RIP Kodak B&W Films : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I visited Kodak's site today. Most of the B&W films are being discontinued, including:

Commerical Film, Ektagraphic HC, Ektapan, SO-132, High Speed Infrared Sheets, Spectrum Analysis Film, Pan Masking Film, Verichrome Pan film, Professional Copy Film.

It looks like the only ones left will be the revised TMax Family and revised Plus-X and Tri-X families.

Some of these, we've known, were going away for quite some time, but others were, at least to me, news.

So, I'm not buying anymore Kodak product of any kind. I'll support those companies that support B&W.

"Alas, poor Kodak. I knew him well."

-- Charlie Strack (, March 25, 2002


When was the last time you used any of those films? Besides Verichrome, which I guess was hard for them to keep making, what other film of those discontinued you used more than once in a year? Why do you expect Kodak to keep making films nobody else buys or needs? Man oh man you want some cheese with your whine? I think instead of complaining you should support them so they continue making the T films as well as the Pan x and tri x, if you don't use any of these films then I guess your "boycot" amounts to a hill of beans since you don't buy their products to beguin with. I am not associaciated with Kodak nor do I think they have any respect for their customers, or that they know what they are doing business wise, but I am also tired of people whining that their favorite film is gone when the last time they bought a roll or sheet box was 2 years ago!

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, March 25, 2002.

Jorge, I simply cannot understand your argument, nor your tone against Charlie. Not only good B&W products are getting rare, but also manners! Kodak wants to cater for the professional market, so they have to supply the products needed. I can only encourage everyone out there not to buy Kodak products until they are back with some useful products in the B&W field. TMax certainly is not what many people think usable for high quality photography!

-- Fritz Reckow (, March 25, 2002.

I have to agree with Jorge on this. Obviously if there was a huge market for these films Kodak would continue to produce and sell them. The sad fact is there isn't. But that's reality.

This is a business decision. Probably a very good one on Kodak's part since they'll have more resources to support the product line that remains.

I'll miss Verichrome but I'm not going to throw a tantrum. I'm going to find a film to replace it.

-- David Parmet (, March 25, 2002.

"TMax certainly is not what many people think usable for high quality photography!" (Fritz Reckow)

I think this is a controversial one, at least in today's my point of view. I hated T-MAX and Delta until a few years ago. When I look at my pictures, while my favorite images tend to be exposed on PX and HP5+, there are certain set of favorite images whose high quality heavily relies on the TMX's property.

Many developers simply don't work well with TMX. Even with a good match, there aren't many papers that are good match with TMX. I tend to use paper I know well and manage the mismatch in different ways than simply choosing Ilford MGIV or similar papers. The real question is whether the transition from Panatomic X and D-76 to tabular grain films and newer developers worthwhile spending some effort to adopt.

-- Ryuji Suzuki (, March 25, 2002.

i have not bought a kodak product in years and i don't think i'm missing anything. ilford films & chemistry work wonderfully for me.

-- joe rizzuto (, March 25, 2002.

Fritz it is not lack of civility is annoyance with this same topic which crops up every other week. If you bother to check the archives you will see that the pronostication of Kodak's demise has been going on for a while. I at least bother to read the archives before I post something like this. But my biggest complaint is when people state I will not supporte them because they dont sell my favorite film anymore which of course they only bought once every few years. I for one, would like to see Kodak around for many more years and making T max, TXT, Pan-x, etc films, than have them go under and have none of these films at all! So yes Fritz I have no patience with people who whine when they are not part of the solution. You know the saying you either lead, follow or get the heck out of the way....whining is not an option.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, March 25, 2002.

Looks like Plus-X is also going the way of the dinosaurs. I never used it so I can't say if this is bad or badder.

In any case, I've been playing with FP4+ for a few months and that will probably be my replacement for Verichrome Pan.

-- David Parmet (, March 25, 2002.


I regularly used Verichrome pan until the announcement of its demise.

I used SO-132 film about 2 years ago to get a useful, printable negative from an antique negative. NOBODY

-- Charlie Strack (, March 25, 2002.

Sorry for the duplicate posting. I wasn't finished.

Jorge, to be specific:

I regularly used Verichrome pan until the announcement of its demise.

I used SO-132 film about 2 years ago to get a useful, printable negative from an antique negative. It worked out very well, but NOBODY else makes a similar film.

I used Prof Copy film about 2 years ago, and Ilford Ortho Plus is as close as I'll get, so I'll use that.

Why did I post? I was shocked to find everything I still had an interest in will soon be gone.

Why won't I buy other Kodak films? For color, I find other films I like as well or better. For black and white, they will no longer manufacture anything I want. Will this hurt Kodak: not from me alone, but in the aggregate it will.

I certainly don't expect Kodak to make films when their business model doesn't justify it. I also don't expect them to be in business 25 years from now (if they last that long.)

It's just very sad to see the one company that had the greatest knowledge of film and black and white processes throw it all away. But if that's what happens, that's what happens.

Why should I support any company that treats its customer (in this case for over 40 years) so shamefully?

-- Charlie Strack (, March 25, 2002.

I have to admit I felt the same way toward Kodak when Kodachrome 25 was dropped -- and I'd bought it even though Kodak priced it as one of the most expensive films on the market. But as others have noted the question isn't what Kodak films will still be available several years from now, but will Kodak still be around in a few years? Kodak's net income fell 95% last year. I imagine in addition to layoffs and reorganizations, that means the company has to look at its product line to see what can be cut without adversely affecting sales.

-- Jon Porter (, March 25, 2002.

Why should I support any company that treats its customer (in this case for over 40 years) so shamefully?


Unfortunately we aren't Kodak's customers, at least their main customers. That would be the folks buying Gold UltraMax 200 color film at Genovese, shooting a dozen or so pictures of the kids and dropping it off at the QuckieMart for one hour development.

Now as soon as my father-in-law shows an interest in Verichrome Pan or Ektachrome for his point and shoot I'll be shooting off emails to Rochester asking them to reconsider.....

-- David Parmet (, March 25, 2002.

Charlie wrote:

I used SO-132 film about 2 years ago to get a useful, printable negative from an antique negative. It worked out very well, but NOBODY else makes a similar film.

I used Prof Copy film about 2 years ago

Well there you go! even you are admitting you used two of these films only once in 2 years, the rest from your list not at all. I know, many people are upset because of Verichrome, but let me tell you something besides the business there is environmental concerns, sometimes Kodak has to stop making the film not because there is no demand but because environmental regulations do not allow them to continue with the waste streams required to manufacture the film, for whatever reason the film is gone, but I dont think is a reason to say they are not treating you the way you deserve as a customer, is only business and you are taking it personally. Look, Michael A Smith and Paula Chamlee love using Azo paper, and when they found out it might be discontinued they made a commitment to buy as much paper as they could and to market it to other people so Kodak wont discontinue it. SO then as you see, like I said, you want to complain put your money where your mouth is and come up with a solution, otherwise, do no complain, since you are not doing anything to be part of the solution. As a matter of fact you are becoming the problem by not supporting the only company in America that manufactures film. In any case, I dont think they will miss your business, for the looks of it it is probably better for them to loose you, since it appears you only buy Verichrome, than to keep you and continue making a line that is loosing money.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, March 25, 2002.

Get Real Jorge,

The photo world was not concieved by Bill Gates, and everything Kodak does does not have to be mass market. If Kodak had supported B%W photography over the past 30 Years it would be much stronger today. Kodak activly killed it off as best they could.

I doubt if Kodak ever lost a penny on B&W products that were good ones. They just do not fit the tiny minds that run the place.

Even if B&W was a money looser, they still would have a lot more to loose of they had not come up with the Disc system, Photo CD, APS and numerious other very bad ideas. The way Kodak operated was/is the problem, not the way the marketplace works. The manner in which they bungled Photo CD, Digital, Medical Imaging, were all travisties, and the demise of B&W is more of the same. This is an outgrowth of them moving the military to systems they planned years ago, that did not work fully. Without that big consumer they have no idea what the real market looks like. I could go on and on about the stupid things they did, but my point is, do not attribute common wisdom to Kodak. It has no place there. There is no reason in this world why Kodak could not set up small botique units for any product they cared to make and make a sucess of it. Instead the fired or retired anybody who knew how.

It is not the effect the market is having on Kodak, it is a result of Kodak's effect on the market. Everybody looses. We have seen it before.

-- Fred De Van (, March 26, 2002.

There are so many brilliant minds here that know exactly what they want and how Kokak is not giving it to them. Sounds like time to put one's money where one's mouth is, sell some stock to others with the same bent, start a coating line, and make the products everybody seems to want and need.


-- Kevin Kolosky (, March 26, 2002.

Is Tech Pan being discontinued?

-- Ed Hurst (, March 26, 2002.

I think you are the one that needs to get real Fred, sure Kodak has made some marketing mistakes, just like Coca Cola and every other big company, remember the Cadillac Cimarron, or the Mercedes 190, that is not the point. The point is everybody here is a Monday quaterback whining how big bad Kodak is taking away the film they like, but I dont see the same people complaining buying any of these films they are so upset about! Like I said environmental and business reasons are valid ones for removing a product line, and just because they have made mistakes in the past does not mean their current descicions are flawed. I think you and everybody else should get off your high horse and start seeing reality and recognize that Kodak is not wrong all the time! Like I said, it is only business, nothing personal.

Many people has foreseen the demise of Kodak because they removed X film, so far they are still around and all of the people whining have egg on their face and have learned to use another film. You don't want to support them because they removed your favorite film, fine but then don't come whining again when they shut down B& W products alltogehter. They way I see it is a self fullfilling profecy, the more they loose on B&W neagtive film the more they will be willing to shut it down in favor of digital or some other new imaging technology. I love using TMX, and TMY but I also use Delta, ACROS etc. Should Kodak decide to remove the T films I can either complain or do something about it. So no Fred,I know you have been around for a long time and have lots of experience, but you need to get with the program and see how things are changing and not all of their descicions will be to the liking of those of us who like traditional or LF photography. So instead of complaining and having a defeatist attitude we should support those product lines they do have now.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, March 26, 2002.

It is frigthening how much the brainwashing of industry has worked in the US. Not too many people on this listserv are discussing what is good for the consumer, but what is good for the industry. Industry and consumers are two sides and the interests of the consumers are often very opposite to the industry, just as in this argument! Jorge: You seem to like to listen to yourself a lot. Simply repeating your -- if I may speak frankly -- stupid arguments does not make them better, nor will TMX become better by this. Isn't it sick to start argumenting from the viewpoint of the industry, how much better the fewer and worse products they offer are for the consumer, instead arguing for more and better B&W products from the yellow father? They are obviously more interested in PR than good products on this sector. See for example the XTol disaster. This product was announced and promoted with big money in all journals, including large articles by Zawadzky (hope I spelled her name right) how well this developer was tested. Now see the reality. Now please Jorge, no more monologues of this quality.

-- Fritz Reckow (, March 26, 2002.

"They are obviously more interested in PR than good products on this sector."

No, they are interested in making money for their shareholders and returning their business to profitability.

Businesses act like businesses. They aren't charities and none of us should expect charity from Kodak. It would have been nice if they figured out how to continue marketing black and white products years ago so that division would be profitiable but they didn't. Bad Kodak. End of story.

One thing I do disagree with Jorge however. Instead of asking if any of you used any of these films recently I'd like to know if any of you invested in Kodak stock? Maybe if you felt the pain Kodak shareholders have been feeling the past few years you would be screaming for them to drop b/w instead of continuing to market an unprofitable product line.

-- David Parmet (, March 26, 2002.

Kodaks primary responsibility is to its shareholders. And that responsibility is to increase the value of its shares. That's capitalism. The consumer is only a part of a company's strategy to turn profits. That's the way the system works. Some people in the past have tried to change the system and plenty of people today don't like the system. Too bad. Try to buy a good roll of film in Cuba, or Russia, or the Mideast.

-- r (, March 26, 2002.


This is the biggest nonsense I have so far seen on this forum. You probably are one of the shareholders. Best regards, Nick

-- Nick (, March 26, 2002.

I'm not a shareholder, Nick. But if I were, and Kodak became more valuable transitioning their business from, say, silver to digital, don't you think I would want that decision to be made? R.

-- r (, March 26, 2002.

Perhaps by boycotting all b&w products, Kodak will be encouraged to think that if they are to get any b&w revenue at all, they must produce a wide range of b&w films. I don't think it's very likely...

In the end, people must do what they can square with their consciences and principles. If that means boycotting all Kodak products, then so be it.

This is clearly an area where the wishes and needs of the specialist consumers (us!) are at odds with the commercial needs of the supplier (as analysed by themselves). Where that is the case, it is unavoidable that commercial decisions will leave the consumers unhappy. Unless a commercial solution can be devised.

In this kind of situation, people must do what they think is right. Whether they take the line of boycotting on principle, or accepting the position because they believe it is commercially unavoidable, then so be it.

But I don't think there's any value in people rudely taking chunks out of each other, or expressing opinions as indisuptable facts. If we disagree with each other, that does not mean that someone has to be an idiot.

Let's remember that we are all photographers, and that we should all have the same basic interests at heart.

-- Ed Hurst (, March 26, 2002.

I'm sure Kodak will be quaking in their boots at the thought of a handfull of photographers boycotting their products. Has anyone thought of meaningful dialogue with the company? Over the years films have come and gone and my experience is that there is always a substitute for a discontinued film. Have any of those complaining actually tried the alternatives available?

Ian Bowskill

-- ian bowskill (, March 26, 2002.

I guess, by the above argument, you will not use Ilford B&W products; FP4+, HP5+, Delta 100, 400, 3200, or Fuji; 100, 400, 1600 because of their limited choice or reduction of product.

The reduction in production of types of film reflects demand for the product, if your aim is to kill Kodak B&W film product then please continue your boycott; however, if your interset is in continuing to use B&W products, go out and buy and use it. They do not make films to adorn their catalouge pages.

Happy snaps,


-- Steven Alexander (, March 26, 2002.

Fritz: Are they stupid arguments because you dont agree or because you dont understand them as you stated in your previous post? If the former then maybe you should learn to listen and see other people's point of view, if the latter then I can't do anything about that, seems you have reached your uderstanding potential.

David: Point well taken, I guess I should have been more explicit, thanks for making it clear. The Bussiness of Kodak is making film to make money, and profit for their shareholders, not to keep a few whiners happy!

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, March 26, 2002.

Anyone think this is a constructive discussion? Answers on a postcard please!

-- Ed Hurst (, March 26, 2002.

One point y'all are overlooking is that the traditional photo products are Kodak's cash cow. From what I've read, Kodak's done nothing but lose money on their forays into digital. So they've managed to piss off established customers of their color slide and B&W products while establishing an insignificant presence in the digital market. Yeah, I'd be screaming too if I had a financial investment in the company. The scenario I think will happen is in a few years all or part of the traditional photo business will be spun off as a separate company, similar to what they did with the photo processing unit. The Eastman Kodak Company will then be whatever they're doing in digital photography.

-- Jon Porter (, March 26, 2002.

A more constructive dialogue would be ... now that Verichrome Pan is no more, what films should we be looking to for similar results?


-- David Parmet (, March 26, 2002.

If the demand is there, the film will come...

From where I don't know, but there are other, smaller companies which can service our B/W micro-market. When/if Kodak goes under or stops manufacturing film that is needed and demanded, some other enterprising firm will fill the void... if it's profitable.

I think we need to try to convince our fathers-in-law to try some B/W in the point and shoot! Regards

-- Doremus Scudder (, March 26, 2002.

Well, I believe that most photographers would do well to limit themselves to 1 or 2 b&w films. Most folks don't take the time to learn about a particular film in order to use it to its full potential, it's much more fun to jump around from film to film, I'm sure. If you take this approach, even with Kodak's recent announcement, there are still PLENTY to choose from.

Am I concerned about Kodak's direction? Of course. But rather than "boycotting" their brand, I continue to happily buy my one film while they make what I assume to be necessary business decisions and drop some others.

But what do I know, my one film is TMax 100.

-- Jim Kish (, March 26, 2002.

I'm not even going to get into all this other stuff, but I will go back to Charlie's post about Pro Copy and SO132 in particular...Commercial Film was discontinued about 3 years ago...SO-132 was slated to be gone last year, but that Photo Techniques article may have a hand in it's second gasp of life... (don't quote me, but it's a mighty "coincidence" that their article of it came out after it was first discontinued and then reinstated....). Pro Copy is the one to's the one & only "unique" copy film out there...

But SO-132?? I've used this off & on for years to dupe old nitrate negs with various results....our state archives quit using the earlier version of this film decades ago, as did most other institutions because it had really poor storage characteristics...even SO-132 has to be processed just *right* to last....SO-132 is not used in preservation reformatting in most archives. They favor a 2 step duplication using a pan film like the now discontinued Agfa n330p or Delta 100, then they contact the interpositive master over to an ortho film like Commercial Film, or Ilford Ortho Plus. This is the way the big labs do the acetate & nitrate neg duping programs....the interpositive becomes the master, the dupes become the surrogates....furthermore SO-132 isn't used because the curve of the film makes it a poor match for negs older than the mid 60's. I have used it on old, old nitrate negs going back to the early teens and it's like pulling teeth trying to get a good dupe out of it...I thought it was just me, until I spoke with some lab techs at bigger institutions and they told me how to do it the 2-step way....when I told them of SO-132 being discontinued, everyone I talked with (at 3 places) said "good riddens"....what's more, the old dupes from our archives, that were done back in the early 70's on the predecessor?? They have suffered even in a cold storage vault....printing these negs is anything but fun.....

Me?? I did run out and stockpile SO-132 about 2 years ago when it was first discontinued...I was trying to dupe about 350 nitrate negs, and bought enough to finish the project. Agfa made a similar film years ago, but discontinued it as well....when I talked with Kodak about it, they said their biggest customers were commercial labs, and scanners have done away with the sales of copy and dupe see? Not even institutions like the Library of Congress or NARA can order enough to justify these films...Pro Copy was one of the films used for HABS work for copying old prints....Pro Copy was also used for interpositives and neg duping, because it worked like a built-in highlight mask...

Now did we use it here? NO, we use a couple of cases of TMX each year. Does our archives use it? not much, they use TMX and PXP, but since we're both about 100 yrs old, we have alot of other emulsions back in the files....Archives does much more copywork than we do...a busy week for us is about 100 sheets of film. They do that in a day or even two, three times that. They have 1.5 million negs and growing....and if you look at every state run archive for gov't records, and think of film use in preservation'd think that would be enough of a market....but it's not and never has been.

Then on a completely different note, look at Dupont Mylar D...the best product for film & print storage as far as plastics goes? Same for encapsulation?? It was discontinued last year as was made for the graphics industry and digital has phased it out as well....only you'd think companies like Light Impressions etc. would be enough to keep it in demand...not so...the Library of Congress is testing replacements now....look at catalogs and count the number of products made with this product....

a sign of the times.....Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my agency.

-- dk thompson (, March 26, 2002.

I agree that Kodak has to do what it needs to do to maintain it's profitability and business health. Likewise I believe that there are many ways to achieve this goal and perhaps Kodak has missed the boat with some of it's decisions. I also believe that the digital tidal wave has come and it's obviously affecting a lot of companies and products, not just Kodak and B&W. From what I've heard from local photo shops and even the photo departments of local drug stores and 1 hour labs, even color film has shown a marked decline. Kodak Gold and Max products, even APS, may themselves be on the road to extinction.

It has always been true, since the developement of factory produced films and papers, that the average, amateur, consumer market supported the research, developement, and manufacture of the higher quality or highly specialized professional and commercial lines. Given the rapidly disintegrating consumer market for photographic films and papers, it can hardly be a surprise that Kodak has had to downsize it's entire line. Consider what the impact has been with the almost universal digitization of journalism -- once a voracious consumer of photographic products. From another perspective one could fault Kodak for having stuck with traditional film and paper as long as it has. I am sure that the need for high quality B&W and color film and paper products and related chemicals will continue for a long time. I am sure that niche suppliers will continue to be able to make money in these niche markets for some time. But they will have to have adapted their methods and prices to conform to the market realities. Some types of companies, probably Kodak among them, simply wont' or can't figure a way to make money in these niche markets and will abandon them. Hopefully, for my selfish interests, that will be a long time coming. In the mean time, I think there is an reasonable and unselfish solution:

Let companies that are abandoning certain product lines that still have a small niche market, be they Kodak or other, let them turn over their patents and rights to those products to others who might yet find a way to make a reasonable profit from them. Let these companies that no longer see a profit in them turn over their manufacturing "recipes" and processes to those that will use them. Sort of a "public domain" end of life for them. Then if say, Kodak, doesn't want to make Verichrome Pan any more, or particular sizes of it, they can pull in some loose change licensing it out to Ilford, or some other company who can then continue it's manufacture. Or just give it up if there isn't enough interest to pull in a royalty on it.

This way, Ilford, for instance, could expand from a company that produces Ilford products, to one that produces a whole line of classic and modern films for the vintage (because that is what we are becoming)photography enthusiast or artist. Of course, they would certainly have to charge more than the prices people were used to paying before -- but that's the nature of a niche market.

As always, just my humble opinion.

-- Paul van der Hoof (, March 26, 2002.

I too will have to agree with Jorge. Other than IR in 4x5 sheets, which I used extensively, none of the film mentioned had even a small following. And by boycotting Kodak you push them into abandoning black and white altogether. And what film manufacturer do you suggest I go to when I boycott Kodak? I use Kodak because the other films on the market don't offer what I need in a film. Black and white film is a niche market already. We need to keep all the manufacturers in the market, not drive them out altogether. I am sorry they finally abandoned 5x7 film. And this does sound like just another attempt at bashing the yellow father. You don't like their film then don't use it. That's cool.

-- james (, March 26, 2002.

Economics! A supply and demand problem! Personally, I am going to support those companies that show the most interest in keeping B+W film and paper readily available. That company sure is not Kodak! As B+W becomes a dinasour, we select which companies live and die! Kodak is seemingly committing suicide! Why support it? Support those companies and people who will be there for us 10 years from now. Let Kodak die quickly!

-- John Elder (, March 26, 2002.

It may interest some of the people posting on this thread that Fritz Reckow is the name of a dead German professor (1940-1998) who seems to post from the same IP address as Volker Schier.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, March 26, 2002.

pretty nifty piece of detective work Ed! I am disapointed in Volker he seemed to be an intelligent person.

I dont mind people not agreeing with me, but at least have enough courage to beleive in your opinions without having to pass yourself as someone else Volker.

-- jorge gasteazoro (, March 26, 2002.

So what makes you think the other companies are somehow so kind & benevolent? Half you people are getting so riled up over products you've never even used many of you ever paid the almost 50 bucks a box for 25 sheets of SO-132? I bought a dozen boxes of it when I heard it was discontinued.... How about Pro Copy? If you think Ortho Plus is a replacement for Pro Copy....not a chance. Ortho Plus is the replacement for Commercial Film....but in truth, TMX 100 is a great copy film....between that and Ortho Plus, you can do just about anything...including neg duping.

As james said, if you don't like their products don't use 'em....but don't bash them around or wish them to die a quick death...I don't think Kodak disappearing is gonna make things better, despite how much you all seem to *love* hating them.

I don't see Kodak as being unsupportive of b&w anymore than I see Ilford being this great, kind & benevolent company, or any of the other companies for that matter...Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my agency

-- dk thompson (, March 26, 2002.

I do believe, and it is just my opinion, that Ilford and Fuji, care more about consumer opinion than Kodak. Kodak has done things like discontinuing Color Dye Transfer products without any apparent concern for photography or the consumer. So,in this market where the demand and supply for film is decreasing, I am going to support those companies who I believe will still be making quality B+W in the future. That company is not Kodak. I really think B+W materials for Kodak is terminal.

-- John Elder (, March 26, 2002.

For the photographers needing make copy negatives, I don't know how well this would work, but you might try the DR5 lab. They can make positives out of a wide variety of B/W films. I have not tried it for copy negatives, but I have used them for B/W slides, and I was blown away by the results.

On a different note:

Boycotting Kodak won't acomplish much of anything, especially if you were not using their product much in the first place. If your film is on the chopping block, then contact Kodak. If you are that passionate about convincing Kodak to keep a product, then pursuing something along the lines of those two people who are trying to save Azo paper might be in order, although it's no guaruntee that it would work.

Granted, Kodak does some things that just leave me scratching my head, such as marketing 5x7 (13x18cm) E100VS to the European market, while at the same time declining requests to ship a few boxes to dealers here in the states. I thought the goal was to move as much product as possible. But in spite of this, I like some of their products (E100VS instead of Velvia, TXT, PX, and TP) and I'm not going to boycott.

I still have confidence that consumers needs will be met by someone, even if it isn't always Kodak. Some examples include: the discontinuation of Infrared Sheet Film. I was not happy about that one, but Maco has one available in 4x5 now, painfully slow film though. Super XX Gone!, enter Berger 200. Kodachrome 25 gone, Fuji provia 100F is here with faster speed, finer grain and lower price tag (doesn't have the 150 year archival life, but I don't care if my slides outlive me and my kids)

If there is a demand for a product, someone will meet that demand, for a price.

-- Eric Verheul (, March 27, 2002.

Hi, guys. Don't get so upset about all that "product" business. Try to make good pictures, with the films that are available. I don't like the policy of companies like Mc Kodak's either, ignoring the historical importance of certain photographic processes (like Kodachrome, or Dye Transfer) and discontinuing the products that are necessary to keep them alive. But I think that there is really nothing we can do to change that, since there are so few of us, comparing to the public those big companies need to keep them alive. Think of them as a kind of business dinosaurs, bound to be extinct just because they are too big. I will agree with John Elder, that the best thing for us to do is to support smaller companies that target the B+W market so that they shall have the economic power to develop and market more products. If we all give our money to Bergger, Foma, Efke, Forte etc, maybe someday one of them will start again manufacturing films for copy work or Infrared sheet film or other nice things that we like to have around. Kodak shall never again bother with this kind of things, whatever we do (or do not do).

-- George Papantoniou (, March 27, 2002.

Oh, and something else:

Ed, why do you hate Volker so much ?

Is it the old censorship story that made you sore, or is it the fact that he is saying the undisputable and objective truth about some things that disturbs you ? Maybe you would be satisfied if you could ban his opinion from this discussion forum ?

-- George Papantoniou (, March 27, 2002.

George: I do not "hate" Volker. I respect his knowledge and he certainly has a right to his opinions. But I wonder why he feels the need to hide behind 3 or 4 alternate identities? The opinions on this Kodak issue seem to be fairly evenly divided, so why should he feel the need to post under another name? No one else does, that I've been able to determine.

I feel that I have taken an extremely "hands-off" approach to these forums. I have only deleted a half-dozen posts in two years (mostly vitriolic flames). I apologized at length for deleting one of Volker's posts and (if you will recall) promised never to do so again without cause and a written explanation.

I enjoy the exchange of opinions, even when I disagree. I have never, and will never, delete anything from this forum just because I disagree with the opinion expressed. Fair enough?

-- Ed Buffaloe (, March 27, 2002.

Well folks, IMHO, the small formats are supported by amatuers, and they have bought into color.

The large formats are supported by industry, and when they stop using something, that's it. There just ain't enough of us LF types to support Kodak production.

The idea of Kodak licensing out certain film types to a niche producer sounds OK, but I seem to remember several varieties of BRILLIANT paper that resulted from that, and I can't say all were an improvement.

-- Richard C. Trochlil (, March 27, 2002.

On duping...two step duping is used for preservation. Those are the people who will be the real use for sheet films in the future, because polyester based sheet films and microfilm are THE standard for long term records reformatting. Look at the policies of most state & fed reformatting projects...they're all film based. Two step duping gives you the control over the interpositive to filter out stains and manipulate contrast. That becomes the master & is filed away forever safely. The dupe negs become the working negs to be handled. A reversal film is likely not going to be able to hold the extreme range of a glass plate or an old nitrate neg meant for printing on Velox or Azo, or POP. That was the problem with SO-132. If enough fine arts printers and general public had been using it, it would probably still be in production. They gave it another year after that PT article came got a stay of execution.....which was more than these other films. I believe Kodak 100% when they said digital scanning in commercial labs had done away for the demand for this film....because the institutions I work with, and the ones I talked to about it? They had quit using it back in the 70's. We don't collect negs & prints where I work...we do 3D objects & use modern films to document them. We do a heck of alot of copywork though, in support of artifacts and provenance. The neg duping I was doing was for my own "archive" of family negs.....This two step method I was describing is what you'd read if you were a vendor bidding on a gov't job on the federal level. It's all specified, just like the HABS work....

Okay, let's take a look at the films Kodak will be offering in the next year according to their current product statement: -And-White+Films

From what I gather here, the films are: 35mm IR, Portra 400, TMX, TMY, TMZ, T400CN, Pro TX 320, Pro TX400, Tech Pan, and Rapid Process Copy.

From memory, Ilford has something like (please correct me if I'm wrong): Pan F+, FP4+, HP5+, Delta 100, Delta 400, Delta 3200, SFX, Ortho Plus.

Bergger has BPF200, and two ortho based copy films should you require these....

Agfa, Forte, Efke, Fuji etc. all have their b&w lines...

SO, my question many of you used these films Charlie originally posted about? I used Ektapan, but not enough to say I'll miss it...I will miss VP though, but not enough to take out a dozen mortgages on my house to keep it in production, I used SO-132 enough to miss it, but then again, I have moved on to a better way of duping in it's passing....if I had known more about 2 step duping, I probably never would have used it in the first place. I have used Pro Copy, and will miss it because it was unique, but then I did almost all my copywork (and still do) on Ortho Plus and TMX. So I wasn't keeping it in production. I used Commercial Film, but then used Ortho Plus too.... I haven't used these other films....

The way I see it, Kodak has had a huge product line for years, and they still do. Perhaps you all don't use lab gear, don't purchase supplies on contracts, haven't benefitted from scholarships and donations to educational facilities....haven't gotten professional support from these companies....maybe you don't realize how involved Kodak has been over the years..... We use alot of Kodak supplies for both our wet labs--print processor, deeptank line, and E6 processor. They give us a heck of a deal on gov't contracts, and we don't have to rely on gray market, out of date goods shipped from the corners of the globe....the customer service is top-notch as well.

But if you haven't been using these films that are now discontinued, ever?? What are you going to miss? And how has it hurt you?

Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my agency

-- dk thompson (, March 27, 2002.

I made some adjustments as to my choice of film when AGFA discontinued APX 25. I really really liked that film but very disappointed when AGFA decided not to make them anymore. Did I stop buying AGFA films....NO. I understood AGFA's position (and also Kodak's) as APX 25 was not turning the kind of profits they wanted...purely business decision (I would have recommended the same thing to AGFA if this was the case).

What adjustments did I make...I started using Ilford product's. This decision was based primarily in my belief that Ilford is a black and white film/paper company. Comparing what Ilford offers to what Kodak offers, Ilford does not have as many different films (ie: slide/consumer color negatives) as Kodak does. In short, Ilford makes a major portion of its profit by offering black and white products compared to AGFA and Kodak. SO there is less likelihood they would be discontinuing films as Kodak is doing.

By replacing APX 25 with Ilford's Delta/PANF/FP4 films, I learned that great images could still be printed from these films. This is my choice and happy with it. If Ilford proves me wrong and discontinues these films....I'll find another one ....

But to boycott a film manufacturer just because they discontinued a film...I do not agree with this. Kodak makes excellent color slide films and will continue to use this. I also still use AGFA's SCALA film...

-- Peter (, March 27, 2002.

Well, in the end, there will still be a company or two that will support the B+W photography market. When everyone else has bailed out, someone will fill the niche. Isn't this the real underlying issue we are all concerned about and not Kodak specifically? Ken

-- Ken Bruno (, April 03, 2002.

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