Demand is small and falling. Ilford's capacity is right-sized and flexible. Kodak's isn't. It's the same problem that many here still refuse to confront--who will invest in a product where demand is falling with no bottom in sight? Why did Kodak kill off b&W paper?
Originally Posted by hdeyong
The problem with Kodak is having a product with enough profit to sustain their business. It doesn't matter if Tri-X is more popular than bread and ice cream if their business costs too much to run.
Also, moving an emulsion from one coating center to another isn't like moving a parts assembly line. PE has given a number of examples where starting up a new line was problematic or failed entirely. Would the move be worth it? Fuji let Neopan 400 go because reformulating it wouldn't have been cost effective. For Kodak E-6, they would have needed to reformulate it for smaller batches, and that wasn't cost effective, either. That's life in the business lane. No more reversal film from Kodak, not ever.
Kodak has a lack of small coating lines, and that is its main problem. It's a really big question of how much more the film market can shrink before Kodak fails, or, hopefully, stabilizes.
I'll be back in a bit, time to go out and buy a freezer!
Mine's full of food, sadly...
"He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.
If the motion picture industry's transition to digital projection were complete, then I bet we would know where the bottom is and over a 1-2 year span, there would be fairly stable numbers in terms of consumer and pro still film use, especially in black and white.....but we are not there yet, obviously.
Originally Posted by CGW
All this talk about someone else taking over making Tri-X and the like leaves out one beeeg, beeeg question: Would the quality still be the same? Personally, I would rather work with 1-3 primary black and white emulsions who's quality control would be exceptional rather than 25 varietals that may be hit or miss.
Having said all this, there really is no rival to TMAX 400 in 4x5, so I just sucked it up and ordered 1,000 sheets from B&H......über-ouch!
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Is the motion picture industry a significant contributor to black and white anyway? Don't we know already what the numbers would be (or at least, those selling film know) for black and white?
Originally Posted by PKM-25
There isn't a replacement for TMY in 4x5, true. The closest film on the market is probably Delta 400 (yes, I know it's pretty different, but closEST). Ilford used to make it in 4x5, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them do so again if TMY went away. I heard they were considering making Delta 100 in 8x10 when Kodak discontinued TMX in that size. Of course they haven't yet but if even TMY goes away in sheets...
I'm seriously considering just standardizing on Ilford for all my black and white, with the exception of Tri-X. I like HP5+ too but...I'd have to do a fair amount more testing before giving up Tri-X. I could though, if I had to, make do quite easily without Kodak in black and white. The only thing Kodak I use now that I'd really even miss is Tri-X. I do use, and like a lot, T-Max RS but I hear DD-X is also superb. Oh I use D76 but that's available from multiple other places, at least the same basic formula, including Ilford.
It's color neg that would have a real gaping hole without Kodak. There's nothing on the market to rival Ektar or the Portras. :-(
Last edited by Roger Cole; 06-13-2012 at 04:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Roger, I think in terms of those at Kodak looking at numbers, it's the whole scale of film in general, not just black and white or color. For example, the coating machine used is a sophisticated robotic affair that pretty much does it all, but all in large scale. So it is anyone's guess as to how this is going to play out, the timing especially given the well publicized loss of motion picture print distribution and Kodak's ongoing re-structuring.
Decades ago, Kodak built an incredible coating infrastructure who's vibration reducing foundation rests on pillars that go straight down to the Rochester bedrock some 40 feet below. Their ability to coat massive 54" inch wide, mile long master rolls with unparralled quality is what set them apart.....
Only now with a mere fraction of the demand that facility was designed to meet, it's that same large scale production that could very well screw us out of any Kodak film products, color or black and white.
Color film now represents about 5% of what I shoot on film, the rest is black and white, I have enough Ektar and Portra stock for a couple years for a specific project. I am still deciding between TMX or Delta 100 in 4x5 but so far, it looks like Delta is only a little behind TMX in terms of grain. Delta is certainly the obvious choice when it comes to viability and price, but depending on light and application, I would ideally like to be able to count on using both long term due to differences in tonal response.
Ilford has to be watching this as closely as anyone here, if Kodak black and white products were to go the way of their E6, I would bet they would get Delta 400 in large format going pretty quick.
Good heavens, PKM! Would you like to use some of the space in my new freezer?
Actually, I thought about buying 2 or 3 100ft rolls of Tri-X every month and popping it in the freezer, but I'm thinking I'm going to just make the switch to HP5. I'm shooting some now, and frankly, I like it.
I think Ilford is going to be around for a long time.
I can't wade thru all these posts ... but per oddn's n' ends ... Kodak just did a huge run of TMY
8X10. I should have bought some of it, but my freezer is already full and my wallet empty. I bought
enough a few months ago and it should last me several years. There are apparently some serious
industrial users of this particular film. My primary film is TMY and not TMX anyway. ... as per Kodak failing in B&W paper ... duuuh ... other folks simply did a much better job of it - there was never lack of demand! Just look at all the choices still available! Kodak was half-hearted, just another neglected stepchild to them.
Ooops ... typo, Roger ... I meant to say they just did a big run of TMX (100). That's about the third
custom cut in the last year. TMY (400) has had multiple cuts in 8X10. My worry now is Ektar sheet
film, but I have enough of at least 8x10 to last quite awhile, but still need to increase my reserves
of 4x5. My use of chrome film is fading away. I have plenty of large-format shots on hand alrleady,
and with the demise of Cibachrome, can only print a few of them dye transfer. RA4 is the future for