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  1. #11

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    Kodak closes its plants in Australia, UK and builds a new one in China. Smaller costs ? I suppose yes. And what about quality ?...
    sergio caetano

  2. #12
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    Apparently Kodak have also purchased a 20% share in Lucky, China's largest film manufacturer and exchanged technologies. Now Lucky B & W film is being dumped (I can think of no other term) on the UK market. One leading B&W retailer is advertising 120 rolls both 100 ISO & 400 ISO at £1.18 each including tax, which is incredibly cheap especially as stuff coming in from outside the EEC would attract further duties.

    There are of course no effective unions in China, working conditions are often appalling and health & safety is minimal. But soon I guess everything will be manufactured in China until perhaps the popilation demands better living conditions - that could be a long wait....

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brac
    Apparently Kodak have also purchased a 20% share in Lucky, China's largest film manufacturer and exchanged technologies. Now Lucky B & W film is being dumped (I can think of no other term) on the UK market. One leading B&W retailer is advertising 120 rolls both 100 ISO & 400 ISO at £1.18 each including tax, which is incredibly cheap especially as stuff coming in from outside the EEC would attract further duties.

    There are of course no effective unions in China, working conditions are often appalling and health & safety is minimal. But soon I guess everything will be manufactured in China until perhaps the popilation demands better living conditions - that could be a long wait....
    Sometimes a little knowledge can lead to dangerous assumptions (sorry).

    First the price you paid in UK for one roll of 120 Lucky B&W film can buy 3+ rolls of the same film in China. (Here the "+" is almost another half roll)

    For a simple comparison of Lucky, Fuji, and Kodak, they are all outsiders of EEC - let's see if Lucky can be judged as dumping:

    Can the price you paid in UK for one roll of Fujichrome Velvia buy three rolls of the same film in Japan?

    Can the price you paid in UK for one roll of Kodak film made in USA buy three rolls of the same film in USA?

    Take Kodak as a good example. The film distributors in USA commonly import Kodak exported film and the retail price for consumers in USA can still be substantially lower than buy Kodak (made in USA and for USA market) film.

    Now the question come back - who is dumping? Lucky, Fujifilm, or Kodak?

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brac
    Apparently Kodak have also purchased a 20% share in Lucky, China's largest film manufacturer and exchanged technologies. Now Lucky B & W film is being dumped (I can think of no other term) on the UK market. One leading B&W retailer is advertising 120 rolls both 100 ISO & 400 ISO at £1.18 each including tax, which is incredibly cheap especially as stuff coming in from outside the EEC would attract further duties.

    There are of course no effective unions in China, working conditions are often appalling and health & safety is minimal. But soon I guess everything will be manufactured in China until perhaps the popilation demands better living conditions - that could be a long wait....
    About 6 months ago we were talking to Lucky about bringing their 100 and 400 films to the US market. We had gotten past minimum quantities and pricing and all that was left was to test the samples they sent. There was much speculation at that time that these were TMax technology films because of the Kodak association.

    Our testing revealed that the films were nothing like TMax. In addition the anti halo layer was very ineffective. This resulted in very poor performance in bright scenes. The 400 film at it's best is a 250 or so speed film.

    So why is the film so cheap, becaus it's cheap film. The price from Lucky is between 40 and 55 cents US depending on the film. If you throw on shipping from China and import duties you can see where the price comes from.

    In the end we decided the film would be more trouble than it was worth because of these performance issues and did not purchase any.

  5. #15
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    What you say John is very revealing. I haven't bought any of the stuff and don't intend to do so. My concern is that by selling such a cheap product here, in what is a diminishing market, it is bound to reduce the sales of other manufacturers and in the present situation that would be a pity.

    And yes I do consider the product is being dumped. Wages are relatively low in China with a compliant labour force which is why companies in the west (not just photographic) are flocking there to open factories (usually at the cost of jobs here). So a second rate product can be sold here undercutting drastically the prices of even the cheapest rivals. We have seen some of their colour film already and no doubt this will now be pushed more strongly.

    I can't talk about the situation with the re-importation of Kodak film into the States as I have no knowledge. But as far as Europe is concerned I don't see any evidence of dumping by Kodak or Fuji. In fact Fuji have a sensitised goods manufacturing plant in Holland where the Supervia line comes from. Also Kodak have factories in UK & France, though sadly as already announced production of many lines is due to be chopped in these. Where film will then be sourced from remains to be seen but I don't expect to find 120 size Kodal film at £1.18 a roll!

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brac
    What you say John is very revealing. I haven't bought any of the stuff and don't intend to do so. My concern is that by selling such a cheap product here, in what is a diminishing market, it is bound to reduce the sales of other manufacturers and in the present situation that would be a pity.

    And yes I do consider the product is being dumped. Wages are relatively low in China with a compliant labour force which is why companies in the west (not just photographic) are flocking there to open factories (usually at the cost of jobs here). So a second rate product can be sold here undercutting drastically the prices of even the cheapest rivals. We have seen some of their colour film already and no doubt this will now be pushed more strongly.

    I can't talk about the situation with the re-importation of Kodak film into the States as I have no knowledge. But as far as Europe is concerned I don't see any evidence of dumping by Kodak or Fuji. In fact Fuji have a sensitised goods manufacturing plant in Holland where the Supervia line comes from. Also Kodak have factories in UK & France, though sadly as already announced production of many lines is due to be chopped in these. Where film will then be sourced from remains to be seen but I don't expect to find 120 size Kodal film at £1.18 a roll!
    There has been a lot of dumping of film products by more than Lucky. Ilford was dumping FP4 and HP5 at virtual cost to anyone who would buy a sufficient quantity and rebrand it under their name. Forte struck deals where they sold lots of film at a loss. The idea was to keep production up. It ended up being a bad move. This started the downward spiral. The sourcing to Lucky is just the next step in this downward spiral. All of this will work itself out over the next year and the market will settle down. You are correct that European manufacturers can't compete with Lucky prices. But the films from Europe are also much nicer. The market will decide if quality and variety wins out over cheap.

    I don't know of Kodak or Fuji doing this but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. With regards to the price of US Kodak film versus the same film sold in other countries. This is typical of many US companies. The manufacturer will tell you that the cost of distribution, regulations liability etc is higher in the US than some other country so the US price is higher. That's the reason Americans living on the Mexican border flock to the Mexican side to pick up their much cheaper prescription drugs.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandc
    The market will decide if quality and variety wins out over cheap.
    Quality and consistency of quality are really worth something. Of course I'd rather not have to pay the high prices Kodak charges, but the freedom from defects and the dependability of the TMax film I use is worth far more than the money I'd save buying something less expensive. Think about it - after you somehow find the time to photograph with the film you buy in your busy life, you still have to buy developer, fixer, and spend the time to process the film. Then you need paper, paper developer (I use amidol; that's certainly not cheap), plain fixer (that's expensive, too), a clearing agent and toner. And that's just the consumables. Am I really that worried about the difference between $2.00 per sheet and $3.00 per sheet? When you total it all up, that $1.00 difference is nothing.

    Thanks for taking the trouble to stock 400TMax. I ordered a box today.
    Jim

  8. #18
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    Question for John of JandC: Do you plan to stock the 4 x 5 400TMax? I can actually buy that locally (in a store no less!...would you even believe it?) but if you carry it I'll buy it from you. It costs me $49.00/box at Penn Camera.
    Jim

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    (in a store no less!...would you even believe it?)
    A store? Isn't that one of those things that are made out of brick and mortar where people used to buy things way back in the olden times? I went into one of those once and no matter how much I waved my mouse around, my shopping cart didn't fill up. No wonder they didn't work out.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  10. #20

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    LOL

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