Name the players = products

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mobtown_4x5, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    With the news from Ilford and Agfa, a lot of us have been pointing out the great resources we have with the smaller manufacturers of film and paper- I for one am a little unclear on exactly who's who and who makes what (I know there is some "overlap")... :confused:

    Anyone mind taking a crack at giving a good overview of the current "lay of the land" on these smaller manufacturers?

    -Manufacturer name?
    -factory location?
    -private/publicly held, if private who is/are the owners?
    -any info on financial heath, or health of parent company?
    -any local political instability that could interfere with production?
    -any info on future intentions/business model as relates to traditional
    materials?
    -products (brand names), product attributes as compared to similar products from the "big guys" ie-what will we be losing/gaining in the exchange?

    Some of these issues could become important if our choices are going to dwindle, if anyone has any answers to help me get a better picture of whats going on I would much appreciate it.
    If someone can get me started on this, I will do what research I can, maybe this could be a group effort, at least we will have a better idea of where we stand.

    :smile:

    Matt
     
  2. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    sounds like something for Ralph Nader or consumer reports.
     
  3. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    I'm sorry, I don't get it, why Ralph Nader?


    Maybe I didn't articulate this very well, more simply put: what is the status of the smaller manufacturers we may be counting on to pursue real photography in the future? Kodak and Ilford have made press releases giving some indication as to the state of thier film business, what about Efke for example? Are Efke's sales up or down? What is it anyway, like five guys, a huge factory,what are their intentions? To make film forever? Or are they also moving into inkjet papers?

    Am I being too pessimistic thinking that these are the type of questions I should be asking before I standardize on a film/paper that I like?...

    Uh oh, I may have done it again, probably nobody knows/cares what the hell I'm talking about. Oh well, wouldn't be the first time :smile:

    Bueller...Bueller...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2004
  4. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    -Manufacturer name? EFKE Fotokemika
    -factory location? Croatia
    -private/publicly held, if private who is/are the owners?
    -any info on financial heath, or health of parent company?
    -any local political instability that could interfere with production?
    -any info on future intentions/business model as relates to traditional
    materials?
    -products (brand names), product attributes as compared to similar products from the "big guys" ie-what will we be losing/gaining in the exchange?
     
  5. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    -Manufacturer name? HANS O. MAHN & CO. KG PHOTO DIVISION
    -factory location? Germany
    -private/publicly held, if private who is/are the owners?
    -any info on financial heath, or health of parent company?
    -any local political instability that could interfere with production? NO
    -any info on future intentions/business model as relates to traditional
    materials?
    -products (brand names), product attributes as compared to similar products from the "big guys" ie-what will we be losing/gaining in the exchange? MACO

    WEBSITE: http://www.mahn.net/Frameset.htm
     
  6. jandc

    jandc Member

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    Maco films are made By Fotokemika. Maco has no coating machinery.

    UP25+ = Efke 25
    UP64 = Efke 50
    UP100+ = Efke 100
    Ort 25 - made by Efke
    Genius Print Film - made by Efke
    Infrared Film - made by Efke
    Liquid Emulsion - Made by Efke
    Maco 127 color films - Cut and rolled by Efke
    Maco Expo paper - Efke
    Maco PO100 - Efke
    Maco Cube - Efke
     
  7. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    So EFKE is the maker of all those?
    Whattabout ADOX?
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Efke films are based on the old Adox formulas, and the new Adox brand will be made by Efke (but there's some additional confusion created by the fact that there is a Canadian company that also seems to have rights to the Adox trademark).

    Foma is an independent company in the Czech Republic.

    Forte is a former Kodak factory in Hungary (but don't assume that any of their products are equivalent to any Kodak products, even from the 1960s). They make J&C Classic and ClassicPan films from fotoimpex as well as Bergger, but there is conflicting information as to whether films of the same speed are all cut from the same stock.

    Orwo was the East German remnant of Agfa, and they exist and are branding film, but I'm not sure what their status is now. My impression is that Orwo 125 is FP4+. I own a movie made in Poland and printed on 35mm Orwo color stock from the early 1970s that is really nice.

    Lucky is the Chinese brand.

    Maco is also Cachet in the U.S., but I've heard that contract may have ended.

    Luminos papers packaged in Brooklyn, NY are made by Kentmere in the U.K.
     
  9. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    Good effort guys-

    I knew of Efke and Foma, but didn't think of Kentmere. I am in the process of trying to do some research on the Eastern Europeans to see what thier intentions may be regarding their film manufacturing for the next few years.

    Also, one thing I have found out is that "Lucky" film have now invested the funds to become an ISO900 (international quality standard) certified organization. This usually indicates overhaul of procedures and improved quality control. They may be worth another look.

    Also, here is another outfit I found, they are German with a brand new US office in Seatlle. http://www.turausa.com/

    Matt
     
  10. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    is there more than one efke plant?

    i remember reading about a year ago that an ekfe plant was closed down, and jorge just mentioned in another thread that efke was closed ...

    can you tell us if ekfe is having troubles too?

    thanks!

    - john

     
  12. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Do these companies make both the emulsion and the base?

    If they are not making the base for their films, how healthy are those companies that are the film makers' suppliers? If they close down, even the small film manufacturers will be affected.
     
  13. jandc

    jandc Member

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    Several years ago the factory was moved from Zagreb to Samabor. The factory was never closed down just moved to a different location. Last year they went through a reorginazition which allowed them to reduce their work force and become more efficient in their operations. As with any small company their long term outlook is directly related to their sales.
     
  14. jandc

    jandc Member

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    None of these companies make their base material. However, while some base material suppliers may discontinue their production there are numerous sources for base material. This would not be the limiting factor.
     
  15. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Here's the scoop on Fotokemika/Efke.
    The company is named Fotokemika. Their head office and factory is in Samobor (near Zagreb, Croatia). Their product brand is EFKE - both for films and papers.
    For the past year or so they've been going through reorganization/restructuring. AFAIK, the company is privately owned. I've asked various people there on several occasions about the future plans and possible developments (no pun intended), but was not able to get a straight answer. Probably depends on the owner decision.
    As for future production, I was told that they will continue production of film and paper. Paper production will probably go down a bit (sales are probably declining).
    Also, I was told that it is likely that with the current situation and prospects on the world market, they will probably have to raise prices, since their suppliers of raw products are also experiencing reduced sales - therefore the cost of raw material is bound to go up.

    So far, looks like they will stay in business - no plans of closing down.

    Hopefully, you guys will continue to buy Efke stuff from JandC and from other distributors, and keep them in business :smile:)

    Maybe I'll try to get an approval from Fotokemika to visit them and prepare a report on their company with photos. That would be nice, right?

    We'll see - I'll have to contact the management about this.

    Regards,

    Denis
     
  16. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    There is an ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times."

    With the dis-involvement of the giant companies, there will still be a demand - although diminishing - and possibly not profitable for the large companies, but the smaller, less well known manufacturers will see a tremendous surge in their business as the times unfold.

    I am sure that if Agfa leaves the traditional film/paper business, some of the demand for their products will immediately shift to Ilford, as an example. The pitfall here is two or three companies seeing an overall decrease in demand, and all deciding to leave the field together.

    I would say that a company like J&C might tenaciously continue on during this chaos ... and wind up smelling like a rose.

    Anyone remember the introduction of digital watches? I had one from Texas Instruments... blank black face - and one would press a button to light the power hungry LEDs to read the time. They have advanced and improved ... but .. I am now wearing a RADO *analog* watch - complete with hands and a face. I can't tell if it is A.M. or P.M. -- and I don't care.

    Automatic transmission were *certain* to completely replace manual transmissions ... there are more of them now ... but complete replacement? ... I don't think that will ever happen.

    What are the Luddites here to do? I can only recommend Ed Sukach's Patented Flavored Inner Tube Strips - to be held between one's teeth during "interesting times." Flavor of the month: "Tia Maria".
     
  17. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    Thank you Denis P- if you do indeed get a chance to visit or have any more contact with them please report your findings.

    If things get real ugly we may be able to leverage the power of (even our small) numbers to throw our support behind the MLTS (Most Likely To Survive) factory.

    I would remind some folks however, that saying things like, "I'm hoping J and C will survive" is missing the point-
    I want J and C to prosper of course, but that is a little like saying "I know there is a nationwide shortage of tomatoes, but I'm counting on my corner grocer to pull me through" - not a whole lot they can do if the supply dries up.

    By the way, thank you also JandC for your excellent support and insight on this thread and APUG in general. I will be ordering some items next week. Also i, posted a link around here somewhere to a Russian manufacturer of photographic plates and papers that may be of interest to you.

    The more we know the better we can fight.

    Matt
     
  18. jandc

    jandc Member

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    We are aware of and have both spoken to and tried products from Slavich and Svema, the two former film producers in Russia. We believe that quality wise the Eastern European firms are much better and also in terms of their emulsions. We also have sources for better economy films at better prices. So at this time these two firms have less to offer than the other factories do.

    Someone mentioned Tura in a previous post. They also are a re-brander for example Tura 150 = APX 100 and Tura 400 = APX 400.

    We have visited all of these factories in the past couple of years. They are all capable of surviving if demand is sufficient and are all capable of producing small quantities of many various films cost effectively.
     
  19. photomc

    photomc Member

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    I agree jdef..That is Great News

    would like to remind everyone that, recently Polaroid went through something like what Ilford is going through and we do still have Polaroid around. Let's not panic, while I agree we should not put our heads in the sand about the lose of any of our films or different size's, we need to remember to support as much as possible any vendor we hope to keep around. Spottone is gone, which many do not feel is a lose, but they were a vendor for many years and were a part of B&W photography - history now, just like many old films and papers.

    Last numbers I read still put film as a $1 Billion plus business, get down to B&W and I'm sure it is in the million $ range, but someone will still want that business.
     
  20. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    There used to be a plant in Uruguay that made papers similar to AGFA Brovira dn Portriga (the one with Cd)
    The boxes were orange and the labels blue (just like AGFA's) but I can't remember the brand.
    Last time I bought stuff from that brand was in the mid 90s.... anyone knows if they are still around?