A Radical thought

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Ian Grant, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    In view of Ilfords administration, Afga hiving off its traditional photography arm, Kodak reducing it's product range in some (a lot of) markets, (we can't count Fuji as all their B&W is Ilford anyway): - A thought.

    Why don't we as praticising silver based photographers buy a controlling interest in a couple of good companies, to ensure our supplies.

    Paper has to be Forte, film we could start with EFKE and get an Ilford or Agfa emulsion chemist to help evolve

    All ideas welcome :smile:
     
  2. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Why not buy the Ilford equipment and ship it to Calgary? I bet you could survive with the growing numbers of apuggers. Not to mention some on other websties like the large format site of Tuan's
     
  3. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Love the concept! hhmmmm............ Forte(?)
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Remember we do have a good supplier in J&C, we must support them also. We don't want them to go the way of the yellow God.
     
  5. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Or just support J&C and drive all of our business their way...
     
  6. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    A nice idea but rather romantic. The costs involved in such a project are horrendous, why do you think that Agfa have been up for grabs for at least 8 years and Ilford would have gone 2 years ago but for the boost in income they got from the introduction of Digital Gallerie paper.

    You'd get a lot of support for the project initially but when you asked for hard cash I'm afraid reality would surface and the support would dwindle. I'm afraid the small companies fron the eastern block countries will be the only source of supply for traditional photo materials in the not too distant future.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Les

    Yes my radical idea is perhaps romantic and off the cuff but actually it's practical.

    Perhaps you are blinkered by your Ilford links, there's very few good darkroom suppliers now left in the UK.

    That's why I think we should buy into the former Eastern block manufacturers.
     
  9. argentic

    argentic Member

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    Just my 0,02

    I guess we already buy into darkroom suppliers by voting with our wallets. The main goal of big companies like Kodak and Agfa is to please shareholders, not customers. So lets concentrate on the smaller, more client-oriented companies like FORTE, BERGGER, EFKE etc. They are more suitable to serve smaller customer-oriented market.

    G.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Thats exactly my thoughts "So lets concentrate on the smaller, more client-oriented companies like FORTE, BERGGER, EFKE etc." Well thats the idea but Bergger papers are Forte anyway.
     
  11. argentic

    argentic Member

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    Bergger papers are made by Forte, but following the Bergger recipies. I like them both very much, but they are definately not the same papers.

    G.
     
  12. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    Sounds good, but just try to find any of these up here in Canada. I've never heard of Efke or Bergger before hitting APUG. If Ilford sinks maybe the few stores I can find at all will start to carry these, but it looks more and more like digital is talking over. Some of the stores have moved to carrying film as the only non digital stock. The store I was fequenting added on a large addition. When it was finished, they filled it with more digital gadgets and lessened the "traditional" supplies floor area. :sad:
    Money talks and if something is taking up space and not "moving" it stops getting stocked.
    Can you say "beta video" and "music cassette"?
     
  13. jandc

    jandc Member

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    Having been to the Forte factory and watched the production I can tell you that Bergger paper and films are made on the same production line and cut off of the same master rolls as Forte and our Classic products. Any differences are due to different lot numbers and aging of the film and papers as they sit in the distribution chanel. There is no such thing as a Bergger receipe.
     
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  15. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Ian,

    I'm certainly not blinkered, just practical and prepared to face reality. Before I made my living in photography I was an accountant and worked for both large multi nationals and small family companies and if the company does not make a profit it cannot function. Traditional wet photography has been threatened for a few years now and it was inevetable that when sales dropped below a certain level companies involved were going to cut their losses and that's what has happened at Ilford. I'm as upset as everyone else and on two fronts, one because I happen to like and use most of their traditional products and two because they are a client and I'm likely to lose work.

    The idea that Forte are more interested in their clients than companies like Ilford is nonsense, Ilford care very much, from the top boss down to the ladies who packed the paper into the boxes in the darkroom and that's not idle chatter I've spent a lot of time with them all and I know it to be a fact.

    We will still find a supply of traditional materials but unless we are prepared to pay the premium prices that will be asked they too will go the way that Ilford seem to be going. As a matter of interest I intend to speak to the people in Ilford that I deal with about the situation and will post what information I can.
     
  16. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Les,

    Thanks (in advance) for talking to them. I think that if we just got some answers, it would be a start. You know... no one likes uncertainty, and this sort of thing makes even the most staid of us jittery as h#ll!

    I know how the economics of business works, but I think we look at Ilford as someone rather than something. We've been all but abandoned by "Ol' Yeller" and the others are almost microscopic. We've sort of been clinging to Ilford as our last, best hope & now, we feel a wee bit betrayed.

    I'll be looking forward to hearing what you find out! You should take copies of this & the other posts & show them what this group thinks & how this news is affecting us.

    TIA!
    Jeanette
     
  17. ian_greant

    ian_greant Member

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    Colony? hah! I'm sure Aggie was merely stating/acknowledging that Calgary is the centre of the photography universe, and not just mixing up the UK Ian Grant and the Calgary Ian Greant. :wink:
     
  18. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    actually I did mix up the two of you. I never realized til your post that there were two with very similar names. Where did I put my glasses?
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Whoa, I'm wearing my glasses and I missed that too! Well, nice to meet you, Ian, whichever one of you I'd been confusing with the other!
     
  20. brimc76

    brimc76 Member

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    Try Eight Elm in Toronto (Elm St. at University Ave.) as they stock both Bergger and Forte films and paper.
     
  21. photomc

    photomc Member

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    uhhhh!! Hate to point this out, but Ilford just like Agfa is not gone yet...let's not bury the patient before they are gone. I think that our supply world is going to get much smaller, but it is possible that neither company will go away. That said maybe one will become a film company, the other a paper company - the only thing we can know for certain is we can only guess at what will happen. Been thinking about a JandC film order, had not considered paper. Do know I have been waiting since June for an order of Seagull paper, keeps getting back ordered - which has left me wondering about them. This will be a rough ride, guess we better get ready to say good-bye to many old friends and hopefully Hello, to some new ones.
     
  22. ian_greant

    ian_greant Member

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    Yup.. The lines were on fire a year or so ago on how Kodak was going all digital and completely dumping their film/paper biz.. uh yeah.
     
  23. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Couldn't agree more Mike. The fact they are looking for a buyer indicates they wish to continue trading (to me).
    Sure we are a few drops in the ocean. But the surest way to bury them is for the largest chatting community in the world - on the net - to start looking for alternatives as soon as there is a rumour started. Call me a naive idealist, but I'll be stocking up on my Delta and keenly awaiting any info Les is able to pass on.
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Conversely what about those of us who have been using mainly alternatives for many years. I can honestly say that after years using Ilford films first FP3 & HP3 then mainly FP4 with XP1&2 for Rock concert work I switched to Agfa AP25 & AP100 then the APX versions, as well as also using Tmax100 for larger format work and at the same time from Ilford papers to Agfa as well. That was over 16 years ago.

    As a photographer you need to have intimate knowledge of how to get the best from your materials, but market forces also bring about change Agfa B&W films are harder to buy off the shelf here in the UK so for large format I switched entirely to Tmax 100, likewise with paper switching in this case to Forte (Classic Arts) Polywarmtone.

    Should I feel disloyal in not supporting / buying from our leading UK manufacturer, perhaps - I'm not sure, what I do know is their products are superb, but so are those from Kodak, Agfa etc and it's a free market.

    The truth is that in my case I've almost totally stopped using my 35mm and Medium format kit in favour of digital, for what I want the quality is higher. This leaves the serious work to large format B&W plus the odd bit of colour
     
  25. skahde

    skahde Member

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    BTW: Where is that piece quoted from?

    best

    Stefan
     
  26. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    The market has shrunk and the business must adjust. Investors and banks would be crazy not to be nervous, I know I would be if my life savings were in stocks of a film company. I do believe that an equilibrium will be reached in the next year or so. As long as there is a market for film there will be film.

    I think I need to log off and take more photographs. Its depressing to see this happen and I'm sad for the employees, I hope someone comes to their rescue.

    I wonder if some company like Hasselblad [or their parent] would buy them out?