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  #1  
Old 21st May 2022, 04:01 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default Colour printing

I recently placed a number of items on sale on the forum, but I have been thrown a lifeline with almost 3/4 of a box of the developer which is not available at present via the normal channels so I will be able to continue for a few more months anyway and by that time the situation may have improved.(For ever the the optimist).
The items have now been withdrawn from sale.

I have also written a letter to Kodak in UK at Hemel Hempstead, in Hertfordshire, quite politely asking what they are proposing to do and asking a couple of quite blunt questions which they could answer with a simple 'yes' or 'no', but I am not holding my breath!

I have decided to display this letter for all to see what I have stated and asked. when and if I get a reply I will update you.

Dear sir/madam.

I am an Amateur Photographer who prefers to use analogue materials for the production of colour prints.
Can you advise me why the supplies of certain Kodak products in England and elsewhere are almost impossible to locate?

The availability of 35mm colour negative film is at best, unreliable and at worst, just not available with any degree of reliability. The main suppliers for the amateur and professional just don't seem able to obtain any unless they are prepared to wait months for a small amount to trickle through and then are sold out within days of getting any.

Medium format film, i.e. 120 size, does not seem to be so bad, but the supply of the smaller format has almost on dried up. Information I have received from contacts in both Europe and the United States, the same situation appears to be the worldwide.

RA4 Kodak Endura colour paper is also unavailable. I know you do not sell boxes of cut sheets anymore, but to counter this, I made my own my own dispenser to accommodate 12" x 88m rolls Endura. But that is lying empty, there now appears to be none available anywhere in UK. I have had to resort to using what I consider to be an inferior paper made by Fuji which I don't particularly like it, but that is all that is available.

For all the years I have been printing colour (since 1993-4), I have used the same Kodak Ektacolor developer 20 Litre kits and the same size in Bleach- Fix. It is what I am used to and just cannot find anything to equal it. I use a deep tank to process the paper (with replenishment) and this is the only RA4 developer that I can 100% rely upon to give me a reasonably long active life without going stale. There are similar products made by companies such as Tetenal and Adox which I believe are not designed to have a long life in a deep tank, even with replenishment and become degraded or inactive within a couple of weeks.

In addition, one company from which I get most of my photographic needs has not had stocks of the RA4 'Starter' for now well over a year. Just what is going on?

Are you intending phasing out colour negative and RA4 altogether?

At present I have around 20 cassettes of 35mm film (Kodak Gold and Portra) plus enough print developer and bleach fix to last me about 5 months with careful use.

Once these have gone, if supplies are not restored, I will probably be obliged to give up analogue colour printing unless fresh quantities of all items resume. Are you in a position to say with confidence, when and if, these materials will once again become freely available?

Yours Faithfully

John King

Last edited by John King; 21st May 2022 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 21st May 2022, 10:47 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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It'll be interesting to see what if any, the reply is, John.

Mike
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Old 22nd May 2022, 11:33 AM
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B&W Neil B&W Neil is offline
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Very well put John. I hope you receive a positive reply.

Neil.
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"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." Aristotle

Neil Souch
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Old 22nd May 2022, 12:17 PM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is offline
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Good luck John, I hope you get a positive letter back, it will be interesting to hear what, if anything they have to say
Richard
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Old 22nd May 2022, 03:58 PM
John King John King is offline
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Thanks for the comments but to be quite honest I am not holding my breath!
In the words of one of our sponsors, "Both Fuji and Kodak seem to be in competition to see who can provide the worst customer service".

Obviously I did not include that because I actually do want a reply.
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Old 24th May 2022, 07:08 AM
John King John King is offline
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The letter was not posted that day'cos I was too late, but it went special delivery yesterday and the tracking reference indicates it will be delivered this morning before 1.00p
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Old 24th May 2022, 05:23 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default A conversation with Kodak Alaris

Following me sending that letter yesterday I expected a wait of a few days for a reply, however I received a telephone call this afternoon from someone who stated he worked for Kodak Alaris.
The conversation covered most of the points I raised in the letter above and the questions I asked were answered in what I felt were close to the possible truth as he was able to give.

In short Kodak Alaris who manufacture the film (but in the US) is struggling to keep up with demand.

In short the manufacture of the chemicals in China has apparently stopped and likewise the paper manufacture is on hold.

On a brighter note the manufacture and export of colour film is being ramped up but no mention was made when/if it was likely to return to the usual levels. The increased costs of film was not mentioned as I thought it would be pointless

I did mention that I would have liked a reply in the form of a letter but told that would not happen. As the conversation was not able to be recorded by myself, I am reluctant to say anything further as an incorrect statement often annoys.
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Old 24th May 2022, 11:15 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John King View Post
In short the manufacture of the chemicals in China has apparently stopped and likewise the paper manufacture is on hold.
Thanks for the summary of the conversation, John. Dismal Jimmy here wonders whether we are the start of a "strain in relationships" in general with China as we clearly are with Russia and that neither may get better any time soon

Kodak Alaris and by implication Eastman Kodak may live to regret KA's sale of its chemicals and paper to SinoPromise

Mike
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:52 AM
Michael Michael is offline
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In an e-mail circular from Speed Graphic this morning is the following quotation:

"Supply of 35mm colour negative film continues to be dreadful, although we are told that the Kodak situation will improve in June.".

They don't say anything more specific than that; but I suppose they could be asked what they know.

speedgraphic.co.uk
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Old 27th May 2022, 01:06 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
In an e-mail circular from Speed Graphic this morning is the following quotation:

"Supply of 35mm colour negative film continues to be dreadful, although we are told that the Kodak situation will improve in June.".

They don't say anything more specific than that; but I suppose they could be asked what they know.

speedgraphic.co.uk
Checking out Speedgraphic's website, https://www.speedgraphic.co.uk they claim to have 'Large stocks' of film. Just checking their range of in stock Kodak film, it seems they do...

Terry S
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