Ilford: State of the Photo World ?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by david b, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. david b

    david b Member

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    Any chance Ilford will give us a "state of the photo world" update in January?

    I would love to know what they are up to and how the current economy is affecting them.

    Also, we have not heard from Simon in ages.
     
  2. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

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    Why would they want to do that? Is that something they did last year? Besides, as much as I like and use the products produced by Ilford, Ilford is not the photo world.

    That's not true, Simon has been posting regularly and recently (just saw something from him in a thread about RC paper, don't recall the details, though, but he's certainly still around!).
     
  3. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear David,

    I check APUG every morning and every night after starting and finishing day job.... obviously I do not always post.....

    Briefly, HARMAN technology are working very hard ( and I guess all other people involved in manufacturing of all types ) to continue to develop our business ( no pun intended ) I believe nobody yet knows the depth of the recession we are now in, or indeed the length of time it will last, this will surely affect our business. We are very well positioned, totally focussed and committed to the analog monochrome World, our business will continue to develop in different ways alongside the monochrome business. We do face challenges around raw materials, in legislation of use, pricing and availability that keeps our R&D busy finding and testing and validating alternatives..but they are doing a great job and we have not lost a product yet!

    Following PHOTOKINA I have seen lots of very 'optomistic' posts about analog, some are true, but the fundamental is that the use of analog materials is always ' over estimated ' and continues to decline, and will continue to decline, all be it at a gentler pace than previously.

    We are doing all we can, and putting money where our mouth is, to 'defend the darkroom' and to ensure silver based photography is continued to be taught, used, appreciated and valued and that silver based photography continues to be the vibrant heart of photography.

    When I say 'photography' I mean the truely creative, lasting and important element of photography as art
    and the true chronicler of our times and emotions, when recorded and printed as silver gelatin....I am not digital bashing in any way....and digital is bringing new people into our field...especially the kids, and thats very important for us all.

    So all in all we look forward to 2009....we look forward to continuing to support APUG, I am constantly amazed at the knowledge and talent that resides in and visits this site, and more importantly the willingness that that knowledge and experience of years is shared with all, you all are true ambassadors for photography and are doing more than your fair share to ensure analog remains the vibrant heart of photography...

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  4. normsgonewild

    normsgonewild Member

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    Well said, seasons greetings to all at Ilford/Harman.
     
  5. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    One thing that did suprise me about the "photo world", only about 300 people requested samples of the Adox paper (old Agfa being reborn).

    Maybe it is a statement about how popular Ilford paper is.

    But the extremely small number did surprise me, and I wonder how much of an effect it is having on the delayed release date?

    Mike
     
  6. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    It's a very nice thing to hear Simon say we are true ambassadors for photography. I'm going to say thank you for this Simon.

    As for the state of the photo world I can only comment on my own back-yard. Myself and thefizz have been running workshops in Dublin helping newbies get into film, helping intermediate and experienced printers learn new techniques.

    Some shops have told me that their film/paper sales are up. Enquiries and interest is up. I have been told this is mostly down to interest created by our workshops which is very heartening to hear.

    I started a 'Lets shoot one film camera' exchange on a great website we have in Ireland called Photography Ireland (the owner is Mark and 'Stickdude' on APUG) and I've nearly 30 photographers signed up for it within 5 days, many of whom will be shooting film for the first time. The interest is staggering.

    There's a lot we can all do to promote the medium we love. We could bend that line on Simons graph upwards if we tried hard.
     
  7. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    It really is heart warming when you hear there are people out there, like Fintan and the Fizz doing their best to promote film based photography. And we have companies like Ilford still providing us with film, paper and chemicals. Long may it continue, thank you all.
     
  8. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    The economy... Well, if it's any comfort the fact that the US government officially stated that the US economy has been in recession for at least a year now should be good news. In past economic downturns, the economy had already bottomed out by the time the government has all the figures compiled to make the official announcement. Recovery usually starts within the next couple of quarters. This is in no way a prediction of how things will go this time, since we are in extraordinary times.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2008
  9. david b

    david b Member

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    thanks Simon. happy holidays
     
  10. wogster

    wogster Member

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    I think what is happening, is there are many photographers who jumped on the digital bandwagon, with all of the pomp and circumstance that came with it, are now realizing that there are some difficulties with digital, like the razor thin latitude and extremely shallow depth of field, and the fact that, yes a negative may attract dust, but digital sensors seem to gather it from miles around and deposit it where it does the most harm. If you like the look of a photograph shot on FP4, you can spend hours trying to exactly recreate that with digital, or simply shoot on FP4 in the first place, even if you never plan on using an enlarger, but simply scan the result, and print digitally. People need to realise that how you get to the result isn't the point, the point is the result.

    As for my opening point, count me in, I switched to digital a couple of years ago, and for many things, I will still use it, but my film camera is also coming out of retirement to start getting some real work done again. I will use up the colour film I have, at some point, but the film camera will probably spend the rest of it's life doing proper B&W photographs. If I want colour, I have the digital.
     
  11. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Thanks for the post Simon! As for APUG here are the monthly new registration stats. I consider 450-500 to be a solid month so we are looking great :smile:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    02 Dec 2008

    Thank you Simon, and all your colleagues at HARMAN Technology for your commitment to B&W photography. Recent discussions with the local High School photography teacher indicates that there is a lot of interest in traditional (darkroom) methods among her students.

    I also wish Fintan, Mark, and Stickdude the best in their effort to teach and encourage analog photographic methods.

    Happy holidays to all.

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  13. MamiParis

    MamiParis Member

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    Hello,
    this forum looks like an Ilford Forum. For me, there are still other brands on the market. My distributor in Paris (on of the last real shop in town) informed us already about the price increase of 12% for Ilford papers in march 2009. Than he told me to have quality problems with the liquid Ilford Chemistry since Tetenal in Germany is producing it.
    He told us that since Ilford changed the distribution with just the Europeen stocks in Belgium, he has big problems to get the products he likes to order. For this reason, he added tetenal chemistry et Tetenal papers in his catalog.
    Here in France, Ilford is loosing more and more users because of many reasons. Our photo club worked many years with the FP4/HP5 and ID-11. It is finished since few months?
    And this is not the fault of our user demands!
     
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  15. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear MamiParis,

    I am somewhat surprised that your reseller has advised you of a 12.00% increase in March 2009, as no such rise has been notified by HARMAN technology, or indeed will be ... : The last rise in price to our European markets was on May1st 2008 and it was 4.5% ( less on some of our faster moving items ) We have NO quality problems with our chemical products WHATSOEVER, in fact quality has risen to unprecedented levels, in addition our deliverability of products ex factory last week was 99.76 % of all lines delivered to all distributors in full, our distributor in France / Belgium / Germany has an outstanding delivery system ( we check it ) so basically everything you say in your post is incorrect, and if you know anything about me or my company we value all suppliers of monochrome, including all our competitors...

    If you do not like ILFORD thats absolutely fine, I have no problem with that, but please get your facts correct, I think you will also find APUG to be non commercial, yes we are a sponsor, and we are proud of that. We do not ADVERTISE we communicate....

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited
     
  16. Aurelien

    Aurelien Advertiser Advertiser

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    With my little experience with Ilford and living in france, I have never had any problem with quality products from Mobberley, or in the chemicals.

    No problem of distribution.

    I think, to go with Simon, that if you have incorrect information, you should not tell it.
    And if somebody tells you he has problem with products , ask him why! very often, quality problems come from a bad use of films or chemicals.

    I am the administrator of a photo association in Limoges, and I am proud to say that HArman sponsored us. We are very happy of that. And we had not any problem with the films :smile:

    Thanks again, Simon
     
  17. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Many thanks to Harman for their efforts. Keeping Ilford, Kentmere, and Paterson products in the market is a good thing for all of us.

    Perhaps we should remember that the supply of photographic supplies have been erratic for almost 20 years.
    In many ways, things are better now than they have been for a long time. We photographers are at the end of a long chain that only begins with the manufacturer, and depending on our national and local marketplace, we may or may not ever see all of the products intended by Harman, and others, for our use.

    Finally, what we hear from our local shops does not HAVE to agree with reality. It is a good thing to have a chance to speak directly to Simon. I only wish we could cut through the layers of international trade to be able to deal directly with Harman.
     
  18. tbm

    tbm Member

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    I just bought three more boxes of your glossy RC paper, Simon. I have been using it for 12 years and still love it (in addition to your glossy fiber paper)!
     
  19. haryanto

    haryanto Member

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    I live in Indonesia, the only photo chemicals here is Ilford, that's long2 way shipping, but for many years i have not found quality problems, i'm happy that Simon actively answer every questions regarding Ilford products, thanks
     
  20. Marc Leest

    Marc Leest Member

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    hmm. Thanks for the commitment from Ilford, but what really troubles me is the lack of new (as in brandnew) entry affortable level (slr) camera's. This will, in the end affect sales or supplies of film and paper.
     
  21. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Why buy new when there's so many good second-hand cameras out there? The lack of new SLRs just means there's a saturation point in the market because everyone is getting rid of their film SLRs so we snap them up at a good price. So, why make something new if everyone is buying at a low price?
     
  22. rst

    rst Member

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    Simon, you may check or not, but the funny thing about the German distributor (who ever it is) is, that if I order at an online store in England, even if I have to pay way more for shipment it is still cheaper than ordering in Germany. 100 sheets of MG Warmtone FB in 9.5x12" are enough to over-compensate the shipment costs. I ordered HP5 (8x10") in Germany and in England. Despite the higher, price the German distributor manged to have a delivery time of more than 4 weeks. Guess how long the delivery took when I ordered in England? Now that I know to order Ilford products in England instead of Germany it is much more fun buying them and in addition to that, I don't have to be overly patient.

    Cheers
    Ruediger
     
  23. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    We just received our 80 liters or so of MG developer and fixer concentrates at my school. It may be the last for awhile since we're in a catch-22 pinch between funding and enrollment; we may be down by 50%. I suspect that we might be typical of what is happening around the US, with all of the states facing huge budget shortfalls. I'm sure that this is going to affect the demand for Ilford's products. I hope we all make it through this thing without losing too many sources of materials and supply.

    When our longtime supplier, Rainier (in Seattle), went down, we had to scramble a bit for a new conduit. We've been working with a more local shop/lab (they are about 35 miles away) to keep the channel flowing. It's working quite well. I elected to go that way rather than to start buying from larger and more remote suppliers because I think that it is very important to support our local shops.

    The loss of Rainier was a sad lesson for a lot of us. They lost too much business to the internet. If we don't buy from the near end of the supply chain, we'll lose the local stores either entirely or just lose them to digital. We lost the oldest of the nearby stores when it went out of business; the other is still in business but handles almost nothing but digital stuff. It has become extremely inconvenient, and for myself, a very important element is gone. No longer do we get to hang out with like minded folks amid piles of boxes of papers, tripods, cameras, lighting stuff etc. -- or, we may have to go a long way to do so.
     
  24. jerry lebens

    jerry lebens Member

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    In addition to Simon's report, I have to report that Harman is still defending the darkroom with the "Ilford Masters" although the emphasis is changing : Instead of running darkroom courses at colleges for students, Harman is now supporting refresher courses for college lecturers and technicians. My old mucker Andrew Sanderson is running things oop north and I'm doing courses down here in the soft decadent bit.

    I ran a course down at London College of Communications a couple of months back and I've got another one scheduled for the New Year in Plymouth, sponsored by Focal Point Photographic (sorry, it's already fully booked).

    Best Wishes
    Jerry Lebens
     
  25. Marc Leest

    Marc Leest Member

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    Exactly. Imagine we are now 15 years further in time. My beloved FM3a finally breaks down because it's heavily used and anyway 20years old. Battery is not available anymore.
    What to do ? Buy a new camera ? Not possible, it isn't there. Buy the (fictive) bargain of a fm4a - not possible it has never existed. End of show to put it simple.
     
  26. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    There are many fish in the sea...