I have just read a letter from Bergger to resellers: they have transferred their production line from Forte to ... Harman Technologies, that's to say Ilford. I think Simon will confirm this. But it 's very interesting. Simon, will they make their own products on your lines?
Ben ça alors! Ilford to be in competition with themselves... Hm, they've said some time ago that they stopped all sorts of rebranding. It's a different situation, though, but it proves I'll never understand the logic of silver gelatin economy...
I said this a long time ago and I will say it again:
Ilford will be the last man standing.
It may not be rebranding, as Harmond will make Bergger products not Illford. It kind of like Toyota and GM sharing plants in California.
Originally Posted by mhv
I think it's a logical step to go. They compete in emulsion technology not in production technology. Sharing the production plant (mainly coating I think) will reduce capital cost for both and makes them both more competitive. This works as long as the coating technology for both their emulsions is appropriate. Which may not always be the case. But there are several coating lines to chose from worldwide.
Paul, I'm afraid that analogy may be true, but not in the manner you expect.
Originally Posted by Paul Howell
The NUMMI plant in CA makes the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix. The Vibe is 99% a Toyota Matrix with some minor differences in styling and trim. So this is, very definitely, rebranding.
Most, if not all, of Bergger's products were just re-badged Forte products as can be confirmed by reviewing a Forte product catalog from the mid-90s or earlier. A very small minority of those products were probably designed by Filmotec. Similarly, I expect the new Bergger products will simply be Ilford wares in drag - at Bergger's traditional markup.
I really do hope I am proven wrong in this, but I suspect that I will not be.
Only time will tell.
It's a different approach. Ilford used to produce private-label films and papers (such as Freestyle's "Arista Premium" line of a few years back) that were sold at lower cost than its own Ilford-labeled products. The idea was that Ilford would get the benefit of using its production capacity at higher utilization and the retailer would bear the costs of marketing the product.
Originally Posted by mhv
If history is any indication, I cannot imagine anything carrying a Bergger label will sell for less than one branded Ilford.
Right. Extremely bad move. Ilford is already too pricey, so what can Bergger add ?
Originally Posted by david b
Eh. Nothing. Bye Bergger.
I, for one, wait to see and test before making a choice, but I was unable to make any difference from Bergger products and Forte ones. Except pricing.
So I will wait and it will be difficult to make me switch from Ilford and Adox products to Bergger.
And I'm French and liked a lot the old Guilleminot products from which Bergger product are said to come from.
Of course, finding no difference between Bergger and Forte may be due to my poor knowledge of darkroom work ;-) As usual, YMMV.
If in a way Bergger products are an "extension" of Ilford Harman's line of products, I don't mind. As long as there is a wide variety of quality B&W papers at reasonable price, the user wins, and probably the producer as well. It may end up as a kind of monopoly (or niche, depends how you read it), but as long as there is choice and no dirty play, it's fine.
Bergger sells at least one paper that is unique, their extra-premium 100% rag base, and well, there must be a market for that. Their VC papers are really nice as well, and have their own "flavour."