Film-based imagesetters are largely a thing of the past for the majority of printers. However, film remains the best and sometimes the only prepress option for a handful of specialty applications. Screen printing and some large format work are such jobs.
One of the problems film users are faced with has been that imagesetters and film processors have been hard to replace. Pre-Owned machines are now all quite old and not likely to be reliable with spares difficult or impossible to get. Quality service can also be difficult to find.
Imagesetting film is becoming increasingly harder to source. Most major manufacturers have left, or are leaving the market. Fuji has recently announced that they will no longer be manufacturing film as of November 2016.
Printers that still require film do have options.
Lower cost, inkjet proofers are a viable option. We currently offer the hybrid 123ctp platesetter. This device can output films, metal plates and print quality color digital proofs. 123ctp uses dedicated inks and an easy to source polyester based film. This allows you to obtain great mapped details, smooth tonal gradients, and fine detail, all at a quality which was previously only possible with a laser-based system. These films do not need to be developed and are ready immediately after taking them out of the machine.