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  1. #11
    Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    The buyer is somehow convinced that he cannot buy film?

    News flash, Kodak isn't stocking film for 8x10, except for E-6, and this is the last year there will be Ilfochrome. It's special order, through Canham. The local supermarket has Fuji instant cameras, but it's been awhile since they carried any 35mm film. Maybe the drug store has 35mm, since they do processing. I don't know, as I shoot mostly MF and LF, and so I'm always going to Seattle's only pro film store, Glazer's Camera.

    There is one place locally that develops by mail order, and there's only three pro film labs. None handle color LF. So people who want to have fun with Holgas, Lomos, and the rest, must do like I do, and send it mail order. The remaining labs are not convenient, as in, no parking in the area.

    The guys who buy the big freezers have special film needs anyways, like ULF, or something is tuned to their process. I just bought two boxes of Kodak color film, and I do hope that I can get more in the future. But I won't stop shooting 8x10 if I can't get color film for it.

  2. #12

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    In general, manufacturers would prefer steady predictable demand, not spikes due to hoarding. In theory a spike right now would signal continuing interest but I doubt a sophisticated company or buyer would make a long term investment decision based on that.

    Film is in the "long tail" phase of it's lifespan, where demand slowly declines over a long period of time, demand concentrates over a smaller base, and it's offered at fewer and fewer locations (i.e. you can still buy buggy whips, but not at your local hardware store). It's not stocked everywhere because it wasn't selling. Not the other way around.

    Much depends on Kodak's cost structure. I think it's pretty much a given that film sales can't support Kodak as we know it today, but that doesn't mean it can't be a profitable business in and by itself. Perhaps with less spent on R&D; I don't know. Even though film production may be more capital intensive than labor intensive, it's certainly possible that a profitable business could be based in China or (as we see with Efke and others) eastern Europe.

    An interesting alternative would be contract manufacturing. I.E. Kodak or "son of Kodak" would use it's considerable capacity and expertise to manufacture film designed and marketed by others. Similar to contract manufacturing in foods; where you take my recipe and produce a product for me to market. I don't know if this is technically feasible, but this could be the best scenario - combining economies of production scale and high quality with a variety of end products. Whether this would be economical as a US based facility I don't know.

    None of what I've said is rocket science. If these scenarios are feasible, they are certainly being considered. But they may require time and capital - 2 scarce resources.
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  3. #13
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Actually, film making is akin to rocket science or bio-engineering! It is very complex. Formulas do NOT move between plants gracefully and certainly not between manufacturers. So, we have a dilemma here!

    PE

  4. #14
    CGW
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    A surge in sales of endagered films could certainly help rethink their direction at this critical juncture.

    Really? The only constant is the collapse of demand for film products. Inventories were already thin before the Ch. 11 announcement but no retailer would interpret a few panic buyers as evidence of a reversal of a decade-old trend. Hoarders aren't "new" demand.

  5. #15
    jp498's Avatar
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    Kodak is encouraging hoarding, whether they know it or not. The Canham film selling scheme (which I am thankful for and have used) is essentially Kodak telling people to buy lots of film at once because you don't know when there will be a special order again.

  6. #16

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    I didn't say that film making isn't rocket science, I said identifying the business alternatives is not rocket science. These are approaches that have been used successfully in many industries with varying complexity (packaged foods, chemicals, high tech electronics). For example, Foxconn manufactures the iPhone as well as many other high tech products for other companies.

    That doesn't mean that it CAN work for film production. If "Formulas do NOT move between plants gracefully" that is certainly a deterrent. Whether it's insurmountable (given the potential returns) I don't know.



    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Actually, film making is akin to rocket science or bio-engineering! It is very complex. Formulas do NOT move between plants gracefully and certainly not between manufacturers. So, we have a dilemma here!

    PE
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  7. #17
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Visited Glazer's today and enjoyed looking at the fridges with lots of film. Bought some too.

    They must have had a really big Ilford shipment recently, because their paper inventories are excellent.

    Chemistry shelves looked good too - lots of new bottles there.

    Seemed to have decent amounts of 4x5 film, and at least some 8x10 too (I don't always notice, as I don't shoot LF).

    Seemed a good supply of Fuji Crystal Archive paper, and Kodak RA-4 "kits".

    They were, as usual, quite busy.

    It was fun!
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Hoarders aren't "new" demand.
    That would be true if the number of suppliers equaled 1. That is not the case.

    s-a

  9. #19

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    Wow,

    I live in a very small town, about 2200 folks. There are at least 5 places to buy film, including two grocery stores, Ben Franklin, Jewelry store (dabble in photo gear), and the local hardware store. Granted not a great selection, but some do carry both slide and print options as well as B&W.

    Thirty minutes away, there is a real camera shop that will stock anything you want them to, as long as you do continue to buy it. They also offer in-house 35mm and 120 processing/printing/scanning.

    I'm very surprised that people in places like Rochester are having a tough time finding film locally. Wonder why this discrepancy. More film users in a rural area?

  10. #20
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I am completely against hoarding. Hoarding is terrible! It is so bad that I do what I can to combat it. When I hear that a film is going to be discontinued, I rush out and buy all that film that I can find and afford. The film goes into my freezer. Thus, I keep at least that portion of the film from falling into the hands of the dreaded film hoarders. Man, I just do what I can to help. No need for thanks.

    Please join me and do your part!

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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