Kodak E200 in 120 format was discontinued in Summer 2009. Kodak did not publish a notice of this happening, but kept manufacturing the film in 135, so technically E200 was still available. As a heavy user of this film I stocked up and filled my freezer. Glad I did, as a fellow shooter and I cleaned out Freestyle and B&H (Thirty pro-packs) and it was never restocked. The last batch was dated to expire January 2011.
E200 was a staple of many astrophotographers and offered the best reciprocity characteristics and color stability of any E-6 film. It also was the most red sensitive slide film (Fuji Provia 400F, a close second) for capturing faint emission nebulae.
Provia 400X is a great film to consider as a replacement, but lacks the red response Kodak E200 was famous for.
For color film astrophotographers it is like Kodachrome going away, but at least we can still work off our stock!
Milky Way Splendor by Nightfly Photography, on Flickr
Yeah, I used it for a lot of astrophotography as well, great stuff but the astrophotographers have all gone to DSLRs or CCDs by now for the most part.
Didn't know E200 excelled for that. Cool!
E200 is an amazing film in so many ways. I've learned its character and have exploited it as much as possible.
That is a shame, I use a fair bit of Elite Chrome 200. It's a good film, good colours but a surprisingly well balanced level of contrast. I shall stock up a bit and just hope that EBX and EB-3 don't go either :( Ektar is just wonderful stuff, but it's not EB-3/EBX, and we don't have Kodachrome now either. I was a KR gal, now an EB-3/Ektar girl... But I want slides sometimes not negatives!
In his own words, Mr. Perez states he was recruited and tasked by Kodak's Board of Directors to remake Kodak into a completely new digital technology company, not to return Kodak's film business to its former glory.
It is a source of unending astonishment to me that people here continue to ignore Mr. Perez's direct statements regarding where he - at the request and direction of Kodak's Board - is taking Kodak. And what the current and future implications for Kodak's analog products will be as he approaches that final destination.
Kodak's systematic and continuing reduction of their analog photography lines of business is way, way past the point of simplistic application to individual products of the law of supply and demand. Kodak has much bigger fish to fry at this point in their corporate reinvention. At best, supply and demand helps only to decide which traditional product is next on the chopping block.
While there have been a (very) few instances of new Kodak film products or product reformulations, the overall trend has been one of continuous product line consolidation. This trend is in keeping with Mr. Perez's larger mandate. This trend will continue. New products will be realized only insofar as they serve the ultimate goal.
And yet, in spite of Mr. Perez's best efforts (for years now!) to tell us exactly what is going on at Kodak (a public company, so he is legally obligated to speak truthfully), we still see posts here lamenting,
"Gee, I can't for the life of me figure out what Kodak is thinking. But I know that if everyone just keeps using enough Kodak film, Kodak will keep making it forever."
"This is all our fault. We didn't buy enough..."
At this late date in the process and given Kodak's repeatedly stated goal of a complete digital makeover (if we would only listen to them), the term "enough" is for all practical purposes undefined and meaningless.
It seems that E200 120 has not been anywhere in stock for a while. It's peculiar because my memory of trying out two rolls in 2008–09 doesn't seem that long ago.
I guess E200 in 120 vanished when E100GX in all formats did — or thereabouts. If anyone points at and accuses me of not buying it, my defence is "I was using Kodachrome all this time, sorry."
Ken, thanks for that concise and telling post.
The best thing Kodak could do for it's film business is chop it off and sell it to some smaller party who is dedicated to analog. The quicker Kodak film is no longer controlled by Kodak, the better.
Despite what happens in the business, the writing is on the wall. That's why the best thing we can do as lovers of analog is do our most to learn how to make things from scratch. The emulsion makers have shown that b&w is doable for the hobbyist, and if that's true than color isn't out of the realm of possibility. Silver-dye bleach systems (like Ilfo/Cibachrome) are fairly straightforward in the chemistry they require, and the materials are obtainable. Slide films could be created off this basis, as well as paper.
We must retain our freedom to purchase chemicals, which is something that anyone who laments the passing of film should also take on as a cause. Film is only the product of certain materials and chemicals, and there are many people in the world; big businesses and our government alike, who aim to make it very difficult to get these things. Due either to basic misunderstandings, environmental concerns, or threats of terrorism and the like.
There can be no experimentation without a broad range of things to experiment with; I fear that the work done over the last 150+ years in photography might not be achievable if we were forced to invent anew today. Regulations, restrictions, fear... it's just a different world now and things could be lost, potentially forever.
But in the meantime...