Maco Photo Products/Rollei-Film – Introduction And Frequently Asked Questions
Dear apug members,
during the last months, since our apug sponsorship in cooperation with our excellent North American partner Freestyle had started, we got lots of questions concerning our company, our products and our business philosophy.
Most of the questions were focussed on the same or very similar subjects, and we have realized that Maco Photo Products (MPP) as a photo company is new or not so common for many photographers outside Europe.
And these photographers want to know more about us and about what we are doing for them.
Therefore we want to give some answers to the frequently asked questions, so that you can get a more precise picture about us, our company, our commitment to film and our future plans.
Who is Maco Photo Products (MPP)?
Maco Photo Products in Stapelfeld near Hamburg / Germany is on the market for 38 years now.
First with photo products under the brand “Maco”, then since the paradigma change in 2003/2004 under the brand name “Rollei-Film” in cooperation with Rollei GmbH / Germany.
For almost 20 years we have a close and trustful cooperation with our distribution partner for North America, Freestyle.
We are a team consisting of both younger film enthusiasts and older ones who have more than 40 years experience in photo industry.
We have built up lean structures and a strong financial basis, which gives us the necessary flexibility for our specialty products strategy.
Due to German law we have manufacturer status and are fully responsible for the design and quality of our products.
What is MPP’s philosophy?
We love film and are fully committed to film as a photographic medium.
We believe in the future of film and are convinced that there will always be a market for film.
We are offering only products for film photography, not for digital imaging. We are film enthusiasts.
We think that for the future of film based photography a great variety of different manufacturers and products is very helpful.
We are happy about everyone, big and small companies, who is offering products for the market.
And we think that cooperation between manufacturers can be helpful for the market and the photographers as well.
Therefore we have a consequent focus on forming such cooperations to give photographers the products they need.
What is MPP’s business strategy?
1) We love niche products and special products.
One example: Nearly all B&W films on the market have been so far panchromatic films.
We want to supplement that with additional superpanchromatic (extended red sensivity), orthopanchromatic and orthochromatic films.
Offering additional possibilities and more creative choices for the photographers, that’s our aim.
Our main focus is not on “me too” products.
We can’t compete and don’t want to compete with Kodak, Fuji and Ilford for example.
We are very happy that these big players are serving the market with excellent products.
But we know about the economic difficulties for big manufacturers to offer niche products.
Serving the market with such products is easier for a smaller, more flexible company like we are.
In the past we have proven that we can successfully fill market niches:
- When Agfa stopped production of their Agfaortho 25, MPP filled the niche and offered a new orthochromatic film, Maco Ort 25. Since 2004 the Rollei Pan 25.
- After Agfas stop of Agfapan 25 production MPP introduced the new Maco Pan 25. Since 2004 the Rollei Ortho 25.
- Kodak and Konica had stopped the production of their IR films; MPP offered first their own IR film Maco IR 820c, IR 820 Aura. (Now as Efek films in the market). Since 2004 Rollei IR, and later four further films with IR capability (Retro 80S, Superpan 200, Infrared 400 and Retro 40S).
- Kodak stopped production of their Technical Pan film, MPP has filled the market gap with the Rollei ATP1.1 film.
- The supply of 127 films has continuously decreased over the last decades, therefore MPP has recently introduced four films in 127 to keep this unique format alive. With three different films.
- The big players stopped offering C-41 chemistry in smaller packing for “normal” photographers with moderate film consumption, now MPP has filled the gap with a new offering of user friendly C-41 chemistry kits.
- In the digital age the topic long term stability and best archiving techniques for photographs is becoming more and more important.
We are convinced that film is the most secure, reliable and cost efficient medium for long term picture storage.
That is the reason why we offer B&W and color films on PET base, which has the best long term stability of at least 500 years, proved by the Rochester Institute of Technology.
2) Our strategy is based on cooperation between partners with special strenghts.
We bring producers together to manufacture products the market wants. Our strength and therefore our charging is analyzing the market needs, product design, developing of photographic recipes, giving the capital for production and organizing the worldwide distribution.
Example: The new Retro 100 Tonal film.
This film is the result of a close cooperation between our partners Agfa, Fotokemika, Photostar und our company MPP with its distribution partners.
Since the start of the brand Rollei-Film films coated by Agfa, Fotokemika and Filmotec are part of our film programme.
The number of films in our selection coated by Agfa-Gevaert in Antwerpen (Belgium) has increased over the last years.
Agfa is our main partner for film.
All of our films coated by Agfa are clearly marked with the red Agfa rhombus. (Original).
Will new products be introduced on the market?
We are permanently analyzing the market and listen to the customer needs. We have some ideas and are working hard on new products in the coming years.
We don’t want to make promises, but we are optimistic to bring some projects to a successful end in the foreseeable future.
Which films are available?
Our current film portfolio consists of the following films:
A) B&W films:
- Pan 25
- Retro 100 (produced as Agfa APX 100, selling out)
- Agfa APX 100 glass plates
- Agfa Copex Rapid
- Retro 100 TONAL
- Slide Direct (RSD)
- ATO 2.1
- Ortho 25
- Superpanchromatic films (extended red sensivity):
- ATP 1.1
- Retro 80S
- Superpan 200
- Retro 400S
- IR 400
B) Color films:
- Digibase CR 200
- Digibase CN 200
C) Creative Edition:
D) Single Use Cameras (SUC):
- B&W SUC
- BlackBird SUC
- Panorama SUC
- CrossBird SUC
- RedBird SUC
- Nightbird SUC
We wish you all the best, and of course excellent pictures and lot of fun with photography.