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How old is the history of photography?
Photography has a history of more than 150 years.

Is there any big improvement on photographic technology?
Improvement is depending on which angle you are seeing it. On our view angle, there isn't much difference on technology for many years.

How could you say something like this when we have went through the industry revolution, and recently we went through the space age to information age?
When photography was just invented, people did not know how to fix the image from fade out on exposure to light. Very soon, they discovered a chemical call sodium thiosulphate to dissolve the excessive silver halide on fixing the image. This method is still being used nowadays on colour photography. Old photography has develop, bleach, fix, wash, stabilize process on silver halide emulsion. Newest photography use same process.

Silver crystal research:
Is there any improvement on technology in recent years?
There were several breaks through technology on crystal growth, and dye coupler research. Before these new inventions, we already have high quality photographs. After these inventions, we also have high quality photographs with some degree of control problem because of less silver content on the new product.

What is halogen?
Halogen is a series of gases. They are fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine. Fluoride is the most active product. Their activity is on the same order as shown. In photography, we use only silver chloride and bromide. Silver chloride is more active; therefore, it is faster, higher contrast, and more foggy. Silver bromide is slower. It gives much better half tone, and gradation. Best quality film or paper is using silver bromide. People have already known these properties over one hundred years ago.

What is recent research on silver crystal technology?
Silver is an expensive noble metal. Reduce silver content is the most effective way to cut cost. Recent research is investigating methods to grow faster and better chloride crystals. Our survey indicates new products still inherit some generic trouble of chloride. That is, high speed, foggy, and no gradation.

There are many new films and papers manufactured in recent years, is it a big forward on technology?
Colour film and paper has already been well built for many years. Recent research is targeting at high-speed film, and low silver content product. High-speed film is already well known for coarse grain and colour failure. Low silver content will have latent image and colour reproduction trouble. The quality would not be highly improved even if there were any break through on technology. In fact, lots of new products are very poor quality.

The processing time on photofinishing and the number of process has been reduced, are they an improvement on technology?
The processing time has been reduced a lot is not a break through on technology; it is a trick. For example, the film bleach process has reduced from 4 minutes to 45 seconds because the new process uses saturated solution. There is no new invention on the process. Another example, the paper bleach and fix has been combined into one process to save time will cause chemical unstable.

If the new process is not as good as the old process, why manufacturer still wants to use it?
It is cheaper to build a faster machine by reducing processing time, than using more tanks and racks.

In older days, I used to mix my own photographic chemistry, why is it I can not do them now?
Black and white photo formulae were released to the public in older days. Later on manufacturer felt it is more profitable for them to keep the formula. Colour formulae have never been released. In fact, manufacturers were making them miserable to photofinisher. Therefore, many inexperience photofinishers may think colour processing something like space age technology.

Do I have to invest lot of money on machinery to make a photo?
Heavy investment on machinery can improve speed with production quality. For small volume user and amateur photographer, you can produce high quality photo even in a bathroom with a few trays.

Hi-Tech Photographic Chemistry
5143 Tomken Road, Mississauga, Ontario L4W 1P1, Canada.
( 905-625-9261