What Kodak's site says about its B/W film

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Changeling1, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    Here's Kodak's positive statement about its b/w analog products:

    "EXHIBIT YOUR CREATIVITY WITH KODAK PROFESSIONAL BLACK-AND-WHITE FILMS.
    No one helps you achieve your artistic vision like Kodak. That’s why great shooters have insisted upon KODAK PROFESSIONAL Black-and-White Films for decades. Our full range of black-and-white film lets you add power, subtlety, mystery, or reality to your photography and achieve your own distinctive look. After all, you have a special passion for your art, and Kodak is committed to supporting it. See for yourself by experimenting with our films today."

    I particularly like the sentence towards the end that says "After all, you have a special passion for your art, and Kodak is committed to supporting it."

    Kodak has redesigned its film packaging and is asking photographers to "experiment with our films today". It would be pretty surprising considering the company's current efforts for Kodak to announce a half-a-year from now that they were going to stop making b/w film. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not going to quit buying Kodak films just because they no longer make b/w paper. The truth is I (and legions of other photographers) never printed with Kodak b/w paper anyway which is probably a big reason it's not being made anymore.
    I would hate to lose 4x5" TXP 320 (in particular) along with Plus X, and T-Max just because a number of photographers got angry for Kodak's discontinuing a product that they probably never used anyway.

    I think it would be great if everyone could go to the Kodak site and read the above quote for themselves and then write Kodak a nice note thanking them for their commitment to support traditional b/w analog photography.
    If enough of us write in, Kodak will be reminded that we have taken their statement gladly, seriously, and gratefully. Let's do all we can to encourage Kodak to honor the pledge it has made.


    Here's another quote from Kodak:

    ON THE FUTURE OF FILM." It’s a wonderful time to be a photographer, with so many available options to express each individual’s artistic viewpoint. To that end, Kodak will continue to celebrate, promote, and perfect our portfolio of film, so each and every photographer who chooses KODAK Film can capture all the wonderful moments of the world we live in, beautifully."

    www.Kodak.com/go/bwFilms

    Could it be that we are needlessly falling victim to the force of FEAR? As in:
    F alse
    E vidence
    A ppearing
    R eal
     
  2. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    We can but hope (and buy stuff).

    David.
     
  3. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    What a load! Kodak is slime. The pro that runs the waterfall trip I go on twice a year has been in the business for longer than I've been alive (and I'm better than a half century old). He says Kodak has never been as supportive of their b&w shooters as Ilford. I witnessed this first hand when 2 years ago, I emailed them to ask where their great online info about setting up a darkroom went. They informed me that if I wanted that, I'd have to buy their book, and that they took it all down because no one is doing b&w anymore, and why didn't I just buy a digital camera. :sad: Cretins!

    For me, I will continue to support the ones who actually ACTIVELY support me... you know what they say... talk is cheap.
     
  4. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Like many others have said, if you like Kodak products keep using them as long as they are available. Just because it may someday become unavailalbe is no reason to quit using something as long as it produces the results you want.

    As far as kodak's marketing hype, I may be mistaken (others help me here) but did I not see Kodak advertisments for gelatin silver paper in PDN as little as a year ago?
     
  5. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I believe you're mistaking advertizing for some sort of binding commitment.

    Here are the products from Kodak that I used consistently: Panatomic-X, Kodachrome 25 (before they lowered silver content in 1979), Verichrome Pan, Ektar 25 and Royal Gold 25, PMJ, B&W papers including Medalist, Kodacolor II.

    I also used to use Kodak processing for K-14 and E-6, but the change to Qualex and the subsequent quality control issues in the mid 80's sent me searching elsewhere for decent labs. Their customer support was the epitome of bad public relations, and even sending the Kodak QC people back into the labs didn't improve things.

    Actions, and availability of the products you like and use, speak louder than words on a web page. Have you seen those words about B&W in print, where it costs them something to make that commitment?

    Kodak doesn't currently make many products that I prefer over competitors' products. I still buy an occasional roll of Elite Chrome 200 for astrophotography, but not nearly enough to keep it in production. Maybe I'll try some of their other E-6 film now that Velvia RVP is gone, if I can keep track of the variants and frequent formulation changes.

    I'm not just a die-hard who's stuck in the past. I jumped from silver-depleted Kodachrome 25 to Velvia in a heartbeat for my nature shooting. The fact is that Kodak keeps changing the character of their available products in ways that I don't like. It's been a very long time since they introduced a new product that I liked that stayed on the market for more than 24 to 36 months.

    Lee
     
  6. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    Who can trust on Kodak Company ???... They gave up of us.
     
  7. JeffD

    JeffD Member

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    I'll keep buying Kodax Tmax 100 and 400, at least in the near term. Why? Because I finally nailed down my own film speed and proper +/- development times after a lot of testing this weekend. I hope they keep producing HC110 for a long time too. Not only is it a great developer, but it is good on pancakes, too!

    I don't really care much about whether Kodak took down their "how to build a darkroom" web page. There are plenty of sites on the Internet with that kind of information. But these products are readily available to me, and the quality and reliability are, in my mind, excellent.
     
  8. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I'll stick with Ilford thanks.
     
  9. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    That is Kodak's statement this quarter.
    Next quarter when they loose millions more they will have a new statement.
    Kodak will continue to cut and slash until they are nothing.

    Kodak is just another old american company that can not compete in today's global market.

    I compare Kodak to Westinghouse. It is only a matter of time till Kodak is completely gone.
     
  10. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I have to echo Lee L on this issue. I've used Kodak products in the past but their corporate decisions to discontinue things I like got tiresome a few years ago. I started tapering off the Kodak brand and trying alternatives. The last Kodak film I loved was Tri-X but for some time now I've liked Ilford HP5+ even more. I haven't liked Kodak papers since they discontinued Medalist and Kodabromide but Ilford, Forte, Oriental and Bergger are all remarkably good choices.

    I'm still using Kodak B&W chemicals because they are readily available locally but I expect that will change soon. Looking at the stocking dates on what's in the local stores, just about everything has been on the shelves for over a year. They don't move the stuff fast enough to keep fresh chemicals in stock. That's one of the signs that B&W has become a niche market that's not profitable for the major league. Thank God for the minor league with internet ordering.

    Before traditional photography ever reached its current state of upheaval, Kodak had the reputation of dropping product lines to maximize profits overall. If someone else likes what Eastman Kodak currently makes and sells, my warning is "don't expect it to be there tomorrow".
     
  11. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    I will admit to having 2 photographic products in this house with yellow labels - Rapid Selenium Toner and Farmers Reducer. As soon as I find good substitutes they'll be gone and I'll be completely "Yellow Free." I don't really have a lot of faith that they will be available for much longer anyway. "Why don't you just buy a digital camera" indeed. With Agfa's current situation, I guess that makes me an Ilford guy all round. I do have 10 bottles of Rodinal on the way, though, so that should last me a little while before I have to start experimenting with R-09 or just stick with ID-11 and DDX.

    As far as Kodak's web advertising goes - I call Bulls***! They'll say anything they can to keep moving product until they get it wound down and eliminated.

    As far as people here reacting out of fear, I'll direct you to the old saying that "Customers will vote with thier feet." I see a lot of feet here voting by marching right over to the Fuji and Ilford (and other) products. And I don't believe it has anything to do with fear, it has to do with supporting the company that DEMONSTRATES that it supports you. Not the one that says it does while acting to the contrary.

    Just my 2 lux worth.
     
  12. esanford

    esanford Member

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    My tendency is to leave emotion out of my purchasing decisions (for photographic as well as other products). I realize that I cannot punish Kodak for making business decisions that it deems necessary. Moreover, if every member of APUG decided to boycott Kodak, my instincts say that it would not impact the company's sales or overall profitability. To the extent that Kodak sells products that I use and enjoy, I will buy them. If other companies offer products more to my liking, I will buy those.

    In my time in photography, I have not found a better film then TRI-X that suits my tastes and style of photography. When Kodak announced the discontinuance of the "old" Tri-X, I purchased several hundred rolls. I will also continue using HC-110 because I like it in combination with Tri-X. If Kodak announces a discontinuance of that product, I will buy several cases to be used until I find something else. These decisions are correct for me because I spent a lot of hard work testing and calibrating these products. I don't want to do this with other products unless I really am forced to do so.

    I haven't used Kodak papers in 20 years because I like Ilford and Oriental much better. I use Fuji Velvia because I prefer it over anything that Kodak manufactures.

    I believe that you do your photography and live your life as best as you can without emoting over things you cannot control. It amazes me how we just continute to whine on about Kodak's business decisions. And, of course everyone here has a friend who knows exactly what happened/what's going to happen about the company. Kodak, like to many other American Corporations is going through a transition. Their managment and stockholders will decide what the company will be. None of us can control that. Kodak has always been a business that has been driven by consumer purchasing. Addressing the consumer market is what made George Eastman one of the wealthiest men of his time. It also made Kodak an industry giant. I suspect that consumer buying patterns will be the primary driver for their future fundamental decisons. The professional and advanced amateur market will be only a "boutique business" for Kodak and the rest of the photographic business. Or, maybe some other entreprenuer will be willing to invest in this portion of the market and make a go of it. It won't happen unless that investor can make a good profit. I know that many of our members don't like to see companies make large profits. Notwithstanding that, it is the only reason for an entreprenuer to invest.

    Frankly, I think that one of the best cars that were ever made was the 1993-1995 Acura Legend... Guess what? Honda changed the body style and the engine configuration as well as other things that I don't like about the new Acura. So, I pouted for about 5 minutes and then purchased another car from another manufacturer.

    Such is the essence of life....
     
  13. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    At this point Kodak will do what Kodak thinks it needs to do, I will do what I think I need to do. I have used many Kodak products over the years including Plus X and Tri X, I just changed to HP5 and PF4, not because of Kodak, because I changed my standard developer to an Edwal 12 clone; and after testing I found HP5 and PF4 works better than Kodak. It Tri X worked as well or better I would still be buying Kodak as long as I could get it.

    I have lived though the demise of Dupont, Ansco/Gaf, and now Afga. I just hope that the world wide market for legacy film and paper will continue to provide a market for the remaining producers.
     
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  15. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    Kodak has struggled for the same reason any other film company around the world has struggled. It has nothing to do with your 'global market'. It has everything to do with the abandonment of film by your local, regional, national and international marketplace. Kodak has been committed to film in spite of what they knew was a disappearing market for film. By all rights, they should have been 'going digital' years earlier. They made a late comittment to digital technology and are losing money because they are playing catch-up.

    In case anybody is wondering... no I don't own a digital camera and do not plan on buying one. In fact, I'm building 8x10 cameras for myself, my son and a friend at the moment.

    Kodak lost 1 billion mostly because of a 1 time $900 million accounting adjustment. Next quarter will be different. I'm not sure why you find it important to note that Kodak is an American company. Are you trying to say that being American is particularly bad? I personally don't see how the nationality of a company makes them exceptionally 'evil'.

    You also need to understand that Kodak was successful because of what was a HUGE demand for film from the professional market. They created a very large manufacturing capacity to meet that need. The need is mostly gone and Kodak is NOT responsible for the current market conditions. In order for Kodak to survive in any form, they must shed themselves of expensive capital equipment that no longer contributes to their bottom line.

    If you were running a company that had the capacity to produce 1,000,000 widgets and you knew that you'd only be able to sell 1,000 widgets, would you still produce the million? If you chose to produce only enough widgets to meet the needs of the market place, what would you do with the machines which were now permanently idle? Any manager in any part of the world would do as Kodak has had to do.

    If you want to cast aspersions at somebody, go find the closest photojournalist in whatever country you're from and ask them why they are carrying around that digicam. While you are at it, look in the yellow pages for advertising agencys. Call each one and yell at the receptionist because the agency has 'gone digital'. It's the MARKET that is killing (American) Kodak, (English) Ilford and (German) Agfa. Who is the market? You and I!

    Why don't we use our mental energy in a constructive way? Let's find a way as a community to make film cool again. If our efforts slow the shrinkage of the film market or (God forbid) stabilize it at its current level then maybe our beloved film won't disappear for good.
     
  16. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    I got rid of all my Kodak film, stuff every bit of it and switched over to Ilford and Fuji and have 0 regrets. I would never go back to Kodak.
     
  17. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    There is just no replacement for Tmax400 in 8x10 as of yet. Until there is, or until it's gone, I will continue to use it. It is one of a kind.
     
  18. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I agree that you can take statements on their web site with a grain of salt, but I will keep using TX as long as I can get it. Once I can no longer get it, I will probably move to HP-5 for my 120. I like it too much to punish myself by forgoing it to try to make a statement to Kodak.
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have no idea what to believe. ...
    i would hope that kodak will maintain their film line, a lot of people seem to be hoping for that ... but like i said, i don't know what to believe.

    when they closed / consolidated their brazilian manufacturing operations, i contacted kodak, and asked if the plant closing meant that they were slowly pulling out of the traditional photography market. i was forwarded to 3 different people, and then eventually, to somebody in the pacific northwest. i don't know if it was their PR agent, but he told me that kodak had no intentions of stopping film or PAPER production at that time, or anytime in the near future.

    weeks later, they announced that they were ceasing production of photo paper.

    i would love to believe that they will keep making film ( and chemicals), but have a feeling it is too late, besides all the "wishing stars" have been obscured by clouds.

    hopefully "the little guy" (read small scale european producers)
    will be able to help us out down the road.
     
  20. esanford

    esanford Member

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    Does anyone know if a Kodak spokesperson has been invited to the APUG forum next year? I think that it would be interesting and educational to have a rep show up and address a major user group.
     
  21. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Schwinn, Thanks for this. It is, without a doubt, the most rational and well thought out response I've yet seen with regard to this matter.

    I would only add that Kodak, Ilford, Agfa, Fuji and the like are corporations. They exist precisely to maximize profit - nothing more, nothing less. None of them "support" us.
     
  22. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    SchwinnParamount:

    We agree on many points but I will argue two points.

    1. "Kodak has struggled for the same reason any other film company around the world has struggled. It has nothing to do with your 'global market'."

    I understand the film market is much smaller than it used to be. The 'global market' has given photographers many more choices of what film to use. Ilford, Fuji, Agfa are not American companies but they have taken a large portion of the existing market. I will have to say that the availability of these products has increased dramatically in past 25 years.

    2. I'm not sure why you find it important to note that Kodak is an American company. Are you trying to say that being American is particularly bad? I personally don't see how the nationality of a company makes them exceptionally 'evil'.

    Never said being American company is bad or evil. I am American and love America however old large American companies have had problems. Kodak, Westinghouse, All of the American Automobile companies. My point was and still is that Kodak is heading down the same road as Westinghouse did in the mid eighties. I am not blaming or hostile at Kodak. Just making a comparison.


    I agree with you on this statement.

    "Why don't we use our mental energy in a constructive way? Let's find a way as a community to make film cool again. If our efforts slow the shrinkage of the film market or (God forbid) stabilize it at its current level then maybe our beloved film won't disappear for good."

    Local newspaper here in Roanoke VA did a great story a couple of weeks ago where all staff photographers took pinhole photos. All of these shots were in the Sunday paper. They did a great job promoting the use of pinhole. More stories like this will keep it alive.

    Elvis
     
  23. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Any plans on marketing these? Maybe you can post pictures when you get one finished.
    You've offered a very good summary of the photo marketplace. Ron Wisner's statement on digital photography is worth a look, too. Basically, he argues that as long as there's enough demand for film, somebody's going to make it.
    Now, what about all those products coming out of Eastern Europe? I switched from TMX and TMY to JandC Classic 400 (Efke) out of simple price considerations. When TMY is over $100. USD for 100 4X5 sheets and JandC400 is about 1/2 that, well... Call me cheap, but I want to be able to afford this expensive little hobby. Dean
     
  24. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Actually, that's not precisely true... the companies that value their customer base do indeed "support" their customers. While it is true that corporations (I have always called them 'soul-less entities') exist for profit, it is also true that if a corporation wants to maximize that profit, they make sure their customers are happy as clams!

    Look at the difference between Ilford and Kodak. Ilford has an excellent website that offers product info as well as a free forum. They are working hard to bring product to the customer and this includes the introduction/re-introduction of product.

    Kodak has a nice website where you can also find useful information... to a point. If you look long enough, there are many topics that lead you to sheets that you must order, or find in one of their books (ie.. purchase). They say "we will be making product 'x' for a long time!" right up to the time when they announce the demise of product 'x'.

    So... support is something that is offered up by a company. I am looking at an ad for the "Silver" conference as I type this... so... is Kodak participating in this???? nope.
     
  25. Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Member

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    For me its not about hating or despising Kodak but rather choosing to spend my money on products made by companies that are in it (or at least trying to be in it) for the long haul. Despite what Kodak's PR department says on their website, I don't believe Kodak aspires to be in the traditional B+W market for the long haul. In fact I would be shocked if Kodak didn't have either a short or long range plan for eventually pulling out all together. It might be next month or it might be years down the road, but chances are that it will happen. Its really no secret. Mr. Perez has stated numerous times that Kodak is transitioning to a digital-based imaging company and even if the B+W market stabilized, I don't see why Kodak would stay involved with a niche market once the digital side of their company becomes 100% self sufficient and profitable. Until then they still need your film dollars to make their digital goal a reality. I haven't completely boycotted Kodak since I occasionally buy a few rolls of Tri-X and Plus-X from a local shop, but I have switched 99% of my B+W product consumption to alternate companies. Even if we all bought Kodak products there's no changing the plans of a billion dollar mega-corporation and in the end I'm afraid Kodak will kick us to the curb.
     
  26. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Ilford Photo means quality!

    Cheers

    André