2016 was a bad year for film photographers, month after month we heard of films being discontinued, more and more it was looking like we were moving towards a world where there was no longer a place for film, but it looks like 2017 is changing all that.
Back in January the year started on a high, Kodak announced it was bringing back Ektachrome. Ektachrome was around since the 1940s but was discontinued due to ever decreasing demand in 2011. From later this year it will be available again as a 100-speed slide film and Kodak confirmed it will also be available as a super 8 motion picture film. Seeing a major brand like Kodak show such trust in the market as to reverse their 2011 decision shows that there is a future for film and as the year went on this only became more and more apparent.
Less than a month after the Kodak announcement we got word that another new film stock would be entering the world, Ferrania P30. As a Kickstarter backer of theirs was back in 2014 I was delighted to finally see something come from the factory I helped fund. P30 is an 80 ISO black and white film which has a thinner base than anything else on the market and the sample results look incredible if a little scratched, though Ferrania say this will be fixed before the main production run.
The year has continued like this and we have since heard that both Bergger and Lomography will be introducing new stocks in the coming months. It is clear to me that we are entering a new era of film photography and the selection and quality of film is only going to grow I think. Fujifilm as also expected to release a new format of instant film this year and I cannot wait to see what they come up with.
The main question we are left with after this, ‘is Kodachrome coming back’ and to that the Kodak executives said to Kodakery:
I will say, we are investigating Kodachrome, looking at what it would take to bring that back
Here’s to hoping they succeed!!