Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
Kodak Endura paper and the RA4 process are still being used for the bulk of color printing. It is the second biggest selling product after Motion Picture products. It is laser printed on high speed printers though, and not on the slower optical printers we were familiar with.
At the present time, ink jet does not produce prints at quite the high capacity of the RA4 process. That is changing.
I'm still a bit confused about how photolabs operate these days.
I've got 4 (that i know of) options for getting film processing done (besides home darkrooms).
- Kodak Express, they develop C41 only, otherwise send it to Atkins.
- Black+White photo, they do C41, E6, and B+W (using TMax dev afaik).
- Atkins, the 'pro' lab, they charge more but even distill their own water.
- Analogue Lab, a traditional darkroom-for-hire.

How they get prints out of negs/slides I've tried enquiring at a few of them.
- Atkins I haven't asked, and obviously the Analogue Lab is purely traditional (but pretty much DIY).
- B+Ws, I know they've got a nice huge Flextight scanner and 5'-wide Epson printer, not sure if they've got anything else. (There's a small darkroom, so maybe a real enlarger in there?)
- Kodak express is the interesting one, I asked them what their printers were like when I was getting some prints done from my digital (I asked what dpi so I could figure out max paper-size). The guy said it took straight from digital (or scanned negs), but used "an optical process" to get that digital file onto the paper. Do these still get Chemical Development (RA4 or otherwise), or is it just a (laser?) and be done with it? I know the back of the paper says 'Kodak' on it, but that's all I can tell really.

Everywhere else, printing houses and department/electrical stores, it's all inkjet around here.

Meanwhile, this has totally nothing to do with Kodak, but for anyone overseas who wants to see a repeat of the Kodak decline can read this about the decline of Australia's two big retailers. Having read this article just after that Kodak story, there's a surprising amount of similarity between the two...