Major event at Kodak

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Photo Engineer, May 28, 2011.

  1. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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  2. Paul Green

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  3. R gould

    R gould Member

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    Sad day, but I suppose it is a reflection of the times we live in, but at least 1 building is still producing film,
    Richard
     
  4. Chirs Gregory

    Chirs Gregory Member

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    They'd better hang on for another 40 years. I told myself I'd still be shooting on film when I'm 80, and I intend to stick by that!

    Did Kodak make all their film lines in both buildings, or would the remaining one be used solely for their better-selling ones? It would also be interesting to find out how this will affect the availability of 120 and larger formats.

    Back in the heyday of film photography Kodak probably would have cut how much "professional" film they sold to help out their consumer lines, but with most consumers using digital I'd imagine that they'd do just as well churning out their pro products for a while. (At least that would give us all some time to buy $12,000 digital backs for our Bronamiyablads.)
     
  5. photoncatcher

    photoncatcher Member

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    Well Chirs, at least I'm closer to 80 than you are. They only need to stay for another 20 for me. It really is so sad that a company that has alwys been such an icon of this country is going away so quickly. Companies that actually care about their workers are getting harder, and harder to find these days. I know that the holy "bottom line" is important, but they should never forget the people in the trencehes that built up the business from the start.
     
  6. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Ron, please elaborate on what, in your opinion, some of those ways will be. Thanks in advance.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Sal;

    If I knew, I would post it. All else is speculation.

    PE
     
  8. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    I understood that and was hoping for your informed speculation. :smile:
     
  9. Photo Engineer

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    Sal, at this point all I have is uninformed speculation! :wink:

    I suspect that the smallest runners might vanish (sizes and product kinds).

    Basically, production capability will be about 1/2 of what it was but if the machines were only running part time, this is a good thing because now 1 machine can run full time. It means a lot of people are out of work.

    Basically it is a mixed blessing. But, it does bring us 1 step closer to the end.

    PE
     
  10. kevs

    kevs Member

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    :-(

    Cheers,
    kevs.
     
  11. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    The problem is that there will be an end, not just to film but to still photography. People, especially young people, need more action..video..3d video..special effects..
     
  12. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    This is really very upsetting.
     
  13. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Yes, this is indeed sad. Especially for those who may have a personal connection. But I don't think it's necessarily upsetting. There IS life after Kodak. While it may be the end game of choice for a once mighty player, the game itself remains.

    Ken
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ken;

    Regarding your "signature line", what happened to all of the yolks. And, when Albumen printing went out of business, more to the point, what happened to all of the egg farmers?

    PE
     
  16. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Don't put all your eggs in one basket... this is the problem with color photography. Both Kodak and Fuji could presumably exit the market. While many are making B&W film, if Kodak and Fuji exit color that will leave us with what, Lucky in China? Ferrania in Italy?
     
  17. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Well if one or the other stops making film, the one that continues will get the whole market and probably have to increase production.
     
  18. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Albumen printing did not go out of business. The Dresden Albumenizing Company went out of business. The game remained. And remains to this day.

    (And as a current APUG advertiser, no less!)

    :w00t:

    It's just no longer a 60,000 eggs per day mass market game - presumably to the chicken's great relief. But just because the largest albumen player of its day chose to fold did not mean albumen printing folded with it.

    So it is with traditional film photography now. The manufacturing base has similarly adjusted to a new reduced level of demand, and Kodak has chosen to reduce - and in many cases eliminate - their participation at that new level. Other manufacturers have chosen to stand pat, or to increase their participation. It's just business.

    Kodak was at one point all about Photography, but Photography has never been only all about Kodak...

    And as far as the egg farmers go, if today I should disdain purchasing modern, commercially-produced albumen paper and decide to go it alone, I need only buy a dozen eggs from the grocery store to have supported via the albumen process at least one egg farmer out there somewhere.

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2011
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Ken;

    That was my point in bringing up the subject and you expressed it well! Kodak was all about photography but photography was not all about Kodak.

    PE
     
  20. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    And what of the yolks?

    From the Journal of Photography of the George Eastman House, Volume IV, Number 4, April 1955, p.25 (first page):

    "So great was the demand for this popular product that the Dresden Albumenizing Company, the largest in the world, used 60,000 eggs each day. Girls did nothing all day long but break eggs and separate the whites from the yolks. The whites were then churned and the yolks sold to leather dressers for finishing kid and fine leathers."

    It's also interesting to note that the accompanying advertisement depicts a rather handsome chicken announcing the albumen paper to be "Easy Working!" "No Blisters!" "Extra Brilliant." and available at a cost of $1.00 for a dozen sheets.

    Ken
     
  21. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Sorry about the bad news. I hope the other film companies pick up the slack.

    Jeff
     
  22. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    The only thing I read in that link is some guy ("Anonymous") claiming something from an equally anonymous source.

    I do understand that given the times we live in this story doesn't seem implausible, but on the other hand, whatever has happened to APUG'ers critical attitude? Don't we want sources, real ones?

    Given that PE can only speculate on what the effects of the foreclosure willl be (if true at all), how can we assume that he knows more than what the link tells us.

    I believe nothing until Kodak or somebody else with some authority/proper source makes an announcement (yeah, like Kodak would proudly share the news).
     
  23. Mackinaw

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  24. CGW

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  25. Diapositivo

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    Maybe I am a born optimist, but I don't see it as bad news.

    First of all, I'm sorry for those who are going to lose their job, unless Kodak finds a different collocation for them.

    What I see is that the fixed-cost structure is now out of size in respect to the output. If line occupation was on average less than 50% in both buildings, production can be moved all in one building without loss of products and with a reduction of costs. That might in turn make Kodak more competitive and film either cheaper or more profitable.

    So this could be good news: a reality check by Kodak, a downsizing of productive structure, a more efficient cost structure, profits from film.

    The big problem I see for the future is that this might be the last downsizing move available. If film sales decrease further, and if Kodak don't find the way to use "half" building, then the moment might come when their fixed-cost structure can no longer be supported by sales.

    If that moment ever comes, I suppose that for other film producers of this planet, especially small ones, a huge window of opportunity might open. Remember they presumably have a smaller fixed-cost structure (with the possible exception of Fujifilm) and maybe the death of Kodak will mean, if it ever happens one day, certainty of survival for the other players.

    Also, Kodak might sell "recipes" to Fuji and some products which don't have an equivalent in the Fuji offering might find a new life under a different brand.

    All in all, I am not so pessimistic, even though I'm aware the industry lives tough times. I wouldn't bet any money against the survival of film, at today prices, in 30 years.
     
  26. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Yeah, I see it as one step closer to sustainability for Kodak. It'd really suck if they stopped outright but I'd much rather they adjusted to the market like this, kept one machine running optimally or at least did a couple of batches per year and stayed with the game. Just think, they now have a very nice stash of spare parts sitting right next door that will mean it's pretty easy to keep their one machine going in the long term as long as it's well-maintained.

    And even if Kodak or Fuji quit, the other will take over and get a big increase in turnover for their film division. While I love me some Portra, Fuji makes excellent film too and conversely for the loss of Velvia. My only concern is that if Fuji or Kodak stop, we will have a practical-monopoly situation on colour film, which will be bad for pricing.

    I have little fear for Ilford (sales increasing!) or Efke though, so at least I will always be able to shoot B&W even though I would bitterly miss Acros and TMY2. Again, those small players would all benefit hugely from Kodak or Fuji leaving the film market. IMHO we will be able to buy film at retail for the term of my natural life (another 60 years probably), though probably not at today's prices even after inflation-adjustment.