I spoke with Kodak today. Here is the quick version of my report:
There is plenty of Azo on hand. No one needs to panic.
A few years ago Paula and I saved Azo from extinction. We didn't do this just to get everyone excited about silver chloride paper and then leave them in the lurch. So we are having silver chloride paper made elsewhere. There will be silver chloride paper available as long as we are around.
Support Ilford.. most management buy-outs fail after a few years, and they're the only ship in town which wants to produce analog products. If they go under again, then you are guaranteed to see the loss of film within 5 years.
Kodak is just saying they'll keep making film since logistically they can only close so many things at once. Remember, CEO's dont get bonuses for achieving things in 15 years.. his bonus will be to rid Kodak of film inside 5 years.
I had to break the news to an older photographer today.. I visited his darkroom and noticed atleast three to four dozen boxes of 8x10 250sht. polymax.. The man had yellow-kodak box everything.. He is about 78 and loves what he knows best, Kodak paper.
I broke his poor heart.
Shame , I think the yellow father was killed by his greedy son for a quick succession years ago. Now he wants to kill of any supporters of the old regime.
You might be right, I dont know either, but either way I am thinking Kodak's film making days are numbered.....
Originally Posted by MattCarey
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Nothing is guaranteed Daniel.
Originally Posted by snaggs
Myself? I'd stake a claim that Oriental and a couple of the East European marques will still be in business when Ilford gets snuffed.
I didn't like Ilford matierals before and I like them less when they've gotten more expensive. They aren't likely to see my business any time soon.
I never had the chance to use AZO or Polymax... I'm just in the process of setting up my first darkroom right now!! (picked a great time, have I been foolish?).
Out of interest, Kodak here in Western Australia owned a chain of photo shops (minilabs) called "Kevron", they just closed them all down last week!
PS. Even if you use Seagull papers, dont you need chemicals and film?
There seems to be a huge sentiment here from those involved in professional aspects of photography which stipulates that the amateur, hobbyist doesn't even deserve to voice their opinion on this issue. Which is annoying and very near sighted. I'm sorry, I can't afford 100 rolls of film a week. I guess I should be shunned, or at best, pointed to some digital forum to learn my place.
The fact is, I realize that my money is not going to make or break Kodak. And I realize that if I really, really like Trix, and stop using it in protest, I am just shooting myself in the foot and not denting Kodak any, BUT:
It leaves a bad taste in my mouth to spend what little moeny I have on a product marketed by a company that, in its very mission statement, excludes little, unimportant, ME!
More than excludes, really... ignores and goes out of its way to show how little it thinks of the likes of me. Kodak is like a land developer that can't wait for that sweet littleold lady to get a horrible disease and die already, so it can tear her house down and build a strip mall. We are the old lady, guys!
Also, I fail to really see their leadership role in anything other than VOLUME.
Trix is their only film worth using, unless you want to photograph surgical equipment and convey its full sterility and lack of life. I could care less for D76 - its not the be all and end all, just another developer that can easily be substituted. Its not like its Rodinal or something
I don't really know if their paper is any good - I don't ever see anough of it in the stores I go to... so, why would I? I have stacks of AGFA and Ilford looking me in the face, and some shrink wrapped package of 25 sheets of paper and a roll or two of Trix with a little brochure attached...
I use Dektol. I am sure I can find a suitable substitute from Ilford. At least their mission statement doesn't stop short of calling me an antiquated, annoying little prick who chooses to be difficult with his silly B&W film.
I have very little money. Kodak is a huge multinational corporation. The least I can do is say "Fine, be like that", childish as it may seem, I am tired of everyone in this industry treating me like a waiter would a fussy eater with an attitude.
I'm beginning to think that Kodak would make pie or women's underwear if they could figure out how to make money there. I don't expect any loyalty fromthem - and they should expect none from me. Even if that has NO impact on them, it will make me feel better.
Right on Gnashings. In the past I was a 101% Kodak person. It's not the products, but the mission their on. Don't buy a freezer, and stock pile paper
which when you run out....then what ?. They stated it's a 3 year plan. Film will go bye, bye. Lets wave bye, bye NOW. Someone grab a shovel and bury the yellow whale !. Spend your money on products from a company interested in B&W, and not give it to a company that will use it to further non-silver based imaging products. Scanning negatives to print on a printer can't possibly help matters either.
I guess I'm lucky...with the exception of Azo there wasn't a Kodak paper that I really gave a hoot about. If I have to live without Azo (and it seems that Michael Smith is doing everything he can to make sure someone is producing a comparable product), then so be it.
As to film, I do shoot TMY, but only because I got a fantastic deal on some out-of-date 4x5 film...I've never really been hooked on a Kodak film so when the inevitable happens I won't have too mcuh to worry about. I've found Efke 100, Fomapan 200, and HP5+ to be a combination that works for me. (I do worry about Foma now that they're selling their film to FreeStyle for very low prices...the last companies that did that ended up in receivership/bankruptcy...hopefully Foma know what they're doing.)
I really do believe that "boutique" manufacturers are the wave of the future, and that the prices we're seeing today for Efke products are the prices that will keep those companies in business. I have a feeling that Kodak will milk TMX and TMY for as long as they can, but I don't see those lasting another decade. They'll write off the "new" plant as soon as it's economically feasible to do so, and that'll be the end of Kodak film. I wonder what the true condition of Fuji B&W is. I can't remember the last time we heard anything good, bad, or indifferent, about the financial health of Fuji's film business.
Should times get bad enough, there's always the book "Primitive Photography" to help us all understand how to make our own paper negative materials. I'll be shooting film even if nobody is manufacturing it.
My two cents...and hardly worth that...
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.