The Photo Systems Story
What’s old is new again. Our story starts in 1970 with an idea. That idea was to develop an easy to use system for amateur darkroom enthusiasts to develop and print their own color film and prints in their home darkroom. Over the next 10 years, the Unicolor brand products were the preferred for amateur enthusiasts.
During this period, additional products were developed including the first 2 step C41 process and the first 3 step E6 process. These time saving products were developed to be compliant with standard processing control strips. Our portfolio of products continued to grow with T-Grain developers, print from slide chemistry, RA4 products, film processing drum and other processing accessories to make amateur home processing accessible and fun for everyone.
The next phase of our development was the commercial era. Color was everywhere, newspapers, magazines and amateur photographers. USA Today led the way with an all color daily newspaper. Newspaper Photo Departments quickly switched to all color photography as did the wire services-AP, UPI, Reuters and AFP. Within a few years 85% of all newspaper photo departments and press services relied on Unicolor chemistry and Photo Systems. Amateur home enthusiasts split their time between computers and home darkroom.
The digital era saw the decline in analogue color in photo departments as well as some decline with amateurs. During this period Photo Systems continued to expand its manufacturing capability by acquiring several other analogue chemistry manufacturers. We continued to be all-in on analogue photography.
In 2019, we were approached by Kodak Alaris to manufacture some of their B&W KODAK chemistry. The KODAK era began. Kodak Alaris sold their license rights to Sino Promise and we continued to manufacture the entire KODAK B&W line. We took over manufacturing of the C41 products in early 2023. Unfortunately, Sino Promise decided to exit the chemistry business in April. Photo Systems engaged in license negotiation with Kodak and signed a license agreement in September, which allows the continued manufacture and worldwide distribution of KODAK Professional Chemicals.
The future. Photo Systems intends to expand and reintroduce more of the classic chemical products in the next year. We have just finished re-certifying our manufacture of E6 and C41 products with Kodak quality assurance and will reintroduce those in 2024. Shortly after we will reintroduce RA4. We will also look to other products that were KODAK favorites and possibly reintroduce those as well – like C41 or E6 for unreplenished systems in smaller sizes. Our commitment is to support analogue and those photographers that prefer this artistic medium.
Photo Systems Inc has partnered with CineStill Inc to help bring the storied brand of KODAK Professional chemistry back to the photography community with the consent and support of Eastman Kodak Co. Photo Systems was the perfect solution with their manufacturing experience, commitment to analog excellence, and their tried and true ability to deliver quality. CineStill is lending a hand in branding, marketing, and distribution, and is committed to supporting the photography community through customer support, community engagement, education, distinctive brand awareness and delivering consistent availability throughout the market. The entire line of photochemical solutions has been tested and certified for commercialization by Kodak’s Quality Assurance within their rigorous tolerances. After all, KODAK means Quality.
The CineStill Story
CineStill has been delivering advanced cinema film technology to still photographers since 2012 and has established itself as a trusted partner for film and home processing supplies. CineStill has worked with PSI since 2013 to develop and bring to market film processing tools, by providing R&D, education, marketing, and distribution to small camera shops and big box retailers worldwide.
CineStill’s origin is deeply intertwined with and has always supported KODAK and their customers. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and have strong relationships with Eastman Kodak Co, Eastman Business Park, Kodak Alaris and many of the other KODAK brand licensees. Everything we do supports the availability of film photography and anyone making it more accessible to the analog consumer.
CineStill works hand-in-hand with current manufacturers to further the production of analog materials needed for film photography. This collaborative approach to manufacturing increases efficiency and sustainability of current resources, resulting in increased stability across the whole analog photography market, from manufacturing to consumption.
CineStill continues to develop and release more tools and services to make analog photography more accessible and exciting for all photographers and enthusiasts. CineStill has collaborated with nearly every analog photography manufacturer around the world and is currently an official distributor for many other unique analog products.
CineStill's primary purpose is to fuel the analog renaissance, by demystifying the photographic process (simplify, educate, inspire, and equip) and securing the continued production and availability of essential analog photography materials and services by increasing current production and providing new analog tools for photographers to shoot more film in more situations.