Kodak Discontinues All B&W Paper

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by Richard Knoppow, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. My contact at Kodak has informed me this morning that Kodak has
    discontinued all Black and White printing paper of all types in all
    sizes. Sales will continue until present stocks run out, a time
    estimated at six months.
    Kodak will continue to make B&W film and chemicals, both for film
    and paper.
    The reasons for dropping the products are economic, the market is
    shrinking rapidly and is no longer profitable.
    The official announcement will be made later today.

    Richard Knoppow
    Richard Knoppow, Jun 15, 2005
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  2. I could see this coming. When they cancelled Elite and Ektalure,
    what was left was a collection of also-ran papers that nobody I
    knew would ever use if there were any other options available. I
    bought a 50 sheet box of Polymax FB when they recommended it as the
    replacement for Elite and regretted it almost immediately.

    So they had all the costs of keeping production for black and white
    paper up and running, with, I expect, less revenue than smaller
    producers such as Ilford and Oriental and Forte. This is something
    that is very frequently overlooked when people complain about Kodak
    in these newsgroups: running production lines has fixed costs that
    are independent of the amount of product you make or sell. Kodak
    used to be big, demand used to be big, and so Kodak built big --
    which means high fixed costs, which means that they *must* sell a
    certain (large) minimum amount of product in order to not lose money.

    And for all some people here like to whine about Kodak's "greed", it
    is patently absurd to claim that Kodak should lose money so that we
    can buy the art supplies we like.

    I am hoping that the recent consolidation of film production that
    led to the slightly changed Tmax and Tri-X emulsions will keep
    black and white film from suffering this same fate. Paper is
    comparatively easy to make, and there are other sources. Sheet
    film with tabular-grain emulsions is much, much less so.

    It's easy to say "oh, Kodak should just raise their prices and sell
    whatever amount they can" or "oh, Kodak should just sell their film
    division to someone else" but if they built their production lines
    to run at 100 times the output they can now sell, that's basically
    just not possible; at the markup required for them to not lose money,
    in such a situation, nobody would buy the product at all, and it is
    not like they can just go get money somewhere to rebuild a new,
    smaller industrial facility to make tiny volumes of the same
    products, either; the return on investment would be too small by far.
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 15, 2005
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  3. Richard Knoppow

    JPDFDA Guest

    Greetings all,
    I have confirmed that Kodak is going to discontinue all their black
    and white papers. Only way to print black and white on Kodak papers is
    with their Portra papers. This paper uses RA-4 chemistry. So home
    darkrooms, Porfessional darkrooms and teaching labs in schools will be
    Kodak has also said that they will continue to make film and
    chemistry's for black and white processing. But those of us who love
    Black and White will have to go else where for our papers.

    JPDFDA, Jun 15, 2005
  4. I'm trying to understand why you think that Kodak is the only source
    of black and white printing paper. Thank goodness, they're not.
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 15, 2005
  5. Richard Knoppow

    UC Guest

    Huh? Is this true?
    UC, Jun 15, 2005
  6. Richard Knoppow

    UC Guest

    Well, since Kodak has repeatedly and consistently discontinued their
    good papers in favor of their crappy ones, because their marketing
    morons are utterly incapable of selling anything that doesn't fall into
    their high-school dominated demographic, why am I not surprised?

    Kodak's idiocy boggles the imagination...

    In one of his comedy routines, Steve Martin talks about his imaginary
    books. One of the fictional titles is 'How I turned $25 million in real
    estate into $10'.

    Kodak must have bought the book.

    How can Kodak turn a thriving business into nothing...it takes real
    talent and real effeort to be this fucking stupid....it does not happen
    UC, Jun 15, 2005
  7. [snip]

    Please don't feed the troll.
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 15, 2005
  8. Nah they will just go to a company more than willing to pick up that
    Gig A. Hertzu, Jun 15, 2005
  9. I am hoping this will give the owners of Ilford the guts to resume
    Gig A. Hertzu, Jun 15, 2005
  10. Richard Knoppow

    UC Guest

    Ha! Do you own Kodak stock or something? Can't you satnd it when
    someone points out the truth? That the emperor has no clothes? That
    American business is dominated by cretins?
    UC, Jun 15, 2005
  11. Maybe Ilford can survive ... 1 down, 12 to go.

    Who's left -

    Agfa - Germany
    Berger [fiber only?] - France
    FOMA - Czech Republic
    Forte - Hungary
    Fotokemika/EFKE - Croatia
    Ilford - UK
    Kentmere - UK
    Lekai [Lucky] - Mainland China
    Mitsubishi [?] - Japan
    Oriental - Japan
    Slavich - Russia
    Sterling - India

    TTBOMK, the following are re-labels:

    Cachet - E. Europe
    Luminos - Various European
    Paterson - UK
    Tetnal - Germany
    Tura - Germany

    Any additions, corrections? As if I had to ask.

    Taken from http://www.phototechmag.com/buying_paper.htm and
    various web sites/dists.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jun 15, 2005
  12. Ilford never stopped production, with the exception
    of some boutique products.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jun 15, 2005
  13. Richard Knoppow

    UC Guest

    I have not used any Kodak B&W paper for 35 years (with the exception of
    some of their Elite paper), precisely because the products have been
    inferior. In the late 60s and early 70s, I used DuPont. Since then,
    Ilford. Kodak's problem is Kodak, not 'the market'. They need to look
    in the mirror...

    Kodak is so fucking stupid it makes me want to puke......
    UC, Jun 15, 2005
  14. RC graded paper only, last I heard -- and I haven't seen that in
    the US in ages. Are you sure it's still in production?
    Something bad has happened to the parent Oriental company in Japan,
    as far as I can tell -- after they just emerged from bankruptcy?
    reorganization a few years ago, too. Their US distributor is not
    currently filling orders, and most retail outlets are running out
    of stock.

    This is very frustrating to me; I'd just figured out how to print
    most of my favorite stuff on Seagull after Kodak cancelled Elite
    a few years back. It is a lot of work, because Seagull has very
    high highlight contrast while Elite was very soft through the
    highlights; there isn't anything quite like either of them still
    on the market.

    I tried a box of Forte Bromofort a few years ago but I have had
    quality-control issues with Forte that neither they nor I could
    ever sort out -- new boxes of paper shipped direct from the
    distributor seemed to be heat damaged. The distributor pulled
    a large quantity of paper from their own storage and tested it
    and could not reproduce the problem, which was very frustrating.
    I'm not sure what I'll do for cold-tone FB paper now -- I have
    never liked the Ilford product and there is really not much
    else left.
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 15, 2005
  15. Richard Knoppow

    Dan Guest

    I've standarized on Kodak B&W products (Tri-X for film and Poly
    Contrast for paper) not because they were the greatest but because they
    were "good enough" and easy to find locally. I thought they would be
    around for ever. Guess not. So it's back to Ilford ... for however long
    they last.
    Dan, Jun 15, 2005
  16. Richard Knoppow

    Nick Zentena Guest

    Are they back?

    Nick Zentena, Jun 15, 2005
  17. Richard Knoppow

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    On 15 Jun 2005 06:46:12 -0700,


    jun1505 from Lloyd Erlick,

    Not mine!

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    voice: 416-686-0326
    net: www.heylloyd.com
    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 15, 2005
  18. Richard Knoppow

    pgg Guest

    Yikes. I don't use Kodak paper because they don't offer small package
    sizes for 16x20 and 11x14, but if they are cutting paper, I would think
    that B&W film could go in the next 5 years.

    As much as I enjoy traditional photography (I can care less about whether
    digital is better), this news certainly makes me feel gloomy about the
    future of my craft and all the purchases I've made in the last 2 years.

    But as long as I can buy reasonably priced film and paper from _somebody_,
    I can work with the particulars of the brand/emulsion. Even if it is
    Forte "crap"...
    pgg, Jun 15, 2005
  19. It does seem strange to cut paper but leave the film [that requires
    the paper]. I don't know many photographers who consider
    the negative to be the final product.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jun 15, 2005
  20. It doesn't seem too strange to me; it's all about the total revenue
    for the product versus the fixed (or at least highly inelastic) costs
    of making it in Kodak's production facilities, which were built for
    much higher volumes of product than they're able to sell today.

    Kodak still has a dominant position in the black and white film
    market; it's not inconcievable to me that they may be the last of
    the major manufacturers to exit that market. But they've been an
    also-ran in the paper market for years, and their last retooling
    of their product line left it weaker than ever.
    Thor Lancelot Simon, Jun 15, 2005
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