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  1. #1
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    An amusing thing happened on my way to this forum!

    Today, we had the Kodak Retirees Lunch.

    The speaker was Jim Weaver, current director of Kodak Research Labs.

    He made an interesting comment that I think I can share here.

    He said that Kodak has a considerable wealth of analog technology on the shelf which they will never be able to put into products due to the extremely rapid decline in analog photographic sales.

    I think I had better stop here. I had a chance to talk to Jim for a few minutes before his talk. It was a rather interesting discussion. He is a very concerned manager working for both sides, analog and digital, but it seems that he is facing a rather huge obstacle to selling analog product improvements. It appears to me it is not Antonio Perez, it is the purchasing public.

    PE

  2. #2
    Petzi's Avatar
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    What is the real obstacle for releasing new products and improvements, when they are "on the shelf" already? I understand there must be cost in bringing products to the market. But the cost for inventing these improvements have been incurred already. Couldn't they just release things on a smaller scale?
    If you're not taking your camera...there's no reason to travel. --APUG member bgilwee

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    He said that Kodak has a considerable wealth of analog technology on the shelf which they will never be able to put into products due to the extremely rapid decline in analog photographic sales.
    Ron,

    I suspected as much. So I have two questions.

    1. Can we get an example description of some of these analog products?
    2. Are they up for sale to another company?

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  4. #4
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Petzi;

    The simple answer is NO.

    Lots of inventions are made that take millions to bring to market. It took about 10 years and that much money to bring out 2 electron sensitization and they are still perfecting it.

    So, if the market is shrinking, they extrapolate to the 'end' and see if there is profit. If there is not, they cannot invest in it. They look for something that has more potential for profit.

    PE

  5. #5
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Art;

    I may be able to come up with a short list, but one comes to mind. The ISO 25,000 film that Paul Gilman and others invented.

    Other companies probably could not afford to invest in this either. The same shrinkage is affecting them too.

    PE

  6. #6
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Look guys, having a thing 'on the shelf' is not the same as having a product. I gave the example of 2 electron sensitization above which took over 10 years of R&D to release the first product.

    I guess I made a mistake sharing this. It seems that understanding the nature of the problems involved is the real problem here.

    PE

  7. #7
    Petzi's Avatar
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    Depends on the definition of "on the shelf". If they made test coatings already, and got useful results, then they could release it with reasonable investment.
    If you're not taking your camera...there's no reason to travel. --APUG member bgilwee

  8. #8
    Bill Mobbs's Avatar
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    I think we are all going to have to understand that companies are not going to put money into products that are on the decline. We can serve our interest better by buying and using the available products and learning to adapt to a new way of thinking. We must learn to make do with what we have or invent something new ourselves. I'm going out now and make some more pictures. How about you?
    "Nobody is perfect! But even among those that are perfect, some are more perfect than others." Walt Sewell 1947

  9. #9
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    firstly, just because there are new products on the shelf doesn't mean they are good or that we even want or need them. So what are you all getting so excited about? The unknown? lol!

    next, the point is well made. It is the purchasing public driving demand but it is curious that Ilford, who I believe supplied 60% of the black and white market for materials in the west, are able to see a future in analogue photography.

    and thirdly a question. If Kodak believe analogue is dead, then why do they still have an analogue R&D dept?

    and fourthly, could it be that the black and white market for film and paper has not shrunk nearly as much as the colour market and in fact, the B&W market was already a niche market before the advent of digital and as such it is never likely to be affected to the same extent as colour and that Kodak have ignored this because they only looked at colour revenues since it was the dominant income stream from their analogue operations. i.e. They consider themselves too big for B&W.
    Last edited by percepts; 04-24-2007 at 05:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    This is "the shelf" in the research labs. That is a far cry from having a product.

    PE

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