Color Negative Processing Future???

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by markwny, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. markwny

    markwny Member

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    If Kodak goes Chapter 11, what is the future for the color negative process? I know of other sources of chemistry, but what about the film?
     
  2. Chuck Mintz

    Chuck Mintz Member

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    The rumored Kodak filing would allow them to keep operating and, at least for a while, there is little chance that they would stop making anything. Assuming it makes a profit, the film and chemical businesses are worth something to somebody and I would expect that they would be sold to someone who did not bear the huge overhead that Kodak brings. While anything can happen in a bankruptcy, the role of the court is to maximize what the present debtors can get. If I were forced to bet, I would bet on this being good news since a new owner could not make worse marketing decisions than are being made now. But, I would not bet my life savings on that.
    Chuck
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Fuji?
     
  4. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    To get me to get my crystal ball out and make a prediction of the future you will first have to "cross my palm with silver" as they say in the trade.
     
  5. vedmak

    vedmak Subscriber

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    O yes! Maya was right the end of the world came in 2012... May be not, there is plenty of companies in Europe that manufacture film, Fuji, Ilford. With the possible end of Kodak as chemical manufacturer the word of film will not end
     
  6. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    There's no long term answer to this, any more than we really know yet what will happen to Kodak's
    film manufacturing. It volume falls off significantly, labs won't be able to sustain C41 or E6 processors. But the necessary chemicals have alternate sources, and if Kodak outright drops out
    of the color film game, it might just be the incentive for Fuji to get more aggessively back into the
    color neg film game, which they certainly have the technical abilitiy to provide. There still seems to
    be a healthy overall market for these kinds of films, and having one less competitor might even improve the profitiability outlook for the survivors. But I can't think of anyone other than Fuji or Kodak who has the necessary R&D to mfg professional quality color films. I'd hate to lose Portra or
    Ektar in particular, but all I can do for the moment is put a reserve of my favorite Kodak films in the
    freezer and wait to see what happens.
     
  7. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Kodak don't make the chemicals, Champion make them under license, Kodak just sells them.
     
  8. vedmak

    vedmak Subscriber

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    right you are, Apple also is not manufacturing ipods, but some obscure company in China, but guess who has the patents...
     
  9. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Unlike copyrights, patents will expire before we expire ...
     
  10. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I can't speak for commercial colour processing in the U.S. but based on my own observations and anecdotal evidence most mini-labs in the U.K. use Fuji machines and Fuji chemicals and for amateurs there is Tetenal, Digibase and Fuji-Hunt kits.

    pentaxuser
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Every Tetenal kit or other kit you get is $$ to them not to Kodak. But they work (kinda). The work alike formulas are out there, but Champion will keep plugging away. There is also Trebla, run by some ex Kodakers who mix up authentic formulas.

    C41 and E6 are NOT patented at this time. The final rinse is, but there is a substitute.

    PE
     
  12. markwny

    markwny Member

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    My biggest concern is that the color negative film might become difficult to obtain. As far as I know, Kodak is the only manufacturer for that. Paper has at least two sources and can be used in the digital photography arena. So it should be around for a while. Unfortunately, I'm analog all the way.
     
  13. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    It just doesn't make sense that commercial color neg film would disappear. Analog products are very
    alive and well in the form of RA4 papers, and these are still very deliberately designed to be compatibe with traditional enlargement from color negs. Not every lab on the planet can begin to afford the Lightjet or Lambda laser alternatives. The volume and profitability of paper itself would be
    adversely affected without a companion film selection. In the short term we're going to have some problems because Kodak was the leader in this film category and Fuji wisely decided not to keep going head to head. But everything could quicky change if Kodak takes a knockout punch.
     
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  15. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    To quote Mark Barent here: "Fuji?"
     
  16. markwny

    markwny Member

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    I know Fuji makes color positive transparency film, but I'm not aware of any color negative film that they make.
     
  17. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    It wasn't actually that long ago that Fuji directly competed with Kodak with a very wide selection of
    color neg films in every format, and alas, with a lot of unnecessary redundancy between pro and
    amateur packaging. The products were very high quality, though probably not quite up to Kodak's
    latest tweaks with Portra and Ektar. They still make a 160S product in the same market niche as
    160 Portra, which can be brought over. But their R&D is apparently healthy and they could probably
    fill an empty market niche quite easily if it appears worth their time. If this does happen, I certainly
    hope they take a clue from the improvements of Ektar and Portra and make something comparable.
    I can't operate on wishful thinking, however, and am currently padding my freezer with the real deal.
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    :confused:

    How about Fuji?
     
  19. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  20. markwny

    markwny Member

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    Thanks for the link Mark. Unfortunately, they don't list any 4x5 sheet film though. I normally buy from B&H, but they have listed he Fujicolor sheet film as no longer available. However, I see that East Coast Photo says they have it in stock. Anybody have any experience with them?
     
  21. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    My bet is that Kodak's film making business will continue to exist, under Chinese ownership.
     
  22. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    The factory in Rochester worth anything cannot move, and Kodak folded most of its Chinese operations years ago due to quality control and training issues.

    Demand for film is falling faster overseas than in Japan, North America, and Europe because the emerging middle classes in developing nations have bypassed film and went straight to digital. If one looks at Sony sensor sales many emergent middle class have even gone right past dedicated cameras and only purchase and use their cameraphone. The Chinese won't even sell to themselves as their fi, deans market is dwindling fast as well.
     
  23. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    You missed the point ... he was surmising a Chinese buyout, not Chinese mfg. Big difference. They're
    buying up all kinds of US and Canadian operations at the moment to invest cash surpluses. No way at the moment to really predict the possibility of this, but it does remind me of how Oji of Japan
    bought the color division of Ilford and kept Cibachrome alive another decade; and a decade is a long
    time for any photographic product in these rapidly changing times. As someone who makes part of
    my living using a "crystal ball" to predict the stability or otherwise of mfg corporations, this is one
    case where I think everyone's crystal ball will have to be glued back together piece by piece in
    hindsight. There are all kinds of hypothetical outcomes, some favorable to film photography, some
    not.
     
  24. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    Wow, I never noticed that, you're right! Nothing in sheet film sizes for color film shown. Perhaps if Kodak film does go bye-bye Fuji will find it profitable enough to restore the sheet film sizes.
     
  25. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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  26. thomas l

    thomas l Member

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    If there is no lab, just develop your color negative films by yourself :smile: