Here, at my office in brazilian Posts Headquarters, I'm the UNIQUE film user.... and we have 112 technicians working at this plant.....
Of course intelligent people like yourself still use film.
But the average sales of B&W products predicted for the SA market were never realized and with the WW drop, things went bad. I should add that CA and African markets were included in some estimates of the 'load' on Brazilian production.
Just FYI, Kodak total sales were about $20B US before the digital rage hit and today total sales are about $2B US. This current sales figure is just a round number and is divided between digital and analog. Therefore there was over a 10x drop in sales WW and that is in addition to sales that never materialized from 90s predictions. If Kodak sold every bit of film produced in the world today it would probably not add up to the ~$20 B in film sales pre-digital from Kodak alone.
So, I'm talking in generalizations about the average consumer. The professional market is another story. You are part of that. And, your preference shows the difference.
I’m not informed about the situation today, but PE may be right.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
I glanced through some informations from 2004 I’ve gathered from several newspapers:
sales of films and film still cameras were increasing in China…with only 20% of the families having any camera…Kodak intended to sell 4Mill. still film cameras in China… world’s 2nd largest film market… the east asian market is the world’s fastest growing market for photo film…
As far as I remember Kodak had the intention to put the emphasis on digital cameras in the modernized areas, and on film cameras in the rural areas; they even gifted film cameras to provoke interest in photography….
It seems to me that within that business there is a dynamic that even those major companies have a hard time to handle.
thanks for your kind words...
PE and Agx,
I lived in the city of Manaus,Amazonas, from 1985 to 2000.
In 1998 Fuji have concluded another plant there and Kodak have moved its plant from a small one in Manaus to another more appropriate, at the city's big free port Industrial Complex.
They really had underestimated the dynamics of digital revolution...
You are welcome and deserve more. The very understandable restrictions of the Brazilian government at the time made it very difficult to build the plant back in the 90s. I was very slightly involved in the difficult technology transfer.
You have a progressive government that in some ways hurt the technology transfer in that they wish so much to come from Brazil rather than come as imports. Well, we managed at EK to meet those demands and many of my friends have nothing but wonderful things to say of Brazil and the people. We were very happy to build the plant(s) there and sad to see them close. I didn't know that they had moved.
I believe that the Japanese have a large population of 'nisei' in Brazil and that may have prompted the Fuji move. (Nisei in the US means second or third generation Japanese immigrants).
All the best.
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Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
yes, you have said this over and over, and told us about Kodak, their market expectations and the BW paper plant in Brazil, which should serve the chinese market.
But I've been in China, and my experience is totally different: The Chinese moved directly from the 'non photographer status' to photography with colour film.
They don't move first to BW and then to colour. Why should they? Colour film and development is very cheap today in China. And I've never had any problems to buy film in China, film is sold everywhere, even in small shops. You can get Lucky, Kodak, Fuji.
They primarily use small compact cameras made by chinese manufacturers, e.g. "Great Wall", but also 35 mm SLRs and MF cameras made by chinese and japanese camera manufacturers.
If Kodak expected the Chinese first to move to BW, and then to colour as you said, then this is a very good example for bad market research and false management decisions. The Chinese did what most of the people in the western industrialised countries did when they start with photography: They use colour film. Not astonishing at all (only for the Kodak management....).
In the coming years more and more Chinese will start directly with digital, of course. And some of them, which are more interested in photograpy, will also start with film. It will be new and fascinating for them. You can watch this little trend already in our countries.
In China, India, Brazil etc. is a potential of more than 1 billion new photographers over the next 30-40 years, a really gigantic market. If only one or two percent would use film, this would be sufficient to keep film at a healthy level.
But the film manufacturers have to serve an develop these new markets, of course.
I hope this is the reason why Simon Galley made his recent business trip to Asia.
I never said that the model was right, especially about B&W.
However, the number of color prints and Kiosks for transmission and printing color were huge in China. That part of the market was growing, but the bottom dropped out of the color film market in China for just the reasons you mention, but their 'dwell time' in film photography was shorter than predicted due to the growth in income, drop in digital prices, and etc. So we ended up with digital becoming more dominant than expected, and sooner, in China.
So 1% of a billion buying maybe a couple rolls of film each year . . . still sounds like 20 million rolls of film or so. Is that such a bad thing?
I saw the Dwaynes figures of 1000 rolls of Kodachrome a day. Depending upon the Kodak profit margin, that still sounds like several million in revenue.
I realize that the past billions was quite attractive for profits. However, would a company really give up on millions in profits? This to me is the reality check. Obviously, at whatever point there is no profit, I do not see sustaining a production, just to break even, nor to keep workers employed; that situation would prompt a shutdown and charge for downsizing.
Consider what Polaroid films are still being made. I doubt that the production level is showing profits in the billions, but quite likely profits in the millions. Again probably obvious that Polaroid films are not easy to buy, compared to other films, but they are still available. Even Fuji see some value in providing products for what must be a really small (percentage) market.
A G Studio
Yes I was, amongst others I was visiting our distributor in China and some educational establishments and photo opinion leaders as well , our products are on sale and sales are growing well, but obviously you have low cost indigenous producers. As you say photography is growing fast in China, as always our key interest is in the small but significant amount of users who use monochrome and to ensure they can access our products and know all about them.
Simon. ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :