Exchange of ideas for salvaging Eastman Kodak

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by henry finley, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    I wonder if anyone has started such a discussion, outside the EK boardroom. From what I can perceive, the idea exchange INSIDE the boardroom doesn't see to be producing any results. But this is not a ridicule of company decisions. Maybe they just plain don't know what any customer base has desire (demand) for. Maybe an abridged stock, out of their historically well-received products; brought back into production. There is a void without them. to be sure. I will open with a request that they resume manufacture of a very ordinary, but EXCELLENT photographic paper called Kodabromide. Not Kodabrome, but ordinary DW Kodabromide F #2 paper base.
    Kodabromide and Ilfobrom were all the photographic world ever needed, if it were limited to 2. Ilfobrom had an EXCELLENT unferrotyped F surface that allowed perfect print detail, and Kodabromide had an unferrotyped shine of another kind. Beautiful papers. Ilfobrom was whiter, but Kodabromide gave a selenium purple tone that made detail pop.
    Kodak, can you find it in your diminished fiscal capacity to re-offer Kodabromide F to the filtered list of worldwide materials?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2013
  2. Tebbiebear

    Tebbiebear Member

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    I am afraid its a lost cause. As "larry the liquidator" in the film "Other Peoples Money" said "Do you know the surest way to go broke? Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market. Down the tubes. Slow but sure. You know, at one time there must've been dozens of companies making buggy whips. And I'll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw."

    Kodak was a HUGE company and they still have HUGE assets. But those "assets" are a chain around your neck if your product is no longer in huge demand. They owe too much money to too many people and there is no way their product will rise to the level that is needed to turn the profits needed to pay off everyone.
    Kodak invented the digital camera, they were the first company to make a consumer digital camera... but they never really treated it like it was going to be anything other than a toy. They have sold off patents that were worth little when they sold them to companies that turned them into multi-million dollar industries.

    On the plus side, The NAME probably will live on, and if we are lucky it will be sold to a small investment firm that is dedicated to continuing with analog photography. I hope that happens, and the "new" kodak can and will continue to make interesting films. Heck maybe if that happens they will be able to start making photo paper again. Maybe they could even start making E6 films again. But the HUGE leviathan that is the current kodak, no way they can afford to mess around with making a product like KodaBromide. That would be a tiny niche within a ever so slightly larger niche.

    I am afraid the only thing that could "save" Kodak is to invent a time machine and go back and fix the thousands of mistakes that have been made by them over the last 30-40 years. But hey, they did make the best damn buggy whip you ever saw.
     
  3. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

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    Several companies still make buggy whips.

    Weaver Leather, Buckaroo Leather, and several other tack manufacturers still make buggy whips in the United States. I imagine there are probably manufacturers in other countries doing so as well.
     
  4. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    And that reorganized LLP needs to know that Kodabromide as it was in 1975 was PERFECT. Except for Ilfobrom 1975. But the Kodabromide is (was) unferrotyped, 1:30 Selenium toned till it's cold-purple-black was gorgeous. And the prints are exactly the same today as 1975. That is the extent of my provable testament to these materials. Boil down the great company now, while there's a few acres to retreat to, and get busy, and trust God to provide some customers. Come to think of it, good advice for me, and a lot of you folks.
     
  5. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Amen, friend. I'd be very happy to print the leaflets that are SUPPOSED to be in every package of Kodabromide, and I'd be more than happy to print the label tags on buggy whips in 2013, all on my trusty Hamada 700. My work is near-Kodak quality.
     
  6. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    I release this thread from my view and editorial, moderated only by the site owners if necessary. This one is for our friends and countrymen in Kodak Park, Rochester. You once gave the whole world a standard of quality control that set world-standard for industry of any kind. I digress. I'm a customer-minded conservative who hates idle machinery with good people picking their nose with nothing to do.
     
  7. Tebbiebear

    Tebbiebear Member

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    LOL, I can't help but think that you missed the point. :wink:


    Kodak is a mass market manufacturer. Their entire business structure, both physical and psychological, is designed around making insanely large batches of film. The problem is, of course, the market no longer is there for those large batches. If they keep doing what they are doing they will be gone very soon.
    I have never heard of Weaver Leather or Buckaroo Leather, they are making a niche product inside of a niche industry. I personally know of a man who makes wooden buckets, that doesn't mean he is of any concern to BASF Plastics and the buckets made from their products. No one knows his name except the people who, for whatever reason, want a wooden bucket. For all intents and purposes the wooden bucket business is dead, as is buggy whips, and, at least on a massive scale, the film business. This is not a gloom and doom post. I believe that great things can come from small niche businesses, the point is that Kodak isn't going to "come back" they are not going to be "saved". At least not the kodak that we knew and loved. I just hope they don't get bought by some massive investment firm for their name and they start selling Kodak branded cheap crap.
     
  8. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    The only path forward is for Kodak to resize its facilities to match the market which has probably stabilized by now. Or someone who can appreciate sales of 20 million rolls per year will somehow take over the production of Kodak color films and papers.
     
  9. whowantstoast

    whowantstoast Member

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    Humorously, the time travel idea would be counterproductive to our analog needs. If Kodak could correct all those business mistakes, they'd join Canon and Nikon as the leaders in the profitable world of digital photography, and film would probably already be gone.
     
  10. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    .

    OIK, I probably shouldn't have

    Deleted
     
  11. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Actually time travel might help mislead the guys who invented digital photography (Kodak) and stop its invention or travel some 60 years back in time and stop the invention of the CCD Chip. :bandit:

    A good magnetic storm might help as well if the Motion picture world realizes how sensitive to such things their digital cinecameras and satellite movie transmissions are the might go back to real moviecameras like the Mitchell BNCR and older Arris and release movies on film. :smile:

    Dominik
     
  12. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I think the best possible hope is that there is still a coating plant in the US or China that can coat under license. I dont know if the current Kodak plants can be downsized. I have always liked Kodak papers including Polycontrast IV.
     
  13. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    So... all those buildings, and all that fine machinery, and all those highly-trained people up in Kodak Park are just going to rot, and eventually become section 8 housing, because of the STUPID COMPUTER! I think of the time when Kodak, Ansco, Dupont were running full-tilt producing thousands of photographic gadgets, charts, technical publications, and all sorts of neat doo-dads. And now, we just sit on our hands and let the computer take over everything. Then what?--we're just all a part of government? C'mon.
    There IS a solution. Supply-and-demand; a tough nut to crack. The spirit is there to produce, but nobody to sell it to. Can't just keep producing and letting it stack up to rot. Makes me wonder if it would even be possible to make a B-29, or Saturn 5 rocket. So... we sit helplessly and let these incredible feats just fade into forgotten-ness.
    Kodak is still sitting right there.A lot of the machines are probably still there getting tarnished and dusty, going dry. There's still people living who could whip everything into ship-shape again. Can't say I didn't do my part in trying to get a fire lit under a few butts. Hope somebody who can do something is reading. OK, Regards.
     
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  15. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Kodak built its' business on making consumer imaging easy - "You push the button, we do the rest". You may not want to face it, but for the consumer, digital has greatly simplified the picture taking and sharing process (with the posible exception of long term image storage). Like the old news program and movie newsreel used to say "Time marches on". ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_March_of_Time ) Sorry, there is no going back.
     
  16. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Yeah. Kodak already tried that!

    Christmas lights? Sheesh.
     
  17. OzJohn

    OzJohn Member

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    I don't know much about the Saturn 5 but there a still a few B-29s flying and in museums; however you wouldn't use them today for their designed purpose because they would last mere seconds against modern jets firing smart missiles. The Agfa museum at Wolfen, Germany has the machine that first coated Agfacolor before WW2 but it could not satisfactorily coat a modern colour film. My point is that all machines become obsolete either because of changing technology or diminishing demand and once that point is reached they can really only live on in museums or in the hands of enthusiasts who do not have profit imperative. As Prof_Pixel says "There is no going back". OzJohn
     
  18. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Kodak, currently has market issues with their existing lines. I was a big shooter of PX, and now is gone. I never liked TX. I always thought it was over priced for what it was. I did use TMY but I found other films gave me better results when using refined processes. Aside from the 500 feet of PX in my cooler, that's it for Kodak bw film.

    I really loved portra 160NC. I tried to get used to Ektar. Sorry, Fuji offerings are my way these days.

    I do use tons of Dektol with my reversals, but that is so easily replaced with other paper developers. My negativetive developer is XTOL, but I use it so infrequently it goes bad before I use half it up. I am gonna switch to beutler, as I can mix just what I need when I need it.

    But the biggest mistake Kodak made was their distribution went away with their closing of their factories. Do you think I will ever pay $114 for a 100' roll of TMY, $104 for TX? (gag) Yup, that's what it is currently going for up here (Canada). It's *really* not that special. That would also be the reason for the drop in chemical sales too. Kodak cannot survive on just American sales.

    Kodak is done. ILFORD was small enough to bounce back, but everything I have seen from Kodak reminds me of Nortel (a Dilbertish company). The big issue for us is who gets the IP. Will grandma need a laywer when Apple pounces on her after she looks at a picture made illegal batch of D29? This is what we need to really worry about.
     
  19. Clay2

    Clay2 Member

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    Yeah, Kodabromide paper was my standard for years. Thanks for the memories.

    Best regards,

    /Clay
     
  20. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Kodak may be moving, reluctantly, in the right direction. They have to realize that they are no longer the giant they were. But they are a large force in a very specialized market - film - with superb expertise in all aspects of that field. The market is smaller, but it is still there in a number of areas. Some are shrinking still, but they will probably not disappear. There is a need for creative and inventive products and product improvement in the field, and Kodak is well positioned to provide it - if they survive. I suspect there are still some new applications and useful specialized products for photographic products, both traditional and totally new. The profits for the new Kodak will not be huge, but they will exist. The competition may be interesting. The ordinary consumer is gone, but specialty markets both exist and await development.
     
  21. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Maybe they should try making printers? :laugh: Or set us one of those circus set ups where you pay a dollar and throw a ball to hit a target and if you do, the CEO gets dumped in a vat of cold Indicator Stop Bath.
     
  22. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Stupid idea, I know. With shares so low we could all get together and buy out a majority, lol.
     
  23. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Kodak will have a bright future as a Mortgage Lender and Financial Holding Company.

    Perez' dream because they won't have to make anything.
     
  24. An Le-qun

    An Le-qun Member

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    I have started making my own buggy whips.
     
  25. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Perez isn't the guy who came up with the kill-film policy - he just has orders from the board to execute it. The decisions were made by the global geniuses on the company board.

    When marketing silver-based products is seen as an unwanted expense, and the company is unable to persuade anyone in the world to take over the world rights for distribution of the products (while still manufactured on the Kodak lines) then it might not even be worth reaching for the defibrillator paddles. The paperwork seems to be marked "D.N.R." . . .
     
  26. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    There is a very simple solution.

    The market for film and colour paper is tiny compared to what it once was, so there is no potential to make profits on the scale that Kodak needs to pay its debts and return value to its shareholders (mostly institutional investors). So Kodak is attempting to sell its marketing and distribution systems, retaining for itself the manufacture of film and colour paper.

    The simple solution?

    Make Kodak an offer and buy what it has to sell. It probably won't be cheap, and due to the fact that the market continues to shrink, you probably will have trouble finding someone to lend you the money.

    Then you can turn around and try to fix things.