A year or two ago, Kodak sold its photo processing chemical manufacturing plant. It now contracts with the new owner for Kodak branded chemicals. I have had no problem here in the USA obtaining all the Kodak (brand) chemicals I have always used. So, in effect, Kodak did get out of the manufacturing of processing chemistry, however this has not effected supply of Kodak designed and branded chemicals at all.
While we're on this topic. When I was in the local camera store yesterday I saw I box of 4x5 EPP on the shelf. After we chatted about it for a second or two the owner mentioned that Kodak had just let them know about discountinuing much of the Ektachrome family... as well as his beloved HIE (I think that's the name, it's the IR product.)
Anyway this could be old news or gossip so I'm reporting it with a warning that I don't have all the facts.
I'm a goof.... just read the next post. Disregard my babble above.
HIE was discontinued in 120 and sheets some time ago.
Originally Posted by Rob Skeoch
HIE was confirmed to be very much in production for 35mm early this spring after rumors had spread about its discontinuation.
Digital Photography is just "why-tech" not "high tech"..
In English, the phrase "plans to start to discontinue" means a planned ongoing process. The references you provided describe no such thing; they describe the one-time discontinuation of a specific range of products that's much smaller than the range you specified (B&W paper vs. all B&W products). This means you were sloppy with your reading, sloppy with your writing, or outright deceptive. To date and to the best of my knowledge, Kodak has announced no plans to discontinue all B&W products, although some specific products have been dropped and I do expect more to be dropped in the future. Reporting it the way you did, though, is known in the computer industry as FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt).
Originally Posted by gregory bertolini
Dektol and Polymax T developers are both listed as in stock at B&H. I've not heard that either's been discontinued, although Kodak has sold its chemical manufacturing facilities and is now buying the products from the new owners. That's a change in business organization, though, not a pullout from the market.
Dektol, no longer made; Polymax, no longer made. 220 film, one offering;TMX, all others no longer made.
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One of the problems for Australia is our location. Kodak, Ilford and Agfa, had their manufacturing plants in Melbourne, all of them have gone.
In the graphic arts days these places were built on supplying huge, and I mean huge amounts of chemicals and sensitive materials, to all and sundry. Where I worked we would get a big delivery once a month, with top ups every second or third day. The big delivery was usually between 5 and 10 tonnes of materials, much of which was chemistry. Liquid chemistry is extremely heavy. Dupont, which also supplied a few of our factories at the time, were in the unenviable position of having to import most of their liquid chemicals directly from the USA, this was very expensive.
As the manufacturing in Australia of these products has ceased, or at least as far as I know, ceased, then the importation from either the USA, or Europe is basically all that is left, and this costs.
As all suppliers of these materials have their different priorities it appears to be a foregone conclusion, that somewhere along the way, some will pull certain lines from their shelves. Anything that is liquid based will probably be among the first to be pulled, especially if the numbers, in the overall picture of the company, don’t add up.
Perhaps the labs will have to switch to another supplier of these products, they are available. I will say though, that no other company could compare with Kodak when it came to industrial products. Their range of supply, left all others, in their wake.
Depending on what you want, and how much of it, you might give Megaperls a try. They're in Japan, which might translate into cheaper and/or faster shipping from overseas. I can make no promises, though; I'm just tossing out an idea.
Originally Posted by Mick Fagan
For chemistry, another alternative is to mix your own. Even if you need to import a few specialized items (say, phenidone or metol), you should be able to find local sources for most of the items that are needed in greatest quantity, such as sodium thiosulfate and sodium sulfite. These items are used industrially in many products, and many are sold in smaller quantities for various home or hobbyist purposes, so with a little digging you should be able to find local sources of supply for many of them.