Scotch Chrome — Another Comeback of a Film, But We Need New Film Bodies for Film to Stay Alive

Shuttered Italian company Ferrania makes any film aficionado’s heart beat faster. “The future of analog film starts again from Italy,” says their motto. The Italians are going to revive a professional color reversal film derived from Scotch Chrome 100. The new film is a re-engineered version of the Scotch Chrome 100 previously produced by Imation. It does not have anything in common with the old 3M slide film from ’70s. Is was a modern film available in three speeds: 100, 640 and 800/3,200 ISO that Ferraria is going to reintroduce on the market in an improved version.

Another comeback of a film: Italian company Ferrania will introduce an improved re-engineered version of Scotch Chrome slide film in 2014.
Another comeback of a film: Italian company Ferrania will introduce an improved re-engineered version of Scotch Chrome slide film in 2014.
Former employees behind the reconstituted Ferrania have been scrambling to get the old production line ready to roll again. Meaning film photography isn’t dead at all even though the Economist announced the end of analog film:

Photographic film has nearly completed its transition from the mass market to the artisanal. Memories of analogue film fade each year. Older folk pass away, materials become more expensive and developing labs close. And darkrooms let in light.

More and more companies are deciding to make a comeback into the film business. Up and coming market leader Lomography sells a wide array of films that cover about any preference.

Fujifilm isn’t thinking about giving up on film, as isn’t Ilford — and don’t forget the Impossible Project and all the small players according to this list.

The film community is alive and vibrant, but let’s be honest: we need access to new film bodies if film is to stay alive for the long term. We need cameras fitted with mounts that will work with modern lenses. Simply resurrecting old equipment (which is a very honorable endeavor) will not convince new photographers of the magic of shooting film.

For the time being, with the ascent of Lomography, film photography is for many more about lifestyle than precise quality.

BTW: Ferrania started out in 1923 as a manufacturer of photographic paper and film, mostly sold under the Solaris brand. It later branched out cameras, producing several dozen models ranging from cheap instamatics to sleek rangefinders.

  • Fazal Majid

    Both Scotch and Ferrania were known mostly for dismal not-even-consumer-grade film. Unlike B&W, color film actually requires a fairly high level of technical sophistication, only Fuji and Kodak mastered it, Agfa and Konica didn’t, let alone Ferrania. Who are they targeting, the Lomo generation?

    • DanTHEME

      Valid points. In today’s Instagram and filtered world it’s mostly about effect and not precise rendering…

  • Brian

    I just gave away a fixed lens rangefinder camera, perfect working order, to a film student. The camera is older than her parents. That makes over thirty 35mm cameras given away. There are enough good cameras around to last a generation or two. Putting them into the right hands will keep film alive.

    • DanTHEME

      True Brian, but some people like new upgradable and extendable cameras without traces of usage. It would make a lot of sense to offer a new lineup of film cameras users can build upon.

      Imagine a Fujifilm X series kind of film camera.

      Would sell like hotcakes.

      • Brian

        The Contax G series is the closest film camera that comes to mind for a Film version of the X-Pro. It will be interesting to see where things go, with Pads and Phones taking away from digital P&S sells. Last trip to Disneyworld- lots of DSLR’s and Cell Phones, then P&S and Pads. One Leica M9…

        • DanTHEME

          You just mentioned my most favorite camera ever. I might even be tempted to (partially) drop digital if a camera maker offers a film camera that’s made in this millennium with digital users in mind. Without imaging sensor and electronic circuits the price could be half or even less of digital equivalents. Use metal, chrome, aluminum, et voilà any camera maker has a sure winner.

          • Brian

            Too Funny! My Favorite Film Camera “ever” is the Nikon SP, and Nikon did re-introduce it in 2005. But my two originals are in perfect working order, and have Titanium curtains. The finders (it has two) support the 28-35-50-85-105-135 focal lengths. I have a couple of Zeiss Sonnars optimized for the Nikon RF’s. Favorite lens on favorite film camera.