What Kodak's site says about its B/W film
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."
Could it be that we are needlessly falling victim to the force of FEAR? As in:
"A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray
We can but hope (and buy stuff).
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. Cretins!
For me, I will continue to support the ones who actually ACTIVELY support me... you know what they say... talk is cheap.
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?
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
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.
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Who can trust on Kodak Company ???... They gave up of us.
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.
I'll stick with Ilford thanks.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
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.
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".