Axe falls on Kodak b&w paper production
June 17, 2005
Kodak has ceased production of its entire range of black & white photographic papers after a ?dramatic? drop in demand of 25-30% over recent years.
The news that production has already stopped was revealed to AP by Kodak?s European office after numerous reports appeared on the internet announcing that the company was planning to stop making the papers.
Production has already ended as a result of a ?dramatic? decline in demand, particularly over the past year, which meant it was no longer viable for Kodak to continue making b&w paper, explained John Culverhouse, Kodak?s Strategic Product Group general manager for Professional Output, Europe.
In an exclusive interview with AP Culverhouse said that the company expects the papers be available for the next three to six months as stocks run down. But he stressed that production of b&w film and chemistry will continue.
Kodak makes eight types of b&w paper, four resin-coated (including Professional Polycontrast IV RC) and two fibre base papers for use in the darkroom and two designed to be used in minilabs – Professional Portra Sepia Black & White Paper and Portra Black & White Paper.
The move further highlights the company?s move away from traditional photography.
Culverhouse, who is also sales director for the professional lab business at Kodak UK, explained that the move was largely driven by the shift to digital imaging and digital printing whereby, for example, many professional studio photographers now print ?in-house? on ?desktop? inkjet printers.
He added that these days it is also possible to produce a ?very good? b&w print on colour paper at professional labs
Most Kodak b&w paper was made at a factory in Brazil.