…with apologies to the late Freddie Mercury and Queen.
Kodak announced last week that it was stopping production of yet another film stock. This time it is BW400CN, a black and white chromogenic film. It is designed to be developed in C-41 color chemistry and prints are made on traditional color negative paper. With fewer and fewer people shooting film these days, in conjunction with Kodak’s mismanagement into bankruptcy, I feel that we may not be that far away from Kodak leaving the film industry altogether. Only recently was it announced that they all continue with motion picture film after receiving pressure from Hollywood to do so.
Below is the notice from Kodak:
August 14, 2014
Due to a steady decline in sales and customer usage, Kodak Alaris is discontinuing KODAK PROFESSIONAL BW400CN Film. Product should continue to be available in the market for up to six months, depending on demand.
We empathize with the Pro photographers and consumers who use and love this film, but given the significant minimum order quantity necessary to coat more product combined with the very small customer demand, it is a decision we have to make.
Here is a link to the Kodak page for BW400CN: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/products/films/bw400cn/main2.jhtml
Once the supply is gone, those that prefer shooting with chromogenic film will be happy to know that Ilford has XP-2 still in production (at least for now). A look at B&H shows it is available in 35mm and 120, as well as 100′ bulk rolls and a B&H kit of fifty rolls of thirty-six exposure 35mm film.
I would have to say that my favorite film of all time was and still is Kodak Ektachrome Vivid Saturation (E100VS), follow closely by Ektachrome Plus Professional (EPP). When it’s demise was announced, I bought out the supply of Ektachrome at Calumet Photo in San Francisco on three different occasions (before Calumet went out of business) getting 35mm, 120, and 4×5. I still have a good supply in the fridge and only take it out for very special shoots. It’s going to be a very sad day when there are no more yellow and blue boxes waiting for me in their chilled resting place.
Below is one of my favorite shots I’ve taken with E100VS:
San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts
Camera: Yashica Mat-124G
Lens: Yashinon 80mm f/3.5
Exposure: 30 Sec @ f/22
Film: Kodak E100VS
Tripod: Benro A-169 w/B-0 Ballhead
Scanner: Epson V750-M Pro