Kodak Film Factory Unveiled | Hackaday

Anyone born before the mid-1990s will likely remember that film cameras were used to document their early years. Although the convenience of digital cameras took over and was later largely usurped by cell phones, there is still a surprising variety of photographic film produced. Despite the long pedigree, how many of us really know what goes into making a surprisingly complex and demanding product? [Destin] of Smarter every day was in Rochester, NY to find out for himself and you can see the second in a series of three one-hour videos shed light on what is normally the strictly extinguished operation of filming.

Kodak’s first attempt at a digital camera in 1975. The form factor still left something to be desired…

Kodak has been around in one form or another since 1888 and has been producing photographic film since 1889. At the turn of the millennium, it seemed that digital photography (which Kodak invented but failed to exploit in any meaningful way) would kill film for good, and in 2012 Kodak even filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, giving it time to reorganize the business.

They drastically reduced their film production to meet what they saw as future demand, but in a fluke, sales jumped over the past five years after a long decline. So much so, in fact, that Kodak has gradually moved from a single five-day-a-week shift a few years ago to a 24/7 operation today. They recently hired 300 cinema technicians and are always recruiting more to meet the double-digit annual growth in demand.

[Destin] goes to great lengths to explain the process, including creating a 3D model of the film factory, to better visualize the installation, and lots of helpful animations. The number of steps is mind-boggling, especially considering the precision required at each step and the fact that the plant operates continuously…in the dark and spans about a mile from start to finish. It’s amazing to think that this process (albeit at much lower volumes and with far fewer layers) was originally developed before the Wright brothers’ first powered flight.

We recently covered getting a vintage film scanner to work with Windows 11and a short time ago we showed you the amazing technology used to develop, digitize and transmit film images from space in the 1960s.

Thanks to [zit] for the tip.

About Debra D. Johnson

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