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Film Never Die CP800 (Pic: Film Never Die)
The processor was launched via Kickstarter in 2021, but did not reach its funding target (Pic: Film Never Die)

Australian film lab Film Never Die has launched its CP800 automated film processor, despite the project failing to reach its Kickstarter funding.

The project was launched on Kickstarter in August 2021, but the project only achieved a little more than £30,000 of the nearly £200,000 needed to put the processor into production.

But now the lab’s founder Gary Wong has launched a scaled back version of the processor, which is aimed at photo labs and can handle both 35mm and 120 films.

He said on the processor’s listing page: “Kickstarter funding unsuccessful, yet we are still charging ahead, with a few caveats meaning features list will need to be trimmed so that we can still produce a machine that can perform well.”

The processor is being sold for AUS$4,350 (£2,400/$2,800), taxes included.

According to Film Never Die, the processor’s features are:

Large capacity processing drum: Bigger is better! Efficiently process 8x 135 or 4x 120 rolls at a time. 2x piece semicylinder configuration locks together forming a complete seal from light leaking in & chemistry leaking out. Reel blanks available to minimise chemistry consumption during smaller batches. PVC/3D print construction.

5x chemistry/1x water channel(s): Versatile for black-and-white, C41 negative, E6 positive & ECN-2 motion picture processes. Run your chemistry with flexibility using 12x (6x inlet 6x outlet) indexed hoses. Option to salvage or dump exhausted/one-shot chemistry.

Variable push/pull timing: Any stock. Any ISO. Variety of customisable presets.

Character LCD display: D-pad control panel (because touch screens don’t work with wet gloves on).

Modular design: Adaptable for any space. Available as a bench top processor module.

Processor module: 620 x 265 x 210mm.

Heavyweight construction: Durability goes a long way. CP800’s rigid stainless steel construction is designed to withstand a lifetime of wear & tear. New model will be using stainless steel exterior to combat rusting.

No Programmable temperature control: Don’t sweat the small stuff. CP800’s thermometer & programmable heater accurately tempers bath water & chemistry solution +/- 0.2°.

Processing level detector: Alerts user when there is insufficient chemistry for processing. Automatically top up based on level sensor calibration.

Trouble-free motorised agitation: Ensures the film is submerged in chemistry for consistent & reliable results.

Low maintenance: One-minute rinse cycle between steps, prevents cross contamination improving chemistry shelf life. Save from tedious maintenance schedules.

The processor was supposed to have automatic temperature control but this has been left out to save cost. Customers are advised to use a sous-vide to regulate the temperature.

An open-source project is also being launched for the processor, allowing buyers to customise them as they see fit.

Film Never Die had intended to build the machines in Australia if the Kickstarter funding had been successful, but production is now taking place in Malaysia.

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Stephen Dowling
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