meanwhile, a little further down the road

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by garryl, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. garryl

    garryl Member

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  2. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    Eventually Kodak will simply sell its film and traditional photographic patents, technology and manufacturing equipment to an Eastern European or Asian market. No problem. They'll continue to supply us with our "fix." Might even give Efke, Foma, et al, some competition.
     
  3. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Makes one wonder what they WILL be doing after that.

    Sad. They had a break-through IDEA that led to dominance in their field, and from a sense of greed or ? ... over-expanded themselves to death, completely turning away from their CORE market, the serious photographer.

    I wonder what will be next, from Kodak's ruins? Novelty "give-away" trinkets? Instant cameras that produce postage-stamp size prints?
     
  4. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    Kodak is planning to emphasize digital R&D. Good luck to them in that. They're giving up on a market they had neatly sewn up in exchange for one with fierce competition and price-cutting, no-profit, winner-take-none attitudes.

    Wouldn't surprise me to see Big Yellow deep in the red within a few years.
     
  5. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I just dont understand these people....seems they never learn from their mistakes. When was the last time anybody saw a succesful product made by Kodak, other than film? Very rare.....now they think they are going to compete with Epson making printers...lol....look for Epson to be buying Kodak in the future....
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I always thought Kodak's core market was consumer film--"You push the button, we do the rest" as they say.
     
  7. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    How long will Kodak make film?

    As long as people buy it.

    Last year saw an increase in B&W sales -- not a decline. TriX is now labelled as a "Kodak Professional" product.

    All is well, and TX400 is still about $20 for a 100' roll.
     
  8. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    In another part of the article in WSJ, it says that Kodak will begin to eliminate production of traditional phtography products except for best sellers at retailers. I wonder if they will sell after market HC110 which is the only product of theirs that I use that I can't make myself. And of course there is the continuing question of the future of AZO.

    Now I will probably eliminate Kodak from my film and paper options. They seem pretty hell bent on getting out of film eventually. I only use their RC paper for contact sheets, but use TriX an Tmax films. I have been slowly moving to Ilford film in 35 and 120 (moved to Ilford and J&C for LF already). I use XTOL, but it is easily replicated from scratch. That only leaves HC110 but I will convert completely over to PYRO based developers for those applications. Also AZO, and I still use stuff I bought a few years ago from a photographer's estate but may need to stock up in larger sizes just for ULF applications.


    So, I will throw my dollars to Ilford and others in hopes of keeping their traditional products sales robust enough to stay in production.
     
  9. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I have read the articles about Kodak's B&W film growth. the questions are, how much is B&W a total % of film sales? How much is the cost of producing B&W products in relation to other film products? Sales and costs can be vastly different accross product lines. And if you think because they invested money in a new processing plant they will keep producing film you are kidding yourself.

    My wife works for a major airline. This airline spent 100s of millions building hub facilities in cities in the US in the late 80s. The sky was the limit for growth and profit. But economics, low fare carriers, fuel costs etc cuaght them by surprise. One of these hubs in Nashville, TN cost something like $60million to build. It had 20+ gates and set up to service overseas as well as domestic travel. Make a long story short, the passenger vloume never developed and they used a bout a dozen of the gates for a few years. Last time I was throught that airport, (1998) that wing of the airport was empty, the airline pulled out. They just walked away from the investment and took a write down against profits for several years.

    It would be better for Kodak to sell the rights to the products and get a small percentage of sales. I don't think they are going to compete with Eastern European and Asian products on cost with materials repackaged and produced in a US factory.

    I hope for those who like Kodak products they are continued in some form, but don't be deceived by what spokespeople or CEO's say. Statements are made to prop up stocks and pacify leary investors. Closing facilities no matter how new or how costly can be a strategy to show investors that you are serious about improving profits. And a change in CEOs or CFO's can change things around in a matter of days.

    Kodak has been plagued by extremely poor management and decsion making. It has been shown time after time that once bad decisons are made they usually lead to even worse decsions and consequences down the road. Time will tell who is the biggest loosers in all this.
     
  10. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    One more comment on the subject. I can see the headline in the WSJ in 5 years:

    Epson Completes Kodak Purchase, Sees Huge Profit Potential in Underutilized Film Products Division.
     
  11. Robert

    Robert Member

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    So how do I make photoflo? The only thing I've bought from Big Yeller in years.
     
  12. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Take it back I've bought some out of date colour film-))
     
  13. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    with regard to photo flo, someone gave us about a gallon. Years worth, the real kick is that I feel that Edwal's is better. inital cost is more but it really is worth in *IMHO* and easier to measure. A drop is really a drop with the dispencer .

    I stopped using Kodak products years ago when they stopped supporting B&W photography except as some one else suggested HC110. That decision was not made lightly but in line with their managment decision as to the loss of product, it made sense. It is sad that this move made by many people myself included, has lead to a loss of many tools we loved. It is hard to spend money with a company that does not care about it's customers.
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I think Agfa Sistan is superior to PhotoFlo. It is both a preservative and a wetting agent, and also can be used to enhance the longevity of RC prints.
     
  16. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Well, I think Jim has it right, is time to leave the old 400 tmy and try something different, looks like it wont be around in a few years.

    Oh Sandy...can I have your J and C data...:smile:
     
  17. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I think maybe we are all looking at this the wrong way. Kodak has spent tons of money and countless years researching conventional films. Currently they produce some pretty good products and they probably feel they can coast on what they are currently offering. I think the move to the new coating plant was the final stage in this 100 year journey.

    I can't blame them for wanting to pour their money into a new technology that they could push forward and increase market share and profits with. The conventional film market is fully matured and will bump along all by itself.

    As long as people are buying in sufficient numbers to make it a profitable enterprise they will continue to produce the product.

    For myself, I am buying up all the AGFA APX 100 in 4x5 I can afford to purchase. Locally APX 100 in 4x5 goes for $18CAD and Tri-X 320 goes for $28CAD in 25 sheet boxes (actually you can only buy Kodak in 50 sheet boxes). That's $12.85USD -vs- $20USD. A no brainer in my books! Kodak is not worth 55% more in IMHO.
     
  18. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Interesting. One of the local shops has had the small bottles of sistan on sale for close to a year. I keep buying a bottle or two every time I walk in. The price isn't better then buying a big bottle mail order but it's no worse . I get the feeling I'm the only one to ever buy the stuff. Nobody at the cash knows what it is. Now I've got a shelf full of the stuff. I've also got a pint of photoflo that will last quite awhile.
     
  19. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    ..
     
  20. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I have read it will last indefinetley un-opened. I had some i got at a going out of business sale and just tested a bottle that has sat for 3 years and it is fine.
     
  21. fingel

    fingel Member

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    I for one will continue to use Tri-x until they discontinue it. To switch to something else for fear of having it disappear, is only going to hasten that disappearance because of lack of demand. Kind of a self fulfilling prophecy if you ask me.
     
  22. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    If you divide a bottle of HC-110 concentrate in smaller, filled up bottles, maybe your grandchildren may use it...

    Jorge O
     
  23. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Just so you understand I didn't switch from a Kodak film to APX. I haven't used Kodak films since the 70's. Had a big beef with them then and well I have a long memory. Before APX it was Ilford products. Still use a bit of FP4 for Pyro-Cat stuff. Haven't tried APX in Pyro yet but will do so soon.

    I only hope Kodak stays in the B&W film business because they keep everyone else honest. Even if they themselves can't do the same.
     
  24. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Well I just glanced at some of the comments made about Kodak today. It seems they are hoping to have digital represent 40% of the sales three years out. When you consider how much of that won't be digital photography but other things it makes you wonder.
     
  25. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Ilford TriX? Fuji Portra VC? Forte Tech Pan? Maybe ... Those will be my big losses if they go away. I do use HP5 but for something altogether different. VC is nicer IMHO to NPS and I still use tech pan - I guess there are substitutes to that as well - I am afraid consistency will go down and prices will go up. Without Kodak's big economies of scale, operational and purchasing efficiency will be less and it could be like gas in California.
     
  26. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Its called Modern American Management folks. Its pervasive throughout our entire economic base in all sizes of business organizations, irregardless of what type of business they are engaged in. :sad: