This is how Kodak film gets from the factory to camera store shelves

May 22, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This is how Kodak film gets from the factory to camera store shelves

May 22, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It’s been a while since we last saw an update on Destin Sandlin’s visit to the Kodak factory in Rochester, New York. Part One was posted way back in March of last year. It looked into how Kodak produces the actual film onto which the chemicals are placed. Part Two arrived a few months later in July, going over the chemical processes involved in making it light-sensitive and how they’re applied to that film base.

Now, we’ve finally got Part Three, where Kodak takes us from those big drums of sensitised film to cutting it up, adding the sprocket holes, making and filling the canisters, popping those into film cases and finally, retail packaging. Let the adventure continue!

[Related reading: Fascinating documentary takes us on a journey through the Kodak factory]

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The journey into Kodak’s Rochester factory has been fascinating throughout, from the raw materials for making the plastic base to finally having it in a state to slip into your film camera of choice. This third instalment is probably the most interesting part to me as I think it’s the most relatable part to most people. Many of us are used to seeing mechanical machines cutting, chopping, punching, bending or otherwise manipulating objects, and that’s essentially what’s happening here. No melting of plastics, no mixing of chemicals, just (very smart) mechanical machinery.

[Related reading: This is how they apply light-sensitive chemicals to film inside the Kodak Factory]

I don’t know about you, but seeing the whole process from start to finish will certainly make me think a little differently in the future when I run a roll or two of film through one of my old analogue cameras. It’s great to see that film is making a resurgence and it’s nice to see that even though Kodak’s had its problems, it’s still around and contributing to it.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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4 responses to “This is how Kodak film gets from the factory to camera store shelves”

  1. Steve Woronko Avatar
    Steve Woronko

    Yet they use Fuji film in the pic…..

    1. Ben Bailey Avatar
      Ben Bailey

      Steve Woronko yep!

    2. Johnny Martyr Avatar
      Johnny Martyr

      Steve Woronko Kodak manufactures Fujicolor

    3. Steve Woronko Avatar
      Steve Woronko

      Johnny Martyr Regardless, the Kodak gold is iconic, and it’s an article about Kodak.