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  1. #11
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    If you were to go to Rochester I think you'd find most of the Kodak jobs have long gone.

    When I was last in Rochester I was told the figures, that was 19 months ago and there's even fewer now. But don't under estimate Kodak they are still a major multi-national corporation, perhaps though they should look hard at how they lost markets to Fuji so quickly.

    Reasons are easy extremely cash rich company, but why have they made so many mistakes over the years.

    Most have been film formats and the plain fact that the cameras were so small & light that they couldn't be used in anything other than bright light or flash because of camera shake.

    However their disasters needed better films so we got C41 (+E6) then Tgrain technology, but Fuji caught up instantly.

    Surprisingly here in the UK Kodak B&W papers have been extremely badly marketed and very difficult to buy consistently, so much so that I can't remember seeing them on a dealers shelf in the last 20 years.

    So the reason to be surprised is Kodak has big research facilities here, and many of the new advances in film & emulsion technology came from them.

    I guess they thought & actually had the market domination to just ride on their trade name.

    2005 is reality

    Ian

  2. #12

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    Ian: I live in Rochester, though I am not a native. My father-in-law is retired form Kodak, and I would suppose if I walked my street I could talk to any number of people who either work for, are retired form, or took a "package' recently. You are quite right, the number of EK employees here is down significantly. One-third of their local real estate is being sold off.

    Kodak's problems were one of corporate culture. A vast, multi-layered middle management class built up during the fat years. To get ahead, you basically had to emulate your superiors; fresh, contrarian, out-of-the-box thinking got you nowhere. Until recently, shake-ups meant moving non-producing management to a different department. With that lack of vision and inattention to quality (remember the first introduction of Polycontrast RC, the announcement of the discontinuation of Tri-X, the dropping of K25, etc.?) the company was ripe for its market to be stolen in pieces.

    You are quite right that they are still a giant company, and I think current top management is far more perceptive and visionary. I think they are reinventing themselves and their current rebound in the consumer digital imaging sector is a positive sign. But I don't look for them to be a major force in professional digital markets other than as an OEM of sensors (there is a lot of talent here for that,) perhaps for printing materials, and perhaps in commercial imaging sectors such as medicine and high-end production printing.

    I hope they do well. I do not intend to stay in Rochester forever, but their importance to this community is undeniable.

    Earl
    Honey, I promise no more searching eBay for cameras.

  3. #13

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    Surprisingly here in the UK Kodak B&W papers have been extremely badly marketed and very difficult to buy consistently, so much so that I can't remember seeing them on a dealers shelf in the last 20 years.

    So the reason to be surprised is Kodak has big research facilities here, and many of the new advances in film & emulsion technology came from them.

    I guess they thought & actually had the market domination to just ride on their trade name.

    2005 is reality

    Ian[/QUOTE]

    I agree with the poor marketing of Kodak products in the UK, the range of Kodak B&W chemicals is one example, back in the 1970`s, Kodak D-163 was a very popular print developer which was sold as a dry powder to be made to a stock solution and diluted 1+3, or as a liquid concentrate to be diluted 1+9.
    Both were discontinued, I beleive that Kodak Selectol is a modified version of D-163 and Dektol to be a modified version of D-72 along with Selectol-Soft being a modified version of D-165. Each of these formulas are deservedly popular with photographers who like to make their own developers from the basic components, yet I don`t recall Kodak advertising their excellent packaged print developers in the UK.
    Walk into a branch of Jessops or London Camera Exchange and ask for Ilford Multigrade developer and the shop assistant may know the product mentioned, ask for Dektol or Selectol and the assistant may have a very puzzled expression.

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