The end for Kodak?

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by jerry lebens, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. jerry lebens

    jerry lebens Member

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    Forgive me if someone's already posted this, but it looks like Kodak has finally hit the buffers...

    http://techcrunch.com/
     
  2. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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  3. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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  4. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    It's just a way to sell their patents for more than they could get otherwise, all is well, stay calm. ;-)
     
  5. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Chapter 11 would at least mean they could continue to operate while reorganizing. It certainly wouldn't be a good sign, but it wouldn't automatically mean that any specific activity (like coating film) crashed to a halt.

    And as to what would come out the other end after a reorg, who knows? As people keep noting, their film division when looked at in isolation has been running a profit, so it seems like it could conceivably make sense to sell off or spin off in the course of bankruptcy proceedings. But I'm just speculating here---I know roughly as much about business organizations and finance as a turnip does.

    -NT
     
  6. And Nero played the fiddle???
     
  7. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

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    The laws of entropy being what they are, don't hold your breath.
     
  8. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Exactly a year after the death of Kodachrome.
     
  9. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    It doesn't sound good, I hope they pull it off.

    Jeff
     
  10. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    The Industry News forum is so grim I'm tempted to place it in my ignore folder.

    Does anyone want to hazard a (realistic) guess to a worst case and best case scenario for Kodak?
     
  11. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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  12. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    They took my Kodachrome away, but they BETTER NOT try to take away my Tri-X. I hope they sell the formula to Ilford or something.
     
  13. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Would Ilford want to take on making other B&W films which would likely only take sales from their own existing and similar product range? I've not seen any rush by other companies to pick up Pan-X, Plus-X, and all the other discontinued Kodak products. :sad:
     
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  15. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    If they would gain the tri-x customers along their existing customers I don't think they would complain. I hope Kodak will survive or find a good buyer for their film division. We'll see. There is always still Fuji, Ilford, Fome, Shanghai and so on. I think for us the magic word will be adaptation for the coming years.
     
  16. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

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    One word - Ilford. They went to the brink and were pulled back and streamlined. I believe the same will happen to Kodak.

    Mike
     
  17. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I agree...but Ilford might gain the Tri-X customers anyway with no extra effort, if HP4+ proves to be the best alternative to adapt to. Fuji remains, perhaps, the only other quality option (no offence to the smaller makers, who manufacture interesting and useful products, but, for total reliability and QC, Fuji and Ilford seem to enjoy the best reputations).
    Maybe the best we can hope for is a good buyer for the film division, who could use the Kodak branding to support a niche debt-free project on a small but sound financial basis.
     
  18. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    It is a very similar situation to Ilford....just on a rather larger scale!

    However the principles are the same - Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is very like "Administration" in the UK - it allows the business to re-organise and re-focus whilst disposing of debt.

    But, there is no confirmation yet as to whether this is going to happen and seems dependent on the patent sale.

    The best scenario for anyone interested in traditional products might well be bankruptcy protection because this could allow for the traditional manufacturing side of the business to be sold and developed.

    After Ilford emerged from Administration they just focused on what they do best, which is make B&W products. The story of the whole administration and the buying of the company is an incredible story, if ever you hear it from those who rescued the company - they should write it down one day. (...and we went into the office that had been occupied by the administrators and said "we want to buy the business" and they laughed at us..... - gripping stuff.)

    I'm sure people will come out of the woodwork to buy the component parts of Kodak should it come to it.

    Matt
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The sooner Kodak's admistration is taken away from the conrol of the current board of directors and the CEO in particular the better the chances for the survival of the coating division which is still profitable. Then the directors should be investigated for lining their own pockets.

    Ian
     
  20. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Get real. I know you said "should" be investigated. But it won't happen.
     
  21. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    if you speak with anyone in the photofinishing industry
    who runs a mini lab &c ... you will realize kodak has been on thin ice
    for a long long time ...

    i agree ian, but unfortunately, we don't live in a perfekt whirled.
     
  22. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    Another Car analogy however flawed:

    It's not like Cadillac or Lincoln picked up Duesenberg even though there were still customers that wanted the product even some 20-30 -40- and 70 years latter.... a few failed independent attempts, but nothing as good as the originals.

    I bought a brick of Tri-x in November from another dying institution... Central Camera on Wabash up in Chicago.
    They still write out your sales slip... and that was pissing me off because I was "over" on my meter outside and the guy was writing so slow.... then had to punch in my card manually on a 30 year old terminal.

    They did have a NOS Black Hasselblad 500cm kit for sale!!
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Some investigative journalists have already made quite damming accusation against a few of the directors over the past 2 or 3 years. But your probably right there may mot be a body in the US who are capable of carrying out an official investigation.

    Ian
     
  24. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    Central Camera is one of my favorite places to visit when I go to Chicago. Since I'm there to ride and photo the Loop trains, I don't have to worry about meters. :smile:


    Kent in SD
     
  25. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    I like Pan F a lot!
    I don't use Tri-x as much as I should.... T-Max won me over in 1987!!!
    Never cared much for HP5... it could never be rated as high as Tri-x lest my process at the time yielded thin negatives with high contrast.... and that blue colored base... maybe that was the problem?

    Funny 8 years ago we in the professional ranks were still wondering if digital will make the grade... now seems like our hand will be forced regardless or any hold-out opinions!
     
  26. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    And has little to do with Kodak's financial issues.

    99.999% of their customer base went to digital despite Kodak being one of the most recognized brands with a staggering powerful marketing structure and film an iconic product in its own right. Until about 5 years ago Kodak seemed to be handing the transition to digital quite well and has one of the largest patent portfolios for digital in the imaging industry.

    But the near total collapse of film sales came about much faster than anticipated and management started making some dreadful, ad hoc decisions, like trying to be a printer company at the same time as online sharing was just taking off, and bungling Kodak Gallery which initially was a much better system than Flickr. Management was counting on a revenue stream from film sales that literally went down by 90% over about 16 business quarters.

    Anything a few Directors said or did during that timeframe would not have stopped those losses. The consumers voted in massive numbers, quickly, and irrevocably. Sometimes a market moves and no management can keep up or have such perfect foresight. This was not a situation where better marketing or even pricing could have helped. The entire cultural zeitgeist has changed, permanently. Film has no ability to compete against digital in the mass market.

    Ironically, I think film can survive so long as it develops itself as a niche, "old school" product with certain look and historic appeal. Anyone who does purchase Kodak's film assets (and they will get them for near nothing as the revenues are in freefall with no known bottom) would be wise to go back to Kodak's original slogan: " You press the button, we do the rest". Ilford's tactic here is interesting with their mail-in system (although it is horrendously expensive for shipping). There is nowhere near enough home developing hobbyist demand to sustain industrial production lines for emulsions for 135 and 120, especially with virtually no new film cameras being made in any mass market quantity (Lomography sort of the exception, and more like a vulture than a pollinator). Any new investor will likely need to square that circle. Perhaps a white knight might come from the motion picture side of things?

    Interesting times.