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Kodak To End Production Of Acetate Film Base

More changes are ahead for Kodak, this time having to do with a base used to make their film.
Step into Robert Shanebrook's basement, and you'll quickly realize his passion for photography. 
  
"It's something that you know anyone can do at any level whether it be just taking snapshots or make your own photographs and do your own darkroom work," Shanebrook said.
   
Shanebrook has his own darkroom to develop camera film. But even the film expert and long time photographer has turned to a digital.

"It's fast and it's easy. I get instant satisfaction making a print," he said.

That's is a prime reason Eastman Kodak has decided to halt acetate production. The demand for camera film has dropped significantly.

"The day of snapshot in the hands of consumer photographers using film I think has long passed," he claimed.
   
Shanebrook worked at Kodak for 35 years before retiring in 2003. He has also written a book called "Making Kodak Film, and says manufacturing acetate is often better in bulk. So, he thinks Kodak's decision is smart.

"When you have a machine running, you have to keep it running continuously. It starts with a liquid, that evaporates and you're left with a plastic. You cannot start and stop the machine without totally removing all the material. Otherwise,it just turns into a big, gooey mess," he described.

Financial expert George Conboy says the 60 jobs and manufacturing savings won't have a major financial impact on the bankrupt company. He believes it speaks more to the future of camera film.

"Clearly, beyond the couple of years worth that they have stored, Kodak doesn't expect to need very much more film base," Conboy said.

A Kodak spokesman declined to go on camera but says they plan to buy acetate from other manufacturers once their supply runs out.

"It's certainly a blow for the Rochester community to have that capability go away and the jobs associated with that," Shanebrook added.

For more information on Shanebrook's book, click here.
   
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