What's happening to Forte

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Les McLean, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Just talked with a friend who's returned from Photokina with the news that the Forte stand was not occupied and the word around the show is that the banks have stepped in. Anyone got any more news.
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    ugh. am right in the middle of a project using polywarmtone plus paper.

    am getting depressed , ilford, afga, forte what is next?:sad:
     
  3. KenM

    KenM Member

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    If this is true, then this really, really sucks.

    I only print on Forte papers, so this will really hurt if it goes away.

    I guess we can only hope that this is a temporary thing, but with the way things have been going for 'traditional' photography lately...
     
  4. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Well, if worse comes to worse there is digital capture, digital negatives and alternative printing. Lots of interesting processes out there and many are much more interesting than silver gelatin, at leat to me.

    Sandy King
     
  5. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Sandy,
    can one digital capture, digital negative and then enlarge that negative rather than contact print it? Of course you are correct about alternative methods but then that leaves coating our own paper, correct?
     
  6. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    there is wet plate photography, and if you don't want the mess, Liquid emulsion stuff to coat glass plates and ferrotypes. We will survive. I refuse to give up.
     
  7. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    Man, oh man.......... I hope this isn't true. I just discovered graded paper using Forte Fortezo. I've never had it so easy in the darkroom.

    Keep us informed, Les.
     
  8. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Ann,

    You would not be able to enlarge very much with a digital negative from an inkjet printer before the image breaks down so at this point in time the digital capture, digital negative approach is best suited for contact printing. But there is really quite a bit of flexibility in the approach and in my opinion I believe it would be possible to make a better print from a 6X6 cm negative from a digital negative than if you enlarged directly to the same size. I don't know this for a fact but Michael Smith and I are going to test the principle soon. Either he or Paula will make an AZO print from a roll-film negative, best one they can. Then they are going to send the negative to me and I will scan it, print a digital negative, and send it to them to make the final AZO prit from the digital negative. They will then compare the two prints and evaluate the results.

    Coating your own paper is not that complicated for processes like cyanothype, VDB, kallitype and palladium and platinum. And some of these processes are even more permanent than silver gelatin.

    Sandy
     
  9. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    that is what i was afraid of. I have done some cyanotype, note cards from negatives, fiber stuff, but nothing else where i need to coat my own paper. Nothing like learning new skills.
     
  10. KenM

    KenM Member

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    While I really have nothing against digital, that last thing I want to do when I'm pursuing my hobby is sit in front of a computer screen digitally manipulating an image. As a software consultant, I spend far too much time staring at a monitor as it is.

    You never know - it may come to using digital techniques for at least part of the photographic process. I hope not.
     
  11. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Not only that, lets keep promoting digital negatives on an all analog site so that film really and truly dies.....
     
  12. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    And not only that, let's not forget that if I want to reprint one of my negatives in 40 years (I'm only 21) I can. Who knows how long it will take for a digital negative to fade? How much will they charge for lightfast ink? This is a very bad idea...
     
  13. jandc

    jandc Member

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    We spoke to them yesterday.

    Forte has had some production difficulties and delayed delivery of products. They are still taking orders and hope to have production back in 4 to 6 weeks. This has nothing to do with banks stepping in. They have however approached banks for additional financing.
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Glad to hear that, John. Keep us posted!
     
  16. argentic

    argentic Subscriber

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    I heard rumors of this too. I would really regret Forte papers. They are my favorites. I just understood from BW Magazine that Bruce Barnbaum uses Forte exclusively. This would really be a loss to analog photographers.

    G.
     
  17. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    John, thanks for the update.
     
  18. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    BUY THAT MAN A BEER!

    That's the best news that's been posted on this subject - anywhere!
     
  19. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Isn't it funny how rumors can get blow so totally out of proportion? Best to just sit back and wait to see what is really happening.

    THANK YOU JOHN!
     
  20. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Thank you for the update.

    Since you are here, I'd like to ask you a question:

    Are the graded papers you sell in 12x16 the same as the Fortezo papers? Would a "hard" grade be equivalent to a grade 3 or 4? Would normal be 2 and soft 1?

    Thank you for all the help,

    André
     
  21. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I inquired in an earlier post about buying bulk film in rolls. i have access to a facility with a large subzero freezer and am begining to look at the real possibility of buying some bulk film, building a temporary "clean room" and cutting a packaging the roll(s) to insure I have a lifetime supply of ULF film.



    i have learned from a earlier thread that Forte, Foma, Efke, and Slavich (russian?) will sell film in bulk, although I do not at this time know pricing.

    I still believe in my heart of hearts (wishfull thinking?) that someone will produce LF and ULF film. It is hard to imagine that all of the photographers who have spent years learning the LF craft will suddenly find their passion come to an end. There has never been a commercial market for these products and I think as long as there is a demand, someone will make film even if only in bulk and it is cut and packaged by photo wharehouse, J&C etc. Maybe it will get to the point that one batch will be made once a year and that is it. Prices will go up but availability will still be there.

    I am still building my ULF cameras and still plan to market them (SOON) even though these scares will probably cause interest to wane in the short term.
    I have had a couple people ask me to take them off the list to build a camera untill they feel comfortable with the film situation.

    I for one am going to send Forte an Email and let them know how important their products are and that there is a demand for them, especially the sheet film. I know it probably will do no good, but it can't hurt either.
     
  22. bwfans

    bwfans Member

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    Let me hand in my homework:

    0) they are running out of supplies so stopped the production.
    1) they cannot make more papers/films without cash to buy the raw materials and need new financing.
    2) they are not interested in getting more orders through attending the show. (They may have enough orders on hand but no raw material to fulfill the orders; or they need those marketing people to knock on the door of big banks. )
    3) they are stepping into the same shoe as Ilford.
    4) it is time to a) stock up Forte; b) try alternative process; c) play with digital
     
  23. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Les McLean
    Just talked with a friend who's returned from Photokina with the news that the Forte stand was not occupied and the word around the show is that the banks have stepped in. Anyone got any more news.

    Quote J&C
    We spoke to them yesterday.

    Forte has had some production difficulties and delayed delivery of products. They are still taking orders and hope to have production back in 4 to 6 weeks. This has nothing to do with banks stepping in. They have however approached banks for additional financing.


    Did they say they were running out of supplies?
    Did they say they were out of money and couldn't make supplies?
    Did they say they were not interested in getting more orders? Only that they Did not attend Photokina.
    Did anyone say they were doing like Ilford has done?
    Is this just another rumor getting off the ground from mis interpretation?

    Get a grip. Maybe they approcached the bank becasue they needed more money to expand? Who really knows? But to be gloom and doom all the time and sparking up new ideas for rumors gets us no where.
     
  24. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I vote you try out (c).
     
  25. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    I can understand how you feel. I was a department chair of a very large department at my university for many years and typically spent several hours each day in front of a monitor writing reports, evaluations and recommendations. The last thing in the world I would have wanted to do back then would have been to come home and spend more time in front of the monitor. However, the quality of my professional life has improved considerably since I got out of administration and a little time at the computer is no problema now.

    In any event it appears obvious that we are in the midst of a sea change in terms of the availability of traditional materials and it seems almost inevitable that our choices of traditional films and papers will be more and more limited with each passing year. The market appears to be making some huge adjustments and I don't think we can continue to just blame the CEO for making bad decisions. Photography as we all know it may simply be disappearing before our eyes.

    Sandy
     
  26. jandc

    jandc Member

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    Our Classic papers are Forte. The Museum paper is the same as Fortezzo.

    Grades 2,3 and 4.