Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/06/15

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Subject: [Leica] Re: Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper
From: mark at (Mark Rabiner)
Date: Wed Jun 15 15:14:17 2005

This will be a big blow to the "8th grade football coach teaching
photography class" market but Kodak had not been in the running for black
and white paper for decades.
Sounds bad though.
If it was color paper.
In the 70's there was the silver scare scam and the only decent paper was
Agfa Portriga with any silver left in it.
Except it was a portrait paper; way warm.
Everyone went nuts figuring out how to cool it down.
Ilford responded with a daring yet obvious plan.
A premium paper.
Let them pay a few bucks for something without all it's silver stripped out
of it.
The results was "Gallery" paper and despite an obnoxious gloss many of the
better peoples went with it. It was a cool paper, (not warm).
It soon became obvious that there was a market for quality black and white
paper and others responded.
Except for Kodak.
Kodak ignored that completely.
But more importantly it never had the guts or gumption to come up with a
reply for Ilford Multigrade.
They made their Polycontrast paper not as embarrassingly bad as was before,
they modernized their filter set but but it always was a full step behind
NOBODY used it.
Except photography classes in small towns taught by the football coach and
Anglophobic processors who got a deal from Kodak they could not refuse.

I tried giving it a shot over the years every once an awhile but after a big
hype push I would have I'd hope for a look everybody else was not getting.
But it let me down every time. My hopes and dreams were crushed.
The stuff was unusable.
It's drydown was extensive and unpredictable.
It's surface was tacky.
Its print color - weird.

AZO though is a different thing if you are contact printing your 8x10 negs
and subscribe to that particular cult.
But I'm sure someone will come up with a clone of that if they haven't

Mark Rabiner
Portland Oregon

Replies: Reply from feli2 at (Feli) ([Leica] darkroom focusing)
In reply to: Message from montoid at (Montie Talbert) ([Leica] Re: Kodak Discontinuing B&W Paper)