Ultramax Maxed Out?
On January 27, 2022, the Twitter account for Don’s Used Photo Equipment stated that a large order of Ultramax 24-exposure film had been placed; however, the bit of interesting news also mentioned that Ultramax 400 in 24-exposure had been discontinued. Upon reaching out to Alaris, it has been confirmed that GC-135-24 (Ultramax 400) *Carded* rather than the entire product is being discontinued.
This means Ultramax 400 24 exposure, commonly found hanging on the shelves of major drugstore chains will no longer be available. To note, this does not affect Ultramax 400 in boxed 24 and 36-exposure films and is the first change to Ultramax 400 since replacing Gold 400 in 2007.
Like Kodak Ultramax 400 and Gold 200, consumer films were found in major retail stores. Before the decline of film sales, major drugstore and superstore chains were Kodak’s largest accounts. As film selections dwindled on the shelves, 1-hour processing labs were quickly replaced with ink-based printing kiosks, drugstores no longer ordered Kodak films in the vast quantities as they once did in the early 2000s.
Despite the ever-growing resurgence in film, superstore and drugstore chains likely still do not order in quantities they once did which now yields high markup prices from Kodak MSRPs and compared to popular online photography stores. Kodak Alaris is likely shifting their target retailers to sell these consumer films to photographic equipment stores rather than general consumer retail stores.
Alternatively, this product discontinuation may yield more Ultramax in the 24 and 36-exposure film to hit the market as Kodak struggles to fulfill backorder film from around the world due to the increased interest in film while complicated with supply chain struggles due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Decreasing the same film, but in different quantities of packaging, may increase film finishing productivity. A letter from Australian Distributors to retailers leaked pointing out the backorders of ColorPlus, Gold 200, and UltraMax spanning several months.
Additional details for the business decision to discontinue Ultramax 400 in 24-exposure carded boxes have not been provided from Alaris, but we will continue to update this article as we receive more information.
Update 1/28/22: Article to clarify that 24-exposure Ultramax is not being discontinued but the carded boxes are no longer being made.