Kodak article in PetaPixel: Kodaks Problem Child

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Rhodes, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

    Messages:
    494
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    Figueira da
    Shooter:
    35mm
  2. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,490
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
  3. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

    Messages:
    494
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    Figueira da
    Shooter:
    35mm
  4. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ron Mowrey is PE. Ron Andrews is fairly active on Photo.net.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,894
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    We know each other and communicate from time to time. We were both interviewed at the time of the Kodachrome demise but only his portion was used for the final version. He had much more to do with Kodachrome than I did.

    The article is good but cannot tell everything due to space limitations and so it is terse and to the point.

    If Ron Andrews is reading, HI Ron.

    PE
     
  6. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    578
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not to be confused with the "Two Ronnies" of British comedy fame. :whistling:
     
  7. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,151
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've never been a marketing nor manager person, but if Kodak really was in love with film, as this article proposes, they should have fought digital in the marketplace. Imagine a commercial, early 90's, maybe even as late as the early 2000's. Two photographers, maybe a son, and a daughter, all excited about the photos they took on vacation. When mom or dad asks to see some pictures, sister brings out a photo album, so does sonny. But when pop asks "Hey son, can you make me a copy of this print?" sonny replies, "I'd love to dad but my hard drive crashed and I lost all the files..." but then sister says "Oh that's ok, I got it too. Let me get the negative..."

    I'm not saying Kodak would be all profitable and peachy now, but maybe, just maybe, SOMEONE somewhere could have developed a marketing strategy to show people what advantages film had over digital. And they could still launch such a campaign today, only pointing out how cool and retro film is...
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,188
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That article does as many here at Apug do too, only perceiving Kodak as a company serving photo-amateurs and maybe professionial photographers.
     
  9. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I wonder where Kodak would be if it were not for the shorting out of the market in 2008. I wonder if the repeal of the uptick rule in 2007 led to the naked shorting that was so rampant in 2008. And at the very least, were it not for that, would we still have Kodachrome today? While many consider digital to be a "permanent" process, any permanence is strictly in the digital file that has to be constantly transferred across storage mediums (media?) as computer technology changes. No actual output print of a digital image is probably any more stable than an old C-22 film. Kodachrome was the only truly permanent physical color likeness.
     
  10. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,490
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    A major project I spent a lot of time working on in the late '80s and early '90s was the Kodak Premiere Image Enhancement System. It was a 'film in - film out' system designed to replace complicated camera and darkroom image composition work. It was designed to encourage the use of film.
     
  11. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

    Messages:
    404
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Honestly, the whole inkjet/dye-based (consumer, enthusiast, and professional) technology push that we're seeing lately from many companies, including Kodak, is part of a plan to phase out commercial and professional RA-4 printing within 5 or so years. I was talking with an RA-4 digital minilab/film processor repair technician who has been doing this his entire career, and this was his sincere opinion. The companies who make these devices are trying to push store chains and photo labs to license ink-based dry printing when their current lease contracts with RA-4 machines expire. They've already succeeded at the consumer level in many stores. They are using "environmental concerns" as their explanation. Next, they are going to try to "attack" professional photo labs and convert them over to ink-based printing.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,894
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I cannot agree with that opinion at the present time. RA4 makes too much money for EK and Fuji.

    PE
     
  13. clayne

    clayne Member

    Messages:
    2,837
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah, well, I think I'll be choosing RA-4 over stink-jet any day of the week. Chemicals and silver all the way baby.
     
  14. Jim Taylor

    Jim Taylor Member

    Messages:
    149
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Location:
    West Yorkshi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    +1
     
  15. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

    Messages:
    443
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    Ventura, Cal
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My wife got some photos printed at Target about 2 weeks ago. The paper said Kodak on the back, but they did not look like the Kodak prints we used to get there. I believe they are this new dry ink technology prints or whatever, and definitely not what I consider a "real" photograph - ie an RA4 chemical print. It is a shame, because they really do look flat and dull - like I could have just printed at my office. Not like what I expect out of getting prints made somewhere.
    Do all these "new technologies" fall so short of RA4 printing, or is this just a bad batch maybe?
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,894
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kodak Endura paper and the RA4 process are still being used for the bulk of color printing. It is the second biggest selling product after Motion Picture products. It is laser printed on high speed printers though, and not on the slower optical printers we were familiar with.

    At the present time, ink jet does not produce prints at quite the high capacity of the RA4 process. That is changing.

    PE
     
  17. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,015
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm still a bit confused about how photolabs operate these days.
    I've got 4 (that i know of) options for getting film processing done (besides home darkrooms).
    - Kodak Express, they develop C41 only, otherwise send it to Atkins.
    - Black+White photo, they do C41, E6, and B+W (using TMax dev afaik).
    - Atkins, the 'pro' lab, they charge more but even distill their own water.
    - Analogue Lab, a traditional darkroom-for-hire.

    How they get prints out of negs/slides I've tried enquiring at a few of them.
    - Atkins I haven't asked, and obviously the Analogue Lab is purely traditional (but pretty much DIY).
    - B+Ws, I know they've got a nice huge Flextight scanner and 5'-wide Epson printer, not sure if they've got anything else. (There's a small darkroom, so maybe a real enlarger in there?)
    - Kodak express is the interesting one, I asked them what their printers were like when I was getting some prints done from my digital (I asked what dpi so I could figure out max paper-size). The guy said it took straight from digital (or scanned negs), but used "an optical process" to get that digital file onto the paper. Do these still get Chemical Development (RA4 or otherwise), or is it just a (laser?) and be done with it? I know the back of the paper says 'Kodak' on it, but that's all I can tell really.

    Everywhere else, printing houses and department/electrical stores, it's all inkjet around here.




    Meanwhile, this has totally nothing to do with Kodak, but for anyone overseas who wants to see a repeat of the Kodak decline can read this about the decline of Australia's two big retailers. Having read this article just after that Kodak story, there's a surprising amount of similarity between the two...
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,894
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For small volume work, digital printing can be used, but for high volume or even large enlargements, digital (laser) printing onto RA4 paper is used. This takes the original image, scans it and turns it into a digital file. The analog > digital is still better than all digital. This file is used to run 3 lasers at a high speed over the paper, exposing it. After this the RA4 paper is processed in the RA4 chemistry, which is also high speed.

    The paper is made in widths up to 72" and prints that big can be made.

    Duratrans is also handled this way to make huge displays for use in stores.

    The paper is made at the Kodak Harrow plant and at Colorado.

    PE