In my search for clarity and information on current moves and trends I wrote E. Kodak about the availability of products and got a small bit of insight. I'm not happy with the loss of paper from a company that provided it over a hundred years and knew of it's demise for quite a time now, we all know of its discontinuation but a new regime has taken office there and we must pretend to be good citizens. This is part of the reply I got from my questions.
This decision does not affect manufacturing, marketing or sales of our B & W Film or Photochemical product portfolio. The market for both Black
and White film and chemistry is stronger and KODAK has no current plans
to discontinue Black & White Films and Black & White Processing
Chemicals. The flexibility of black and white film to be printed
traditionally or to be scanned for use in digital applications is an
important consideration. With film as input, the image can go to file,
manipulation or directly to printed format. Film also continues to be
viewed as an excellent input as well as storage medium for images.
In a nut shell it sounds to me like a company that decides not to make nuts for its nut and bolt business. After all the bolt sales are stronger and who needs nuts anyway?
As long as the film and chemistry can be used as a feeder for digital input then they survive and aren't exterminated from the World as we know it. So buy Kodak film and chemicals and pretend that is for digital input and sneak out and buy that paper somewhere else.
Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand
At the risk of political incorrectness, this reminds me of a joke about the headline in a regional newspaper about a rapist who escaped from a lunatic asylum, attacked his victims at a laundromat, and then ran away. The headline was, of course, NUT SCREWS WASHERS AND BOLTS.
Originally Posted by Curt
Yes, some Kodak B+W products (especially Tri-X) are wonderful. And Kodak colour film is wonderful. CAN YOU READ THIS KODAK? But perhaps it is time that Perez was sent back to the digital asylum.
sure. it's what we do at the museum where I work. been doing that for a couple of years now. same with the archive nearby. we were both all kodak, until they quit making paper. now the paper comes from ilford.
Originally Posted by Curt
film has always been used as the longterm storage format, so this line of thinking is not that off. to give you an example--the archive just purchased a high end microfilm camera that is like a giant flatbed scanner, only the digital file is burned using a film recorder to b/w microfilm for storage.
it might be hard to think of sheet film, or even rollfilm in this way, but I think the amount of film being used in preservation now, is probably still pretty much the same as it was 5 years ago, whereas then it paled in comparison to commercial work. but, it's still probably more than the average hobbyist would use in a year's time. we go through cases of 4x5 film, gallons of kodak chemistry, and at one time our bids for paper were up there at 350K-500K sheets. just last month, almost 200 rolls of film were run through our small deeptank--all for preservation & copywork. since our ilford machine died that month as well--you guessed it--a lot of frontier prints and inkjets were made instead....
so, if that's the market that's left, well, I don't see what the big deal is. this statement from kodak, tells it like it is. fwiw--as far as what I do for a living, in a year or two, it will be a moot point I think, as far as making b/w prints. I see that coming to a close any day now, as we are reliant upon an ilford processor that is becoming cranky in it's old age. as we pour more money in it, to keep it running, it gets harder to justify, as the materials dry up and the end use becomes digital anyways. I can see running our film lab longer than the print lab. I hate to say it, but that's just the way it goes.