Mercury Works Offers Kodak IMAX Film to Photographers for First Time

Mercury Works Kodak Vision 3

Mercury Works has launched a campaign for Kodak Vision 3 65mm motion picture film (IMAX) and specially modified film backs to accept the large-format film. Further, Mercury Works can develop the film via its specialized lab, M-Alchemy.

Zach Horton from Mercury Works tells PetaPixel that Kodak is providing Mercury Works with the 65mm film, which is often not available to the public without substantial minimum orders, often in the realm of $15,000 orders for most of Kodak’s 65mm film stocks.

Earlier this year, Mercury Works launched the Mercury Stereo 12, a medium-format stereoscopic camera that allows photographers to shoot high-quality 3D photos.

This fascinating camera system is very much related to the new campaign for 65mm film. “My background in the film industry and our long-term project to make the IMAX system (including both 65mm camera film and its coupled print film) work for still photographers has yielded a full ecosystem to make this easy for still photographers to obtain, shoot, develop, and scan. We feel that this is the ultimate film format for medium format stereo photography, but also possesses huge advantages for many other medium format and large format shooters,” Horton explains to PetaPixel.

Mercury Works Kodak Vision 3

65mm IMAX film has never been available directly to photographers before. Given that it is a format designed for motion pictures, still photography cameras are not typically designed to accept the film. Mercury Works has produced a range of modified and enhanced film backs for the IMAX film and accessories to make shooting the film easier.

“You will never want to go back to 120 again!” says Mercury Works.

Mercury Works Kodak Vision 3
Kodak Vision 3 50D

Cameras compatible with the Kodak 65mm film include 4×5 large format cameras with Graflok/International mounts, Hasselblad V series, Mercury Universal Large Format and Medium Format, Mercury Stereo 12, Mamiya RB67, Horseman VR series, Graflex 2×3, Bronica ETRS, Pentax 645, and Graflok 23 back mount cameras.

65mm film has numerous advantages, including being less than half the price of 120 film. 65mm film also features highly advanced film technology, promising amazing color and low grain. Further, a roll of 65mm film can hold over five and a half times as many frames as a roll of 120 film.

Mercury Works Kodak Vision 3
Kodak Vision 3 250D shot on the Mercury Stereo 12

Photographers can choose how big each roll of 65mm film is using Mercury Works’ variable load cassettes. The film supports mid-roll cutting, so users can cut the roll of film at any time to begin developing the frames they have shot.

Mercury Works adds that 65mm film offers better protection against light leaks, scratches, halation, and X-rays, and stays flatter than 120. 65mm film can also be printed to medium format slides.

Mercury Works Kodak Vision 3
Kodak Vision 250D film pushed three stops

Returning to the color performance of the film, Kodak Vision 3 motion picture stock is “the most advanced color film ever made,” per Mercury Works. The film is already known to analog photographers thanks to 35mm versions. However, the huge 65mm version has previously only been available to high-end cinematic productions.

Mercury Works Kodak Vision 3
A photo shot on the expired Malick Vision 3 film.

During the 10-day campaign, Mercury Works will offer all four Vision 3 film stocks made by Kodak, plus a limited supply of expired EXR 100T, a special film stock that filmmaker Terrence Malick used on the 1998 film The Thin Red Line.

The other stocks include 50D, the finest grain camera film ever made; 250D, the favorite film stock of Horton of Mercury Works; the high-speed 500T; and 200T, a fine-grained tungsten-balanced film stock.

Mercury Works Kodak Vision 3
Kodak Vision 3 500T

The Mercury Works IMAX Film Campaign began on September 20 and runs until September 30. There are 13 products available as part of the campaign, including rolls of film and everything photographers need to use the film in their compatible cameras. A single roll of Kodak Vision 3 film starts at $159, and a full collection (plus the expired Malick film) is $690.

Image credits: Mercury Works

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