I'm sorry but this attitude continues to amaze me.
Originally Posted by Jennifer
Let's face it - any remaining silver gelatin-based photography products are on borrowed time. What possible purpose do you serve by depriving yourself of optimal results to spite a manufacturer? If you like what's in the yellow box - use it. If you don't - go elsewhere.
Hey, in the long run we'll all be dead; it's the short-term I'm worried about.
It simply amazes me that Kodak has the decency to at least give us 6 months notice that they will cease paper production voluntarily. Forte, Ilford, and AgfaPhoto - on the other hand - implode without a warning leaving us to fill our freezers in a panic because they are demonstrably incompetent when it comes to producing and pricing their products. And that act of defacating all over we the customers seems to earn them sympathy without end.
Not from me, at least.
Somehow, having gone through the trauma of Forte and AgfaPhoto (whose papers I use far more often than Kodak's) going on life-support, I like the way Kodak has treated me better. They haven't got my sympathy, exactly, but I'm not going to boycott Tri-X out of disappointment. They wont' be getting a slice of my paper budget - but, oh well, that's their choice.
Also, let's keep in mind one consideration about mission statements - they are pure BS. Kodak's come from marketing central for the benefit of stockholders. If film were a growing market (it is not and will not ever be again) Kodak would abandon digital so fast your head would spin because the profit margins are better.
Ilford spouts this feel-good David vs. Goalith junk because, well, people seem to suck it up. For all I know their facility will be pad-locked tomorrow. Fortunately, I haven't got the inclination to buy their film or paper (again, results or lack thereof) so I'm not setting myself up for probable disappointment if they go the way of the do-do.
My attitude would change if they started offering me a paper I thought gave me a decent DMAX or toned worth a damn. But if I had my druthers I'd wave the proverbial magic wand and give Polymax FB and Polycontrast IV RC a new lease on life - even if that meant Ilford never, ever sold another box of Multigrade. Why? Well, I always got better results with Polycontrast IV and I always had a hankering to try Polymax FB (though I won't now).
Results uber alles. To hell with everything else.
Thanks for the information Michael. As long as you have access to the master rolls of AZO I am not worried. As you have said there is up to 5 years worth at current consumption rate and in that time we should have a viable alternative thanks to your efforts.
As far as your efforts to secure a new source for a chloride contact paper, let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
I am so depressed. My investment in film cameras is 10K+ and my darkroom is similar.
I will go on. I was 100% kodak and will now switch. Two questions:
1) Is there an alternative film that even comes close to Tri-X. Tri-X is my main film and I just love it. My lack of knowledge on alternatives--after 25 years as an amateur--speaks to my dedication and previous satisfaction to Kodak. What else is there I should invest in?
2) What is the equiv. to D-76 (which I like but not love) that is from another manufacturer.
Thanks for answering thsi. I hope it wasn't a question on one of the 10 other pages in this thread. I did not read the entire thread.
1) More Tri-X. What possible purpose do you serve by depriving yourself of a film you love? Whatever you pick as an alternative is as likely or more likely to disppear when Tri-X does.
Originally Posted by Jeffrey A. Steinberg
2) Well, if you must avoid Kodak, try Ilford ID-11. It is, for all intents and purposes, identical. It's slighly harder to mix (comes in two packages), but you'll get used to it.
People don't "suck it up", they relate to it. There is the difference. People also generally don't go where they're not wanted. Its hard to fathom the "logic" of a statement that lauds Kodak's good will for giving us notice... They do so because they can. Ilford and Agfa "implode without warning" - I hope none of us here "implode" or "explode" or come to any other unfortunate end, but I won't hold it against you if you don't inform me in advance of an event which by its very nature gives no warning of its apporach. I'm sure Kodak would not be so generous as to give us their philantropic six month warning if it was to read "well, we might go bankrupt in perhaps as little as six months...so, stock up guys!" The reason they do is because unlike Ilford or Agfa, their move comes under no duress - its their, purely financial and wholly voluntary move. Decency...
I wouldn't care much about mission statements, if they were not clearly reflected in actual moves the company makes. How exactly are they pure PR BS? Is Kodak secretly going to keep making paper, but, shhhh, no one tell the shareholders! No - they stated their mission, they are making the moves to back it up. Good for them and good riddance, too!
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It took me a long time to get exposure plus development right with Tri-X. It will take me a few years to get the same thing right with something else (I learn slow). So, why not start learning on something that will be around longer (hopefully).
Originally Posted by aldevo
I hope I am not being a ludite with film. I really like the film look and I joined APUG to find like minded individuals. But--don't kill me here--am I bucking the wrong trend. is it possible to get the film look digitally. Up until now, the answer for me has been "no"--either the resolution on DSLRs has not been there or the black's on printers were not as robust as my silver-based efforts. I think I need to continually look at this every few months. In the end, if I can make good images with newer methods, is that so bad?
I will still move forward with film. I am just realizing I need to be open. I always assumed Kodak would be there for me. This is an event that realy makes me think. I hope I have not offended anyone. That is not my intent. Just a blog on my thoughts.
I have been involved in film since 1980 when I got my OM-1 (I think that was the year. I graduated to medium format in 1997 and I have never looked back. Just completed my dream darkroom. I sure hope I can continue to get my hands wet in the soup for the remainder of my useful lifetime.
I skimmed their annual report. In 2004
Originally Posted by Jorge
"In 2004, we achieved overall revenue growth of 5%, fueled by a 42%
growth in revenues from our digital products. In fact, Kodak gained market
share in virtually every digital category in which we participate."
42% growth in digital revenue only equated to 5% in total revenue. Either digital is a small portion of the total revenue (I doubt) or they are losing revenue fast elsewhere.
Here is a quote highlited in the Kodak 2004 annual report:
"From robust digital revenue growth, to our ability to manage effectively the decline in our traditional film business, to fulfillment of our digital acquisitions plan, our results are evidence we are building a more diversified, leaner, stronger Kodak for the future.
"The rapid growth in digital during the year impacted traditional
product sales, particularly in mature consumer markets such as the U.S.,
Europe and Japan. However, we maintained market share in these valuable
traditional businesses, and continue to see increased sales of consumer
film in emerging markets."
As long as "emerging markets" need Tri-X...well...
The latter, definitely the latter. Film revenues are declining by nearly 30% a year.
Originally Posted by MattCarey
And they are not stating that digital revenue is only 5% of total revenue.
Rather, they are stating that even with a 42% growth in digital revenue, their *overall* revenue growth was only 5%.
Believe me, Kodak would have preferred it to remain a film-only world. Digital photography is a facet of consumer electronics; a market segment where margins traditionally suck.
You can buy oil paints, acrylics, charcoal, gouache, and all sort of other supplies for art forms that became small hobbyist niche markets many decades ago. There is no reason why you won't be able to buy B&W film, chemicals and paper many decades from now.
You just won't be able to buy it from a Fortune 500 company. It'll be made by a small company, focused on small hobbyist markets and sized to be profitable in those markets. You may also pay more for the products, and have to buy them at a handful of specialist shops, from online sources, or even direct from the manufacturer. And the products may be manufactured in China, India, Eastern Europe, or whereever the costs are lower.
Is that going to be a change that takes some getting used to? Sure. But is that going to mean you can't be a B&W photographer? Absolutely not. It may not even mean you'll have a smaller selection of film and paper.
B&W photography is in the final stages of evolving from a mass market activity to a fine art. Not such a bad thing.
In the medium term, I think it would be wise to shift as much spending as possible away from Kodak and toward Ilford and other companies that are committed to B&W film. Kodak is on a mission to go digital, their new CEO Perez is a 100% digital guy (former head of Hewlett-Packard's printer biz), and whether sales of traditional film decline by -15% per year or -17% per year isn't going to change their game plan. They will be shutting down the film business, piece by piece, whether you buy the yellow boxes or not.
So use your dollars to help Ilford and the others successfully make the adjustment.
My understanding is that film, paper and chems are kodak's profit centers and that they are using the cash generated by the trad products to fuel their money losing efforts in digital.
The idea being that the trad product are going away and digital won't always lose money.
They have little or no interest in trying to grow the trad. business because they believe there is no future in it for them. As segments of the traditional business dip below an acceptable profit bar they will drop the segment. I suspect B&W film has a bit more time than Kodachrome and that many of their medical films are not too far behind.
Colour films and papers will be the last to go.
I have 15 or 20 rolls of iso 25 kodachrome. Should I sell now or wait until they announce the final dev runs?