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Subject: Obsolescence of photographic film

Obsolescence of photographic film

From: Charles Stewart <cstewart>
Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2003
Frank A. Reynolds <fr0c [at] andrew__cmu__edu> writes

>Does anyone have a really "practical estimate" of when Kodak (and/or
>other major photographic film manufactures) will drop or scale down
>their involvement in professional films?

I don't have inside information as to a Kodak "target date" for
stopping film manufacture.  The demand for films is probably too
high for now and too unpredictable for the future to be able to
adhere to any such date.

Dropping certain emulsions from production with little warning and
making changes ("improvements") in materials without notice has been
Kodak's obnoxious practice for many years, driving imaging
professionals up the wall.  Recently the company consigned it's
standard black and white films to a new production facility,
pretty-well ruining the products in the process, in my opinion.  We
still use Kodak microfilm products here, but I've switched to Ilford
or Fuji for my personal work, as Kodak seems relentlessly to alter
their films for the worse.  If Kodak's announcements of an imminent
switch to digital trouble you, I think you may take comfort in the
likelihood of other manufacturers making quality films for many
years to come.  The reasons for this are several: image permanence
issues with digital records; the large number of film cameras in
circulation as well as the large number of these still being
produced and sold, etc.

Chas. Stewart
Senior Photographer
Library Photographic Service, UC, Berkeley


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