The facts remain - KODAK cares little about films outcome. Dont use KODAK as an example for anything.
They most certainly have the wherewithal to do what ILFORD did and down-size their operation, they choose not to. We will loose KODAK and all the products they produced NOT because folks dont want to buy them, but because they are fed up with the 'kodak games'. Until some old/current employee's buy the film division and do what they did @ ILFORD, kodak products are history.
Originally Posted by CGW
Our best hope for the future of Photographic Film in America is if someone like 3M were to buy the skeleton of Eastman Kodak. 3M is in Industrial Films and Coatings, where Kodak would have gone if they were smart.
Digital, in my experience is only really faster for the client, not for me; and fast is not always important for the client either.
One of the reasons I use film when I do a wedding or similar work is to save my time for my "easier to sell, higher profit work"; shooting, marketing, and selling have become the most important work for me to be doing in this genre of photography.
My work doing the backend processing is hard for me to sell at a profit at a retail level, and normally drags my overall hourly profit down in comparison to using pro-labs. They can do it so inexpensively compared to the rate I want for the same work that I just package the shooting and pro-lab work in up front.
Even if I chose to do wedding work digitally, I would use the same business model and would do my darndest to keep my shot count very close to what my film shot count might be for the same job. The real all in cost (my labor, pro-lab work, and all) ends up almost identical.
As a side note another reason I prefer selling film work is that it gives me an understandable physical unit to sell, a roll; instead of an intangible digital click.
On personal work most of my negatives never get to prints. I actually came to the conclusion that that doesn't matter to me if I every print all my shots. Really, there is no way I can actually put all my shots on my walls, nor would anyone want to see all of them.
Many of my shots are experimental in one sense or another, so if I get one truly special stand out composition that I'd be happy to frame from a given day, or eight to ten on a given vacation; I feel I have done really, really well.
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
The prospect of Kodak "doing an Ilford" with film is all but counterfactual now, agreed. They abandoned the market here following Kodak Canada's collapse in 2005, leaving labs adrift and open to predatory pricing on paper and chemistry that boosted Fuji's business. Demand is still the key and no one has much good news on that.
Originally Posted by dr5chrome
The whole analog infrastructure in my area is gettting steadily rickety--fewer quality labs, reliance on mail order film purchase, scarce repair shops, vanishing cheap Frontier/Noritsu C-41 processing.
It really seems this is the unfortunate future. Locally, SE Pennsylvania, it is all but impossible to walk into a store and purchase ANY Kodak product, let alone film. CVS is the only local "pro-Kodak" retailer. One really wonders what they are up to. Not that I personally mind purchasing online, but making it difficult for people to buy your products doesn't seem to me to be a wise business model.
The prospect of Kodak "doing an Ilford" with film is all but counterfactual now, agreed. They abandoned the market here following Kodak Canada's collapse....
On a slightly happier note, the local Walmart is doing a healthy (in relative terms) business in FUJI disposable cameras and 35mm film. Maybe it's end of the school year field trips, IDK, but they've had to restock the disposable cameras twice in the last week and the display holds maybe 200. I know, because I've had to pick up some for my daughter's school activities and I've purposely watched the stock level because I surprised at the number they appear to be selling. (Not KODAK disposable to be seen anywhere)
The 35mm film rack of 4 packs (they stock about 16 boxes at a time mixed 200, 400, 800) empties out in about 3 or 4 days. For whatever reason, the powers at Wally-world only restock about every 10 days so maybe more would sell if they bothered to put it out for sale.
All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.
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My dislike of Kodak, and one reason I suspect for their lack of recent success, has to do with their lack of recognition of an enthusiast hobbiest market. Their products had for decades been marketed as either for amateurs - meaning the average jane or joe who knew nothing about photography and just wanted a roll of film to shoot at a party - to the working professional who relied on the quality of their products for their livelihood. Yet here was this enormous gulf between the two, filled only by non-professional photo enthusiasts, many of whom had every bit the working knowledge of the professional (and sometimes more) but the budget of an amateur. Kodak entirely ignored this demographic in their marketing, to their detriment.
Ilford, in contrast, understands that the enthusiast hobbiest is a major part of their market, and know how to communicate to the non-professional enthusiast, such as Mr. Simon Galley's participation in online discussion forums.
In all of my online years in various photo-related websites I've never heard of anyone from Kodak even attempting to acknowledge the existence of the non-professional enthusiast market, much less attempt to engage in dialog via discussion forums.
There is a huge market of enthusiast consumers looking for products like the micro-4/3 cameras of Panasonic and Olympus (the top selling format in Japan, who still have a reverence for film cameras) and the Fuji and Sony mirrorless digital cameras. For the most part, these are being marketed toward enthusiast non-professionals, people who want more control over the process than the Kodak mantra of "you press the button and we do the rest". This is the market that Kodak, for decades, has failed to even acknowledge. It is their loss, as others will fill the void.
Kodak has a deeply imbeded big company culture...distant with their employees and clients, not keen on small moves, all about the right now, inflexible and innapropriate for what film has become as a product i beleive...not easy to change either, you cant ask a dinosaur to become a mouse even if life depends on it.
Last edited by Alexis M; 06-11-2012 at 07:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Very easy to change but the instruction has to come from the very top.
Originally Posted by Alexis M
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Tired of chasing your tail yet? There's no "Battleship Potemkin"-style "revolt from below" in the wings for Kodak. The whole demand/profitability/accounting debate is over on film for Kodak. They're not, nor will they ever be, Ilford. Joe, upthread, got it right.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
Nobody has mentioned, (I think), one possibility. A brand name as huge as Tri-X is worth something. Even if Kodak gets out of the manufacturing, which they probably will, they've screwed up every other decision, somebody will buy the rights to the name and will produce Tri-X exactly as we know it.
It may not be produced by Kodak, but if it's exactly the same thing, with the same name, wouldn't there be a good existing clientele? I think it's still the largest selling B&W film there is and I can't believe one day it'll just disappear. Even an existing film company could announce that they have 'bought' Tri-X, and it will remain in production in their existing facility alongside whatever they already produce.
This, to me, is a business opportunity they someone will grab. There are people out there who will buy Tri-X until the day they die.