R.I.P. Calumet / by James Shanks

Wow, I just learned that Calumet photo abruptly closed today without warning and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I am a little shocked. Although I didn't shop there much lately (neither did others apparently) I have had a 20+ year relationship with Calumet and bought equipment & supplies as well as rented gear from them in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Amsterdam. I am most sorry for the employees who must now look for work elsewhere - they have some great people on staff and I wish them the best. I think this is a sign of the changing photo marketplace and indicates the shift away from the specialized "professional" world of the good 'ole days (back when I was buying 4x5 film and Polaroid at Calumet) to the "everyone is a photographer" digital world of today (the B&H universe, if I may.) Calumet also had a line of it's own branded items (strobes, backdrops etc.) and I am sure, or at least hope, that those will be purchased by someone and marketed under a different name? We shall see. They have (had) the best, most neutral white background seamless paper I ever found...

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