Will Kodak be King...again?

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

  1. david b

    david b Member

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    I'm starting to think that Kodak is going to be king of the b&w world very soon.

    With the latest Agfa and Ilford news, and Kodak's new black and white paper, they are starting to look like they might come out on top. Again.
     
  2. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Fingers crossed David.
     
  3. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    At the LF conference in April, the Kodak rep said they internally had been shocked that the sales of their color film had risen. They had thought it was dying. He also predicted that within 5 years the market will have calmed down and there would be a large resurgence with people coming back to film. It is a trickle now, but a growing trickle.

    Ok call me overly optimistic. It is better than a pity party.
     
  4. George Losse

    George Losse Member

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    David,

    The world is a strange and wonderful place. It could happen......

    But with Kodak's prices on film?????????
    I wouldn't think they would be king again.

    Are their films three to five times better then others?
    They are often priced three to five times the price of other films.
     
  5. bmac

    bmac Member

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    In my opinion, with TMY, the answer is yes.
     
  6. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Maybe they'll reintroduce Panatomic X. :surprised:
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've read that the neg in Polaroid type 55 is Panatomic-X. It does have that look, but it seems odd that they would still make it for Polaroid, but wouldn't sell it as ordinary film.
     
  8. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Kodak is weird about marketing films. I spent 2 months talking to a marketing person about getting a custom order of 12x20 Tmax400. This would have been over $10,000 worth of film, and we had the commitments. It was all 'yes, sure, we can do that', but in the end, a bean counter up the chain decided that it was too much trouble to create a new catalog number for the film in that size. So we ended up with Tri-X, but strangely enough, they did not even bother to put it in 12x20 film boxes. They just slapped new labels on some old 16x20 paper boxes that they had. I don't really mind this except that I think it is an indication that they are not terribly concerned with what we really want. The prevailing attitude seems to be that we should learn to like what they want to give us, thus the 'we suggest Tmax100 as a replacement' for (take your pick) a) copy film b) tech pan c) plus-x d) verichrome pan
     
  9. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Tmax100 certainly sounds like a miracle film...
     
  10. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon,

    Worth three to five times more? Probably not, but T-Max 100, if not a "miracle film," is certainly excellent--and extremely flexible with varied development. Can't disagree with Brian on TMY; it's a big improvement on Tri-X, especially in 35mm and 120, but it's TMX I'd real hate to lose.

    Konical
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    On top, again ? Kodak have always been the back runner here in Europe. Ok their films are on a level pegging with others, and I use TMX100 in all formats, but their papers certainly aren't, and never have been.

    I do like Agfa APX100 (ISO 100) when available but get almost identical results from Kodak's 50 ISO film Tmax 100 - see all John Sextons essays on T-max films !

    If the worst were to happen some of the former Eastern Block cointries produce far nicer and more versatile papers than Kodak IMHO
     
  12. DKT

    DKT Member

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    well--actually--if you buy enough, it's not that expensive....our contract prices have changed a bit over the past few years, mostly due to a new purchasing system, but we used to get film, paper & chemistry at 80% off. Even now, the price of E6 is lower than the hazmat fee. Everything's lower than what a consumer pays off the street--just because of the large quantities. Polaroid, fuji, ilford etc. It's all about even.....there are probably more kodak materials used than anything though. They're so entrenched in industrial/gov't labs it's hard to believe there's even any other manufacturers of film & paper....
     
  13. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    Kodak's US prices are mostly marketing. They think they can get more here, so they charge more and do get more. For example, B&H sells TMax 100 24 exp, 35mm for:

    $3.39 for US made for US consumption
    $2.49 for US made for export
    $2.19 for imported.

    So the real difference in US production cost is $0.30?

    Charlie
     
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  15. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I buy Tri X 135-36 that was made in the USA, Finished in England and imported back to the US for more than a dollar less per roll than Tri X that was made and stayed here.

    You figure it out... I can't.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Now thats not what I meant, Kodak papers are of a different quality. As far as I'm aware Kodak don't import Azo papers into the UK. Far fewer people here use large format and particularly 10x8 and larger. There are a lot of good papers on the market in Europe and choice is ultimately a very personal preferance

    It's more that Kodaks range of papers has never been as common here and the availability variable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2004
  17. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Clay wrote, "So we ended up with Tri-X, but strangely enough, they did not even bother to put it in 12x20 film boxes. They just slapped new labels on some old 16x20 paper boxes that they had. I don't really mind this except that I think it is an indication that they are not terribly concerned with what we really want."

    You're upset that you talked Kodak into doing a custom run for you because they did not use the "right" size of box for packaging? Perhaps next time you need to include the box design into your negotiations and see how much having custom made 12x20 boxes adds to the price of the run. I suspect you will be wishing they had just slapped the film into some of those 16x20 boxes they have laying around already...
     
  18. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    Sorry, but Elvis will ALWAYS be the King!
     
  19. ElrodCod

    ElrodCod Member

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    Kodak is still in the game. Didn't they recently strike an accord with Lucky Film in China? IIRC they bought a 15% interest.
     
  20. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Just for the record, Kodak Polymax FB fine art is superb and can go toes to toe with Oriental Seagul VCFB any day of the week IMHO!
     
  21. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I haven't used Oriental in years but Polymax FB is a beautiful paper. I've stopped using anything else.
     
  22. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Funny thing about our culture - If you asked a mother what she would run into her house for if it was on fire, she would say the photo albums. They are the only thing that cannot be replaced. Now we have a few years of mom shooting digi and what artifact does she have? Is she going to dash in for her CPU or a stack of CDs? Digi mom can go to Wallyworld and get a chem print off of their memory sticks but how well is this really catching on? It adds a step .. she might pick some good ones and print those. There really is a gap showing up in our historical record now though. Even the bad prints survived to show us the unwashed side of our experience. Now those images just get deleted. 35mm is really easy for the moms though - the battery is rarely dead. No downloading or sorting through - NO CHIMPING. Just take the roll to the local photo lab and in an hour a stack of prints. Plus the cameras are quite powerful, affordable and available. I really do see that many will come back to emulsion. Does that mean we get to keep FP4, Techpan and APX100? Likely not. At least there will be one or two survivors.

    Another wierd thing - Almost every other art type has a stable supply of materials for artists to embrace. You don't learn that red oil paint is no longer going to be made. What about us? Our art is tied to a small cadre of companies trying to weather this storm and with some sinking, we will certainly have to be more adaptable than other artists. I am not looking forward to a shinking number of choices.

    ... oh - in a burning building - I go would go for the negatives.
     
  23. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    My intent was not to 'whine', just to point out that only two years ago when I placed the same kind of order, they had enough corporate pride in their product to care what it looked like when it went out the door. It is an observation, not a frickin' complaint.

    I think it is a valid data point illustrating what they as a company consider important. The message seems to be "I'll do something as long as it doesn't take a lot of effort. Frankly I could not give a sh** what sort of box the stuff came in, but I do care about what I see as a decline in Kodak's interest in their traditional product line. My interpretation of this small thing is that it indicates it may not take much of a reason at all for Kodak to just kill off the sheet film business completely.
     
  24. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    Two years ago (I think it was 2) we had this exact situation... Grass fire fanned by strong winds heading straight for our house. I was out (buying ink for the inkjet printer!) and my wife loaded up the car with her negatives (mostly pics of the kids), my negatives (all in folders) and various legal documents. She's quite organised and keeps the negs in boxes. Afterwards we identified a bit of a problem.. there were so many she only just got them into the car! She didn't get several boxes of older photos (with negs) that are from our pre-organised days. I got home and wasn't confident I could lay my hands on my last computer backup (or what had happened since when I'd last done it) so pulled all the cables from the PC and stuffed the CPU box in my car. At this stage the fire brigade had arrived and setup in our backyard (we invited them in cause we figured they'd be in the right spot to protect our house!) and the need to exacuate had passed.

    From this we have organised some of our things a bit better, made a list of things to grab, but still have to organise a few things... including...

    Digicam files! Bought one recently to see how it would fit in with my wifes rampant photographing the kids (she averages about 40 rolls a year). At the moment we've got 500+ files on the PC that I have yet got around to backing up or getting printed. I think about it often enough but just can't find the inclination to do a final edit before saving to CD.

    Along the same lines of disappearing memories, my wifes parents are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this weekend. We've knocked together a slide show covering their 40years of marriage because we happen to have their collection of Kodachromes! Using 40-50yo digital technology... that will be interesting! I'll probably get off my lazy butt and save my digifiles and re-copy them now and then. However, most people don't seem to care so it may not be a problem for them. Of those that do care, they think a CD-R is permanent...

    And... those Kodachromes look pretty good! The Ektachomes and others haven't fared too well with significant colour shifts and fading. Just the other day I read where Kodak are no longer selling Kodachrome in Australia, and any that you want processed has to go to Switzerland with a approx 6 week turnaround.. and I was just about to go back to Kodachrome as I don't have great faith in E6 even if they have advanced the longevity... don't really know... only time will tell!
     
  25. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    D******l Saves Lives!

    No reason risk your life dashing into a burning building to save some CD R/Ws that are just going to decay in a few years anyway.
     
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    huh ...
    i was told that the only film acutally made in the usa is fuji film ... the base is made here in rhode island, and shipped to north carolina where it is coated and loaded into 35mm cartridges &C ...

    oops, i think i just answered my own question ... that is COlor film, not BLack and WHite ...

    nevermind :smile: