It isn't insurmountable if a dealer or group of dealers gets together and does it. They can project demand over, say, a year, and put in an order. Things might run out toward the end, or a bit might be left over and sold off at closeout, but it could work well that way.
I keep reading about how the price will increase. Why should it increase with smaller runs necessarily? It's quite possible that the reason the price is where it is now is that they have to produce more than they can sell and have a lot of waste, and that the big machines require a lot more material to make a run than they can actually sell in resulting product. In other words, "right sized" production could actually lower costs and thus, ideally, prices - or, more likely, maybe hold the line on further increases.
I fear you may well be right, though it isn't that bad because, as you say, their current films are so good.
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
If any discontinued films were to be brought back I think E6, being the most recently discontinued, would be the most likely. E100G also fits a niche that nobody else fills right now, a moderate contrast transparency film. Ok, Astia is a bit better in that regard and still readily available in 4x5 and 120, but not in 35mm or larger sizes and it's remaining stock only.
BUT - I keep remembering my conversation with the Freestyle rep when I called to check on stock of 35mm E100G. He said they just got in 200 or 250 rolls, forget which, and "we usually sell about 10 rolls a month so you should be fine." Ten rolls a MONTH in 35mm, for what is certainly one of the biggest dealers in North America. No wonder they discontinued it, and no wonder I agree that the odds of getting it back would be slim.
If that is a ball-park number, then we're talking some doable things here. That's $500 up front from 100 people. Not hard to do anymore with the way the Internet brings us all together. The question in my mind would be, is that the cost for an emulsion "ready to go" as in, already in production this minute, or is that the cost for a batch of something "that was shelved" as in, a film they quit producing months or years ago?
Originally Posted by wblynch
Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand
Rollei 80s is an aerial film, so it is a special film and does not murder TMAX as a photographic film. It is a special film, which can also be used for special purposes for photography, but it is never a substitute for TMAX. Only Hartmuth Schroeder and his special advertisers are always telling wonderful fairytales about this film (even Maco/Rollei does not tell this fairytales - don't forget he is not a manager of this company anymore!).
Originally Posted by georg16nik
It would be great if Kodak's film division makes a comeback as a small good company Let's hope
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Been discussing this rumor with the boys in the store, and the consensus is that it may be true... Just remember the whole film with processing included business model is the way Kodak started and was run for many years. I see the whole small batch idea to be very possible, and I know if Kodak wants to go that direction, that they will be getting a lot of my money in the end.
* Just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean the lights in the darkroom are off. *
* When the film you put in the camera is worth more than the camera you put the film in... *
* When I started using 8x10, it amazed me how many shots were close to the car. *
i think it was keith canham who was doing special runs of film for the ULF crowd, and it was way-less than $50K ... way-less ..
Originally Posted by wblynch
but i could be wrong ...
it was a great business model ! and was what eastman kodak was built upon. shoot the film, send the camera in, get the film processed +printed
Originally Posted by Jeff Searust
and the camera reloaded ...
it is too bad john garo isn't around to run the lab-side of things .. he was the best of his generation ..
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Keith Canham wasn't getting any kind of custom film. He was merely collector group orders for special cuts of
extant film runs, primarily in 8x10, a size just recently discontinued by Kodak anyway. I participated in
a couple of these group orders and am quite grateful to Keith for organizing it and handling the distribution. But
we're talking about films which are being coated fairly frequently anyway, and just having part of the master roll
dedicated to different packaging based on Kodaks minimum quantities for doing so. Coming up with a whole different emulsion than one already in the pipeline is a completely different question, even if they offered it in
the past. I'm no expert at it, but making film is both art and science, and some thing probably can't be resurrected if the people who knew the finer tricks have already retired or found work elsewhere, or if the
proprietary batching gear is gone, or if a special coating base was needed. The legendary Super-XX is a case
in instance, as is Tech Pan. And coming up with a whole new designer emulsion would be even more expensive
because you're got fresh R&D expense, and someone (other than them) would have to risk a backfire if the first
batch was off and didn't sell. There are already companies out there who will contract that sort of thing, at least in black and white products.
Just FYI, Kodak announced the layoff of about 40 more film division employees today.
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