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View Full Version : It's official, Kodak is selling its film business.



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Ektagraphic
08-25-2012, 08:58 AM
Does Kodak have a buyer?

benjiboy
08-25-2012, 09:19 AM
I appreciate that Kodak is part of the fabric of American and indeed World photographic life, but all this gnashing of teeth and foaming at the mouth will not effect the eventual outcome one iota, and what we think and feel won't change a thing.

BrianShaw
08-25-2012, 11:41 AM
... and speaking of that...

[gnashing of teeth] And where's our government when we need them to save the fabric of American life? They stepped in an bailed out GM when all we really needed was a healthy Ford. I'll bet they would bail out Cocal Cola if Coca Cola needed bailing out. Oh, the humanity... [/gnashing of teeth]

SkipA
08-25-2012, 11:50 AM
My point exactly, they disappeared (long ago) and you didn't care, or even didn't knew them. As I said, all of them are long gone, and life went by. Kodak may disappear, but I doubt it will mean the end of the industry, or of course photography as I understand it. I do not know any single shop which only carries Kodak products. Any shop I have walked into so far selling Kodak has, at least, Ilford and Fuji. Right, worst case scenario they may have a couple of emulsions from Kodak, and just one from the others, but if I can buy it at the shop close to me, this is significant distribution. Most of the time photography shops (sorry, I do not buy my film at the grocery ;-) have a good variety to choose, and sometimes even online ordering is cheaper.

Put it this way, if Kodak doesn't find a buyer for the still film and paper business and it is halted, then it's another nail in the coffin for film. There will still be film produced by other companies, for as long as it is profitable, but demand for the films will continue to diminish over time. The loss of Kodak will not yield a bonanza for other film producers, nor will it increase the demand for film in general. That is the piont. The perception that film is dead and gone will solidify in the general public, fewer will shoot film, fewer will even think of it except as a old obsolete practice. Or if the thought of trying film occurs to them, many of them will not act on it because it will be so hard to find film for sale. And when they do find it, they'll have second thoughts when they see the price.

I don't buy my film in the grocery store either, but neither do I buy it at local camera stores, because for the most part, they don't sell film anymore. They sell digital cameras and accessories. Or they carry a limited range of products from Kodak and Fuji, mostly 35mm, some 120, and no sheet film, and they charge high prices for what little they carry. So I buy from the internet. But the amount of film you and I buy is pretty insignificant compared to the slow but constant flow of 35mm film at tens of thousands of grocery and drug stores.



Again, my point exactly ;-) WW young people are the ones that {will | should} keep the industry alive. I'm in my 20's and, around me, people says - if speaking about film at all - "let's do some lomography", no "let's go take the Kodak". I myself started in photography 20 years ago with a pretty simple camera loaded with Kodak Gold. Here I am, sad as everyone else, although it is long since I quit using Tri-X more than once in a blue moon I still use Portra 800 from time to time.

But, fact is that most young people goes into photography with digital cameras, children have mobile phones with cameras at the age when I had my old plastic camera. If they experiment with film, they may reckon Kodak as the maker of some sensors, if they are deep in the technical part. Otherwise, probably Fuji will have more name than Kodak to them, what with it being deep in the digital world.

This is of course the opposite for those of us having shot more than the odd roll of film, but I am under the impression that most of the people here at least doubles my age, and they will be happy to be able to shoot film for just 20 or 30 years more... Me, I'd rather use film for at least 50 to 60 years, please :cool:

What you don't seem to understand is that the other manufacturers of film are likely to experience reduction in demand if Kodak stops producing film. Film isn't advertised anymore, except on specialty web sites and magazines. There is barely a mention of film in general photography magazines any more, as they are all concerned with megapixels and sensor sizes. Out of sight, out of mind. Out of mind, out of sales. Kodak is still the largest producer of still camera film in the world. If Kodak stops producing film, the single most visible icon of film will be gone. Out of sight, out of mind, going, going, gone.



But really, I hate to be so negative. I'm got room in my freezer for a couple more boxes of sheet film. I'm thinking of Portra 160 and Ektar 100 in 4x5 and some more 8x10 Tri-X.

mikendawn
08-25-2012, 12:10 PM
Relax ... and shoot Tri-X

jnoir
08-25-2012, 12:19 PM
Good points, indeed. Time will tell :-)



What you don't seem to understand is that the other manufacturers of film are likely to experience reduction in demand if Kodak stops producing film. Film isn't advertised anymore, except on specialty web sites and magazines. There is barely a mention of film in general photography magazines any more, as they are all concerned with megapixels and sensor sizes. Out of sight, out of mind. Out of mind, out of sales. Kodak is still the largest producer of still camera film in the world. If Kodak stops producing film, the single most visible icon of film will be gone. Out of sight, out of mind, going, going, gone.


How much does Kodak invest in advertising their film explicitly? Maybe in the US they do, but that's just that, the US. Do you think that small difference will be that much relevant? How much does Ilford and Adox invest in marketing and branding? Will they increase that investment if Kodak is out of business? Too many questions... and on top of that I don't recall the last time I saw a Kodak ad for Portra, Ektar or Tri-X to name a few. Sure, there are plenty of faded stickers on the windows of the shops, but... I feel the general public already considers that Kodak is not making film any longer, since they are not using it and are not seeing it anymore. And still, youngsters turn to film and give it a try. I think there's hope. I WANT to think there's hope while I enjoy as much as I can for as long as I can :D



But really, I hate to be so negative. I'm got room in my freezer for a couple more boxes of sheet film. I'm thinking of Portra 160 and Ektar 100 in 4x5 and some more 8x10 Tri-X.


That's it, I'll do the same next week with 320TXP, while it lasts it is far more better to use it than to start moaning about its future :cool:

Steve Smith
08-25-2012, 12:28 PM
if Kodak doesn't find a buyer for the still film and paper business and it is halted, then it's another nail in the coffin for film.

And for Kodak. Actually, I think it would be a whole set of nails in Kodak's coffin if they did sell the film business.


Steve.

amsp
08-25-2012, 12:43 PM
It's a sad world we live in where companies who push around numbers on a screen get bailed out, but a company with a 130 year history of providing the world with the materials for creative expression is not. To my mind if we were ever to loose film all together it would be as tragic as loosing traditional painting in favor of Adobe software. I realize that the end of Kodak is not the end of film, but it would damn near be the end of color film, and I for one love me some Portra and Ektar.

I grew up shooting film but transitioned fully to digital in 2005 for professional reasons, only last year did I realize one didn't have to exclude the other. Also, it's clear to me now after about 8 months of shooting film again that digital is not a replacement, it's a complement. I see a certain soul in my film photos that is definitely missing in my digital ones. Hence, going forward when I'm shooting commercial stuff I reach for my PhaseOne back, but when I'm shooting editorial or lifestyle I'm just as likely to reach for my V-series Hassy loaded with Portra. I truly hope I will have this option for many years to come.

benjiboy
08-25-2012, 01:09 PM
They are only selling the film business if they can find a buyer, ask yourself this question, if you had or could borrow the financial resources to buy the Kodak film division in the current state of the photographic industry the economy, and photography in general would you ?

Ken Nadvornick
08-25-2012, 01:18 PM
Thank god Simon and the other managing partners at Ilford answered yes to that same question a few years back...

Ken

R.Gould
08-25-2012, 01:25 PM
They are only selling the film business if they can find a buyer, ask yourself this question, if you had or could borrow the financial resources to buy the Kodak film division in the current state of the photographic industry the economy, and photography in general would you ?

Simple awnser,Yes as I see a future in film

K-G
08-25-2012, 01:26 PM
Sal;

Also, Kodak requires highly skilled people for each and every operation. It is not like building a car, it is unique. So people are a major asset at EK. People are so critical that I knew of one product that was shut down for 6 months during the illness of the lead engineer. While a backup was being trained, no product was made. Of course, this was an error on the part of someone, but this kind of thing happens, and it illustrates the critical nature of each and every Kodak person.

PE

It gives me an extra good feeling to work with analogue film and photgraphic paper when I know how dependant it is on human beeings. Our everyday life is computer dependant enough as it is.

Karl-Gustaf

SkipA
08-25-2012, 01:26 PM
How much does Kodak invest in advertising their film explicitly? Maybe in the US they do, but that's just that, the US. Do you think that small difference will be that much relevant?

Kodak doesn't advertise film products on TV or billboards or in general interest magazines or online. They haven't done so for years. So there is no difference to be relevant. Film is already almost gone to most people, a part of history. The most common question I get when I'm out with my film cameras is "Can you still get film for that?"

What is relevant is the millions of consumers in the US who have film cameras and still buy film for birthdays, weddings, vacations, parties, etc. Yes, digital is very much in your face everywhere you go, but there are a lot of people who don't have cell phones or digital cameras. They are not big consumers of film individually, but they do buy enough collectively to persuade the grocery and drug stores to continue to stock at least one or two color negative films. That film is Kodak, 95% of the time. Fuji appears in the form of single-use cameras only. So when the Kodak film is no longer in the aisles at the store, it will be gone from the minds of the normal consumers who keep the sales going.

People like you and I may buy more film and more different types of film than the average consumer, but we are small in number, and so our sales do not amount to much.



How much does Ilford and Adox invest in marketing and branding? Will they increase that investment if Kodak is out of business?

In the US, zero. There is no marketing of film, period, unless you count internet ads on film-oriented web sites like this. But I don't, because the general public never sees it. Ilford and Adox and Fuji and Efke (until existing stocks run out) and Foma and the various repackaged private lable films are available on the internet to those who already know it exists. Ilford and Fuji can be found in some of the big remaining camera stores, if you are lucky enough to live near one.

I very much doubt that the small film manufacturers could affod to advertise their film products through traditional mass market outlets, so I doubt their investment in advertising will rise above the zero dollars spent on it today.



Too many questions... and on top of that I don't recall the last time I saw a Kodak ad for Portra, Ektar or Tri-X to name a few.

Exactly. Film is dead to a growing number of people already. The average consumer who still uses film cameras looks for it at the grocery and drug store, but others who use digital cameras and cell phones do not even see it.


Sure, there are plenty of faded stickers on the windows of the shops, but... I feel the general public already considers that Kodak is not making film any longer, since they are not using it and are not seeing it anymore.

Right. And that's not good for promoting future film sales, and it's a guaranteed recipe for further diminution of sales going forward.

I think retailers could do a better job of promoting the small amount of film they sell. I'm not a marketing person, but I'm sure that drawing attention to it would help sell more of it.



And still, youngsters turn to film and give it a try.

Fewer and fewer will. Out of sight, out of mind.



I think there's hope. I WANT to think there's hope while I enjoy as much as I can for as long as I can :D


That's it, I'll do the same next week with 320TXP, while it lasts it is far more better to use it than to start moaning about its future :cool:

Agree.

Steve Smith
08-25-2012, 01:27 PM
To my mind if we were ever to loose film all together.....

You don't want loose film. Keep it wound up tight or it will let the light in.


Steve.

Mustafa Umut Sarac
08-25-2012, 01:33 PM
I shoot color but however my best shots are bw. There are more Ilford sellers than the Kodak and I am fighting with Kodak Turkey since 1992 not bringing BW products to the market. They angered me very much. I dont see years of difference between 3 dollar negative films and FP4 is awesome. No Kodachrome , No Ektachrome , I dont lose too much after that if Kodak goes down. They milked the people for 130 years and thats enough.

markbarendt
08-25-2012, 01:33 PM
They are only selling the film business if they can find a buyer, ask yourself this question, if you had or could borrow the financial resources to buy the Kodak film division in the current state of the photographic industry the economy, and photography in general would you ?

Sure, there's still be money to be made.

The only real question for me would be "can the business and brand be bought and run at a cost that makes sense given current market conditions?"

benjiboy
08-25-2012, 01:50 PM
Sure, there's still be money to be made.

The only real question for me would be "can the business and brand be bought and run at a cost that makes sense given current market conditions?"
That's my point Mark, would you stake your children's inheritance on it ?.

Rafal Lukawiecki
08-25-2012, 02:32 PM
Should I give up the analog dream of creativity? [...] I just feel like the wind has just been taken out of my sails.

Don't give up. In the days of the early masters, for example Edward Weston in the 1920s, creativity was abundant, despite having far less choice of quality film, or other materials. Our chosen creative medium will work even without the extraordinary precision of Kodak's film, though, I sincerely hope, those materials do not vanish while they change their makers.

Prof_Pixel
08-25-2012, 03:01 PM
But, fact is that most young people goes into photography with digital cameras, children have mobile phones with cameras at the age when I had my old plastic camera.

I suspect very few now enter photography with digital cameras; rather, as you have noted, they start with a camera equipped smart phone.

mikendawn
08-25-2012, 03:10 PM
When you consider that Kodak has been in the film and camera business for 130+ years, and they decide to go and turn their line around and market solely for "Commercial Movie Film" and Commercial grade printing, leaving the consumer and prosumer market up in the air, it makes you wonder about the original company motto.

You take the picture, we do the rest....

They introduced the $1.00 camera to bring the camera into EVERYONES hands, not just a select few with a bit of disposable income, or those that saved up for a year to afford that one camera to use.
Sure, $1.00 was not exactly cheap when you were earning $0.04/hour, but when many cameras were $30, $40, or even $100, they were a dream come true!

Today, however, Kodak has seemingly flipped the coin and decided to completely forget about their grassroots and move to the beat of the Investors and Board of Directors, instead of listening to the masses (customers) demands. They've been doing this very thing for many years.
Their film division is modestly profitable, if not in the least BREAK EVEN, which means their supply is in line with the demand for their film.
But by selling it, their one department outside of Commerical Movie Film sales, that is at least profitable, will no longer be bringing in money for them, and leave them flopping around like a fish out of water.

Oh, and in response to my previous post of KODAK aiming at trying to stay profitable with CHEAP PRINTERS AND CHEAP INK and I was brutally told I was wrong...


Wow, are you wrong!

Kodak is not interested in the tiny home printers as a means of revenue, and in fact have considered selling it (or have already sold it), but I have not kept up with that end of EK.

What they are talking about are the big printers for producing books and other items having long runs. These printers are about the size of an automobile and can print hundreds of books in just a few minutes. This includes binding. In other words, POD.

PE



Well, guess what, right from the Horse's mouth

"Yes. We are taking the necessary steps to successfully emerge as a profitable, sustainable company. We are reshaping Kodak and continue to rebalance our company toward commercial, packaging and functional printing in which we have the broadest portfolio of solutions and enterprise services. These businesses have substantial long-term growth prospects worldwide and are core to the future of Kodak. Our competitive advantages in materials science and deposition technologies, as well as our know-how in digital imaging, will enable us to capitalize on those opportunities and extend our leadership in key growth markets.

In addition to the commercial, packaging and functional printing and enterprise services businesses, we will also continue to own and operate our Consumer Inkjet, Entertainment Imaging, Commercial Film, and Specialty Chemicals businesses given our strengths in these markets. "

http://www.kodak.com/ek/US/en/emergence-faq.htm

As stated before, they are planning on keeping their CRAP PRINTERS and CHEAP INK as a means of profit for their company.
I had already checked on the Kodak Website prior to posting what I posted, and never thought I'd have to defend my comment from the misinformed.

Yes, they are moving on to selling Printing Presses and large-scale printing means...

And in a world where E-BOOKS is becoming more and more popular, that's right in line with the current level of thinking going on with Kodak