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jnanian
08-24-2012, 01:33 PM
Well exactly, you make my point. for the general public, Kodak's been dead for at least a decade. kodak dying today will not hurt but support the other film makers.
Try and make me believe that Ilford will be sad when Kodak disappears :laugh::laugh:



part of the problem is materials used to make film.
kodak is a huge consumer of these chemicals, and if they stop
some of the places that make the raw chemicals might have trouble
producing smaller quantities of these chemicals and it will disrupt the whole industry.

these things have been discussed ad nauseum in the past 6 or 7 years here
with people like PE who have an idea about the chemistry &c used to make the materials we
consume.

it would be hard to educate yourself about these topics ...

DREW WILEY
08-24-2012, 01:37 PM
I know people for whom digital shapshooting became the path for upgrading into film and darkroom.
I have also met a fair number of aspiring photographers and graphics types from the art schools who
would like to broaden their skill set by learning traditional film skills, including large format. But the
big hurdle isn't the availability of film per se - it's the cost of real estate and having a hypothetical surplus of income and space where one can build a darkroom! Not so easy for the younger set, for whom jobs per se are becoming a scarce commodity. The other problem is the demise of venues
where people can see real prints and learn to appreciate them, versus the generic smudges over the
web that are now taken as the standard of visual communication.

PKM-25
08-24-2012, 01:39 PM
And I agree that if Kodak film ceased to be some "ripple effects" (abandoning of film use by some, abandoning of film distribution by shops, abandoning of film development by large distribution chains etc.) is to be feared and it might even damage the entire industry beyond repair.

This is actually my biggest concern.

As a working professional, I have noticed that photography in general is subject to the nastiest of all "jabs" by people who are not self informed but hype informed. My wife and I had an hour long discussion about this last night, the whole hype driving large scale perception thing. When Kodachrome left and the ensuing media coverage hit the web, most people simply thought that Kodak had stopped making all films and to give credence to how strong the brand still is, most people had no idea that Fuji made film let alone Ilford or Efke.

So now we face the even bigger challenge that if a sale is completed or god forbid, Kodak film leaves us, well that will really drive the perception in the public's mind that film is simply history and not to be found in any shape or form at all, ever. This is not good. When a person sees an oil painter working, they do not ask can you still get that stuff, why are you not using Adobe Illustrator? Same thing for the acoustic guitarist, they don't say to him he is stuck in the past and really ought to try "Garage Band". But when it comes to film, people just LOVE to stick that jab in, it is truly sad and frankly disgusting, it is a real problem and will only get worse if we lose Kodak film....a lot worse actually.

There is no reason for this, I don't have to tell John Sexton that film is still a viable medium for the artist, but yet, when I asked him last week what he is planning in the face of these possibilities with Kodak, he simply said he is well stocked up in several freezers, even has long gone Kodak black and white readyloads to use.

Artists and hobby shooters know better, but the public does not, this is why I am going to repeat until I am blue in the face, we the film users HAVE to be the best marketing that film will ever have. This is *so* critical at this point that I want to get on NPR and scream this at the top of my lungs. We can no longer be partisan here, use Ilford, use Kodak, use Fuji, but promote ALL OF IT and NOW!!!

MattKing
08-24-2012, 01:40 PM
Try and make me believe that Ilford will be sad when Kodak disappears :laugh::laugh:

Simon Galley has posted specifically on that issue here.

My best recollection is that this is a good paraphrase: "Harman Technology Ltd. (Ilford) strongly prefers having a healthy Kodak in the marketplace."

batwister
08-24-2012, 01:46 PM
Simon Galley has posted specifically on that issue here.

Harman Technology Ltd. (Ilford) strongly prefers having a healthy Kodak in the marketplace.

I'd like to know from Simon if this is because, like I said, people generally seem to transition from digital, to colour film, to black and white.

lxdude
08-24-2012, 01:47 PM
Thanks for the cynicism, Sal.

Colleen said at the outset that she is a PR person. Let her do her job. We all have a pretty good idea what "Public Relations" means. Her job is to communicate to customers and deal with questions. We should be gracious and listen. For a long time many of us have complained that Kodak and Fuji have no presence here. Now Kodak does, admittedly through a PR person rather than a principal of the company, but then Ilford and Adox are quite a lot smaller.

None of us are expecting some inside information or anything other than what Kodak's still film division wants us to hear. That does not make Colleen someone we should not listen to and ask questions of. Someone in the still film division thinks we should hear what's going on, which is a hell of a lot better than all of us blabbing on forums without a clue as to what's happening. They are smart enough to know that there would be a lot of jittery customers and also smart enough to know that being silent would serve neither the company nor the customers.

Lots of us have felt burned by statements from Kodak saying "We continue to make" a product, then it's discontinued soon after. So, skepticism is warranted. And Colleen can only tell us what she knows. Still, that doesn't mean it's all BS to be rejected out of hand. I don't agree with all of your opinion; I also consider some of what you said to be stating the obvious.

Regarding your final statement: there's nothing Colleen could say that would satisfy you.

Thomas Bertilsson
08-24-2012, 01:51 PM
Artists and hobby shooters know better, but the public does not, this is why I am going to repeat until I am blue in the face, we the film users HAVE to be the best marketing that film will ever have. This is *so* critical at this point that I want to get on NPR and scream this at the top of my lungs. We can no longer be partisan here, use Ilford, use Kodak, use Fuji, but promote ALL OF IT and NOW!!!

I agree with all that you said. The public is generally ill informed about things they are not passionate about. The quality of information available on the web is incredibly questionable, but since it's quick to access, people don't bother looking for information that is accurate because it's not practical. The only way to get through is to have enough information out there to convince. You can have the best idea in the world, but if nobody knows about it you can't make any money on it.

PKM-25
08-24-2012, 01:54 PM
Well exactly, you make my point. for the general public, Kodak's been dead for at least a decade. kodak dying today will not hurt but support the other film makers.
Try and make me believe that Ilford will be sad when Kodak disappears :laugh::laugh:

Ned, you are a creative photographer who makes his living shooting weddings on film. That takes a certain level of belief in your self and drive to keep the momentum moving forward. That said, I think you have had every right to emote the way you have, but after a certain point and without even knowing it, you are undermining the very thing that allows you to move forward, vision.

You may disagree with me on this, but I think you have nothing to lose by having a change of viewpoint in how this will all look in going forward. What I mean by that is when you knock Kodak, you knock film. For as much as you may not like it, when the vast majority of people think of film, dead or alive, they think of Kodak so adding to the witch hunt in this regard might be doing more harm than good when it comes to your personal future with the medium...

Why chance that? Take a deep breath my friend, know that your frustrations are shared and founded, but they are history and might be doing you personally more harm than good at this point.

BrianShaw
08-24-2012, 02:01 PM
... They are smart enough to know that there would be a lot of jittery customers and also smart enough to know that being silent would serve neither the company nor the customers. ...

... and I think that they are smart enough to know that they really don't know much at this point.

NB23
08-24-2012, 02:05 PM
Simon Galley has posted specifically on that issue here.

My best recollection is that this is a good paraphrase: "Harman Technology Ltd. (Ilford) strongly prefers having a healthy Kodak in the marketplace."


If so, they are wrong.
Remember: Ilford is the new Kodak. HP5 is the new Tri-X.

Roger Cole
08-24-2012, 02:08 PM
This is actually my biggest concern.

As a working professional, I have noticed that photography in general is subject to the nastiest of all "jabs" by people who are not self informed but hype informed. My wife and I had an hour long discussion about this last night, the whole hype driving large scale perception thing. When Kodachrome left and the ensuing media coverage hit the web, most people simply thought that Kodak had stopped making all films and to give credence to how strong the brand still is, most people had no idea that Fuji made film let alone Ilford or Efke.

So now we face the even bigger challenge that if a sale is completed or god forbid, Kodak film leaves us, well that will really drive the perception in the public's mind that film is simply history and not to be found in any shape or form at all, ever. This is not good. When a person sees an oil painter working, they do not ask can you still get that stuff, why are you not using Adobe Illustrator? Same thing for the acoustic guitarist, they don't say to him he is stuck in the past and really ought to try "Garage Band". But when it comes to film, people just LOVE to stick that jab in, it is truly sad and frankly disgusting, it is a real problem and will only get worse if we lose Kodak film....a lot worse actually.

There is no reason for this, I don't have to tell John Sexton that film is still a viable medium for the artist, but yet, when I asked him last week what he is planning in the face of these possibilities with Kodak, he simply said he is well stocked up in several freezers, even has long gone Kodak black and white readyloads to use.

Artists and hobby shooters know better, but the public does not, this is why I am going to repeat until I am blue in the face, we the film users HAVE to be the best marketing that film will ever have. This is *so* critical at this point that I want to get on NPR and scream this at the top of my lungs. We can no longer be partisan here, use Ilford, use Kodak, use Fuji, but promote ALL OF IT and NOW!!!

This post is so good it should be a sticky.

But WRT Ilford and Efke - Efke is going away too. :( The makers of black and white materials I am aware of (discounting people doing their own emulsions and such which is great but not something I can buy from them in viable quantities) will be Kodak, Fuji (and not much black and white but Acros is a unique product) Ilford, Foma and Adox.

Ilford is the great hope of black and white and Fuji for color. I'm a lot more optimistic about Ilford than Fuji since Ilford is now seemingly right sized for the market AND run by people seemingly passionate about black and white photography.

I hope for continued availability of Portra and Ektar but that's really all any of us can do - hope and shoot what we have while we have it.

lxdude
08-24-2012, 02:09 PM
Simon Galley has posted specifically on that issue here.

My best recollection is that this is a good paraphrase: "Harman Technology Ltd. (Ilford) strongly prefers having a healthy Kodak in the marketplace."
I remember that also.

Ken Nadvornick
08-24-2012, 02:14 PM
Simon Galley has posted specifically on that issue here.

My best recollection is that this is a good paraphrase: "Harman Technology Ltd. (Ilford) strongly prefers having a healthy Kodak in the marketplace."


I remember that also.

As do I...

Ken

SkipA
08-24-2012, 02:15 PM
@Simon Galley from Ilford:

If I promise to buy more HP5+, will you buy Kodak for us, please?

You don't really want this. You will end up with fewer film choices via this route just as surely as you would if Kodak just goes under. I don't understand why people can't see this. Tri-X and HP5+ are competitive films based on similar technology that fill the same market niche. TMAX 100/400/3200 and Delta 100/400/1600 are competitive films based on similar technology that fill the same market niche. The films are not identical, but they are similar. For how long do you think you'd continue to have the diversity of choices you have now if Ilford or Fuji were to buy Kodak's film business? The answer is, not long. The best selling product of each type would survive, and you'd lose the competing one. Technical merits of one over the other wouldn't even factor into it.

Photo Engineer
08-24-2012, 02:18 PM
Dan, I come to this discussion after a long career in the corporate world, having witnessed from an "in the trenches" location numerous battles "further up the ladder" similar to what's going on now at 343 State Street.

Reality is cruel. Nobody, especially those who are passionate about and work hard doing things like making the films posters here enjoy, ever likes it when reality stomps all over their world and products. I know from personal experience. Nonetheless, despite any claims of "our people are our most important asset," "people first" or similar HR / executive management pronouncements, reality is that numbers, and only numbers, drive all decisions. Kodak's numbers are like "spray painting on the wall." The operation is oversized for today's market. Today's market is more robust than tomorrow's market will probably be. Especially when the inexorable march of digital into cinema progresses further in a few years. Hope won't change reality.

Over the course of commuting 750,000 miles during the above-mentioned corporate career, while never affixing any to my own car, I observed many bumper stickers. The one that stood out said "I feel much better since I gave up hope." My suggestion to everyone fretting about Kodak film's future is: Buy and use what you can while it's still available, don't count on continued availability and support Ilford whenever possible. Reality always prevails.

Sal;

I've traveled as much as you, albeit aboard aircraft, for EK and I've seen their WW operations. I am in touch with today's operations to some extent and can say that you are wrong about the operation being oversized. This implies both people and equipment. Kodak is not oversized in people, and it is suffering from overcapacity and not oversizing in equipment.

The overcapacity can be compensated for by reducing operations to meet the market. If they could not do that, then the film division would not be profitable.

In this sense, your assertions are wrong then.

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

railwayman3
08-24-2012, 02:37 PM
If so, they are wrong.
Remember: Ilford is the new Kodak. HP5 is the new Tri-X.

No, IIRC, Simon spoke with respect of Kodak's products, research and knowledge. The demise of a competitor is not always a good sign if it comes about solely through an irreversable fall in the overall market.

Again IIRC, PE has similarly written about the achievements of the research team at Konica who produced such products as their 3200 ISO color film.

BrianShaw
08-24-2012, 02:40 PM
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, it illustrates the critical nature of each and every Kodak person.

Unfortunately that is a major failing of management. If management cannt or does not do succession planning, even for the "temporary" succession in the event of illness or recoverable injury... then they have failed at managing. That is a tragic story to read. But you are right... unfortunately that kind of thing happens.

Sal Santamaura
08-24-2012, 03:02 PM
...you are wrong about the operation being oversized. This implies both people and equipment. Kodak is not oversized in people, and it is suffering from overcapacity and not oversizing in equipment.

The overcapacity can be compensated for by reducing operations to meet the market. If they could not do that, then the film division would not be profitable...Apologies if I wasn't clear and didn't use the correct terminology. My statement was intended to describe the coating line's having way more capacity than today's market would motivate any company to set up.



...The overcapacity can be compensated for by reducing operations to meet the market. If they could not do that, then the film division would not be profitable...There have been numerous threads/posts here and elsewhere about whether the film division is profitable. I've not been convinced by any of them that, after cutting through accounting artifice, it is or can continue to be. However, the only important question is whether one or more potential buyers can be convinced.


...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...Nothing I've posted here or elsewhere was intended to diminish or denigrate the skill, dedication or criticality of Kodak's technical and manufacturing people, nor do I believe I did that.

On the other hand, considering film market realities and the example you gave, how many entities are likely to be interested in purchasing Kodak's film division? That level of key-person risk seems very high compared to ever-diminishing potential reward.

Hatchetman
08-24-2012, 03:12 PM
The more I think about this the more worried I get. More than likely this will be bought by a buy-out group looking to plaster over the income statement and pawn it off to some other dope at a profit. This means a slash in costs (ie employees, research, unprofitable products). Essentially more of the same I guess.

Roger Cole
08-24-2012, 03:20 PM
Sal;

I've traveled as much as you, albeit aboard aircraft, for EK and I've seen their WW operations. I am in touch with today's operations to some extent and can say that you are wrong about the operation being oversized. This implies both people and equipment. Kodak is not oversized in people, and it is suffering from overcapacity and not oversizing in equipment.

The overcapacity can be compensated for by reducing operations to meet the market. If they could not do that, then the film division would not be profitable.

In this sense, your assertions are wrong then.

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

What do you mean by over capacity versus over sized? Aren't these the same thing?

I assume you mean that by making fewer runs per year, a run every two years, whatever, they could keep this going profitably? Maybe - but then what do you have for those skilled people to do to justify their salaries the rest of the time? If they can be employed doing other things that take advantage of their skills that might be workable. But I assume that's what Kodak has been doing so far.

Maybe it's workable for a buyer. I agree with the thought that they must at least have a buyer in mind and some talks going on or they wouldn't have released this. This sort of release isn't the way to advertise "hey, this is for sale, anyone interested?"