Kentmere is a brand that has been producing photographic films for over a century. The company was founded in 1919 in the town of Staveley in Cumbria, England, and was originally named The Britannia Works Company Ltd. Its initial focus was on the production of photographic paper, but the company soon expanded into the production of Kentmere photographic films.
The early years of Kentmere were marked by rapid growth and expansion. The company quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality photographic products, and its films were widely used by photographers around the world. By the 1930s, Kentmere had become one of the largest producers of photographic films in the United Kingdom.
During the Second World War, Kentmere played a key role in the war effort. The company produced film for use in reconnaissance aircraft, and its products were also used to record the effects of bombing raids on enemy targets.
In the years following the war, Kentmere continued to expand its range of photographic products. In the 1950s, the company began producing colour films, which quickly gained a following among photographers. By the 1960s, Kentmere had become one of the leading producers of colour film in the world.
However, the 1970s marked a period of decline for Kentmere. The company struggled to keep up with changing technology and the rise of digital photography, and its market share began to shrink. By the 1990s, Kentmere was producing only a small range of films, and it seemed that the brand was on the verge of disappearing entirely.
In 2003, however, Kentmere was acquired by Harman Technology, a company that specialises in the production of photographic papers and films and also owns the Ilford film brand. Under the new ownership, Kentmere began to undergo a period of revitalisation. The company's product range was expanded, and new technologies were introduced to improve the quality of its films.
One of the most popular of Kentmere's products is its line of black and white films. These films are known for their fine grain and high contrast, and are a favourite among photographers who prefer the look and feel of traditional black and white photography.
Kentmere's black and white films include Kentmere Pan100 and Kentmere Pan400. These films are designed to be used in a wide range of lighting conditions, and are popular among photographers who prefer the flexibility and control offered by film photography.
Despite the challenges faced by Kentmere over the years, the brand has endured, and is continues to be a well-respected name in the world of film photography. Its commitment to quality and innovation has helped it to remain a popular choice among photographers, and its products are used by both amateur and professional photographers around the world.
In recent years, Kentmere has continued to innovate, introducing new technologies and products to meet the changing needs of photographers, including bringing its most popular emulsions to medium format. The company's commitment to film photography has helped to keep the art form alive, and its products continue to inspire and excite photographers around the world.
As film photography continues to enjoy a resurgence in popularity, Kentmere is well-positioned to take advantage of this trend. With its range of high-quality films and paper - and commitment to innovation - the brand is likely to remain a popular choice among photographers for years to come.