Report: Film at Photokina (part one ;-) )

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Henning Serger, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Hello dear film friends,

    I've promised you a report about film and film camera manufacturers at this years Photokina.
    I will keep my promise.
    I had also promised it to my German friends at aphog.
    Therefore my report is now online in German

    http://www.aphog.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=22347

    I will translate it for you in the next days.

    I know quite a few of you speak German. And for those I highly recommend the German version, because my German is much much better than my English ....:whistling:.
    Well yes, my English is quite horrible :sad:. But at least probably much better than the Go....translator :D.

    So, please stay tuned for the English version. Thanks.

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
  2. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Thank you. After reading your report I noticed that LF and film seem to have a bit of a comeback with the younger crowd. Let's hope for the best.

    Dominik
     
  3. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    Henning,
    Being born in the Southern US, I can tell you I've heard some pretty poor English in my time. Actually I've butchered it badly myself on occasion. I've never had a problem understanding your English. At best, you pass for a native English writer. At worst, it's a little quirky but requires little effort to understand, IMHO.
     
  4. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Yes, look forward to the translation. Cheers.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I haven't noticed any problem with your english, Henning. Looks fine to me. My problem seems to be with the announcement that Fuji representative made to you( see your Fuji Neopan 400 thread)

    I wonder if the problem might be that the Fuji man meant that 120 was being re-started but his english or german wasn't good and he made it sound as if it was 135 that was being re-started

    Anyway I look forward to your translation. Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  6. Flux

    Flux Member

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    Thank you, Henning.
    Best report of Photkina I read so far.
     
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  7. spatz

    spatz Member

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    Danke, Henning!
    I read your report and found it to be very comprehensive. I was particularly interested in the section on Fujifilm re. transparency film - there is light (pun intended) for the future of film indeed.
     
  8. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    For those of us who dont read German, What did Fujifilm say?
     
  9. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Have I misunderstood all the previous news about the sale of Kodak's film division? According to Henning's report, only the *marketing* of Kodak print films is up for sale, whereas the production will remain at Kodak.
     
  10. scheimfluger_77

    scheimfluger_77 Subscriber

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    But you speak at least one more language than I do, so you won't get any criticism me. :D
     
  11. ElvisDing

    ElvisDing Member

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    Looking forward to the English version although my current German training may help me a little in reading original thread. Anyway, good job my friend!
     
  12. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    That's exactly what Kodak clarified later so that seems to be the intent, or at least the announced intent.
     
  13. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    This is just a basic summary:

    Fuji was losing money on selling cine stock, and probably made a deal with Kodak on the discontinuance. Due to increased demand and a solution to the raw material problem, Neopan 400 is being manufacured again. Look for it in stores by November. They have a new Instax camera, and it is very popular with younger people. They are still going to sell transparency film for the forseeable future, and have even seen a small uptick in sales. Germans love their slides, as it sells 1:1 with the rest of Europe. It's possible with enough demand to restart production of discontinued slide film, although it all depends on demand. Sensia was discontinued because after price increases it would only be 1 Euro less than Provia, and most would just pay the Euro. Younger people are interested in film along with digital, and the Fuji rep says that there will probably be film even when he retires in 20 years.
     
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  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Sensia was discontinued because it would cost more than Provia and people would pay it? That doesn't seem right.

    Please bring back Astia or Sensia. We need a lower contrast reversal film than excellent but a bit punchy Provia. (In sheets, please!)
     
  16. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    Sorry, 1 Euro less. Post has been edited.
     
  17. spatz

    spatz Member

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    In addition to what nickrapak says, Henning spoke with the Product Manager of Photo Imaging Products and they discussed the discontinuance of Astia. They agreed that it was a big mistake to discontinue this film because of its capabilities - notably its natural colour rendition/accuracy and its relatively high dynamic range thus making it the most sensible choice for portrait photographers and for reproduction photography (artworks etc.) The product manager stated that he believed astia to be on of the best films that Fujifilm has produced.

    Well if its possible for fuji to re-introduce films then I would be happy with just Velvia 50, Provia and Astia in 135 all the way to 8x10. Everything else to me is secondary. Fuji could even take a leaf out of Ilfords book and do yearly large format runs to make it more economically viable.
    Well, one can hope...
     
  18. batwister

    batwister Member

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    It's a shame and it sounds like tough decisions don't only effect us. I'm glad they're showing real pride in their products. It was celebrated for landscape work in the UK.
     
  19. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Sounds like they know how good Astia was, at least, so maybe there's hope. I was astounded when I started shooting it. I was expecting something with more pastel saturation but what I got was rich and vibrant but without the overblown look of higher saturation films and without so much contrast as Provia. I moved on to E100G when Astia went away, and it was indeed good (still have several rolls in the freezer and just sent one to Dwayne's with some other E6) but of the two I prefer Astia.
     
  20. spatz

    spatz Member

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    i agree. i have tried e100g and still prefer astia - though i only have 5 rolls of 120 left. i never warmed towards kodak reversal films for some reason so i really hope they bring back astia.
     
  21. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I dread thawing out my last box of Astia 100F 8x10. It functions as the best color dupe film ever,
    even better than CDUII or EDupe. I also have some interior shots with it I am prepping for dye transfer printing which would have been very difficult with any other film, chrome or color neg, due
    to the nature of the colors involved as well as the specific contrast. That was a quadruple-whammy for me - losing Astia, E100G, Quickloads, and Ilfochrome all about the same time. I only have so much of each still stashed in the freezer. Part of the problem is the communication failure on the part
    of the film community in general. People didn't understand how to interpret a film like Astia in terms of end use, so it didn't sell all that well compared to Velvia and Provia. And maybe it's also a symptom of everyone nowadays expecting honey and jam on top of sugar cubes color saturation these day - but eat enough of that and you'll eventually vomit.
     
  22. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    I'll only take mild issue with the analogy - unfortunately if you slowly acclimate to it you generally WON'T vomit, you'll just get progressively more obese and unhealthy and lose your taste for real, un-exagerated and non-artificial food. Same with color, I think.

    I was hoping the ease of cranking up the saturation in digital would lead to an overdose of this and increasing demand for realistic (and sometimes even subtle and subdued) color but it doesn't seem to be happening. Never underestimate the general taste for excess.
     
  23. j.c.denton

    j.c.denton Member

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    Henning, thanks a lot for your effort and summing up these extensive talks you had during photokina. It indeed sheds the most positive light on the current state and future of film I have read about for months. I am (positively) surprised about the clarity of statements that where given to you, and the interview with Fuji and Kodak was really relieving.

    When I look at my recently build-up stock of E100G it is at least nice to hear that I wasn't alone when I though that Kodaks discontinuation of slide film was a bad move. Now, knowing the background, it is easy to understand though.
    Same is valid for Fuji regretting the discontinuation of Astia. I tried Astia only when it was to late (spring 2012) just to see that it was the perfect universal film, as others have already described. I wish I would have been able to build up a bigger stock. I am still curious about how much influence a german devision can have on a japanese company, but I still hope for the best and a return of Astia.

    Astia, E100G, Velvia 50 and Provia 400X. That's all I ever need.

    Christian
     
  24. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    For those who like Astia, the very similar (identical?) Sensia is still available as re-branded Agfa Precisa, at least in 35mm. I plan to stock up on some. Presumably this is from remaining stock, but never the less, it's available.
     
  25. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Hello friends,

    first of all thank you very much for your positive feedback!
    Looks like even more of you speak German and have read my original report than I've expected.

    As someone already has translated a small part about the Fuji talks and the Astia 100F topic please let me go in further detail and explain it:
    At the Fujifilm Photokina booth the responsible Product- Key Account Manager, Photo Imaging products, Mr Boll, told me:

    - Fujifilm will continue production of colour reversal film.
    - The sales of Fujichrome slide films in Germany during the last 12 months have been stabilised, even with a small increase of 2-3%. And that despite the huge hoarding of Kodak slide film which happened in the last months in the German market. That is an encouraging signal.
    The German reversal film market is one of the most important worldwide (reversal film and projection has always been very popular here). Due to Mr Boll the German slide film market is as big as the whole remaining European market. The ratio is about 1:1, slide film sales in the rest of Europe (all countries) are on the same level as Germany only sales figures.

    [Additional info from me: There are still five German manufacturers of slide projectors. Two of them still do advertise their projectors in a German photo magazine: "With slide projection you get much better sharpness and brillance compared to digital beamers". An advertizing which simply says the truth.
    Furthermore some German manufacturers of slide mounts (with even new innovations like the outstanding new Diaspeed HT-XYZ mounts) and other accessories. And more than 40 E6 labs nationwide, a number being stable for the last years.]

    Back to Fuji and Astia 100F:
    Mr Boll explained that Astia 100F has been one of the best (if not the best) colour film they've ever made. A film with excellent natural and accurate colors. Lots of professionals used this film in situations when the most accurate colour reproduction has been needed, e.g. at shooting paintings and art work. If you photograph the Kodak colour test chart and comapare it with an Astia 100F shot of this chart, the differences are minimal.
    And it's the slide film with the best dynamic range.
    It's an excellent all around film, very flexible and useful in very different shooting situations. But the huge mistake Fujifilm had done was to market Astia 100F only as a portrait and fashion film. Well, Astia is excellent for that, but can much much more.
    As a long Astia 100F user myself, who has used this film in lots of different situations, I can completely agree with him. This film is outstanding and a real jewel of modern colour film production.
    And yes, it was absolutely counterproductive to market this excellent all around film only as portrait and fashion film. That marketing strategy has had a very negative impact on sales volume. We as Astia 100F users both agree on all of that concerning Astia 100F (outstanding quality and marketing errors).

    But, according to him it is not completely excluded that Astia 100F might come back one time. It's all about demand. At least there is no general "if the production has stopped, the product will never, ever come back" policy at Fujifilm. We've seen evidence in the past with the Velvia 50 re-introduction in 2007, and currently with Neopan 400 and the new Instax camera. New, fresh, increasing demand can change the situation.
    The following must happen to get Fuji thinking about new Astia 100F production:
    - At first stabilisation of reversal film sales worldwide (not only in Germany). So a development we are currently seeing in some other market segments (e.g. professional BW and CN films).
    - After that a certain increase in sales so that the market can absorb the production volume of another reversal film.
    - A sound (increasing) demand for Provia 100F (and 400X), those films who are most similar to Astia 100F. Only an increasing demand for the Velvias would probably not encourage Fujifilm to think about a new Astia 100F production.

    So improving the chance of getting Astia 100F back means shooting as much as possible Provia 100F and 400X, and simultaneously asking Fuji for an Astia revival.
    Again: The message I got from all manufacturers at Photokina was: It's all about demand. We produce everything you want if there is sufficient demand.
    In the end it's in our hands: Shooting only a little film and doing the rest in digital: Then we are part of problem.
    Shooting film like hell and additionally encourage other photographers to try film, than we are part of the solution!

    Reversal film , both BW and Colour, is an absolutely unique photographic medium with unique strengths and characteristics.
    A very important part of the photographic culture, which absolutely deserves to stay alive. It would be a very big loss for photography if reversal film would disappear.

    Here it is described in an excellent way:
    http://www.aphog.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=404&Itemid=1

    Let us keep it alive by using it.The more, the better.

    Best regards,
    Henning

    P.S. @ Roger Cole:
    Dear Roger, the current AgfaPhoto CT Precisa slide film is definitely not the Sensia. It is a Provia 100F batch (or batches). I've done a lot of detailed comparison tests of Precisa vs. Sensia vs. Provia 100F. The differences between Sensia 100 and Precisa are very obvious. But the difference between Provia 100F and AgfaPhoto CT Precisa is quite small in direct comparison.
    AgfaPhoto CT Precisa is an amateur film and has not the very strong QC control and batch to batch consistency Provia 100F as professional film has. That is the main differences. My test results have been confirmed by Fuji manager Mr Boll in our Photokina talk.
    CT Precisa is an excellent film, and a real bargain here in Germany, only about 3,50€ a roll, and available even in a drugstore chain.

    And concerning my English translation of my Photokina report. I've been very busy the last days, some unexpected things happened. Therefore I have not finished it yet. The weekend I will have a big family meeting and no time to continue the translation.
    So I will be back here with the translation at the beginning of next week. Thanks a lot for your patience!
     
  26. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    No need to rush. I for one cannot thank you enough for your efforts.