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Thread: Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

  1. #1

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    Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

    Well, I can't quite believe this one, but it's from the venerable and usually well informed Richard Knoppow on the F32 list:

    "My contact at Kodak has informed me that Kodak has discontinued all B&W paper. The official announcement will be made later today. Kodak will continue to manufacture B&W film and chemicals."

    I'd like to hope it's yet another misunderstandign of one of Kodak's announcements about some kind of downsizing

  2. #2

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    Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

    The version I heard was that they were going to discontinue manufacturing the paper base (from wood pulp). Instead, they are now planning to purchase the paper base and continue to coat it with their emulsion.

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    Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

    > Makes no sense for them to do film and chemicals and NOT paper.

    Perhaps in the ever shrinking market of chemical photography, many of the remaining practitioners have switched to digital printing ? In any case, this rumor does not bode well.

  4. #4
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

    I also heard John Cook's version.

    There's still a market for the stuff apart from the tiny fine art world. A lot of performers' headshots are done usually on B&W RC and sold in batches of 100 prints or more, even if some of that work is moving to digital color.

  5. #5

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    Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

    "The version I heard was that they were going to discontinue manufacturing the paper base (from wood pulp). Instead, they are now planning to purchase the paper base and continue to coat it with their emulsion."

    It's been a long time since Kodak made it's own paper base hasn't it? I thought they had sold all of that off.

  6. #6

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    Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

    Kodak's paper mill in Rochester was closed only last year. In recent years EK had moved its b/w paper making from Rochester to Canada, then to Brazil, now to nowhere. All part of their go-out-of business strategy....even with a new CEO from Hewlett-Packard they'll never win in the computer industry. Too many fast-moving competitors there and too many consumers who couldn't care less about Kodak's "brand heritage", which is really all they have left.

  7. #7

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    Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

    Hi

    And in Switzerland I got the anoucement from Foto Intern thad Kodak no longer produce Digital DSLR only the cheaper consumer products. But it is also stated they will continue with the CCD and SMOS Sensor development!
    They are more and more in troubles I think they are changing to often the strategy!
    And as always the CEOs get to much money for doing almost everthing wrong!
    And one more time the little man is the asshole! Because he is loosing hes job!
    And if the CEO get fired he gets millions in hes pocket!
    Time must change, very soon!

  8. #8
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    Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

    I also called and was told that it was true. The gentleman I spoke to said the announcement was made this morning and that they figured they had about 6 months of stock remaining. I aksed to have my objection to this recorded in the call log (not that that will have any impact on the decision, though hope springs eternal...).

    If others want to call and voice their opinion about this in the US, call 1-800-242-2424 ext. 19. Other folks can find numbers here: www.kodak.com/global/en/service/contactKodak/kodakPhoneNumbers.jhtml.

    Dang. Now I need to fine replacement paper for Polymax, which was my primary paper.

  9. #9
    Louie Powell's Avatar
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    Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

    My first reaction to this news is similar to most of the rest of the readers of this list - emotional panic. But then reason prevails.

    I just checked the stock of paper in my darkroom. There's not a single box of Kodak paper there. Oh, I have a few Kodak boxes that are being used to store Brand X papers (perhaps cut to odd sizes), but I haven't bought a box of Kodak paper in at least 10 years.

    B/W paper is a niche market. Large companies like Kodak can't survive if all they do is supply niche markets. Its a matter of scale - big companies have to engage in big markets. Sure, in theory they could set up and operate a niche-market division to supply the ends and odds, but that would then become a hobby to them - and in the world of big business, you can't afford the distraction of hobby activities. Frankly, the b/w paper market has been a hobby for Kodak for too long - and that may have contributed to some of their problems. Furthermore, the fact that the b/w paper segment has been a hobby has meant that it hasn't gotten any serious attention from upper manager, nor has it gotten any significant reinvestment money. As a result of this, the Kodak product line has shrunk both in scope and quality.

    The guys who can survive are the small players who operate at a smaller scale. And this will be good news for them because it means that their market share will increase.

    There are two groups of people who will suffer here. One is the few remaining Kodak employees dedicated to making b/w paper. Hopefully, they can either be transitioned into other segments of the business, or given graceful retirements. The other group is that small collection of folks who use Azo - and my impression is that Michael Smith is a good enough salesman to convince one of the other players in the paper market to fill that gap.

  10. #10
    Eric Biggerstaff
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    Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper?

    Ilford picked a good time to come back to life.
    Eric Biggerstaff

    www.ericbiggerstaff.com

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