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  1. #1

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    Kodak paper. sigh.

    Kodak rep informed my employer that kodak b&w polymax glossy is gone forever and there is no backstock left of which we may order.
    Semi-matte is still available for the time being though.

  2. #2
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    B&H still has some polymax left, though it's a bit expensive.

    I really don't understand why Kodak has discontinued their paper; it was really good stuff.

    Well, there'll be a replacement for it from some companies eventually, I'm sure.

  3. #3

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    Kodak? Kodak is dead to me.

    My money is going to Ilford!

    Jon.

  4. #4
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    That's why there is Ilford. Their Multigrade IV is quite nice paper.

  5. #5
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
    I really don't understand why Kodak has discontinued their paper; it was really good stuff.
    As I understand it, the whole story condenses to something like this: their paper stock supplier (since they outsourced paper base production a few years ago) has discontinued the base stock, and finding a replacement base that would give identical results (much more important to a Kodak than, say, a Forte or Foma) would be prohibitively expensive in an era of milking the cash cow.

    We can probably expect to see this happen, in one form or another, to all our printing papers; they'll either change significantly from batch to batch (not necessarily the emulsion, but perhaps the base, or the white undercoat -- or perhaps the emulsion as well, as photographic gelatin becomes a niche product), or will winnow down to only a few distinct products. It's the nature of the industry as it downsizes to fit the ongoing demand that remains after digital takes up most advertising, portrait, and even magazine photography.

    The good news, if you want to call it that, is that B&W was already something of a niche craft, so has a little less downsizing than color ahead of it. Even more good news is that there are still companies coating, cutting, and packaging B&W materials that most of us have never heard of -- at least one or two in India, for instance, whose products aren't exported AFAIK, as well as a couple in China that I'm not aware of being available in North America.

    I expect in another five years, it'll be Ilford, Foma, Forte, a couple most of us have never heard of, and possibly still Fuji in B&W paper -- and ten years after that, there'll be two to three distinct brands of B&W enlarging papers, likely only one still producing graded material and possibly only one (not even the same one) in fiber base (RC is both cheaper to produce, and less subject to variation in material supply).
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  6. #6
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    What Donald says makes sense, though it's still a shame. My money weill be going to other companies as well, as I've discovered that I really like Efke, Fuji and Lucky China films. For paper, we'll have to see ...

  7. #7

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    Here in Sao Paulo, the shelves of Kodak papers are also empties. Good bye Kodak. As said before, we must support who supports us. This doesn't involve Kodak.
    sergio caetano

  8. #8
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    I received a 50 pack of Polymax 16x20 from B&H yesterday. That is for finishing a project started earlier. New stuff is going quite nicely on Kentmere Fineprint VC. Thank you Michael Mutmansky for suggesting it.

    I like the Kentmere a lot. I will be moving up to 20x24 and am a little disappointed that Freestyle is not showing the 50 pack in their Kentmere offerings, just the 10 pack. Kentmere UK shows that it is packed that way. Is there simply not much demand for 20x24?

    John Powers

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jp80874
    Is there simply not much demand for 20x24?
    Very litle, compared to 8x10 and 11x14, I would think.
    "What drives man to create is the compulsion to, just once in his life, comprehend and record the pure, unadorned, unvarnished truth. Not some of it; all of it."

    - Fred Picker

  10. #10

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    It's worth noting that Lucky Films has started laying off workers and that their net profit was down 78 percent with no special charges in the last quarter. If anything, the uptake curve of digital in China will be more aggressive than what we saw in the USA/EU/Japan in the last half-dozen years. Same for India.

    I don't see Lucky as any long-term solution. Nor, indeed, any of the current players.

    E. European makers will be slaughtered when the EMU arrives and the cost of capital goes through the roof and I just don't see the Chinese focusing on a niche product.

    I've already been burned twice in the last month with defects on Lucky 135 film - so, basically, I consider it unreliable crap and my money isn't going there.

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