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Kodak announces

 
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That all black and white paper will be discontinued.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's truly sad, but mostly for the fact that it simply a step on kodak's ladder out of silver and into digital. They will soon get rid of all silver products as they have many times publicly announced they are now a digital company. I would rely on no kodak product (or retirement account for that matter). If it doesn't make double digit growth per quarter, they have no interest in it....

It's even a bigger shame that kodak had the clout and marketing ability to bring film back and show it's superiority over digital. But they took the easy road....

As far as their paper, I have to admit that I never knew anyone who used it. On and off I would try it. I think I even have some new packages of it here. But for actual use, other companies always seemed better _and_ cheaper. Except for the resurgent use of AZO, I don't see this as a great loss, except as noted above...

It would be nice if kodak came back to assert it's dominance in the silver-photo industry and they could have. But I think they've gone too far now. It's all about fireing the employees, moving production out of the country and making the cheapest product with the highest return possible for the shareholder, and huge bonuses for the few people at the top. Not unlike most American manufacturers nowadays... The power of the beancounter....
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This would be a good time to ask whether anyone knows of a variable-contrast enlarging paper made by someone other than Kodak that will work properly with Kodak "Polycontrast" filters! (I went through this once before, when DuPont got out of the photographic paper business 35 years ago.)

You could argue that Kodak is more sinned against than sinning. Kodak, like all other large publicly-owned companies, is held hostage by a small band of "securities analysts" whose understanding of any industry is limited to share-of-market, quarterly appreciation, and what they think of as "trends." They never have understood Kodak's dominance of digital photography, and seem to be obsessed with the idea that silver halide is on the way out, no matter what the annual sales may be, so anyone active in producing sensitive materials is regarded as wedded to the past, reluctant to think out of the box.

You also could argue that George Eastman's original vision -- "You push the button, we do the rest" -- is fulfilled by digital cameras in a way never previously attainable, and Kodak is remaining true to that vision. Kodak has competed fiercely and successfully to remain dominant in niche markets where technical superiority commands a premium price, e.g. medical and dental imaging, but otherwise has moved into and out of niches -- commercial lenses, professional cameras -- according to the changing state of the market.

Perhaps we need to remember the selling adage that people do not purchase a drill because they want a drill; what they want is holes! Most people feel that way about cameras...

I think the future of black and white, and of silver-halide photography in general, is in the Fine Arts niche. Oil paints did not disappear when acrylics entered the market; they simply moved from the commercial graphic arts to the fine arts category.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1442
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As usual, t.r. is right on the mark, IMO. But to speak to his original question: when I was faced with the decision to switch paper brands from Kodak to Ilford Multigrade, I bit the bullet and plunked for a set of the Ilford filters. I never regretted doing so, and during the remaining time that I maintained an active chemical darkroom, I found Ilford paper to be the better choice for my needs (the only brand I liked as well or better was the old Oriental Seagull---they had a very nice RC matte paper that came very close to duplicating the look of an air-dried "F" surface conventional paper.)
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many people state ""George Eastman's original vision -- "You push the button, we do the rest"" slogan but in my opinion are missing his vision altogether.

There's that "... we do the rest" part of it where kodak actually made most of their money from! Sure, you buy a 1 dollar camera, push the button, then _pay_ kodak to process the film and you _buy_ more film. Or you _buy_ the chemicals and paper (and equipment in the good old days) to do the processing yourself. Next year you _buy_ a better camera, push the button, then _buy_ more film, and on, and on it went. The buying part of it. It doesn't work that way with digital.

Most of the people who use digital are happy enough printing (when they do print) on ordinary copy paper. So far I have only seen a single print on digi-photo paper in all these years. Why bother? It's not what digi people are interested in...

So, in kodaks modern vision: you buy their camera, push the button and _you_ do the rest. No more buying from kodak! And when the camera breaks, you most likely will not buy another kodak because the first one broke. And they are all pretty much the same anyway. Nowadays most people are happy with their camera phones...

There's no more _buying_ from kodak once the camera is in-hand. Down the tubes goes George's vision...

It would figure that just when analysts are saying that digital camera sales have flattened out and people are happy with camera phones and there won't be any more spurting growth in the field, kodak dumps everything and dives head-on, eyes close into the digital swamp. At least in that, they are holding true to their recent historical path. I'm just waiting to see what happens to them when digital falls completely flat...

Also remember that the disclosed sales loss, such as with the B&W paper is not a true loss. It is the loss agaisnt the projected gains, usually 10% or higher. That's how corporations work, and they are allowed by our big government laws. They work entirely on projected gains and losses and pay their taxes on the projections. So if they project a 25% gain, only make a 10% gain, they have a net loss of 15% and qualify for tax refunds for the losses. But in the real world, they actually made a 10% gain and no losses... Great system....
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too think it is bad they are out of the B&W paper market. Not necessarily because their products were so good, but because they were so available. To the general [especially younger] market.

Anything done to inhibit growth of the hobby in beginning users is bad for the rest of us, because it is their purchases which keep [kept] the company going.

I've discovered there are a surprisingly large number of younger photographic enthusiasts still using film & paper and this will not encourage them to continue this medium. Too bad!

Do you really think they'll continue the B&W film production very long under these circumstances? Personally, I don't. Then, we'll be left with only overseas sources like we are for the paper now.

The only saving grace I see in that scenario is that thriving third world and Asian markets still have a long way to go before they adopt the "digital standard". They will be the primary market for film for a decade or two. We should be able to feed off their suppliers for the near future. In the long run, this will become a very speciality craft.





[ This Message was edited by: alecj on 2005-06-18 06:21 ]
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disemjg



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
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Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's too bad they did not spin the paper production off to act independently; it might have been viable. And unfortunately, it is true that the film will probably follow down the tubes. Me, I went to Ilford years ago, but that does not mean that I would not like to have choices.

While it has been more expensive, I think the Kodak film has a quality edge. Ilford has had some QC problems in the past few years (it took me a while to catch on to the fact that the film had scratches and weird marks on it from the factory). I hope they improve their quality now that they have a fresh start. The eastern European stuff seems to be a mixed bag; my limited use shows that it is good, usable film, but without the brilliance that I expect from Tri-X or Ilford HP/FP films. At least it is available in hard to get sizes.

And yes, silver is going to only be found in the "fine art" community. I think it will be available for a long time to come, but we are going to have to adapt to what is available as our favourite combinations are taken from us.
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disemjg



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And to add something I did not know, I just got an email about the Kodak discontinuing the B&W paper; it said that the stuff was made in Brazil. I thought it was still made in the States.

The same email said that Agfa filed for bankruptcy a month ago.

I hope Ilford does well.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I switched out of Kodak products years ago, and I suspect that I am not alone, as witness the present difficulties. The only Kodak I use is Gold-100 or -200 color negative 35mm film for point-and-shoot work. That's because I can get it at the KMart for very cheap on sale. One by one, Kodak cancelled my favorite films (Verichrome Pan, Panatomic-X) and reduced their domestic Kodachrome processing capabilities from about a dozen company-operated locations to one east-coast licensee. I wish them well in their new marketing focus (I hear from users that their consumer digital and EasyShare hardware is great stuff), but I'm resigned to accepting the old EKCo as history. Meanwhile, there is "life-after-Kodak," and I, too, hope that Ilford succeeds in what has essentially now become a niche market. To me, the big blow will come when (not "if"---it's inevitable) Kodak discontinues Kodachrome. There is nothing like it: simply the best.
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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems Kodak has acquired a company that makes extremely high end digital gizmos of some kind. Definitely not your consumer market stuff. Consumer digital stuff has pretty much leveled out and may be starting to decline. People will only pay for so many pixels, then it gets out of their price range. As to Kodak Polycontrast filters, they work just fine with other papers. There are comparison figures readily available for different brands of filters/papers. I just use whatever looks good. They all work.

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Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2005-06-19 08:34, Henry wrote:
I switched out of Kodak products years ago, and I suspect that I am not alone, as witness the present difficulties. The only Kodak I use is Gold-100 or -200 color negative 35mm film for point-and-shoot work. That's because I can get it at the KMart for very cheap on sale. One by one, Kodak cancelled my favorite films (Verichrome Pan, Panatomic-X) and reduced their domestic Kodachrome processing capabilities from about a dozen company-operated locations to one east-coast licensee. I wish them well in their new marketing focus (I hear from users that their consumer digital and EasyShare hardware is great stuff), but I'm resigned to accepting the old EKCo as history. Meanwhile, there is "life-after-Kodak," and I, too, hope that Ilford succeeds in what has essentially now become a niche market. To me, the big blow will come when (not "if"---it's inevitable) Kodak discontinues Kodachrome. There is nothing like it: simply the best.


Henry,

last year when I was working in the local photo store, we did in fact get a bulleton from Kodak, saying kodachrome will be completely phased out by the end of the decade, due to the enviormental concerns with the processing of the film, they were stating that enviormental issues and being unable to obtain permits for thier processing plants as the reason, the kodachrome process is a caustic and very non-enviormental friendly process and they said they were not only having difficulties with the EPA, but the local state agencies.

Dave

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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1442
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Dave. I'm sure if they put their minds to it they could solve the problem, but clearly they've lost the will and the incentive to do so. Ironic, isn't it, that of all the color transparency processes, only Kodachrome is considered truly archival (?!), unlike E6 chemistry, the longevity of which is known to be limited, and digital, which is a real unknown.
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things come...and things go...just as we will someday. My very first prints were on Kodak Velox in the late 40's, if memory serves me. All my enlargements in the early 50's were on Kodabromide...usually F3. My chemicals, for economy sake, were the Kodak Tri-Chem packs, available at the local Drug Store. My little enlarger was a Kodak Hobbyist cold-light enlarger with an Ektanon lens that only opened up to f6.3. My film was mostly Super XX. Kodak was my supplier and I was grateful for it. But things change...and they must survive in an ever-changing world. I say "Thank you, Kodak" for bringing a little magic into the life of a kid back then. All the people responsible for that are no doubt gone...and there's a new generation. That was then and this is now. I'll continue to shoot...develop...and enlarge black and white as long as I or it lasts...just for fun. It ain't over 'til it's over, as Yogi has pointed out. Enjoy it while you can, folks!! Fred.

[ This Message was edited by: clnfrd on 2005-06-27 18:01 ]
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frankpaladin



Joined: 03 Mar 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2006 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have begun using Efke/Adox film/paper. So far, I have no complaints other than that I can't buy these products locally, but have to order from J and C. This is a relatively minor inconvenience.

Since I can't get Agfa Bovira any longer, Vario-Classic G seemed a good substitute. It does work with Kodak Ploycontrast filters. I will reserve final judgement until I have finished my first 100 sheets, but so far, so good.

Efke PL100 film comes in 2.25 by 3.25, which is great as I still shoot cut film in that format. I'm still experimenting with it, but this product also seems promising.

Quite possibly the future of silver lies in former Eastern Block countries. Kodak is too big a dinosaur to adapt to a small niche market, but Efke/Adox might well manage it.

Stay tuned.
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