Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/11/04

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Reformulated Tri-X?
From: Dante Stella <>
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 10:17:28 -0500 (EST)

Rolfe, let's put it this way.

Kodak led the charge up the B&W hill with the T-grain films and the
ascorbic-acid developers, easily outspending Fuji, Agfa and Ilford in the

Black and white technology is completely mature; in terms of
ultimate usable resolution, we have been at a plateau since the 1950s,
when someone discovered that document films have the highest resolution.
In fact, the current alleged "gigibit" films are nothing more than
document films.

Furthermore, the huge price of whatever incremental improvement remains to
be made cannot be economically justified when B&W is only around 5% of the
total market.  Kodak has by no means been hostile to the black and white
market - they just built a new film plant for it -- and kept Verichrome
Pan in production long after Agfa quit with APX 25.

Leica, on the other hand, has not spent any significant money on M line
bodies, the newest of which is 30 years behind technologically.  Leica has
not been an innovator for about fifty years in rangefinder bodies, and it
is nowhere near the limits of what can be done within market constraints.


On Mon, 4 Nov 2002, Rolfe Tessem wrote:

> --On Monday, November 4, 2002 9:10 AM -0500 wrote:
> > In a message dated 11/3/02 11:47:34 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> >  writes:
> >
> >> Perhaps, but the company did retire all the senior people who knew
> >> anything  about B&W film, so we'll probably never see a new B&W film out
> >>  of Kodak  even as they milk the existing products for their last nickel.
> >
> > Rolfe, think how foolish your remark sounds. To me it reads just like:
> >
> > Ernst Leitz Wetzlar retired all the senior people who knew anything about
> > designing and manufacturing cameras and lenses so Leica Solms milks
> > existing  products for their last Euro - I was going to say pfennig.
> >
> > Let's not buy any more Leicas.
> >
> > Res ipsa loquitur.
> Well, the difference is that my comment re: Kodak is, although
> intentionally hyperbolic, pretty much true.
> The Leica comment is not analogous because Leitz/Leica hasn't actually done
> this.
> And finally, I didn't suggest that anyone stop buying Tri-X :-).
> Rolfe
> --
> Rolfe Tessem
> Lucky Duck Productions, Inc.
> --
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Replies: Reply from Mark Rabiner <> (Re: [Leica] Reformulated Tri-X?)
Reply from Mike Durling <> (Re: [Leica] Reformulated Tri-X?)