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



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Photo Engineer
08-31-2012, 03:16 PM
Unfortunately, once the former middle class becomes an underclass, they become desperate, an easy herd to spook, panic, and stampede exactly the opposite direction from the pasture they need.
Congress is in deliberate gridlock, convicted stock market crooks pay fines less than a sales tax on
their illegal earnings, etc ... So what do I plan to do? Put more real film in my freezer and get back
out on the trail ASAP where at least the world of coyotes, squirrels, marmots, and pikas is still sane!

Drew, we are having a spate of rabies here so even the wildlife cannot be trusted!

PE

SkipA
08-31-2012, 03:17 PM
Trying to make film cheap is the wrong tactic. Make it as good as possible, make it the thing to shoot, make it popular, and people will pay for it. You're never going to compete with the marginal cost per shot of digital, which is basically free once the equipment is purchased. So don't try. If people want it they will pay what it costs (I am not talking, obviously, about $50 a roll and another $50 for processing or anything like that - within reason) and if more and more people want it there will be competition and economies of scale and the price will come down, at least some. That can happen, but obviously not to the degree of the old days.

I disagree Roger. Even if it is as good as possible, the thing to shoot, and popular, most people, even many die-hard film lovers, will not spend $20 (your example cost of film, processing, and shipping, which doesn't even include scans or prints) per 36 exposure roll to shoot it. The full cost of getting images (prints or scans) from film must be very cheap and the products must be very well advertised before it can hope to regain popularity.

The reality is that you do have to compete with the marginal cost per shot of digital in order for film to make a comeback. The majority of the advantages for most people lie with digital. Digital cameras capable of excellent images are inexpensive and within nearly everyone's reach, there is no cost of film and processing, no waiting for processing and scans or printing, no cost disincentive to clicking off hundreds of snaps a day, virtually for free.

And that is why film will never be mainstream again.

RattyMouse
08-31-2012, 04:50 PM
Rather an interesting thought--if USA becomes 3rd world, then our labor rates will go down, companies will move production here to take advantage, competition for employment will rise, and pay scale will increase.

Charlie Strack

Already happening. Mercedes and BMW built plants in the US because labor rates are waaay lower than in Germany.

RattyMouse
08-31-2012, 04:52 PM
Brian;

Kodak can coat master rolls faster than one per day. They can make enough for the whole world in one day!!

Charlie;

If the US becomes a 3rd world country, there will be a learning curve to climb back up just like any other country. Education first, along with food.

The list goes on.

PE

PE, is that really true? Kodak can make 1 year's worth of film in a single day??? If yes, there is no hope that Kodak can ever downsize enough. Too sad!

DREW WILEY
08-31-2012, 05:07 PM
Ron - the rabies outbreaks seem to be a natural way of controlling overpopulation of certain species
on odd years. This year there's a problem among foxes on our mid-coast. Other years it's been skunks, bobcats, or bats. I just wish some hedge fund manager would get it and go around biting all
his Wall St buddies! That crowd could use some thinning.

Chan Tran
08-31-2012, 05:10 PM
I think the Kodak film division would be bought by a chinese company if it would be sold at all. I don't like the fact but that is what I think will happen because I don't have the money to buy the business nor any of us here.

zsas
08-31-2012, 05:15 PM
Drew, we are having a spate of rabies here so even the wildlife cannot be trusted!

PE

No kidding...

Rabid beaver attack: Boy Scouts troop leader attacked, Scouts stone animal to death
http://www.wtsp.com/news/watercooler/article/268046/58/Scouts-stone-rabid-beaver-to-death-after-attack

Photo Engineer
08-31-2012, 06:57 PM
PE, is that really true? Kodak can make 1 year's worth of film in a single day??? If yes, there is no hope that Kodak can ever downsize enough. Too sad!

There is an old story (about 20 years or so old) that the National Geographic photo division were visiting EK and they asked about Kodachrome. They used a LOT of it back then and wondered how long it took for Kodak to coat their years supply. The tour guide told them "we just did". It took about 15' to coat the years supply of Kodachrome for Nat. Geog.

So yes, Kodak can coat a years supply of certain products in just a few minutes. It depends on individual demand. E6 films was one of the product types that had very low demand, and Kodachrome was another. Kodak was coating Kodachrome once every 2 years (IIRC) at the end. They were coating enough in one day to supply the world with Kodachrome for 2 years.

Now, understand, coating time is NOT prep time. For example, for nine weeks before the run, nine emulsions are made and tested and then combined and tested. Sensitizing dyes and other items are tested, so basically it required say 2 - 4 minths of prep for a day of work making the material. This is why film making is deceptive.

PE

Ektagraphic
08-31-2012, 07:02 PM
Are there any ideas of people that may actually be interested in buying this division of Kodak?

RattyMouse
08-31-2012, 07:24 PM
There is an old story (about 20 years or so old) that the National Geographic photo division were visiting EK and they asked about Kodachrome. They used a LOT of it back then and wondered how long it took for Kodak to coat their years supply. The tour guide told them "we just did". It took about 15' to coat the years supply of Kodachrome for Nat. Geog.

So yes, Kodak can coat a years supply of certain products in just a few minutes. It depends on individual demand. E6 films was one of the product types that had very low demand, and Kodachrome was another. Kodak was coating Kodachrome once every 2 years (IIRC) at the end. They were coating enough in one day to supply the world with Kodachrome for 2 years.

Now, understand, coating time is NOT prep time. For example, for nine weeks before the run, nine emulsions are made and tested and then combined and tested. Sensitizing dyes and other items are tested, so basically it required say 2 - 4 minths of prep for a day of work making the material. This is why film making is deceptive.

PE

Fascinating PE, just fascinating. There is no way that the general public can ever appreciate the ground breaking technology that Kodak developed in coating.

Question, how large of a batch was a typical coating run? I'm talking about the volume of chemicals mixed together to form the emulsion. Were they prepared in a mixing kettle or a reaction vessel?

kb3lms
08-31-2012, 07:54 PM
Corrections:


Question, how large of a batch was a typical coating run?

Question, how large of a batch IS a typical coating run?


Were they prepared in a mixing kettle or a reaction vessel?

ARE they prepared in a mixing kettle or a reaction vessel?

The fat lady might be warming up but she hasn't sung just yet! :laugh:

Sirius Glass
08-31-2012, 08:00 PM
Are you asking about how long each roll is or are you asking how many rolls each batch of each emulsion coats?

Photo Engineer
08-31-2012, 08:01 PM
Are there any ideas of people that may actually be interested in buying this division of Kodak?

Many rumors flying here!!! ;)

kb3lms
08-31-2012, 08:01 PM
I think he's asking about amount of emulsion in liters. But actually any and all statistics would be interesting to know.

Photo Engineer
08-31-2012, 08:08 PM
For B&W, you have emulsion + gelatin + finals in one kettle, big enough for a run. Minimum run is 1 master roll. The melt, as it is called, is pumped to the coating machine through insulated SS pipes. There is more of this than will make a master roll. This is line fill and startup. You coat more than a master roll for a similar reason, startup. You need 3 master rolls to coat one master roll due to leader and machine threading.

Between each product the equipment must be purged and cleaned or it will clog the lines or contaminate the next run. The machine must be reconditioned for drying in terms of heat and humidity as each product takes different drying conditions. If support changes, the machine leader must be changed and the equipment re-gapped or tensioned for the new support (35mm is 5 mil and 4x5 is 7 mil as examples).

The list of things is long, but there is a lead in to each different product. The schedule is adjusted to group related or similar products together.

PE

RattyMouse
08-31-2012, 08:40 PM
Corrections:



Question, how large of a batch IS a typical coating run?



ARE they prepared in a mixing kettle or a reaction vessel?

The fat lady might be warming up but she hasn't sung just yet! :laugh:

I was asking about PE's time during Kodak, not today. I am sure batch sizes during PE's time were much larger than today.

RattyMouse
08-31-2012, 08:41 PM
For B&W, you have emulsion + gelatin + finals in one kettle, big enough for a run. Minimum run is 1 master roll. The melt, as it is called, is pumped to the coating machine through insulated SS pipes. There is more of this than will make a master roll. This is line fill and startup. You coat more than a master roll for a similar reason, startup. You need 3 master rolls to coat one master roll due to leader and machine threading.

Between each product the equipment must be purged and cleaned or it will clog the lines or contaminate the next run. The machine must be reconditioned for drying in terms of heat and humidity as each product takes different drying conditions. If support changes, the machine leader must be changed and the equipment re-gapped or tensioned for the new support (35mm is 5 mil and 4x5 is 7 mil as examples).

The list of things is long, but there is a lead in to each different product. The schedule is adjusted to group related or similar products together.

PE

What volume of fluid was in the kettle before pumping into the coating line PE? I'm just trying to compare batch sizes from Kodak to my own company (industrial lubricants). The largest batches I ever saw were 5,000 gallons.

Photo Engineer
08-31-2012, 08:52 PM
Well, depending on batch (product), the kettle ranged from 50 - 1000 L. Obviously, I cannot give an exact value for any one product, but you can assume that 50 L was a small runner and 1000 L was a big runner. BTW, that is true today as well. They did not rip out equipment, they just run it less often now.

Attached is a photo of the smallest research coater. It used about 100 ml at the low end and 1 L at the high end. It occupied the space of a one car garage including everything.

PE

RattyMouse
08-31-2012, 08:55 PM
Well, depending on batch (product), the kettle ranged from 50 - 1000 L. Obviously, I cannot give an exact value for any one product, but you can assume that 50 L was a small runner and 1000 L was a big runner. BTW, that is true today as well. They did not rip out equipment, they just run it less often now.

Attached is a photo of the smallest research coater. It used about 100 ml at the low end and 1 L at the high end. It occupied the space of a one car garage including everything.

PE

Very interesting. I guess I failed to really appreciate how thin the coatings are. Even with miles long rolls, the batch sizes are not particularly large.

Photo Engineer
08-31-2012, 09:00 PM
Here is an exact example of the process. Kudos to the unknown artist who posted this all over Kodak Park!

PE