Ajuk, the overall decline in B&W film and paper has been nothing short of catastrophic and much larger than anyone at any of the companies had predicted. The people here on APUG must come to a realization of this fact.
Originally Posted by ajuk
This is what led to Agfa's problems and Kodak's exit from the market.
The silly thing is, a well planned advertising campaign could well make a difference.
There is obviously a market for B&W as is shown by B&W C41 pocessed film. Someone smart just needs to push the retro look and feel of true silver based B&W and the current generation would leap in to be using the latest retro thing.
SCENE: Early Morning. Big night the night before. Tom and Mick meet for Latte to discuss their conquests.
TOM PULLS OUT HIS BLUEBERRY
Tom: Where where are the photos from last night?
Mick: Being processed
VISUAL: MICK looks astonished at TOMS faux pas
VO: Eastman Kodak B&W film: real, long life, photographs dont just pop out of a printer.
Graham, first, I agree with all that you say. Envision this though.
The market for most B&W products was in Asia, SA and Africa.
A sudden economic growth there catapulted them from traditional B&W film and prints either to color or directly to D*****L crap. This cut the legs off every B&W manufacturer in the world.
The bulk of the B&W market in the EU, US and Australia was people just like us here on APUG and PN and some of the other higher end very small niche markets. They are tiny when compared to the bulk market EXPECTED in Asia, SA and Africa, and when it began vanishing, our markets in the EU, US and OZ could no longer sustain any sales for all companies.
Agfa sank, Kodak left paper, and well, there you have it. Lets be thankful that Ilford, Kentmere and Bergger to name a few were able to stay afloat.
Come'on. That's silly. If there is anything you should have learned at EK is that B&W film production and paper is, in the big picture, peanuts. The point of coating facillities (very very large football field sized machines) is to cover a whole class of needs for micro-coating. Agfa L6, for example, only ran film twice a year. The rest of the time (other than the few weeks each year it got shut down for major maintainance) it had non B&W functions. That's really the problem: to produce the quality (and batch to batch consistency) of films we have become accustomed to one needs machines that are larger than large. These "larger than large" machines are expensive to operate and expensive to maintain, The future of B&W is not related really to the market as much as it is to the future of these coating plants. They, however, can be used within the production of highend ink-jet paper to specialized film for LCD panels (a group of former Agfa engineers have raised some venture capital to pursue this line) to a range of thinnest film crystal-based applications (hot stuff in the dawning "nanno" revolution).
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
What hit Agfa was plain simple: massive mismanagement, piles of incompetance, shortness of vision and a big heaping of comtemporary greed. When they ejected the consumer imaging unit into AgfaPhoto they make matters worse and effectively signed the death certificate. Internal bureaucracy, long a sickness of Agfa, dramtically increased. Billing (its a simple rule that one needs to be able to charge for products and services and the center of that activity is "billing") became a monster (Agfa to AgfaPhoto to Agfa with a bunch of oddball transfers as parts of AgfaPhoto belonged to Agfa and ...) and the money? A for verArschung. 300 mil in old gear and hardly any cash. And to a company headed by Hartmut Emans with a track record of one ruin sucked dry after the next (and a bunch of faud lawsuits by the European Commission which they will probably all lose due their own failings). AgfaPhoto was thrown overboard by a bunch or arrogant accountants without a rubber boat (not even a crude lifesaver) and with its arms and legs tied together.... and into waters infested with sharks like Emans (who, I think, worked earlier in his carrier at Agfa so he may indeed just be the well paid fall guy and not the big-bad wolf). Needless to say, even the best swimmer would sink.
No offense edz, but next time can you split that into paragraphs?
That was really difficult to read and although I'd like to reply it is too much work.
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ok but that doesn't answer my question.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
I am a marketing student
Originally Posted by gbroadbridge
Its bizzarre they seem to have given up on marketing film with seems odd, concidering its there bread and butter.
Not sure about that if it was a TV advert you were trying to invent, but its never gona happen, but adverts in photo magazines would be a good idea. Maybe Ilford could try it if they can aford it.
Reading those long posts and this thread is getting interesting.
Not only would the upset a few people here it would also be a disarster, there are still alot of pros mainly using a Medium and Largeformat cameras, a lot of MF photographers are still using film, and as for LF you can forget about it all they can get digital is a scanner or use a MF back, They could scan but many using B&W don't.
Originally Posted by clay
It would also have a major inpact on educational institutes I was looking at the HND photography for the 06-07 year and they al included "darkroom practise"
I would be suprised if it was one line making the paper for the whole world, because dispite the decline, you only have to look in a college or a B&W magazine to see there are plenty of people using it.
Last edited by ajuk; 11-20-2005 at 09:06 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Some quick responses.
1. Ajuk, the overall decline in B&W was projected to be larger than the 20% or so quoted above, and turned out to be far larger than that pessimistic figure by a big margin. I hope this helps a bit.
2. Ed, Kodak and other companies have smaller coating machines. I routinely coated paper on 10" machines in KRL and the footage could approach production lengths. Quality was as good as production. Emulsion formulas with good quality existed at all scales and could be manufactured at many coating widths and lengths. But the labor for each machine would remain about the same, so labor costs would go up as scale went down. This was a significant problem to consider. In addition, the exact formulation would have to be adjusted for the scale and that would have cost a bit up front. The downturn dictated that EK couldn't do that in an economical fashion (good management decision?)
So, while I agree with you in principle, I have to add that too many 'film' companies bit the dust at the same time to be a coincidence. Mismanagement did contribute by amplifying the market downturn. The market downturn did its thing as well.
I really think that we are all like blind men feeling an elephant and describing it from different perspectives. Maybe the story below might help a bit to lighten things.
There once was a woman who had never seen an elephant before. One had escaped from the circus and wandered into her garden and was eating cabbages. She called the police and reported "There is this strange grey creature in my garden pulling up cabbages with his tail, and you would never bellieve where he is sticking them!"
Well, that is where we all are until the real story comes to light.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
WOW Was that figure from feb when the buyout went ahead? I do think they (by they I don't just mean Ilford) need to market the stuff, where did you get that info from?
Ajuk, from Antonio Perez personally. I am not free to quote acutal fitures. Sorry. See previous posts in this thread.
I do! Film and paper is from Ilford from now on...developer is from Agfa (SURPRISE).
Originally Posted by david b