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Thread: Forte closure

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE View Post
    I don't know where you got this bit of ill-informed information, but I have used Agfa sheet film in 4x5 and 8x10 for years, and stiil have some. Not only APX-100, but also 8x10 color transparency. I believe APX-400 was also available in sheet film. By proper exposure and development you can get top-notch results from the now discontinued Agfa APX-100 in sheet film sizes. At one time Agfa also made some other "specialty" sheet films.
    "At one time", "were", etc.

    I never stated that Agfa did not manufacture sheet film. But they have not been involved in its manufacture in any way that would affect Forte for some time.

    Agfa hasn't manufactured 8x10 film for the APX line since the summer of 2000 and have not manufactured 4x5 film for the same since the end of 2002 or early 2003. I don't think any retailer has had Agfa sheet film since early 2004.

    So Agfa is not a present-day competitor for Forte where sheet films are concerned.
    Last edited by aldevo; 01-28-2007 at 03:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petzi View Post
    If it wasn't bad management, then why are their plants being demolished? You could write a book about all that happened at Agfa, but you can point your finger at bad management during every stage of the process. Of course it is easier to see what went wrong, now that it's all over...
    How exactly would German labor laws have entitled them to dowsnize their labor force without large costs as their core market declined? Bad management doesn't enter into that equation...and management can't change that. Goldman Sachs was enlisted to find a buyer for Agfa film operations before AgfaPhoto was launched (and Agfa MUST have been serious about this, btw, because using Goldman Sachs in a consultation capacity is pricey) and these laws stymied them.

    Maybe it was bad management, but I have yet to see any concrete evidence of that.
    Last edited by aldevo; 01-28-2007 at 03:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    I built my own darkroom from scratch by reading Kodak pamphlets at the age of about 12 or so. Except for military darkrooms or the Kodak Camera Club darkroom where I taught, I never had to use a community darkroom.

    I have loads of 4x5 Agfa transparencies here. Yep, they made sheet film. Sure did, for years.

    PE
    I think we can consider you the exception rather than the rule

    I still maintain my view that most people doing analog B&W have their first darkroom experiences in these places. And that the disappearance of such facilities bodes poorly.

    I never stated that Agfa did not manufacture sheet films, merely that they have not done so for a time and have not been a direct competitor of Forte in this market for a couple years.

  4. #34

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    I spent about 25 hours in a college darkroom(a 10 week evening course x 2.5hrs per week) before building mine but decided to do so after about the first 2hours.

    The issue is less about the time needed to turn the prospective hobbyist on and more about being able to find the space to build the darkroom courtesy of understanding parents, partners, housemates etc.

    My course started with 20 students and ended with 20 students. Dropout rate was zero. There aren't many evening courses with that kind of a dropout rate!

    The key is colleges and camera clubs maintaining their facilities. A digression I know from the main thread but being in a darkroom is powerful magic.

    pentaxuser

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldevo View Post
    I think we can consider you the exception rather than the rule

    I still maintain my view that most people doing analog B&W have their first darkroom experiences in these places. And that the disappearance of such facilities bodes poorly.

    I never stated that Agfa did not manufacture sheet films, merely that they have not done so for a time and have not been a direct competitor of Forte in this market for a couple years.
    First off, in the strictest sense, Agfa has not been a competitor to anyone for about 3 years or so. So the phrasing is rather moot. They did manufacture sheet films until near the end, when the market dictated that they exit that area. That was a good move by (poor?) management.

    As to my being the exception. Well, at 12, I was hardly an exceptional person and if I could do it from scratch then, anyone could. I was totally all thumbs, and broke a hammer, in fact I broke several. I split a screwdriver handle using it as a chisel. I could go on, but the point is that anyone, with a little reading can design a darkroom from scratch.

    BTW, I first did processing kneeling on the floor in the kitchen with 3 soup bowls for chemicals and I did the film by the old hand dunking method using clips at each end of a roll.

    Back then, they didn't have plastic trays, and SS trays were out of sight for price. I bought aluminum, and the fixer and developer ate through my first set of trays and left a mess on the kitchen floor. This was after I had enough money to buy trays and graduated from soup bowls to 'real' trays. How I lamented the loss of the trays and how I learned not to use aluminum for photography. One of my uncles took pity on me and finally bought me a photo kit.

    Oh, I could write a book.

    But then I might.

    PE

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldevo View Post
    How exactly would German labor laws have entitled them to dowsnize their labor force as their core market declined? Bad management doesn't enter into that equation...the can't change that.
    German labor law is often cited as a major problem for employers, but I don't agree with that perception. You can downsize a company if you do it properly. You may have to talk to the Federal Employment Office, and you will have to talk to the staff association about the details, but in the end they have to accept the facts about your shrinking business and the need to reduce the work force, in order to save the company.

    In fact, all changes to labor laws during the last 20 years have been employer-friendly, at the employers request (employers always seem to be whining about labor laws), but the changes didn't have a noticable effect on the unemployment, i.e. unemployment became worse all the time.
    If you're not taking your camera...there's no reason to travel. --APUG member bgilwee

  7. #37
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    Interesting note by Pentaxuser.

    Our college chemistry course started with 100 students. Our intstuctors told us that most would drop out. At graduation, we graduated 10.

    PE

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    First off, in the strictest sense, Agfa has not been a competitor to anyone for about 3 years or so. So the phrasing is rather moot. They did manufacture sheet films until near the end, when the market dictated that they exit that area. That was a good move by (poor?) management.

    As to my being the exception. Well, at 12, I was hardly an exceptional person and if I could do it from scratch then, anyone could. I was totally all thumbs, and broke a hammer, in fact I broke several. I split a screwdriver handle using it as a chisel. I could go on, but the point is that anyone, with a little reading can design a darkroom from scratch.

    BTW, I first did processing kneeling on the floor in the kitchen with 3 soup bowls for chemicals and I did the film by the old hand dunking method using clips at each end of a roll.

    Back then, they didn't have plastic trays, and SS trays were out of sight for price. I bought aluminum, and the fixer and developer ate through my first set of trays and left a mess on the kitchen floor. This was after I had enough money to buy trays and graduated from soup bowls to 'real' trays. How I lamented the loss of the trays and how I learned not to use aluminum for photography. One of my uncles took pity on me and finally bought me a photo kit.

    Oh, I could write a book.

    But then I might.

    PE
    If you write that book, you can sign me up for a pre-order!

    I do all my film processing at home which is an apartment with, sadly, a very small bathroom (6 x 7 feet - including the bathtub). This makes wet printing in a home darkroom pretty much impractical.

    Worse yet, it's drafty. It takes about 45 minutes to seal up the bathroom to make it light tight using blackout cloth, duct tape (the so-called "200 mph tape" they use in NASCAR races to hold together bodywork after accidents), and various jury-rigged anchors. Nature really does abhor the slightest vaccum.

    If all goes well, on a dead-calm day, I have about 90 minutes to do what I need to do for my sheet film before the light seal gives way. If there is even the slightest breeze - forget about it. And one time somebody pulled a fire alarm in my building (false alarm) about 2 minutes after I switched off the lights...

    Even overcoming all that - I still can't wet print as I would be violating local ordinances about waste disposal. I'm fortunate to have a friend working in the facilities department of a local University who has the means to dispose of my used fixer. But that's only for film and that's a whole lot less than what would be produced for wet printing purposes.

    Sometimes the community darkroom really is a necessity.
    Last edited by aldevo; 01-28-2007 at 04:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petzi View Post
    German labor law is often cited as a major problem for employers, but I don't agree with that perception. You can downsize a company if you do it properly. You may have to talk to the Federal Employment Office, and you will have to talk to the staff association about the details, but in the end they have to accept the facts about your shrinking business and the need to reduce the work force, in order to save the company.

    In fact, all changes to labor laws during the last 20 years have been employer-friendly, at the employers request (employers always seem to be whining about labor laws), but the changes didn't have a noticable effect on the unemployment, i.e. unemployment became worse all the time.
    No doubt, employers are also whining about their workers!

    But, even in the USA press, mention was made of Agfa going to the "Bundesagentur für Arbeit" to obtain permission for layoffs. And I believe they were allowed to make some layoffs in the first half of 2002.

    After that, however, their further appeals were declined and they were encourage to seek a buyer for the unit.

    The Agfa saga actually has a chapter in a book on corporate restructuring:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/g40u4t368n07n42l/

    SAP AG also appealed to the FEO in late 2002 to layoff some of their staff. They were also denied permission. But it seems to me that SAP was just undergoing a cyclical downturn while Agfa had encountered a problem not destined to get better.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldevo View Post
    The Agfa saga actually has a chapter in a book on corporate restructuring:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/g40u4t368n07n42l/
    The restructuring was a great failure, and I don't think it was due to problems with layoffs. There are maybe a dozen companies named something with Agfa and it is close to impossible to understand who owns what of the Agfa assets and who has what kind of stake in whom. The construction of this enterprise just failed miserably, and is certainly not a good example of restructuring a business, especially not one in a changing market.
    If you're not taking your camera...there's no reason to travel. --APUG member bgilwee



 

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