Current film sales comparable to what time in history?

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Quinten, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Quinten

    Quinten Member

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    According to Fujifilm 2000 was the peak year in global film sales. Today sales are at 10% of that peak. It's little compared to the peak, but 10% from that peak still seems substantial. It made me wonder in what period sales where comparable, early 90's, early 80's?

    And if that is the case today's market should be sufficient to maintain a steady production right? If only todays managers had the same passion George Eastman had when he started Kodak!




    Source for the yr. 2000 and the 10% is Yojiro Yamashita from Fujifilm in this article: http://monocle.com/magazine/issues/60/renewal-process/ (Posted earlier by RattyMouse in another threat on another subject.)
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    What do you mean by steady production? Manufacturing 24/7 ? At all manufacturers?

    Comparing production figures from now with those from decades ago is only one part of the story. In the last decades severe changes in production technique have taken place, which make it not easy to crank down production. However, as positive aspect, those machines should be written off by now so this part of the costs is of lesser influence.


    To be fair to those managers, Eastman and Gevaert and all those hands-on entrepreneurs were facing a growing market, the market of today typically is still declining, in part has even collapsed.
     
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  3. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    It is more likely to be read that 90% of the analogue market (film) has gone, shifted to the alternative.
     
  4. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    That's how I read it, too. Down 90% from peak.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    maybe it is the same as it was in about 1899?

    not much film is being made and sold today
    and not much film was being made and sold in 1899 as well.
    every few years it is a few more years into the 1800s ... pretty soon
    it will be 1870 ...
    the only difference is in addition to all the non-film processes,
    ( calotypes+salt prints, wet + dry plates, tin(aluma)types+ambrotypes and dags )
    we will still have the very best of 2013+ b/w + colour films .. and
    hybrid processes as well...

    a very fun and interesting time to be a non-professional photographer !
     
  6. Quinten

    Quinten Member

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    Indeed many things have changed, so its more of a global estimate I was looking for. Might be interesting to know how the use of film grew and declined in numbers. I am pretty sure 1899 wasn't 10% of 2000 sales, like jnanian suggests.

    You are right I should have asked about sales instead of the amount manufactured, that depends on more aspects in the production proces.

    And yes of course 10% left means 90% lost:wink:
     
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  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    1910 ? :wink:
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The peak in world-production of photographic materials was about ten years earlier.
     
  9. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    A great time for some pros too...:wink:
     
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  10. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I still us it as much as I ever have.
    no dropoff
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i agree :smile:
     
  12. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    I don't care what anyone says-I've never had it better.I'm paying less for film now than I did in the 90's.Equipment has become affordable-I've got all kinds of equipment now that I could only wish I had back then,and I can read and learn about printing and processing online,whereas before I was on my own.Let's enjoy it!
     
  13. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    An excellent summation of today. The only down side to the present time is the much lower selection of available films. Other than that, this is the golden time.
     
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  15. Quinten

    Quinten Member

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    The more I read about it the more likely those years become. Seems photography was pretty big around 1910 with the Kodak cameras. It's just that the 50s the 60s 70s 80s sales must have doubled many many many times in that period right? Still hard to fathom that 10% of 2000 sales might be the amount of film sold in those early days...
     
  16. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Both responses are a very good summation of the current analogue environment. I'm happy with my lot and wouldn't be too concerned to get carried away with dooms day prophecies. :smile:
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i don't know ...
    there were a ton of movies made back in the early days :smile:
    does movie film count ?

    http://www.filmsite.org/pre20sintro.html
     
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  18. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    These old masters, they would have happily and without hesitation chucked out their whole big palette of film available to them back then, if you would have offered them Portra 400, Delta 3200 and Provia 400X instead. We ARE lucky bastards.
     
  19. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    I believe the biggest year for film sales was actually 1989 :

    You cannot compare the state of the market, as AGX says, before then everyone was growing after that everyone was declining, also we ( HARMAN ) look only at monochrome which was always 'tiny' by volume compared to the colour 35mm market.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  20. Quinten

    Quinten Member

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    The Ilford management should have been an example to AGFA and Kodak. (Maybe that is generalization but all the intentions at Ilford seem toward a healthy film market, even if this means a lot smaller.)

    And yes in a way this still is a golden film time, don't forget PanF Rudeofus:wink:
     
  21. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Well, Agfa got rid of their consumer film division, Kodak not. Look now who is the more successful company...

    Though the question remains how they got rid of that division.
     
  22. Quinten

    Quinten Member

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    That is true. Then is it the production process that is so costly that making films on a much smaller scale, for a much smaller market, can't be profitable? Or is the organizational side of downsizing a company with these amounts the real issue? This must be a very uncommon situation you don't learn about in management school, who finds pride in downsizing a company and make it profitable at a size only a few percent of what it once was?
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    There are two aspects involved in downsizing: The sale or closure of whole divisions including the manufacturing part of that division; the downsizing of a plant or machinery.

    Further more one can try to gather the market-capacity, eased by competitors falling off, to be served by ones own plant and going on without downsizing.
     
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  24. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    No doubt there are HUGE costs in downsizing an industrial giant. It's likely the cost of the legacy overheads are the real cost issues. Production of film at the correct scale probably wouldn't be a cost problem. The issue is getting from where you are today to the correct scale when you have the legacy costs consuming all the money.

    If it is done right, bringing a company back to profitability might be a very rewarding challenge. The upside is that once a company is profitable you may get to try again, if you can develop new products and services that someone wants whether they are in your current market or something else.
     
  25. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Now if Kodak, Agfa, and others had concentrated on actively competing in a shrinking market, would Ilford have been able to hold their own? Would they be the strong and dynamic company they are today?
     
  26. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I'm actually very surprised if it is 10% of the peak number. At film's peak, sales were of course huge, 10% of that number is still really quite a lot, considering the current obsession with smartphone cameras and the like.

    If it's 10% of the peak, that really sounds pretty good.