From Zero to P30 in 9 months

Better and Better

Since our last update in May, we have shipped many hundreds of pre-orders (many thousands of rolls) and we're happy to say that we are nearly finished. If you haven't received your pre-order yet, it will ship within the next 10-14 days. We will also complete shipping to all Kickstarter Backers who exchanged their original reward for P30.

But this is only the start of something more.

Just one of the P30 images submitted to our gallery from pre-order customers.  Photo by Heather Champ .

Just one of the P30 images submitted to our gallery from pre-order customers. Photo by Heather Champ.

A Bit of Perspective... 

If you think about it for a moment, we held our first roll of P30 in December 2016 - just 9 months ago!! We know that for those waiting to receive their pre-orders (and of course our incredibly patient Backers), the time has passed very slowly. But we ask that you look at these past nine months in overview.

December 6, 2016
On this historic day, 17m of triacetate was successfully coated, and the first roll of P30 was hand-rolled.

January-April 2017
Emulsions were made, tested, coated, and tested some more. Adjustments were made where necessary. A few more handmade rolls were released early to see how everything was working...

February 1, 2017
FERRANIA P30® ALPHA was announced to the world.

March 15, 2017
Our online shop opened for pre-orders - and immediately crashed. A day or so later, the shop re-opened, and within just 7 days, we had sold more film than we could make in several months. So we closed the shop again.

April 10, 2017
The first ten orders of P30 were sent to pre-order customers. In the weeks that followed, finished rolls trickled out - sometimes only a few per week, but gradually, week by week, the process improved.

We haven’t checked the historical data, but we’re pretty confident in saying that going from one roll in December 2016 to thousands of rolls per month by the end of July 2017 is a speed that is unprecedented in the history of film manufacturing.
— We will count on you to correct us if we're wrong...

We understand that with all of the recent announcements of new film, this may not seem so grand - in fact, it must seem that making new film is quite easy! But it's not.

It's very important to understand that we made this film ourselves. We didn't pull dead stock from a warehouse, and we didn't call a larger manufacturer to buy their film and put it in our box.

We mean absolutely no offense to all the companies who sell film in this way - because these products are absolutely lovely and fantastic and provide more choice to photographers.

We are saying only that even at our tiny size, and with much work still ahead of us - FILM Ferrania is a true manufacturer.

Other News:

Proper Signature

Those of you who were toward the back of the pre-order queue will get a small "bonus." FERRANIA P30® ALPHA is now shipping with the proper signature along the frame edges!

At the beginning of July, we took an opportunity to install the proper masks on our perforators. For the last few weeks, all rolls we are producing include frame numbers in addition to the correct “FERRANIA P30” signature. See the image below for a detailed view.

click to enlarge

Processing P30 ALPHA

Thanks to key members of our online community, we have updated the Best Practices several times, and we recently launched a forum for anyone to contribute their experience to the expanding data sheet.

We would like to offer special thanks to James Pearson, Francesco Goffredo, Marco Polimeni, and Gianni Giovannini for their extremely thorough testing and published results.

James Pearson's beautiful portrait of his son.

James Pearson's beautiful portrait of his son.

When the final pre-orders are shipped, we will go quiet for a little while...

With much of the world on holiday in August, we will take this time to build up stock in our warehouses and to do some chores in the factory.

  • We continue to work on the converting and finishing workflows to grow the number of finished and quality-checked rolls available for shipping each week.

  • We are installing some upgrades on the Precision Coater to be able to coat longer miniJumbos (which yields more film!)

  • Our emulsions team is moving to larger production vats so we can coat more miniJumbos each week (also more film!)

We have a lot more work yet to do...

Compared to other film manufacturers, we are miniscule. Comparing us to the next largest manufacturer is like comparing an ant to an elephant.

The task ahead is monumental - in fact, we've only barely touched the hundreds of tons of salvaged equipment we have in storage.

We will continue our slow but steady growth. We will continue to expand our capacity and optimize our processes. We have plans in place to finally begin restoring machines currently in storage. And we still need to grow to the point that making color film is realistically possible.

If you have been following our story, you are literally are witnessing a birth in super slow-motion. It's the birth of the first new film factory in the 21st century.

David Bias

New Yorker. Crazy for old cameras and analog film. But I love sci-fi. Go figure.