The Online Darkroom Store

Friday, May 2

Ilford FB Classic Back on Track


THE GATE. One I prepared earlier on FB Classic before
it went temporarily out of production

It seems the production problems that beset Ilford shortly after the introduction of the new FB Classic paper have been sorted out and supplies should once more be winging their way to the dealers.

Matthew Wells of AG Photographic has revealed over at the Film and Darkroom Users forum (FADU - the best photographic forum in the world) that the paper will start appearing on shelves from Monday, May 19. That information, Matt says, comes straight from Harman.

FB Classic went AWOL earlier this year after Ilford/Harman experienced some coating difficulties. The company had to revert to making good old MGIV FB whilst they worked on solving the problem.

Matt gave us a tantalising insight into the difficulty that stopped production although I'm not sure what the source is.

Over at FADU, he said, "I got more information about what really went wrong. They did an initial coating that was fine and which I believe was a small run. But when they coated the second time - 70,000 square metres (about five times the floor area of a large Tesco supermarket) - all of it was scrap. It wouldn't perform above grade 1. So it was only fit for silver recovery.

"Obviously, they wanted to find out why this happened and so initially they only coated 2000 sq.m, which was OK, so then increased it a bit and then a bit more...and it's taken this time to sort it out.

"It was suggested to me that one reason for the failure could have been someone forgot to include an ingredient in the emulsion and isn't owning up to it!"

AG, meanwhile, are now offering hand made contact sheets at their Photolab off-shoot. The cost is £6 for a sheet done on Ilford MG IV RC or £3 for digital sheets done on Fuji Crystal Archive.

1 comment :

Eric Slater said...

Oooh. Scary! I cant imagine the quality control at the old, original Ilford allowing this to happen.