I just received this email from Michael and Paula. It proves that we CAN make a difference if we a) communicate and b) put our money where our mouth is. I'm sure most of you got this, too, but in case there's someone out there who has never printed on this splendid paper and is thinking of trying it, NOW IS THE TIME!
May 30, 2003
AZO GRADE 3: STATUS REPORT: Good news, with a slight catch.
We finally received definitive word from the "powers that be" at Kodak regarding the status of Azo Grade 3 in all sizes.
First, the good news: The good news is that Kodak has told us they will continue to manufacture Azo! It is truly amazing that Paula and I, with the help of your good letters and emails, which we forwarded on to them, were able to convince the Eastman Kodak Company to continue to manufacture a product that had been discontinued. They told me that they believed this was the first time something like this had ever happened.
Now the slight catch: Kodak has told us they will only do this if we buy all of the remaining stock at this time! This significant quantity is an amount that is more than double our normal yearly order. If we purchase all of the remaining stock, they have agreed to give us last year's prices and thus, we will not have to raise the price to you. If we cannot buy all of the remaining stock, the price of all Grade 3 will immediately be significantly higher, as it is all now a "special order."
Next year, when we reorder, and a new master roll is manufactured, it is likely the price will go up, perhaps significantly. But for now, because Kodak's price to us will stay the same (provided we buy this whole roll), our price to you can stay the same. This also means that beginning now, when we buy all of the current remaining supply, it is likely we will be the only supplier of this product, worldwide.
In order to place our large order with Kodak at this time and to keep Azo alive, we need your help. No, we are not asking for donations. What we are asking, however, is that you place your orders NOW for Grade 3 (and for Grade 2 for that matter, as we must place our yearly order for that, too, at this time). If we do not receive enough orders, it is possible that we will not be able to make this purchase.
Here is what we have in current stock:
Grade 3: We have only a very few boxes of 20x24 on hand. Currently we are out of stock for Grade 3 8x10 in both 100-sheet and 500-sheet sizes.
Grade 2: We have only a very few boxes of 8x10 in both 100-sheet and 500-sheet boxes on hand, and we are out of stock for Grade 2 in 20x24.
Therefore, we are eager to place our new order with Kodak immediately and to fill your requests for any amount you may be ordering.
PLEASE PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW. We will not cash your check or process your credit card until we are ready to make shipments, but at this time we do need your order--perhaps even your total expected order for the forthcoming year if at all possible.
We will calculate shipping and handling and tell you the amount either for writing a check or for crediting your credit card. We happily accept all major credit cards, as do all merchants, but at this time, when this particularly large order must be placed, if you could make payment by check it would be most helpful and appreciated. When orders are charged to credit cards we must pay a percentage of sales to the credit card company, and those 3% charges do add up. Thank you.
Were we wealthy we would just do this ourselves, but we simply cannot. We thank you in advance for helping us keep Azo Grade 3 in production, and Azo Grade 2, as well. Were there only one grade of Azo remaining, this beautiful paper certainly would not last long.
With many thanks for helping us keep Azo alive,
Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee
I was going to post that message to APUG, but I see I was beaten to it. The only thing I have to add is to contact us at email@example.com if you are interested.
Michael A. Smith
I will be placing an order for 8X10 Grade two and grade three Azo. If any of you would be interested in purchasing Azo in smaller then 100 sheet quantities, contact me. If enough interest exists I may consider buying this in a large quantity and splitting it out into smaller packages. (possibly 25 sheets per package). This is the premium paper for contact silver printing...there is no comparison in any silver paper. If you are interested in making the finest prints possible on a silver paper, this is it. The blacks are the most incredible that I have ever seen, you almost feel like you can reach into the black to your elbow. The highlights are delicious A very long scale paper. If you are presently shooting 4X5 and larger for silver then you will probably want grade three Azo. With the long scale of this paper, it requires a more contrasty negative. Consider that Bob Herbst (noted Pt-pd printer) has lately been printing on Azo in addition to his Pt-pd work.