Some Good News.... Kodak sees resurgence of film

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Steve Smith, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,085
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    http://www.bjp-online.com/british-j...odak-there-real-resurgence-film#ixzz10y40QMzv


    Scott DiSabato, US marketing manager for Professional film at Kodak.



    Steve.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,040
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well that's what I was told by a couple of photo-stores last November while I was in the UK, so it's good to here Kodak confirming it. This upturn was predicted back around 2006 but the financial crisis had a negative effect.

    Ian
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's great to hear, I hope it continues.

    Jeff
     
  4. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Oakdale, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Four months from now Kodak will announce that it is completely halting all film production. In another four months they will say film will be around forever. I have shot a lot of Kodak in my lifetime but none in the last 15 years. It has been Agfa, Fuji, or Ilford.

    Mike
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,085
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I expect Kodak may be putting a bit more of a positive spin to it than there is in reality but even if we translate their resurgence into stabilisation, that is a good sign.


    Steve.
     
  6. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If they fire the anti-film jerks in the company I'd breathe a little easier.
     
  7. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,948
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Location:
    South Norfol
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Steve,

    Do you take a view on gaps in the Kodak still photography film product range?

    Tom
     
  8. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Oakdale, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I may even by a brick of tri-x.

    Mike
     
  9. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Resurgence or no resurgence, taking perfectly fine products off the market, possibly to replace them with a 'please all' variant would not sound like good news.
    Good news it can be, if the new film they give us instead of the two we can use now is indeed as good as at least one of them. And then, for those of us who liked the other one better it's bad news.

    And even if the new film would be one we like, it still means there is less choice. No opportunity to select either one of the now discontinued variants to suit a scene or purpose. We have to use that single new one instead.

    This could well be a sign that the film market is in fact no longer capable of sustaining two similar but different products.
    The talk about a resurgence could well be no more than an attempt to give a positive spin to what really is bad news about a situation that already wasn't so good.

    So "good news"?
    Wait and see, i'd say.
     
  10. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

    Messages:
    1,117
    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    Shooter:
    Sub 35mm
    What about the two sentences before that?

     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    I think they're under a lot of pressure to cut costs, so if they think they can combine two into one and not lose money from it, they're likely to do it. The rationale seems to be that scanning predominates now, so saturation can be adjusted after the shoot, therefore no need for two different films.

    If you print optically, I guess you have to take what they give you.

    I suspect that what you say about spin is so, at least in part. They consolidate two into one, then are able to announce a brand new film.
     
  12. bblhed

    bblhed Member

    Messages:
    601
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Location:
    North Americ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Let me first say that I am a big fan of Kodak, and I like their products, I also like their get them while they are young mentality of making a wide range of consumer films and disposable cameras to help grow a market of young people that might just continue to shoot film. Please tell me what Fuji and Ilford are doing to get more people into photography, you know the low end consumers that will buy the low end film that helps pay for these companies to make high end pro films?

    That said, yes it sucks that Kodak dropped 400 VC and NC in favor of a middle of the road Portra 400 but the reality of it is that Kodak makes four pro color negative films, when Ektar 100 came in something was going to have to go.

    So lets step back and look at this, Kodak is making five pro color negative films, four consumer color negative films (if you count 400 HD), two silver black and white films, and the BW400CN, then they have three slide films. By my count Kodak is turning out fifteen different films that are readily available for people to buy locally or via mail order, there are others but they are hard to find. If I want to walk into a store and buy film I can buy seven different Kodak films or three Fuji films at drug stores within 10 minuets drive of my home. If I want a roll of Ilford I'm looking at a two hour round trip. Now I will admit that Fuji does make a wide range of films with about eighteen, but their offering of readily available films is about as narrow as Kodak's if you really look at it, and Ilford is just as bad with eight films, and I feel they don't really reach out to the low end snap shooter at all here in the states especially with their cryptic film naming system.

    Kodak is going to continue to "adjust" their professional lines of film, and if you look at it closely they are following trends in fashion just like everyone else. Kodak Gold is a bread and butter product for Kodak and they don't mess with it all that much or all that often, if they only made that in 120, 220, and sheet film, that would be something and because it's Kodak Gold they wouldn't mess with it.

    Finally don't let it get to you, Kodak isn't doing this out of some kind of personal vendetta against you, It's me that they hate.
     
  13. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,041
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    <sigh...>

    Kodak's oft-repeated, long-term, strategic goals have not changed. Film is now, and will continue to be until it's no longer required, a transition product for Kodak. Minor market upticks or downticks are not going to cause Kodak's CEO to suddenly experience an epiphany, slap his head in realization of his own ignorance, and call in the press to announce the scrapping of that long-term strategy. Kodak's future has already been wagered on that strategy. The futures of all past and present employees who still depend on Kodak have already been wagered on that strategy. The Kodak CEO's future has already been wagered on that strategy. That strategy will not change.

    There may well be a slight to moderate resurgence in demand for film. The anecdotal evidence seems to point in that direction. This would be very good news for those companies whose long-term strategic goals lie in that direction. But Kodak is already well past the tipping point of no return...

    <sigh...>

    Ken
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,824
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And your point is? An American that hates American companies?:whistling:
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    How does 'Americaness' figure in this?

    And its it really forbidden to dislike what any american company does if you are an american?

    And by "an American", you mean someone from where exactly? Costa Rica? Canada? Does Kodak have a manufacturing plant in Belize?
     
  17. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,948
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Location:
    South Norfol
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    As often said, as long as we buy film Kodak will keep making it.

    Tom
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,085
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It does certainly seem that way to us non Americans.


    Steve.
     
  19. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,041
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    With respect, Tom, I do not believe that to be universally true. There are more variables at play at Kodak than simple single product (or product line) supply and demand.

    Business history is replete with examples of companies that killed product lines that were marginally profitable in order to reallocate the freed resources to different product lines that, in their estimation, held the potential for higher profit returns.

    A current photographic example might be Leica, if the rumors are true. The rumor is that Leica has suspended production on the M-series mechanical cameras in order to switch their production resources over to their digital line. Prior to the digital line Leica did not go out of business, so the mechanical line must have still been marginally profitable. But in their estimation those production resources will now return more if shifted away from mechanical.

    Business is not all about making money. It's all about making the most money, regardless of any other considerations. Product lines exist - or are killed - solely to serve that goal. Legacy demand and customer loyalty have little to do with those decisions.

    I seem to remember reading that General Electric once began downsizing their world-class electrical R&D facilities in favor of selling life insurance. The result? From Wikipedia*:

    "Since over half of GE's revenue is derived from financial services, it is arguably a financial company with a manufacturing arm."

    And so it will be with Kodak. They have told us over and over they do not want to be in the film business anymore. For the moment, however, they must be in it. So they will continue to invest in film R&D only to the extent that it serves their stated longer range non-film strategy. We will continue to see some film upgrades that simply disguise product line downsizings. The upgrades themselves will be real, but not significant to Kodak's (or more significantly, our) longer range goals.

    Ken

    * I am aware that Wikipedia is a non-peer reviewed resource (well, at least in the traditional sense) and as such is inherently questionable. But this quote does mirror what I've read in the past from other resources.
     
  20. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,948
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Location:
    South Norfol
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ken. Thanks for your response. However as far as I understand the "film manufacturing" devision of Kodak produces more profit than some other areas of their business. I'd be interested to know your view on Kodak's efforts in the consumer inkjet sector?

    Tom
     
  21. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,041
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Monroe, WA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That may very well be true at the moment. But it's not long-term significant. Kodak's stated choice is to go digital. Period. That choice was made back when film still supplied virtually all of their income. Yet they made it anyway. And since making that choice all of their actions have been in support of that choice, and that choice only. Profits from film manufacturing - by Kodak's very own admission - still exist only to serve that long-term goal.

    My only observation regarding consumer inkjet is anecdotal. Photographic consumer inkjet exists for the purpose of printing digital images. Since the time Kodak made its choice to go digital, I've been on the lookout in public for people who were using Kodak digital cameras. In the last five years I could count on one hand the number of Kodak Easyshare cameras I've actually spotted in public.

    Without a base of dedicated Kodak camera users to purchase them, Kodak's inkjet products must then compete head-to-head with everyone else's inkjet products. My guess is that they cannot be generating huge profits. But I may very well be completely wrong about that as I don't follow Kodak's digital offerings at all.

    I'm off now to go shoot some Kodachrome. It's a rare sunny day here in the Pacific Northwest. I've got 4 rolls and 33 exposures left to go. Then my lifetime association with Kodak ends. Not by my choice. By theirs...

    Ken
     
  22. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Oakdale, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Because I do not do business with a company that does not particularly care about it’s end customer, only the currant marketing trend does not make me ‘an American who hates American companies’. I shop were I am valued as a customer. If one store stops carrying a product I use, I will go down the street and shop at the store that does. And I will reward the second store with ALL of my future purchases. If the second store drops the ball I will move on again. The fact that there is only one American film manufacturing company is out of my hands. As is the fact that they never seem to know in which direction they are going.

    Fotch, I do not mind that you and I may not see eye to eye on this issue. What I do mind is being painted with such a broad stroke. Although I am not to fond of the current government, I am proud of this country. There is no other place on this earth that I can exercise the freedoms that I now do. And that includes the freedom to do business with people that care about my needs and not just the bottom line.

    Mike
     
  23. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

    Messages:
    1,480
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Location:
    Greece
    Shooter:
    35mm
    So, Mike, let's forget about the current marketing trends, American companies, patriotism, shopping habits etc... Just tell us which company has the biggest colour negative film range. And please keep in mind that it's a shrinking market.
     
  24. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Beijing, Chi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think the good news here is the line coming from the spokesperson, there could have just as easily been an article stating that 'digital is the future' or something along those lines. Now I realize this is just a person in the marketing end of things but they know more than anyone else in the business which ways the company is leaning and where the optimism can be found. I'd say yes it's very good news - people read this stuff and it might just be the thing to make another group of curious folk look into film equipment.

    p.s. - looks like another round of discussions turned 'American'. Are we here because we like film or because we like the U.S. and want to support their workforce? Frankly speaking (as a Canadian ex-pat) I love my home country but that's not what this forum is about to me - when I want to support domestic issues I find other avenues than wearing the flag when I talk about photography. It just seems like a lot of good, important discussions are wasted here - personally I scroll through them until I find something relevant to photography.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2010
  25. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm skeptical.
    Talk is cheap. Saying one thing and doing the opposite isn't exactly new nor rare. They now talk about a resurgence, while taking a film off the market. Fighting talk to save face while on retreat.
    Whether that is good news?

    If there is a resurgence, would it be necessary to reduce the available choice in films?

    But wait and see, i tell myself.
     
  26. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,085
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I think there are plenty of other places where these freedoms may be exercised.


    Steve.