Polaroid film set for international rescue

April 4, 2008

Polaroid chiefs are in talks with the maker of Ilford film over the possibility of producing Polaroid black and white instant film at Ilford?s base in Cheshire, UK.

In February, Polaroid announced plans to axe film production, blaming competition from digital cameras, 61 years after it hailed the birth of ?instant photography?.

A spokesman for Harman technology Ltd, which trades as Ilford Photo, told us that Ilford Photo and Polaroid are ?talking? but added that ?it?s very early days?.

He said discussions are focusing on Ilford Photo ?taking on production of Polaroid monochrome instant film?.

Polaroid Europe?s general manager Philippe Kalmbach confirmed that Polaroid is ?working on various options to keep our instant business alive as long as possible?.

In an email he told Amateur Photographer (AP): ?As you can imagine, we are working on several scenarios but none of them are locked yet.

?We have to give the best possible support to the instant community, either by leveraging further some of the portfolio or by giving them new options based on our digital instant products with technologies like Zink.?

Zink stands for Zero Ink, technology that Polaroid hails as the digital equivalent of instant film. It uses a process similar to dye-sublimation printing to produce an image on special paper.

Polaroid plans to include Zink technology in a range of digital compact cameras later this year.

In an interview with AP earlier this year, Kalmbach revealed that Polaroid may also launch a Zink-enabled ?bridge? camera ? a model with a non-interchangeable lens, positioned in the market between a compact and a digital SLR.

The first product to incorporate Zink technology will be a printer scheduled for UK launch in June.

Formed in 1879 – and based in Mobberley, Cheshire – Ilford became famous for its black and white film, paper and darkroom chemicals.


Polaroid ponders bridge camera

Digital cameras kill instant film

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