than Fujicolor 200 which as an amature film is noted for its life-like
    skin tones), saturated colors, punchy contrast, saturated greens, superb
    sharpness and it is very fine grained (though Fujicolor 200 Superia X-tra is
    finer grained). It is also available just about everywhere and is priced (at
    about $10 for a pack of four) much better than HD400 (about $12 for apack of
    3). I don't know how truthful/related to reality the Kodak PGI numbers are but
    if they are anywhere near accurate then, aside from price, HD400 looks about to
    be the best film in Kodak's range for grain. I've shot at least 1 roll of it
    (though I don't think it was on human subjects) and I like the look of it
    though I haven't done a side to side vs. the Gold 200 (which is better than you
    thinkit is) for skin colors and grain but another photographer's shots with it
    and people, color, saturation etc. looked great (though only at 4x6"). I am
    trying to consolidate my number of films I use so I would like to thank the OP
    for bringing to my attention a 400 speed color film which may end up being an
    all around answer to my 200/400 ISO color neg needs, "we shall see..."

    Does anybody else have experience blowing up HD400 (or HD200, for that matter)
    to 8x12" and larger as to regards to how good they are with grain, skin tones,
    saturation levels of certain colors, contrast, shadow details, etc.? I am
    interested inthese two films for large prints and don't care too much how well
    they look scanned...

    TIA
     
    Lewis Lang, Apr 29, 2004
    #17
  18. rob

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: What on earth is Kodak thinking?
    Must be available outside the U.S. only, I wasn't aware with any surety that
    there was generally anything below 12 exposure rolls available (and generally
    for the Real Estate industry?)...
     
    Lewis Lang, Apr 29, 2004
    #18
  19. rob

    Alan Browne Guest

    I don't know who they're aimed at, but when I asked the photo store
    "give me your cheapest roll of color negatives" that's what popped over
    the counter....

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Apr 29, 2004
    #19
  20. rob

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: What on earth is Kodak thinking?
    Just think of it, somewhere is that elusive 1 exposure roll of film, and it
    ain't in a digital camera or a 4x5" or 2 1/4 or other camera wih a removable
    back ;-)
     
    Lewis Lang, Apr 29, 2004
    #20
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