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  1. #21
    cmacd123's Avatar
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    recall also that several major suppliers have left the scene.. AGFA, Forte, Kodak all no longer produce B&W paper so the demand is taken up by fewer suppliers. Kentmere is now just another line sold by Ilford, so that is also effectively the departure of another supplier. Photoimplex SAY they are going to make new paper but they are quite possibly only able to do so at higher prices than have recently existed.

    We have also probably all gotten a bit spoiled as the supply chain has been clearing out various papers after they reached the point where they had broken lines in their warehouse. (Freestyle recently had a great price on one no-longer-made paper only in a few sizes and only in grades 3 and 4) that sort of price is not a fair comparison as it is by definition not sustainable.

  2. #22
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    Qoute from RobertV: "The Fomatone MG 532 II and MG 542 II has been renewed and due to the complicated fiber base these prices has been gone up pretty much.
    The regular warmtone papers: Fomatone MG 131 and 132 are based on the Ilford warmtone price level."

    This is all I needed to know. Like Pentaxuser pointed at all I wanted to know was why this big increase? If I am paying for quality that's fine, but if it's just a hype... I would think twice.

  3. #23
    vitus's Avatar
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    I agree with Robert there is a price (and also finish) difference between old and new version of Fomatone 532 and 542 papers. The new one has no beautiful watercolor-type surface.

    But the textured paper base discontinuation is not only the reason of price increase.

    On Jan 15-th I did the nice order for new version Fomatone 542 II Chamois 20x24 at Silverprint. Net value was GBP 37.44 / 10 sheets. I was lucky because few weeks later the prices for exactly the same 20x24 Fomatone 542 II changed . Net value at Silverprint is GBP 43.60 / 10 sheets now. It is little over 16% up since January, but the paper is not double priced.

    The Chamois gives me a great d-max and the base is so beautiful - definitely my favorite finish worth the extra money.

  4. #24
    kompressor's Avatar
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    The Foma factory raised their prices in january 2009, regarding to the owner of fomafoto.no

  5. #25
    Martin Reed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitus View Post
    On Jan 15-th I did the nice order for new version Fomatone 542 II Chamois 20x24 at Silverprint. Net value was GBP 37.44 / 10 sheets. I was lucky because few weeks later the prices for exactly the same 20x24 Fomatone 542 II changed . Net value at Silverprint is GBP 43.60 / 10 sheets now. It is little over 16% up since January, but the paper is not double priced.

    The Chamois gives me a great d-max and the base is so beautiful - definitely my favorite finish worth the extra money.
    Increases in energy and material costs are the main reason for these increases - Foma are just following the almost 20% rise that Harman has had to impose over the last year.

    One factor that I don't think has ever been pointed out here is the nature of the distribution chain for photo papers. Harman hold very large stock of material in finished rolls, and can convert this very quickly so generally are able to supply most of their catalogue from stock.

    All the other paper manufacturers, operate with an order/manufacture cycle, in the case of Foma it's monthly. Orders from the distributors have to be in by a certain cutoff date - paper is made to order and shipped about a month later. If a large order from a customer comes out of the blue after the monthly order is in production, just tough, there will be a month's wait before it can be supplied. It's unlikely to be on the shelf to airlift over. To make the process even more fraught, the distributor will usually have to pay upfront for some or all of the order.

    So Harman have the whip hand in being generally always able to supply from stock (although of course they have to finance this). The other paper manufacturers in the frame can run a tight operation as they are insulated from stock holding, but in effect always have a 'brake' restraining their potential sales, as the stockholding is by distributors who operate 'just in time' which sometimes ends up as 'just too late'.

    It's probably in recognition of this that companies like Foma and Adox are gaining an innovative edge by researching new products (532 ll & the drive to remake Polywarmtone being examples). As several people have pointed out, you're paying for quality and elitism, so bear in mind a difficult procurement process, and order well in advance!

  6. #26

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    Martin,

    Are you able to comment on how Bergger and Oriental Seagull fit in within this manufacturing and distribution process?

    Tom.

  7. #27
    Martin Reed's Avatar
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    Distributors who have established sufficient brand identity to commission manufacture of their 'own brand' variants. They make their own arrangements, requires deep pockets! I'm just a humble importer of existing products, content to encourage some variety in the ranges on offer.

  8. #28
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Interestingly Oriental advertised their papers (& other products) in the UK in the 1930's.

    Ian

  9. #29
    Martin Reed's Avatar
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    Yes, I wonder if there is any history of their sales in the UK at that period. And what happened to them in WW2 and subsequently? The original 'New Seagull' paper came out in 1967, but we didn't start getting it into the UK until '84 when it was getting a lot of attention in the US. As the song says, 'you don't know what you've got till it's gone'.

  10. #30
    bill spears's Avatar
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    Is Oriental/Seagull still being manufactured and distributed ? I've lost track of the number of times it's disappeared and re-appeared

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