Kodak drops T-Max 100 4x5 Readyloads

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Amazing, I just read on the Kodak website that Kodak has now introduced single sheet Readyloads to replace the double sheet packets. They will work in the Kodak, Polaroid, and Fuji holders. Thre will be 6 films available, none however will be B+W films.

Check out www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/features/featuresIndex.shtml

I am truly baffled. First they drop 5x7 now B+W Ready loads. I am seriously considering switching to Polaroid Type 55 P/N film. Over the years Mark Klett has had excellent results with this film. It can be selenium toned and has cool edges.

Why does Fuji not market the Neopan 80 4x5 Quickloads in the USA?

Why does Kodak do suck stupid things?

Why do we put up with this nonsense?

Why don't we all take up something intelligent......like golf? At least the golf club manufacturer's have some Madison Avenue sense. They know how to separate the golfers and their money!

Depressed, amazed, and down trodden.....


-- Bill Smithe (bs2@aol.com), September 20, 2000


Anybody besides me hear a loud ticking sound, slowly fading?

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), September 20, 2000.

Just market decisions.

Apparently not enough people were buying TMX Readyloads to make it worthwhile for Kodak to keep making them; most likely Fuji doesn't import Neopan Quickload for the same reason. Ilford has repeatedly said that they don't see enough market for them to produce any of their films as readyloads.

Otoh...if Kodak doesn't produce a b&w film in Readyload, and Fuji doesn't import Neopan...Ilford might just see a worthwhile market niche open up.

-- John Hicks (jbh@magicnet.net), September 20, 2000.

This issue has been discussed for two days on two other threads here. Correspondence with Kodak produced the corporate speak:

"At this time, only the types of films announced at Photokina will be available in the new single-sheet Readyload format (late 4th quarter in '00)...

Additional products are being considered for introduction in Readyload single-sheet format, but we are not prepared to make any announcements at this time."

I read this to mean that in Q4 they will be lucky to get the color films ramped up, so to announce more films would be to create more impatient users. I am sure that ReadyLoad sales are an issue. Many of us abandoned ReadyLoad due to failure rates. IF the single load packets work well, and sales are stronger, I think we will see TMAX return. Some aggressive behavior by Fuji would help!

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), September 21, 2000.

TMAX isn't the only film missing from the line-up. The announcement didn't show E100SW in the new improved readyload either. I am very glad they are making this new line-up compatible with the 545 and quickload holders rather than going proprietary.

-- Larry Huppert (Larry.Huppert@mail.com), September 21, 2000.

The pro market is going digital. Unless amateur shooters want to take up the slack in sales, this is what you can expect. You think the film selection is poor now, wait another 10 (or maybe 5) years. The world of photography will be very different then.

-- Ron Shaw (shaw9@llnl.gov), September 21, 2000.

Do you, like me, want to see Tmax 100 in Readyloads? Then here is the thing we must do: Let Kodak know it!

1.) We must send e-mails to any contacts we have at Kodak including your local area sales and tech reps.

2.) Tell the vendors you buy film from that you want it and ask them to ask the sales reps who service that vendor. And ask every stock house and camera store that you deal with. Be polite but be persistant. (telling a company rep that they or their company are buttheads is not effective: you look like a crank and your opinion is discounted.)

3.) Whenever Kodak has an event or demo or workshop ask about getting Tmax reinstated in the Readyload line up. Get the reps card and drop them a polite letter or e-mail reminding them of your conversation.

4.) Spread the word in the other newgroups you frequent and urgeother members to contact Kodak as well but only if they will be using the product. Creating false demand could backfire on us and spread contact info.

5.) Be persistant.

6.) Talk about the issue in your professional organization meetings, usually there is a Kodak rep there. 7.) Oh yeah: be persistant. It is how we got Readyloads fixed in the first place and kept Kodachrome alive and killed Lumiere.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), September 21, 2000.

A few years back, I switched to Bromophen from Dektol. It gave me similar results and is cheaper.

This year, I switched from Kodak fixers to Photographer's Formulary TF4.

For film developers, I'm going more towards mixing my own.

For films, I'm working on switching from Kodak to Ilford. And I haven't relied on Kodak papers for years.

In short, Kodak isn't showing a commitment to B&W photography, so I'm switching to other brands before I am forced to.

You can't blame Kodak. These are marketing/business decisions based on profits and losses. But you can support those suppliers that provide you with the tools you need. The best part of it is that we have more suppliers today that we did 10 years ago, though we've lost many of the really great products that Kodak had.

-- Charlie Strack (charlie_strack@sti.com), September 21, 2000.

I worry about the future of sheet film, if studio pro's go digital... we don't get fast films since the bulk of sheet film sales are studio based. A 400 speed chrome film would be really useful in 4x5 where the extra grain wouldn't matter much. I am actually surprised that Kodak stuck with ReadyLoad. The "processing" diagram on the web site suggests that the interior design is now just like QL. Maybe some Fuji patent ran out? Anyway, I will enjoy it while it lasts, then get shorter lenses and rollfilm backs.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), September 21, 2000.

I thought Kodaks website was a bit vague . After several attempts to get a clear answer through e-mail, I called the 1-800 number, I spoke to Peter Hamann, I believe. He was difficult to get info out of, but what I got is this: T-max will not be available in single sheet readyloads and it will eventually be phased out as a twin sheet readyload. He would not commit to when the product will be discontinued and he wouldn't comment on whether it would eventually come out in a single sheet readyload. Let the film hording begin !

-- Paul Mongillo (pmongillo@thurston.com), September 21, 2000.

I just bought a years' worth of TMX, largely because it was a film Kodak seemed committed to. Next year I go FP4+ or Delta 100.

-- John O'Connell (boywonderiloveyou@hotmail.com), September 21, 2000.

Try directing your letters to Dan Carp, CEO at Eastman Kodak. If he gets a few bushel baskets of letters stating the product is wanted along with some firm commitments to buy specific amounts of the product, it will be looked at and the chance of results gets better.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), September 21, 2000.

Fuji Neopan 80 is available in Quickloads through Badger Graphics - it is a truly wonderful film and the Quickload format works. Regards,


-- DAB (dab@evcom.net), September 22, 2000.

Not to discourage the letter campaign, but I fear that what speaks the loudest to Kodak or any other manufacturer is 'sales volume'. Kodak may give consideration to your cards, letters and words of woe, however, if the particular product doesn't have sufficient sales volume or profit margin, they may choose to invest the monies, spent to produce said product, in another product or new technology (Digital?). I was interested doing some B&W Infrared photography, then I heard Kodak was discontinuing their High Speed Infrared (HSI) 4x5 sheet film, so I purchased a few boxes. What I'm hinting at is, for those of you who were considering purchasing Readyloads and haven't, now is the time. Put you money where you want the products to be. Kodak may perceive this as a 'Product termination hoarding frenzy', but if the volume is high enough it may make them think twice (i.e. add B&W to the new single sheet Readyload production). And those already using and purchasing Readyloads,...absolutely, send in the cards and letters and talk to the dealers and reps. and voice the arguments against(And of course, buy more Readyloads). Just a thought, Gary Jones (And,no ...I don't work for Kodak or any other film producer)

-- Gary Jones (jonesgp@dteenergy.com), September 23, 2000.

Readyload availability aside, how many folks out there consider TMAX to be their 4x5 B&W emulsion of choice? I don't use TMAX, so can't comment from experience, but from past comments in this forum and from other local photographers I know, I've never perceived it to be an all-time, all-star, gold metal winning film of the majority.

To me, the availability of Quick/Ready-load format isn't a reason in itself to use a film. It's just a nice option for films I already like to use. If you could have the B&W emulsion of your choice in Quick/Ready-load format, what would it be? For me, it would be FP4.

-- Larry Huppert (Larry.Huppert@mail.com), September 23, 2000.

In responce to Larry's question, my film of choice is Trix and I would love to se it in a readyload. I do use Tmax readyloads when traveling more than a couple of days. It allows me to not have to reload lots of holders everynight in a motel room.

-- Ron McElroy (rnrmcelroy@aol.com), September 24, 2000.

My two choices would be TriX and TMX and TMY. Love the stuff. James

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), September 24, 2000.

I just ordered a bunch of Neopan 80 Quickloads. The cost was $60 per 20-sheet box! I guess the high failure rate of the Kodak packets people experience will justify the expense.

After that I may do something smart, sell my LF gear and shoot roll film.


-- Bill Smithe (bs2@aol.com), September 24, 2000.

To me, the availability of Quick/Ready-load format isn't a reason in itself to use a film. It's just a nice option for films I already like to use. If you could have the B&W emulsion of your choice in Quick/Ready-load format, what would it be? For me, it would be FP4.

I have better things to do with my time (like using my camera) than to dust film holders or fool with any of the other nonsense that goes with using traditional cut sheet film and holders. I keep my camera and bellows fairly clean, and Readyloads allow me to spend much less time spotting prints, making me more productive.

This is why I'm so upset about Kodak's silence. And, unlike the high- tech company they wish they could be, Kodak's marketing and accounting wonks never try to gauge customer reaction through any means other than raw sales numbers.

John Sexton uses readyload for the same reasons I do. He's also a big T-Max booster, for reasons I found once I really started experimenting with the film.

Don't write, don't call. If past history is any indication, Kodak won't care - but if Fuji is listening, they'll may be able to steal another small part of Yellow Peril's market.

-- Doug Broussard (vought@best.com), September 25, 2000.

My day job has been in the graphic industry most of my adult life. The attitude seen in this issuse is typical of the Kodak corp. I've experienced it from film to digital imaging divisions. I tend to agree with Doug Broussard. No amount of letter writing will change the minds at Kodak. Just look back a few years and see what they did to the folks that made dye transfer prints.

-- Ron McElroy (rnrmcelroy@aol.com), September 26, 2000.

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