Kodak ceases production of B&W paper

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by PGG, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. I havent seen kodak b&w paper for about 2 years in canada, so its about time
    they went
    official with it.
    death skunk five, Jun 17, 2005
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  2. Kodak's continuing commitment...to stupidity, arrogance, and
    uraniumcommittee, Jun 17, 2005
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  3. PGG

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    These are the papers that Kodak should not have discontinued:
    Portra B&W / Sepia RC Base for Optical and Digital Exposure RA-4.
    They are useful for Kodak-based wedding labs, and Ilford does not
    offer an alternative AFAIK.

    Yes, I don't really like B&W and do not use a wet darkroom.
    Bill Tuthill, Jun 17, 2005
  4. PGG

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Locally, those B/W Portra paper prints are becoming much more common. I would
    expect Fuji to have something similar at some point. This might be something bigger
    in North America.
    Sure, though mostly for wedding photographers. The minilabs and one hour places
    doing C-41 and RA-4 will take you B/W C-41 film, and make prints on the paper they
    have loaded in the RA-4 machine. Sometimes those prints look like they have a
    colour cast, though a good operator can make them appear more neutral. I usually
    only see those when I have digital RA-4 contact sheets made on rare occasions that
    I use C-41 B/W film.
    That might be one of the Portra family variations. The B/W market is still good
    amongst wedding photographers in some areas, so that would be an obvious customer
    base. People never really get tired of seeing B/W images, though how those are
    printed might change more in the future.
    Gordon Moat, Jun 17, 2005
  5. PGG

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I have made a few. Very expensive, and slightly toxic. The results are
    nice, but costs keep me from doing more. Bostick & Sullivan still sell
    kits with the chemical to do your own.
    Gordon Moat, Jun 17, 2005
  6. the only answer for any
    Sometimes, ethics and liability also factor into the answer, and not
    in a direct correlation with money.
    True, except when you can quantify these things in concrete terms of
    impact to the bottom line, and/or in measurable effects on public

    Decisions are sometimes made in board meetings that differ from your
    absolute ideals. People who complain about the behavior of
    corporations, usually are not themselves on the board of directors or a
    major stockholder in a corporation.
    James Of Tucson, Jun 17, 2005
  7. No excuse. The problems at US corporations are deep-seated. It is
    almost impossible to get anything done right. The fucking unions and
    environmental bullshit!
    uraniumcommittee, Jun 17, 2005
  8. PGG

    Skip M Guest

    I don't know the whole answer, but Ilford was one of the last suppliers of
    fiber based graded, rather than resin coated multi grade, paper. I always
    found it had better tonal qualities than Kodak, and the texture of both the
    matte and glossy was superior, too. The glossy Ilford Gallerie FB has the
    texture of fine grained leather, as a matter of fact. The blacks are
    excellent without the whites appearing too cold.
    Skip M, Jun 18, 2005
  9. PGG

    Skip M Guest

    No, they really weren't, but it, and everything else, may be indicative of
    the way the market will go. If the board members and the banks perceive the
    market to be unsustainable, then the pressure to withdraw may be
    irresistible. It seems that Kodak would be better served by partially
    withdrawing from the consumer color paper market, with the influx of inkjet
    home printing, and digital lab printing.
    I really need to order some Bergger from B&H for my next sojourn into the
    darkroom. Calumet is still keeping my one package of Ilford Gallerie FB
    grade 2 on the shelf, waiting for me...
    That difference in silver content is what keeps me going back to the
    darkroom, I just can't get the look I want from either an inkjet or from a
    digital lab print.
    Skip M, Jun 18, 2005
  10. PGG

    Gordon Moat Guest

    There is also Bergger, who still make fibre papers. Another one I was just
    reading about is Kentmere papers. Gene Nocon of In House Custom Lab (on Kettner
    near Chrome) is a proponent of Kentmere papers.


    So are you doing any B/W prints lately? Did you hear about the "One Week, One
    Camera" project at PAG?
    Gordon Moat, Jun 18, 2005
  11. PGG

    Gordon Moat Guest

    The digital minilabs are well supported with RA-4 papers, and Kodak has the
    largest chunk of that market. It is still profitable, and something they are
    still working on. What has hurt them is Fuji gaining lots of their market
    share. Kodak have a couple of RA-4 B/W printing papers, though in my opinion
    nothing like a true B/W print on silver paper.

    Kodak is already in the inkjet paper market, though the bigger money is not
    selling to consumers. That might sound strange, but they did purchase Encad (a
    San Diego company) a few years ago, and those inkjet products are intended for
    the business and professional markets.

    Kodak has made more moves towards professional markets lately than towards
    anything consumer oriented. That is were the steady and good revenues exist,
    and many of the profits. Film remains the higher single profit margin product
    they make, and direct digital imaging cameras remain the lowest profits margin.
    Kodak is actively repositioning itself to bias medical imaging and commercial
    printing, areas that already bring in more than half their total revenues.
    Their acquisition of creo was just completed.
    What happened to Calumet? When they first took over North County Camera, it
    seems not much changed. Now it looks like Best Buy, or CompUSA, with lots of
    inkjet stuff, and many cheap P&S digital cameras. I don't see how they can
    compete with the larger discount places, like Fry's, CompUSA, Best Buy, et al.
    I tried to go in their recently to find some tripod parts, and they had hardly
    anything of items that use to be easy to find in the old North County Camera.
    I am hoping that metallic inks will eventually make it to inkjet printers.
    Pantone just started to test the waters a bit by offering ink for a few Epson
    printers, though nothing really beyond what Lyson or others sell. Some dye sub
    systems offer metallic inks, though the results don't look like commercial
    printing nor like silver prints.
    Gordon Moat, Jun 18, 2005
  12. PGG

    Alan Browne Guest

    If you buy a magazine like Photo Techniques and other 'serious'
    photography magazines, they carry a lot of specialty product adverts.

    Unfortunately, B&W paper is now entering the "specialty product" category.

    Alan Browne, Jun 18, 2005
  13. PGG

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I don't see anything wrong with that. There is little need to have something in most
    consumers hands just to validate it's usage. Small speciality firms can make some
    quite nice products, though some people on news groups would have us believe that is
    not possible.

    It is interesting that Kodak are not willing to license out, nor sell off, their
    formulas and machines for making B/W papers. If there is no future, why should that
    matter to them.
    Gordon Moat, Jun 19, 2005
  14. PGG

    Skip M Guest

    I've known about Bergger for some time, I guess I should have put "readily
    available" in the phrase about why Ilford came to be so (relatively)
    I've though about using In House for some printing when I don't have time to
    do it myself, which right now, is never. I heard about the project, but for
    me, one week, one camera gets expanded to this week, this camera, this
    wedding. I don't have the time to shoot anything for myself until sometime
    in the middle of July. I just turned down a wedding for Sept. 4th, because
    H and I will be on the beach at Pismo for a week, starting that very day.
    We NEED that time!
    Skip M, Jun 19, 2005
  15. PGG

    Skip M Guest

    I've wondered that myself, since Calumet never had the reputation of being
    overly low level consumer oriented...
    Maybe it's just a glitch in the current system. I was looking, too, at some
    tripod accessories, and there does seem to be fewer, and less variety, than
    Skip M, Jun 19, 2005
  16. PGG

    Alan Browne Guest

    I would imagine that the main problem is having batch to batch
    consistency. Quality systems that maintain consistency within a chosen
    bound are easy enough to implement ... if the company has the will and
    resources to do so. A company like Kodak has such discipline in place.
    From a basket of small paper makers, it would be less certain to
    identify which were most consistent in this regard.
    Perhaps a misguided notion that it will drive people towards their
    digital products. This has been Kodak's weak strategy for decades.
    Inertia is a terrible thing to overcome.

    Alan Browne, Jun 19, 2005
  17. PGG

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Very true. I think I used more AGFA B/W papers than Ilford, though it does seem
    that Ilford has been dominant. I have not tried Bergger, though I have seen
    some nice printed works from others using those papers. They also make a
    bromide paper, which is a look very different from other types, and compliments
    some images.
    Gene does excellent work. I think he is truly one of the world's master
    printers. Unfortunately, I just don't get to make as many B/W prints as I would
    like. My last paid B/W project ended up all scanned and commercial printed,
    without one true silver print. I might try to print a few later . . . . I hope.
    That might actually work. We are still arranging the details, and this project
    is progressing slowly. The time is not really a strict one week of actual time,
    though you need a TLR square format camera to do this. The end results are
    three images B/W, and three images of anything else, or six images total. The
    end display would be one of each, or only two images. July is soon enough, so
    maybe keep it in mind for later.
    A break would be good. It was nice to see both of you at the last opening
    exhibit. Maybe the next time there will be some more time.
    Gordon Moat, Jun 19, 2005
  18. PGG

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Okay, here is an even stranger thing. I just got a Calumet newsletter in my
    company mail box, and there is no mention of the Calument in Escondido. This
    newsletter also is for their professional in store seminars, and none of those
    are in San Diego.

    I have been to Calumet in other cities, and it is very different. Most of the
    other stores seem to have more professional orientation. The one in Escondido
    seems more like Ritz. Strange.
    Gordon Moat, Jun 19, 2005
  19. PGG

    Skip M Guest

    Yeah, it was good. Sorry we had to rush off like that, we discovered a
    minor missing piece of equipment, and had to run back to the church to
    retrieve it!
    Skip M, Jun 20, 2005
  20. PGG

    Skip M Guest

    What I heard during the days immediately after Calumet's purchase of NCC was
    that the buy was made because of NCC's consumer orientation, as distinct
    from Calumet's high end/pro slant. There were other candidates for purchase
    in San Diego, but that was the deciding factor...
    Skip M, Jun 20, 2005
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