I am thoroughly confused now from yours and others' posts. To others: My understanding is that the paper on sale by all Kodak stockists in the U.K that I have seen, is called Supra Endura which I think replaced Supra III.
Originally Posted by frotog
Can I take it that this paper is current and in date? It still seems to be being made if I have read PE's comment correctly
To the OP. You seem to be saying that any stockist offering Ultra Endura is offering outdated stock based on the emulsion codes.
How can you be sure that the two stockists I mention are selling paper which is outdated? The only way that you can be sure of this, as I see it, is that Kodak is saying that the last emulsion codes applied to the paper mean that any Ultra paper has now passed its sell by date and presumably should be returned/destroyed or at the very least a warning should be posted by the seller.
Is this the correct position? One of the stockists mentioned is a APUG sponsor, I believe, and we owe it to him and potential buyers to get to the bottom of what the correct postion is. The other stockist concentrates on the student market. If their course grades etc depend on their work, they may be buying and using paper which will exhibit faults that is none of their making, thus undermining their efforts without their knowledge.
Kodak may have stopped production yesterday (as an example), but some retailers may have stock from last year and some may get yesterday's stock next week. So, we don't know, a priori what we might have unless we check with Kodak.
What I suspect is this. Sales were so poor that the product was cancelled a month or so ago and it is just being noticed, and outdated product is on shelves due to poor sales. The only way to know for sure is to call EK, toll free and ask them.
AFAIK, they still sell two products, Supra and Portra Endura. But then, who knows, this is only Tuesday.
Portra Endura was discontinued about two months ago. This is official. From my conversations with the help at kodak and multiple cross referencing of emulsion codes it appears as though the last batch of portra ran about a half year back. So the stuff at the stores is probably still good. If you want to make sure see if the retailer will give you the first 6 digits of the emulsion code (on the label of the short end of the box). If you call kodak professional they can date it for you.
From the research I've done it appears as though the last batch of kodak ultra ran in May 2006. If you don't mind dingy whites I suppose you can work with it. No one I spoke to at kodak professional could say for sure whether or not a batch of ultra ran after May 2006. If anyone has news to the contrary please let me know!
PE is partially right in saying that it was discontinued because no one was using it. But in fact every professional analogue printer I know used ultra and portra when the contrast of supra wouldn't cut it. But as c-printers scrap their enlargers for laser light and analogue becomes more and more a thing of the past what need is there for different contrast grades in ra paper? Just adjust the curve in photoshop right? When a giant ship is sinking you jettison the stuff that's not essential. This is the terrible truth at EK.
And for those who are looking at websites or calling their dealers and inquiring as to availability of said two products don't be fooled - it is the remainder of stock and once it's gone it's gone for good.
My question now is what about the fate of Supra? Will it undergo further changes i.e. optimized for digital exposure?
Damn - That was a great paper for landscapes. Looks like I'll have to finally learn Fuji's materials. And after all these years with Kodak. They're not making it easy to be loyal.
Wow. That is too bad. My favorite paper for sure. I still have a bit left. My favorite combo was Kodak 100 UC 120 with the Ultra paper. I wonder what Paul Strand would have to say about this?
"Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it." -Paul Strand
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Reply to "Looks like I'll have to finally learn Fuji's materials"...
...this brings up a good point. I don't think they have anything to compare directly to Ultra anyway. I looked over their offerings on their website. The only papers they have for printing RA-4 are Fuji Color Crystal Archive Pro Super PD and Type C. PD is for portriats...Type C gets everything else.
So it seems that Kodak is just coming down to their level. I think that may be part of the problem with Kodak right now. They offered so many interesting products, that the downsizing is really painful. Most other companies didn't come close to offering all the options Kodak did in its prime. I'm sure sales of Koda's regular Endura paper are going just fine. It's the extras, like Ultra, that we're going to lose with the sweeping of the digital tide....
...ah, a sad day indeed for us analog printers. How's it feel to be pushed out by a machine? :-(
PE. I have heard of "caveat emptor" but for customers to have to find out whether a paper for sale is in fact past its sell-by date rather than rely on a reputable dealer to take appropriate action is a bit much.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Don't Kodak issue guidelines on sell-by dates to dealers? If it does then does this mean that any stockist still selling Ultra is simply and blatantly ignoring those guidelines with a much better than evens chance that the paper will exhibit faults?
I have never used Ultra but I feel desperately sorry for those who do and who are still buying it in blissful ignorance.
I am not sure that this thread has given me any confidence in going back to Kodak Supra Endura from Fuji either if I have to check the emulsion code with a supplier, then ring Kodak and then place the order or not as the case may be. As a matter of interest is this even possible on a toll free basis from the U.K? On most mail order systems where the order taker is quite separate from the order picker in the warehouse, this is impossible even by phone and it makes an internet order impossible to check.
Make life difficult enough for the customer and even the most enthusiastic one will give up eventually.
Dealers have sell by dates and storage guidelines. Whether they go by them is another matter. Whether they tell the customer is another matter again.
Originally Posted by pentaxuser
My dealers store film and paper in refrigerated containers in the display room and if I ever have a question about paper date, I can call Kodak myself. Thats all I can say.
You are right in saying that Ultra and Portra were selling poorly. Kodak, AFAIK, is coating Endura papers at Harrow and in Colorado. The 72" stock comes from Colorado and the rest from Harrow England.
No, from what I understand Portra Endura is discontinued also. That leaves only Supra from Kodak. Fuji has two grades - for now.
Originally Posted by Jedidiah Smith
Interestingly enough, one of my 'sources' denies the entire premise of this thread. He is going to check it out though and let me know. AFAIK from Kodak unofficial sources, none of these papers have been cancelled. Please stay tuned. I'll try to get the truth of this.