Kodak Brazil closures

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by tim atherton, May 27, 2005.

  1. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    Will the closure of the Kodak Brazil paper plant effect AZO, or have they moved production yet again?

    Having just got going with AZO again after a number of years I don't really want to get pulled up short
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If Azo was to go out of production (I have no reason to think it will) then with Kodak already only supplying through one distributor it would be remarkably easy for Michael & Paula to approach an alternative manufacturer and have a similar paper made to order.

    After all that is exactly what Chicago Albumen did with Kentmere for POP. after their french supplier ceased trading. Silver Chloride emulsions are by far the easiest of the Silver halde emulsions to manufacture, and most manufacturers would have formulae & production notes in their archives.

    Ian
     
  3. John Z.

    John Z. Member

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    What makes me nervous is that I believe it is a lot harder to produce than you may think, in addition to not being economical. This is why no one else is now making it. I have been told enough AZO has been made to last many years, but we always have to look down the road and speculate what may happen next.

    John
     
  4. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Ian,

    It's a nice thought, but not so easy in practice.

    Whoever approaches EK had better be offering them more cash then they would realize in a write-down of the AZO manufacturing plant, property, and equipment. That could prove to be a non-trivial amount.
     
  5. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    There is enough Azo already made to last many years. And for a number of years we have been working on an alternative. We expect fruition soon. I cannot say more at this time.
     
  6. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    Now there's positive news! Enough Azo for years to come and an alternative if ever we run out! Thanks Michael.
     
  7. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Kodak will be selling off their capital equipment (cheap, most likely) to recover what they can salvage for their cash flow. There is an opportunity for someone with cash to walk in and buy some manufacturing machines at a good price. Any bets on it heading east or west? tim
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Now here's a forward thinker for you, and Michael exactly what I'd expect to here from you. Actually it's going on throughout the industry and will produce new life blood into traditional photography.

    I think we'll see excellent new B&W papers from unexpected sources over the next two or three years.

    Ian
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Err

    The coating plant & emulsion manufacturing facilities can be switched from Azo, to Bromide to RA-4, inkjet what ever in a modern facility. Also from paper to film :smile:

     
  10. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Can I ask a dumb question. What is Azo? I have never come across it.

    David.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Azo is a silver rich silver chloride / gelatin paper only really suitable for contact printing due to the very slow emulsions speeds obtainable using AgCl.

    As such it's in high demand from a small dedicated bunch of Large & Ultra Large Format photographers.

    Chloride emulsions have a potential for far higher tonality and really require negatives exposed and developed to match their capabilities.

    Ian
     
  12. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    Kodak closed its factory in São Jose dos Campos, São Paulo.
    Official news: " Medical products will be made in our factory in Manaus, Amazonas. The rest of products will be supplied by Rochester."
    The truth : Professional products disappeared from the shelves of the stores.
    Good Bye Kodak.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Quite wrong

    They disappear because markets change and things evolve

    Ian
     
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  15. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    And somethings in the medical field things do not change. Strange they are retaining film to do exrays on mamograms, because they show more than digital capture does. Tells me what kind of medical equpiment I want when a diagnosis is needed.
     
  16. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    "What is Azo? I have never come across it."

    In your local pharmacy you often come across it on the shelf of treatments for hemmoroids.
     
  17. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    Ian
    At least 3 great distributors of Kodak here in SP have several orders not attended by Kodak. The owners of these stores are quite upset because they have demand (art schools, professional and hobbyist people) for these products. Kodak argues they are having some trouble with customs in Santos harbour.
    I live here in SP, you live in UK. Don't say what you do not know.
     
  18. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I emailed Michael Smith about this yesterday and he could only respond briefly because he and Paula are doing a workshop this weekend.

    Azo has never been made in Brazil. The last master rolls of it that Kodak produced were made in Canada. At that time it was envisioned that any future production runs would take place in Brazil, but now that won't be possible.

    However, the last run produced 6 years worth at current consumption levels. We're still at least 3 years away from the precipice, whether you're talking about either grade 2 or grade 3.

    Michael will contact Kodak as soon as he can and report back to us as to what their avowed intentions are.

    Jim
     
  19. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    weird.

    I thought in the past Michael said Azo was no longer made in Canada production had been moved to Brazil... probably no one really knows
     
  20. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    When they shut down the Canadian operation after running the last master rolls of grade 3, Michael told us that they were planning at that time to move the operation to Brazil. He said this on the Azo Forum; I remember it well. Kodak never made the move for whatever reason. They may set it up somewhere else, they may not.

    Anyway, I'm ordering a box this week. There's years' worth left.
     
  21. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I am confident that "if" the day comes that Kodak's AZO runs out, an alternative will be available. it may be a similar emulsion or the AZO formula produced by someone else. There is a substantial market to provide it as a niche product and from what I gathered at the Texas workshop more and more people wanting to use it.

    Perhaps Michael could give us some input on what we, as AZO users, can do now to help make that a reality.
     
  22. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I don't need Michael to tell me that...what we can do is BUY IT! If enough people continually pay for it, it will remain a mainstream product.

    I think the notion of its becoming a niche product is a fantasy. Products made in capital and labor intensive heavy industries don't become niche products when the market dries up. They disappear.

    The barriers to entry into such an enterprise are too high for it to re-emerge as a cottage industry. If not enough people support the manufacture of photographic paper, it will go the way of vinyl phonograph records and typewriters. There are still people out there using these things, but nobody is manufacturing them.
     
  23. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Buying AZO will not make a difference to Kodak if they have already decided they will not renew production. Buying it may convince another mfg that a similar paper is a viable product.

    I have gathered from the previous posts in this thread that Michael Smith is actively working with a different mfg to keep some kind of a chloride contact printing paper on the market be it an AZO "clone" or similar paper.

    To rephrase my question to Michael, is there anything we can do as consumers of AZO to help you in your efforts to provide an alternative paper for us?

    And yes, before anyone posts, I have contacted Kodak many times on the subject and out of a dozen emails asking them to run a batch of AZO once every one or two years, the two replies I got back basically said Kodak has currently ceased production of AZO and its future continues to be evaluated.
     
  24. edz

    edz Member

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    Vinyl phonograph records and manual typewriters are still being made. Flash bulbs too! :smile:
     
  25. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    I have had a co-worker who used to work at Kodak as a technician in the group that tests papers, make a call to her department seeking information on this topic. Once (and if) i receive any feedback, I will post it here. My guess, though, is that Michael and Paula are on the right track of seeking an alternative manufacturer for an Azo type product.

    Earl
     
  26. gbroadbridge

    gbroadbridge Member

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    Ummn, you need to do some more research. The Vinyl LP record is more successful today than 10 years ago at the height of the CD revolution.

    Note: I'm a historian, not particularly interested in either LP or CD.

    I use CD at home.


    Graham.