Kodak has announced that due to a supply shortage of tin-free steel (TFS) it is temporarily replacing all the end caps on its 135 format film canisters. The canisters will begin shipping from Kodak’s Colorado facility over the next couple of weeks.
Originally reported by Emulsive and confirmed by PetaPixel, Kodak is making the temporary material change due to the scacity of materials. The company says that the film will look different and will feature silver caps instead of its traditional black.
“We wanted to reassure you and provide enough detail so that you can explain if asked,” Kodak says. “As you may already know, we currently use tin-free steel (TFS) for all 135 magazine end caps. Due to shortages worldwide, our supplier will not be able to provide TFS to our manufacturer until September.”
“After looking at multiple options, we’ve found and tested an alternative material source (tin plate steel). It will not be painted to match our standard look and feel,” the company continues. “We’re using the non-painted end caps until we are once again able to procure our standard TFS product.”
Kodak says that the replacement caps have passed all internal testing requirements for photo activity and light integrity and the change in material will not affect the efficacy of the film for use in photography.
While the ongoing semiconductor shortage is the most notable in the tech space, the pandemic has also caused disruptions across other industries. Lumber and auto parts are two other highly disrupted industries that have yet to recover from increased demands. Lumber in particular has seen an astronomical rise in demand and therefore price.
Tin-free steel is also used for the packaging of processed food and fruits and the shortage is starting to affect manufacturers around the globe. The steel market overall is suffering from a serious imbalance of supply and demand caused by an unexpected rise in the demand for steel internationally, CECO Building Systems writes. For the same reasons that the lumber market is struggling, the increased demand for housing materials has outmatched previously predicted levels and supply has been unable to keep up. While construction is the most affected by the issues, the problems have obviously begun to affect other industries.
For now, expect new rolls of Kodak film to look a bit different than expected. These unusual film canisters might end up being collectors’ items, depending on how long the steel shortage lasts.
Image credits: Header photo showing silver-colored caps provided courtesy of Kodak.