Film is not dead: Ferrania to start producing film again

Finally a good news for film shooters: Film Ferrania is going to start producing film again (35mm and 120 still formats, as well as Super 8 and 16mm cine formats) - they are making something similar to what The Impossible Project did with Polaroid. Film Ferrania is a new company that bought last year part of the ex-factory of Ferrania Films in Ferrania (Italy). Their website has recently been updated and there will be an official announcement in mid-September (for Photokina). They also ask costumers to take a brief survey. Here are few quotes from their website (see also FAQ):

"We're back! We apologize for our silence over the past months - but we have been preparing for a big announcement coming in mid-September."


"The new film is a re-engineered version of the Scotch Chrome 100 previously produced by the IMATION company and 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 800/3200 ISO that we are going to reintroduce on the market in an improved version and finished also in motion picture small formats."

Here is a short documentary about the original Ferrania factory:

See the updated Photokina 2014 rumors roundup.

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  • I hope they make it. I’ll be continuing to sell off my film stuff, in the mean time.

    • bjrichus

      I went into my local camera store today and while discussing something with the owner he mentioned that he was down to his last pack of D-76 developer. In just a month, he has sold a dozen of those large yellow packets of powder. Film is certainly not dead.

      • PGi

        Great news if true.

      • Mr Kotku

        1 gallon mix of D-76 will develop 32 rolls of 35mm when mixed 1:1 with water. 32 rolls x 12 customers = 384 rolls in one month. Ain’t nobody getting rich doing that.

        • bjrichus

          That’s true Mr Kotiku, but it is better than some commentators would have the world believe. It’s also reflecting an upward trend – as he used to keep his stock intact for many, many months. Lets be honest, if it helps a local photography store survive, it’s a good thing.

  • Clothing by Edna

    “They also ask costumers to take a brief survey.” Why do they want costume designers to take a survey?

  • NoMeJodas

    This is good news. Film cameras, especially fully manual ones in combination with a fixed focal length lens (no zoom), are still the best school for people starting to learn photography because it teaches them to use their brains from the beginning instead of relying on the camera to make decisions for them.

    • NoMeJodas

      Oh and of course it saves them from learning bad habits like chimping, pixel peeping and excessive cropping.

    • Dave

      It’s not the best way to learn, it’s the best way to shoot full stop.

      Think about the millions of people snapping away with modern DSLRs and fast zooms, both pros and hobbyists. How many actually significant photos have they actually shot? Very few, I can’t actually name a single image that compares in anyway to anything shot by the likes of Eugene Smith or Weegee using lowly old black and white film on old fixed focal length manual cameras.

      Film is not dead, even if good photography might be.

      • Michael Penn

        Maybe you need to spend less time on forums and more time researching photography.

      • NoMeJodas

        while I have no idea if more significant photos were made on film or on digital, I can imagine that for each bad photo shot on film there are like 5 million bad photos shot digitally. 😉 Good point!

    • Ken Elliott

      I disagree. The instant feedback of digital overwhelms any advantage of film. Learn on digital, master it on film.

      BTW, I learned on film, and still shoot 4×5. I love film, but not for a beginner.

      • NoMeJodas

        For me the instant feedback is part of the problem. But I guess it is an individual thing.

        • Ken Elliott

          Try teaching color balance with a film camera. Not easy. With digital, you can try each setting and see what they do, right then.

          • NoMeJodas

            Agreed. 🙂 When one has a good teacher to show one how to take advantages of modern digital cameras, they are great, no discussion. But the problem is, when someone just buys the usual entry level DSLR with the kit zoom and try self-learning. Some of the people I know just gave up and eventually settled on putting everything on auto and be done with it. DSLRs unfortunately add much more complexity to photography than film cameras. Just trying to figure out how to use the different AF-modes correctly can drive a beginner crazy.

          • Ken Elliott

            Yes – my experience is they would have put their film cameras on “auto” as well, and learned nothing.

            I think shooting film was much harder in the old days, and that kept all but the more serious people from attempting it. The startup costs and need to learn the developing process was an obstacle that quickly filtered out the casual user.

            Digital makes it super easy. Let’s face it – Set a D4 for “P” and almost anyone can take a picture and see it right then. That’s is quite a change and is the reason we see so many casual photographers everywhere.

            But once a photographer learns the basics of manual shooting on digital, film becomes so much easier.

          • NoMeJodas

            I got my first SLR in 1985, a Minolta SRT101b with a 50mm, and there was nothing auto in it. Yes, learning to use it probably wasn’t easy but the reward one gets when finally the prints start to look like how one wanted them to be is huge.

            I used this camera and lens for about 15 years and with the time I was able to frame the shot, decide on where to put the focus and from which area I want to measure the exposure, all that in my head before I lift he camera to my eye. Maybe that’s why I prefer old style cameras to modern ones. They are challenging and it is a lot of fun using them. And one has to know what one is doing. The human eyes and brain are still the best image processors!

      • NoMeJodas

        BTW I never shot with any format bigger than 135, but after I’ve seen the work done by a fellow of mine with a Hasselblad (I think it was 500cm), I’m thinking seriously about getting one from eBay. I was really impressed!

        • Ken Elliott

          You might want to consider 4×5 film. You can develop one shot at a time, if you wish. Easy to make contact prints without an enlarger, or scan them. Once you discover the advantages of tilts and shifts, it can really change how you think about shooting. I love my Sinar, and would shoot no other.

          • NoMeJodas

            Yes from what I’ve seen, view cameras seem to be the kings of T&S. May I ask what kind of work do you do with your Sinar? I guess they are ideal for landscapes and architecture. And how do you find using them outdoors? I hope, they are not too big a hassle to move around.

          • Ken Elliott

            Big, heavy and a hassle. So you learn to walk around, plan, and consider the perspective of the shot. Then you go get the camera and roll the case out. Set everything up, and pick a lens that gives you the crop you want. Use the spot meter to read the highlights and shadows, calculate the exposure to place the target tones in the right zone.

            Once you shoot large format, you learn why myths like “focal length affects perspective” are bull.

          • NoMeJodas

            You make me want to borrow and try one. But I’ll have to find someone who is willing to give me a crash course. 🙂 In the mean time I’ll get my feet wet with MF. Thanks for your input, Ken. It is highly appreciated!

          • Ken Elliott

            My pleasure. I’d suggest getting this book, and after you read it, consider borrowing a view camera, or go shooting with a buddy that has one. Once I have my shot, I have no problem helping someone else try it before I pack it away.

            Using the View Camera: A Creative Guide to Large Format Photography Paperback by Steve Simmons. This is a very easy book to read, and you’ll learn a lot about photography just by seeing the process. Read this before you ever buy a camera, as they are far more different than you can image.

          • NoMeJodas

            Thanks! I’ll get this book. One is never too old to learn something new 🙂

      • Spy Black

        “The instant feedback of digital overwhelms any advantage of film”

        Except the advantage of being able to see your image before you ever fire off the frame…

        • Ken Elliott

          Oh? And how is that exclusive to film?

          • Spy Black

            Because when you shoot with film, you have to learn how to previsualize your shot because you don’t have that instant feedback, you don’t have a virtually infinite source of shots to take, and it’s expensive.

          • Ken Elliott

            I’d say that is not a film thing. That is a training thing. You can previsualize with both. The difference is the speed of feedback, and thus the number of attempts that can be made per hour.

            You do know know they made Polaroid backs for large format cameras, right? We pre-visualize, setup the shot, shoot, and check the Polaroid to see if we got the setup right. We make adjustments and shoot again. Once we got it, we put in the regular film packs. If you have a digital back, did we really change much about previsualization?

            I do agree that shooting film forces this upon a digital photographer, who wasn’t previsualing, via a time and cost penalty. Perhaps that is what you really mean.

          • Spy Black

            “I’d say that is not a film thing. That is a training thing. You can previsualize with both. The difference is the speed of feedback, and thus the number of attempts that can be made per hour.

            You’re missing the point. With film, you learned to see the image before you shot. You simply don’t do that checking the screen on your digital camera. It means you don’t know. You THINK you may gotten the shot, so you check. You’re not sure.

            “I do agree that shooting film forces this upon a digital photographer…”

            Any photographer.

          • Ken Elliott

            Film forces no such thing.

            I grew up around a lot of people who shot film – long before digital cameras existed. The majority never pre-visualized a darn thing – they shot casually like they do today, and hoped it came out. The fact that it was film did not make them better photographers.

            It is the enthusiast that will learn to previsualize, no matter what technology he uses. The speed and time in which he learns this will be influenced by the cost and time to achieve the lessons.

            You can teach this to digital photographers – put tape over the rear display. Nobody gets to see the shot until review time. This technique teaches the exact same lesson as film does, and this is the basis of my argument.

          • Spy Black

            “…they shot casually like they do today, and hoped it came out.”

            For a “casual” shooter, I would agree with you. For a professional or dedicated enthusiast, nope.

            “You can teach this to digital photographers – put tape over the rear display.”

            I agree with you here as well. Now tell me, what modern shooter is going to do that? Back in the film days, you had no choice. The professional and enthusiast learned to see their shot before they ever fired the frame because of it. No one today, unless they are truly dedicated, will do that.

          • Ken Elliott

            >>” Now tell me, what modern shooter is going to do that?”

            My students.

          • Spy Black

            How many of your students do you think will actually do that? 😉

          • Ken Elliott

            All do. It’s simple. You have everyone setup their camera, then cover the LCD with 3M blue painter’s tape. Go on a photo walk. At review time, everyone sees the photos for the first time. Suddenly, they become very careful, just like with film. That’s close enough to get the effect, without needing film.

          • Spy Black

            Hardly. It takes a LONG time to develop the ability to see your image. You don’t just “get it” after a day’s shoot. You need to shoot continuously for quite an extended period of time. I’ll agree you can do it in the digital age, but you would need to not use your screen at all. It’s not an overnight sensation, not by any stretch of the imagination.

          • Ken Elliott

            It starts them on the path. That helps a lot.

            It’s time to end this conversation. You are entitled to your opinion. But I will point out that I’ve actually done this and know the results. You are simply speculating. Get back to me with your results once you’ve tried this, and we can compare notes, if you wish.

          • Spy Black

            “But I will point out that I’ve actually done this and know the results. You are simply speculating.”

            You are the one that’s speculating. You cannot be in your students mind. Let’s just agree to disagree.

  • Michael Penn

    Not impressed and after the hipsters figure out it won’t make them a better photographer it will die off.

    • rafakoy

      Film photographers aren’t hipsters, a minority maybe. In any case I haven’t met yet someone who thinks because they get a new “old” roll of film their pictures will be better.

      The latest digital camera or a “new” old roll of film doesn’t make you a better photographer. Like any digital camera, a roll of film in good hands can be the medium for amazing shots, and the best camera or the best film in the wrong hands won’t do miracles.

      Having more options is good. A new roll of film for those who likes to shoot film, a new digital camera for those who likes to shoot digital… It’s good to have options. There aren’t bad cameras or bad rolls of film, those are just tools, but there are bad photographers for sure, and those are in general the ones who loves to criticize everyone else.

      Instead of worrying about what those “hipsters” do with film, worry about your own pictures.

      • Michael Penn


        • Chuck Morris

          dude… did you have nightmares with rolls of film when you was a kid?

          • rafakoy


        • Rosettastoned

          You must be boring

  • mooh

    So Lomography now has a new old supplier.

  • saywhatuwill

    Wow, Scotch film. I hadn’t seen that since I shot one roll of some extremely fast slide film. I forget the speed since this was in the 80s, but I was pretty excited about it. It’s also good about the Super 8 film. My son purchased one not too long ago and he was afraid that the film would go away.

  • Spy Black

    “…it does not have anything in common with the old 3M slide film from ’70s. Is was a modern film…”

    So basically just an Ektachrome variant. Not that that’s a bad thing, but old film types, while not having the advancements Kodak engineered in E6 Ektachrome, had their own looks and colorspace models. The old 3M, Agfa films, et al, were interesting options that disappeared in the E6 universe.

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