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Kodak To Stop Making Black and White Paper

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the end-of-an-era dept.

Businesses 501

Swirsky writes "For those of us who remember spending quality time in a dark room with Kodak Rapid RC paper and a bottle of Dektol, here's some bad news - Kodak will stop making black and white photographic paper. Black and white photo work (especially because you can use a safelight!) is a wonderful way of introducing someone to photography. I guess if we want to do it, we'll have to use home-made emulsions on paper. As a pro photographer, I'm bothered by this, though admittedly I haven't done b/w darkroom work in years."

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OH NOS! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860751)

Oh ... wait... 8 MP digital cameras and a steady tracker... i guess my astrophotography is still going to be ok.

It's about time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860753)

There is no reason for black and white anything today. Its time to stop dragging our feet and actually walk forward

Re:It's about time (0)

malfunct (120790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860857)

As an artistic medium I've heard that black and white can't be matched.

Re:It's about time (4, Insightful)

grolschie (610666) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860878)

Sad troll really. You cannot beat B&W for an artistic medium. Many photos look far better in B&W than they ever could in colour.

Re:It's about time (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860894)


Black and white photo work (especially because you can use a safelight!) is a wonderful way of introducing someone to photography.

B&W photographaphic printing is easier (and cheaper, I think) than color, and it's a good way for beginners or hobbyists to print their own photos.

Re:Absolute nonsense (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860928)

Black & White photography is an artform unto itself. It's not like you can "unplug" black & white, and then just just "plug" color in its place and get the same results. Good black and white images are very rich in detail and contrast, and that contrast can lend itself to a much more dramatic image. Color will never match this quality.

I'm disappointed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860754)

My dog is gay. What a bummer. =(

Kodak... (1)

The Hobo (783784) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860757)

First I hear they're essentially getting out of the film business, now they're starting on paper too... I guess they're really heavily banking on digital..

Digital? (2, Informative)

khrtt (701691) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860784)

Digital has never been Kodak's strong side. They made a comparatively decent digital camera way back when, when no one was making good digital cameras anyways. So, WTF?

Re:Digital? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860912)

Kodak owns many patents on digital sensors and makes a bundle licensing those to the rest of the digital camera makers.

Kodak *is* digital.

Donations call (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860758)

I say we need to keep this project going. Let's start a donations round. Please PayPal $5 or more to to keep the black and white in the stores. If every American donates, we'll be able to keep the black and white paper running for another 18 months.

On the other hand, the whole concept seemed too racist to me when they first started selling it.

Duh (5, Funny)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860759)

Black and white pr0n sucks. And we all know pr0n is the only useful application of photography.

Re:Duh (5, Insightful)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860769)

Porn is the not-so-secret driving force behind all great technology!

Photography, The Internet, and I'm sure more!

Re:Duh (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860798)

In "you-know-where", pr0n sucks YOU.

Ewww :-(

Re:Duh (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860823)

I think you win the honor of being the first Soviet Russia joke on all of Slashdot that was actually funny.

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860849)

No, he doesn't.

Re:Duh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860845)

If you make pr0n black and white, it automatically becomes "art".

Re:Duh (2, Insightful)

grolschie (610666) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860898)

You gotta use a high grain, high contrast B&W medium though. :-)

Who cares .... (4, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860764)

Ilford fine grain semi-matte was always way better than any muddy paper kodak made.

Or Portriga -- Agfa is good too.

Re:Who cares .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860770)

> Agfa is good too.

Yeah, they went broke last week :-(

Re:Who cares .... (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860785)

Before I posted, I should have checked to make sure those papers are still made. It's been many years now that my enlarger has resided in a closet. The first summer I got into photography, I disolved the skin on my fingertips (no tongs, no gloves) down to the point at which it was painful to touch anything at all for week. Those were the days .... ;-)

Re:Who cares .... (1)

TheSloth2001ca (893282) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860854)

i really hope they are still made, i wanna get soem money (who doesent) and buy some used enlarger and set up a darkroom and home.

Re:Who cares .... (2, Funny)

rylin (688457) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860864)

You know.. mentioning an enlarger in a closet, tongs and gloves is a surefire way to make people look at you in an odd light

Re:Who cares .... (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860926)

Yeah, they went broke last week :-(

Aw crap. For real? I guess I need to buy up a pile of Ultra 100 and RSX 100, and throw in the freezer. :-(

Re:Who cares .... (1)

cei (107343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860954)

The North American operating unit of AgfaPhoto today announced that its financial position and business operations are unaffected by the insolvency filing of its parent company, AgfaPhoto GmbH, in Germany last week.

more info []

Re:Who cares .... (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860795)

Agfa was good.

Re:Who cares .... (2, Informative)

peginald (717763) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860861)

Other posters pointed out Agfa have gone bust - and Ilford went bankrupt in Sept 2004, although the rights to their papers were sold to Harmon Technology Ltd. No idea how they're doing.
I hope that someone continues to make good b&w paper - surely even if conventional film completely disappeared, there would be a small market for b&w prints?

Re:Who cares .... (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860967)

Ilford appears to have recovered well from their bankruptcy, and Kentmere and Foma are still making great paper. I don't think b&w will be going anywhere soon.

Re:Who cares .... (1)

cathouse (602815) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860881)

There was nothing else that came close to matching DuPont Double Weight Velour Black in either SemiGloss or unFerrotyped Gloss for having both DEEP blacks that never blocked up and a reasonably linear scale that retained separation through the highlights. Sure it could take juse short of forever in the soup and a lot longer than that to wash, but nada por nada. Agfa did make a couple of very decent types but close is still second place.

Re:Who cares .... (2, Informative)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860949)

Oriental 'Seagull' photographic paper ( is still around and is a GREAT paper. Ansel Adams used to use it. I find it has a slightly brown tone, however if you give it a rinse in selenium toner (very dilute... like for archiving purposes, or less) the tones change to very black blacks, and very white whites. It is a fibre based paper though, so if you like to use resin coated, you won't like it. However, once you see what fibre based papers look like, you probably won't like resin coated again anyway. WAY better tones in fibre based paper.

Re:Who cares .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860891)

Couldn't agree more.

I use Ilford papers for more serious stuff rather than Kodaks. For a not-so-serious work, I enjoy no-name papers (über cheap) from China or somewherein eastern Europe.

Image editing.. (1, Interesting)

euxneks (516538) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860768)

Why bother with Black and White photography when you can do basic filtering like black and white and sepie on most digital cameras? Am I missing out on something that Black and White Film has? Does it have better contrast or something?

Re:Image editing.. (1, Interesting)

Hi_2k (567317) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860803)

It used to be a quality issue, but modern digital cameras can surpass the quality. And computers have always had more range of contrast than film. The only real reasons for it now are because it's FUN to develop your own film, and it's is historical.

Re:Image editing.. (4, Insightful)

darkov (261309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860893)

What a load of bull. What digital camera can compete with with 25 ASA film loaded into a 10x8 large format camera?

Go look at someone like Ansel Adam's work in the flesh before you start spouting such nonsense. Digital cannot compete on resolution, contrast or tonal range and for some extremes, like Adam's, probably never will.

Mod parent DOWN (3, Insightful)

grolschie (610666) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860907)

computers have always had more range of contrast than film.

What BS! The exposure latitude of print film is far higher (more forgiving) than current digital SLRs and point and shoots.

Re:Image editing.. (1)

eyeruh (219897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860805)

B&W film is generally more tolerant of under and over exposure than digital. Also, many people (myself included) prefer the look you get from film grain vs the digital look.

As an example, here's a photo I took with T-Max 3200 speed b&w film: []

It's a look you can't really duplicate with digital. There are times where the image I get with digital is just what I want--but film gives you a different palette of options to work with.

Re:Image editing.. (0)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860809)

I prefer to do most camera work in color and grayscale it in photoshop, you can have much more controls with levels there.

Re:Image editing.. (2, Insightful)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860814)

I think the point was that working with black and white film is fun. A more extreme case would be a pogo stick company not selling pogo sticks any more. There arent alot of people these days that go to work on a pogo stick, although many people do enjoy the occational pogo now and then, just for old times sake.

Re:Image editing.. (3, Informative)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860832)

It's like asking why someone would load Linux on a G5 when they've already got Mac OSX pre-installed. The reason people stick with film is because it simply one of those old habits that die hard.

At ISO135, there is no film that can outperform a modern DSLR's sensor. In addition, a DSLR can take many more shots before a change of media is required. In many cases, the film winds up being computer-scanned anyway, so the loss of resolution during the scanning stage drops the "actual" film resolution by a huge amount. Once in the computer, the scanned film image can be digitally manipulated the same as any image from a digital camera, so there is no benefit either way.

If the photographer wishes to use an optical enlarger, the limitations of the enlarging lens is a factor in the quality of the print. Many enlargers have barrel distortion in the corners. DSLRs do not have this issue because the sensors are typically smaller than the image circle of the lens, so it is a crop of the "best" area of the lens (which is also why they refer to a 1.5x multiplier for lenses not specifically made for digital cameras).

Re:Image editing.. (2, Interesting)

TheSloth2001ca (893282) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860869)

there are things you can do in a dark room that just cant be done in digital with a computer. Solerization(sp) is a great example where u light a match right as the image begins to apear on the paper in the developer, and can result in some very interesting prints. Also have u tried freezing a wet film strip??? the ice does some neet things to teh emultion that can also make. the darkroom is a fun place and i do not want it to die on me

Re:Image editing.. (1)

bdbafh (851601) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860906)

23 years ago, I used to do the same thing. Solarization. Posterization. take a solarized high contrast film "print" and turn it into a line drawing. then again, that was in my parent's basement.

Re:Image editing.. (2, Interesting)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860883)

Film also has more latitude (the range of light in a scene, from pure black to pure white) than digital does. Plus the random/analog nature of the film grain adds something to the photo. Sometimes photographers purposely manipulate things to create more grain.

Finally, I think there is more uniqueness in 'wet' photography than in digital, adding anther level to the art. It adds to whatever the thing is that makes a piece of art special. Each printed photo is unique, and is slightly different from the next, being that it was crafted by human hand. Each print is unique. While digital requires an artist behind it, once a print is made, it is reproduced without the artists hand... on a printer (if it is even printed). Which to me makes it less than something hand printed by the artist.

But then again it is all art. And that is the beauty of it... we all get to appreciate it in our own way. Unless of course it is 'performance art'... then yer jest f'ing goofy!!! ;-)

Re:Image editing.. (5, Insightful)

Pax00 (266436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860885)

well.. yes... you are... you are missing out on ALOT... I am a simi-pro photographer.. I grew up with a camera in my hands... I have had several years of professional schooling.. but I still don't call myself pro.. I don't know everything..

I have used digital and manual... I have used 1hour processing and I have processed by hand.. I have worked in digital dark rooms and real life dark rooms... all of these tools have a time and a place... their pro's and their cons.. but I still think my best work is done in a dark room...

the dark room is one of the few places that magic still occurs... there is something amazing about placeing a piece of blank paper and shining a light on it.. dipping it in a chemical and seeing an image appear before you...

This is very sad news that they are working on taking this away from us... This is litterally a dying art form... this is the difference between a hand woven tapistry and mass produced articals... this process is still young in so many respects.. photography hasn't even been around for 200 years...

I will agree with other posters that said that there are still other companies.. but how long until they follow suit?

Re:Image editing.. (0, Redundant)

aldeng (804728) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860968)

As a photographer, I can tell you that digital as it stands (with affordable cameras, not $20,000 rigs) has muddy contrast and when you're using an SLR like a Digital Rebel the clarity of the depth of field isn't anywhere near as good as it is on film. For B&W specifcally, shooting in monochrome on a camera is just stupid. You can make half decent digital prints just by using curves and filters, so why throw out the color info when it could look beter in color?

DSLR seems like the only way to go (0)

coldeeze (832166) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860771)

I'm surprised professional photographers still use film-based camera's. It would seem that digital media would be easier to work with in all aspects. I'm sure the camera it self would cost ten times more, but it'd be worth it. Anyway, since we're talking about digital photography let me shamlessly plug my photoblog [] !

Re:DSLR seems like the only way to go (0, Flamebait)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860781)

Digital cameras are still way crappier than film cameras.

Are records better than CDs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860821)

People say the craziest things.

Re:Are records better than CDs? (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860838)

IANA professional photogropher, so I could actually be wrong. Well, there's a first time for everything.

Re:Are records better than CDs? (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860867)

Why yes, records are better than CD's. This is not a subjective thing like the vacuum tube amps.

A record stores an analog waveform of the original sound with much more detail than the quantized digital data on a CD.

But...playing a record with a needle wears down the recording surface and after just a few plays a CD already sounds better. CD's are also much more portable, otherwise durable, and cheaper to make.

You can buy a laser record player in the mind 4-digit price range that will play a record without touching it and wearing it down, and you can still buy new records to play on it.

Re:Are records better than CDs? (1)

nzkbuk (773506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860951)

Then all you need to worry about is keeping the dust off the records.

Re:DSLR seems like the only way to go (1)

helioquake (841463) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860842)

While this guy could state it better, how is this a flamebait?

Re:DSLR seems like the only way to go (1)

Fjornir (516960) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860892)

Because he could have said it better. Because if he had said it in a different way the probability of flames would be considerably lower but he could still express his opinion.

Re:DSLR seems like the only way to go (3, Interesting)

helioquake (841463) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860818)

Most of digital camera uses a cheaper quality CCD with a shallow dwell depth, i.e., saturation occurs too quickly and hence only achieving low dynamic range. Spatial resolution isn't that great either, definitely not opimizing the quality of lenses available in some cases (Nikon D* series, etc).

And converting a color CCD image to B&W isn't the same, since the pixel filtering is likely involved (if it's a professional digital camera with multi-ccds and a beam splitter, it might be ok).

And obviously you never looked at mid-frame size camera. Digital media is approaching to 35mm camera, but nothing beyond that.

Re:DSLR seems like the only way to go (4, Interesting)

jcupitt65 (68879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860935)

That can be true for compact point-and-click cameras with tiny 7mm x 5mm sensors, but not for DSLRs. They have much better dynamic range and lower noise than film.

No DSLR uses multiple CDDs (AFAIK). You'll get rather a good B&W by just taking the green channel.

Finally film resolution is always quoted for some tiny contrast ratio (20%? something like that). Digital resolution is at 100% contrast ratio so it can actually look sharper even when the lpi is lower.

If anyone's not seen it, this DSLR vs medium format shootout [] from a few years ago has some interesting stuff in. Has a film person made a rebuttal? I'd be interested to see.

Will stay on market as "arts" product (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860774)

I guess if we want to do it, we'll have to use home-made emulsions on paper.

Still plenty of other manufacturers. Eventually b&w materials will stay on the market like oil colors and other arts materials. Fewer manufacturers, but will not disappear, either. Prices probably will rise, though.

kodak says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860776)

so now, because kodak says so, the black and white photo market dies? this seems senseless...

amateur photographers need easy access to b&w photo materials so they can continue the long tradition of appearing cool. color is out. b&w just looks sexier/

holy shit... when did slashdot implement the ENTER THE LETTERS IN THIS IMAGE TO PROVE YOU'RE REAL game?

does this also mean the idiot/script filters can finally be turned off?

Re:kodak says... (1)

thegamerformelyknown (868463) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860895)

I experienced this a few times myself, but it seems to have gone away. I assume it associates accounts and makes you enter it only a few times.

It's called change (3, Funny)

orangeguru (411012) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860779)

Well another pre-press and printing technology gone. so what? I will never miss the chemicals and different kind of paper.

Anyone miss Lithography ... or cave painting? []

Re:It's called change (1)

pkhuong (686673) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860888)

Gee, guess what? Lithography is still used in art.

Re:It's called change (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860924)

And taught in colleges/art schools. Lithography is a form of printmaking, and you can do some neat stuff with it.

Re:It's called change (1)

Pax00 (266436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860904)

sure.. plenty of people miss it... I mean.. don't you have paintings on the walls of your homes? dont' you doodle on your paper when you are bored? haven't you ever see any piece of art? isn't that just an expansion of cave painting? take a look under most bridges, or on most picnic tables and you will things that might as well be cave paintings...

Re:It's called change (1)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860919)

Anyone miss Lithography ... or cave painting?







(In other news, the Slashdot's lameness filter is attempting to remove all the humor in my post. Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. Well, that *was* the point of using all caps.)

Who uses kodak B&W paper? (4, Interesting)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860787)

Ilford is so much better, and Kodak relying on their band name is more expensive. I still use a few hundred sheets a year of black and white photographic paper and I hadn't even heard about this.

When Ilford stops making paper that will be a sad day. Kodak stoping isn't even newsworthy.

Re:Who uses kodak B&W paper? (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860800)

You speak the truth brother. Kodak always seemed muddy and grey to me -- whites were light grey and blacks were dark grey. But Ilford papers -- those were black, white, and every shade in between. Gorgeous stuff.

Re:Who uses kodak B&W paper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860909)

When Ilford stops making paper that will be a sad day.

Ilford went bankrupt in 2004.

Re:Who uses kodak B&W paper? (2, Informative)

cei (107343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860931)

FUD. It got out of receivership [] in Feb 2005.

Re:Who uses kodak B&W paper? (2, Informative)

cei (107343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860917)

Agreed 100%. That's the response that I've given on the 3 or 4 photo mailing lists that I'm on. I know a LOT of photographers still doing traditional B&W printing, but all of them use Ilford, Berger, Kentmere or Agfa. Not a single one uses Kodak for B&W paper.

That's how it goes.. (2, Insightful)

Zimok (893058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860790)

Out with the old, in with the new..

Ilford is in Chapter11 (1)

tin foil hat dude (791617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860792)

so maybe B-W is dead---I think I'll do everything in sepia from now on

Re:Ilford is in Chapter11 (1)

jhylkema (545853) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860831)

Not anymore [] .

Haven't done B&W in years (5, Insightful)

nzkbuk (773506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860799)

I'm bothered by this, though admittedly I haven't done b/w darkroom work in years.
This is exactly the reason why they are stopping the product. The poster is probably representative of alot of photographers (and people in general) with a "Hey that's a great thing to start people on this, but I no longer use it myself"

It's economics 101 if you don't make a profit out of something then don't sell it. Yes I know about loss leaders, but this couldn't be described as one of them. I'm sure there will always be a market for black and white photography, but so much is going digital that I think b&w specific film and paper are past their sell by dates

Re:Haven't done B&W in years (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860871)

There are often products that survive mass market switches.

The only thing I wonder is whether digital will reach a point that it will simply be so much better than film, that no-one will use it.

In the cases of things surviving, it's either because people perceive something as better (like valve amps), built to spec (handmade furniture) or because the market has become more about enthusiasts (like people who still ride horses).

Two Words (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860802)

Supply & Demand.

Follow the money. (3, Insightful)

ViX44 (893232) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860807)

Kodiak paper is best, but it's a bear to work with. The real question isn't so much digital replacing conventional, but one of profit and user effort. Sure, professional photography will always have some sort of want of traditional methods, but which is more appealing to the tyro...having to buy special paper and mess with chemcials and the extensive setup required to render good images in the old method, or to shoot a dozen shots, delete the ones that weren't quite right, edit it on the computer, and throw it out to dozens of friends via email, DArt, et cetera. The I-gotta-have-it-now generation much prefers to spend a large chunk now and have easy, even if printer-limited, quality and the flexability of electronic distribution than muck with the consumables required for classic photography. So, let's sell digicams in bulk and get their money now, rather than take the ever-dwindling profit trickle of classical photography product subscription.

Re:Follow the money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860841)

Kodiak paper is best, but it's a bear to work with. Ha ha, very punny!

Re:Follow the money. (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860947)

Although the limitations can be simulated, as well, I think there is something to be said for learning on a restrictive system of film/paper photo printing. The lack of immediacy and the higher value of a given shot means that people who use (or even start by using) these limiting methods will be forced to think more about the process beforehand, and end up better at photography, even when using quicker digital methods.

It's similar to the fact of most graphic design studies requiring students to start with hand-drawn and hand-assembled layouts. Sure, it's anachronistic, and not really applicable in full to the modern world and workflow, but it blatantly requires the skills that will come into play subtly in later days.

This isn't to say that paper photography may not have other visual, artistic, or quality merits, but these merits are more personal and less concrete, and less objectively arguable.

Re:Follow the money. (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860960)

Ah, hell, never mind. I reread the PP and realized my reply was totally on a tangent to what the author was saying. Disregard.

Heh, right.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860815)

Black and white photo work (especially because you can use a safelight!) is a wonderful way of introducing someone to photography.

..As if your average /.'er could ever get a hot chick to enter into a dark room with him.

Re:Heh, right.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860916)

Well, he has a better chance of getting the girl into a dark room than a lighted one, that is for sure.

Ansel Adams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860836)

So now the world will lose the future geniuses of black and white photographic eye that was magically captured by Ansel Adams. dams/index.html

This is a sad happening.

Re:Ansel Adams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860865)

Ansel Adams didn't print on Kodak paper...

Re:Ansel Adams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860955)

Oh really... So who's paper do you think that he did print on?

Re:Ansel Adams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860882)

Let's try that a different way. Click Ansel Adams [] for some black and white photography viewing pleasure.

B&W is hardly dead... (5, Insightful)

Shadowell (108926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860840)

Although I expect to see about a 100:1 ratio of B&W is dead to not dead, here's the thing. B&W is hardly dead, it's simply being moved into the realm of art rather than production photography. When was the last time you went to a major gallery and didn't see silver based prints? True, digital is overtaking, if it hasn't already overtaken, typical every day photography. But, silver halide is anywhere but dead. Remember platinum prints? Go to a high end gallery and you'll see lots of them. Not practical in any way for every day use, and even possibly for a lot of typical fine art work, but it's not going anywhere.

Other than in a classroom, you don't find all that many people printing on Kodak B&W papers anyway, and it's been that way for a long time. I'm a phto student/beginning pro photographer and the only time I've printed on Kodak is when it's been given to me. There are other papers that are cheaper and work as well, if not better.

Call it trolling, or flamebait, or whatever, but the biggest thing you have to understand is that the fine art world of photography is not going to die no matter what becomes popular. Hell, there are still people shooting tintype, because they can, and because that's the nature of art. Not what's popular, but what they create and what sells.

Kodak can sit and spin, they aren't the only supplier of B&W paper. It'd be worse if they got rid of their chemicals, which I do use, but also wouldn't be the end of the world. There are many alternatives besides Kodak.

Ranting maybe, but this has been a major topic on many photo boards (it's not new news really), and life goes on.

This is as stupid as arguing that RC paper is better than fiber base, or visa vie. It all depends on what you're doing.

And yes, I do shoot digital too. And large format. I won't give up any of them, they all have teir place, and each have their strong points and weak points.

Other people make it... (3, Insightful)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860843)

I took an intro Photo class last year. We all used Ilford papaer. It was a hell of a lot cheaper...

What About Schools? (2, Insightful)

geekboybt (866398) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860846)

I took a photo class last Fall at Moorpark College [] , and their photo program begins in the black and white darkroom. Sure, digital is the wave of the future (or today, depending upon your views), but with the hours I spent in that safelight, I really learned to appreciate b&w photography. Furthermore, since color can be more difficult, what would you prefer students do to learn photography? There IS more to the art than Photoshop 1337 skillz. Note that I am somewhat biased; I used the Kodak paper almost exclusively, and enjoyed its results.

lol (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860847)


Motion Picture Film (1)

Kyle Hamilton (692554) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860848)

I dont think that 35mm and 16mm film will be going anywhere anytime soon the UER *Useable Exposer Range* of film is about 7 stops were SD is around 3 and HD is about 3.5

oh well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12860850)

i've been using ilford for years, doesn't really mean much if kodak slips off of the market.

It looks better... (1)

illumina+us (615188) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860856)

This is really sad. Especially since sometimes, black and white photographs just look better.

I want a black and white digital camera (1)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860874)

I don't mean a camera with a color sensor that just gets desaturated. I want a dSLR camera with a sensor designed strictly for black and white.

I think it makes great sense. Current technology could probably give you 32-48 bit dynamic range if all you sampled was black and white and forgot about color. (current color cameras are around 12-16 bit) That would make for incredible quality images and I bet it would sell quite well within the pro and artists market.

Re:I want a black and white digital camera (1)

helioquake (841463) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860913)

Umm, no.

The depth is controlled by the property of CCD itself. For a very expensive professional version of a CCD, saturation probably occurs about 32,000 electrons per pixel. For a commercial version, it'd be much less than that. To-date, there is no CCD camera (that I know of) which can achieve a dwell depth of 1e9 electron per pixel (or 32 bits).

To beat this, one can read out a CCD very FAST. Or more realistically use something like a CMOS detector that sort of allows you to read out from each one of pixels in real time.

Consolidation is good for the market (3, Interesting)

jvarsoke (80870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860875)

Kodak makes great film (T-MAX 3200P, Tri-X), but their Variable Contrast paper has never really been of Fine-Art quality. The images always seem muddy. I've never really gotten a good print out of Kodak paper, and only really use it for contact prints.

Ilford makes a lot better paper, especially their Fiber VC glossy. And Agfa makes an incredible Resin Coated (RC) VC glossy (MPC 310), with incredible tonal depth.

I just can't wait to burn through my remaining Kodak polycontrast paper.

Nobody serious about B&W printing will miss Kodak. And if anything it will just mean Ilford and Agfa (who are both struggling) will enjoy a larger market-share. Maybe even Oriental will make an American surge.

For those of you who are curious about what traditional photography has over digital in an age where digital is approaching (and soon exceeding) the resolution of film, it mostly has to do with art, and the feel of the print. For journalism, tourist shots, birthdays, and pr0n, you won't get much for the hassle of chemicals. But there's an organic quality that digitial is missing, which affects artistic expression.

It's kinda like this: a CD of Jazz music played over a solid-state stereo has a completely different feel than a staticy record of Jazz music played over vacuum tubes.

Which is better? Well, it's purely subjective.

photos @ []

When Black Runs Out... (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860903)

Even with colored paper, the black crayon is usually the first color to run out. Then I have to use the purple crayon to finish drawing Bruce Wayne's "other" car.

Total FUD (0)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860910)

This submission about Kodak discontinuing B/W paper production is categorically incorrect!! I did a little research because I want to put an end to Slashdot lies and found that indeed Kodak is promoting and selling black and white paper [] for use with the same looking single lense reflex camera you had back when you had that telephoto lense and got some nice shots of that chick naked in the appartment acros.. nevermind.. And not only that, they upgraded the camera for this futuristic paper and GUESS WHAT! Not only can do control depth of field and shutter or whatever it is you do that makes your pictures "artistic" or whateverthefuck, you can use your old SLR lenses on Kodak's frickin awesome SLRs. [] So calm down and damnit editors do not drop to the Republican's level to use fear to increase ummm... Kodak sales. Yeah, that's the ticket.

The Way to Learn Photography (5, Insightful)

Quirk (36086) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860948)

I introduced my daughter to photography the same way I learnt. I gave her a Pentax K1000 with a few lenses and an extension tube set, a good supply of ilford b/w 400 and a book on the Zone System [] . There's so much to learn that starting with the basics is mandatory. Taking pics by point and shoot is to photography what using Windows and using a mouse to point and click is to computer literacy.

dozens of choices (1)

cahiha (873942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860962)

There are several other manufacturers of B/W paper, including Agfa and Ilford. Go search oh and you get dozens of resuls from half a dozen manufacturers for fiber-based paper alone. If anything, Kodak left the market because they were the least competitive.

(How a self-proclaimed "pro photographer" can be so unfamiliar with the market as to think that Kodak was the only manufacturer of B/W paper left is hard to understand.)

Home made? (1)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12860969)

"I guess if we want to do it, we'll have to use home-made emulsions on paper."

No other company does B&W paper? Having done black and white paper development, and having a rather nice experience in the romantic qualities of the safety light while helping a fellow student rock the chemical bath trays to develop her photos, I too am rather sad.

Fond memories.

Still, if it helps, you can always put your SD card into a chemical trough...
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