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Introducing BitChrome 100 & My Product Photography Experiment

First and foremost, let me introduce you to BitChrome 100!

A 100ft can of BitChrome 100

BitChrome 100 is Kodak 5294 (E100D) that has been hand-spooled from a fresh 400ft roll down to 100ft rolls suitable for loading into typical still film bulk loaders (such as the Lloyd, Watson, Bobinquick, etc.). I’m not yet sure if I’ll continue to re-roll 5294. It depends on interest and how folks that participated in the first batch like it.

400ft can of Kodak 5294 (E100D)

The reason I went down this road was actually as a bit of an experiment. I sell analog photography accessories and it occurred to me it would be interesting to take my product photos ON film. A lot of folks who wax poetic about film (myself included) talk about how it slows you down. I haven’t enjoyed product photography all that much and I think it has showed in my results. The idea of using film though, indeed, slows me down and makes me more deliberate and thoughtful on taking good photos.

In fact I’ve already done this. Surprise surprise the above shot was taken ON BitChrome 100! And admittedly it shows a bit. Not because of BitChrome but because I under-developed the film. This was my first time developing E-6 film using the Bellini kit and I miss-timed the first development step. Doh! I need to work on that.

Testing exposure and development using a color chart. Film ended up fairly dense due to under-development.

But why 5294? The big issue was, when taking product photos on 35mm, running through 36 exposures isn’t always ideal. If I’m only adding 1 or 2 new products that only require a few photos each, now I have the rest of the roll I need to figure out what to do with. By using the movie stock, I can short roll down to whatever frames I might actually need and just develop that. There is some space used on the ends but when you consider the raw cost of a 400ft roll of Kodak 5294, it ends up being quite economical.

If Kodak Alaris were to offer 100ft spools, I would have just done that. For whatever reason they don’t (but they should) so instead I simply ordered from Kodak Rochester directly. That results in a substantial discount and is why I was looking at bringing out BitChrome 100 so other folks have a more affordable bulk roll option for E100D. Note that I’m only planning on offering 100ft spools and not small 36exp canisters. That said, bulk rolling your own film is both cost effective and fun!

If you’re interested in buying some BitChrome 100, have a look at our store or contact us directly!

– Tim