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CGW
05-15-2012, 01:22 PM
I think that has to be business double speak.

Certainly they had to be able to make smaller batches and runs for research and development.

And certainly, the production runs had to meet the standards set by the pilot runs.

I have worked inside enough huge American corporations (and seen and heard plenty of confidential information) to know they lie a lot. (well, mostly lie)

The problem is once they scale up they can never imagine scaling down.

Isn't it obvious by now this just won't work? Even if Kodak made an attempt, the scaled-down capacity would still likely prove uneconomical--technical issues aside. Demand is still falling. How can you right-size production with no certainty about demand? That's the problem--not management probity. Saying what ever you like about Kodak's rat bastard management won't alter the collapse of demand for film.

wblynch
05-15-2012, 02:04 PM
I look for solutions, not capitulation.

CGW
05-15-2012, 02:54 PM
I look for solutions, not capitulation.

I guess you're still looking since all you've done is call (Kodak's) management inept liars. That's a solution?

Have a look at EK's Q1 results.

wblynch
05-15-2012, 03:18 PM
How one can live their life on a permanent downer is confusing to me. But I choose to live in sunlight.

If EK won't do it, someone else will. There are optimists in the world. Maybe all they need is big yellow to roll over and get out of the way.

The concept that profits can not be made on a smaller scale will be proven wrong by boutique makers.

CGW
05-15-2012, 03:40 PM
How one can live their life on a permanent downer is confusing to me. But I choose to live in sunlight.

If EK won't do it, someone else will. There are optimists in the world. Maybe all they need is big yellow to roll over and get out of the way.

The concept that profits can not be made on a smaller scale will be proven wrong by boutique makers.

Ilford is about as "boutique" as it gets, scale-wise. EK isn't Ilford. Optimism=wishful thinking in this case. The film market is slipping away. E6 is dead. C-41 materials will suffer badly if/when MP sales fall further. Ask Photo Engineer about the likelihood of "boutique makers" giving you what you want at a price you'd be willing to pay. Magical thinking isn't a solution.

Look at the EK Q1 results.

Brian C. Miller
05-15-2012, 04:10 PM
If EK won't do it, someone else will. There are optimists in the world. Maybe all they need is big yellow to roll over and get out of the way.

The concept that profits can not be made on a smaller scale will be proven wrong by boutique makers.

Kodak already rolled over and died on E6. We'll never see Kodak E6 again. What will happen if Fuji rolls over and dies, too? Will Rollei Digibase (rebranded aerial film) still be manufactured? I have no idea, Rollei film might be cut from existing master rolls, with no new stock being made. I only know that the current "boutique" manufacturer is Rollei, and the "big dog" is Fuji, and the "dead dog" is Kodak.

RattyMouse
05-15-2012, 04:43 PM
Given a population of 24 million I'd expect that. Friends at Fudan tell me anyone with sufficient cash tends to throw it at digital, much like N. America, but there's a large rear guard. They think prices are high on used film gear and tell me it doesn't move that quickly. What's your take?

I think all of the above is true. Digital is by far the most common camera here in China. The film stores and used analogue stores have nowhere near the traffic that the digital ones do. Yet they are still there, with folks making their living off selling film cameras. So there must be enough traffic to support them. The sheer variety of film cameras one can buy here is amazing. Probably any model you can think of.

I'm still outside this game, trying to decide how or if to enter. I grew up shooting film and would like to do so again, with a very nice film camera, not something cheap. I constantly get close to buying a Fuji GF670 but always back away because it is not clear film (or more likely processing) will be available for the life of this camera. I wish I had a crystal ball.......

Diapositivo
05-15-2012, 04:56 PM
I'm still outside this game, trying to decide how or if to enter. I grew up shooting film and would like to do so again, with a very nice film camera, not something cheap. I constantly get close to buying a Fuji GF670 but always back away because it is not clear film (or more likely processing) will be available for the life of this camera. I wish I had a crystal ball.......

The life of that camera is going to be much longer than yours, or mine. Life is short. So, if you want to use film, my humble and respectful advice is just buy the camera, use film. By using it, you'll increase a tiny bit the probability that film survives. And when film is out of the woods, you'll be able to say "I was there, I was one of those who saved film for future generations" (put some emphasis ;) ).

By not using it, you are just hoping somebody else will keep film alive for you. And if and when film is clearly out of the woods and soundly rebounding, that Fuji GF670 will become much more expensive, film will be available, but the camera will be out of reach :(

So, do the right thing! Just do it! :)

PS I think that even CGW will agree that black & white film will be there for decades. It's colour which is at risk.

Diapositivo
05-15-2012, 05:04 PM
I think that has to be business double speak.

Certainly they had to be able to make smaller batches and runs for research and development.



I agree, but pilot batches only aim at showing the actual working of the product, without being constrained by cost or availability. A pilot batch can be more expensive but the final production could be less expensive.

It might be that certain products are easily available in small batches but not in large batches (because factories currently producing them don't supply huge quantities and Kodak doesn't want to start production themselves, let's say), and that other products are available in large quantities and cost less, so that the kind of chemical products used is decided having consideration for the productive scale.

I'm thinking maybe it's a bit like using aluminium or fiberglass: fiberglass is easier in the laboratory, but not easy to manufacture in large batches, whereas aluminium or steel is more complicated in the laboratory, but it's easier to produce in mass scale.

RattyMouse
05-15-2012, 05:27 PM
The life of that camera is going to be much longer than yours, or mine. Life is short. So, if you want to use film, my humble and respectful advice is just buy the camera, use film. By using it, you'll increase a tiny bit the probability that film survives. And when film is out of the woods, you'll be able to say "I was there, I was one of those who saved film for future generations" (put some emphasis ;) ).

By not using it, you are just hoping somebody else will keep film alive for you. And if and when film is clearly out of the woods and soundly rebounding, that Fuji GF670 will become much more expensive, film will be available, but the camera will be out of reach :(

So, do the right thing! Just do it! :)

PS I think that even CGW will agree that black & white film will be there for decades. It's colour which is at risk.

You are right of course. I am primarily a color shooter so the fact that B & W will be around for the long haul is less than satisfactory a reason for me.

My big fear is being forced to accept digital (ink jet) prints from my negatives. I have NO experience in what those will look like compared to analogue and fear that I will not be happy with that. Your take?

wblynch
05-15-2012, 05:35 PM
True, but consider for discussion... Economic models show a cost (say per roll of 25 cents). Using the large scale system they're used to, they can figure the 25 cents base plus advertising (ha) distribution, fixed plant costs, labor costs, money costs, profit, shareholder equity, amortized write offs and all those factors to come up with a retail price and predicted volume. (say $3.50)

Now, change the formula so the base cost of the film is no longer 25 cents but 75 cents. For you and I it makes sense to raise the retail price to $4.25 and all is well.

But in their mind it needs to go to $10.50 to keep their spreadsheets going and now it's out of reason.



I agree, but pilot batches only aim at showing the actual working of the product, without being constrained by cost or availability. A pilot batch can be more expensive but the final production could be less expensive.

It might be that certain products are easily available in small batches but not in large batches (because factories currently producing them don't supply huge quantities and Kodak doesn't want to start production themselves, let's say), and that other products are available in large quantities and cost less, so that the kind of chemical products used is decided having consideration for the productive scale.

CGW
05-15-2012, 06:28 PM
I think all of the above is true. Digital is by far the most common camera here in China. The film stores and used analogue stores have nowhere near the traffic that the digital ones do. Yet they are still there, with folks making their living off selling film cameras. So there must be enough traffic to support them. The sheer variety of film cameras one can buy here is amazing. Probably any model you can think of.

I'm still outside this game, trying to decide how or if to enter. I grew up shooting film and would like to do so again, with a very nice film camera, not something cheap. I constantly get close to buying a Fuji GF670 but always back away because it is not clear film (or more likely processing) will be available for the life of this camera. I wish I had a crystal ball.......

Get the Fuji. Get something MF and start shooting, OK? I went on a buying spree when prices were down in late 07 and built kits I liked in 645/6x6/6x7 over the next 2-3 years for very little $. Would I buy more now? No. Would I start shooting MF now? Yes. Friends and the guanxi web will direct you to good processing and printing. Hybrid is where most of us are going--like it or not. My great little local pro lab finally stopped scanning early this year, so I'm piling up negs and trans while I figure out scanning options. Not all inkjet is crap. DIY b&w isn't punishing(even saw an AP dev tank in your store pix). Get off the fence and try it. Make the best of the film situation in Shanghai and shoot Shanghai. Drag a camera to Suzhou--a friend got great stuff with his Shen Hao 4x5 there last month.

My take, especially with film? Drink up. Miss less and shoot all you can.

chuck94022
05-15-2012, 06:41 PM
Probably more than in most places. Shanghai has a very active used camera market. And a very active film users group.

I walk by stores that have dozens of Contax G2's lined up. Dozens of Contax film SLR's and lenses. Hundreds of Canon's, Nikon's, folders, Rollie's, Seagulls, you name it, it can be bought here. The main camera mall here has several floors of used gear with a huge amount of that analogue equipment.

How's this for a sight for this group?

51036

Film is alive and well here in Beijing. This past weekend I was shooting large format at the Ancient Observatory, a must see little attraction for tourists, because almost no one goes there (it is an oasis of calm in a massive city). As I was setting up a shot, a Chinese tourist wandered by. Hanging around his neck was an Olympus 35RD!

He got a big thumbs up from me!

RattyMouse
05-15-2012, 08:35 PM
Get the Fuji. Get something MF and start shooting, OK? I went on a buying spree when prices were down in late 07 and built kits I liked in 645/6x6/6x7 over the next 2-3 years for very little $. Would I buy more now? No. Would I start shooting MF now? Yes. Friends and the guanxi web will direct you to good processing and printing. Hybrid is where most of us are going--like it or not. My great little local pro lab finally stopped scanning early this year, so I'm piling up negs and trans while I figure out scanning options. Not all inkjet is crap. DIY b&w isn't punishing(even saw an AP dev tank in your store pix). Get off the fence and try it. Make the best of the film situation in Shanghai and shoot Shanghai. Drag a camera to Suzhou--a friend got great stuff with his Shen Hao 4x5 there last month.

My take, especially with film? Drink up. Miss less and shoot all you can.


Thanks for the encouragement!! Your enthusiasm is infectious.

RattyMouse
05-15-2012, 08:38 PM
Film is alive and well here in Beijing. This past weekend I was shooting large format at the Ancient Observatory, a must see little attraction for tourists, because almost no one goes there (it is an oasis of calm in a massive city). As I was setting up a shot, a Chinese tourist wandered by. Hanging around his neck was an Olympus 35RD!

He got a big thumbs up from me!


I have not been to Beijing in years. I have to get up there sometime as I am burning out on Shanghai.

Do you shoot medium format? What (135mm) effective focal length do you shoot if yes?

Diapositivo
05-16-2012, 02:30 AM
My big fear is being forced to accept digital (ink jet) prints from my negatives. I have NO experience in what those will look like compared to analogue and fear that I will not be happy with that. Your take?

The general consensus in the forum, supported by the opinion of competent people like PE, is that for various reasons colour negatives are much less at risk than slide film. Black & White is totally out of extinction risk, colour negative is closely observed, slide film is on the Appendix I of CITES ;)

Regarding printing, you will always be able to print colour negatives to chemical papers using laboratories which use machines like the Durst Lambda. Those machines scan the negative, obtain a digital image which they use to project coloured light on the photographic paper (just like an enlarger would do) which is then developed chemically. It's a hybrid process which belong to this forum as most participants just ignore that when they bring their negative film to be developed and printed the most likely occurrence is that the printing is hybrid.

Actually I suspect a Durst Lambda is able to print a positive with just the same ease as it prints a negative. Those machines are not produced any more but should certainly remain working for many years. Besides, production can resume one day. It's like with film cameras: new ones are scarcely produced now because the second-hand market satisfies the demand.

I think you can buy that GF670 with high confidence that you will be able to use it with black & white and with colour negatives and have them printed on chemical papers for many years to come.

Zewrak
05-16-2012, 03:07 AM
True, but consider for discussion... Economic models show a cost (say per roll of 25 cents). Using the large scale system they're used to, they can figure the 25 cents base plus advertising (ha) distribution, fixed plant costs, labor costs, money costs, profit, shareholder equity, amortized write offs and all those factors to come up with a retail price and predicted volume. (say $3.50)

Now, change the formula so the base cost of the film is no longer 25 cents but 75 cents. For you and I it makes sense to raise the retail price to $4.25 and all is well.

But in their mind it needs to go to $10.50 to keep their spreadsheets going and now it's out of reason.

Well here a roll cost you 7$ now, we still buy. We will still buy at 10$.

CGW
05-16-2012, 07:08 AM
The general consensus in the forum, supported by the opinion of competent people like PE, is that for various reasons colour negatives are much less at risk than slide film. Black & White is totally out of extinction risk, colour negative is closely observed, slide film is on the Appendix I of CITES ;)

Regarding printing, you will always be able to print colour negatives to chemical papers using laboratories which use machines like the Durst Lambda. Those machines scan the negative, obtain a digital image which they use to project coloured light on the photographic paper (just like an enlarger would do) which is then developed chemically. It's a hybrid process which belong to this forum as most participants just ignore that when they bring their negative film to be developed and printed the most likely occurrence is that the printing is hybrid.

Actually I suspect a Durst Lambda is able to print a positive with just the same ease as it prints a negative. Those machines are not produced any more but should certainly remain working for many years. Besides, production can resume one day. It's like with film cameras: new ones are scarcely produced now because the second-hand market satisfies the demand.

I think you can buy that GF670 with high confidence that you will be able to use it with black & white and with colour negatives and have them printed on chemical papers for many years to come.

The big Durst Lambdas are great but they're large, expensive, and require pricey contract-bound service. Lab owner friends went with a new Fuji dry system that's very impressive after retiring their Lambda.

jp498
05-16-2012, 08:25 AM
You are right of course. I am primarily a color shooter so the fact that B & W will be around for the long haul is less than satisfactory a reason for me.

My big fear is being forced to accept digital (ink jet) prints from my negatives. I have NO experience in what those will look like compared to analogue and fear that I will not be happy with that. Your take?

Sounds like you're fearing uncertainty more than actual results.

Inkjet results vary quite a bit depending on the output material and operator skills. They can put out crap or they can put out imagery that looks like platinum of 100 years ago or the most contemporary color. I think they lack slightly in emulating actual silver prints.. But I like B&W darkroom, so I stick with analog printing of most of my film.

Color film especially c41 is still a wonderful capture medium you should be willing to use, knowing you can do either analog or hybrid or fully digital output.

Mainecoonmaniac
05-16-2012, 10:10 AM
Yes inkjet can look pretty good. What I've seen lately from most hobby photog's injet prints are over saturated, saccharine images. The attitude of "more color the better" and "The bigger the better". I've owned 3 Epson printers. They crap out way too soon. It seems that the days of E-6 are numbered and I hope C-41 neg film will survive. The is still at least RA chemistry and paper still available.