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Getting ready for production & testing ECN-2

Things have changed quite a lot from the last update. First of all we made it, AGO was successful on the Indiegogo campaign. We collected over 80 000€ during the campaign. Can’t be happier,  it helps a lot, not only to produce the AGOs but also to lay a foundation for a company behind the product. Until May 2024 you can still get it through IndieGoGo with discounted price. 

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From September I decided that I need to leave my daywork and dedicate full time to AGO. At the same time Joonas, who has a marketing and sales background, joined our team, a person who I have looked for quite a long time already. At a moment it is mostly the two of us who are behind vintage Visual. Also we have quite a lot of mentors who help us make it happen. To name a few, we are part of Tallinn Creative Incubator where we have personal advisor and  from where we get to choose mentor meetings from around 52 persons with different backgrounds. Kinotehnik, an Estonian manufacturer who makes led lights and LCD viewfinders is helping us with design and order injection moulds from China. And Degritter, an Estonian manufacturer who makes ultrasonic record cleaners, is helping us basically with everything to set up such a company. 

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Coming to present we have quite a lot things going on,  Joonas is mostly working on finding resellers/distributors on EU and US markets, doing branding for package and Vintage Visual website and building a website.There has been quite a lot of interest from around the globe, will let you know around April from where you can buy it.  I’m keeping myself occupied with product development, testing for reliability and for new chemicals, making preparations for production and keeping this company running. 

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Production mainly is standing behind injection moulded plastic parts. First samples should arrive around the first half of February, if everything is more or less okay we can give in immediately a bigger order to fulfil IndieGoGo backers. Not raising any expectations but we are hoping to fulfil a bit earlier than in May. 

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On testing with new chemicals I have good news, ECN-2 is possible with AGOs time compensation. I have conducted tests with Cinestill ECN-2 chemicals and managed to come up with an algorithm to replicate the behavior of it at different temperatures. It behaves almost like Cinestill C-41 chemicals but at two degrees higher temperature. During the testing my aim was to get equally dense negatives at different temperatures, this was totally achievable. But as with most color film processes you get a color shift when developing at different temperatures. I took a test with Kodak Vision3 200T film at 41°C(suggested developing temperature), 37°C and 31.8°C. 41°C gave nice bright colors. Comparing 37°C to it, this has a slight change in greens which seem to be a bit darker, otherwise almost the same color palette. Test with 31.8°C gave a bit different result, the color palette is almost the same as from 37°C but all colors are equally kind of washed out and have a bit of greenish hue. Looking at these results I wouldn’t suggest developing lower than -4 degrees. Also to mention it is totally okay to go a few degrees higher than 41°C. From my experience doing ECN-2 you get at room temperature 1.2-1.9 degrees of temperature drop, something to be aware of. To conclude, developing ECN-2 at different temperatures gave quite good results, at lower temperatures you get slight change in colors but you can be sure that the density of the negative is right, meaning you don’t get a too dark or bright picture. To get the best quality out of it I would suggest heating your developer near to 41 °C or a bit higher. A sous vide machine would be handy but this is also achievable just by placing you chemicals in hot water.

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For comparison I made also test with Kodak Ultramax and Cinestill C-41 chemicals at different temperatures. It seems ECN-2 gives much cleaner colors. C-41 pictures are all bit tilted towards yellow, probably the nature of Kodak films.

 41°C→105.8°F

 37°C→98.6°F

 31.8°C→89.2°F

ECN-2 tests with Cinestill chemicals:

C-41 tests with Cinestill chemicals:

Digital picture:

Cheers!

Team Vintage Visual

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