Seattle FilmWorks

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Overview

Seattle FilmWorks (SFW) was the name of the company which later became FilmWorks (filmworks.com) and finally Photoworks, Inc. (photoworks.com). They were one of the first film processing companies to provide a digitizing service for film they processed; the files were first provided on a 3.5-inch diskette in a proprietary .sfw format, along with a file viewer for Microsoft Windows. The file viewer does not seem to work under Windows 98.

Although SFW's prices tended to be higher than those of other mail-order film developers, they did provide a free 20-exposure roll of film with each roll developed, somewhat offsetting the extra cost. There was a minor scandal in the late 1990s (I think it was actually a lawsuit, but I don't have any sources for this. -W.) when it was revealed that, although these free rolls were essentially standard photography film and could therefore be developed by any film developer, SFW had been in the habit of implying in their promotional literature that they were special film which only SFW could develop. (SFW apparently got their start by recycling unused cinematographic film, so the source of their film was somewhat unusual, but the development process was the same; I'm not sure whether they were still using the recycled film at the time of the scandal. -W.)

Related Pages

  • .sfw: information on the format SFW used for their digitization service